Next, after some primer and touch-ups comes the fun part. Paint job time.There are more reference photos of Bowser than you can shake a digital stick ...
When you've played as much Mario as I have you can occasionally get the odd thought that you might actually deserve something for all of your time well spent. Like big game hunters you want to flaunt your prowess with trophies of your best accomplishments, right? Since I've beaten Bowser more times that I can count I figure I need a Bowser trophy, and really, who could blame me?
I started with getting the game model for Bowser from Mario Galaxy, since I thought this was the best 3d version of him. If you open him up in Crafty you get a confusing wire diagram like the one pictured above, but crafty lets you save out in other formats. So Crafty converts my MTL file to a more familiar OBJ.
I opened the OBJ file using Art of Illusion, and you get a nice gray-scale full body of Bowser, which I then set to wire frame because I only need the head, and he's somewhat easier to dissect this way. This was all new to me, and there was a gratuitous use of the "undo" button as I stumbled through. No regrets though.
After removing the body I set it back to the skinned version, just to make sure everything is how I want it. (this is A LOT of trial and error.) Then save him out again. I also took the opportunity at this point to remove his horns and save them out separately for a viking helmet project I may actually work on someday. Multitasking!!