Painting an Oglala Chief




About: I love to create sci-fi models, paint figures and generally stay a kid at heart.

This 1/10 scale resin bust is from La Meridian Miniatures. It represents He Dog (Sunka Bloka), a member of the Oglala Lakota, ca. 1840 - 1936. This was one of my tougher challenges, due to the feather arrangement and the way this sculpt was separated for casting.


Dish soap/water

Sandpaper and small files

Scalpel with #11 blades

Citadel Acrylics and Inks

Vallejo Acrylics

Citadel White Spray can primer

Aves 2 part Epoxy, metal spatula

JB Weld Kwikweld Adhesive

Cyanoacrylate glue

5 minute epoxy

Ben Franklin box and wood stain

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Step 1: The Beginning

First things first. I separated and cleaned up any excess resin on all the pieces. They were then washed in dish soap and water, to take off any residual mold release during casting.

After drying for a day, I began assembly. There was plenty of fitting between joints with sizable gaps. I usually use cyanoacrylate glue for assembly but also used JB Weld (grey stuff) and Aves epoxy (yellow green) in certain areas to help secure each piece to the next.

Step 2: More Dressing

Once the figure was dry enough to handle, It was sprayed with Citadel White primer. Once dry one could see the feather arrangement still looked off on the head, so epoxy was used to fill in voids. Also, the white metal tassles that hung on each side of the headband didn't fit, so epoxy was used to pot in the gaps and allowed to dry.

Step 3: Base Coats

Using Citadel acrylics, the entire figure is painted to cover the primer. I use white because it is easier to see where I missed. In the first photo, the black on the hair braids dried up and left exposed primer. And with acrylics, it sometimes take a few coats to get good coverage.

Also, I usually start with dark to light buildup when painting. But the face went light, dark then light again.

Step 4: Detailing

Here is where the depth of painting is hopefully obtained by careful washes and highlighting through drybrushing, like on the feathers. The tassles are left off so that the neck and chest details can be worked. The white metal tassles on the head band and feather tips were primed and painted separately and added after the figure was completely painted.

Step 5: Finishing Up

And after a good 2 weeks of work, He Dog is nearing completion.

The resin stub underneath the bust had a 1/8" dia. hole drilled in to it and a brass rod was glued in with CA glue.

A Ben Franklin wood box was flipped over, sanded, and stained. A 1/8" hole was drilled in the center, and the brass rod was bonded in place with 5 minute epoxy. The rod was then covered with Aves epoxy sculpt and formed into a cone. It was then painted with Citadel acrylic paint.

And we call this one finished.

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    6 Discussions


    7 weeks ago

    What a great process you've shared! It looks like it turned out to be one of those incredibly expensive pieces in those old antique shops. Wow!

    1 reply

    8 weeks ago

    The details you achieved through different techniques are beautiful! Thanks for sharing your process! It's really neat to see it transform from start to finish.

    1 reply