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SkillCraft Insect Lab

Started by bmathison1972, January 20, 2015, 12:21:04 AM

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OK, first thing's first. This is the first time I have painted figures and the first time I've touched a brush since the early 1990's :).

Anyway, I painted the 'small' figures that accompany the cricket anatomy model in the Insect Lab by Skillcraft. Also, I painted them based on the intended species and not Skillcraft's recommended color schemes...

First, the assembled yet unpainted versions:

Here are the painted figures. The scientific names are what the figures are intended to be.

1) bluebottle fly, Lucilia sylvarium. This figure was fairly fairly straight-forward. I am still deciding if I should go back and use a pitt pen to highlight the wing venation (incorrect as it is...)

2) giant water bug, Lethocerus americanus. I nice change from the 5 figures I have of the Japanese species, L. deyrolli :). I used a pitt pen to make black highlights. The figure looks fine but enlarged in this image, I am not sure I like the black highlights...

3) red admiral butterfly, Vanessa atalanta. Another fairly straightforward figure. I am very happy with how this came out. Notice a couple errors: 1) the palps for some reason are on the top of the head at the base of the antennae and 2) the front legs are too long; as a member of the Nymphalinae they should be reduced to brush-like stubs.

4) mosquito, Anopheles maculipennis. I added red to the bottom of the abdomen to imply a recent blood meal :). Again, not sure about highlighting the wing venation. I made the wings creamier in color then I did with the blowfly (above) which is straight white. By the way, notice the palps are too short for an anopheline mosquito.

5) paper wasp, Polistes annularis. For some reason, they have the genus and species reversed on this one... This was the hardest to paint, with the hardest colors to duplicate and paint at this size. I might do more highlights on the wings...

My next goal is to create individual bases for each figure so I can 1) use the labels that came with the kit and 2) have them be stand-alone and not part of the cricket's base.


Lovely insects figures and well painted them  ^-^.
My website: Paleo-Creatures
My website's facebook: Paleo-Creatures


Great work, Blaine! :) Since you mentioned you're not sure about the highlights on the Giant Water Bug anymore, you used black on a light grey background, maybe the contrast is a little harsh? Apparently you used the same pen on the Bluebottle, I think they look much better on this darker model.

I've cut the front legs off of my Red Admiral. The dorsal side is already painted but I still have to do the (much more difficult) ventral surface of the wings.

Oh, and your mosquito seems to have had a meal, recently? ;D

The Polistes looks great, too. :) Since the forewings are not folded longitudinally I thought about turning mine into a European Beewolf, Philanthus triangulum.

Oh, and I was not really satisfied with the Bluebottle, Mosquito, and Paper Wasp having wings made from opaque plastic. I already made casts of them in clear resin, We'll see how and if this helps to improve them a little, but I'm far from having the models completed, yet. I do have the cricket anatomy model finished, though, so I could add photos of that one, later (still haven't decided how to paint the stand, though). :)


the bottom of my red admiral doesn't look great--used solid colors to highlight the general patterns; if and when my painting skills get better I might go back and clean I up.

For the Lethocerus I may go back over with a light coating of a pale brown or something to washout the black highlights.

Also I think I will go back and add ocelli to the paper wasp :)

I have 5 Shapeways figures coming I will pay closer detail to!!!