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Greenbrier International Queen and worker bee repaint

Started by BugFolk, April 26, 2015, 07:49:25 AM

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I found these in a set of insects a few years ago at the dollar store. I liked the realistic detail work on quite a few of the figures. They reminded me of some of the P.V., XX and T.M. I insects liked. The paint job, on the other hand left more to be desired. I'm kind of going for the Safari Ltd paint style.

A while ago I tried to prime it with some white Krylon base coat. That didn't go well. it just flaked off. I didn't get a decent "before" pic, but I did get a snap of it after i removed most of the failed base job. There's also a slight mod to the mouth parts. I cut off the proboscis which looked nothing like one. It was an awkward blob right below the head.

I didn't get the worker "Before" either. I thought I had another one, making 3 of these total, but I couldn't find her.

After painting:

Not perfect by far. I should have painted the Ocelli with the shiny black paint. Maybe I will later. There's a few other areas here and there, but then again the Safari models are seldom perfect either. I'm at a point with them that I like displaying them and eager to try painting some more figures. I'm tempted to paint the little white or light colored paint dot that beekeepers tend to have for Identifying the queen, but I would probably grow tired of it.


those are very nice. When I did a walk-around for the Bullyland honey bees, I commented that there are very few well-painted honey bee figures. Even the most recent (Safari 2013 life cycle) is not a realistic paint job!


Thanks. Yeah I was kind of thinking that too. It's more common to see bees painted like yellowjackets/ yellowjacket honeybee hybrid or combination of bumblebee and wasp.

They are tough to paint because the body is really dark gray/black and the abdomen and areas is brown. The lighter yellow comes from pigments inside the abdomen (common with a lot of bees and wasps.) Those also tend to discolor when the creature dies. 

The straw yellow shades on the head and thorax are made of the hairs on the bees body. (Bumblebees have this too. If the hairs get rubbed off, you're left with a black body.) I notice as bees age, they go bald starting from the top of the thorax and further down. This affects how one may perceive their color patterns. Then there is also genetic variation between workers/ colonies and species.

This is very hard to represent on a plastic figure without resorting to flocking or something along those lines.  I was tempted to use iridescent gold to show that off but decided to stick to a semi limited color range.


It's amazing to see how realistic they turned out. Excellent work, ButterflyChaser! :) This is another brilliant example of what a good repaint can make out of a figure with imperfections.


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