Painting 3Dprinted Gnomes

I had a few comments about my paint job on these gnomes, so I thought I would post some step by step pictures of the process, in case that would be helpful to you as you paint your own…

If you have any printing errors, the first thing you will do is fix them if you can. Sometimes you might have partial print failure (if a support gets knocked over) and it could leave you with a missing portion of your model. If you have something like a layer shift while printing, you can separate with the putty knife and glue it back together. I have even used a wood-burning tool to weld PLA pieces together or smooth out a rough print!

This missing portion of the shield looks like splintered wood!

Sometimes rather than fix it, it might work even with the print failure–This Gnome had a support fail, which left a portion of the shield missing. Rather than try to fix it, I thought that it looked like it could be battle damage, and decided to just go with it!

The first step that I did with these gnomes was to apply a surface primer. I don’t know if it is really necessary, but since my silver metals will be drybrushed over it, I decided to use a black primer.

The chainmail texture printed very cleanly! All It needs is a little metalic paint drybrushed across the links. The goal here is to not have much paint on your brush so that it will only hit the raised areas, and leave the black showing in the crevices. This paint is Folk Art metallics–the other colors that I will use are Apple Barrel and Deco Art–It is about 50 cents for a 2 oz bottle at Walmart.

I will go section by section and paint a solid color for each item. Often I will go over an area with two coats to try and get an even coverage.

After the base colors are dry, I mix up a wash of black and brown thinned with Acrylic thinner. I think that using acrylic thinner gives a better result than just thinning with water. After the wash was dry, I painted the dark parts of the eyes with a tiny brush.

The next coat of paint is done with the same colors as the first coat. You can also add a couple of drops of glaze medium into your color to thin it, if you want to build up the color. In this step, I want to bring the color and saturation of the original color out, while leaving the recesses dark. Don’t paint over all of the wash that you’ve done, but let your bright color blend into it. You can use wet blending to soften the transition into your recesses. Even the armor and other metallic areas will get a second drybrush coat.

When I’ve finished the second pass of colors, I will go into the details like the eyes, and add the iris color and specular highlights.

details added to the eyes

The last step is to add a gloss varnish to the eyes and lips. And maybe a satin varnish to other shiny areas.

After Painting, your Gnomes are ready for the Garden!

If you would like to 3dprint and paint your own set, you can get the STL files at Cults3D

Gnomes

sketchbook

I had this idea that I thought would look pretty cool: Gnomes for D&D, bust sculpted in the style of Garden Gnomes! Where they typically have a pointed cap, I would keep that shape, but make it a pointed helmet. This was a series of sketches that I made the next morning when I woke up with the idea…

Gnome with “meat tenderizer” mace!
28mm scale mini
Garden-sized!

After I sculpted a few, I decided to make a “Garden-Sized” version for the yard! The mini is printed on my SparkmakerFHD and the big version on my Ender3.

I am sculpting some more for my Patreon for next month, but if you would like to get these you can buy on Cults3D:

Gnome with Sword
Gnome with Axe
Gnome with Mace
Gnome with Spear