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Mass Effect: Garrus Action Figure Repaint by Nightlyre Mass Effect: Garrus Action Figure Repaint by Nightlyre
This is the Big Fish action figure of Garrus from Mass Effect 2 - recalibrated a bit. :) You can get a decent idea of how big the figure is from my fingers in some of the photos. I haven't done a lot of detailed painting at that small of a scale before and wasn't sure how well I'd do, but I enjoyed working on this quite a lot. At the moment, I've just done his face - not sure if I want to do anything with his armor yet or not. I also had to remove his visor to do the repaint. I'll be reattaching it once I've done a bit of work on it.

I will say that the original figure's cast is actually very good. I didn't do any adjustments aside from repainting. All of the lovely detail was there - it just needed a bit of work to bring it out! The only thing I wish I could fix that I probably won't be able to are the little spurs under his mandibles; there are supposed to be two, and much narrower than that, but they're just too small to adjust easily!

Just to be clear, I did not sculpt him - I just repainted the existing action figure. Garrus and Mass Effect belong to BioWare.

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:iconevenskarangerart:
EvenSkarangerArt Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
very impressive, what kind of paint did you use for this? beautifully done, very much better than the original
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:iconnightlyre:
Nightlyre Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks! It was just done with craft acrylics. The figure's sculpt is actually very good, he just needed a little... cosmetic help. :)
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:iconreturn-to-mobius:
Return-to-Mobius Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2013
This is honestly amazing.  Just out of curiosity, I don't suppose you ever take repainting commissions?  I just bought the Garrus Playarts Kai and the paint just is horrible.  :(
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:iconnightlyre:
Nightlyre Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Honestly, after looking at photos of the Play Arts Kai version, I'm not sure repainting him alone would make him look much better. The original sculpt is not very good at all! :( To really fix that one would involve either doing some major "reconstructive surgery" with epoxy, or sculpting a brand new head for him. The saddest thing is, the body, armor, and guns on that figure all look very good. I don't know what went wrong with the face!
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:iconreturn-to-mobius:
Return-to-Mobius Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2013
It's like they got to the head and were kind of like - eh whatever!  It's so annoying @_@ but!  I have seen repaints that have improved him quite a bit!  robjedi.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02… Not perfect, but certainly better than the train wreck that is his current look.  >.>  But yeah, you are right 'surgery' would probably be better than just slapping paint on it.

Originally I didn't plan on buying the playarts figures at all, because I knew the face issues, and because my Shep just looks nothing like default Shep that so getting her accurate will be tricky - th07.deviantart.net/fs70/PRE/i… but then I found this song www.youtube.com/watch?v=toiIdK… and suddently had all these FEELS and then before I knew it I'd bought them both. XD  They haven't arrived yet, but I'm wondering what I should do - try and repaint/alter them myself (which could result in a horrible mess) or commission a professional.  So then I thought of you, because of your cosplay, so I thought I'd ask. XD
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:iconnightlyre:
Nightlyre Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I appreciate you thinking of me! I'm impressed with how good of a job that fellow from your first link did on his Play Arts Kai figure. From some of the other photos I've seen, I think he might have actually done a little adjustment to the sculpt. His is much less... craggy? than some of them I've seen.

I'd be willing to do a repainting commission on him, if you're okay with me also applying some epoxy to fix the sculpt? I wouldn't go overboard, I just want to make sure the texture on the un-scarred side of his face actually matches how he looks in game. It'd be a fun project! I'll note you with a quote and details.

Your Shep looks very similar to mine, just with different colored eyes. She's not an infiltrator, is she? :)
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:iconreturn-to-mobius:
Return-to-Mobius Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2013
Responded via note!  Thank you <3
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:iconnanavakarian:
NanaVakarian Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2013
Tomorror I'll buy the paint and a fine brush, and then my little Garrus gets his own beauty-make-over :) Thanks for the inspiration, it gave me courage to save Zombie-Garrus ^^
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:iconnightlyre:
Nightlyre Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Fantastic! Best of luck, and I'm glad to hear one more zombie-Garrus will be saved. If you can, I'd love to see pictures!
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:iconvrekasht:
vrekasht Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2013
I went ahead and repainted my own Garrus! :D
A fair bit less accomplished than yours lol. But he looks much better, I think. Thanks again for the inspiration!
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:iconnightlyre:
Nightlyre Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Nicely done - Knowing how they generally look out of the box, he looks FAR better!
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:iconvrekasht:
vrekasht Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2013
That looks...amazing.
I've toyed with the idea of repainting my own, but I've never worked on such a tiny scale before. Don't know how well it would go, or what kinds of materials to use, how to seal it...I don't want to ruin him.
Well - make him look worse, anyway. He kinda came pre-ruined. lol
Did you have to remove the head to work?
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:iconnightlyre:
Nightlyre Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Glad you like how he turned out. I didn't have to remove the head, just the visor... there's enough room to work if you use a small paintbrush. Normal craft acrylic paints work just fine (the kind in bottles, not tubes), and I used Krylon Matte Finish to seal him. It'll hold up nicely; it takes a pretty aggressive scrape to take the paint back off again. And, well, my philosophy is, you can't do worse than his out of the box paintjob, so give it a try! If you aren't happy with your first attempt, you can repaint him until you are. Let me know if you have any questions. :)
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:iconvrekasht:
vrekasht Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2013
Oh, thanks very much!
I'll have to write that finish name down and see if I can find some...face-ups on fashion dolls is really the only comparable thing I've done. Not really the same thing, so I'm glad to have the advice :D
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:iconsocrazy123:
socrazy123 Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2013   Writer
Okay, how in god name did you manage to get the eyes so perfect? I've got everything but the eyes done on mine, and he looks plain dead without his blue eyes.
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:iconnightlyre:
Nightlyre Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Ah! Well, the first piece of advice is not to worry about messing him up if you get the eyes wrong first time; I had to repaint them a few times before I was satisfied. It's easy enough to scrape off the paint or just add a little dab of black over it. Use a very tiny paintbrush, and get a small bead of paint on just the very tip. Do the main portion of his iris with just one careful tap of the paintbrush; it's much easier than trying to paint a perfect circle. His pupil is similar, but you'll want just the TINIEST bit of paint on your brush, or even on the tip of a pin. It's also useful if you have a magnifying glass; I have a lovely desk lamp with a built-in magnifier that I use for detail work.

For the color, study screenshots - his eyes are actually light grey, with just a hint of blue/green. Turians have tiny eyes, and getting that proportion right is important to making him look authentic.

I definitely want to see how yours turns out, if you've got the means to put up a picture! :D Do you still need to know what colors I used? In any case, I uploaded a few more photos here, showing the reattached visor.
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:iconsocrazy123:
socrazy123 Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2013   Writer
Ah, superb. I'm not super happy with mine, but I suppose anything is an improvement from zombie garrus. The greys I had were a much darker shade so my wash doesn't come through as well as I'd like. I think I also over did his scar, but I've never painted an action figure before so I think I did okay with what I've got. I'll throw up some pictures when I can get his eyes done, which will hopefully be soon. Thanks for all the help :)
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:iconnightlyre:
Nightlyre Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I like to use a wash for darker colors, but dry brushing for lighter colors - that way, you can start out with a dark base coat and then paint over it progressively lighter. Dry brushing leaves the dark color in the grooves, so they appear more three dimensional. It's quite a nice technique!

Otherwise, you're more than welcome. :)
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:iconsocrazy123:
socrazy123 Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2013   Writer
Might I ask how you got the eye piece off? I just recieved mine and I'm looking to redo the paint, but I'm wary about taking pieces off for fear of breaking them o-o
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:iconnightlyre:
Nightlyre Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
The visor is attached via a little nub to the back of his head. I tried to remove it, but it was stuck, so I ended up cutting the visor away from the nub. Once I was finished repainting him, I reattached the visor with E-6000, at the same point where it was originally joined behind his head. It fitted back on easily, and looks like I never removed it. :) I can post a picture of how he looks with the visor back on, if you'd like to see.
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:iconsocrazy123:
socrazy123 Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2013   Writer
Definitely. I'd also like to know which colours of paint you used, as I'll be using your stuff as reference while I'm redoing my model, if it's not to much trouble :) Cheers.
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:icongarruslover:
GarrusLover Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Very good work!! i doesn't look the same 0o0
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:iconnightlyre:
Nightlyre Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks! It definitely made a difference.
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:iconred-flare:
Red-Flare Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
good lord! It looks like 2 completely different figures! :wow: WELL DONE! :worship:
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:iconnightlyre:
Nightlyre Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Hehheh, thanks! I really was astonished at how good the original sculpture was - just needed a proper paint job!
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:iconred-flare:
Red-Flare Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
indeed. :nod: I need to repaint my Garrus, & even my Mordin figure.
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:iconnightlyre:
Nightlyre Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
You should! It's fun. :)
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:icontonomurabix:
TonomuraBix Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
he looks amazing and SO much better! *__* may i ask what kind of paint you used?
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:iconnightlyre:
Nightlyre Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Sure - I just used craft acrylics (the kind in bottles, not tubes). I also use Krylon Crystal Clear finishing spray to seal the paint at the end. There are some great tips for painting action figures on this tutorial: [link] Let me know if you have any questions, though. I'm happy to help if anyone wants to repaint their own figures!
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:iconsketchy-raptor:
Sketchy-raptor Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Student General Artist
If only they sold it like this huh?
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:iconnightlyre:
Nightlyre Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
It'd be nice! Though he was kind of fun to fix too. :)
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:iconsuperspud:
Superspud Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012
WOW. You've done a really great job on this! I've been wanting to fix mine up since I got it, but I honestly have no idea how to go about it. What kind of paints did you use? And what colours?
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:iconnightlyre:
Nightlyre Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I was nervous about painting him, but my thought was, I really couldn't make him look worse! It wasn't too hard really, you just need a couple of good small brushes, acrylic paints (the craft kind in bottles, not tubes), a steady hand and some patience. I mixed the color for his neck (mostly gray with a small hint of red and tan), and then used gray as the base coat on him. I mixed some dark gray (nearly black) with a little water and used it to do a "wash", painting over the base coat and then wiping off the excess - the dark color stayed in the crevices. Then, I dry brushed on light gray (nearly white). This is the part that takes the most patience, but it's worth it - you get that slightly rough texture of his face plates. There's a good description of these techniques, and a lot of good tips, here: [link] Finally, I used Krylon Crystal Clear finishing spray (the matte kind) to seal the paint, so it's pretty scratch resistant now. Any questions, let me know. :)

Good luck!
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:iconsuperspud:
Superspud Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012
Awesome, thanks very much! I'll have to save your message and make a list of all the things I have to do :)
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:iconactuallyfenharel:
ActuallyFenHarel Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Was the paint on the left the paint he came with? If so, wtf? Not even close to his actual colors. Really good job on the repaint, nicely done. :)
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:iconnightlyre:
Nightlyre Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
The kinda sad thing is that I've seen photos of that same figure with a worse paint job than mine originally had. :? Glad you like what I did with him. And it must be said... I freakin' love your icon.
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:iconactuallyfenharel:
ActuallyFenHarel Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Ouch, that's pretty bad. you really did good with him, he looks awesome now :D

THANK YOU! Techno-turian... he's better than hypno-toad. It's been confirmed. For science! Just like shirtless Garrus. :meow:
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:iconcoolandexplody:
coolandexplody Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012  Student Artist
This is amazing! What kind of paints did you use? and what colors? ovo
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:iconnightlyre:
Nightlyre Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you! The paint is craft acrylics (the kind in bottles, not tubes). I mixed most of the colors myself, though his base color is FolkArt Dapple Grey. His markings are actually quite a bright blue; the blue I have is a bit translucent, so it came out much darker once painted on. The shading is done with dark gray (almost black), and the highlighting is very light gray, drybrushed on. There are some great tips on this site, if you want to give it a shot. :)
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:iconcoolandexplody:
coolandexplody Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Student Artist
thanks so much! I'll be sure to check it out! uvu
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:iconkuyo-chan:
Kuyo-chan Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012
Wow it so much better now..
Hm i think i repaint my Garrus too *__*
Thx for the idea mate <3
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:iconnightlyre:
Nightlyre Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Sure thing! If you repaint him, I'd love to see pictures. :)
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:iconevilanakie:
evilanakie Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Student Artist
ive got the same model
now i have some ideas
they totaled the default paint
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:iconnightlyre:
Nightlyre Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
If you repaint him and post photos, I'd love to see!
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:iconskyward-dreamer:
Skyward-Dreamer Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012
Wow, that's quite the difference! Well done. :)
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:iconnightlyre:
Nightlyre Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you! He definitely needed it.
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:iconskyward-dreamer:
Skyward-Dreamer Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012
No kidding. :D His face just looked like a brownish grey .. lump before, lol. :) Well done.
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:iconmintsui:
MinTsui Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2012
This is so gorgeous and inspiring! I'd seen how terrible these figures were, but what you've done here has made me seriously think about getting one. It appears this Garrus-shaped green monstrosity can be salvaged, after all... with some hard work and brush grease. (May I ask, what paints did you use? I'm considering using my miniature paints (the Games Workshop kind).)
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:iconnightlyre:
Nightlyre Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I used craft acrylics (the kind in bottles, not tubes). Once that dried, I sealed it with Krylon finishing spray - that was actually after I took the photos here, so he's a smidge shinier than how he looks in these pictures. Of your miniature paints, just make sure they are not enamel paints - apparently enamels will react with the material most action figures are made from and won't dry properly. There's a great guide here (which of course I only found after I'd painted Garrus!) He talks about which paints are good to use and how to do washes and dry-brushing to get the effects you want. Best of luck! I'd love to see pictures if you get a figure to paint! :)
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:iconaishinteru:
Aishinteru Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
i wish they would just do it that good in the first place. it barley looked hi b4, even without the visor. :D
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