Captain Britain Statue Kit Review & Paint-Up

This 1/4 scale custom Captain Britain statue kit was sculpted by Darío Martín and produced by Ownage. I will not try to make a claim that Captain Britain is some lifelong favourite character of mine…he’s not. But, I loved collecting Marvel cards in the early 90’s, and I can honestly say that I always thought he looked cool on those cards (and as a kid, that was as important as anything else). I fell upon some pics of this kit on Facebook and loved the look of it, and since Excalibur has strong ties to the 80’s X-Men, he fits nicely into my collection.

Ownage is a factory that has built up a very good reputation over the years for producing very high quality statues and kits, custom and licensed alike (they do not seem to have a website or Facebook page, though). I have not painted many kits, but this being my first from Ownage, I had high expectations…this kit did not disappoint. It came pretty much ready to assemble and paint right out the box. Metal rods and magnets were pre-installed, and all of the parts fit together snugly without any major gaps that needed fixing. The kit can be completely displayed right out of the box…nothing needs to be glued together, which I think is a huge plus (more on that below).

The statue is quite large with a 15″ wide x 13″ deep footprint, and standing at 27″ tall.

The only minor gripes I had were:

(1) There were no magnets installed on the two statues on the base. Perhaps these are intended to be glued to the base, but for re-packing and potential shipping purposes, I don’t think that is a good idea. I added some magnets for a little added peace-of-mind.

(2) The kit came with custom foam packaging. Although not quite on par with what some licensed companies are using (like XM Studios, which is still the gold standard in this department), it is serviceable. I do wish that there were separate slots for the two base statues noted above, though. As-is, you have to carefully place them in the same slot as the larger base. Here is where the “no glue required” assembly comes into play, as being able to remove the amulet sword and hands from the statue for re-packing greatly reduces the chance for damage.

The sculpt itself is quite impressive. Captain Britain, listed at 6’6″ tall and weighing in at 257 lb. (somehow he’s grown over the years…the old 90’s Marvel cards list him at 5’11” and 180 lb.), would be a beast of a human and the anatomy of this piece captures that well. His chiselled chest and back combined with tree-trunk quads give him quite a physique worthy of Britain’s sworn protector. Hovering above a crumbling stone structure, the simple, yet imposing pose give a very Superman-like feel.

The Merlyn (sometimes spelled Merlin…I am not sure which is correct) and Roma statues on the base symbolize the origin of Captain Britain, when he is given the choice of choosing the Sword of Might (held by Merlyn) or the Amulet of Right (held by Roma). I think this is quite a clever way of incorporating some of the character’s backstory into the piece.

At times, some statues are heavily textured seemingly just for the sake of it. Not here, though. The various textures used throughout, such as the rough face of the masonry wall or the leather on the boots and gloves, are tastefully applied, adding excellent realism without becoming overpowering.

I also like that very few liberties were taken with the classic Excalibur costume. The sculptor added the requisite panel lining and texturing that is to be expected on a modern statue, but the suit is still 100% recognizable as “straight off the pages” of the early Excalibur books.

Overall, I think this is a stunning kit, from the sculpt and design to the final production value. The relaxed, yet intimidating pose paired with the Schwarzenegger-esque physique is fitting for a character with maxed out 7’s across the board on his power grid (although, like his size, his power has also greatly increased since the 90’s Marvel card days). It’s rare, with an edition size of only 20, so if you need a Captain Britain in your collection, I would suggest jumping on this if you get the chance (he is simply a character that is unlikely to get made by a licensed company any time soon…and even if it did, would it be better than this?).


Autoborne Sealer (White) used for Captain Britain
Autoborne Sealer (Grey) used for the base

Mr. Super Clear Matt and Mr. Super Clear Semi-Gloss (for leather sword handle)
Createx UVLS Gloss Clear (used for boots and gloves)
Alclad II Aqua Gloss (used for metallic areas)

Americana Duraclear Varnish, Gloss

• Base: Stynylrez Light Flesh
• Speckling: Golden Transparent Dioxazine Purple, Golden Transparent Quinacridone Red, Golden Transparent Brown Iron Oxide
• Blending: Createx Illustration Lifeline Deep Natural
• Washes: Wicked Detail Yellow Ochre, Wicked Red, Golden Transparent Dioxazine Purple, Citadel Reikland Fleshshade, Pro Acryl Glaze & Wash Medium
• Pastel Shading on Portraits: PanPastel Skin Tone Set (Burnt Sienna Shade)
• Lips: Citadel Volupus Pink Contrast (heavily diluted with water)
• Beard: Vallejo Tan Yellow, Vallejo Brown Wash, Vallejo Dark Brown Wash, AK Pale Sand

• Red: Wicked Crimson
• Base Blue: 5 parts Mission Models Blue to 1 part Wicked Detail White
• First Blue Shade/Tint: Wicked Deep Blue
• Second Blue Shade/Tint: 4 parts Wicked Deep Blue to 1 part Wicked Detail Black
• White: Autoborne Sealer White base coat
• White Shade: 50/50 mix of Wicked Detail White and Golden Transparent Shading Gray
• Black Wash (on boots): MIG Black Wash
• Gray Wash (on gloves): MIG Neutral Wash
• Black: Wicked Detail Black
• White Detailing: Vallejo Model Color White
• White Striping on Chest: Pro Acryl Bold Titanium White
• Eyes: Mix of Citadel Grey Seer Base and White

• Statue/Arch Base Coat: AK Rock Grey
• Masonry Base Coat: Vallejo Model Air Sand Yellow
• Statue/Arch Stippling: AK Pale Grey, AK Neutral Grey, Vallejo Model Air Golden Brown, Vallejo Brown Sand, Vallejo Dark Sand, Mission Models British Light Stone RAL61, Mission Models British Portland Stone RAL64
• Masonry Wall Stippling: AK Dark Sea Grey, AK Dark Grey, Vallejo Model Air Golden Brown, Vallejo Model Air Sand Yellow, Mission Models British Light Stone RAL61, Mission Models British Portland Stone RAL64
• Brick Road Undertones: AK Grey-Brown, Vallejo Brown Sand, Vallejo Dark Sand, Vallejo Stone Grey
• Brick Road Flat Brushing: AK Pale Grey
• Brick Road Stippling: Mission Models British Light Stone RAL61, Mission Models British Portland Stone RAL64
• Washes: Vallejo Dark Grey, Vallejo Dark Brown, Vallejo Dark Green
• Drybrushing: AK Pale Sand
• Lion Crest/Amulet/Sword: Alclad II Stainless Steel over Alclad II Gloss Black Base
• Sword Handle: Wicked Detail Black Base, Citadel Abaddon Black, Citadel Doombull Brown, Citadel Skrag Brown, Citadel Deathclaw Brown, Vallejo Smoke


This kit is only my third ever full statue paint-up, so please grab yourself a huge grain of salt before taking anything I say or do as gospel. I am simply trying to give a summary of my experience with this kit, which I found to be quite challenging (despite there being no eyes or teeth to paint)! Overall, it took me about a month to complete and I estimate I spent somewhere between 80 and 100 hours on it. I am sure that a more experienced painter could easily shave that time in half (or less).

The biggest challenge for me on this statue was definitely the white striping on the torso. The contours of the muscles made masking a straight line very difficult. It is also very difficult to achieve a nice clean line where a smooth texture (like the stripes) meets a dimpled texture (like the rest of the body). I actually did it so poorly the first time around that I completely stripped the paint from the body and started over. The second time around, I took the time to cut in the blue and red, which helped a lot when masking because it was easier to see where the stripe ended (when the body was completely white, it was much more difficult). Despite all of that, I still had many touch-ups to do (but the result was WAY better than the first time around).

The pin-striping on the portraits was also a pain in the butt, to put it bluntly. No fancy techniques or magic tricks here…I used a tiny brush and went to town painting the stripes. Just took a few coats to cover the blue and red (I did not bother trying to mask these tiny lines).

I tried to use colours “out of the bottle” for the sole reason that I knew there would be a ton of touch-ups. Not having to mix up a custom colour to match would make for far easier touch-ups.

The exception is the blue areas of the suit. I find that by the time you get full coverage using most blues straight out of the bottle results in a very saturated, almost purple look. So, to combat this, I added some white to my Mission Models blue base coat. However, this base coat was quite light, and I was looking for a darker colour to more closely match the Union Jack flag. So, from there, I did some shading with Wicked Deep Blue, and also misted the entire area just to deepen the overall colour. Then I did the exact same thing with a mix of Wicked Deep Blue and black (about 4:1 blue to black ratio), the only difference here is I didn’t go as heavy as I did in the previous step. I think the result matches pretty close to what I envisioned in my head. The photo below shows the various steps in the process.

I did the boots the same way I did blues on the body, except that I added a black wash to help bring out the leather texture and give them a bit of a darker look than the body. I sealed the boots in a clear gloss, applied the MIG enamel wash (thinned out with MIG special thinner), then sealed with the clear gloss again.

I applied a neutral grey wash to the gloves to help accentuate the various textures. I probably thinned this wash too much, but it did subtly bring out the details. I was super careful with the shading on all of the white areas, as I did not want to overdo it. The best shading, at least to my taste, is the shading you hardly know is there. So, I used a very light grey and white mix and built it up slowly.

I used a Pro Acryl Bold Titanium White for the striping on the torsos. I was bombarded with ads on Facebook for this paint over the last few months, so I decided to try it after I found some locally. It worked ok. It has quite a matte finish (almost chalky if you don’t think it a bit), and can spray nicely through an airbrush if you thin it down enough. I was looking to make the torso stripes a bright, pristine white, and this product did accomplish that.

I find red to be a difficult colour to paint (also difficult in photo/video, but that’s a different issue that I will not bore you with). Often, I find they look either too pink, too purple, or too orange. A grey base coat darkens the colour too much, and a white base coat can make it look way too bright. I needed to find that happy medium. I ended up testing about a dozen different colours, and settled on Wicked Crimson. I think this is by far the best colour I tested for this statue, as it is deep and rich even when applied over the white base coat. I plan to use this colour again on a future Daredevil repaint.

I attempted to pre-shade the red parts of the suit. So, I used the shading grey on top of my white base coat, then painted the red over top. This technique worked to a degree (this is similar to the “slapchop” technique in the miniature painting world)…you can see the shading if you look closely. But, next time, I may use black instead of grey to make it stand out better. Live and learn.

The biggest challenge I found with the white areas is that any mistake, and I mean anything, shows up like a sore thumb. So, any blemishes with the surrounding blue and red were like flashing beacons of my failure! This process was very frustrating, leading me to nearly rage quit several times. But, I eventually powered through to the end. It’s not perfect, but you have to look pretty close to see any issues.

The base on this statue is huge. It took much longer to paint than I had anticipated due to the shear amount of surface area and the difficulty just trying to hold it. Most of the custom paint jobs (and the original digital render) used a dark grey stone for the entire base. The few factory painted pieces used a greenish stone. Although both look good, I wanted to go a different route. When I think of British architecture and monuments…think Stonehenge, Big Ben, and Westminster Abbey…there is not a lot of dark grey or green there. So, I opted to shoot for more of a tan/sandy colour.

I used AK Rock Grey as a base coat on the Merlyn and Roma statues and arches, and Vallejo Sand Yellow on the masonry portions. Then it was just hours of stippling. I applied the colours listed above in the paint list in the order they are listed. I used a stiff bristled brush and just stabbed at the base in random patterns (using slightly more paint on the brush than you would when dry brushing). This process is one of those things where it will look like trash until the end, so stick with it…eventually you will get a nice natural stone effect. I went with darker greys in the corners and recesses, as these are areas where dirt accumulation and weathering would be the heaviest.

Then I applied a dark grey wash followed by a dark brown wash, which blended all of the colours together and added an old, weathered appearance. Then I dry brushed the entire base with AK Pale Sand. To simulate light moss/algae growth, I applied a dark green wash to areas where water may pool, such as the base of walls and the crooks of the arms on the statues.

In the photo below you can see the freshly stippled Roma statue compared to the Merlyn statue after washes and dry brushing.

I applied a much heavier greys to the wall than the arches and statues, as I wanted some visual separation there. At the end of the day, there is a subtle difference in the undertone, but overall end result was not as contrast-y as I had imagined.

The bricks were actually painted a variety of colours (see list above)…kind of looked like a bunch of M & M’s at first. I then applied some pale grey and portland stone dry brushing and stippling, then the grey and brown washes and pale sand dry brushing as noted above. Although not overly visible in photos, to the naked eye there is a subtle difference in undertone between the bricks, and I am happy with the result. I painted the grout lines between the bricks with Vallejo Stone Grey (a greenish grey) before applying the washes, as I did not want them to stand out too much from the surrounding base.

After doing all of the above, I was happy with the result, but I still felt the base needed something extra to help break up the fairly monotone colour. So, I opted to do the lion crest, the Sword of Might, and the Amulet of Right in a metallic finish. My thought was that these statues could be the “guardians” of the real items (and since the Sword of Might is often depicted as the “sword in the stone”, the fact that it looks like half the sword is buried in the base of the Merlyn statue still works for this theme). I have a collection of various Alclad II metallic paints that I am dying to use, so this seemed like a good opportunity (and a good chance to practice before my upcoming Weapon X paint-up, where I will need to use them). I selected the stainless steel finish as it is not a super bright, shiny silver…and after applying a black wash (first seal the metallic with Aqua Gloss before applying the wash), it had a nice weathered look. I am pretty pleased with the end result, as it made the base much more interesting.

My process for the base was one big experiment. Although I watched many miniature terrain painting tutorials, I basically just winged it. I am happy with the result, but there are definite ways to improve in the future. I will always have the opportunity to go back and punch up the details if I choose…things like adding rain streaks down the face of the wall or efflorescence accumulation on the blocks. But, after many, many gruelling hours already spent, I decided to quit while I was ahead.

For the skin tones, I followed the basic process I outlined in my Wolverine kit review. However, this time around, I tried a speckling technique to add some texture to the skin.

I have seen other painters use many colours for speckling (typically red, green, blue, purple, yellow, brown, and white). Since I had such a small area to do, I chose to only do red, purple, and brown. On a statue with larger areas of skin, like my upcoming Weapon X, I will try all of the colours.

I did the speckling with my Iwata Hi-Line HP-CH airbrush, which has a MAC valve that allows me to turn the air pressure way down. Reducing the pressure to almost nothing makes the paint “spit”, creating a speckled pattern. I had never been able to get this technique to work using my Eclipse airbrush (by adjusting the pressure right on my compressor), but the MAC valve on the Hi-Line made a world of difference…easy, peasy. I am quite happy with the subtle texturing effect that the speckling produced. Make sure to seal between each colour, as you may end up with a blob or two that you have to remove.

I added some Pro Acryl wash medium to the skin washes to help ensure that the wash got deep into all of the recesses of the skin. I think it helped, as I did not see those lighter areas left behind (that looked untouched by the wash) that I have had on my previous paint-ups.

So, the order I use for the skin tones is as follows:

• Stynylrez base coat,
• Speckling (red, purple, then brown),
• Deep Natural blending (so that the speckling just barely shows)
• Washes (yellow ochre, then red, then purple – apply with a brush, then sponge off),
• Shading with the pastels (burnt sienna shade). Make sure to get inside the nostrils!
• Adding very light layers of Volupus Pink to the lips. This contrast paint is VERY strong, so thin it heavily before applying. Just keep adding thin layers until you get the look you want.

For the beard, I used Vallejo Tan Yellow as a base coat. I found this is a pretty nice, natural looking blonde hair colour straight out of the bottle. I then applied a brown wash, then dry brushed with the tan yellow lightened with some white. The end result was a little too close to the skin colour, so I added a second layer of even lighter dry brushing and some dark brown spot washing. Fairly easy process, and I am pleased with the final look.

The eyes are a mix of Grey Seer and white, with a gloss varnish on top.

I added some dark red washes into the wrinkles on the brow of the masks. Tough to see in photos, but did accentuate the details nicely.

Ultimately, although I see several areas to improve, I am very pleased with the final results on this piece. As noted above, I nearly quit this one…it was very hard and extremely time consuming (a few people asked me if I would be interested in painting another, and I don’t think I could be paid enough money)! But, I am proud that I saw it through to the end, and I will happily have this piece on display in my collection (although, don’t ask me where, as I don’t have any space!).



Weapon X by Franco Carlesimo

Posted in Review and tagged , , , , , .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *