Painting Grogu (AKA "Baby Yoda")

Fraley1701

Veteran Member
Intro: Hey everyone, I thought I would share my figure painting technique for painting Grogu for The Mandalorian television series. The figure is 3D printed and designed by MarVin Miniatures. It is also available for free on Thingiverse.
https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4038181
I did not like the included base and opted to modify the figure and remove the included base using a program called Mesh Maker.
With any figure you're going to paint, there is always prep work which usually includes cleaning, sanding, and filling any imperfections on the figure itself. Since this tutorial is about painting, I will not cover figure prep in detail. I did all the previously mentioned steps however and applied Stynlrez gray primer to my Grogu.
 

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Fraley1701

Veteran Member
Color choices: So before I put a paint brush to model, I always do research on the subject and decide what colors I want to use. Sometimes there are straight out of the bottle solutions, but more often than not, I end up custom mixing my colors. For Grogu, I found choosing a color particularly challenging as his color changes depending on whether he is filmed in cool light, or warm light. I experimented with several color mixes before finally deciding on a base coat for my figure.
 

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Fraley1701

Veteran Member
Let the painting begin: Once I find the colors I want to use, I mix up the colors and prepare to airbrush my base coat. In this case, I mixed a 50/50 ratio of Panzer Aces USMC Tank Crew green and The Army Painters Wizard Orb. I airbrushed this color in several thin coats allowing a few minutes between coats for the paint to dry
 

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Fraley1701

Veteran Member
Adding some Freckles: One of the keys to painting realistic skin, is to add some imperfections. Look at your own skin to see what I mean. No one has perfect monotone skin, and many of us have blemishes, freckles, and/or sun damage. On Grogu, I added some freckling first by setting my airbrush pressure to about 10 psi, and spritzing the Army Painters Wizard Orb color all over my base coat. I also used an old toothbrush and splattered some of the same color onto my figure from about 6 to 8 inches away.
 

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Fraley1701

Veteran Member
Tie it all together: After adding our freckles, I wanted to soften the freckles a bit and help them blend in with the base color a little better. I did not want Grogu to have stark freckles. So I mixed up a very thin blue wash using Vallejo blue and white, and applied it to his skin. this is applied with a standard paint brush.
 

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Fraley1701

Veteran Member
Painting the inside of the ears: Next up it was time to paint the inside of Grogu's ears. My color choices for this step were Vallejo Model Color Magenta mixed with flat flesh (I don't remember the exact ratio). In this case, I kept adding flat flesh by the drop until I found the color I liked. I also applied this same color to Grogu's cheeks and eyelids using my airbrush.
 

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Fraley1701

Veteran Member
The eyes have it: On this particular figure, the eyes are everything. I wanted to get them right. I initially thought Grogus eyes were solid glossy black with just slight whites showing in each corner. After researching the subject for this project, I discovered his eyes are a bit more complex! On any figure, I always basecoat the eyes with an appropriate color, and never, never ever use pure white! In Grogu's case I went with Vallejo Green Grey with just a drop or two of Model Color white. We now have Zombie Grogu!!
 

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Fraley1701

Veteran Member
Painting the Iris and pupil: Prior to applying paint for the Iris, I like to pencil in their position. I just use a mechanical pencil and lightly pencil in the position of the Iris. It's easier to erase pencil marks, than to repaint the Iris if you find out you do not like their position. In Grogu's case, his Iris is huge and almost covers the entire eye! Satisfied with the positioning, I fill in the pencil mark with a dark gray from Scale 75. I believe it is graphene gray. Next I use Vallejo Gold brown to carefully paint an inner oval within the gray circle (this same color is applied to Grogu's finger nails). Next, Graphene gray is used to block in the pupil. Once satisfied with the pupil placement, I use black (Scale 75) to fill in my pupil and to lightly paint striations.
 

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Fraley1701

Veteran Member
Finishing the eyes, head, and base coating his cloak: Next, I further refined Grogu's face and head. I used Vallejo's cold flesh to fill in the fleshy looking colors around Grogu's eyes, the tip of his nose, and on his cheeks and chin. This color is highly diluted with water and applied with a standard paint brush in layers. The idea here is to not completely cover the pink underneath, but augment it with translucent colors. More freckling is applied to the face using the previously mention Panzer Ace USMC tank crew green. Highlights are built up on the top of his head, tops of ears and high points of his face using first a mixture of Army Painter Wizard Orb green, and the Panzer Ace green. The highest highlights are straight Panzer Ace green. Next I lightly wisped light gray streaks on the top of Grogu's head and the top of his ears to imply the fuzzy hair he has. I elected not to try and simulate real hair at this scale. Several coats of gloss are added to Grogu's eyes; they are very glossy on the real puppet. The final 2 layers of gloss are very slightly tinted with Vallejo black paint. With the head mostly finished. I base coated Grogu's cloak With Vallejo Malefic Flesh.
 

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Fraley1701

Veteran Member
A new base and finishing up the cloak: As I stated at the beginning of this tutorial, I did not really like the original base that came with this figure. However, I still wanted a platform to display Grogu on. I found a base someone had placed on Thingiverse which was designed for Funko Pop figurines. I liked the base, but it was plain and smaller than I needed. I decided to download it and modify it to my liking. I increased the size and added a nameplate that I designed in 3D Builder. Next I printed the base on my 3D printer. It still needs to be sanded, primered, and painted, but I am happy with the results. Next it was back to the figure to finish up Grogu's cloak. I only used 3 colors for the cloak: Vallejo Chocolate Brown (shadows), Malec flesh (basecote), and Model Air IDF Sand Grey (highlights). First using a standard paintbrush, I block in my shadows in the recessed areas of the cloak. This is also applied to the undersides of any folds that would be in shadow. My imaginary light source for determining the placement of shadows and highlights is directly over Grogu's head (Zenith method). Next I take a mixture of 50/50 Malefec flesh and IDF sand gray and apply it to all the upper parts of the cloak including tops of folds that would be hit by my light source. Straight IDG Gray is used on the highest points of the cloak (high-highlights). With these colors blocked in, the head and hands are masked and Grogu goes back in the spray booth. I use the same colors in my airbrush to go over my blocked in colors using low air pressure (about 20 psi). The results are softer edges and better blending between shadows and highlights.

Okay, that is about it for now. I have to finish prepping and painting the base and maybe a few more, minor touchups on Grogu. I will post the final project under Sci Fi figures and include some beauty shots. If anything I have mentioned here doesn't make sense, please ask questions! I will happily answer and hopefully help you understand. This is only one way to paint a figure. There are many techniques and methods. My advice is to find one that works for you and stick with it! You will add to these skills as you progress and come up with your own methods based on experience. Until next time, keep your brushes wet! Oh, and May the Force be with YOU!!
 

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