Sunday, January 26, 2014

Reaper Bones: Storm Giant

This week on Caffeineforge's Monday Miniatures is the massive 77163 Male Storm Giant, the companion of 77162 Yephima, Female Cloud Giant in the Reaper Bones Kickstarter.  I don't know if storm giants and cloud giants normally mingle, but at least it's thematic (though I'm left wondering why the cloud giant got a name, but the storm giant did not).

This figure was almost too large for my light box due to his extended sword!  I managed to cram him in and get a few pictures, but I suspect I'll have problems when I get around to the dragons and other add-ons from the first Bones Kickstarter.  Anyway, on to the breakdown for this figure's paint scheme!

I like to research most "non-player races" to get an idea of what they should look like.  While I generally have a pretty good idea for most creatures, it never hurts to look around and get some inspiration.  In this case, the storm giants were described as bronze-skinned and dwelling along warm coastlines; from the description, they sounded like over-sized Ancient Greeks, so that was my general concept.

Initially, I was tempted to go for a sort of "300"-style Leonidas figure, but I decided to eschew red for blues and purples, more in keeping with the "storm" aspect (and with the Greek influence, I kind of think of storm giants like "mini-Titans").  It's somewhat hard to see in the pictures above, but the leather armor is somewhere between a brown and plum color.  I experimented with mixing blue in with the browns used for the straps and armor, and I'm surprised at how well it worked out.  I went with a lot of bronze on the armor (again, due to the Ancient Greek influence), but added some steel bits so they didn't seem too archaic.  I also did some brownlining (another technique I haven't tried previously), and I really like how it gave the armor an "offset" from the skin (especially since the bronze armor and fleshtone were somewhat similar in color).

I'm very pleased with how this figure turned out!  I'm just now getting to the point where I feel comfortable enough with my level of brush control and basic painting skills that I'm learning what happens when you mix two colors of paint, and I look forward to trying this out further on future figures.

Next week's Monday Miniature is less colossal, but much more common in any fantasy setting:  77085 Townsfolk: Wench.

- M:M

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Reaper Bones: Townsfolk: Strumpet

This week's Monday Miniature on is 77086 Townsfolk: Strumpet:

When this figure came up in the Monday Miniatures rotation, I really didn't have a good concept in mind. I went with warm tones and stuck with a kind of "Valentine's Day" palette to reflect her line of work. Initially I was going to paint her as a dirty-blonde, but when I got the colors down on the dress I decided to go with a "Jessica Rabbit" them (from the movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"). Since this figure is well-dressed (nice clothes, jewelry, etc.), I thought she would be more than a typical lower-class prostitute (probably catering to middle-class clients, or even young nobles). Some of the highlights aren't as noticeable in the pictures above as they are in-person, but I'm pretty pleased with how the figure turned out.

Next week's figure is another large one:  77163 Storm Giant. I've done my research and have a good idea of the scheme I want to go with, so hopefully I'll be able to get it done!

- M:M

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Reaper Bones: Vermin: Spider Swarm

This week's Monday Miniature is the 77128 Vermin: Spider Swarm, a pretty basic pair of miniatures:

I didn't go into a lot of detail on the spiders for a few reasons.  First, it's a swarm, so they're all jumbled together and the "mass effect" is the most important element (compared to individuality).  Second, I figured they'd most likely be the same species of spider, so there naturally wouldn't be a huge variation.  And finally, I wanted to use it as a brief experiment with washes, so I needed the base colors to be roughly identical.

The figure on the left of the picture above was washed using a combination of dark brown and black washes, while the one on the left was washed using a lighter brown wash.  To make sure they weren't completely identical, I tried to paint different spiders black on the two bases.  Overall, I feel that they're similar enough to be in the same swarm, but different enough to provide some variety; I'm pretty pleased with the effect.

Next week's figure is 77086 Townsfolk: Strumpet; I expect to see some interesting entries for that one!

- M:M

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Reaper Bones: Goldar, Mason Thornwarden, Orc Sniper, Nienna, Vermin: Beetles, Vaeloth

As you may have noticed, I regularly participate in the Monday Miniatures painting challenge at  Each week, one of the 240 figures from the Reaper Bones Vampire set (from their first Kickstarter) is selected as the figure to be painted by the following Monday.

Thankfully, I paint slightly faster than "one figure a week" (well, most of the time), so that leaves me with extra painting time to work on other figures.  Below are a selection of my completed Reaper Bones and a few thoughts on each.  Maybe one day they'll show up as the chosen figure for Monday Miniatures!

If you played the Asheron's Call games, you may immediately recognize what I was going for.  The lugians were a strong, mountain-dwelling race, and this figure looks the part.  This was further inspired by Goldar's missing nose (an unfortunate problem plaguing a few of the Bones figures).

I was not terribly inspired by this figure, but I had repositioned his arm to put the bow in a more natural position and the figure was prepped for painting during the process.  It felt like taking a step back to put him back in the box, so I decided to get him done.  I decided to use some lighter browns, and was very close to painting his cloak a darker brown to make him a desert/badlands ranger.  Ultimately I gave him a dark/drab green cloak with a few variations to give him a bit more color and make him more of a "typical" ranger.

The Orc Sniper was painted as part of a Facebook group challenge.  He's a fairly typical orc, and I'm fairly pleased with how it turned out.  Ultimately I decided to go with a different color scheme for my other orcs, but I did get to try out a mustard color (on the skirt).  The skin is a little more green than I'll probably go for on my other orcs (and reminds me of the old Games Workshop orcs from the 90s).

I painted this figure on a whim, as it reminded me of Jain Fairwood from the Descent: Journeys In The Dark tabletop game (which is why I added a bit of purple color to the figure, similar to Jain).  I used a couple of different greens here, but the big experiment with this figure was the cloak.  I'm very pleased with how it came out, and I felt that camouflage was an interesting, non-mystical spin on the "elven cloak" concept.

Not much to say about these, really; they're beetles.  I tried a couple of different colors, and focused on keeping the highlights clean.  The green beetle's abdomen wound up looking like a watermelon, but I guess it's good to know I can paint one of those if the need arises.

I've been simultaneously looking forward to and dreading this figure.  Having played through the Neverwinter Nights computer game, the figure bears a strong resemblance to the tiefling fighter Valen Shadowbreath and I decided to use the same color scheme for this figure.  Unfortunately, this figure also had major nose damage, so I attempted to sculpt a replacement (the results were so-so, and now he has a sort of feline facial appearance).  I've very happy with how this figure turned out, and I felt like I had better brush control than on some previous miniatures (especially with the small emblems and armor highlights).  I wish I knew non-metallic metal techniques, as I think they could look really good on this figure (and help with the green armor, since that's not a normal metallic shade).  Still, I winged it on the green armor and I feel it looks fairly decent.  I'm also pleased that I managed to get the eyes right; since they're black with pale blue pupils, I wasn't sure how they would turn out.

That's all for now; once I've gotten a few more figures done, I'll be sure to share them as well.  I also plan on doing additional posts as I complete each "set" from the Reaper Bones Kickstarter (for example, Golems and Fire It Up!).

Until next time!

Reaper Bones: Pathfinder Goblin Warchanter

The Monday Miniature for this week is the 89004 Pathfinder Goblin Warchanter:

This was the first of the Pathfinder Goblins I painted, and since I'm not familiar with the particulars of the setting's goblins I sort of had to "wing it".  I discovered a nice dark/drab green while painting some previous (non-Pathfinder) goblins, and decided to use it here to enhance the fairly sinister look of the goblin.  They're sculpt kind of reminds me of the gremlins from the movie "Gremlins", and I liked the comparison.

This figure seems to be something like a witch doctor or shaman, so I stuck with a lot of earth tones (primarily leather for clothing, wraps, and the whip).  I'm please with how the claws, teeth, and bones came out; they're distinctive but don't stand out too much.  In retrospect, I might have used a little more color (perhaps a purple?) to give the figure some more variation, but I think it turned out pretty solid.  Perhaps I'll perform some touch-ups to that effect once I get to the other Pathfinder goblins.

Next weeks' figures are the pair of 77128: Vermin: Spider Swarms.

- M:M