Sunday, March 30, 2014

Reaper Bones: Janan, Female Dragon Slayer

As promised, here is my entry for this week's Monday Miniatures challenge:  77039 Janan, Female Dragon Slayer:



I figured that red dragons would probably be a popular choice for the severed dragon's head, so I decided to go with green instead.  Once I had decided that, I knew I would want to use red somewhere on the dragon slayer herself, and her cape was an obvious choice (because if you're a dragon slayer, you don't have to be subtle!).  From there, I decided to keep her in mostly warm tones, and decided to go with gold armor to make her look more accomplished.  The figure itself seemed on the small side, so her details were harder to pick out (I didn't add whites to the eyes, for instance).

In truth, I wasn't extremely motivated with this figure (by which I mean that I didn't have a solid idea of how I wanted her to turn out).  However, as I started laying colors down I liked how she developed, and overall I think it turned out pretty good.

Next week is 77172 Malek, Necromancer.  I liked this figure ever since I saw it in the Bones Vampire set, so I look forward to taking it on.  Now to come up with a suitable paint scheme...

- M:M

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Reaper Bones: Ghostly Summons and Night Spectre

I recently picked up the Reaper MSP triad of Clear paints (Clear Red, Clear Yellow, and Clear Green), and wanted to try out the green and yellow on more of the Haunts set from the first Bones Kickstarter.  First up is 77095: Ghostly Summons:


I'm really happy with the transition between the ghostly flames and the figures; it really looks like the figures are forming out of the swirls.  Looking at the photos, I think I may need to use some non-transparent paints to add further highlights on the figures themselves to help details stand out.

The other figure is the largest of the Haunts set, 77099 Night Spectre:


I like how the additional layers of Clear Green causes the skeletons to stand out a bit more.  I wanted to keep the ethereal look of them, as thought the Night Spectre were conjuring different images to frighten its prey.  I highlighted the claws and ridges across the figure, but it doesn't show up too well in the pictures above.  It's much more noticeable in person, as the highlights (with normal paint) doesn't "shift" the way the transparent parts do.  Overall I'm happy with how the figure turned out, though I might go back and try to add a little shadowing to help the highlights stand out more.

UPDATE:  I went back and did more work on the Night Spectre, as I wasn't happy with the lack of details as it was.  Below is the new and improved version (including an attempt at a "glow" effect on the base).  I think the skeletons may actually require yet further highlighting to bring them out more, but I think the figure looks much better than before!



This week's Monday Miniature, 77039 Janan, Female Dragon Slayer, is still on target for completion.  I look forward to resuming the weekly challenge, as we have a slew of villainous figures coming up in the next few weeks!

Until next time!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Reaper Bones: Spider Demoness and Banshee

Since I finished up the ISW-69F Scout Ship a little early for the allotted time, I managed to get a couple of additional Bones completed, too.

First up is from the Spider Centaurs add-on from the first Kickstarter, 77180 Shaerileth, Spider Demoness:


This was a fairly straightforward paint scheme, even though it's a larger figure.  The body is straight black, and the skin was a combination of black and purple.  The skin color still turned out a bit more purple than I would have preferred, so I may experiment a little more when I get to the other dark elf figures.  However, since this is essentially the "uber-drow", I figure it's ok if it's a little exaggerated.

The one element that really showed me how my painting skills have increased was the jewelry.  It consists of various fine chains running across the torso and arms, and wasn't quite as difficult as I was expecting.  A few years ago there's no way I could have painted such thin lines without making a huge mess, so it felt good to know that all this painting practice is really paying off!

Next up is 77096 Labella DeMornay, Banshee:


This figure was my first experiment with Reaper's MSP Clear Green, which worked surprisingly well at enhancing the green color without killing the transparency.  I used a couple more layers of Clear Green on the hair to help differentiate it from the trailing clothes.  The skin is a light green further lightened with light grey, and additional lightening for highlights.  I was going for a "pale green", which I got, but the figure almost comes across as more aquatic than ghostly (which wasn't intentional).  I used light grey for the eyes and mouth, but it's hard to see on the figure.

Overall, for an experimental figure it turned out pretty good.  In retrospect, I think I would have gone with a stronger grey for the skin, which might lessen the aquatic look.

Until next time!

COUNTERBLAST: ISW-69F Scout Ship

In lieu of the two-week 77191 Hydra challenge for Monday Miniatures, I instead chose to dedicate the time to assembling and painting the ISW-69F Scout Ship from Bombshell Miniatures/Airlock Games.  I haven't picked up the Hydra figure, and I've already got a sizable backlog of figures to complete, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to knock out a larger and more complicated project.  Behold, my take on the Scout Ship!

"She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid."

The ship mounted on the included flight stand.

The ship is primarily resin, with a few metal bits (the nose tip and landing gear struts and pads).  Overall it was a very clean mold and required very little clean-up.  There were a few areas where the surface was dinged up, but instead of patching those I decided to incorporate them into the paint scheme and go for a well-worn and "used" look (more "Star Wars" than "Star Trek", so to speak).  The model was assembled using standard superglue, though I used some putty to fill the minor gap between the two halves of the hull, as well as the mount for the engine section.  I left the landing gear and engine section separate until they were painted, since there are some tight areas between the engines and the fuel tanks which require some brush gymnastics to get to.

It's a little hard to see in the pictures above, but there is some subtle variation in the color on the body, as I went through a few rounds of basecoat/wash/layer/wetbrush trying to settle on a look that I liked.  Given the large flat surfaces on the ship, I didn't want it to look too "flat" and uniform.  I was also trying to avoid using metallics; they were used only on the landing gear struts and the copper on the nose and wing tips.  The navigation lights are based off the Cygnus spacecraft (thanks, Wikipedia!), though I mistakenly used yellow on the top light rather than white - oops!  Well, the crew can blame the last ship mechanic that worked on it for mixing up the lights...

The grunging-up of the craft was done primarily with black and brown washes, and a little bit of VGC Tinny Tin.  Considering I've never really done weathering of this type (or on this scale), I'm very pleased with how it turned out.  It's surprisingly challenging to figure out where something should look worn, both from a realistic perspective as well as an artistic one (after all, you want the overall model to sell the effect, and not look disjointed).

Since I completed the model early, I won't have an entry for this week's Monday Miniature (when everyone else should be finishing up their Hydras on Caffeineforge.com).  Next weeks' figure is 77039 Janan, Female Dragon Slayer, which should be fun.  I wonder how many of the chromatic dragon's we'll manage to cover?

Until next time!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Reaper Bones: Snakeman Warrior; Vandorendra, Snake Demon

As I promised in my last post, this week's Monday Miniatures entry comes with a bonus figure!  The figure for this week is 77153 Snakeman Warrior.



I didn't want to go with the standard "green snake" look, and noticing the small rattle on his tail I did some online research for rattlesnake patterns.  I decided to go with the pygmy rattlesnake, as it was a little more colorful (I took a little liberty with the orange coloration, but not much).  I went with bronze equipment to imply a slightly lower-tech civilization.

Given the complexity of the source pattern, I'm very happy with how this figure turned out!  I think it's definitely a more unique take on the color scheme, and gave me some excellent practice with more complex patterns (but still allowing for some minor mistakes with brush control, since it's not a precise pattern).

And now for the bonus figure:  77117 Vandorendra, Snake Demon:



I would like to say I picked this figure to continue the "snake" theme of this week's Monday Miniature entry, but it was really just random chance.  I was in the process of cleaning up this figure, and decided to go ahead and paint it this week.

For her color scheme, I wanted to stick with reds and browns, and I tried a darker skin tone than I usually use.  I thought about adding some variation to the jewelry, but I thought more bronzes would be somewhat lost with the tail section, and I was trying to keep the silvers to the weapon blades.  I think it turned out pretty solid, though I did find myself wishing I knew how to pull off non-metallic metal (NMM) to minimize the harsh silvers of the blades.

Next week's Monday Miniature is Part 1 of 2 for 77191 Hydra.  I don't have the Hydra figure, but I plan on working on the ISW-69F Scout Ship from Bombshell Miniatures/Airlock Games.

- M:M

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Reaper Bones: Marsh Troll

We're back to a larger figure for this week's Monday Miniature:  77152 Marsh Troll.





I feel that this is one of my stronger styles of painting, as anything "marsh"-related is pretty much required to be dirty/slimy/grungy (not to mention anything "troll"-related).  I wanted to keep the colors on the back to those of an alligator, in keeping with the sculpted details.  I decided to have the stegosaurus plates (I'm not sure if there's an actual term for these things) transition to a brown, both to make them stand out more and to represent them being a harder (calcified?) substance.

From there, I lightened the skin a bit to give more variety, and experimented with a bit of wet blending on the belly.  It was a large surface with minimal detail, so I figured it was a great time to get a bit of practice in.  I used a darker color than normal (khaki vs. bone white) for the spikes of the club and the claws, as I didn't want them to be too bright compared to the tones of the rest of the figure.  I used a variety of browns for the hides, furs, and various wraps on the body.

I'm very pleased with how the figure turned out, especially of the wet-blending on the belly (which is a little hard to see above due to a few subsequent brown washes and the lighting).  The only thing missing is a base, though I believe one of the large bases (or even one of the medium ones) from Bones II will work once they arrive.

Next week's Monday Miniature is 77153: Snakeman Warrior.  I've already painted this figure (a couple months ago), so in addition I'll try to cover whatever I work on next week.

- M:M