Sunday, September 28, 2014

Reaper Bones: Dragonman Warrior

This week's figure for Monday Miniatures is 77060 Dragonman Warrior from the Fighters set.

This was another clean figure as far as mold lines, and it has a nice stiffness to it.  The sword is flexible without being too bendy (the width of the blade probably helps).  I really like the sculpt as well (even if he is leaving himself horribly open to a counterattack).  The sword has a nice design, and sells the idea that it wasn't made for normal demi-humans.

As you may have noticed from the pictures, I attempted a gold non-metallic metal (NMM) scheme for the armor.  I have read that gold NMM is more difficult than standard silver NMM, and I think my experiences bear that out.  Yellow paint in general is more challenging to work with since the pigments don't cover as well as other colors (hence it requires more coats to achieve a solid color).  The armor was initially painted a medium-dark brown, and then brought up with some yellow-brown mixes through yellow and to yellow-bone for highlights.  Looking at the results, I think my range of colors was right, but I need more practice on the placement and blending.

I decided to go for a red skintone (scaletone?) to complement the warm gold of the armor.  To help offset a bit (and make the red stand out), I used green for the loincloth.  Speaking of, if there's another term for those things I would like to know it!  The cooler green also paired well with the grays of the base, sword, and shield.

Conclusion:  This is not one of my better paint jobs lately, but I don't think it looks terrible.  In retrospect, I think this was probably too ambitious of a miniature to try my hand at gold NMM; there are just too many surfaces that need to be addressed, and I'm not yet experienced enough with NMM and figuring out where the light and dark areas should fall.

Next week's figure is 77087 Townsfolk: Mother with Children from the Townsfolk set.  This was one of the figures from the Bones I Kickstarter that did not make it to retail release due to quality issues, so it's not available unless you have a KS Vampire set.

- M:M

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Reaper Bones: Anval Thricedamned, Evil Warrior

We're back to the New 30 set with this week's Monday Miniatures figure:  77055 Anval Thricedamned, Evil Warrior.

This figure was extremely clean as far as mold lines go; there was minimal cleanup around the perimeter of the base, and only a few areas of the figure needed work.  It's also one of the stiffer Bones figures, which I prefer.

Since the figure has little in the way of equipment besides armor, I decided it would be a good chance to practice more non-metallic metal (NMM).  It's important to keep the paint thin for smooth layers, and working with so many metal surfaces I had to keep re-mixing more paint as I worked across the figure.  The palette is a couple of flesh tones, a brown, two grays, and black.  Everything is either a mix of those or a finishing wash (I kept the use of washes to a minimum, as I didn't want to destroy my layering effects).

Conclusion:  I'm extremely happy with how this figure turned out!  I'm still not great at NMM, especially curved surfaces; once I get more familiar with how light plays off of different metallic surfaces, I hope to see improvement here.

Next week's figure is 77060 Dragonman Warrior from the Fighters set.

- M:M

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Reaper Bones: Deenah, Female Barbarian; Spirit of the Forest

This week's figure for Monday Miniatures is the first from the Fighters set: 77062 Deenah, Female Barbarian.

This was another fairly clean figure with minimal mold lines (the most noticeable ones were on the fingers).  I like the sculpt, as it is very dynamic and has an uncommon pose with the second hand reaching to grab the sword hilt.

Since it is a barbarian, I wanted to stick with browns for the furs and leather.  However, since the figure has a very little amount of fur, I decided that it would probably work better as a barbarian from a temperate area (rather than a far northern arctic environment).  To give the figure some color, I painted her mail blue.  To further emphasize her barbarian nature, I added facepaint to the figure.  Initially I had it painted as a stripe across the eyes, but it looked too much like the ninja turtle Leonardo's eye mask so I changed it to a vertical half-face pattern.

Also of note are my further attempts at non-metallic metal (NMM).  I don't think I got the patterning quite right as far as where the lights and darks are positioned, but I am happy with the blending I achieved.

Conclusion:  I like the figure, and I'm quite happy with how it turned out.  I plan to continue attempting NMM (though maybe not on every figure), and hopefully I'll get the positioning figured out.  I'm also pretty happy with how the facepaint turned out, as it's not too saturated.

But that's not all this week!  I managed to complete 77184 Spirit of the Forest from the Forces of Nature set.

As you can probably tell from above, this is a bulky figure and required assembly.  The figure did not require much clean up, though it was challenging determining if there were any mold lines due to the sculpted textures.  I plan to base the figure once I receive the bases from Bones II, but the figure stands on its own quite well.

In keeping with the figure's nature motif, I stuck almost entirely with browns and greens.  The exceptions are the various flowers and fungi.  I went back over some of the more obvious plant details with a brighter green, as the figure was rather drab prior to that.  To provide a little more interest to the face (which is primarily woody, and thus brown), I added a "glow" effect for the eyes.  This was my first attempt at doing so, and I think the effect works well.

The mushrooms are painted like the 1-Up mushrooms from Super Mario Bros. (and the heroes might just need them after facing off against this foe).  If I had known I would go into orange-red with the flowers, I would probably have painted some of the mushrooms red (as another nod to Super Mario, and for more variety).

Conclusion:  Despite the relatively bland palette, the details really made this figure drag on; getting the initial basecoat of browns and greens was very quick, but I kept finding new details that needed attention.  That said, I think it was worthwhile as the figure turned out quite nicely.  I also like how the glowing eyes turned out, and look forward to trying that again on another figure.

Next week's figure for Monday Miniatures is 77055 Anval Thricedamned, Evil Warrior.  This is a nice looking figure, and I'm looking forward to getting him painted.

- M:M

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Reaper Bones: Werewolf

Earlier today I managed to finish up one of the Original 30 Bones that were released prior to the Bones I Kickstarter, 77009 Werewolf:

This is one of the better Bones figures in my opinion, as it has very clean mold lines and is fairly stiff (as opposed to some of the softer figures from the Bones I KS).  The way the tail was sculpted seems slightly odd to me, but otherwise it's a great figure.  It was painted with a variety of grays, with a light-medium brown for the base and red/bone white for the facial features.  I used this as practice for further mixing colors, and blending them on the figure.

Conclusion:  I like how this figure turned out, and as an added bonus it didn't take too long.  I thought about going for a brown palette, but decided gray might look more interesting.  I think this would work well as a starter figure for someone just starting to paint, as it has a good mix of flesh and fur areas, and doesn't have equipment to worry about.

Until next time!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Reaper Bones: Trista, the White Wolf

This week for Monday Miniatures, we're on to what I think is the first of the Heroes set:  77094 Trista, the White Wolf:

The model was fairly clean as far as prep work goes, and only had a few mold lines that needed to be removed.  Unfortunately, my figure's sword wound up curved after being stored in one of the figure cases from the Kickstarter, so that will require straightening.  I was hoping it would revert once removed from the case, but there was no change after a week, so I'm not expecting anything to happen.

I liked the look of the painted example in the Reaper store, so I decided to emulate that color palette.  I think the armor has a little more gradation than the pictures might indicate, and this was my first attempt at a pseudo-"non-metallic metal" approach for the sword blade.  I didn't want to try tackling gold NMM on this figure, given the fine detail work, so I stuck with a gold metallic paint.  Most of the figure was painted in a variety of grays, aside from the clothing, belts/pouches, and her face and hair.  Also, this figure has absolutely minuscule eyes, so I'm actually quite pleased that I was even able to hit them.

Conclusion:  For my first attempt at something resembling NMM on a blade, I'm actually really happy with how it turned out.  The fact that the sword is being held practically straight up made it harder to determine exactly how I should lay out the NMM transitions, so I sort of guessed as I went along (also, the blade's surface areas are very small, which doesn't help).  I'm also pleased with how her hair turned out, as it started off as a much dirtier blonde before I found a lighter blonde mix that looked better.  I put quite a bit of work into this figure, and I think it paid off.

Next week's figure is 77062 Deenah, Female Barbarian from the Fighters set.

- M:M