Saturday, October 4, 2014

Reaper Dark Heaven: Zombie Werewolf and Samantha of the Blade

I was looking through some of my older figures today, and decided that I should take a short break from Bones to knock out some old Dark Heaven figures.  These were among the first Reaper miniatures I got many years ago, but for one reason or another I've never gotten around to painting them... until now!

02132 Zombie Werewolf and 02047 Samantha of the Blade:

Back in the day, undead figures usually weren't very grisly in their details, so when I came across Reaper and their zombies-with-exposed-innards, I thought it was a great step forward.  After some experimentation back in the day, I found that using brown washes on top of a red basecoat gave a nice effect for exposed muscles.  I've used the technique in this figure, and I still like the results.

One challenge I had with this figure was that it is a very brown-heavy palette.  The exposed muscles and bones both shift toward brown with washes applied, and the lack of equipment meant there's nothing else to break up the fur on the figure.  To combat this, I layered another coat of red on the muscles to make them stand out, and highlighted the fur with a more yellow-brown.  The best part about zombie figures is that you can be extremely messy when painting them, and it still looks appropriate.  I applied a red-brown mix around the mouth to indicate dried blood, since (as a zombie) the beast would not clean itself between victims.

Conclusion:  I really like how the figure turned out, and the ways I was able to work around the issues listed above.  I feel like I did the figure justice all these years later!

Next up is Samantha of the Blade:

This figure was actually my brother's, which I obtained at a later date when he was no longer gaming regularly.  I checked the Dark Heaven Apocalypse rulebook that I have (also many years old), and it lists Samantha as the leader of the Sisters of the Blade.  The book also mentions that she has red hair, so I wanted to carry that forward with the figure.  The other main goal was to practice non-metallic metal (NMM) on the sword blade.  Since her armor is largely mail, I wouldn't have to worry about applying NMM to it as well (note she does have a breastplate and left-side shoulderplate, but they are largely obscured).

I used a few different browns for her boots, pants, gloves, belt, pouches, and scabbard, which were further differentiated with three different brown washes.  The rulebook mentions she has green eyes, but the eyes on the figure are tiny, so instead I decided to give her a green shirt for added color.  The mail and sword were painted with a couple of different grays, though I did use metallic silver for her necklace, torc headband, and scabbard details.  The hair was primarily red and orange, with some brown added to tone it down a bit (though it's still a rather strong orange).

Conclusion:  I think the NMM came out better than I expected.  I need to work on smoothing my transitions a little more, as well as identifying where the lights and darks should be.  I think the upper part of the blade probably needed to shift toward a darker shade at the base of the blade, but I wasn't sure since that entire edge would be in the light (while the underside would be in shadow).  I'm also happy with how the browns turned out, as there's enough differentiation to keep it from blurring together.

I still have several more Dark Heaven figures to paint, so expect them to pop up on occasion when I take a break from Bones (or whatever other project I'm working on).

Until next time!

- M:M