Monday, 2 January 2017

It's been too Long!

So, it's been a couple of months since I last posted. For a nice change, that's not because I haven't been painting, though I did slow down due to the excruciating heat of Australian summer until I bought a portable air-con unit. It's made an absolutely huge difference, and I'm hoping that means painting won't have to be a winter-only hobby anymore as a result.

I haven't posted because I've been working on a secret project for one of my best friends to use in our D&D campaign.

After starting with a Dragonborn Barbarian, Big Dan decided his chosen personality wasn't quite washing well with the rest of the group, and since he'd been talking about inventing a Witcher class since we first started, we both decided it would be a perfect time to roll one up. Then we hatched a devious plan...we wouldn't tell the group what was going on until it unfolded in-game, so it'd be a complete surprise when his old character announced (at the grant old age of 4th level) that he was retiring from adventuring and staying in town. Needless to say, it was a shock to everyone, as was the poor NPC they'd been rescuing turning into Big Dan's new character. Loads of fun!

We wanted a miniature to represent the new Witcher character, and Big Dan wanted something pretty close to the characters from the novels and video games with the same names and preferably with a reference to wolves. Nothing from the Descent range suited, so we started searching online for something that would, and we quickly came across this:

Imperial Wolfbane Commandos from a science fiction game called Warzone Resurrection. Without making any promises of success, I quickly ordered them and set to converting the mini that most closely represented what we were looking for. It didn't take much - I simply cut off the designs on the chest and shoulders.

Now for some paint. Here's what I used:
Pants: 1 CG:1 B:2T, highlighted with CH
Chestplate and tunic: 1YO:1T, highlighted with successive additions of VMA BW
Cloak & Gloves: VMA BU, followed by 3BU:2CLB:3T, and finally CLB for extreme highlights
Belt & Boots: VMA CB followed by a drybrush of VMA BB
Face: VMC BR, then I kept added VMC BS until it was pure for highlight layers
Eyes: GY, edged with BMY
Wolf Pelt: For the wolf pelt, I wet blended bands of VGA DW, SWG, SG and B, from white where the wolf's underbelly would be through to black along its spine. I then highlighted with a light drybrush of SWG
Shoulders and Knee-guards: I started with a base coat of VMA DM, then lightly highlighted with VGA S.
Sword: Starting with a VGA CM base, I made two glazes to darken and highlight on opposite sides of the sword according to where I thought the light would fall, as follows:
- Shade: 1 VMA DM:2B:12 Glaze Medium
- Highlight: 1 VGA S:12 Glaze Medium
I then used these in about 10 coats each to slowly blend in the shadow and light.

Here's the final miniature, which I actually found the time to properly photograph for a change:

All in all I'm really happy with how he turned out. There's a few things that still bother me, which I may fix up at some point - his sword didn't come out the way I would have liked, and it's bent to boot (more on how to fix that in a future post). Looking at the photos, I need to check the wolf's eyes too - I don't remember it looking wrong on the mini, but the photo above makes it look like his upper eyelids and brow are yellow! I had also planned to paint his cloak using a VMA Mahogany base instead of Burnt Umber, but I mixed up the paint pots in one of many thin base coat layers and it was impossible to fix it without repriming the cloak. Oh well.

Anyhoo, was an interesting miniature to paint. I particularly liked how the wet-blend on the wolf pelt came out, along with the two-brush blend on the cloak and gloves.

Well that's it for now - I've got 4 more miniatures on my workbench right now, plus two more custom minis for my D&D crew, so expect more updates soon. Until then, happy hobbying!

Note: Unless otherwise specified, all paint is Vallejo Game Colour.
Paint codes used:
VGA - Vallejo Game Air
VGC - Vallejo Game Colour
VMA - Vallejo Model Air
VMC - Vallejo Model Colour
CG - Cold Grey
B - Black
YO - Yellow Olive
BW - Bonewhite
BU - Burnt Umber
CLB - Camo Light Brown
CB - Charred Brown
BB - Beasty Brown
BR - Beige Red
BS - Basic Skintone
GY - Golden Yellow
BMY - Bad Moon Yellow
DW - Dead White
SWG - Stonewall Grey
SG - Sombre Grey
CM - Chainmail
DM - Dark Metal
S - Silver
T - Thinner (10 Water : 1 Flow-Aid)