Friday, March 31, 2017

Heroes for Dungeonquest: Serellia of Zimendell, Elf Adventurer

My guess is this is an Aly Morrison sculpt but I'm only 90% sure. My approach to this figure was almost entirely light to dark over white primer. Elves are said to have fair skin and I made her skin very bright and pale. I have this original pot of I can't quite remember which, whether Elf Flesh or Bleached Bone. Later versions of both of these were much, much darker and more opaque, and the later Elf Flesh (I have one from the flip top ere following the switch from the poorly-received screw tops). But this paint is an excellent top flesh highlight for elves, humans or even orcs, and also for bone and much else. Haven't found anything that compare to it. This is one I'm not sure is still made by Coat'd'Arms, as many others are. There are a few early paints that seem to be missing, I think Moody Blue is one. But I digress...

Her pet dragon Flamebright was done almost all with glazes. I like how her orb turned out and it makes a nice focal point. Mostly Mithril Silver with some opaque purples mixed in, and probably an ink wash.

When exploring the dungeon, Flamebright scouts the room ahead and can warn Zimendell when going another way might be wiser,, and  fights many of her battles, though not the bats as we learned to my friend's chagrin in our last game! I'm pretty sure the bats are what did her in.

Anyone else working on DungeonQuest figures or have plans to, or have links to painted figures? Fond memories of the game (or otherwise)?  I didn't have it growing up, but rather picked it up at a con about five or six years ago. Really enjoy it, even when everyone dies, as the last game I played. It's a brutal game with high chance, 10 out of 10 on theme and 10 out of 10 in style. What's great about the high risk is the way that it fosters a grim, gallows humor around the table and come-what-may outlook. Life is cheap and death is everywhere, and not much more to lose going all out. Would you rather die unsung from the scorpion's sting, sifting debris in a forgotten wing of the dungeon, or drive right to the heart of it to steal diamonds from under the nose of the dragon? No guts, no glory. The mechanism for stealing from the dragon, for those who haven't played, is none other than that of Russian roulette.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Heroes for Dungeonquest: Vikas Swordmaster

Decided not to save the best for last here. Vikas is my favorite so far and the one I'm most happy with. At the risk of being immodest, when I hold this guy up I get a big smile. I really nailed what I was going for and the figure "sings."

The checks took every bit as long as they look like they took, a full three hours, longer than I spent on all the rest of the figure. First green, fully shaded and highlighted, then black lines, then "white," which is actually muted, because pure white looks fake. Where a lot of painters go wrong with checks or any freehand on a flat surface is they paint each check lighter a top and darker at the bottom, a kind of sculptural lighting approach. This looks awful in my opinion, it really dispels my interest in what might be an otherwise nicely done figure. The tricky part with these checks was having them converge at the sides in the folds. It took me some give and take there going back with green then white and then putting the black lines back in.

Really happy with his face, with details like the subtle five-o-clock shadow, and his yellow boots. Wanted the boots to glow with old school Snakebite Leather. I have a mostly full screw top era pot of that paint, my second pot of it after I used up the first I got in the early 90s. The trick or balance between brightness and believability comes in putting gray in the top highlights. The highlights should always be less saturated.

The gems are in the classic style Mike McVey taught many of us. I make the contrast a bit muted here too because these stones are rounded, and not sculted as faceted gems, and when done in stark contrast with black at the top and a dot of pure white they look a bit more like glass than a precious stone that captures my interest. I prefer it to appear semi-translucent and appear as what we call a semi-precious stone these days. I tend to use photo reference even for tiny bits like stones, even when I have the general principle of how I'm going to approach it down pat.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Heroes for Dungeonquest: Phyll Madaxe, Dwarf Berserker

I played this guy in my most recent game of DungeonQuest and died after a time tied up in the chamber of darkness, before getting to use his berserk ability. What a great figure. Figures standing on rocks is not really my style but in this case he needed to be standing on something no wider than his feet because his weapons extend below his feet and it was either standing on something or having his weapons dug fairly deeply into the ground, which wouldn't make sense. So, standing on a rock it was. Was a pretty easy paintjob. Citadel chestnut wash to get that classic bronzed flesh look. I use many different flesh-tone paints mixed but I'm sure Citadel Bronzed Flesh was among them. Winsor and Newton yellow and vermilion inks got the hair nice and orange.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Heroes for Dungeonquest: Farendil, Elf Ranger

Well, this one didn't follow too closely on the heels of the others, but I think I can line up some posts pretty well for the next short while. Here is Farendil the elf. If I recall he has the same stats in the game as El-Adoran Sureshot from the base set.

I primed him gray and then white. With these DungeonQuest figures I wanted to capture a sense I have of great paintjobs I saw photos of in the late 80s and very early 90s that seemed to glow from within, with glazing being the key. The goal is what I think of as a candy-like quality. His Lincoln green attire and leggings were done light to dark with thin layers and glazes. Although highlights were added between layers where needed, most of the light is the white of the primer visible through the layers. Most of the DungeonQuest figures I did this way. By way of contrast, El-Adoran was painted purely over black, and you can perhaps see the difference if I put them side-by-side here.I actually intended to spray the El-Adoran figure with white too, but he was the first I painted on a day when I wanted to get started without having to go outside and prime white, and wait for the smell to lessen.

You can see a muted quality of the El-Adoran figure that is also desirable, and has a benefit of pulling the palette together and acting as a guard against the bright paints of today making a gaudy riot of color. The photos above are pretty true to life, that's how they look when you put them side by side (I should have taken a photo of them together but I'm lazy).

Both styles have their pluses. Straight dark to light is my comfort zone and is more reliable. On the other hand, going for the candy-like glazed quality is a fun challenge, and there's more a chance to wind up with something slightly different than expected (the "happy accident").

Some painters have one dependable style. I'm sure I have a certain stamp but I approach Oldhammer in a different way than I approach D&D and that different to some other collection of figures. I think I made the right choice for these DungeonQuest figures. When I get the quality I want in a figure, whatever I'm going for, it's like a little jolt of a thrill. Then I say to myself that it "sings" and pat myself on the back. Maybe that sounds a little funny to say out loud or read on the screen, but that's the truth of it, I work to make the figures sing, and its a narrow little zone in which they do it, can't be even a little off on the one side or the other, and when it sings it gives me the little jolt to do the next ones.