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By Geoff Davis
This is Kassata Lewynn, sculpted by Julie Guthrie. The base is resin, from Celtic Ruins pack BRCE0043, by Scibor Miniatures.
I love this sculpt and I love the way she turned out. However, I had a lot of little problems that surprised me when painting her.
Somehow I managed to drop her at least five times while working on her. I had to put a sheet of foam under where I was working to prevent further damage. This has not happened to me before, so it was quite frustrating. Each time, there were little white dings in the paint in the middle of spots where I was blending that required multiple layers re-painted to fix the damage. I think I found and fixed most of them.
As I was painting her hair, the paint started drying in a completely different way. It started snowing, so maybe it was the change in weather. When I did the brown layer, the paint flowed very smoothly. Part way through painting the first highlight layer, the paint started drying almost immediately. I am using a #3 Raphael 8404, and it would dry out to the point of no paint flowing within a few seconds. None of the usual tricks seemed to work (more thinning, flow aid). It ended up being almost dry brushing, which is why the highlights in her hair look so chalky.
I noticed a tiny dark spot on her left collar and thought I had dabbed black paint by mistake. I blended the brown over it several times and it just wouldn't cover over. Then I figured it out -- there was a hole in her collar all the way through to her shoulder. A lot of the paint I was applying to cover what I thought was a spot of dark paint was actually wicking through the collar and coming out on the underside. You can see the dark spot in the top picture right below her chin. It could have been fixed with a spot of glaze but I decided to leave it. Maybe she had a near miss with an arrow at some point.
Her face turned out to be exceptionally difficult for me to paint. Her eyes have sculpted texture that I found made it very difficult for me to place the irises. That's why the eye placement looks a little off. Plus, I somehow managed to paint slightly triangular blobs with narrow point upwards instead of circles. That is contributing to her slightly cross-eyed appearance. If I paint this miniature again in future, I will probably try to smooth the surfaces of the eyes to make it easier to make them symmetrical. Her lips also have a shape that I found very challenging. There are cute little dimples at each corner of her mouth which give her a nice smile. I found that if I had the paint thinned enough to paint her lips, the paint was also thin enough to immediately wick into these dimples, which significantly magnified the apparent size of her mouth. I tried repeatedly to paint her lips smoothly, but I had to paint it over and start again each time. I originally started with a less bright red for her lips, keeping in with the overall milder colour scheme, but the darker red didn't flow into the dimples so that's what she has. Correcting this each time had an impact on the blending of the flesh tones on her face, which is why there looks like there is a sharp brush line down the middle of her right cheek. That's where I gave up trying to fix the blending. I think if I did this miniature again, I would paint the shade tone of the flesh colour into the dimples, and then fill them in with glazing medium. That way I might still get the nice smile, but not have to fight with the wicking effect on the lip colour. I also misjudged the overall skin tone. I used the Reaper fair skin triad with a very slight darkening of the fair skin shadow as the darkest shade and brightened the fair skin highlight with white. I think the whole series turned out to be too light and as a result there doesn't appear to be much shape to her face when viewed from a distance. I should have started with a darker shade overall, maybe by adding a mid-range brown to the darkest shade colours for her skin to increase the contrast.
I created the gem on her right bracer by filling in the rune shape that was there with glaze. I like the way the gem turned out and the colour, but I shouldn't have outlined the gem shape with black. I think I should probably used the a darker version of the shade colour I used on the bracer, which was a mixture of nightshade purple and bronzed shadow (from the bronzed flesh triad). The gem would have still been nicely framed, but the black is just too stark and didn't turn out very smooth. It might look better if I had been able to make the black margin narrower and rounder.
Anyway, if anyone has any feedback to share about this model, I would love to hear it.
So as everybody knows, in 2017 I attended my first ReaperCon ever. There I got to meet many wonderful people in real life, and I have to say it was probably the finest group of human beings I've ever spent time with. We picked a table at random, and so wound up with some random people sharing our table as people came to the con. @pcktlnt was one of them, and even though everybody here already knows he's pretty great I want to tell you that face-to-face he's even better. Pcktlnt is a genuine top-tier human being, even among such a great crowd of people.
Before ReaperCon, being aware of the melt table there, I declared it my intention to raid it and Save The Parthas from doom. Since I could not monitor the melt table the whole time (even though I tried), I put the word out. I didn't care who wound up with them, I wasn't trying to get them for myself, I just wanted to save them from being melted into oblivion. Save The Parthas! was the cry.
Now, to be 100% frank, my actual objective was to save the precious and rare TSR-era Parthas above all else. But, since asking people to scan the table for minis made in this specific 8-year span with these specific features and check the bases seemed like rather a lot to ask, Save The Parthas was shorter, sweeter, and simpler. And Save The Parthas they did!
At one point, I forget which day, pcktlnt came by the table and delivered an old 1982 Partha giant lady. At some point in the past she had been painted with green skin and yellow fur. While a touch older than what I usually collect, I graciously accepted the free mini and said I would paint it up. I have, and here she is:
For the age, she's not a terrible mini. She turned out, in fact, to be a very early Julie Guthrie. This particular specimen, being from the 80s and made of soft lead, did have some wear and tear. So I worked with what I could, and I'm happy to add her to the shelf.
But the story doesn't end there! When I looked her up to identify her, I discovered she was Version 1 of the female giant from All Things Dark And Dangerous. I was familiar with Version 2, but had never seen this one. So I found some scanes of Partha catalogs older than my physical copies (which only go back to 1993) and she appeared in 1983 (stamped 1982 on the base) and was replaced in 1985 by version 2.
Which means, technically, she's actually MORE RARE than many of the TSR minis!
I don't know who brought it, but if you're here I'd be interested to know how you came by this figure. She's been painted, probably a long time ago, and has seen some action. She's got some history, and it didn't end just yet. Sometime in the 80s somebody saw her in a blister and said: "that's nice, I'll buy that" and now she's here, probably in a different country. What happened in all that time? How many players did she smush?
I have no way to know, but now she's mine and I've grown fond of her. I love her just as much as any other mini - whether Takhisis or Factol Rhys.
So a special thank you to @pcktlnt for your tireless stalking of the melt table, and for giving me the chance to own a little piece of odd history and give a miniature a good home.
As an aside, if anybody wants a good melt table story, ask @Dr.Bedlam about The Joker With One Foot. It's a legendary tale, told best by him. (I saw the Joker with my own eyes before he told me).
Hi all and happy new year!
Here are two figures I recently finished that Ral Partha has re-released, a ranger and a female fighter. The ranger was sculpted by Jim Johnson and the fighter was Bob Olley. Fun figures to paint, kind of bulky and a larger scale than the old Partha stuff I'm usually working on.
and just for fun, I took a close up of the lady's face, because it always seems to happen that when a character has something raised over his head, the detail becomes smaller because your picture is so much higher:
Anyhow, really enjoyed painting these figures, loads of fun, full of personality and a good hefty size. And they're metal, which is another plus for me!
In addition to my 2018 goals to paint better and work on new techniques, I've decided to also start a long term project. I have about half of the Grenadier Fantasy Personalities line (series I and II) by Julie Guthrie. They've been sitting in a Chessex storage box for ~30 years, and now they will finally receive paint.
Based on the info at Lost Mini's Wiki, there are a total of 156 models between both series. I have 81 in the Chessex box, and a couple loose that I need to track down. Since the my count for the entirety of 2017 was only 55 models, and factor in the other models that I will work on, this project will take a while.
I am starting off with four models prepped:
887 - Berserker
869 - Chaotic Thief
820 - Henchman
8102 - Chaotic Swordsman
Stay tuned for show offs.
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