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Exchange from Tranquil Ape (Autumn 2012 exchange)


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#1 Sanael


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Posted 11 November 2012 - 05:35 PM

Tranquil Ape sent me this awesome paint-up of 3512, Ardellen as part of the exchange. He's already seen use in several sessions of my D&D campaign, filling in for an NPC formerly represented by some random PPM thing. This is much better! He elicited several positive comments from the game group and brough the NPC much glory, so I think we can call him a success. Here's pics, and my feedback for Tranquil Ape.


First, apologies for the pic quality. That said:

I love the colors on this guy; he's easy to spot and identify on the table, but none of the colors strike me as "unreal" or otherwise odd. The orange and purple work nicely next to each other, especially with the sharply defined color-blocking on the tabard. Highlights on the front of the tabard look good, too.

I love the use of gloss to finish-coat the metals. The shield and sword look really nice this way. It's definitely not the kind of slickly shaded NMM that we see on some pieces, but it's not meant to be, and it works brilliantly on the table; the high-contrast block shadows on the sword blade, especially, look great at arm's length. Be careful of consistency when using techniques like this; the golds on the sword's hilt and the shield are glossy, but his belt fittings are not. The highlighting on his buckle, though, looks nice.

I also like his base; clean and simple, without any attempt to do more than it needs.

I'll point out a few things to think on:

"Darker shadows, higher highlights" is an important mantra to keep in mind. You can get some much more interesting textures this way. On this mini, deeper shadows would give some more depth to his cloak. Something I try to keep in mind is that the deepest shadows are often directly adjacent to the highest highlights, especially on fabric; if a fold is pretty deep, the light will hit the apex of the fold and fade gently into shadow on the top of the fold, but the apex of the fold creates an edge, beneath which there will be the deepest shadow. This kind of contrast adds nice visual interest.

Darklining would help make things pop a little (especially on the eyes; don't be afraid of those!). I resisted darklining for a long time, and still don't always use it, but it's usually a very good technique to use. On this mini it would be especially helpful where two different fabrics meet (the collar of the cloak and the tabard) and where two similar fabrics are on top of each other (the shield strap and glove).

Finally, think carefully about the details of the character (as opposed to the details of the sculpture). I love the slash of blood across this guy's cheek, but it makes me wonder why there's no blood or mud anywhere else; most of the mini is very clean, as if he's calling his allies to a charge before a fight; the slash looks like he's in the middle of a fight and should be otherwise weathered. The same disconnect happens on the boots: they are glossy and shined instead of weathered and dirty. I like the "parade-ready" effect of his boots, and the "bloody BAMF" effect of the cheek-slash...but they seem to be in two different environments. This is a really small thing, but it's important to consider the story behind this individual.

So that's my tuppence. Overall, I couldn't be happier to receive this guy, and you should be proud to have painted him; your technical skills seem pretty good to me, and if you keep pushing on each mini you paint, they'll only get better!

(Edited for spelling/grammar)

Edited by Sanael, 11 November 2012 - 05:46 PM.

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#2 Adrift



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Posted 11 November 2012 - 06:34 PM

Agreed on all points! A fantastic job and excellent advice!!

#3 Girot


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Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:20 PM


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#4 haldir


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Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:24 PM


I really like the shield, has a nice kept up appearance on it. Like its his prize possession.

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#5 Beowulfthehunter



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Posted 12 November 2012 - 12:08 PM

Good job, I was always a fan of this model, it had a look of "I am the big damn hero, look at my shiny teeth."
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#6 Marsya



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Posted 13 November 2012 - 09:22 PM

Solid work Tranquil Ape on your exchange mini. As Sanael mentioned in his post I like your color blocking on the tabard, and the shield. He already offered good feedback the only thing I would add and this could just be the photo, but it appears as if his lips were not painted a different color than his skin, even just a few shades darker would help define his mouth and give his face more pop. Overall the mini looks good and I am sure he is happy to have received it, great job.

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#7 Tranquil Ape

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 06:03 PM

Thanks much everyone.. somehow this slipped by me I think. I can assure you I wasn't avoiding a reply :) I got my exchange mini today and am going to write about it. I really appreciate your advice Sanael. Especially about keeping in mind the context of what is going on with the mini... I hadn't ever thought about how it all looked together...
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#8 Sanael


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Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:50 PM

Hey, no problem. I know I've missed things in the forums! And I'm happy to help when I can. Cheers, and keep the minis coming!
Index of my Show-Off minis.
My sporadic workbench. Currently: Dwarfs.
My Legion of Everblight. Painted: 28 points, 1 Warlock. Owned: 157 points, 3 Warlocks.
Why yes, that is a Kaladrax on my shoulder. Why do you ask?

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