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Guindyloo and Buglips paint Dungeon Dwellers 07001 Rictus the Undying

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Hello again, friends and neighbours!  As you can see by the title, this dual work-in-progress thread is a bit different from the others we've done up until now, which have all been miniatures from Reaper's Dark Heaven line.  We decided that since Dungeon Dwellers is an all-new relaunch, we could double up on our WIP threads so we could do some of these.  The painted examples have been quite excellent, and the painting guides released as pdf files an absolutely fantastic idea, so our objective with these threads is to celebrate the new launch and help give a closer look at these new figures and what you can expect when you decide to do your own.


We'll be using our own colours in this thread, but the PDF of the painting guide for Rictus by Michael Proctor can be found here: Dungeon Dwellers


We are, of course, running a couple of months behind on them so over the next couple of weeks we're going to catch up on the first two and then do this month's freebie: 07003 Bloodbite Goblins.  From there we should be able to do the Dungeon Dweller WIPs around the middle of the month so as to show anyone on the fence about getting the freebie how awesome the figures are while they still have time to get 'em as a bonus!  For my part I have traditionally never much liked slotted-base miniatures, I've always been an integral-base kinda guy, but these Dungeon Dweller offerings have been a solid 5 stars so far and I'm impressed enough to take the plunge. 


So I present to you Rictus the Undying in all his unpackaged glory!





Edited by buglips*the*goblin
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Sweet.. I have four of him (well, there if hubby wants one) so it'll be nice to see how the two of you handle the Dungeon Dwellers line.  Also, it will be nice for there to be two WIP threads a month! ^_^

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Oh my, that nightmare black is rather gorgeous, doubly so with that deep blue it also has... 

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I wanted my Rictus to have an old look to his armor, but I had to think about it some.  I decided the best way to proceed would be to make it look like aged bronze.  Rictus might be 100 years old, or 1000.  I figured an overall bronze look might make him look more like he came from a different era.


So to do some really old looking bronze, I chose old reaper pro paints Pewter, Copper, and Chestnut Brown here:




I stirred those together and added a few drops of Reaper brown liner to tone the mix down a bit.  I didn't go as dark as I usually would for a basecoat because I'm going to be using a black wash here and there anyway.  When I go to do that I can either do it very precisely in just the crannies, or an all over wash.  I'll figure that out by feel when I get there.




I put it on and immediately liked the result.  It's a pretty good look for him.  At this point I'd like to say that even though Rictus looks like he ought to be pretty fiddly, it turned out that he was pretty easy to paint.  This is mostly a workflow thing, he's sculpted with easy transitions between parts so you don't wind up having to do a lot of retouch because you hit stay spots.  He's a very painter-friendly piece.




Then I decided to paint his base broccoli.  I mixed some old reaper pro paint shield brown with some old pro paint sage and then threw a lot of brown liner in.  I just need it to look sort of earthy.  I also painted the shade colour of his reds, in this case old pro paint aged red brick:






That done, I mixed some pewter up with some brown liner for his sword blade and scalemail bits, and did the hilt and pommel of his sword the same way using old pro paint dragon gold.  The bits of cloth he has hanging off his sword arm and around his midsection I did with coat d'arms Hairy Brown darkened with brown liner.  His boney bits and horns got Reaper Master Series Bone Shadow.




That finishes most of his baescoats so the next stage I can start using a black wash. 

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Looking good! 


@buglips*the*goblin you really do love your broccoli bases, don't you? Kinda shocked you didn't just sculpt a freestanding broccoli base around the tab. :lol:


@Guindyloo did you recycle the lotion for your hands after using it on the stamp? 

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28 minutes ago, Crowley said:

Looking good! 


@buglips*the*goblin you really do love your broccoli bases, don't you? Kinda shocked you didn't just sculpt a freestanding broccoli base around the tab.


I strongly considered it, but I decided to preserve the aesthetic of the new line by keeping the included round base.  Also i realized that if I did it for one I'd have to do it for all, and looking at Baran Blacktree there's too much cape overhang too close to his feet for it to easily work.  I'll have to broccoli his base, paint it, and then pin him in.  That'll work for this kind of round base, but wouldn't work if I sculpted him a new broccoli base.  Probably.  There's a high chance I'd screw it up, so I don't want to find out. 

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8 hours ago, Crowley said:


@Guindyloo did you recycle the lotion for your hands after using it on the stamp? 

I put the lotion on my skin or else I get the hose again.

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I decided to paint the areas on Rictus in the order that they speak to me in. So first up, I decided to tackle the cloak. I knew generally that I wanted the cloak to be a dark purple but I wasn't really sure what shade I wanted to go with. So when I have that sort of dilemma, I'll pull down several colours and swatch them to see what I like the most. Bones figures are really good for doing swatches on, but a lot of times I just do swatches right on my hand because I'm fancy.


So these are all Reaper MSP. At the top is Burgundy Wine, which if you'll recall, I mixed with Blackened Brown for a basecoat on the cloak. I knew I wanted this colour to be my shade colour, so I wanted to see what would work well with that. Then going from left to right, we have Imperial Purple, Monarch Purple and Violet Light. Now normally this kind of process helps me to narrow things down and decide which direction to go in. You can see that these purples are all very different from each other... but in this case, I liked how they all worked together, so I decided to see if I could use them as a makeshift triad of sorts. It didn't end up working exactly as I planned and this is largely in part to the fact that Monarch Purple and Violet Light are pretty translucent - but even though that meant I didn't use them exactly as intended, it ended up working really well because that helped them to blend really beautifully with each other. This is why I highly recommend playing around with paints and just seeing what happens with them.


So I started out with layering the Imperial Purple over most of the cape, only leaving the basecoat visible in the deepest recesses. I sort of sketched this in very roughly.



Now I didn't realize that the lighting in this picture changed so drastically so it's hard to see the true colour change of this step. But I did the next layer up with Monarch Purple.



This next picture isn't any better. Purple seems to be difficult to photograph when you're not very good at taking photographs. ::P:

I wanted to lay in where I really wanted the shadows on the cloak to be. Rictus has his right leg forward and that leaves him leaning forward a little which, because he's sculpted so beautifully, causes his cape to curve in slightly, just enough to put the bottom half in shadow. I love little details like that in sculpts and if you pay attention to little details like that, the sculpt will tell you what to do when placing your shadows and highlights to give your painting a more realistic look.

So I blocked those shadows back in with straight Burgundy Wine which, as I've mentioned, is pretty translucent. I've mentioned before that the word "translucent" in regards to paint tends to be thought of as a dirty word because translucent colours don't cover well and therefore are terrible for basecoating. But the more translucent paints tend to be my favourite paints because they work so very well for layering and tend to be easiest to use when thinning for glazes. Translucent paints will make you work much harder if you have the misfortune of using one for a basecoat, but opaque paints will make you work just as hard on your blending when using them for layering. I think that's why we're seeing inks being used more and more in miniature painting because you can do really beautiful things with translucent colour.


Anyway. So I blocked in the shadows on the cape here and because Burgundy Wine is a more translucent colour, I didn't have to work as hard to get a nice transition.



Then I took Violet Light for the next highlight layer.



Next I wanted another step lighter for the highest highlights. A really good tip that I heard once was that light skin tone paints worked really well for mixing into purples for highlighting. So I took MSP Rosy Skin and added just a tip of my brush's worth of that into the Violet Light. When you lighten a translucent paint with an opaque one, you really want to take it easy because the white in the opaque paint is going to dominate the colour very quickly.



I took that and very lightly highlighted some points, and very brightly highlighted the points where the light would catch the most.


Now I might want to take that highlight up all the way to white in just a couple of spots, but I don't want to do that just yet - the reason being that I still have those white spots of primer on the arm and sword hilt and arm bone isn't painted yet. So I know that I'm going to have something bright with the arm bone but not as bright as the bare primer, so I want to see how that balances out before I highlight any further. I always try to remember to let all of the colours talk to each other before I mess too much with the contrast.

So for now, I'm really happy with the cloak. Originally I'd thought that I would need to glaze this cloak to ease transitions, but I don't think it needs it. However, I promised @LarsM that I would give some pointers on glazing so that's what I'm going to do. ^_^


So on the left is Monarch Purple straight from the bottle and to the right is the same paint but thinned with water just a little bit so that it flows more freely. This is the consistency that I shoot for when I'm layering.



Next I added more water to it so that it still pulls back into itself pretty quickly. This is where a lot of people will stop, thinking that they've achieved a glaze consistency because it appears very watery. However, this is more what I would call a wash consistency or a HEAVY glaze.



Now I say HEAVY glaze because this is going to change the colour of whatever you put it on pretty heavily. On the left is a swatch on my hand of the thinned for layering paint and on the right is this wash/HEAVY glaze.


See how strong of a colour that is? That's not what you want with a glaze. This is where a lot of people (myself included!) mess up with glazes is leaving the colour too strong. You use that to glaze over your work and you are going to obliterate all of your previous work.

So I added about twice as much water and that looks like this:


See how that's basically coloured water? I could've poured very dirty rinse water onto my palette. Now looking at that consistency, that looks right for a glaze. But don't take that for granted - that is another easy mistake to make is trusting what something usually looks like. Don't do that, test it out before you put it on the miniature. Different paints have different pigments and some are stronger than others so even if the consistency looks right, you still might not have the balance right.

And you can't just judge by how it looks when you dab off the excess moisture (which is another key to using glazes!) because this is how that looks when blotted onto a paper towel:


You cannot accurately gauge how translucent that is going to be once applied to a mini. So when I mix up a glaze, once I get it to the consistency that I believe is correct, I test it on my hand to see if it's right or not. 

It is very, very important that you blot the excess moisture from your brush onto a paper towel. Glazes and washes are not the same thing, they do not work to the same purpose. You are not going to get the desired glazing effect if you let your glaze run all over the place. Gently dab your brush on the paper towel 2-4 times. You don't have to mash it, the moisture will wick out of the brush easily without much pressure.


So this is the same picture from before, but not all the way on the right, I have applied my glaze to my hand.


You see that very light tint? That is what you want with a glaze. You want a very slow build. Since it's so light, you can apply as many layers as you want without building up thick paint. Now on my hand, that looks super faint and you wouldn't think that's going to do much so let me show you what that very faint tint can do.


So here's the exact same glaze over white paint.


That makes a much bigger difference over white, doesn't it?


Here is an example of a very jarring transition between a dark and a light paint.



And here it is after two coats of my same glaze:


See how much that changed the lighter colour and eased the transition between the two? But that's also something to keep in mind - like I mentioned before, with how much that dulled down that very light colour, you can absolutely obliterate your highlights if you're not careful with glazes, even if you've thinned them properly. 


Aside from using a glaze of the same colour to ease transitions, you can also use them to increase the intensity of a colour. Reaper's Clear colours are great for that. Here's a Clear Purple glaze over the same white swatch as before - the previous purple swatch is on the left and the Clear Purple is on the right.


Much stronger and brighter - and this circles back to my warning that some pigments are stronger than others and will give you a stronger tint.


You can also change the colour completely with a targeted glaze like this glaze of blue over a yellow swatch:



I hope that's of some help, let me know if y'all have any questions or comments or if I can explain something better or whatever. ^_^

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3 minutes ago, Sophie was taken said:

What size bases are you using for these? In some shots they look like 25mm but others 50mm to my eyes...:blink:

Both Buglips and I are using the base that came with Rictus in the pack, which I think is a 30mm base. If it looks like it's changing size, it's probably either the way I'm tilting it for pictures or the way that I'm cropping the pictures. And the jar that I'm using to mount it on is very large so that might be contributing to a weird size illusion as well.

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16 minutes ago, Sophie was taken said:

What size bases are you using for these? In some shots they look like 25mm but others 50mm to my eyes...:blink:


It's 74023 30mm round display base.  So far all the Dungeon Dwellers have come with the same type.

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