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Here is my (mostly) finished attempt at this striking model. I wanted the paint to bring some authority to her station. There are some highlights I think I need to bring up on her, but I think the overall effect of the colors and technique is subtle, but works well on her. Here is my Svetlana: (She looks cold!)
I've never taken so long, after starting to paint a miniature, to finish it. She is Svetlana, the Frost Giant Princess. The metal version is DHL 3431; in Bones, she's 77107. Read below the pics for the backstory of sculpting and painting. THE SAGA I sculpted her in 2009, from this drawing by Wayne Reynolds: He designed some other frost giants and the new icy-themed dark elf faction for Reaper around that time. Werner Klocke had recently sculpted Reaper's fire giant queen, with a clever metal-saving design: a body cast in front-and-back parts that left a hollow center. I stole that idea for the front giant princess. I took my sculpting kit along on my 3-week bicycle ride from ReaperCon '09 (late May) to Asheville, North Carolina (mid-June). I didn't sculpt much along the ride, but I do remember a day in Monteagle, Tennessee, when the fog was so thick I didn't want to risk being on the road. I gave my legs a rest that day and spent a few hours sculpting in my hotel room. I finished sculpting the figure in late July, and she was released in September. Some folks on the Reaper Forum debated whether the princess's face was exposed skin or a mask. I weighed in here. You can see how different people have painted her over the years, mostly with masks. I didn't get around to painting my own version with the bare skin. I got a metal copy of this figure in late 2009 or early 2010. May 2010: 1 hour cleaning the figure. ((wait 1 year 10 months)) March 2012: 4 hours assembling the body (but not the left hand and spear), and using Greenstuff to patch the gaps and adding volume to the back of the hair. April 2012: 3 hours doing a primer coat / value-study in White and Black Brush-On Primer. ((wait 3 years)) April 2015: 5 hours verifying the assembly, attaching the hand, refining the shape of the eyes a bit, setting wires for the extra hair strand & the spear strap (in WAR's sketch but not the stock figure), and then sculpting over the wires. Thin things like these can make a miniature look more dynamic and realistic because they aren't limited by the considerations for casting. (I got that advice from Jeremie Bonamont when he was at ReaperCon one year.) WIP pics then: That evening / night / early morning, I spent another 7 hours in 3 sessions roughing in blended base coats over everything. And then I lost interest. She went into the cabinet. ((wait 5 years 9 months)) I decided to include the fox in some way. (The fox goes with Feiya the Pathfinder iconic witch, #60048, sculpted by Julie Guthrie.) I occasionally got nebulous ideas for an ice/snow base, but I never sat down to give physical form to these ideas. Jan-Feb 2021: She called to me again at 1am one night / morning. I painted until 5:30am. More painting sessions over the following week, and then basing. Built the base from rough masses to final shapes -- just start building, and then edit and refine. Devised the sticks-with-straps elements to fill the front-right area and show the wind. Added the snow, including drifts and footprints. Refined the colors, especially the ice-spear and the snow. Glazed, glazed, glazed. In all, about 50 hours over the last 3 weeks. And for now, she is finished. I think the sculpt holds up pretty well, though I deviated on several points from WAR's sketch (partly from my own design sense, but mostly from my lack of sculpting skill). If I were sculpting her today, I could do better on some proportions and making the fur and hair more spiky/icy than wavy. Thanks for reading! Enjoy! Derek