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Buckle in folks, I've got a lot for you today. Over the past year or so I've slowly collected and painted a set of the five Chromatic Dragons. When I first started collecting minis I'd picked up a couple of Dragons from Safari Ltd which were easy to find at craft stores. Rather than buy a bunch of new models from Reaper or elsewhere, I decided to see if I could make a unique set of Dragons using mostly Safari Ltd models. I flipped through my Monster Manual and browsed online catalogs and slowly picked out models that I wanted to use to represent each of them. I eventually ran out of models that I liked and I supplemented a McFarlane Toys dragon for the Red. I finally completed them early this past summer:
The White Dragon
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The Black Dragon
Moving up the Chromatic Hierarchy, we have the Black Dragon, represented here by the Safari Ltd. Cave Dragon. This is actually the model that inspired me to paint up the dragons, as it looked so much like the 5E Black Dragon artwork.
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The Green Dragon
Next up, we have the Green Dragon represented by the Safari Ltd. Twilight Dragon. Funnily enough, that sculpt is also available in a green variant as the "Forest Dragon," but i already had the black copy on hand. It was all getting painted over anyways.
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The Blue Dragon
The last of the Safari Ltd. Dragons, this is the Fog Dragon, which got a tiny bit of green stuff to look the part of a Blue Dragon.
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The Red Dragon
I used up the biggest Safari Ltd Dragon with the blue, and I wasn't seeing anything I liked from any of their direct competitors, so I chose something a little different for the Red. I ended up with the Komodo Clan dragon from McFarlane Toys Dragons Series 2. And though this guy showed up in shades of red, I wanted to paint it myself, so it got primed and re-painted.
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It was a lot of fun painting up these guys, and I like having a unique collection. I'm also glad they're all done. Though I do still have a Shadow Dragon and a Dracolich primed and waiting for paint... and then all the dragons that are still boxed... and then that big five-headed guy I keep meaning to get around to... and then all those new dragons coming with Bones 5...
Which dragon do you like best?
Every fiendish army needs tiny minions to throw through the meat grinders. Today I've got some assorted imps and quasits (the demonic counterpart to imps for you non-D&D folk).
These fun little guys are the grunts of the demonic legions. The front two are Quasits from the Nolzur's Unpainted set "Imps & Quasits" #WZK73719. The back three are Reaper Bones Hordlings (77335).
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And up next,
These three imps are all Nolzur's from "Imps & Quasits" #WZK73719 and "Familiars" #WZK72563
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Was definitely going cross-eyed after painting these tiny guys.
What's the smallest mini you've ever painted? (Feel free to share pictures)
Nolzur's Marvelous Miniatures still make some great D&D monsters, here are three more:
Wave 1: Displacer Beast
The Displacer Beast is one of the iconic D&D monsters, described as a six legged panther with a pair of enormous tentacles growing out of it's back. If that is not bad enough, the schtick of this beast is that is displaces. This is an ability that makes it appear as it is a few feet off from where it actually is, so while the party are slashing at the image in thin air, the beast invisibly outflanks them with it's powerful claws and massive bite attack coming from seemingly out of nowhere.
Where are the mirrors I need to start breaking?
I rebased it on a 40mm round. This is a Wave 1 mini, released a few years ago. The tentacles needed repositioning using the hot water/cold water technique.
Wave 11: Grell & Basilisk
Who names these monsters? Grell? What kind of a name is that? This is obviously the Flying Spaghetti Monster!
The tentacles did not turn out all that well. The purple was too strong compared to the other colours and dried too fast to blend. Bah!
Check out the big brain on Brett!
And in the same pack as the Grell, a Basilisk:
This one was significantly smaller than I expected. Please disregard the piece of flock-fluff on it's right side middle. This is a loose particle I did not see was stuck there until after the pictures were taken. I just cannot be bothered with taking new ones.
30mm x 20mm oval base.
Nolzur’s Marvelous Miniatures
I have no idea who sculpted these, as WizKids do not -as far as I know- publish this info.
I'm starting this thread to use as a painting blog, to help catalog my journey, and to use as a source of ongoing motivation. I have a LOT of stuff I've been putting off, that I want to get through for a homebrew campaign I'm working on, and some warbands for Frostgrave, as well. So, I'll take any extra motivation I can get Once I actually finish pieces, I'll make sure to post them in that part of the forum.
To start things off, I have a dragon I've been working on for a couple of weeks, and just got to the point where it's "good enough for now," although definitely not finished. It's easily my favorite piece I've ever owned, so I put off doing any work on it until I was "good enough" to do the piece justice. That is, until I realized that would never happen , so I decided to:
1) Do the darned thing
2) Do some work on it every day
3) Push myself outside my comfort zone to try new things
4) Be patient and forgiving with myself
5) To not freak out when I try something that I don't like, and just go ahead and fix it
There's still a good amount to do to it (I have a list with 15 bullet points on it, and growing!), but I'm happy enough looking at it, and want to take a break to focus on some other pieces.
I took some progress shots (though perhaps not as many as I'd have liked). So please, join me as we journey through my learning experience:
I fully assembled the mini before putting down any paint. Here's where the mini was after a couple days work, about 4-5 hrs. I used an airbrush to give it a zenithal undercoat with black and white, and then to lay in the base coats of the red and blue. I then painted the underbelly and the wing-fingers with a brush.
Here, I'm trying to show the work I've done (still fairly subtle, at this point) on building up the vibrancy/transitions on the red skin/scales. I was fairly happy at this point, as I could start to see that I might actually be able to paint this to the standard I want.
The next day, I did some work on the face, horns, and blocked in the body spikes. I generally liked the mouth and tongue, but felt it was a bit vibrant. I thought the blue on the horns was alright, but also wasn't completely sold on it.
Here's where it was after another `30min of work. Since I felt the tongue was too much, I did something about it! I did a very light glaze with a grey, just to knock down the saturation a bit. Looks better. I added some more blue to the horns, and still wasn't quite happy with it. Picked out the teeth, which is nice, easy bit of definition. And that eye!!! It looked much better than I expected, although that's the last time it would be that well defined...
Here it is after another couple days of progress, building up that red (it takes soooooo long on something this big!!!!), as well as more work on the mouth/face. I'd accidentally painted over the eye (which becomes a recurring theme in this tale ), so I blocked in some color, just to separate it from the face. I added a glaze of 'RMP's fair skin' to the tongue, and now I'm lovin' it. Also added some fleshy-ness to the gums on the upper jaw (though it's a little hard to tell), and that was definitely another good decision.
Here I continued to build up the red, progress is slow but steady. Not pictured (which is unfortunate, because it was a good learning experience) is my attempt to redo the horn entirely, to a scheme that was a transition of bone to brown to black at the tip...I was really unhappy with it. I had the bone starting around the eye ridges in at attempt to add more contrast and draw the viewer's eye towards the face, but it just looked awful. So I spent a good while redoing the horn and fixing the whole face. I'm glad I made that mistake, as I think the face looks much better than it did before I started on the horn. Part of that was adding in a new level of bright highlights.
Here's the mini in some soft lighting, and although the picture is kinda blurry, it better shows the transitions throughout the red. I think this was also the point where I started working on shading the red, by applying a light blue-black glaze to the shaded areas, which really helped add some contrast to the piece.
I had an accident that almost gave me a heart attack, where the figure seemingly jumped off the desk Luckily, I caught it before it hit the ground, and it sustained no major damage. It did separate where the dragon attaches on to the base, and although that was a little frustrating, it ended up being a happy little accident, as it made it MUCH MUCH easier to work on the base. I started by putting down some paints and pigments, until it was at a place I thought was ok. Also, the rock spire that it's curled around was originally about 6 inches taller, which I cut off to better see all of the dragon. So, I started work on sculpting a new top. I started by building up thin layers of cardboard with superglue, to level it off (it had quite a slant to it). Then I mixed up some greenstuff, and tried to match the overall flow and texture of of the rocks. Although not a perfect match, it's close enough to not be distracting. Mission accomplished!! The pillars were a part of the mini.
And here's the beast in its current state. I painted the newly sculpted top to match what I'd already done, and left the pillars with a super quick drybrushing. I touched up the eye to look acceptable (it's on my 'to do' list), added some grass tufts to the base, and was happy to leave it be like this, for a time. The final pic is another attempt to 'more accurately' show the value transitions with the red, though the colors seem a tad washed out.
Thanks for taking a look at my work, and for reading my ramblings! C&C is welcome As I said, I have a to do list for the dragon, but I'm not afraid to add more to it!!! I'll strive to make a post in here a few times a week, and eventually you'll get to see a completed dragon!
EDIT: I forgot to mention that once the dragon broke away from the base (super cleanly, luckily), I took the opportunity to redo the underbelly on the whole model, darkening it up some. And along the neck, I experimented with wet blending for the first time! I've been apprehensive to try it before, but decided this was a good spot to experiment, as it's a large enough area, but felt less...consequential, I guess, if I messed it up. And I'm pretty pleased with the result!
Next up: Frostgrave warbands for me and my brother!
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