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"So...Xiao Lu. You have expressed interest in this particular carp. Your purse is sufficient for the purchase. Nevertheless, I will only sell to a man with the proper appreciation of the fish, a scholar who can truly cherish it as it deserves.
Tell me, Xiao Lu. What are the Noble Virtues of the carp?"
"Truly, Master Fang, only the injudicious man would sell such a precious gift to a fool.
The different colors and patterns of the carp indicate different virtues, some those of the father, some of the mother, some of daughters or sons, or scholars or businessmen or soldiers.
But the virtues common to all carp are:
Firstly, courageous independence. It swims upstream, heading into the current always. An indomitable will to face what comes. A carp swimming downstream bodes ill; this is known to all.
Secondly, prosperity. Their scales of gold, silver, platinum, and bronze are all auspicious, reflecting money and attracting luck.
Thirdly, fecundity. Their fertility fills the rivers; does not their very name evoke abundance and plenty?
Fourthly, success and transformation through diligence and perseverance. As it is said, 'the carp has leapt through the Dragon's Gate.' With enough work, the carp may surmount even the waterfall that streams down the mountain. And does not the carp that passes the Dragon Gate itself become a dragon? So too will the man who applies himself become accomplished and recognized."
These are two truly magnificent sculpts. The short fellow with the oval base is from an 80's-era Grenadier set of "Vile Villains." (He comes with a Casper Gutman/Sydney Greenstreet Fat Man and a tall trenchcoated fellow with beard and hat, perhaps a Rasputin figure? All very different heights and builds, which I appreciate.) Anyway, he's the star of the show. Those old minis had some fantastic detail work on the faces. And you have to love his long twisty fingernails.
Here's more of him:
Dr. Fang was another sculpt I had to get when I heard Statuesque was discontinuing its Pulp Alley line. Very much in the Pei Mei / Fu Manchu line. The exact sort of person you think of when you hear the phrase "undying leaders of the cult in China." Definitely an old man whom it would be unwise to challenge. I had a lot of fun with the gradient (hey, Breast Cancer Pink in action!) and the koi on his robes.
Here's a thorough turnaround:
The rear wall is GreenstuffWorld's "China" roller on foamboard, airbrushed. Heavily inspired by the opulent color gradients from "Curse of the Golden Flower" (a splendid palace tragedy). The aquaria are of course Chessex dice boxes and some stuff I had lying around. The koi pond is a metal lid from a tube of biscuit dough with a lick of paint and some 'Ardcoat. The lantern comes from the Tortoise Merchant and Drayman.
For the last few months since Reapercon, I've been focusing on pumping out minis to avoid the rut I got into last year. When I saw that Reaper had released the ghost sailors as metal figures, well... I knew what one of my October projects was going to be. I loved these guys as part of the Bones IV kickstarter, but I've not enjoyed painting plastic minis as much since getting back into metals at the Reapercon melt table, so I was psyched to order them and put in an order that night... Most of the rest I had from Reapercon, although I think I picked up Labella there too.
Either way, these guys painted up gorgeous and easy using my go-to one-two spirit technique! As a firm believer in spooky blue ghosts, I started by priming them white, then giving them a couple layers of Irrisen Blue from the new Pathfinder paintset... My old blue standby was from the HD line and the bottle has faded to the point of illegibility, but it was almost identical. Then once it's dry, I drybrush heavily with Linen White (pure white comes out looking starched, and bluer whites don't show on the blue, but linen is perfect) and... call it a day. Decorate the bases, maybe some pizza... 's good. That said, minis painted using this technique meet my #1 requirement for ghost minis: They're distinctive on the table!
I debated doing some OSL, but decided that it would wash the bases out, unfortunately. I like it better this way, with the bases nice and grounded, and the ghosts spooky and glowing! Lots of fun base details on these, too - 10/10 recommend picking them up if you have any sort of use for them!
Miniatures involved (not enough tags for them all): 03965: Ghost Pirate Cook, 03966: Ghost Pirate Quartermaster, 03967: Ghost Pirate Captain, 03968: Ghost Pirate Bosun, 03969: Drowned Nymph Ghost: Banshee, 03718: Ghost Bride, 03475: Labella DeMornay, Banshee, 03170: Lurien, Ghost, 14168: Gauren, Necropolis Hero, 03799: Female Wraith
03965: Ghost Pirate Cook
03966: Ghost Pirate Quartermaster
03967: Ghost Pirate Captain
03968: Ghost Pirate Bosun
03969: Drowned Nymph Ghost: Banshee
03718: Ghost Bride
03475: Labella DeMornay, Banshee
03170: Lurien, Ghost
14168: Gauren, Necropolis Hero
03799: Female Wraith
Of all of these, if I had to pick favorites... Hm... Ghost Bride and Gauren. They took the drybrushing perfectly and are super-fun figures!
I wasn't sure if I should post this in Show off or WIP, but I figured here and if you would please forgive the in progress parts in the subsequent post.
Ron let me paint this lovely sculpt by Gene Van Horne. Actually, I think I might have begged to paint it and considered stealing it from his office if he refused. She'll be in the Greek Odyssey Expansion for Bones V. If by some miracle you have come to this forum and not heard of Bones V, it can be found here. Aaron Lovejoy was awesome and took some high definition photos of her after last Reapercon.
I really love this sculpt, can't say that enough. She's got some fantastic detail, lots of good open space to work on blending or freehand, even a scenic base to play with stone effects. While I loved the original Yephima by Patrick Keith, and still use her in my classes, this one really screams warrior to me. I need to paint my bones version when I get it as Athena. I'll have to add a shield somewhere, though. Maybe convert the club to a spear. Decisions decisions.
Anyway, feel free to ask questions. I'm happy to explain or help with anything! I'm going to post the WIP pictures I have in another post, so hopefully those will also be useful. Enjoy!
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