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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.
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!
One of the newer minis from Dark Sword Miniatures. I saw this at the beginning of December and immediately thought of my best friend. As it took me until just this past week to finally find time to paint her, and my BFF lives in London, it's a much belated Christmas present. But worth the wait, I think.
She has a little friend hiding in the flora too.
My second ReaperCon diorama started as an idea of having Jason Wiebe's Tiger Lily Mage holding a stop sign. When I started looking through the rest of the Dark Sword Miniatures Critter Kingdoms line, I quickly realized that there was potential to build a multitude of scenes. I planned out a simple story: Tiger Lily stops traffic, which would be another animal of some kind, and another animal crosses the street. The Squirrel on a Turtle was perfectly awesome for the traffic, and the Pretty Princess cat noble was great for the pedestrian. I also had a bunch of resin groceries and dressing that I wanted to use, and the Hedgehog Bard made for a great half-oblivious grocer. Oh, and the streets on the sign are named after Mr. Wiebe's other dogs.
This diorama won 2nd Place overall Critter Kingdom Anthropomorphic Animals award, which came with a pretty great store credit prize at Dark Sword. I was honestly so blown away that it was chosen, I barely remember walking up to accept the award, lol.
So I was really proud of this guy, am planning on submitting this for the inspiration Gallery
I think it was new for bones 3, so this may be one of the first painted.
Oh there is a metal version - sculpted and painted by DKS.
aw man.... I need to fix some stuff.
Also when I first based it the leaves were too bright and stole attention. (also a criticism of my Reapercon entry) So I tried adding some dull brown paint to tone it down.
I think it worked and may go back and do the same to Treetop Pheonix.
By Rainbow Sculptor
So... Reaperbrian got my account fixed! 2 years of fiddling with it and he fixed it in like 2 minutes.
I haven't done the water color for this one yet. The sculpt is finished though. The picture is a bit pixilated which is making the face look granny when it isn't, in the final picture.
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