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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!
Just thought i would put these up to show off the new party making their way through saltmarsh. A party of six graduates from the civilized lands, roped into fulfilling a debt by their mentors. At least they are working together... they arent my finest work but for 6 hours of painting, they will do nicely for our little gaming group and the group enjoyed the surprise of coming to their second session to discover they all had custom painted minis!
we have a Halfling fighter
an elven thief with a fixation for daggers
a halfling bard
the blue dragonborn priest of Protos
the black Dragonborn warlock (had to create the head. I couldnt find a dragonborn mini with an 8 strength...)
and a Human ranger from the backstreets and slums
hope you enjoy them, i dont know how long they will last....
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.