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Madame Vastra, Strax, and Jenny from "Doctor Who" (Crooked Dice "Time Lost Investigators")

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My husband gave me some birthday minis from Crooked Dice, which specializes in British TV and movie homages.


This is a set (also available individually) of the "Doctor Who" characters Madame Vastra, a Silurian (reptile) warrior, Jenny, her human wife, and Strax, her Sontaran (sort of a potato-head alien) butler.


Pix here:





It's ... a very silly show, and I adore it.


I don't think these are official miniatures.  They are called "Time Lost Investigators" in Crooked Dice's catalogue.  Madame Vastra has an alternate head of a Victorian human woman if you're looking for a Victorian lady wielding a katana, and Strax has an alternate head of a bulldoggish butler with big sideburns, if you're looking for a solid, somewhat short butler.


I did my usual prep on these: Remove flash, epoxy to bases, prime white, wash with Burnt Umber.  Then I began painting.


I did fairly complete jobs of Strax and Jenny's faces.









Madame Vastra's head is only blocked in.  I mixed this green out of Hansa Yellow, a bright lemon yellow, and a tiny dab of Carbon Black; it's one of my favorite unexpected green recipes.



Here's a shot of the group together.  Jenny looks a little tall, but maybe it's because Madame Vastra is lunging.



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  • 3 weeks later...

I tossed some transparent near-black mixed from Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna on them, and turned to to grey with Titanium White and mottled some on their bases.

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I cleaned up Strax' darks a bit.  I am planning to paint his tray silver.

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(I forgot to mention Jenny's vest was also washed over with transparent Ultramarine Blue + Burnt Sienna, and her scabbard and Madame Vastra's sword are primed in Mars Black.)


Next: whites.


First I painted Madame Vastra's peasant blouse sleeves (in the show they have rectangles of redwork embroidery at the shoulders), Jenny's blouse sleeves and collar, and Strax' collar with pure Titanium White and a mixed very pale grey mixed from Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna and a lot of Titanium White.  I didn't cover all of the Burnt Umber underpainting because it will be useful later as shadows through translucent over-colors.







Then I mixed several pale shades of violet and blue from Ultamarine Blue, Quinacridone Magenta, and lots of Titanium White, and laid them in as shadows.  I also warmed up the highlights with a creamy very pale linen color mixed from Titanium White and a breath of Raw Sienna.

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I also added some crude preliminary highlights to Strax' black suit with a translucent medium grey.

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Then I thinly painted translucent not-quite white (but may as well have been) over the white fabrics to soften the transitions.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Playing with working up the lights on Strax' suit before I glaze them back down dark.  This is where I am more concerned with bringing out the shape of the figure with light areas than I am with smooth blending .






This is what he looks like with a wash of transparent almost-black (mixed from Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna) over his suit:





And here are Strax and Jenny with some transparent blue-black (more Ultramarine added to the mix) over his suit and her vest.  You can also see I've softened the shadows on Strax' collar by thinly glazing over some pure Titanium White.




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  • 2 months later...

Jenny is wearing dark brown-black gloves, so I have painted her hands (and the scabbard and hilt of her sword) a dark blue-black undertone.


Jenny's vest is actually a slate blue brocade.


I'm not going to attempt brocade.  To make it look slate blue I'm leaving the shadows the blue-black they already are, but highlighting with Ultramarine Blue toned down a bit with some Burnt Sienna and Titanium White.  The eye will see her vest as a unified color with shadows.


Her necktie is a similar mix, a little lighter.


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I softened the edges and intensified the color by glazing over with the same mix but without the Titanium White.  The tie I highlighted with a much paler blue.


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