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I'm planning to paint Ma'al Drakar as Dungeons & Dragons' Dark Lady, Tiamat.
She's going to be, by far, my biggest painting project. Before I start painting, I'm planning some conversions to make her look more like D&D's Chromatic Dragon.
I'd love to get any advice or tips that anyone would like to share about painting large models, or any of the other parts of the process. I'll share my plans, and try to keep up a WIP thread about this grand adventure.
My first step is going to be pretty drastic, so if anyone wants to jump in with advice, please do.
I have WotC's Gargantuan Black Dragon. The forward-sweeping horns are so iconic, my Tiamat's black dragon head (Ma'al's lower right head) should have horns like that. The Gargantuan Black's a perfect scale to use for Tiamat's horns. I'm actually planning to carefully cut the horns off the black dragon, make a 2-part mold, cast a set of horns for Tiamat, and reattach the horns back on the black dragon.
Am I out of my mind? Does any one see potential problems with this plan, other than the usual challenges of casting minis, etc?
Thanks in advance for any advice, feedback, and encouragement!
Ordered Ma'al Drakar to play the role of Tiamat in my Rise of Tiamat campaign I'm currently running. (Icons of the realm Tiamat is just to small IMHO)
Having just received it in the mail I'm finally understanding the scale of the project I have Doomed myself to. Lol
I was wondering if people had tips on mold line removal for pieces this large, what you suggest for Gap filling between all the assembled pieces, should I prime before assembly, and if there is a best way (or horribly wrong way) to pin all the pieces together.
How Morihalda Achieved Maximum Distraction from 14 Other WIP Threads: A Story.
6 November. My husband and I went on a date to the museum. We always have so much fun there and learn so many new things! I saw an absolutely gorgeous snake and thought, "Wow, that would be an excellent dragon pattern. OH WOW Ma'al could be five different reptile patterns!!" I'd been wanting to do a skeletal or blacklight theme for him for forever, but I decided those would be better suited on a smaller dragon.
I spent some time that night researching snakes, lizards (and the occasional amphibian), and habitats before settling on some patterns. I spent a few more hours cleaning up mold lines and convincing myself that I don't need to resculpt these perfect heads!
Red - Fire Skink
Black - Lace Monitor
Green - Green Iguana
Blue - Blue Tree Monitor
White - Blue tongue Skink
Body - Fire Skink
This Boelen's Python didn't make the cut since I settled on lizards, but look at that good son! He's going to be my black dragon one day.
The red fire skink will be inspiration for both the red head and body. It has so many amazing colors that will help bring all the faces together. I'm thinking the wings will be muted on the underside to match the black and white heads and more fire skink on the top. This means the black and white heads need to be the middle level heads - there's a beautiful curve from them leading to each wing.
My tentative color blocking. Good enough for an art gallery, yeah? ;)
7 November. I spent over three hours this afternoon pinning, gluing, and green stuffing specific sections. The wing gaps and one of the legs are pretty rough, but the head scales perfectly cover the neck scales! Almost like it was planned.
8 November. I am still prepping. There is still barely enough done to warrant a forum post. All I have to show you are stabby holes in my hands (yes I will be using a holder/lazy Susan when painting, but I need all the angles while sculpting). Either I got one that was a little uneven or I'm just way more picky than some folks, but I have had a ton of gap filling to do for the legs.
How did some of you do this in 7 days?! Someone send me rations and supplies to survive!
I say attempted because of two reasons... First is this is the show off thread, and secondly, no official confirmation yet on the dates since @buglips*the*goblin has been occupied with other things, although a part of me suspects that @OneBoot might vouch. At least on the times
WIP Thread: http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/83285-whitewulfe-attemps-the-seven-day-goblin-challenge-dragons-dont-share-2014-edition/
This post may or may not be wordy, I haven't decided yet. I'm tired, I'm sore, my eyes burn, but... It. Is. DONE! At least in my eyes. A lot of things aren't as well done as I'd like, but that's what happens when you lose the equivalent of almost two full days to surprise contractors. Thankfully I had terrain to work on while they took up most of that time!
Rules thread: http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/69639-7-day-goblin-challenge-official-rules/
Just what is the 7-Day Goblin Challenge? Well, I summarize it as follows: Stupidly large mini, comically small brush. Right now, it's four different minis you can choose from, you can only use up to a size 0 brush, aaaaand you have all of seven days to finish it. That's it. No airbrushes, no fancy paper towel tricks, no smearing paint with your fingers (as that's a "brush" that's bigger than size 0!), no direct application of paint, no aerosol cans... You get the idea. ^_^;;;
Start time: October 27th, at 09:05 MST/MDT (aka -07:00 GMT)
End time: Nov 3rd, at 02:02 MST/MDT
Getting all of this to fit in my mock lighting setup was an absolute pain, doubly so since I had to steal hubby's painting light to try and get even lighting across things. o_O
^Starting setup, with time displayed
^Ending setup, with time displayed. At this point, I technically had 7 hours and 3 minutes left in my seven days, and by the time I'm done writing this it'll probably be a full hour later (something about editing down over forty pictures, and that's AFTER I filtered redundant pics out of the equation o_O)
In order to not make this an absolute pain to scroll through, I'll showcase key pictures, with additional detail pics being hidden behind spoiler tags.
^Obviously the main attraction is first.
Additional dragon pictures:
First hero is apparently the dwarf cleric... At least with the order I took pics!
^The thief/rogue/sneaky one!
The... Ranger/archer guy!
^And last, but not least... Sir Purple of Shiny, as more or less named by OneBoot... Well, inspired by due to purple and how shiny his armour was for quite some time...
Now, comes the slightly... I dunno, philisophical part of it all. Would I do things differently next time? Most definitely. I'd prefer to give my heroes more time, and also make sure I have brushes that I trust well enough to do eyes. I had to pull out my 000 Reaper brush to try the eyes.... I also wouldn't wait until after 1am in the final hours of the challenge to do said eyes either. I'd also not recommend losing a good chunk of time to surprise contractors either, or at least keep painting as best one can - although that first day of surprise contractors, uhm.... Yeah, anything other than priming would have been impossible while they were doing work, the entire building was vibrating.
Would I recommend this kind of thing to others? Sure, why not... If you're willing to do a reasonable amount of planning ahead of time. I'd also strongly recommend having time off while you do this, AND not being the person who cooks. Assigning cooking duties to someone else (or, y'know, having a freezer/fridge full of ready to make meals) would probably also be rather handy. If you're in a relationship, or living with others (be they roommates, or parents, or whatever), DEFINITELY make sure to talk it over with them. I'm lucky, I'm married to an enabler, and by that he's the main reason I was able to do the challenge. That and he was quite happy to work on relic quests in FF XIV:ARR while I painted
Oh, and make sure you've actually GOT groceries to cook with if you are going to be the cook! Don't have to run out a few times during said challenge, DOUBLY SO if you happen to have to WALK everywhere when you do said errands. No, not even to go and get your package of big stompy robots, you silly fox!
I went into this with a rather basic plan... Colours picked out for the heroes (but apparently only their capes/cloaks), and a basic colour pattern idea on the dragon. I'd recommend not winging it like I did, because it brings up some rather interesting (and annoying!) problems as you go, like how on earth you're going to make it work, and blend it all together.
Will I give another one a shot? We shall see. Obviously there's recovering from this one, but most importantly is this - hubby would have to say yes again
...I'm going to go get sleep now!
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