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Dire Wolves are the tradition pets for AD&D Hill Giants, so I bought this fine fellow to replace the smilodon that came with my Hill Giant Hunter.
I always use reference pictures when painting real creatures, and this looks a bit like a real black wolf, so I'm quite happy. There are a lot more colours and steps in this chaps fur than on any of the accompanying giants, though I don't know if it shows.
The joy of Bonesium means that I could easily cut off his base and glue him directly to this piece of actual granite. I recommend doing this before ANY paint is applied to either surface, to get the best bond. Else you often pull the paint off the rock and have to re-glue it, in my experience.
Now, you may be reading that and going, "Aard, that's a Small-sized mini. Even on a 32mm base!" and you would be correct... except IRL Axolotls only hit around 9-13 inches, so I'm gonna argue that a golden retriever-sized one is giant, regardless.
I fell in love with this little guy two Reapercons ago, when I saw him in the previews. I went "oh, man, I need 20." Then I got to Reapercon, and I went "oh, man, I need 20." And as I flew home from the convention, I pulled out my blister full of axolotls, and I had... a few more than 20. Oh well. I've given away like 30 of them, and I held off on painting them because I wanted to do a submerged base. Well, I finally got around to it... and I love my tiny sons.
These are so effing cute. I have to finish repainting the bases black, but other than that, they're done, and I'm in love. They took around 5 hours to do, including bases.
I decided to do a mix of different colors since
a) the albino morph is so iconic
b) it can represent a different statblock
and I have to say, I love them a little bit more than my other derpy children, but I have big plans for all of them as low-level swamp encounters. And I found a neat statblock (the Thanxolotl) that would work well with them, too, and represent an interesting mid-level encounter...
I find that refocusing my efforts painting onto not "what do I want to paint one of" but "how many do I want for a potential encounter" has spurred a lot of good painting for me this year. While these guys were certainly no stretch of the wings, either painting-wise or assembly-wise, I got a lot of enjoyment out of doing a big group of monsters, and have really enjoyed watching numbers roll up in terms of what I'm painting. I set a goal this year (measuring the year from one Reapercon to the next, since that makes the most sense from a hobby perspective) of painting 400 minis - or more precisely, painting 100 minis in three months, or a little more than 1/day. These ten little guys mean I've beaten that for the first quarter - they brought me up to 105 total, with 10 days left in the month. That means that the next ten days for me will be more relaxed - working on finishing bases on minis that are painted but not based, prepping minis for next month, and photographing, posting and such completed sets of minis.
But anyways, on to pictures!
The albino morph:
Not a true albino, obviously, but the red eyes would have taken away from the cuteness, I think, and been hard to make contrast against the pinks. The only primer I had to hand was black, which was a mistake - they took a lot of coats to get coverage with the pinks, and the toes never did, but it's a lot less noticable in person due to the water effects. The body on this guy is Shelyn Blush, with the frills Brest Cancer Pink, and they really hit the contrast I wanted - Shelyn is a very orangey pink without falling over into being a pinkish-orange, really a true salmon color, and BCP is a tiny bit purple, which is why I never use it anywhere else but it worked here.
These lads I painted Medusa Green, with Nut Brown mixed in for the frills and back. I specled them with more brown, yellow, and orange. It looks better from a distance - at first, I tried doing a more subdued speckling, but it just got muddy...
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