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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.
My take on the classic coloring for notiamat. The process was quite a series of trial and error. This one has been taking up a lot of space on my shelf of shame and over the holiday i decided to make the final push and finish the project! these are just phone photos, i will take better shots and add them when I figure out how to get her into a light box! This is probably the largest (but not the heaviest) project I have tackled to date. i started with an assembled model and wound up tearing it apart to finish the job. I hope people enjoy her. I think it came out reasonably well. I did like the way the stone base came out and also the way the 5 colors are integrated into the body without making the dragon look patchwork or giving one color dominance. i had considered fading the wings through the 5 colors but it distracted too much from the heads.
Well she is finished now, I just need to apply some dulcoat and figure out where to display her. Let me know what you think! I will post close ups later
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!
Finally sealed my Ma'al and got some good pictures in the light box. though I might need to take some more as the white head gets washed out in a few photos.
More photos and close-ups of the heads can be found on my flickr page - https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed finally getting around to painting it after all this time.
And last but not least photo with the full base:
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