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77579 - Painting Goremaw as Cindermaw the Clan Eater

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I am a long-time DM that took up the mini painting hobby in 2018. Other than some terrain pieces (barrels, crates, etc) and a half-finished Legion Devil from Wrath of Ashardalon, I haven't gotten very far. 


Well, I've been running Curse of the Crimson Throne for the past year, and we are just starting the 4th module (note, there are moderately heavy SPOILERS for the CotCT adventure path going foreward...) In this module the PC's leave their home city to seek (lost) information about a looming threat from the native peoples who were displaced when the location that became their home city was conquered by expansionist colonials three centuries prior. 


They must head into a fire-swept region known as the Cinderlands, speak with native tribes there, and, as my players are soon to learn, they will have to reenact a legend in order to gain the trust of a particular tribe that holds the information they seek. 


The legend they must re-perform? Being eaten by a creature named Cindermaw, a fire-elemental-infused Purple Worm (legend has it that Cindermaw ATE a portal to the elemental plane of fire...)


Here is the inspirational cover art of the module:




I also drew some minor inspiration from Logos' painted Goremaw:


(Though mine looks much like his in its current state, I have a ways to go before I finish.)


This is the first Reaper Bones miniature I have painted aside from some barrels. It is also the first multi-part miniature I have ever done. 




My Goremaw base was rather warped, and treatments with hot & cold water didn't help, so I decided I wanted to take advantage of the depression in the male connector portion of his base to add a little weight. I started with one 3/4" outer diameter steel fender washer, then a few 7/8" fender washers to get high enough that some 1" outer diameter brass fender washers would fit flat & flush in the base.  I glued them all in with E6000, then added a stack of brass nuts in the center of the stack of washers, to maximize the weight in the base. 




After globbing a bit of E6000 between the nuts and washers, and giving it a day or so to cure, I attached Goremaw to his base with cyanoacrylate hobby glue. 


I filled most of his gaps with green stuff (another first for me) with modest success. I'm sure I'll get better with green stuff over time. 


I primed him with Vallejo grey surface primer; I used the kind intended for an airbrush, though I simply brushed it on, as I don't yet own an airbrush. I'll tell you, Goremaw is a BIG mini, and he has tons of nooks and crannies. I'm sure it would have gone quickly with an airbrush, but it took me three separate sessions of 2+ hours each. I did find that the primer would tend to get bubbles in it if I stroked the brush too fast, and I spent a fair bit of time chasing bubbles away before they dried. Add in trying to find time for it with a toddler, running a weekly D&D game, and attending 2 weddings in the last two weeks... It took me a solid 3 weeks to get it done. 


Here he is, pre-priming, with a Bones skeleton for scale. 




I finished priming him last Friday, and on Sunday I spent a solid 4+ hours putting down a base coat of Citadel Jokaero Orange. Then I went back later last night, and again this morning, spending a total of 3 hours touching up my base coat. Even this morning yet I was finding white-ish areas of primer hidden up under his scales. He requires a thorough look-over to ensure you get it all. (Of course, priming in black and base coating with an air brush would make all this go a lot faster; it doesn't help that I'm a perfectionist, either...)




My use of blue LockTite poster tac gave out during one of my touch up sessions, so today I opted to hot glue him to the jar of pennies & packing peanuts I was using as a handle (and trust me, he needed it).


Here he is so far, after having done a wash with Agrax Earthshade, then coming back and selectively applying more Agrax Earthshade to better define the spines from the scales. 




I haven't actually base coated his large teeth yet; that's just primer you're seeing. I'll do the typical Citadel bone series on those after I dry brush the rest of him (Zandri Dust, Agrax Earthshade, Ushabti Bone, Screaming Skull). 


Going foreward I still have many steps to go in this ambitious project. I plan to dry brush (stipple?) several layers in the crevasses in the undersides of his flared scales, starting with Citadel's Fire Dragon Bright, then Troll Slayer Orange (though I'm debating which order I should do those two, honestly), and ending with a center stipple of Yriel Yellow (or maybe just a mix of that and the previous color).


Then I want to go with an ashy exterior to his scales, so I will dry brush them upwards, starting with Abaddon Black, then Eshin Grey, and finally Dawnstone. (I'm debating on excluding Abaddon Black, and just starting with Eshin Grey.) That color scheme will carry onto the exteriors of his mandibles; the interiors will likely only be hit with Fire Dragon Bright. 


His mouth interior will be done in Screamer Pink, wet-blended (? that'll be another first, if I can pull it off) with an increasing mix of Fulgrim pink, to something around a 50:50 ratio. 


I'm debating also going for the fire color dry stipple in the very back of his mouth, foreshadowing the heat he carries in his belly. 


I don't know how this is going to turn out. Any thoughts or advice on how I should proceed?  I would particularly appreciate advice on how I should do the belly.  I'm tempted to just do a dry brush of Eshin Grey and Dawnstone over the Jokaero Orange base coat and wash, but I'm really unsure of how to proceed here.

Edited by ksbsnowowl
Autocorrect errors and fat-finger fubars
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Made a little more headway. 


First I dry-brushed under the flared scales with Citadel Troll Slayer Orange. This started to lighten things up a bit, but it was subtle. Aside from obscuring some of the wash, I'm not sure it really shows up well in picture.





After that I went into the recesses with a less heavy-handed mostly-dry brush coat of Fire Dragon Bright. 



What's that peeking out from under his scales...?





This really started to show the effect I was going for, and I was quite pleased with the progress. 


After that I cranked things up a notch and decided to go straight for Yriel Yellow, rather than trying to mix some with Fire Dragon Bright, as I had first debated doing. 




That's pretty much the effect I was going for. It actually turned out better than what I had in my mind's eye. 


What's not shown is where under 5 of the scales I didn't do a good job of making sure my brush & the paint on it were dry enough. It wasn't terrible, but those 5 recesses were markedly brighter & more yellow than all the others. 


So I first tried to fix things by dry-brushing those 5 sections with Fire Dragon Bright. It gave a nice effect, but didn't match all the others. So I ended up dry -brushing those areas with the base Jokaero Orange. Then I washed those areas again with Agrax Earthshade, which mellowed them out to a good place. I can work those back up with the Troll Slayer, Fire Dragon, and Yriel, and they shouldn't stand out against all the other areas. 


After that, later this week I'll try my hand at dry brushing up his back with Eshin Grey & Dawnstone. 

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Only the most minor of updates. 


I finished touching up the 5 under-scale segments I had messed up. It actually took a few layers of going back & forth between Yriel Yellow & Fire Dragon Bright. The issue was that last night I didn't do a thorough enough job of blotting out the reapplied wash in the very deepest part of the scale crevices, so dark wash was still showing through the first dry brush of yellow, and in four scales right at the top of the miniature. 




The first four scales on the right are the ones I retouched. They aren't a perfect match to the others, and I, at least, can tell they are different. 


I'm going to let it sit for a few days and decide if I want to live with it, or maybe (probably) try to achieve a similar extra brilliance to the left set of first four scales. I would just need to dry-brush on another layer of Fire Dragon Bright followed by Yriel Yellow again. I'm leaning toward doing this, as it will even out the two top rows flanking his central row of dorsal spines, and it will almost act like zenithal highlighting (I hope?).


That's my plan, anyway. 


Here he is thus far:



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Very Nice! I've found some disc shaped fishing weights at a local hardware store to be perfect for adding weight, since they're relatively flat and being lead add a lot of weight for a given size.

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Finally an update.  Give me an hour or so to edit this post a bit once it goes up.  I'm typing on my computer, but my in-progress photos are on my phone, and I don't feel like emailing them to myself ::P:


So LIFE got in the way, and I also suffered a bit of the painters' equivalent of writer's block, and found myself a bit paralyzed in knowing I had to deal with matching those four sets of fiery underscale color to the four on the other side of Goremaw's central dorsal row of spines.  Anyway, "painter's block" is weird.  Being constantly exhausted (diagnosed circadian rhythm disorder, plus a 19-month old toddler... I never get rest or good sleep) didn't help matters.


But then I woke up at 3:30 AM last Monday (which is my day off and the kid spends the day at Grandma's house), and for once I felt really rested, and I got a ton of stuff done that day.  The first step to breaking my painter's block was to work of something else; something that was easy and ultimately unimportant.  I used some foam marshmallow shapes and pennies to make some 15mm stone columns as table top terrain for my D&D game (got the idea from The DM's Craft YouTube channel), and doing six of those columns helped break down whatever was holding me back.


The first step was to dry stipple back over the Yriel Yellow with some Fire Dragon Bright, then dry stipple with Yriel Yellow again.




I think I fixed the issue, and the two rows matched pretty well at this point.  As they were the 8 sections at the highest point of the mini, I'm perfectly fine with them being a bit brighter than all the other underscale sections, as it will come off as a bit of zenithal highlighting.


I was debating exactly what color to use for the base later of dry brushing the scales toward a grey ashy look.  I had purchased Citadel's Eshin Grey, and knew this was going to be a workhorse color for what I was wanting to achieve, but I wanted to start a bit darker than that.  I discarded the notion of first dry brushing with straight Abaddon Black, and I ended up mixing a small amount of 50:50 Abaddon Black and Eshin Grey.  It gave a nice dark grey, and I was really happy with how it started this whole process.






Next I dry brushed on straight Eshin Grey.







You can see there is one spot low on Goremaw's left side that caught me off guard.  The depth of its texture there is deceptively shallower than I expected it to be.  I was probably just "in the zone" and didn't think ahead enough to lighten my brush strokes... and, well, he's just going to be a bit darker there.  Oops.  I actually messed that part up with the first dry brush (black and Eshin Grey mix), but I was at least hoping it would layer out with the lighter greys, and it didn't really do all that much.  Oh well, no miniature is going to be perfect.  At least it is in a spot where he's overhanging himself, so I guess it's shadowing... Um, yeah...


On top of the Eshin Grey I decided to just go with straight Dawnstone, rather than mixing for an intermediate color.  It would probably have looked better if I'd done an intermediate step, but mostly it would have looked better if I were more experienced at lightening my touch with the higher dry brush layers.  Oh well, that will come in time, and the great thing about monstrous mini's (especially ones as inhuman as Goremaw) is that you can't do it "wrong," but rather maybe just different than how you had intended.


This Dawnstone layer got a bit heavy, especially around the eight large teeth gums, but it still looks alright.  Just much lighter grey than I had intended initially.






I'm really pleased with the ashy look on the outside, and feel I achieved my goal of it looking like there is an inner fire poking out from under his ashy scales. 


My last step on Monday was basing the teeth and spines (as well as the earthen base itself) in Citadel's Zandri Dust.  This part took me five hours all on its own.  There's a LOT to paint when it comes to this part.





I think it is turning out really well.  I'm bringing what I envisioned to life, and actually getting it to look better than what I had envisioned in my mind, so I'm really happy with the work I put in this week.  I spent over 8 hours working on Goremaw on Monday, but I think I probably only have another 8 to 10 hours of work left on him.  I just need to gently wash his teeth and the base of his spines with Agrax Earthshade, then layer up some Ushabti Bone and Screaming Skull on those bony bits.  Dry brushing goes so much faster than wet painting, so I'm hoping that part will go faster.


On that note, my original plan was to dry brush those next two creamy colors, but now I'm thinking I should probably just layer them up as wet paint layers.  I'm sure I can do that just fine, but it's going to be a step I haven't truly done before.  Maybe I'll just wrap all but the row of spines I'm working on in cling wrap, and just go with my originally intended dry brushing... Dunno.  Obviously I'd be using a smaller dry brush for those spines and teeth, but I'm really kind of working myself into indecision again...


Thankfully, my D&D group has taken their time with the progression of the campaign (got in some big fights that took a lot of game time), so I will have Christmas break to finish up this mini (when I plowed through 8 hours on him last Monday, I was expecting I would need him finished for our last 2019 session on Dec 17th).  I'm glad I can cut back the pace a bit, and do these last parts right.


After the teeth and spines I'll try to wet-blend two different pinks inside his mouth, then paint the tiny teeth inside his mouth.  Finally I'll do something with the base, but nothing beyond paint.  I'll probably try to wash and dry brush some of the upturned stones a lighter color (Ushabti Bone, then maybe the barest dusting of Terminus Stone), maybe mixing a bit of Dawnstone in there on one or two rocks, then figuring out something slightly different for the "soil."   The Cindermaw lives in a desert area, so I'm going to try to keep it mostly browns that look like sandy and rocky soil.  Not exactly sure what I'll do with this part, yet.

Edited by ksbsnowowl
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19 hours ago, Disciple of Sakura said:

This looks so good, I'm half tempted to buy a Goremaw and paint it up like this myself...

The sincerest form of flattery! Thank you.


Hoping to layer up at least two layers of agrax earthshade on the proximal halves of the spines and teeth over the next few days.  I need to order some thinner medium so I can try my hand at glazing the tips of the teeth next week.  That will be yet another first.  Goremaw truly is a great first mini, and is allowing me to try several new techniques.

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Minor update after 5+ hours of more work.


I started by dry stippling the back of his mouth, just like I did under his scales.  In the end I couldn't keep a nice clean edge at the back of his throat with the Citadel Screamer Pink, so I will either have to leave it as is, or dry stipple it again.  I'll probably opt for the latter; it will hopefully make it look like the heat is glowing around the back of his throat (and hopefully not look like crap).


I based his mouth out in Screamer Pink.  Deciding exactly where to create the edge of the mucosa was a bit difficult in spots.  I decided to just go with basic gums following right along at the base of the front ring of small teeth.  Around the sides it took a little more creative judgement, trying to follow some of the natural curves of the sculpt.  I'm pretty happy with it, but may go back and cover up some of the pink in the worms upper right "lip" area (upper left on the photo) with Jokaero Orange, and just bring that lip edge in a bit.




Then I decided to try the blending method that Josh showed off in the first episode of Reaper's new Miniature Mondays show.  I put some water around the back of Goremaw's throat, then did a ring of very watered down Pink Horror, and tried to blend into the water.  It didn't really work that well.  But, I ended up using that very watered down Pink Horror to basically to a wash of the entire inside of the mouth, and that gave a very nice effect.


I did several attempts and more washing, trying to put some darker Screamer Pink back into the most rear recesses of the throat, but they would always end up bleeding onto the orange/yellow dry stippling in the back, and I ended up dabbing most of that out of the bottom with a Q-tip.  I did end up putting a thicker layer of the Pink Horror around the base of the throat, but this whole part was a largely experimental process.  The one nice thing about it is the varying depths of color, as various different "washes" that I ended up with, containing differing amounts of the Screamer Pink, Pink Horror, and then a very light wash near the front gum lines and gum highlights with a carefully applied mix of Pink Horror and Fulgram Pink, ended up giving a nice look to everything.  Overall I'm pleased with the mouth.  It's a much brighter pink than I was maybe intending (the artwork I'm basing this paint job on has a much tamer, almost pastel pink (?), while the mouth I painted is still quite PINK), but I need to get this mini done and ready for use in the next 9 days, so he's going to have a nice pink mouth, I guess.


Interspersed among all those layers and washes of pink drying, I applied a selective ring of Agrax Earthshade wash to the base of all of his spines.  You can probably see that on the first row I did the whole of each spine, and decided after that to just to a traced ring around the base of each spine.  Looking back at it now, I will probably go do a very thin wash covering each remaining spine.




I also did another coat of Zandri Dust on the large teeth, and around the base, getting in close to the base of the worm sticking out (I hadn't really touched in close to him before, and it was still orange down in those nooks and crannies where he is coming up from the ground).  Then I did a wash of Agrax Earthshade on the base, and on the large teeth.  I did get a bit sloppy, and have a few dark spots where I should have controlled the wash on the teeth better, but it'll just give me some areas to see what I can do with the glazing I intend to finish up with.  Maybe it'll provide some interesting deep staining under a few layers of glaze?


Lastly, I went in and painted a base coat of Zandri Dust on the small teeth inside his mouth, and I'm pretty happy with them.

Edited by ksbsnowowl
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I think the teeth and spines looked a bit better when they were a brighter colour, as it added contrast. May be worth doing a layer of highlighting to up the contrast between the teeth and the body a bit more.

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I intend to do several glazing layers of Ushabti Bone and Sceaming Skull, so they will lighten up quite a bit (but remain dark and plaque-encrusted near the base).


i don't have a picture at the moment, but I did go ahead and wash the remainder of the spines with Agrax Earthshade. My next steps will be re-dry stippling the back of the mouth, then dry-brushing the base. 

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It is looking great so far! The glowing effect coming from under the scales is similar to what I tried to do with my Viridius dragon.

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