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Dungeon-crawling! They say it's a young humanoid's game, but that's not always true. A lifetime of experience and the survival skills necessary to get to one's golden or even orichalcum years are pretty useful.
Here's Sebastian, a knight of some experience from Hasslefree. Well armored and cautious, probably why he's still around.
And another, less cautious but equally seasoned adventurer, Conran the Barbarian, also from Hasslefree.
Here he is bonding with the grandkids (Serris, 02997 and Cuth Wolfson, 03701)
and at his day job.
(Conran is definitely a version of Pratchett's Cohen the Barbarian, who conceded that after a few hours of fighting a ten-thousand-man army he might start getting tired too--but so would his enemies, as they would be running uphill at that point.)
Fighter and barbarian-thief are a good start, but a well-rounded party should also have an arcanist and a healer. Jos Gebbler, 14317, and Estra, 60198, seem like good fits. A combined three centuries of adventuring experience pays off!
But there are threats yet older than they...
...and whilst gathering Firewood of an evening, I chanced to see a glow from a clearing a-nearby and hear sounds as of Chanting; taking it upon myfelf to enquire further, and creeping to the edge of yon Clearing I beheld Gooddame Wembley and Goodwife Jessup comporting themfelves oddly round a curious ring of stones; likewise with them was an uncanny Moppet malign of afpect, conftructed of string and rags, and also Effigies of wood and bracken made, which same did appear to move of their own Accord as though they had Volition, and did consort with thofe worthies...
...Prefently there appeared from out the Foreft a Hierophant, chasubled and mantled with vainglorious trappings akin to any robed Prieft of ROME, with a Ram's skull to mask therewith, and brandishing an Axe with Divelish cries and ensorcellments moft terrible to hear, which Cacophony was join'd by the other two and likewife a black Cat which wove in and out from between their legs...
...Anon came forth a monstrous Fiend, in shape like a Man from the Belly upwards and like unto a Goat below, crook-legged, hoov'd, and hairy, unclad, and similarly with a Countenance like that of a Ram's from shoulders upwards, the skull being without Skin or Flesh, yet do I atteft this was in no wise any mask, but its veritable Head undisguif'd; and the three of them did make obeisance to the Thing and venerated it abandon'dly with blafphemous Rites more Hellish and vile than thofe of the unregenerate Heathen, and the wooden Effigies did dance the while, and the Moppet also...
...whereupon with clean Conscience I could endure to see no more, and fled. Thif I do atteft before God and before the Affembly to be a full and complete Account of my Experience in the wood that night, and affix my Hand thereunto, the same being
--MILES WIGGLESWORTH his mark X.
Another from Crooked Dice! I've posted Dita (80006) and Estra (60198) last Fall in the Early Modern Monster Hunters series, but Crooked Dice's Wasteland Cultist and Goatman are new. (There's an almost identical mini to the Cultist in the 'Children of the Fields' line, but I like the more tattered version here.) The Goatman is just straight-up creepy in a way that many more overtly brutal or vicious sculpts are not.
No demon genitals are visible on the model but I have placed the full frontal view in a spoiler just in case.
Ok, I meant to do this a lot sooner, but I figured I could use this project to explain a bit about diorama composition. Reapercon is fast approaching! I know folks always try to figure out how to tell a story with miniatures as well as develop a composition that both makes sense to the story and is pleasing to the eye. I have a hard time explaining why some things work well and others don't. But, I can take a miniature I'm painting and explain why I chose to place elements as I did. I hope that might help or at least get the creative juices cooking!
So, I'm taking:
...this guy, and I want him to tell a story. Why's he got his hand up? What he doing? He's looking at something, right? A summoning? hmmmn. Questions questions. Now I'm pretty sure Izzy said something about him holding a dripping heart in his hand, but I'm in the mood to tell a happier tale. Something sweet and romantic in a creepy necromancer sort of way. Because reasons.
So I painted him up and decided I'd stick him in an eerie swamp. Actually, long before this I had a plan and I'll get to it. But when I first look at a mini, I want to find a way to accentuate the pose and make it do something exciting. Or interesting.
Just as a color aside, I used the same colors in his skin as I did on the base. I want him to fit into his environment. For any piece, I want it to make sense. Using fewer colors helps, because then they don't fight each other as much. I'm using a simple complementary color scheme of red and green. It's an easy way to get contrast without working hard. Note that while my red is intense (ie bright, really red, looks pretty red, hey that's a red) my green is desaturated (dull, boring, stuck some other colors in it to make it look less green, more olive, not bright) I'll admit- his red isn't showing from this side, but here:
Then I found him a friend!
A lady friend!
There we go! He's going to summon her right out of the swampy water. Let's dance! Actually, the title will probably be "Dance with Me" but I'm willing to take suggestions!
Now, I want to explain why I like these two together. First, I love the negative space they form in between their bodies. They create two intersecting areas at the hands and the skirt/knee section. The space between them is interesting. While it would be cooler if she was looking at him and pulling our eyes back into the center, at the very least, the negative space helps with that.
Negative space is made up of the areas in between form. In painting or drawing it looks like this:
I like the ones that trick the eye. A vase or candlestick? Or faces? You choose! But in art, use of negative space can be a powerful tool to create interest.
I put the arrows in the show where I see my viewer's eye flowing along lines in the composition. See how the rock I made creates a line that points up and in? I sculpted it that way on purpose. His hand points out, her body forms a line that points down. It's a triangle in its most basic form. Also, their hands form parallel lines. Their forms create an x. X's are cool. The eye likes x's.
So when I'm making something, be it basework or premade stuff, I want to put it together to help tell my story in a pleasing way. It's one of the reasons I make so many fancy bases. I can control exactly how things fit together. Then it makes the lines I want.
But it isn't enough!
Let's play with a tree! I took a black cherry sprout that invaded my garden and added a few branches. You can see the ones with a wire core versus the real ones. A lot of the time I make the tree from scratch, but I liked this sprig and since I killed it, I'm making use of it!
Ok, yeah. Now we've got some swampy furniture to set the stage.
See where the lines point? I adjusted the branches a bit to make them more pleasing later, but you get the idea. I'm thinking about how I want to create intersections and how I want to balance the figures in order to make it seem harmonious. To that end, there's way to much pointing to the right. I need something on the left, correct?
Add in some roots and something to anchor the left side of the composition...
Take a look at the roots and see what lines they mimic.
I added a few branches to my left tree. I poured the water base and the water effect is still drying here. I wanted a swamp, right?
and from the back. I picked this piece of wood because I liked the way it mimicked my roots and water.
So, I'm still not sure that helps explain why things work or don't, but let me know if something doesn't make sense and I can scribble a few more arrows and use my words better!
As seen in my Lunch Sessions WiP thread, here's the finished product of Borka Kegslayer, the stumbling-drunk warlock for Privateer Press' Trollbloods faction. I painted this guy up as part of a trade with @chaosscorpion , so the mini will be on his way across the state in the near future, unless CS sees something terribly terribly off.
Basing is left to Chaosscorpion to better match his army.
The plaid is a specific tartan, I'm pretty pleased with it. I'm pleased that this mini pushed me into doing plaid, which I'd never done before.
Borka also comes with a kegbearing Pyg. The kegstamp is, like the debossed pattern on the back of Borka's jacket, the symbol of the Trollbloods faction. I also enjoy the ridiculously drunken whelp sitting on top of the barrel.
Chaosscorpion, let me know if there's anything that needs to change before I put them in the mail!
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