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Aard Paints: Treefolk


Aard_Rinn
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One of the Reaper minis I've always loved has been the Saprolings. Twig blights are a great early-game monster, and I love using them for low-level forest encounters... Imagine my delight when, a year or two ago, Reaper came out with the Briarlings and Blighted Dryad! Three different blight-themed monsters to slaughter my foes/players!

 

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The tragedy is, the good old Saproling is now my third-favorite treefolk sculpt, which seems... Unfair. But the Briarlings are just... better twig blights, unfortunately. Smaller, more affordable, more interesting woodwork, with four ways to assemble them instead of two, they're really perfect for what I need. I love the detail in their bodies that really make them look like little carved figures, and the head sculpts are phenomenal.  And the size is great - they really are small-sized, and they look it without feeling shrimpy, clearly smaller than PCs but still intimidating. I love them.

 

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That's not to say the Saprolings are bad, though! I still love them, and they're great for a statted-up twig blight, maybe mixed in with the Briarlings to give them some more staying power. But they cost a lot compared to the Briarlings, twice as much, and for a monster I need 10-20 of for even a small combat... that's a lot.

 

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Of course, there's no forgetting the real powerhouses in the room - the Blighted Dryads. These are great - really beautiful, characterful sculpts that stand out like a much larger monster. The antlers are fantastic, as are the exposed vertebrae - someone willing to put in more time on these could do something really special. Alas, I'm not interested in spending that much effort.

 

I painted all of these the same way. Primed, then basecoated in one of five browns: Ruddy Leather, Nut Brown, Golden Shadow, Khaki Shadow, and Gryphon Tail, I believe. Then I waited three months, and drybrushed with a white-tinted version of the basecoats. I hit them with Army Painter Medium Brown wash, except a few who got Soft wash instead, and called it a day. It worked well to bring out the texture quickly, although, again, someone could do something really special with these given the effort...

 

It took about 3 hours to do all of these, not including basing and assembly. 10/10 would recommend... my only regret is that I didn't buy more of these, since 10 is still a very small Saproling encounter. I'll probably grab another 10 or even 20 Briarlings at Reapercon next year if I don't pick up any before then, and probably get four of the other Saproling sculpt and another three Dryads... enough to do some really wild forest encounters.

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