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By Lord of the Dish Pit
It seems 2021 is to be the year of the "painting blehs", where many of us are struggling to find out just where our inspiration has wandered off to. The world seems to be going increasingly mad each passing day, so this isn't surprising. With so much uncertainty about, it's difficult to get back into painting mode with so many other things to worry over.
Last year I was knocked out of any steady routine for long periods of time, and it appears that for this year that may hold true as well. So how to adapt is the question here. To begin with, to recognize how I wound up with a horde of half finished minis on the table nagging at me. Simple, for the last few years I've had the tendency to bite off far more than I can chew on a regular basis. Between juggling Undead, Witch Hunters, and the Witch/Halloween army, I've put myself in a place where I'm dealing with units on a regular basis, and using pretty much the same palette on all of them. Don't get me wrong, the limited palette achieves what look I'm going for with everything and I'm still just as much in love with all of my factions as I was when I started them, but like with all things there are consequences. My habit of opening a blister of something new to try and feed the motivation also doesn't help me here.
Humans are to a greater or lesser extent novelty seeking creatures. Although I fall into the far end of lesser, sooner or later it catches up. Also part of why I fell into the current structure is logistical, I've lost the knack of small pours, and have a horror of wasting paint, so limiting colors to what can be spread far in the case of overspill makes sense.
Another contributing factor is that having learned the hard way with drawing, I cannot and will not try to "force it" when it comes to artistic projects. All well and good, but it leaves me in a position where as soon as the muse decides to hide beneath the sofa, the project comes to a screeching halt whether it be painting or writing.
So what to do about this now?
Goal setting in the loosest possible sense of the word. Overall objective is to clear everything off of the table before unblistering or opening anything else. I've been doing good here, so it's just a matter of keeping this up.
Outside of my faction projects, these are what's staring at me...
Drangus the Duck Knight, meant as a Christmas gift two years in the running now, saving grace is that the recipient has no clue about this.
Zombie Dragon, also meant as an unexpected gift. The snag here is that this is the first full size dragon I've ever attempted so scale got intimidating quickly and that I was having a difficult time trying to figure out what was rotted flesh and what was muscle. Gluing the wings on this early didn't do me any favors either. I have another one still in it's package that is destined for my undead army, so hopefully by tackling this one I can have an easier time when it comes up in rotation.
Even here it's obvious as to how I go strongly with theme, even in my "random" minis. Since I tend to try and paint as large a batch as possible, with this the solution might be to focus on one or two, finishing them before moving on, even though my brain is going to screaming at me otherwise.
By Disciple of Sakura
Keeping with my prior undead dragon being a reanimated metallic, I decided to paint up the Bones 4 Zombie Dragon as a copper dragon. I surgically removed its raised claw to fix an issue I had with my Ebonwrath, and sculpted a ruined claw on in its place here. Decided that the rot in the dragon would be where the verdigris of a copper dragon should be manifested, and went to town. Figure is mounted on a 4" diameter wooden base. Camera images had some trouble getting the color right. The closest are probably the first and last ones.
As always, enjoy, and feel free to let me know what I can improve.
Just realized I never got around to taking show off pictures of this guy. I had some frosting issues which killed my momentum in my WIP (here) for him, and then he sat around waiting to be fixed. The fix mostly worked, but you'll see a few shots where the light is a little more direct where he ended up shiny. Not a big deal as in most lighting he looks fine. The last few shots will have an alternate rider's top half, I swapped the original Wight out for the top half of Reaper's Judas Bloodspire, sans cape.
Another couple of the Dungeons and Dragons Boardgame models today. The Zombie Dragon and the Werewolf. Both are decent sculpts, though nothing outstanding by my standards.
The Zombie Dragon is a reasonable beast, though details are a little soft in places. It's also undersized to my eye, for a dragon at least. Dragonling perhaps, but not a full fledged dragon, undead or otherwise. A zombie dragon is, apparently a distinct thing from a Dracolich. I guess that's a Dragon who is a Lich, rather than a Dragon who is a Zombie. I guess perhaps Dracoliches can be the ones who animate Zombie Dragons. I've still got to finish painting the Dracolich that came with Ravenloft, so enough about that for now.
Since this thing is (or used to be) a Dragon(ling), and also a Zombie, I went for a kind of traditional green palette, knowing I could stay dark on the carapace while highlighting the majority of the skin to a really pallid, desaturated green, so the carapace and wing membranes would provide a harmonious contrast. Of course, the other contrast that I wanted to have nice and strong was that of the blood, gore, viscera, exposed muscle and so on.
The beast doesn't look like it's been dead for all that long, as there's not a huge amount of decomposition on the model so far. I mean, the details are pretty soft, so it's easy enough to go other way, but I thought the head looked a little sallow as opposed to being made up of exposed bone. This is why I painted the eyes as hollowed-out but bloodied sockets. As though the crows and carrion-eaters had picked them out of the skull, before reanimation had occurred.The midsection and exposed ribs were again a bit soft, so I used some tube-putty to create some intestines hanging out of the chest/midsection cavity, along with a relatively fresh trail of viscera and blood being left in its stride. All of the exposed wounds were finished with Tamiya Clear Red, and the trail of dripping gore was made up of the same Clear Red along with some Water Effects.
The Werewolf also, is a simple figure. Again on a par with an average Bones model. Very much a 5/10 sculpt and model, in my opinion. I went for grey rather than brown, since grey rather than brown wolves and werewolves fit the pseudo-gothic-horror aesthetic of something like Castle Ravenloft for me. The incredibly awkward pose and posture doesn't do a whole lot for me, either. Interestingly, this werewolf is female. Though she only has two breasts, that are completely covered in fur, rather than six-to-ten teats. Not something I'd thought about much before.
We all know that there are actually painters out there that really can make a silk purse from a sow's ear. I'm not sure if I consider myself one of them, but I know that I could have made this model look better than it is. The question, as always is whether it would be worth the time invested. In this case, I did a little with facial markings and called it good enough.
In the end, these two are simply used as Bossed for the Ravenloft box. In theory, both could have a place in a Kings of War Undead army, though I've got better (Confrontation) Werewolves that I use for that game, and better ones from Citadel, Reaper, and even Mantic that I can use for everything else. The Zombie Dragon would need proxy-stats for a creature much less nasty than a proper Dragon to be of use. Obsidian Golem stats of some kind, perhaps?
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