Painting 5.0 – “That is not dead that can eternal lie.”

That is not dead that can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die.” Abd Al-Azrad 730AD.

2014-09-14 Undead-01

Okay, my painting blog is up to date and here’s my current painting project – Two dozen undead!

  • 10 Ghouls – Games Workshop (’98)
  • 9 Skeletons – 6 are Ral Patha (’85), 3 are Prince August (mid 80’s)
  • 1 Wraith with flaming sword – Ral Partha (’87)
  • 1 Vampire – Games Workshop (’85)
  • 1 Wight – Games Workshop (’85)
  • 1 Skeleton Lord (Wight) – Games Workshop (’92)
  • 1 “Mouth of Sauron” – Citadel (’85)

I’ve got the skeletal horse for the “Mouth” – I should get that out and paint it at the same time.

I wanted some reasonable Ghouls for a long time, and these were a gift from a friend. I’m very happy to be painting them finally. The rest of these will be great to have done too, then I think it’s back to character figures!

Painting 4.5 – “It’s really been getting up my nose…”

Years ago (if not a decade or more) I bought a metal troll figure – I can’t tell now if it’s Games Workshop or Ral Partha (like most of my other metal mini’s)…

He stands 5 cm high, and apart from being used occassionally in Warhammer Quest I haven’t had much use for him. I don’t even like the figure that much… and (like other figures, or books, that I didn’t want anymore) decided to try selling him on ebay and buy more pre-painted D&D mini’s. I decided that painting him first might increase my chances of a sale as well as (hopefully) his value. So I started to paint… months ago…

This single figure has taken longer than anything else I’ve worked on. I chose green skin because that’s what colour trolls are in my (mostly D&D influenced) thoughts. It’s worked out better than I’d expected, but I’m still not planning on keeping him!


Painting interlude…

This wasn’t really a painting project, just something to work in with my gaming life…

One of my friends runs a Pathfinder D&D campaign and my wife’s character (paladin) attracted a NPC Cohort (companion or associate) who is a ranger. I painted this figure one weekend ready for our next gaming session.

Zephyra-2 Zephyra-1

Painting 4 – “rats!”

Recently after some discussion with a friend who paints (Azazel) I got some recomendations on spray painting. I finally have spray varnish to protect my figures. I didn’t get a can of spray primer/undercoat until after I’d done each of these by hand with a brush but from now on the set-up for painting will be much faster.

One dozen Games Workshop plastic giant rats… I started with black at one end of my line of figures and went lighter into browns at the other end. Then finally a white-brown paint mix over feet, tails, and the edges of ears, eyes and nose.

I’d been having trouble getting a good “flesh” tone paint – so mixed my own for these. (Two bottles bought months apart both proved lumpy and unusable… I changed shop and brand and now have something worthwhile.)Giant rats

Painting 3 – Time for a well swung golf club…

Vermin! Not something seen inside my house except when they are made of plastic or metal.

I like the idea of painting a small groups of figures because you can keep using the same colours.

One dozen plastic Games Workshop spiders – originally bought for Warhammer, but suitable for plenty of other games.

I decided to do them in sets of three – some look better than others – but I was painting for fun.

 – Spiders

Painting 2.3 – Brazzemal, Old Gargantuan Red Dragon

The last of my three dragons – painting was completed just in time in March 2014 for me to use him as “Brazzemal” – the great Red Dragon in the lowest level of G3 “Hall of the Fire Giant King” in my D&D Campaign. (I did my own conversion of the whole Giants Saga, from 1st Ed to 3.5) I got a great reaction from my players when I put the figure on the game table. It stands 11 cm high (to wingtips) and about 9 cm across. (In D&D this scales to about 22 feet high correctly towering over my player’s characters.)

Main body and wing edges all painted in a basic red. I did a light red coat over the wings and later mixed a darker red as a final coat. Belly scales all bright yellow, then dry brushed to edge them with orange. Claws silver, horns grey and wing barbs in black. Originally the horns were going to be black too, but I liked the look of them in grey and left them that way.

I need to do a little more work on the base, but it’s not a great concern at this time. When I’m in the right mood I’ll touch up the main body scales and if I can get a fine file I want to reshape those two front teeth! In any case, I’m very happy with the way this one came out. 🙂

2014-03-29 Red Dragon-2 2014-03-29 Red Dragon-1

Painting 2.2 – “Hey there, Mr Blue…”

Dragon number two… the Blue.

This figure is 7.5cm high (to wingtips) and about 11cm long. Both rear legs (and the base section they are on) had to be attached as well as each wing. Fairly easily done, with minor trimming to get everything to fit neatly. The main body and wing edges were done with my main blue paint. I mixed a lighter blue for the wings. Grey horns, wing spikes started grey as well, but I went over them with a light brown. Claws silver.

2013-12-28 Dragons

Belly scales are a dark sandy yellow-brown with almost a greenish tinge to it. Most of the recent images (and figures I have from D&D) use a bright yellow for the belly, but I wanted something darker.


I’m not satisfied with this dragon – at some point I’ll come back to it and do something to lighten the belly scales and do some shading on body scales. I’ll try and put some more detail or highlights into the wings too.

Painting 2.1 – The Black Dragon

The Black Dragon has always been my favourite of these three figures. It was the easiest to assemble – two wings, one arm, horns. All slotted neatly into the “holes” in the body with little or no filing or trimming. I would have liked to have the wings a bit further apart, but that would have taken extra work that I didn’t feel confident trying.

The figure is 8cm high and 9cm long. The main body and wing edges are a standard black.  I first painted the wings with grey, then went over that with black and dark green. Scales over the spine are a mid gray, slightly darkened with black dry-brushing of the edges. Belly scales were the same grey, but then given a light purple wash. Horns and wings tips are grey, claws silver.

The two photos were taken close together – but one was in bright light and the other more in shadow. The brighter light makes the greys look silver. The texture of the scales looks great when there’s light to reflect from them.

2013-12-14 Black Dragon-1 2013-12-14 Black Dragon-2

Painting 2.0 – Here be Dragons…

In about 1987 I purchased three boxed Dragons in the “Dragon Lords” series by Grenadier.

  • 9601  Black Dragon II
  • 9602  Red Dragon II
  • 9607  Blue Dragon II

Each had a small human figure (priest, wizard, sorcessess) and an iconic chromatic D&D dragon, that was in 5 or 6 pieces. On occasion over the following years I used one or two of them – usually incomplete or partially held together with blue-tac – in a game. These are quite good looking sculpts with very nice detail. I’m sorry that I didn’t buy a Green and a White at the same time.

November 2013:

Finally I decided my next miniatures project was to assemble and paint these three dragons.

Cleaning up the figures, to remove flash and mould lines, and checking joints so that the wings in particular would fit together took a while. The red dragon in particular took extra work – on each side, the front arm/leg and wing are meant to slot into a hole next to each other with the wing edge also going into a notch along the body. Neither wing was going to sit firmly and both “hole” and joints required a bit of shaving to get the right fit. I was also very pleased to have some putty in the garage which was great for filling in the slight gaps around the wing joints.

Once glued and dried, I undercoated each one and set them aside. They already looked very good. I did note that I’d glued the black dragon’s horns on the wrong way around… but didn’t feel like trying to remove them and re-glue. I simply bent them around to the shape I wanted them in.

I spent time considering colour schemes and looking at all my rule books with dragon images. It was very interesting to see the change in appearance of these dragons (and the other colours) over the different D&D editions. These three figures show 1st and 2nd edition versions.

Painting 1.0

Time, space and the interest to start painting again finally got me putting together a new set of paints, and collecting bits and pieces to assist me. (Working in the “office supplies/stationery” business didn’t hurt either, especially for pens, markers, cardboard, knives, steel rulers, and the occasional brush – great for producing scenery, maps or dungeon floor-plans!)

April 2013.

I had an assortment of paints and had found my brushes and had a box to put everything in. I grabbed a bunch of Dwarves and a few other figures that I wanted to paint and started undercoating.

2013-04-25 Painting 2013-06-09 Painting

Funnily enough, these 11 figures included two that had been undercoated perhaps a decade earlier and that had been as far as I got.  It also included two versions of “Gimli”. Over the next month I finished them off and I’ve been quite pleased with the result. I’ll need to get them all out again, touch them up and spray them with a varnish to protect them.

2013-06-10 Painting-1 2013-06-10 Painting-2