Painting – DDM4 “Fettered Dracolich”

I’ve been very happy collecting D&D pre-painted miniatures. They are light and aren’t likely to damage each other in my figure boxes, they are generally good quality available at a low price and they come in full colour! Since the main table-top game I play is D&D, I know they are the right scale for my game and can be used immediately.

Every now and then I get one that has a sloppy paint job, but I’m more than capable now of fixing them up or adding some extra touches where the existing look is bland.

Sometime last year I obtained a “Fettered Dracolich” (#17 in the Lords of Madness mini series; also in the Curse of Undeath – Dungeon Command set).

Fettered: 1. Chained or shackled; 2. Confined or restrained.

First concern first… who names these figures? It’s a good sculpt and nice pose. Chains… no. Shackles… zilch. Cage, weighted net, magical bindings or other confining object? Neither, nor. Okay, there is another D&D mini called “Dracolich” (its bigger) but since this Dracolich was originally a black dragon, maybe just “Black Dracolich” could have been a possibility.

Secondly… the paint job is extremely simplistic. Mine was purely a mid grey over the black plastic of the figure. Images online suggest that the grey is common, otherwise it’s a creamy brown. After we used the figure in a game a few months ago, I started to do some detailing to bring out the bone structure. It was taking me ages and I wasn’t very impressed with the small obvious improvements. During this week (a bit like Azazel) I decided it was time to take it seriously and get it off my desk by doing a complete repaint.

Here’s an image of the typical mini. (I hadn’t photographed mine beforehand.)

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The unchained, unrestrained, animated remains of a dragon!

I gave it an all over light yellow brown, and then a darker brown mostly over the wings. This then got a mostly dry-brushed white to bring out the skeletal structure. It then got a strong tone ink to darken between bones, etc. White highlights to most bones and I thought I was almost done. I’d been looking at some images online, and decided that instead of fussing with wing detail, I’d just paint between the bones like I’d seen on a few other dracolich figures. I started with black mixed with a bit of blue, planning to come back and darken it later, but it dried darker than expected and I only used a bit of black paint on wing edges. Tips of the horns and a few spots between bones got a bit of black too and fluro red, then red for the eyes.

It could probably do with a little bit more detailing, but I don’t really feel like doing much more – so it may only get a spray of clear varnish before going back out to the dragon display shelves in the lounge. Here’s the (probably) finished figure:

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