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.)

2015-02-28 Dracolich-3

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:


4 thoughts on “Painting – DDM4 “Fettered Dracolich”

  1. About time! I’ve been waiting to see some more painting from you. Drac is looking good and you’ve brought the wings out well – especially compared to the original prepaint. If I may make one suggestion, it would be to paint the rock that he’s standing on to visually separate it (and Drac) from the base. It looks like you’ve painted it a dark grey, but it blends in with the disc base. A once-over with brown or a lighter grey, a little drybrush and an inking would do it nicely. Unless you decide to do the whole base, of course.


    • Work has been quite busy and the weather has been warmer – so haven’t felt like painting recently. Getting back to it now! The “rock” was already a very dark grey and I put a little black on it to cover up my over-painting on the dragon. It would look better with something lighter… a task for tomorrow before spraying. I don’t think I’m enthusiastic about doing the whole base…


      • I know what you mean about both the weather and work. I’ve only been getting stuff finished due to a current surge of bloody-mindedness. After the rock and varnish, you’re always welcome to bring him over here next time and we can give the rest of the base a simple sand and drybrush job. Or even add a little slate and such.


      • LOL: Too late! I went to bed last night thinking about what I could do with the base. I’ve spent time today doing an assortment of things. After that work, the figure deserves some more highlighting/detailing and then varnish. More photo’s tomorrow night.


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