Tuesday, February 24, 2015

You know a swamp is evil when it glows green!

I had hoped to finish these two a few months ago, but I've been very busy and suffered some setbacks (plus that last model took FOREVER), so it took me a lot longer than I'd hoped. My goal was to finish them - and another couple of models - before the Powered Play guys put out their new powered bases in March, so at least I've managed half that goal. Anyway, I give you Alexia and a Thrall:

And now for the important bit:

Green was obviously a big part of the colour scheme, I decided my second colour would be purple. This was partially because I thought it would work well with the green, partially because I wanted to use it for the Thrall, partially because I'm just on a sort of a purple kick right now, and I think partially because the model reminds me so much of this:

I used two different shades of purple for her clothes (Liche Purple and Warlock Purple), then gave them the same wash (Leviathan Purple) to tie them together. While I'm happy with how the colours turned out, overall her clothes didn't have much of the usual sculpted folds that make detailing cloth much easier; my el-cheapo method of washes and drybrushes did not give good results here, but after trying a couple of different things I decided this was good enough.

While the shading is a little flatter than I would like, and her eyes didn't quite turn out as I'd hoped, I think that this is the best face I've painted so far. I'm quite happy with it overall. The lips might look a little bit puffy up close, but that's mostly just the model itself. I mixed Elf Flesh with Warlock Purple to try to get a colour that would not clash with her skin or clothes, which I think worked quite well.

The glow on the sword was done with a couple of quick drybrushes and a some watered down white, but it came out looking better than I expected and is one of the highlights of the model in my eyes.

I've already posted about the base, but I might as well recap a little here. The base uses a clear resin insert from CoolMiniOrNot's Groundwerks series. I cut along the base topper that comes with Alexia and filed the bottom a little to reduce the height, then glued it to the resin base insert.

I then cut away the top of the plastic base where needed and carefully installed the components in the base. The idea was not to point the LEDs upwards, but to leave an empty space surrounded with white underneath the clear resin to allow the light to diffuse and illuminate the whole area. I drybrushed light green at the bottom of the resin to further diffuse the light.

Needless to say I had to work very slowly and carefully to fit the components while leaving enough room for the LED to light up as much of the resin as possible. While I tried to solder components before gluing them in, there were a couple of things that just had to be soldered in place; as a result I managed to melt part of the rim (as you can see in top right of the above photo), and had to repair it with greenstuff later. Another complication was that I wanted to pin Alexia to the base through both legs, so I had to work around where the pins would go. I then carefully blended Alexia's base to the resin with greenstuff such that there was no exposed resin that wasn't picking up the light.

I think the rear LED ended up a little mis-aligned, as the front part of the base ended up looking much brighter than the rear, but it's better this way than the opposite.

The second model was the Thrall. I absolutely love this model; it's by far my favorite Undead miniature. In fact I bought this guy a long time before I actually bought Alexia, just to paint him. I call him Solomon.

An of course, all lit up:

Comparing him to the Risen, I imagine in my head that he was no common soldier, but an ancient and powerful warrior-king who has retained some of his dignity and bearing. That's actually quite a fancy sword and armour when you think about it, after all. I decided that I wanted to paint him up to be quite ornate and impressive, rather than decrepit, so I went for black and bronze on his armour. As discussed I thought purple would work well with the green, but I also thought it fitting for him since it's considered a royal colour.

I still wanted him to show some wear and tear, so I painted all the steel surfaces with orange then drybrushed them with Boltgun Metal to give them a hint of rust. The sword was given a feathering of chainmail along the edge to give it a scratched look. This was my first attempt at verdigris for the bronze, I mixed together some blues and greens to get a colour that I liked then watered it down and tried to apply it randomly. I considered drybrushing some bronze or even gold on top but ended up skipping that step as I was afraid it wouldn't look good. Finally I applied some weathering to the black armour. The ground, bone, leather and bronze were shaded using Quickshade Strong Tone (ditto for Alexia btw).

The base was another CoolMiniOrNot Groundwerks clear resin insert. This one was easier to do as there was much less fitting and blending involved, and also the more limited "swamp" area meant a single LED and diffusion space, making the insides much easier to put together.
You can actually see the green drybrushing on the resin surface.
Here you see the plasticard piece that was used to diffuse the light.
You can see here where the pins come through the plasticard.

Overall I do like how they came out. There's actually still a little bit of work left to do: namely I want to add some gloss varnish to the swamp areas and the gem in the sword, but I'll get around to that. I do have a second Thrall model that came with Alexia's unit; I would like to give him a similar base, but I just don't know when I'll have the time. I'll have to convert him a little bit so he doesn't quite look the same of course. Then there's 20 Risen models to paint (well, 21 - seems they accidentally gave me one extra). Obviously there is NO WAY I'm giving them all lit bases!

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