|Ogre minion, front|
|Ogre minion, back|
|Ogre captain, front|
As I started writing this up, I realized that there might not be much of a sense of scale for these guys, so I shot a bonus picture of the ogre captain fighting Master Thorn.
|Ogre captain vs Master Thorn|
Now, on to the next monster!
|Troll Minion, front|
|Troll Minion, back|
|Troll Captain, front|
The massive stone club was painted using a different technique than the rest of the model, picking a slightly brown grey as a base color, washing with a dark brown to deepen the shadows, and then bringing the highlights back up. I am happy with the contrast here too, both on the stone and between the stone and the winding cables holding it to the shaft.
I'll point out here that in the card art for all three of these monsters, none of them have pupils, and I decided to follow that in my painting. The ogres and manticores have dead white eyes, while the trolls have red eyes. It's fine. I think the manticore's is best, and speak of the devil...
I was able to paint these fairly quickly since although it's a nice sculpt, there's not a whole lot of variation. I base coated and drybrushed highlights onto the fur in two tone combinations, and then I applied a series of washes to add depth. I did some manual highlighting on the darker fur, and I added a little more wash to the undersides and shaded areas of the light fur. The face also got manual highlights to give it a bit more pop.
The tail and wings were done in a different shade, mixed from black, beige brown, and buff. My first pass at the wings, I thought they were too plain, so I brushed in some horizontal striations as highlights, remembering Dr. Faust's video about it. I found these lines to be too bold even after a few layers of ink wash, so I changed tack and just painted the base color over it again. This hid the striations, although if you look carefully they are still there. It's probably too subtle to make a real difference, but I like the idea that they add subtle texture. Truth is, the wings were just kind of a drag, and so after getting a good color and layering on some mild highlights, I was ready to be done. I think of these as velvety bat wings anyway, and therefore with more diffuse highlights than something like scaly dragon wings.
The only difference between the captain and minion is the stinger on the tail: on the minion, there are dark brown spots and stinger, and these are red on the captain. This difference is probably too subtle to pick out from any appreciable distance. However, playing Road to Legend with my wife and son, we realized only one deploys at a time anyway, so there's really no great need to distinguish them.
The other day, Ghool posted a video about brush-on varnish. I have appreciated Ghool's videos about using brush-on rather than spray products, and I have been experimenting with brush-on primer in painting my Descent heroes—more about that in the future! Ghool is also very responsive and helpful in the comments to his videos. Anyway, I happened to have some Vallejo Matt Varnish, which I suppose comes from the land with a dearth of 'E's. I picked up the varnish on a lark once and I cannot remember what I tried it on, but I was surprised at how runny it was. I decided to use the Vallejo on the manticores here. After one coat, it had dried fairly quickly to a nice, slightly satin finish---not as flat as the Golden, but still pretty good. I needed a second coat anyway to cover the spots I missed, and the second coat took the shine down even more. Looking at the manticores next to the trolls, the trolls are really flat, with not a hint of sheen, while the manticores have slight reflectivity. However, I do have occasional problems with the Golden varnish, where I get a build up of matting agent in the recesses: the greyish powder is easy to miss at a cursory glance, but it is noticeable on inspection, and its appearance may be related to the dilution precision and thinness of layers, but I've never quite nailed it down. It's more prone to happening in highly textured areas, though, like the ridges in the trolls' loincloths.
Here's the other piece, though: that Golden varnish has all sorts of health warnings on it. I always take care not to get any on my skin and to wash everything immediately afterward. Is it worth the stress and hassle for completely flat models? I'll have to evaluate it again under my gaming lights.
|A happy, evil family|
Thanks for reading!