Monday, 6 April 2015

Dragons from Days of Yore.

A pair of 80s Dragons.

A look at a pair of dragons I got hold of and what I think of them. The first I tracked down after seeing it online somewhere and thinking how cool it was. Mine came from America where dragons are supposed to still roam the skies... actually thats a lie - sorry to dash your dreams, but it did take a Transatlantic flight, on an Airmail plane. I subsequently found that I could have saved myself a lot of postage and waiting and got one from Second City Games in the UK. Oh well.

The second I stumbled over on ebay, but missing half its tail. For a few pounds of flesh (that's three or four quid in money) he/she was all mine.

Ral Partha Fish Dragon

The title says it all really. Its a dragon by Ral Partha from quite some time ago, that looks very fish like, apart from the legs. I left off the wings of mine and had to patch over the 'lug holes' where they join. I now have a spare pare of wings to use on something too.

I've got some better photos of this one since, with final highlights done so I'll be posting them soon

Fish Dragon
There's something fishy about that dragon...
I must say the dragon is a great scultp. The scales are really well defined, the tail has a beautiful goldfish styled fan and the fishy head is dramatic and creepy. Other nice touches are the webbed claws and webbing between the leg/body transition. To merge the solid base in with a large, square base I built up a ridge with cork and gravel. The extra height suits the stooping style of the giant lizard and should help keep his head out of the way when he charges headlong into his dinner, on the battlefield.

Only thing I'm not sure of is my colour scheme. Its a little boring really and I might have been better served going for something a little more nautical; blues and silvers with rainbowing, reflective patterns comes to mind. Instead I went for a swampy-fish look of a pretty dull greenish colour with a ruddy orange spine/head/tail and stripes. Some days I'm really pleased with it, others I'm fairly underwhelmed. Perhaps if I get another (and put the wings on that one) I can try out the more 'fantastic' scheme

Tom Meier Dragon

This is something of a veteran that, as far as I can tell, has been sold as both a red and black dragon at different times. I decided to do it red. I also had to build my own tail for it, since it was missing, though this did contribute to its affordability!

Tom Meier Dragon, tail sculpt
The head bone's connected to the back-bone, the back-bone's connected to the... oh, where's the tail-bone?
Its a slightly gribbly sculpt with bubbly belly scales and twisty looking spines. I also like how the scales down the neck and flanks are like armoured plating, rather than the typical little diamonds that many dragons get. It also has a really good head with its enormous tusks and gaping, fanged maw, horns and rolling tongue. This model certainly ticks the boxes for me, I can almost hear it growling!

Tom Meier Red Dragon, nearly finished
Nothing remarkable was attempted in this paint job. I kept it simple, coherent and distinct with yellow belly, orange transitional scales (the small ones) and bright red major scales. I gave it green eyes to stand out strongly, which I thinks works rather nicely. The wings took a while to decide upon, but a netural brown striping effect seemed to suite in my mind's eye so that's what I went with.

Oh, alright. The Hydra

Well, it was supposed to be a post about dragons. I may as well show off my other big monster, the C27 Hydra. This is a rather ancient Citadel mini. The heads are a pain to glue on (base of the neck) and the body is a heavy, slightly softly detailed lump of solid metal. COOL!

Citadel's C27 Hydra
What has four legs, seven heads, eight mouths and bad breath?
This monster got glued, based and painted as soon as I got my hands on it. I snapped it up for cheap (as usual!) but spared no expense in thinking about how to go about it. I shoved all the heads on with glue and they all fell off again. So I ground out the glue, tidied up and did it again, this time supporting each one carefully. This seems to have worked, though I could have pinned them if I hadn't been so excited at cracking on with it.

I then slapped muddy green and pale yellow browns over everything - another beast from the swamps - contrasting a nicely shiny-varnished purple for the tongues. Then, in a moment of inspiration, red eyes. Feeling it lacked something I put richer green stripes on it and lightly stippled this up the necks in little patches. 

It took me about 2hrs, plus some time putting flock and clumps on the base. Sure it was quick and I didn't really have to think about it but I love it. Mostly due to the model itself I should think. Its so twisted and evil I think those Greeks really did invent the most awesome cast of nightmare creatures.

That makes me think - one day I might set about making/painting models with Greek Mythological horrors and monsters. There'd be the Hydras, Titans (like ogres, sort of), harpies, hell hounds, Pegasus the winged horse, giant Dionysian boars... wait a minute, this sounds like Warhammer's monstrous hordes here!

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Better Late Than Never

A Failed April Fools

Well, I thought about posting an April Fools thing but, being busy this week with that thing called 'having a real job' and being sort of tired, I never came up with anything to post. So I won't bother now and instead look at shields and some freehand stuff on a wizard.

Menghil's Shields

I bought these solid metal shields from Second City Games' ebay shop, along with a rather surprising catch of another Marauder Dark Elf Warrior that I didn't have (you'll have to wait for him though). They have some other pre-owned models up for grabs if you look hard enough - happy hunting.

Fantasy shield designs 1
Various freehand and sculpted designs
Pretty straightforward stuff they come in packs of five identical shields. I picked up 2 packs of plain shields, 1 each of central star shaped boss and sculpted dragon design - all nicely done. Casting is generally fine, the usual injection/venting stuff to clean up and the odd 'ding' on some, like the left most shield for example, but nothing shield breaking. The dragon shields had some mold slippage overlap around the edge but they cleaned up nicely. Only the plain shields have wooden boards sculpted on the back but the metal is soft enough that I scored the same onto the other sets as well with the back of an x-acto blade tip.

I'd been looking for a while for shields for this company and decided, eventually, to take a bit of a punt on these ones. The different designs helps break up some of the uniformity of the troopers, but they're similar enough to maintain that regimented look which isn't really a bad thing. I think Menghil's' company have come together pretty well - now to get those last few bases clumped and flocked up (tomorrow morning) and I can get some finished photos at the weekend. Exciting!

Citadel Shields

These are a selection of the classic 'bad guy' shields that I've got for the second warriors company. They're oddly shaped which makes life a tad tricky and the enormous central boss limits space and design potential. I ground some of the bosses off to resolve that problem.

Fantasy shield designs 2
Need to decide on the edges - black is a little harsh for most of them

I started out with the intention of doing demon faces on all of them to tie in with the demonic faced banners. It takes a long time - and gets frustrating! - to get a good looking tiny face like the one on the left... x20, so started experimenting with patterns and effects as well. Trust me to lose the focus but I think it creates the variation that the regimented colour scheme of the army lacks, so I'm happy.

This company look quite distinct from the first, with a wide variety of poses (all but a handful are unique) and many, varied shields and weapons. I'm not sure which I prefer yet - I might mix the two companies up to see how it looks and see which configurations you lot prefer.

Dark Elf Wizard

This guy is a pretty decent model though I think the one I picked up had something filed off on his robe at the back. He looks pretty angry although the detailing on his face is a tad loose. He has a very 80's big, curled collar, fancy robe and shoulder pads with a twisted and contorted hand posture for some flashy, magical showmanship. Contrast this with the workman-like rolled up sleeves and you have a model firmly rooted in the almost-ridiculous, almost-brilliance of the 'Golden Age' of Citadel design.

dark elf wizard's robe detail
Green and yellow were chosen this time. Just to be different.
I needed to fill the blank space down his back so tried out a fast and loose twinned serpent design. I could have gone all neatly symmetrical, I realised after I finished, but this was what came out. I should have taken my usual habit of drawing it out on paper a few more times before starting and I could have done something a little more refined. Ah well, the opposition will never see it since this guy would never run away, right?

I still haven't figured out what he is holding in that lower hand though - anyone have any idea?