Wednesday, 18 January 2012

The Deadly Gamesman

With the latest Ancible article done and dusted, I'm back up and running with some of my own projects now.

Up today is the Deadly Gamesman, a rather odd and lovely miniature from Black Scorpion Miniatures.  This isn't one of my better paint jobs (there are a number of things I would have done differently now), but I wanted to create a dark, moody look for him, and I think this has come across pretty well.

Try to ignore the eyes for now, I have no idea why they've come out so badly on the photo, but trust me, they don't look that bad in the "flesh".  I'm really pleased with the red, both in the colour and in the smoothness of the blending.  It's pretty much my standard scheme for red now:
  • Base coat:  Scorched Brown
  • Shade:  Devlan Mud 
  • First highlight:  1:1 mix of Scorched Brown and Scab Red
  • Second highlight: Scab Red
  • Final highlight:  Solar Macharius Orange is gradually mixed in to the Red and applied as smaller and smaller highlghts
Even close up the blending is looking pretty smooth - a lot of that is down to the brush - it is a LOT easier to get good results if you shell out a little extra on a decent brush - I don't think I can say that enough!  Patience plays a big part too, and you can see where I have and haven't applied that...

The gemstone works well - I was thinking of going for a funky colour then settled on boring green, sorry!  The gold is also my standard way of doing it these days, graduating through Tin Bitz, Burnished Gold and Mithril Silver - it does the job I think it's safe to say!

The little back pack thing takes the miniature out of medieval fantasy and into the world of Steam Punk and Sci-Fi, which I like a lot, a little more sinister and not quite so "Alice in Wonderland".  Next is the skin (which the left hand doesn't demonstrate very well from that angle) I wanted an albino skin tone, but ensuring there are some nice shadows for contrast:
  • Base coat:  Dheneb Stone
  • Shade:  Gryphonne Sepia wash
  • First highlight: A 1:1 mix of Dheneb Stone and White was blended in
  • Final highlight:  Pure White was added to the top edges and surfaces
  • Glaze:  Very thinned Scab Red was glazed on to the cheeks to add a little colour
I could (and should) have spent more time on the skin, but it works pretty well, and contrasts well with the red outfit/armour and gold trim.

My favourite parts of the model are the chess pieces dotted about.  I wanted to do two white and two black, but I had to make sure the way I did them worked with the rest of the model - for instance if the "white" pieces were too white, they would have looked odd next to the skin colour.  

So for the white pieces (Bishop and Pawn) I used a darker ivory colour (made from the bones of defeated opponents perhaps?):
  • Base coat:  Khemri Brown - I could have used Dheneb Stone, but I think that would have been too light
  • Shade:  Devlan Mud - again, I could have used Gryphonne Sepia, but that wouldn't have taken it down enough
  • First highlight:  Khemri Brown
  • Second highlight:  Dheneb Stone blended in
  • Final highlight:  A 1:1 mix of Dheneb Stone and White

For the black pieces (Rook and Knight) I didn't go for a pure black, but more of a dark grey with black shadow:
  • Base coat:  Vallejo German Grey
  • First highlight:  Adeptus Battlegrey
  • Second highlight:  Code Grey as a spot and edge highlight
  • Wash:  Badab Black tones everything back down
I wouldn't use this method a lot for black, but on smaller parts of a miniature it works well - there's a nice graduated "almost-sheen" effect on the bottom part of the rook in the picture above that felt right.

I was worried that the green cloak might make the miniature a little "Christmas-y", but I think I got away with it, by keeping to a more olive-drab/muted green:
  • Base coat:  Charadon Granite
  • Shade:  Devlan Mud
  • First highlight:  A 1:1 mix of Charadon Granite and Catachan Green blended in
  • Second highlight:  Pure Catachan Green
  • Final highlight:  1:1 mix of Catachan Green and P3 Thrall Flesh blended in
To be honest there's not a huge difference between Thrall Flesh and Rotting Flesh which I've used before, but the Thrall Flesh seemed to be a little smoother and made blending a bit easier.

The last thing to do on this chap was the scroll.  Firstly I'll admit that the lettering isn't as neat as I'd hoped, but from a normal distance away it looks good - and I definitely did not want it to look like it had been typed - a little "rough around the edges" fits in with the scroll and the character of the model.

The scroll was painted in a similar way to the white chess pieces, but I used both Gryphonne Sepia and Devlan Mud to shade (Devlan Mud in the deeper recesses), and I used Bleached Bone in the highlights to give it a different hue to the ivory. The wording was painted using a mix of watered down Scorched Brown and Badab Black, applied in a number of layers.  I think this works much better than using pure black for the lettering, as it looks more like old parchment.

I added a couple of playing card symbols as I didn't want him to be completely Chess-themed, he's the Deadly Gamesman, not the Deadly Chessman after all!  The base is from Model Display Products Cobblestone range, which fits the model quite nicely I think.

So there we have it - a really nice figure that was quite quick to turn out and get me back into the swing of painting figures (rather than ships).  This was meant to be a short post, but has ended up being a thousand words!  Hopefully it's been interesting - if you ever have any questions about my stuff, please don't hesitate to ask.

Up next I have a number of projects - having my new painting room set up has meant I can leave stuff out and work on it when I feel like it - this has made me a lot more relaxed about the whole process, something I've been working towards for a long time.

Upcoming Projects:
  • Malifaux Crew - oh yes, I'm going to start it
  • Classic Marauder Miniatures Vampire - getting in to the new Vampire Counts thing
  • Empire foot soldier conversions - more adventures in Greenstuff
  • Second Khador Warjack (I want to get and play this game)
  • Crimson Fist Devastator squad
  • Some presents for people
  • ...and quite frankly whatever takes my fancy!
As always, comments and criticism welcome!


  1. What are you talking about, the miniature is painted so well, great work and explanation.....

  2. Cheers mate! Glad you like it, I'm just a tiny bit disappointed because I know I can do better.

    I'm still pleased with some parts of him. :-)

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