Sunday 30 November 2014

Citadel Scorpion, Grenadier Nightgaunt and Ral Partha Wyvern

Although I’ve been painting, the autumn weather has meant that I haven’t been able to varnish the figures… until today. So here are three figures I’ve been working on since my last post!
The scorpion is from the Citadel Fiend Factory range - FF50 Giant Scorpion. Now, I have to be honest and say that the base paint job isn’t mine – I got this figure with a fairly decent paint job from an auction site, and decided to see if I could spruce it up. A simple wash of Army Painter Dark tone really brought out the detail, as did a rebase on a suitably sandy base. Simples! It is amazing the difference a quick wash does – the old Citadel sculpts have an amazing amount of detail. This will do very nicely as the guardian of treasure for any desert based scenarios.

The central figure is a Nightgaunt from the Grenadier Call of Cthulhu range. According to Cthulhu: “Nightgaunts have a vaguely human shape, but are thin, black, and faceless. Their skin is slick and rubbery. They sport a pair of inward-facing horns on their heads, and have clawed hands and a long barbed tail which is used to "tickle" their victims into submission. They can fly using a set of membranous wings.” When this came out of the lead mountain, I was underwhelmed. The sculpt is definitely on the chunky side – hardly thin! – and the pose wasn’t especially threatening. Combine that with a desired black coloured scheme, a lack of detail on the face (in fact no details!) and it could easily have just turned into a vaguely demonic black lump. With that in mind, I chose to make a couple of changes – the base colour for the figure was black, but the insides of the wing were crimson. After that, I decided to use dark purple to highlight the black of the torso, and that really helped bring out the detail of the muscles. The base is simply sand, painted gray and then given a dark wash – oddly enough, the reflection of the light from the figure makes it look light purple! I deliberately left it with a gloss varnish, which emphasises the slick, rubbery nature of the skin. It’s an odd sculpt, and whilst I was fairly pleased with the end result – I honest can’t see this one getting much table top time.

Finally, on the right we have a Ral Partha Wyvern from the Personalities and Things… range. Ral Partha do some terrific sculpts – fantastic detail – but if I had a criticism, it is that a lot of their figures look and feel a bit flimsy in comparison to other manufacturers, especially when you put them together on the table top. Looking at it next to the Scorpion and the Nightgaunt, I’m not sure you’d take the Wyvern to win against either of them! I started off with a red base coat, and then various shades of yellow for the wing feathers. It wasn’t an easy figure to paint, either – the tail is curled up to form a base, and that wasn’t especially well moulded. It also caused a lot of pooling on the base when I applied a red and a fair amount of cursing as I had to mop it out!  After that, lots of dry brushing, which really bought out the detail.

I like the figure a lot, and the paint job came out OK – I think this may get a decent amount of table top time, purely as a distraction figure. It might even stand in as a stirge!

Friday 7 November 2014

Asgard Fantasy Monster FM76 Dragon-newt

It's been a while - a hectic combination of work plus taking kids to look at universities has eaten up an inordinate amount of time. That hasn't stopped me painting though - though most of the recent work as been a combined HOTT/Battle Master Dwarf army. More on that some other time. 
First things first - what IS a Dragon-newt? To be honest - I don't know! I can't find any reference to anything related to it on t'internet, so I am guessing it a pure Asgard creation, a bit like the mythical FM18 Secrom. So all we have to go on is the sculpt. And what a sculpt! I think it is terrific - a weird combination of reptile and feline! I think is meant to be some swamp or lakeside top predator, judging by the name and pose. You wouldn't want to mess with those claws or teeth!
Anyhow, on to the painting. This was pretty simple - green for the upper body, a dull yellow for the under body, and then wash and drybrushing. Simples! I went with red for the eye, purely to break up the green, and also because it looked more sinister. The base is just flock and twigs - although the reeds are actually strands from an old toothbrush, painted green and then drybrushed.

I like this sculpt a lot - it's one of the better Asgards - you can imagine this beastie stalking lost adventurers as they try to cross marshes or swamp! As a consequence I can see it getting a lot of table top time for outdoor adventures. It seems to be a fairly rare piece - I've only ever seen one other on e-bay - though I understand Viking Forge still produce it state side.