Light Miniatures

Never be afraid to paint outside the lines

Month: March 2018

J’ork Sparrow

I finished J’ork Sparrow just in time for Crystal Brush—literally. I did a few final touches the day of the deadline, and was even painting at the airport a bit on the way to Chicago.

When I last posted about Mr. Sparrow, he was mostly finished, but still missing his flintlock pistol. That was the slowest part of the project, as I am the world’s slowest sculptor. It was fun though – in addition to checking flintlock reference photos, I also read up on how flintlocks work so I could accurately depict the mechanism. I depicted it ready for loading, with the hammer down and the frizzen open, which I think is appropriate for a holstered ‘lock—but please correct me if I’m mistaken!

I sculpted more of the flintlock than I needed, so I could leave a crisp plane where I cut it off. I also sculpted the parts of the mechanism separately. This not only made it easier to get some of the shapes, it also let me glue on the pieces and have them really look like distinct parts.

The other main element I added since the last WIP is the label on the base. I usually don’t place title plaques on my figures, but for this one I wanted to highlight the Jack Sparrow connection, and I also thought it would be fun to do a little treasure map as the label. The map is sculpted out of green stuff and torn slightly, in an attempt to get a naturally weathered appearance. The map and lettering are freehand, which is why my kerning is slightly off and my glyphs aren’t nearly as perfect as I’d like them to be. I’ve never been a good calligrapher.

I added a couple of other pieces to reinforce the Jack Sparrow connection: Jack’s sparrow tattoo, which also serves to add interest to the ork’s otherwise rather plain back, and the bone shard on his head, which was another very simple sculpt. Other than that, the only changes since the last WIP are a bit of refining here and there, and obviously much better photographs. They really do a wonderful job of photography at Crystal Brush, and my poor home photo setup cannot really compare.

I’m really pleased with how this piece came out in the end. I think the sculpted additions I made are both characterful and also help to add some interest to the silhouette, and I think the piece works well compositionally, with a face that really grabs and holds your focus, but enough interest elsewhere.

Voting links: Putty & Paint, CoolMiniOrNot

Scythe

Scythe is one of those board games where playing it once can be enough to make you run out and buy it, and that was definitely the case with me. I think this is especially true for those of us who are both board gamers and mini painters, since the figures just cry out to be painted. Plus it gave me a chance to show off my work to a different audience—friends who are board gamers but not mini painters.

Since these are first and foremost gaming figures, I made sure to use each faction’s color prominently in the color scheme for the figure, as well as keeping the base rim the color of the faction. This makes it easy to see at a glance where each faction’s pieces are on the board.

My favorite figure of the bunch is Zehra & Kar. The pose with the eagle is great, and the figure itself has both enough detail to be interesting and plenty of room for freehand. As a result, it was the only figure I spent two days on (~7 hours total), which is why she is the most refined of the group. All of the other figures were done in just a day of painting (roughly 3-5 hours each).

The figures themselves are cast in that annoying PVC material which doesn’t hold detail well, and which gets the worst mold lines (that are impossible to remove also). I ended up doing a fair amount of “resculpting with paint” to fix some of the casting issues, and practically had to freehand the face on Olga (the red faction leader). Zehra has a maroon scarf at her waist, which you can just see under her quiver. It was not part of the sculpt, and I freehanded it so I could use its edge to hide a particularly annoying mold line.

For the rest of the figures I kept my painting fast and expressive, which is how I like to paint figures that are meant for gaming. There’s no point in putting 20 hours into a figure which is going to get regularly handled. Fast expressive painting is a fun change of pace between more fastidiously painted figures, and helps one work on establishing overall light, composition, and volumes, which are after all more important skills than the ability to do smooth, careful detail work.

I’m a huge fan of Scythe and think it’s a great game, but it’s even more fun now that the faction leaders are all fully painted!

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