Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Grenadier Red Dragon

Soooo...nope, haven't finished posting about the GW Spider or even the final photos for the two versions of the Wendigo, but here I am posting about a red dragon and the paint job.

Sorry for my inconsistency, I've been busy.  For a while I was doing a long-term substitute position at a local school, then I had to get ready for the HMGS East, Cold Wars convention.  Bob and I were busting out butts to get ready for that con and now we're busting our butts to get orders done that should have been done prior to Cold Wars.  Aargh!  It's nice to be busy, don't get me wrong, but that leaves little time for other things, like blogging.

This Grenadier Red Dragon is part of a larger order of miscellaneous TSR AD&D miniatures.  Frankly, those minis are pretty cool and I'm excited to see if I can put a spiffy paint job on such, how to say it politely, roughly sculpted minis.  I'll make sure I post those TSR miniatures as a whole when I get them all finished.  Unfortunately I didn't have the time and luxury of taking photos as I was working through the steps, sorry.

My inspiration for this red dragon is from the AD&D cover art:

Body Scales
Here you can see how the Yellow Orange is most noticeable nearest the belly scales.  It is also on the hindquarters, shoulders and spine to give it a flame-like glow.

First, I base coated the dragon with Vallejo Red except for the belly scales and the wings.  I did the wings last because I knew I'd be bumping and handling them during the painting process and obviously the belly is done in an entirely different color.

Second, I dry brushed on a coat of Cel-Vinyl Red, making sure that some of the darker Vallejo Red was still showing beneath the round scales.

Next, I lightly dry brushed on Cel-Vinyl Vermillion.  I didn't want to cover up the Red entirely, but the Vermillion really makes things pop.  You'll notice that the difference between the Red and Vermillion is very subtle, if you feel like omitting the above Cel-Vinyl Red step, so be it.

Lastly, I dry brushed on, with a very gentle hand, Cel-Vinyl Yellow Orange.  Again, this is to make things glow and pop.  In most cases I only got close to the belly scales and a little on the higher points like the shoulders or top of the back scales.

Belly Scales
This part is easy because it uses only two colors.
When you dry brush, the Ochre 11 will only end up on the edges of the belly scales.

First, paint on Cel-Vinyl Ochre.

Second, dry brush on Cel-Vinyl Ochre 11.


I wanted the wings to be a little lighter than the body because I want them to appear translucent or thin and leathery like the membrane on flying lizards.  Since one can't (or at least I can't) make them appear truly translucent making them lighter is the best way I know how.  However, I kept the bone areas of the wings darker like the rest of the body.

First, paint the membranes of the wings with Cel-Vinyl Red.

Second, paint the bone areas with Vallejo Red.

Next, dry brush the bone areas with Cel-Vinyl Red.
Notice how the Yellow Orange is really only pronounced on the scalloped edges of the wings.

Then, dry brush the entire wing with Cel-Vinyl Vermillion.  Make sure on the membranes that you apply a heavier hand when dry brushing at the scalloped end of the wings (on both sides) to make it appear thinner.

Finally, dry brush, very lightly, the Cel-Vinyl Yellow Orange.  You can do this all over, even on the bone parts but make sure that you hit the scalloped ends of the membrane to emphasize the thinness. 

This is pretty much the way I do all claws or horns.  I have some other variations, most take more steps.  This is a quick one with pretty good results. I do this for teeth a lot of the time, too.

First, paint the claws and horns Reaper Stained Ivory.

Second, using a very small brush like a 10/0 or 18/0, apply strokes of Reaper Creamy Ivory that begin at the pointed end of the claw and end sharply at the base.

Then, apply white in the same manner as the Creamy Ivory only this time do so in a smaller fashion so that really only the tip of the claw is pure white. 

Finally, after it has dried, using a small brush apply GW Devlan Mud wash to the base of the horn/claw right near the flesh.

They are simply GW Burnished Gold with a black pupil.  I also used a little GW Badab Black wash around the eye in the socket to make it stand out.  You could paint the eye and socket with black prior to applying the Gold, I do that frequently.

First, paint the tongue with Reaper Antique Rose.
Then, paint only on the ridge points, Reaper Porcelain Rose.

And, well, that's it for the dragon!

Red Dragon Shrine

There is also that odd dragon shrine kinda thingy.  Bob has a Tiamat mini and it has the same shrine.  I never knew what to do with it but this time I decided to give it some color instead of leaving it strictly gray stone.  Looking at the sides of the shrine it has these odd cobra designs so I went with an Egyptian feel by painting them in instead of leaving them carvings.  Personally I think it adds some punch to an otherwise dull piece.  Additionally there are the incised letters/symbols on the front and back and the words Red Dragon on the base.  I suppose I could have used "green stuff" to fill in the words Red Dragon but Bob simply suggested that I fill the incised letters with gold.

First, paint the entire piece with Reaper Shadowed Stone.

Second, dry brush it with Reaper Stone Gray.

Third, dry brush lightly with Reaper Weathered Stone.

Fourth, using a small detail brush paint the cobra design with Vallejo Red and Cel-Vinyl Vermillion.  Also paint the 'tail' of the cobra on the base with Vallejo Red. 

Fifth, paint the belly of the cobra design with Cel-Vinyl Ochre.

Lastly, paint the teeth/fangs white and the eyes gold.

The Tail of the Cobra on the base:
To make belly scales on the tail of the cobra, use black to paint a long rectangle that starts at the base of the cobra belly design and curves into the base.  Using a detail brush paint smaller rectangles of ochre onto the rectangle of black.  Leave slivers of black between each ochre rectangles, this gives the impression of belly scales without too much effort.  The ochre rectangles were also highlighted by painting a dash of ochre 11 onto them.

Then, to mimic scales, make small dots of Vermillion near the belly scales, and dots of Cel-Vinyl Red further away.  You could add the Yellow-Orange nearest the belly scales but I thought that would be over-kill.

Well, that's all it takes for this piece and the shrine.  Enjoy!

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