I got a hill giant, frost giant, and fire giant a while ago as a way to sort of memorialize the D&D campaign I ran in which the players went through the Slavers series and Against the Giants series. The three “Giants” modules pit the players against hill giants, frost giants, and fire giants, so…
I worked on this guy off and on for darn near a year I think. I got side-tracked by playing World of Warcraft. Also, the paint I was using for his skin was the Reaper Pale Flesh triad that had the clotted highlight color, which I posted about a few months ago. All the nooks and crannies in this guy were tiresome, too. There might be such thing as too much detail…at least for lazy me.
Most people these days make frost giants’ skin blue; a visual cue that the guy is cold-related. I don’t really like that. In my mind, giants are really just extra large people who live in certain habitats. So this guy is up in some muddy tundra somewhere, getting angry.
I agonized over the colors, of course. A continual problem I have is in getting realistic colors that aren’t drab. This guy is pretty drab. The mini painters I admire most are able to paint with bright eye-popping colors while still getting the overall tone come across as muddy and drab.
Anyway, this guy has a sword made of bone strapped to a huge hunk of slate. He wears polar bear fur that’s been dragged in the mud a bit. I’m happy with the way he turned out. He’s obviously a collector of trophies, and he’s got quit a few strapped to his arms, chest, waist, and hands.
This mini is one my nephew picked out, then later decided he didn’t want. I couldn’t decide how to paint it for months and months. It’s a ninja. Ninjas wear black. But I just couldn’t get myself to hand paint a thousand layers of gray again. I thought maybe I should use other colors: reds or blues or something. But darn it, ninjas wear black. Finally I decided to just Prime it black, airbrush German gray, airbrush light gray, wash with black, airbrush very pale yellow, airbrush pure white from above to his left, black out the base rim, and just be done with it. He won’t exactly stand out, but hey, he’s a ninja!
This Ral Partha mini is from around 1992. It was part of the Barkan Seesholtz collection. I replaced the base with one I molded from green stuff. The mold was from a pack of bases, I can’t remember the brand to give them credit.
I wanted the runes on the floor to be glowing, but could not pull it off and just didn’t have the patience to try again after the first failure. Perhaps I’m a quitter, but I just had to get this guy off my table.
I like that I made him an older guy. I could have accented his face a little more, but I like the pasty white flesh and white hair.
I wanted to do some work on a couple frost giants last week. I wanted to start highlighting the skin and was using Reaper’s Golden Skin triad. But the highlight color was all gritty. I emailed a video of the paint (same as below) to Reaper and asked what was wrong with it. I bought it in January 2016, and one or two of the other paints I ordered st that time had the same problem. The response was that it looked like it had been frozen, and to wait for warmer weather to have anything shipped to a cold climate.
They also said that no paint is more than 2 months old when it leaves their factory and should last 10+ years with regular use.
So, buyer beware.
This is a Half-Orc Female Barbarian from Wiz Kids Deep Cuts range for Pathfinder. This line of plastic minis comes pre-coated with Vallejo primer. This is a nice touch, but it causes two issues for me. First, when something is bent and needs straightened, such as the pole she is holding, I dare not soak it in hot water to reshape it. Second, if you scrape off mold lines then you also scrape off the primer. The more I paint, the more mold lines bother me, so I had to reprime several parts of the mini. The same applies if you modify the sculpt, like I did when I chopped off the original axe head from the pole.
An old friend messaged me and asked if I could paint up this mini for his sister for Christmas. His family has a game going in which she plays one of these. I said sure. I asked if she had any color scheme in mind. No. What is her favorite color? She has no favorite but she kinda likes indigo. Oh and she uses a flail, not an axe. That’s all I had to go on.
The detail on her legs gave me some trouble. It wasn’t clear to me what was supposed to be on her legs. I finally decided that they were thigh armor plates with an array of throwing knives dangling from her belt.
The weapon was originally an axe. I chopped the blade off and used some paperclip and contour putty to fashion three ball-and-chain type attachments which I superglued to the top of the pole. Normally, I try to embed attachments like these into the existing material so that they are completely secure. In this case the pole was just too skinny.
Also, I don’t usually do blacklining, but I thought the pants and all their leather straps could use some extra definition. You see it best in the rear view photo below.
I finished it off with earth texture (Vallejo) on the base with some rocks, field grass, bushes (Woodland Scenics) , and lowland shrubs (Army Painter).
Here is Tuilin, from Reaper. My wife, daughter, and some folks on Facebook all chimed in on the color scheme. I started with the white dress and then started asking opinions about what to do with the trim, staff, gemstones, and the rest of the fiddly bits. My daughter specifically requested that yellow flowers be in the grass. Who am I to disappoint a 5-year old?
This is my biggest attempt at painting white clothing, which is difficult to pull off without it reading as gray, blue, or dirty. Also, this is my first attempt at black hair, which I’m happier with than the dress. The key is making the highlights tight enough to avoid making the hair read as gray, white, blue, or just splotchy. The blending of the shades in the dress folds is not as smooth as I’d like it. I didn’t have the patience to keep blending and blending.
This is Reaper’s take on the D&D Gorgon. I kept him steel plated, rather than brass. He was quite simple, not many colors on this guy. I used a thinned smokey ink glaze over top of the metal colors, which I like a lot. It makes the creature look less shiny and new. I also like the fade from black to silver on his horns and hooves.
Another of the right-hand-raised undead from the Monsters box set. White, black, and red are probably the hardest colors to paint well. The shading is so sensitive; white is had to avoid making muddy, black is hard to make not look gray, and red is hard not to make orange or pink. So this guy took some work, and obviously I still need practice.
My brother and his family bought me some scratch-off lotto tickets for my birthday. Waddya know, I won $25! So I used the money to buy three giants, inspired by an old D&D campaign, in which the characters raided the homes of hill giants, frost giants, and fire giants in rapid succession.
This guy was lots of fun to paint. Clearly, my photography skills are not A+ as these photos are a bit washed out. The vegetation on the base are various kinds of actual moss.
Nearly done with the undead from the Grenadier Monsters box set. Right hand raised? Check.
It took three tries to get this guy done. I originally had him black but didn’t like it so stripped him back down and tried red. I didn’t like that, either, so I stripped him down again. Then, my friend Mike over at Swords and Dorkery, painted this mini in purple, which looked great, so I did likewise. Hopefully Mike will remember that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…