Part of the haul of minis that my friend Amanda gave me a couple years ago was a complete set of Action Art figures. The Painting Guide was even included. I’ve started working through that set lately, and this Thief Assassin and Drow Captains are the first ones to completion.
I’ve painted the thief as recommended in the Guide, and I really like the result. I was expecting garish color combinations, but this one turned out well I think. He is quite small, even compared to other Grenadier human minis of the time. The base he is standing on is 1” across. So he is only a little more than an inch tall.
The Drow captain I’m not as crazy about. Again, I stuck to the recommended colors, as I will with most of the minis from this set. But the drow’s armor is not well sculpted, and it merges with the dangling cords of his belt. As with many of these old minis, there’s no telling what the helm ornament is supposed to be. The guide said to make it white, which I couldn’t really wrap my head around so I just kept it metal. It looks to me like some elephant-like head. I’d like to have a collection of Drow minis all painted up in case I ever get the chance to run the Drow and Queen parts of the AD&D “G-D-Q” adventures (the G is for Giants.)
More from this set to follow over the next few weeks.
In Dungeons and Dragons, the good-aligned dragons are metallic colors: gold, silver, brass, bronze, and copper. The evil aligned dragons are colors: red, blue, black, green, white. I think it was a failure of imagination not to name the evil aligned dragons after gemstones: ruby, sapphire, emerald, onyx, and opal.
This dragon’s scales are sculpted as overlapping plates but I’ve painted them up to appear to be gemstones, and I’m pretty happy with the effect. In the photos, it’s difficult to tell that they weren’t sculpted that way. Dragons are my very favorite creatures, so when it comes to painting them, I feel like it’s sacrilege not to do them the credit they deserve.
I’ve painted his face as though he’s about to let loose with a torrent of fiery doom, with his mouth, eyes, and nostrils glowing with heat. Some idiotic “adventurers” have wandered into his volcanic lair.
Here are nine more oldies I painted ages ago.
The first group I left with the bases I originally gave them. They include:
- RP 11-007 Elf Magic Users (Male)
- Grenadier 2001 Wizards box set Enchanter (2001 is not the year, just the set number.)
- RP 11-012 Halfling Fighter Thieves (Female)
- ??? Dude with unicorn on his head
The second group I’ve spruced the bases up a bit. The second group includes:
- RP 61-002 Wizard with Staff
- Games Workshop (Female Fighter)
- RP 61-003 Cleric with Mace
- Harlequin (Female with Bow)
The last mini I have not modified; it is my first attempt at a snow base. I used cotton, which you can see is now discolored. I was also shooting for a frosted armor appearance. He is from 1994 Games Workshop, like the female fighter above.
Way back in 2008, I was paring down everything I owned to just the bare essentials. I gave away my entire mini collection to my great friend Jim.
I went to visit Jim a couple weeks ago and he gave me all my old minis back! What a guy.
They had seen some rough treatment over the years (Jim plays a lot of D&D!) Many of them were never put on proper bases. So I gave them just a little TLC to cover up some of the chipped paint, and then gave them some more interesting bases.
Back when I painted these, I was tinkering with adding colors to silver to make colored metal. Thus, the two axe fighters here have reddish armor. The red was the least satisfactory color to mix because red + silver comes out a bit pink. Other minis, that I’ll post later, have green or blue steel armor
Most of these are from Ral Partha packs that each came with a male and female pair. From left to right:
- RAFM 3808 Sorcerers who came in a 3-wizard pack (one is getting repaired, the other is lost),
- 11-030 Fighters in Plate Mail with Axes,
- 11-006 Dwarf Fighters (I lost her male counterpart long ago),
- 11-001 Fighters with Swords (his female counterpart will be posted next), and
- 11-007 Elf Magic Users (her male counterpart is still getting some more touch-up.)
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.
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…
Another undead from the Grenadier Monsters box set. This guy is the only undead of the set that doesn’t have the right-hand-raised feature.
I cut off the original broccoli base and put him hovering over a marble-like floor. He’s supposed to be glowing from inside his hood and sleeves. I think I should have pushed the glowing effect a little more, as in these photos it comes of too dim.
This is yet another of the undead from the Grenadier Monsters box set.
I attempted to do something a little more interesting than the usual plain pale tan or sand colors for the bone. I’m not sure if the various colors come through in the finished piece. This mini continues the theme of the undead in the set having their right hands raised, though with the sword, it makes a little more sense for this guy. I put this guy in some soggy wet mud, which I kinda like.
Also from the Grenadier Monsters box set, here is a wight that I used Army Painter’s Strong Tone with. I only highlighted his hair and the bumps on his forehead. For future minis, I will definitely do more highlighting. Instead of using Vallejo Model Color’s Dead Flesh like I used with the zombie, I used a pale gray for the skin. I’m not very happy with the combination of that with the Stong Tone. Sorastro used Citadel’s Palid Wych Flesh as the skin base color, which I don’t have, so I tried to approximate it.
I added the bone that he’s licking. All the undead in this set have a similar pose in which the right arm is held up for no apparent reason. I feel compelled to add a reason. I probably should have put a headstone behind him or something, too.
Edit: Mike Monaco (from mikemonaco.wordpress.com) pointed out that this is the ghoul from the monsters set, not a wight. Thanks Mike! If you like what you see on this site, you should definitely check out Mike’s site. He’s a painting MACHINE!
This zombie comes from the Grenadier Monsters large box set. I didn’t spend as much time on this mini as I usually do. The only highlighting I did was on his hair. I was mainly interested to see how the Army Painter Strong Tone looked in real life after seeing Sorastro’s Zombicide miniatures painting guides.
Because zombies are usually best when encountered in huge hordes, and I take so long to complete even the simplest minis, I probably will never have a proper zombie mini army.
This zombie and his base reminds me of the opening credits of The Walking Dead where they show the lone zombie shambling across the field.
I’m in the middle of painting the wight from the same Grenadier set, and will post him next.