Priestess of the Jade Scythe
My first I-Kore minature :)
This miniature represents the first round of a contest on The Miniature Page. The general idea is as follows: We started with around 80 contestants, and we all posted our finest work. After I believe 4 rounds of elimination voting, the final 10 (11 actually due to a tie) begin The Last Painter Standing Contest. What this involves, is we all paint up the same miniature and do a write-up about it as well. After a month and all the entries ar ein (or you are eliminated), a vote is held, and one painter is eliminated for round two and so on, until there is but one painter left! What follows is my first write up as it appears on The Miniature Page.
To begin with, I would like to extend a big THANK YOU to Bill and the crew at I-Kore for putting this on! It is both very intense considering some of the finalists involved, as well as very fun, considering I have never painted an I-Kore figure before! Being picked for the Painting rounds is very flattering, and I hope to continue well into this contest!
Here are some basic supplies I will be using during the course of this project. I have various brushes ranging from 10/0 detail brushes to big basecoating and drybrushing brushes. Also, some kneadatite for the odd fix (like the staff join), a hobby knife, files etc. for trimming and cleaning the figure, some flock material (grass not shown) and my trusty Polly scale engine black primer :)
Begin with cleaning the mini. There were some long bits of flash that had to be carefully removed, as well as the odd faint mold line. One on her right buttock proved very difficult to remove.... And there were probably I few I missed by the end. I used the knife as shown, as well as the file in the odd spot. After this is done, I glued her onto a normal 25mm round base with normal model glue. Next, I can use my brush on black primer, slightly thinned, and give her a couple of good coats. I thin it a bit to ensure that the details are not obscurred by a sloppy thick prime job. Also, I like to use a bit of kneadatite here and cover the slot and tab area where the base is glued on.
This assembly was somewhat difficult. The join is not normal in that the staff must be drilled out either end or another way has to be found to pin it together. It has to be pinned and not just glued simply due to the bulk of the totem part of the staff. With some help from a friend with the correct tools (I need bits!!!), either end of the staff was drilled and a groove drilled along the flat connecting faces of each half. This way, the pin can run up and down lengthwise along the staff and it should be easy to put together later on!
Once primed and drilled and everything, I begin by doing the skin, face and eyes. I figure the face especially is a careful and finnicky area, so I might as well do it first. This serves two purposes: One, it gives me someone to talk to for the rest of the "animation" and more importantly, if I mess up the face, it is easy to dunk and start over at this point. Now I had a very bad experience here, and I was extremely frustrated. I used GW dwarf flesh as a base color (as usual) but I could not get good coverage at all. I tried and tried, and it was so splotchy that I ended up doing somethign I rarely (if ever) do and that was dunk her and restart. Man, was I mad. At any rate, I ended up using a Vallejo light flesh for base color, and mixing in some of the dwarf flesh for shading. I also mixed in white to layer up highlights, and I think her skin came out quite nice in the end. Some lining was done using a thinned brown afterwards as well. The face is not the best sculpt I feel, but I got some scab red lips and some blue eyes with a gleam in them. I also did some blue eyeshadow by mixing some light flesh with blue and applying a thin layer under the brow...
I was very inspired to do the totem part as though it was a gem or crystal or something. I saw an example of this on Coolmini that Goatman had done with an entire figure, so I thought I would give it a shot. Of course, there is a lot of detail on the object(s) I was going to be trying this on. Essentially, the technique goes as follows: I basecoated the entire totem with Dark Angels green. Now visualizing this is key so I picked a firm light source above her right shoulder for reference. Now a normal opaque object would have highlights along the upper surfaces, and maybe a slight glow along the bottom. This is different. Because the object is to appear clear, the light is really diffused throught the object, and you get a nice "highlight" glow on the bottom sides instead! Similar to gems, I suppose, but now the entire object is treated this way. I began by mixing up the dark green all the way to white on my wet pallette and I basically wet/blended and layered highlights on where I thought they would be appropriate. After the bottom areas were all "lit" I added some reflected "light spots" on the upper surfaces to show the location of the light source. Once I got to the horns however, the shape was really messing with my head. It turned into a fairly strenuous task and I feel some of the areas are pretty rough. All in all, I am very pleased with how it turned out however. The horns ended up having a more general gradation towards their tips but I think it looks somewhat crystalline.
This shows the finished Totem and the joined together pieces. The fit was still not perfect but after using some Uber cryano something or other glue and letting it set, I tried to use some kneadatite to fix up the join a bit. Worked okay but next time, I will sand it down smoother when it is done curing. OOPS...
Next came the hair, and this was fun because it provided some nice contrasting tones to all the Jade colors I had going on. I started out with a dark brown base, and layered up through some reddish brown to red, to orange to light orange mixed with white. I also tried to give it a little shine with some selective highlighting... The picture also shows some blocked out base color bits for doing some NMM armor :) Once the NMM started appearing, the entire mini began brightening up dramatically!
The silver NMM was a good and fun task, and quite flashy too. I basically took a light blue and painted from where I figured a reflected "horizon" would be upwards on any surfaces that would show it (you can see the right forearm guard has no blue sky reflected due to the sickle obscurring it.... Then I began adding white and working towards my "horizon" line until it was a pure white line. Next, I mixed some black into my intermediate grey and began at the "horizon" line and worked down to a lighter grey than the base color even. Of course, this simulates the lower reflections, and also areas with ambiguous reflections (like the right greave)... The gold was done similar, except using snakebite leather, white and a dark brown for the main mixing colors. All of the gold areas had to be repainted white before starting (note to self for next time... prime these areas white right away instead of black!). The staff parts have more of a brushed metal gold look rather than very shiny gold, showing the difference between my "subdued NMM" style and the more garish reflective stuff.
Finally, all that remained was the sickle, head at the bottom of the totem staff and the little trinkets dangling on her leg bracelet. I essentially did them all in the same Jade/crystalline look as the totem staff, to unify the colors. Also, once the painting was done, I used some craft glue on the base and applied some of the basing sand material. I painted the sandy areas dark brown and drybrushed a brighter orange and tan in several areas of it. After this, I painted some of the exposed putty areas (used to hide the slot on the figure) as rocky surfaces and finally I grassed the base up with some glue and static grass!
The finished Celtois Druid!
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