Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Lord Thunderous!


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An in-production and readily available figure from Reaper Miniatures #02233 - Dantrag of Heimdall, sculpted by Sandra Garrity http://www.reapermini.com/OnlineStore/02233/sku-down/02233.

This was one of the unwanted figures of an lot won on an online auction. You'll notice that it was painted before the whole reason the lot was bid upon to begin with. It's not a bad figure - actually, it's quite good. Sandra Garrity always delivers, and the whole Arnohld as Conan vibe works. But the sword blade was broken off. A day or three in purple stuff can get rid of a bad paint job, but bits broken off means more planning. Another sword? An Axe? A mace? Couldn't decide. And it would have sat in a little drawer for thirty years but for Doctor Merkury running a playtest for his science-fantasy skirmish project: "Age of Saints"!

How about a barbarian of darkness with a plasma sword; a sort of anti-Thundarr? Heaven knows I've been looking for a 25/28mm figure of Thundarr the Barbarian since AD1980. (Yes, I know it's available in 15mm.) But what to use for the blade? Chopping up a Star Wars figure wouldn't work because of the rubbery material and the transparent blade might fog over or melt once it gets hit by the dip. Transparent plastic rod could work, but the same problems might occur and may not hold up to stresses of gaming. I paint playing pieces, not inmates for dioramas. Having spent the past few months building flight stands for ships used in SUNDER THE STARS, an idea struck: piano wire! It's small, light, on hand, and drawn from steel. The blade of that plasma sword will outlive all of us. Just had to remember to file down the "pointy end" so it's dull and harmless, cut off the old crossguard and glue a small bit of plastic tube above the grip.

Figure mounted on a 25mm diameter wooden disk.

Painting: Primed white, then hit the exposed flesh with beige red. Inside the mouth was black and the teeth were white. Fur and hair were black, then drybrushed with German grey. Bindings for the leggings were German grey. Eyes were white with black dots. Belt, circlet and bracer were yellow ocher, then bronze. Jewel in circlet was white, then metallic red.

The blade was the tricky part. Neon paint? Not that I haven't gamed under black lights before, but that was the '70's. Just paint it red? Then it would look like a red boken, not a plasma blade. Decided to paint it with red ink, then wash away the middle half of the blade with a paintbrush dipped in water. Most of the ink came away, but the color in the tiny depressions stayed. Cool! As close to Jack Kirby as I was going to get! A bit more red ink towards the tip and grip, and finished! The rest of the sword was yellow ocher, then bronze.

The base was covered with a slurry of ballast, sand, PVA glue and water before priming and painted with medium gray. The facing lozenge was white, then red ink, yellow ocher, then bronze, and outlined with black.

The entire figure was then dipped with a concoction of polyurethane clear gloss varnish and Tudor, except for the blade. That was covered with plain polyurethane clear gloss varnish. The base was flocked with patches of PVA glue, static grass and flock. Finally, the entire figure was sprayed with clear matte.

Suitable for Gamma World, Mutant Future, Metamorphosis Alpha, or any other Post Apocalyptic/Science Fiction game.

See more of my painting here: http://ravenfeast.deviantart.com/gallery/

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