Sunday, 25 September 2022

15mm Dungeon: Character Progression…..


I’ve started the process of tackling the painting of my first group of player-characters for the dungeon crawl, as introduced in my previous ‘Roll Call” posting, with so far, some mixed results….

The minis I chose were principally from Ral Partha Europe, and are all excellent, well-defined sculpts with plenty of detail and character, so in terms of initial block painting, went quite smoothly - some of my colour choices not withstanding ! 

It was only when I made an attempt at highlighting, using washes etc, that things went a bit awry, showing I still have a lot to learn in tackling 15mm !

Anyway, onto the cast list:

First up, we have Melita the Female Cleric / Magic User, of the Sisters of the Sword, accompanied by the wily and devious Vilek, the Thief:

I think Melita warrants some more detailing, and although the basic paint job of ecclesiastical-type garb is fine, the highlights and first wash have rather muddied her off-white robes, similarly, areas of the flesh are now rather blotchy - I think getting my eye in at this scale is still taking time, and what should have been easy paler skin highlights are just sort of blobby - sorry Melita !

Vilek has come off a bit better, although the tabard/sporran affair to his front and his shoulder pads should have been a nice contrasting colour, again the highlights are off, with them turning a ‘spicy’ orange colour - he’s come over as a bit Sci-fi, - thankfully, his flaming torch serves to ground him somewhat…..

Moving on, we encounter more of the Thief’s companions, namely Herk the Hero, Male Fighter, and Borrin the Dwarf, a veteran warrior:


They are another pair of cleanly realised and interesting sculpts, with very good facial features and proportions, although Herk is a little on the short side !

The Fighter is wearing a nice pair of metal greaves, open to the rear, and a back and breast plate - nothing too hard to handle, although again, I’ve managed to muddy rather than give depth to his clothing - the saving grace, perhaps, is that I’m finally getting a bit better at dotting in eyes - a bit less ‘googly’ than before….. his shield is a nice blank canvas, but I have yet to think of what design to add - I wanted an orange field, but sort of faltered having put in an off-centre oblique/bend in white…..hmmm….will have to wait for more inspiration to come…. 

Borrin is replete with small details and weapons/accoutrements, as well as sporting some impressive horns to his helm…. I’m quite pleased with him so far, although I’m unsure about leaving his beard such a bland grey - my ambition might take me along the road of trying some more natural tints, but the reality is that I don’t want to muck it up - veteran dwarves do not like blotchy beards !

His shield design was my attempt at a flying green dragon in heraldic style 2D - bearing in mind he is holding it horizontally -definitely needs some more work - a bit more squashed gecko than terrifying draconian……

Joining him is Leofric the Ranger, resplendent in Lincoln green, ( I know, I know, a bit of a lazy choice for the stereotypical archer…)


Again, he’s suffering from some shoddy highlights, particularly blotchy on his face - but overall not too bad, if so far a bit bland.

Next, we have Mela the Shield Maiden, Female Fighter, who is rather suffering from my poor fashion choices for her, and Bork the Barbarian, who is giving me all sorts of headaches…..

Mela is an amazing piece of work, with her sharp, expressive features and detailed dress - but I think I have rather let her down with the colour choice - I mean, tangerine orange with neon yellow details….. whoa - the 70s are calling and Abigail wants her frock back……. I think years of painting uniform drab and more drab have not prepared me for coming up with inspiration for the female form - so I am sure she is cursing me for my poor taste - it’s a bad bridesmaids dress if I ever saw one !

I added the shield from my spares pile, and not wanting to polish the tur…..I mean, gild the lily, I went completely the other way with a plain brown - hoping to tone things down…. Not sure it works, really, so will have to have a think - at least it makes her look quite business-like…..

Bork is also all business, with his gratuitous weapons load of sword, long dagger, axe, shield, bow and quiver, topped off with a rolled blanket - there is a lot going on !

This sculpt is from Alternative Armies, and is actually a carry-over from 15mm Asgard/TTG:

Given his age, his features / details are rather soft, so a bit harder to bring out the character without a light touch….

Unfortunately, my painting here is as thick as that thing between his ears, and he is in serious need of some careful re-touching and detailing work - I will quickly gloss over my attempts at a tartan blanket for the shoulder roll…..gulp…..

Bringing up the rear comes the gorgeous Gandagor the Ginger, Male Magic User, and his wobbly green staff of wizardry…..

Again, a lovely detailed and characterful sculpt in appropriate pose, but also again, a bit let down by some of my muddy washing and over-enthusiastic dry-brushing…. Definitely a work in progress - someone will have to work their magic on him before he can really look the part.

So, as my old school reports always used to say “A good start, but must do better….” 

However, undaunted by my mediocrity - I went ahead with a bit of fun that is reminiscent of someone that people of a certain vintage might remember - a few visual clues:

Now, as a hardened player of the real thing at the time, and probably by then being too old for its target demographic, I recollect being scoffily dismissive of this particular cartoon, feeling it was misnomered as Dungeons and Dragons, but actually with hindsight, it wasn’t actually that bad, given the intent behind it:

One character that particularly annoyed me was the eponymous Dungeon Master, but when I spotted the shape and size of the Dosojin from their Sengoku Japanese range, something clicked inside my head….

So, my project now has its very own director of all things Dungeon:

A good bit of fun, anyway, before I get too serious in judging the quality of my efforts so far - he certainly seems quite pleased with himself, even when flanked by two of Alternative Armies’ scorpions:

Don’t forget to tune in next time for more adventures, Kids!

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