Sunday, March 13, 2011

Dante conversion and Ragnar update

This weekend I managed to get a Dante model that is part of an ongoing commission painted up. I primed him earlier in the week, let him dry and finished him off today.

I'm not sure how I feel about his face being the same grey as his armour, but I'm not sure making it metallic or skin tone will fix it either.

I did go in and add another highlight and shadow to this model over the other ones in order to define things a little more.

It's still tabletop level painting, but each little thing like that you add makes the model look a bit more finished in the end.

I also added a Terminator honors medal to his
belt. For two reasons... one, to cover up a Blood Angel icon I had to cut away and two, to add some heft to his waist area. He looked a little dainty and as soon as I added the element there, the whole thing filled out and looked much better.

And for those with the sharp eye, I still need to finish the grenade on his belt. I just need to find the right color. I think green might look odd sitting there... so that's why it's not done yet.

He's got the same soot stained jump pack exhausts like the rest of them do. It's a simple process that adds a nice touch to the model I think. Definitely gives them a certain feel as opposed to just leaving them "clean" looking.

This one was a little tougher to do since I had the icons on there. First, I painted them like normal without and soot or damage.

Then I went in and added the stains. Trouble was, since I drybrush the brown and then black on there, none of it got into the cracks of the icon and it looked silly.

I had to go back with Devlan Mud and wash in the recessed areas to mimic the soot building up over the whole thing and not just the upper edges. It just looked wrong without the wash filling in all the recessed portions.

One last thing I did was to make a small adjustment to the helmet laurels on the guys in his squad. Instead of keeping them all gold, my friend asked if I cut make them green in order to break things up a bit and have them stand out a little. No problem.

Ragnar Blackmane progress report
I also spent some time working on more details for my Ragnar conversion. I'm still working on the smaller details so I can get them done. Then it becomes a matter of taking those detailed pieces and assembling them to make the complete model.

I had to finish his belt buckle before I could attach his torso to his legs. That's the whole trick, knowing what to do in what order.

I have to make sure I don't work myself into a corner and make it hard to get something built because I'm in a rush to get this guy done. It's a lot of planning and then trying to figure out things in reverse.

Like what needs to be built so I can sculpt the fur cape over his shoulder. Of the things that need to be built, what needs to be glued in place and what does not have to be glued.

It's lots of anticipating what you think will happen once you glue something down.

I did a real rough mock up of what he'll look like when finished. There's so much that's not on him at this point, but I just wanted to get a feel for how the model will play out in the end and see if there were any issues that popped up right away by trying this.

So far so good, nothing has jumped out yet. I was a little worried about the room I would have to bring his left arm across his chest, but that doesn't look like it's going to be a problem.

With his chainsword here, I added the gem to the chain guard and then had to fix the connection point between the two halves. If you look carefully at the picture, you can tell that the two lower edges do not meet up exactly. I had to go in and clean up one edge so they match perfectly now.

That and I went in and sculpted the little teeth between the actual chainsword teeth. Those were quite the pain to get in there, but were a necessity and I couldn't even consider leaving them out.

The pelt at the handle is just laying there to see how it looks. I think I'm going to add it once the arm is in position to give it some more movement.


  1. Ragnar is looking great! Much better pose for him than the old "Look at me, I'm cool" pose.

  2. Thanks, he'll be a little more put together in the end. I was just trying to get a feel for the overall position of things with the mock up.

    As I build him, I'll fine tune things and the pose will change slightly as pieces fit together tighter.

  3. In terms of positioning, do you worry about the Chainsword covering up details on his chest and face? I have tried to avoid things that cross the chest simply because it covers up detail and forces you to pick models up and look underneath and such. Just a thought.

  4. In terms of the grenade and face, have you considered using white?
    It would tie in with the white on his shoulder, and depending on how you did it, could lend that marble statue look to the face.
    Unsure what it would do for the grenade, but it would pic it out a bit and wouldnt be green.
    Perhaps even a yellow, rather that a metallic or green for the grenade, as you have a yellowish metal used on the other details and features.

  5. Pastafarion: A do worry about that sometimes, but in this case, I think the pose is worth it. To get some poses, you're going to have to concede some things on the model otherwise they'd all be walking around with their arms wide open.

    When I can though, it's one of those things I try and be careful when I do it. It's a tradeoff in the end.

    Mephistopheles: A white face might be interesting. I went with a dark grey (almost black) for the grenade so it didn't jump out and it blends in with the other weapons he has that are black.

  6. Hmmm makes more sense when you think about it that a highly explosive device doesnt stand out on the person carrying it...
    Must admit ive never done brightly coloured fuel tanks on my flame troopers :P
    Though now i think about it my Baneblades fuel tanks are bright yellow... :S

  7. Dante is a hard miniature to make look good with any paint scheme. The grey of this chapter seems particularly difficult since it makes those greek looking armor plates looks like stone. I know you are painting to match an existing scheme so maybe that is practical. I see those grey plates and all I want to do is add chipping and weathering!

  8. I actually think Dante's face being grey looks awesome framed by the gold. Looking forward to seeing the final Ragnar!

  9. Drathmere: I never thought about Dante being hard to paint. I do see what you mean about the stone look now.

    I think it depends on what kinds of other elements you have on your models.

    Crosser: Thanks, I'm doing some more work on Ragnar this weekend.

  10. I think the problem with Dante is that his armor makes him look like a statue in almost any paint scheme. Not of his armor looks like it would move properly on the body, so he looks sculpted. I have a gold Dante that looks pretty statuesque as well. What I would love to see you do is to rebuild Dante using sanguinary parts, and your sculpting magic!

  11. Drathmere: I suspect some one will ask one day. He pose is alright... there are worse out there.

    That might actually help too, creating a pose that is a bit more human and dynamic might help get rid of the statue feel to the model.

  12. I hear you are the guy for re-imagined minis! It would be great for a tutorial the rest of us could follow.

    Would you use parts from the old Dante to try and make him unambiguously dante?

  13. Let me look this weekend and see what I would use... I can say that I would probably do it all in plastic and sh away from metal bits if I could.

    I might use the metal jump pack only to get the iconogrpahy on there.

  14. Now how can I convince you to do Tycho as well?

  15. He shouldn't be too hard to do should he? After looking at some pics of him, he seems fairly easy to replicate actually.

    That mask though, that could be tough.