Tuesday, 5 July 2016

The Dragon Master ! - Champions of Law season 2


WOOOOOOHOOO ! I've actually painted a dragon ! 

Of course there's nothing to be particularly proud of since almost everyone has but I have to say I'm pretty chuffed with having this box ticked ! 
I got this model when I went to knavecon in May to play some Frostgrave with my knights of Law along with my WIPster friends. I got the model from Captain "dragonmaster" Crooks and I have to say I was very eager to work on it even if a little intimidated...

The model is an absolute bitch to photograph with my limited skills...
The model is a mix of 2 of my all time favourite sculptors : Nick Bibby and Jes Goodwin and this felt like the best model to add some strength to my champions of Law.

Taken from the most excellent Solegends
One funny detail is how close the latest (I think) High Elf (or whatever they're called these days) is to this baby :

Dragonlord by Games Workshop
Of course to fit with the other champions, I had to swap the rider so I opted for a Menilbonean rider to stay in the theme of my other models and to stay true to the idea.

Now here's a bit of WIP shots for those who fancy such stuff. I have to say I was quite suprised by how easy it all went in the end. It didn't take me long to pin everything and put things in place before filling gaps and adding a few fancy bits here and there. The most time consuming part must have actually been the paint stripping because of the layers of paint (some enamels in the mix) and the sheer size of the model...
The really cool side of this is I feel a lot better considering painting my great spined dragon now ! ^^'


Right from the start I knew I wanted the model to be modular to ease the painting process but especially the storage. 
The answer for this was pretty obvious : pins and magnets.

To make the wings removable I drilled them with a 2mm drill and added pins to the body. I then greenstuffed the link between the wings and scales, making sure the scales were properly wet to avoid the putty to stick to it

WIP, the gap on the left wing (up) is created to fit with the rest of the body.

Same process then with the rider and saddle. I first sculpted what was missing on the rider and added a magnet up his crotch...


Then resculpted the saddle by adding green stuff and a magnet, right before loading the whole thing with water and pressing the rider on it to get a perfect print.


The rest was merely just gap filling around the tail and head and adding ivy to the rocks.



Painting wise, I kept the same colours as for all the previous models but I tried to give variations on the scales and skin because of their size.
The end of each limb got some reddish and black washes to make them more intersting and I blended the tail and head from black to sand with my shitty airbrush. 
Since I had a little more room on this one, I added an autumnal basing style with dead leaves and stuff like that. I think it suits the general theme without interfering with it.



I also tried to treat the wings the same way :


And since I had a removable rider, why not have a foot version ? Luckily, Jes Goodwin used a lot of variants of a same model at the time so I could find a pretty close spearman. Though they do differ in places, I find the resemblance is sufficient to avoid caring much more.


With a dragon and plenty of knights, I'm starting to upgrade my force to a point where I'll soon have a fully playable Dragon rampant force. having read the rules, I really like the simplicity and openness of them (which remind me of Horde of the things).
What does that mean ? Well plenty more champions of Law I'm afraid but since they'e my painting happy place it's good news for me at least !
The grim darkness of the far future isn't very far from my mind though and rest assured you'll soon have plenty of it. ;)

45 comments:

  1. Great job on making wings removable!
    Otherwise, as always, the painting is top notch. I still have not painted any dragon for myself, although i have 2 Ral Partha huge beasts waiting for it...

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    1. Honestly, the painting level is at the same level as the other champions of Law, meaning at tabletop + tops. I wanted him to be painted rapidly as I feared losing momentum on such a large piece would mean never finishing at all. That meant shortcuts and all but all in all I'm very glad of how it turned out!
      Cheers mec !

      Delete
  2. Hot diggety damn! That's a fine dragon indeed. Beautiful paint of a beautiful model (even though you chose not to use the not-Elric rider - naughty boy!). The magnetised elements are a good idea - that dragon is notorious for 'ankle fatigue'.

    I really like the subtle colour fading on the crest and ankles, as well as the bright red pop on the saddle. Gorgeous!!

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    1. Thanks Jon, As always with Bibby and Goodwin, the model was a treat to paint. The rider didn't make it but I still have menilboneans steeds to mount him on so who knows ? ;)

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  3. Very nicely done JB.

    The Dragon looks superb, excellent skin/scale tones. I really like the blending of the greenish tones with the fleshier tones on the ridges, legs, and wings. The eyes are great too, love the glow.

    The rider is very well done as well, nice idea to have a dismounted version too. It's all very inspiring as I am currently sorting out my Melniboneans, and am currently paint stripping my Dragon Master sets to repaint. I like the tone of the armour too, making me think on mine.

    Love the base of course, and the sheild as well.

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    1. Cheers Lee !
      I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with the Menilboneans !

      Delete
  4. I can imagine the beast swooping through the smoke and fog of a battlefield picking off stragglers as it heads for the enemy general. A casual flame vomit and the battle is over. He circles lazily on the updraft and lands gently on a rocky overhang. He licks his lips and eyes the fleeing army hungrily. A tug on the reins and he lets a defiant, gut churning scream/roar and takes to the air. He loops once and then dives. Hundreds of already petrified souls stare, aghast into the air...their last moments a thoughtless, wordless, world of terror..........

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I was living the scene as if I was there !

      Cheers mec !

      Delete
  5. That is a wonderful job, well done!

    And the resemblance between the two dragons is uncanny; do you think it could be a deliberate homage?

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    1. I'm fairly sure this was deliberate, they've been doing that foe a few years now, just look at teh Silver Tower familiars and you'll see they're direct copies of the old Jes Goodwin ones for example, you could find many other examples like that.
      Thanks a lot !

      Delete
  6. Fuck, you made this look easy and it's a hell of a work. There are no words to describe how awesome this is!! Congrats, man!

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    1. The only technical thing (the eyes) was rushed so no, nothing complicated here, just time efficient techniques here, nothing more complicated than what I descibed in the tutorial earlier.
      Thanks a lot amigo, glad you like it !

      Delete
  7. Everyone eventually has to paint a dragon! I've managed only two (very different dragons) in 25 years of painting and the last of these was this year! I love them as the ultimate expression of the fantasy genre and this was magnificently done.

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    1. Vert True, Just like robots are the icon of sci-fi, dragons are the embodiment if fantasy !
      Thanks a lot!

      Delete
  8. Well mec, here we are. You've joined the super exclusive Dragon Masters Dragon Club. You have known the joy of placing your bristles on true majesty. You have been weighed on the sacred dragonscales of Bibby and you have not been found wanting. Your place at the long table in the Dragon Masters Lodge is secured for all time and you have a big book of discount vouchers for the dragon breakfast buffet. That'll do mec, that'll do.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Do I get to wear the badge or is it just for high rankers ?
      Oh God I wasn't prepared for something like tis, do I have yo make a speech, now I'm confused ! ^^'

      Delete
  9. Really nice and clean work both the paint-job and the assembly!

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    1. The paintjob is actually quite messy in some places but I've tried to stick with the Tabletop level I used for all the other members to save time and gain coherence.
      Thanks a lot !

      Delete
  10. Impressive :) I really like the Menilbonean Elfs, they really have a lawful look.

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    1. Sort of ironic isn't it ? ^^
      Thanks !

      Delete
  11. Brilliant! I love the fades from black to brown.... may have to steal that ;) Your "tabletop" quality is really very nice!

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    1. Cheers ! From looking at all examples, breaking the monotony on such a long model was mandatory so I tried to do it myself. I think that was the right move.

      Delete
  12. Wow, that really is something! Quite an engineering feat to magnetise it all, and it looks just superb.

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    1. Only the rider is magnetised, I didn't trust magnets to hold the wings so I went for a big metal rod instead (I'm a bit biased being a civil engineer during daytime).
      Thanks a lot, glad you guys like him !

      Delete
  13. A truly magnificent job JB, bravo. One of the finest dragons ever produced, and you have done it mighty justice. I take my hat off to you, and then set it one fire.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Sacrifice duely accepted, thanks !
      It is a wonderful model, but then again, what else could we expect from the Bibs ?

      Delete
    2. It's the least I could to to atone for my negligence. Bibs is the man alright.

      Delete
  14. Top marks all round A-Man. There isnt much that I can say that hasnt been covered (even in prose by WhiskeyPriest).

    Fabulous work on a classic.

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    1. Thanks, this one owes you quite a bit since teh model went through you and you did motivate us to get cracking on DR. ;)

      Delete
  15. Very nice JB, a quality result and making it modular is inspired, you could even start mutating it that way. Oh wait, it's a dragon of law. I have quantity with my Dragon Masters, five in total but no way will I hit this quality. Those eyes genuinely look like they have little lights in them.

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    1. Cheers ! I've been toying with th eidea to make modualr chaos champions you could change as they evolve by using magnets in each limb but taht would require quite some time. An idea i'll keep in mind though ;)
      Thanks a lot !

      Delete
  16. Bravo, le résultat est superbe !

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    1. Merci, c'est le genre de pièces qui font du bien en fait, ca fait respirer un peu de changer de format !^^

      Delete
  17. Woah, that is stunning JB, nice job fella! You say it is 'only' tabletop standard, but it really is very lovely... Those champs of law are really getting some heavy hitters now!

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    1. Cheers mate. After the heavy weights, it's time to get back to the rank and file a bit or I'll only have big blokes !

      Delete
  18. I've yet to attempt to paint up a dragon, so not all that rare a hobbyist. ;) (Though I do have three on the paint-queue for future "dragon-urges".)

    Have always love that particular sculpt - one of the best GW put out and FAR better than the crap of the 90's and thereafter. Those stark lightening-blue/white eyes look so good on such a large piece!

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    1. I'm not very fond of the 90's dragons myself though I can understand why some love them so much, they'r a pure product of the red era so tehy only really work for those fond of that aesthetic.
      Painting something a little different is always nice and rewarding though big pieces tend to be a tad intimidating.
      I strongly advise you to have a go !

      Thanks.

      Delete
  19. He looks great JB!

    Just out of curiosity, the pinning of the wings, are they so that you can remove the wings for travel or did you end up glueing them on?

    Also, like Axiom mentioned, it looks like a prime candidate for metal fatigue at the ankle (and knees too I'd think) joints. Not sure how you'd go about rectifying this issue with this particular sculpt. Which is a shame, coz it's an awesome example of a dragon miniature. Is it balanced well at all? Or is it, as it looks to my eye, weighted heavily to the front?

    Cheers buddy :)

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    Replies
    1. Cheers man,

      The pinning is intended to make the wings removable for storage and transport otherwise he'd be a proper bitch.
      I initially thought he'd be a candidate for metal fatigue as well but after building him and pinning every bt I could pin, I realised it was extremely well designed. The ankles aren't next to each other, the claws of the right leg are also touching an dlinked to the body which means there's actually a good leverage. The most fragile part would probably be around teh hips but it's a broad zone so resilient enough I'd say. I've tried testing it by pushing (gently) and I don't see it bending that easily tbh.
      The balance is also very good, it's slightly on the front as you'd expect but add a base and it's absolutely fine, even without the plastic base, it stood well. There's been a lot of thinking for that one, very clever design on top of a superb look.

      Delete
  20. Customization, awesome paintjob and a veeeeeery nice addition to your band. Adding an on foot version of the rider is just cherry on this cake.
    I loved the old model when I discovered it years back, with your paint on, he appears ready to rock, more than ever. Great job !

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    1. It didn't cost much more time wise to paint the unmounted rider and I find it a good thing for scenaristic shots and even gaming opportunities.
      Thanks a lot for the kind words mec ;)

      Delete
  21. Been meaning to respond to this for days now. Congratulations on achieving dragon success mate. You're on one hell of a roll lately. Brilliant choice of rider as well and I love the extra touch of a variant on foot. That especially ticks my box! (Would have definitely have done the same) ;)

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    1. Old habits die hard, I got that one by playing whfb !
      This first dragon was a Great pleasure so now I'm looking for more !
      Thanks!

      Delete
  22. Impressive organic tones (dragon) and impressive metallics (armour). Is there no surface you can't paint. Excellent work sir!

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    1. There are, I just hide from them ! Thanks a lot mate !

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