Because in the end you need to show, not tell.
I told you I would, and I did. Father’s Day weekend 2016 I marched into the local craft and game-stores, bought the gear, and laid out a space in my basement to start painting figurines again. I’m honestly quite scared.
Not who you might think. My three unpainted immortal-sized figurines are glued and ready as I showed you last time. If I am successful they will be works of art. But come now. Gotta’ take a test run.
So I riffed my old stock, threw out 95% of the paint, all the glue, and got to the level of the old, unfinished figs. There were MANY more than I remembered: dozens of them. And most not very impressive, a few cool enough but not representative of anything I’ve seen in the Lands. I narrowed it down to a handful both relevant and curious. Then I biased back toward what was of immediate interest and not too tough to start out on. The winners:
This was a can’t-lose no-brainer choice. This unearthly image from a shared nightmare horrified and nearly killed the entire band of adventurers in The Plane of Dreams. That’s a really fun tale, by the way, kind of a hit-parade of heroes from tales set in an earlier period (including Judgement’s Tale and Three Minutes to Midnight). But the cool-factor for the Bell-Ringer goes up since he’s a) larger than life-sized (easier to paint) and b) a kind of horror stereotype with little skin and big “handles” for painting (wide swatches of the same color, not as much detail). I believe I can be very successful with him.
The proud, near-manic Primara of Oncario is an important figure in The Eye of Kog and I do need to address the gender-balance whenever I can, especially when it’s an authority figure. She will definitely be more trouble to paint, lots of small detail, and I might wait until last with her. She’s seen here bearing the traditional office-staff of the Primara, not the Scepter of Law she used to grow her city’s power, and thus destroy it. I really must explore Vuthienne’s characters to reflect her better, and painting could help (two weeks to go until the book is done and her big scene is coming up).
I could hardly believe this figure when I took it out. I forgot I had it! The father of Solemn Judgement, equivalent to Sir Not Appearing in this Novel from Judgement’s Tale, is nevertheless an important image and influence on his son through the tale of his subsequent life. Talk about a Father’s Day surprise! That’s the same hat, cape and boots which Solemn took to go adventuring, and of course Final bears both a sword and gun he never allowed his son to hold (but the latter of which Judgement finds in the Lands anyway, and takes with him).
These three will be my warm-up attempts before I attempt Percis, Astor and Stathos.
For my supplies I took a run into the local game-store Days of Knights, which if you haven’t seen it is well worth a trip. Lots of places have “this store”, and around here it’s The Days of Knights: call me an apple-polisher but I think the displays just get better and better around there. I bought about a dozen bottles of paint to start my new excursion into the world of fine detail and eye strain. The folks there are terrific, there’s a game club in the back, events every week, and more. Maybe I just started up painting so I’d have an excuse to go back here more often.
I can already tell, I’m going to make big-time use of my magnifying lens. I used its light and even its magnifying power to hone in on some of the faces and detail work I wanted to
show you with these three figs. As valuable as it’s been, though, you have to be careful– the lens annihilates your depth perception, and if the lens isn’t flat over the top of the figure, I actually started to get vertigo! I used water-bottle tops to mix in new shades (wrote the formula on my newspaper in case I had to try again) and attacked the Bell-Ringer in classic “getting dressed” formula (meaning, the inmost layers first, moving to things further out on his body). I couldn’t stop thinking about Geri, the old man who fixes Woody, his arm shaking like a leaf until he starts working. Pretty much the same here! But with the fine points on my brush and the help of the lens, I was able to minimize the going-over strokes. Mixed colors for almost all his accoutrements, the only solid shade I used was the bronze of his outer armor. I wanted him looking unhealthy and yet threatening, nightmarish I guess the best term. In the story he doesn’t carry a scythe, but a hammer which he uses to bash the bell and drive the sleeper to terror. The dream gets worse and worse the more he appears.; but the Bell-Ringer dream was rare and not shared until Nightmare came along…
I mixed black and other dark colors into my lighter wood and green shades, then decided to use grey or black washes on most of the figure to take off some of the edge of reality.
I will likely come back to touch him up in some places you can see here, but this is the essential effect I was reaching for. Let it dry, spray with matte finish, detach from the paper and the Bell-Ringer will be the first new addition to my figurine collection in longer than I care to think about. Maybe I’ll settle him on the shelf close to the Tributarians who I’m sure recall him fondly.
Next up will be Final Judgement and Vuthienne. One more shout-out to The Days of Knights for being my favorite kind of local store!