Things of No Interest: Outside My Comfort Zone

Things of No Interest: Outside My Comfort Zone

Reaper Bones: Cinder
As we head into March, I started thinking about my painting goal for the next month. The year-long goal is to finish at least one Descent figure a week. Four weeks in March makes the goal fairly simple - three Carrion Drakes (those are the last of the Labyrinth of Ruin figures) and one other figure (probably the Raythen hero to finish that pack).

So why this post and what is outside my comfort zone?

Well, at the end of March is the Arizona Game Fair - a standard gaming convention here in my neck of the woods. As I looked over the activities, I saw that they are having a miniature painting contest. Now normally, I paint to standard below competition level - tabletop. That is to say, I do more than just get some paint on the figures, but I'm not trying to make them all perfect either. It is hard to justify spending hours on a couple of guys that might be on the table (in my eyesight) for a total of five minutes! Of course, some models are fun to try and make look really good, but for the most part I  wouldn't consider putting them up to be judged against other models.

Since there is a month until the game fair, I've decided to step outside my comfort zone and try and put together something for the contest. That's how we grow and get better - stretch and make mistakes and learn.

So I went and dug in my crate of things and found Cinder. A dragon model from a Reaper Bones order that I had never even un-bagged. A dragon. Good room for a little creativity and still a little "safe".

So I started tonight with the assembly. The model comes in multiple parts:
  • Body with one leg
  • the other leg
  • two arms
  • two wings
  • top of the head
  • base
Right off the bat, I'm doing stuff I don't normally do - assemble the model. No big deal, a drop of super glue and parts slide together. A leg, head, and two arms and I have something that almost looks like Godzilla. 

Except that of course the glue-in parts have gaps. gaps that need to be filled in with some liquid greenstuff (which despite the name isn't liquid). Citadel's Liquid Greenstuff is just model putty that is soft enough to spread with a brush. 

So I set about filling in cracks (like drywall spackle). The toughest part is trying to figure out (because once you start spreading it, it can be hard to tell) if I'm filling in the cracks or filling in a bunch of details too. 

I also start noticing a bunch of mold lines. Normally, I'm far too lazy to spend a bunch of time cleaning those off the models. Again, it is one of those things I just don't feel make a big difference in a tabletop model - Descent models have enough other flaws that I rarely notice a little mold line.

Well, this model is supposed to be a competition show piece, so I spend a little time with the file cleaning the stuff I'm seeing. I'm pretty sure that after I start priming this, I'm going to find a bunch more. 

One thing I don't do is glue in the wings. I'm still thinking about how I want this to look and not sure I want to limit my access to spine. I figure it can't hurt to start priming the wings, so while the green stuff is drying, I start priming the wings. I'm using Army Painter brush on primer to give me a nice neutral grey. 

By the way, I was right. As I'm priming the wings, I realize I have some mold lines on the wings to clean up. Sigh. No big deal, I want this to look good and I have a month to work on it. I don't have to get it done all in the first couple of days.

It is all part of the process. Who knows? Maybe I'll start really seeing all the mold lines and feel I should clean them up and all my work will take that next step. That's part of the goal here - not show off my questionable skills as a painter, but total a leap and see how far I have to grow.

So the next step is more primer and more clean up. I'll have to decide on whether to assemble the wings and take care of that now or after I work on the spine. I started looking for pictures of dragons to get some inspirations. About all I'm sure of is that I don't want to do either red or green. There are more than enough of those out there already. I'm thinking dark blue - almost black. Stay tuned!
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