Thursday, October 31, 2013

Ten Thunders Archers

After some work, repainting, and careful attempts to fix up certain areas, I have finally finished up my archers! There are some areas that didn't work out quite how I'd hoped, but overall I'm pleased with the outcome. With that, time for pretty pictures!

How fast can you run?

I decided on a theme with the crew, since they have such disparate parts. The Torakage (not yet finished), being essentially ninjas, would have clothing that is as much as possible 'standard citizen' in colour and pattern. The Archers, being to my mind about the same level in the hierarchy, would also have mostly 'plainclothes'. Of course, I needed a way to distinctively mark them as Ten Thunders even still, and decided on using spots of red on each model, somewhere, to declare their allegiance.

The consistent sections for the archers are their 'helmet curtains', quiver, and bow string and tassel. A few have other elements, but those would be the consistent ones.

Early on I decided this model had to be on top of something. Finding a twig was as easy as walking outside, and after some careful cutting, drilling, and pinning, I had a stable perch for my archer. The advantage of this is it gives him more of a sense of motion too. He's not just crouching to sneak a shot off in an awkward pose that isn't just kneeling, but is instead mid-leap on to, and then presumably off of a broken tree.

Also here, you can somewhat see the tattoo pattern I applied to most of them. I'd looked at lots of photos of Yakuza-style tattoos, and attempted to emulate them, which in 32mm is not easy... All the colours I was going to apply got mixed with flesh tone to make it look like they're sub-dermal.

His clothing, as I suggested earlier, is a very mundane, drab, grey and brown. I've always found that the more fantastical settings feel more 'real' the more realistic all the individual elements are.

Here's my calm and collected archer. Sadly, he's managed to pick up some of my cat's long hairs already, but luckily post-painting, so they're not adhered. This one also features some more significant conversion than just adding bowstrings, in that I gave him little sandals of the traditional sort. I reinforced that formal feel by having him standing off a boardwalk of some kind. This guy's tattoo pattern is a dragon, with the fanged mouth right on the shoulder, and his kimono is meant to be patterned with a lotus-style flower. Sadly, I noticed the wash pooling in those front creases after I took the photos, and will be going back to fix them...

This archer was the first I nailed down how I wanted the colour scheme to go, while the rest were made more earth-tone to contrast him.

My final archer is the one that has given me the most trouble. The hair acting as his bowstring is under significant tension, and infuriatingly, has snapped a number of times. I've managed to glue it in place for the time being, but Lord only knows how long that will hold. This guy is also jumping over a log, to tie in with the other one, and sports a more traditionally black kimono, offset with brown pants and a dark green shirt. The small dotted pattern helps to make him seem less dreary, and the bright belt contrasts the red and overall drab. His tattoo is a series of flowers and leaves, and is the one that looks the most striking of them in person.

Since the photos, I added static grass in patches to the bases, using a dead-yellow short fuzz since I figure the grasses in Malifaux are all kinds of strange, and it helps them look all drab. Also something to note: when painting clothes, keep your highest highlight and darkest shadow relatively close on the spectrum to make the cloth look fairly rugged and 'typical'; cloths like cotton or wool won't vary much. If you want to make them look silken, strengthen your lights to dark, since silk reflects light so much more readily. If you look at the third archer, just above, you can see his black cloth and green shirt look to be made of far more durable fabric than, say, the red cloth that makes up their helmet curtains.

Next, I intend to finish up the Oiran. I have their masks, bases, and some details left to do before they get photographed as well!

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