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RobH's Entry for Intimidation Doubled

Amazon Warrior Mounted
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Suggested Retail Price
£5.00 GBP

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian writes:

I love the dappling on the pony

Revision Log
12 October 2009page first published

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RobH presents his Intimidation Doubled contest entry:

First impression of this pretty little model was that it looked like a Werner Klocke sculpt (from the facial features), was unfortunately rather dull in its pose and riding a very small horse, more like a pony really.

Then looking more closely, the paper inside the blister confirmed it was sculpted by WK, and said that the photographed figure had been painted by Dirk Stiller. Which was a bit daunting, as I rate him as one of the finest figure painters in Europe. Horse was still very small, though. Although minor conversions were allowed in the competition rules, I decided to paint the figure as provided, although I was tempted to change the sword for a Mongol-style ponytail standard.

The studio model pictured on the blister pack had been painted with turquoise saddle-cloth, shield and plume, pale golden armour, and riding a bay horse with black mane and tail. So my colour scheme would have to be different than that. I decided very quickly to make the pony a pale dapple grey, which left me looking at a variation of red tones for the rider to give a good contrast (green having been done by Dirk, and blue tones being predominant in the pony coloring).

I decided to limit my colours to natural red/brown tones, with a bold red highlight for the shield and saddle-cloth. Using too many colours on a single model is a common mistake amongst novice painters, as too many colours tend to confuse the eye so that you end up seeing colour rather than shape, and losing a lot of the impact of the sculpt. A limited palette of colours is preferable.

I painted the rider and pony separately, then glued them together when painted (and before the protective sealer coats). Before starting, the pieces were cleaned of the minute amounts of flash present, and undercoated in a thin wash of white Humbrol enamel. Where listed below, all paints are GW unless otherwise noted.

The pony used only three colours for the body: black (B), white (W) and Space Wolf Grey (SWG - which has a lovely blue tint). The entire pony was painted with a 2:1 mix of SWG and B, then shaded around the muscles by gradually adding tiny amounts of B, the legs were shaded to a darker grey which is darkest around the mid-joint of the leg, getting lighter again towards the hoof. The muscles were then highlighted with a 1:1 mix of SWG and W, feathering the highlight up towards the top of the muscle. I was aiming for an "all over" lighting effect (rather than "top down" or "directional"), which is the way gaming figures are generally painted. The dapples were spotted on very lightly in a mix of the highlight colour that was 2 parts W to 1 SWG. When dry, the entire pony was then glazed about 20 times with a very thin (note very thin, virtually water) glaze of SWG to mediate the colours, drawing the extreme highlights and shadows back to a less prominent level and giving the effect of a blended surface. Applying glazes that many times necessitates very thin paints if you want to have any surface detail left at the end, and a hair dryer to speed the drying process.

When I was happy with the overall grey, I went back and added a little dark grey mix to the mid-leg joints and around the longer hairs at the top of the hoof. The mane and tail were then painted dark grey, and highlighted up to almost pure SWG in five or six stages.

The bridle and reins were painted Scorched Brown (SB), highlighted with Dark Flesh and finally Vermin Brown. The saddle-cloth was painted with a 1:1 mix of SB and Blood Red, then highlighted with a 1:2 mix (adding more red). The dog-tooth pattern on the edge was painted in Vomit Brown (VB), then highlighted with a 1:1 mix of VB and W.

Lastly for the pony, I used a wash of Badab Black from the new wash range to darken the colour around the center of the legs and to merge the highlights on the mane and tail.

The rider had her armour, sword hilt and shield painted overall in an old Humbrol acrylic Dark Bronze, and given a single highlight of the bronze mixed 1:1 with Burnished Gold. All the armour was then glazed with the original Flesh Wash (a rich yellow brown), and finally, yellow ink. The armour was then varnished to protect it during the rest of the painting. The leather straps on the armour were painted the same way as the reins on the pony.

The flesh tones were Tanned Flesh mixed with a tiny drop of Scorched Brown, highlighted with Tanned Flesh alone, then Tanned Flesh mixed 1:1 with Dwarf Flesh, then Dwarf Flesh alone. Finally, a 1:1 mix of Dwarf Flesh and Elf Flesh was applied to her nose and cheeks. All the highlight coats were kept very thin.

Her plume and leather-strip skirt were painted with SB, then highlighted in several SB/VB mix stages up to pure VB. These areas were then given a wash of the Devlan Mud brown wash.

Her hair was painted black, highlighted with Nightshade Blue; her shield painted Blood Red, washed with Devlan Mud and highlighted Blood Red again. The shield rim was painted with Chainmail and highlighted with Shining Silver, as was the sword. The pieces were glued together with a tiny drop of epoxy, gloss varnished, and then matt-coated. The base was simply filled where the pony sits in the slot and dipped in sand; then when dry, painted Bestial Brown, drybrushed with Vomit Brown, and some patches of static grass applied.

All in all, about six hours painting time. I really like this little figure, and am very pleased with the way the neutral brown tones of the rider focus attention on the blue-grey tone of the dapple pony. This is the first Armalion figure I have painted, and have to say I am very impressed with the sculpting and casting quality. I will certainly be looking at the range for other characters, I think they would fit very well with ranges such as Ral Partha and Grenadier, or the other smaller 25/28mm figures.

Girl taking the pony out for a ride (a bit of photoshop fun)
The figure against a photoshopped black background
Amazon rider
Amazon rider
Amazon rider