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Dread Pirate Garness's Roman Signifer

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Suggested Retail Price
$10 USD


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Revision Log
24 January 2006page first published

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Dread Pirate Garness writes:

Howdy, fellow TMPers!

This is my final report for the Alpha Painting Contest. The last figure to be used is the Roman Signifier.

So, where to begin? Honestly, I had grand plans for this figure. I was going to do a massive conversion, lots of highly detailed reflective Non-Metallic Metallic, detailed embroidery, the works. But in the end, I chose to go with something simple and truer to the period and more realistic. Perhaps it will cost me the competition, perhaps I will be voted most likely to choke on the final round.

At this point, I am not at all concerned with how the vote goes, or proving that I can do all the high-speed uber-technical styles out there. I am very pleased with what I have done, and am proud to put this figure on my shelf. It is more "in" with my own painting style, which is very subtle and yet has great depth. (I don't say this to toot my own horn, but this has been an observation of many of my closest friends - and I like to think I produce a figure that doesn't wow you at first, but the more you look at it, the more you want to keep looking at it. I hope you feel the same way.)

Lastly, let me take a moment to thank Alpha for the figures. I think you have great product here. I like that the figures are simple and "easily dressed up," so to speak. The price is reasonable, and the quality is also decent. Sure, it is not an Andrea or some other 54mm, but there is certainly something to be said for a nice, simple figure that anybody can paint without worrying about all the fiddly bits. One that can be as detailed, or as simple, as you like.

I would like to thank Bill for his service to the hobby, and being the flagship of the miniatures industry. While it is true you don't actually make any figures or rules, what you do is truly something none of us could really do without.

And to all the TMPers: You all are my extended family, like the uncle we all like but only see at weddings and funerals. Hmm, maybe that came out wrong, but I think you know what I mean.

So, on to the figure

I began by cleaning the entire figure of minimal flash lines. (One thing I like about Alpha is the flash lines are very minor and easy to clean up. Good work there.) Once the lines were filed down, I primed the figure in black. Normally I will do a figure like this in gray, but I wanted a little darker feel to some parts, and I didn't think a really bright figure was appropriate.

Primed in black

Next, I took Vallejo Gunmetal and drybrushed the chainmail armor.

The chainmail is drybrushed

Once the metal paint dried, I washed with GW Armor Wash, then drybrushed with Gunmetal again, and repeated the process several more times. I do this so the raised regions of the armor - or I should say, the parts of the armor that will reflect the light falling on it - will be brighter, and the creases and regions of the armor facing the ground will be darker. By repeatedly washing with black, I can gradually increase the darkness of the shaded regions while keeping the raised regions bright.

After the washes

In addition, once I had the shading I wanted, I washed carefully with GW blue, green and chestnut ink. I did this to reflect some of the natural real-world colors the armor would pick up. While they are subtle, the effect of the colors will help the metal look more realistic.

I also began by basecoating the flesh with GW Bestial Brown, and basecoated the lion pelt, leather belt, scabbard, shoes, and straps with GW Scorched Brown. I then washed these with GW brown ink.

More basecoating