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Round Two Report from Abstracity

Knight of the Balance
Product #
Suggested Retail Price
£3.50 GBP


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Revision Log
15 December 2003page first published

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Science Fiction

4,871 hits since 15 Dec 2003
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Minidragon Fezian Inactive Member reports:

A barely audible rustling in the bushes to behind him alerted the knight to the soldiers' presence. Faster than the eye could follow he was on his feet with his killing blades out, his sniper rifle abandoned on the ground behind him. With blurring speed he darted behind a large tree.

Moving carefully, fully alert, the patrolling soldiers moved into the concealed clearing overlooking the road. The first in noticed the sniper rifle on the ground and held up his hand for the others to stop. They all looked around nervously...there was no way the sniper could have been alerted to their presence. All three nearly jumped out of their skins as the knight stepped out of concealment. They gawked in stunned silence as the man spoke.

"Guess you boys weren't expecting VASA to send a Knight of the Balance to settle things here, eh? Well, your planetary governor's been awfully naughty...and we just can't let things like that slide now, can we?" Before he had finished speaking the knight burst into action, attacking the overmatched soldiers with quick thrusts and cuts from his deadly swords. Seconds later the fight was over, none of the soldiers had even had time to reach for a radio.

Back in his carefully selected shooting position, the knight was already planning his escape. In ten minutes the self styled Tyrant of Kordia would pass by under heavy guard, the knight would eliminate him, detonate the explosives he'd planted on the other side of the road, and make his escape to the prepped and ready Slippery Vixen. Once he was in his ship nothing would be able to catch him...

I knew as soon as I took the figure out of the blister that I wanted to paint my Knight so he'd appear to have chrome armor plates on over a shiny black skin suit. I'd seen another I-Kore VOID mini painted like that and I really enjoyed the effect. So what to do with the armor was easy...I was at a loss for what to do with the trench coat though! I knew I wanted to paint some kind of freehand design on there, but had no idea what. I sat down and doodled for bit and an idea struck me as I looked over a sketch that looked vaguely like a WWII era pinup... I'd paint the trench coat in the style of old bomber jackets! It would have a pinup on the back and campaign and unit patches on the front and sleeves (and maybe some rank insignia on the collar and cuffs).

I knew what I wanted to do now...but felt that I needed to somehow explain why VASA's stealthy assassin type was going around in this flashy outfit! I'd read the I-Kore fluff on Knights of the Balance - these guys are skilled sneaks and assassins and tend to be loners. The loner bit was my springboard. I decided that my knight was a cocky and flamboyant fellow and traveled the galaxy in a ship he'd dubbed the Slippery Vixen. Tada! That explains the outfit!

Now down to painting. First, since I wanted to do a pinup on his back, I decided to leave the rifle off and I resculpted his back (he had a little divot for attaching the rifle). I already knew my basic colors so I put those down first: light blue for the armor plates, brown for the coat, and black for skin suit.

Basic colors are laid down

Next I painted some very fine lines onto his suit. I used a few shades of gray for these, but the last highlight was pure white. I wanted the suit to look like it was made of something like patent leather.

After finishing with the suit, I started on the chrome plates. I began with thinned Sky Blue Ink (GW). I used this to darken the tops of the plates (representing the reflected sky).

Armor plates have been darkened on top with blue ink

Next I used thinned Wolf Brown (Iron Wind/Partha) to paint the bottom half of the plates. I used the same method on all but one plate - if you look, you'll see that the plate on his right thigh has no brown...this is because the angle it sits at wouldn't allow it to reflect the ground. In general, I just wanted to suggest highly reflective metal...I wasn't too concerned about being hyper-accurate with the reflections on the plates. Next I carefully lined the plates with white, added a reflection of the sun, and put in a little streak that I think helps to make the plates look shiny.

The armor plates are finished

With the armor done, I turned to the coat. On the base coat I'd used Battle Brown (Iron Wind/Partha) with some black added in to darken it up. For the first highlights I used very thin Battle Brown. Next I added a little Wolf Brown to the mix, and finished with a final, very selective, highlight of pure (thinned) Wolf Brown.

After finishing the coat, I decided to paint the swords black. I had no idea at this point what I wanted the swords to look like, but black seemed like a good place to start.

The main coloring of the coat was finished, but it desperately needed some detail. It was time to paint on the pinup and patches! I started with the pinup. I sketched out exactly what I wanted on paper first. I drew it very small (nearly as small as it would end up on the mini). I did the drawing so small to get my hand used to the small movements I'd need to make to draw the pinup onto the mini. I used a 3-0 brush for the whole pinup. I painted the planet first, then the girl, then the space around the planet, and finished with the words Slippery Vixen.

The pin-up is done

With the pinup done, I moved on to the patches. I did a couple name-tag-szed things on the front of his jacket, along with a yin-yang symbol. One sleeve got a patch that looks remarkably similar to an Airborne patch, while the other got a VASA patch. I added small collar devices to his collar. That was it for the jacket detail!

I painted the swords pretty quickly, going for a very basic but effective non-metallic metal look. It worked out okay, but could be touched up to look lots better with more time.

Last came the rifle. I started by painting it black. Next I painted the individual plates on the gun a dark grey, leaving some black in the recesses. I finished up with a couple layers of highlights along the edges of the plates and some red for the scope optics.

Just a quick write up this time, but I hope I've given you some clues as to how I achieved the look I did. Thanks for looking!!!

See the Finished Pictures