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Painting a Dark Sword Chick in Chain Mail

Masterworks: Elmore Set #1
Product #
Suggested Retail Price
$29.95 USD

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

I just picked up a sanding sponge (for $0.88 USD ) at the local Big Lots–will give it a try.

It looks essentially the same as the fingernail-buffing sponges you can buy in hair-care supply stores, except wider.

Revision Log
14 June 2005page first published

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by Joe Wiedeman (AKA Minidragon)

Gushing about the figure...

First, I really like The Miniatures Page. I think it is an excellent hobby resource, and my hat is off to Our Esteemed Editor for making it such a great place.

A while back, I contacted Bill to let him know I was interested in doing another Workbench article or two, and wondered if he might have something he'd like me to work on. I was thrilled when he told me that he had some Dark Sword miniatures he could send to me; I took him up on it immediately.

I can't overstate how much I'd been looking forward to painting some Dark Sword stuff... I grew up looking at paintings by Larry Elmore and Keith Parkinson – my painting and drawing style are heavily influenced by these fine artists; the only problem is that I've got way too much unpainted stuff, and had sworn off buying anything new that wasn't for a commission. Fate (and Bill) intervened to give me the chance to work on mini's from the first Dark Sword Masterworks of Elmore set.

Sometimes you can get all excited by some new mini and order it, only to have the thing show up and let you down. This was not the case with the Dark Sword figures at all. The casting on the figures I received is extremely good; these are richly detailed figures and that detail is clean and crisp. I could tell from first glance that these figures would paint up well.

The scale is refreshing...the figures are more anatomically correct than many lines these days, and lack the absurdly oversized weapons of their contemporaries. As I mentioned, the detail is very clear – it is also very faithful to the reference artwork (things you might imagine would be left off are preserved). Kudos to Dennis Mize for these superb sculpts!

Specifically, I received a Chick in Chain Mail and a Lyria (female centaur). I chose to work on the Chick first, and that is who this article is about.

In this article I focus certain aspects of the painting – the mail, sword, shield, skin and hair.

Getting Started

Clean-up was minimal. There were some minor mold lines that needed cleaning - and the shield was a bit rough, so I sanded it smooth.

The cleaned-up figure

I knew I wanted to paint this figure in the Non-Metallic-Metal (NMM) style. This meant that there would be lots of gray on the figure. Normally, I basecoat a figure in black – here, that would mean I'd immediately have to repaint a large portion of the figure grey. I decided to shortcut the process by basecoating with grey.

I used Testors Acrylic Enamel Ghost Grey for the basecoat. These acrylic enamels are nice paints, though a bit hard to control... if you decide to use some, I'd recommend at least a little practice with them before you put brush to figure. I like the Testors paint for basecoating because it is much more durable than ordinary acrylic paint – it's more handling resistant.

The primed figure

That was it for prep! The only assembly required for this figure is attaching the shield, and I decided to do that after I had everything painted. Saving assembly for last would let me paint all the bits that you don’t get to see after the shield is on - maybe no-one will ever see them very well, but I'll know the job was done right!