Time to give the troll with a scythe a bit of attention now. As I mentioned earlier, this one doesn’t fit the classic view I have of a troll. Bit too well dressed and carrying a farming impliment, i’ve nicknamed him Posh Troll. But it does provide interesting painting due to the design of his garments. Cobbled together cloth for larger than man or woman-sized creatures isn’t something you see miniature sculptors do so much these days. it’s a bit of a shame as it’s fun to work in different colours and generally have a play with the look of the mini. Of course you might look at it and think, humm, gone a bit mad there.
Here I’ve blocked in some more of the colours on the shirt and breeches. MSP 9031 Tanned Leather for the below the knee parts of his legs. 9134 Clotted Red and 9070 Mahogany Brown for a couple more of the shirt patches.. I’ve also given the blade of the scythe a coat of 9205 Blacked Steel, which makes a good base to work off of. Snakebite Leather contrast paint has been used on his belt, and is already doing it’s thing. It’s quite wonderful how these paints bring out the subtle details the sculptor has worked into the miniature. Finally a little 9033 Golden Blond for his beer barrel on the other side of his belt.
He was looking far too clean for a self respecting troll, even a posh one, so I’ve gunged him up a bit. Simple enough using a mixture of Dark Oath Flesh contrast paint mixed with one drop each of flow improver and drying retarder. Mix it into a thin wash and paint it thinly over all the material areas. I find it takes the ‘newness’ off the paint and starts to give the different pieces a more uniform look. They may be different colours, but they’ve all been on this troll for quite a long time. This technique also shows up the strapping holding the cloth to the lower parts of his legs. I’ve also given the lighter areas of cloth a drybrush of Stained Ivory. I want the creases and folds to look worn and colour faded.
Wyldwood contrast with one drop each of flow improver and drying retarder to make another wash. Here I’m a bit more selective where I place it. it’s a deep shade and I want it to go into the darker areas. The lower parts of his legs are very important here. He’s a big lad and able to ford through rivers, streams etc. This means he’s going to get muddy, and this is where it’s going to show most.
Adding extra depth and contrast to a mini can be tricky. I’ve found that careful black lining can really help, but you have to be careful with it. The lining should show the differences between areas, without being so noticable that it draws the eye in it’s own right. Many artists say never to use black, as it’s really rare to find anything pure black in the natural world. There is much truth to this, but for we mini painters I think it’s a useful shade to have in our armoury. We’re working very small scale. Contrast between areas that can be just millimeters across needs defining. It als helps to draw the viewing eye to the areas we want to be looked at. I also really like doing it. I don’t know why, but I’ll go over a mini several times during the course of painting it, just to firm up the lining. For this you need a good black. All paints fade a bit when you add flow improver and drying retarder, black is no exception. Reapers MSP paints are made so they blend very well, so their strength of pigment isn’t high as some other paint ranges.
Stuart Thomas is an online friend, and ex Heavy Metal GW painter. He has a now defunct blog here, and can also be found on social media. I mention this because he’s well worth following as he comes up with some excellent tips every so often. One of these was the mention of Instar Paints. I hadn’t heard of them, but they are UK based, and having tried some, they make a high quality product. I bought a black paint and some of their Water+ flow improver. It’s a higher pigment content than MSP and is a joy to work with. The results for a first pass are pictured above. I also used this mix to go over all the areas of stitching on his shirt and bag. The idea is it flows around the raised stitches and helps to highlight them. I might try and paint the actual stitches too as things progress.
The strapping on his leggings is an interesting and more old school sculpting feature. I painted these 9133 Blood Satin Red as i wanted them to stand out a bit. Blood Stain Red is a deep shade that is starting to verge into a brown, which I thought suitable for here. Adds a bit of visual interest too.
Now it’s just a matter of mixing up a wash of Contrast Wyldwood for deep shades and Linen White for highlights, and playing about till it look right. It’s a tinkering phase where I try and get the areas to stand out, but not shout about how different they need to be. It’ll need more work, but so far I think his paintwork is heading in the right direction.