Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Prince Imrik rides forth again

A while back I found yet another mystery bag in my box of old miniatures. I upended the contents and out rolled an original Prince Imrik. That was a stroke of fortune (well to be honest I was looking for old High Elves to add to my Lumineth, but lets ignore that bit and focus on the sheer surprise ;) ). Long story short (yes I cut and pasted a too long intro that was originally here): Prince Imrik rides forth again. 

"I walk through the Dreaming Halls and I feel change in the wind. In the rhythm of their slumber, I see omens. Minaithnir tells me that he, too, feels his brethren swimming towards consciousness." <- hint hint GW, please make more dragon riding High Elves Lumineth

When I found the bag holding Imrik I quickly discovered why he hadn't been build (or sold) yet. Minaithnir (his dragon) lacked a right wing (the real kind, not the political sort). A search on eBay and a Facebook request for aid did not help. There where no replacements available at the time. Someone did suggest that the more modern standard plastic wings where the same size, but this turned out to be untrue. I knew because I had a slightly newer plastic dragon with said wings. It had been lounging in my bitsbox for years. 

To my unpacking a stored model like this always gives me a spark of excitement. Even when it means clearing of the last lingering bits of hot glue the original owner used to assemble the model...

Taking the plastic dragon in hand, I tried to pull off his right wing, just to see if I could sort of make it fit. Being a bit clumsy at times, I managed to snap the wing off at the wrong place. The last bit was firmly stuck to the dragon (by copious amounts of glue provided by the previous owner). The rest was broken off at a joint. On the plus side, it was free from the rest of the plastic dragon. In the end this turned out to be a happy little accident. The break was at just the right point to fit Minaithnir's back. I quickly cut the other plastic wing off at more or less the same point and was back in business (the business of restoring Imrik that is). 

As Imrik is from the age of wobbly dragon riders (as I call the early nineties, ending with the idiotic Orc Warboss on Wyvern) I put a small glob of Green Stuff beneath his bottom to stabilize him on his mount.

I first had to settle on a color scheme. On the one hand I felt the vague urge to paint the dragon in  slightly realistic looking lizardskin colors, on the other hand I  thought that blue done properly would look awesome. In the end the orange robes of my Lumineth army settled the matter. Orange and blue are on opposite sides of the color wheel. Going for a traditional blue, should make the rider stand out properly on the back of his mount. I painted Imrik using the airbrush to get his armor a basic shaded white. The I started blocking in areas of color and more trouble cropped up. Along with many other high elf lordlings, Imrik has plenty of bling to distract from his ridiculous helm. By going for gold his colors were gold, orange and white (with some grey metal on the back). It all conspired to turn the model into a bit of an orange blur. As I was pondering a solution, I watched a YouTube video on basic painting techniques everyone should know (what can I say, I like painting tutorials and you never know what you might learn). It mentioned blacklining. There was the answer to my problem. I went out of my comfort zone (I usually don't really care for blacklining) and used some Nuln Oil to enhance the contrast in the recesses. I think it works quite well, and I should do that more often.

Don't tell me from a week ago how much work texture pattern painting is.

On to the dragon. The basic skin tone was just a lot of airbrushing from more or less the same angle (adding white to VMC Magic Blue). I (brush-)painted the wings in a very basic layer of Ulthuan grey and decided I would give the whole model an oil wash to see if that would just pull it all together. The oil wash did wonders for the scales, the wings, unfortunately, where another matter. They looked plastic grey with half baked recess shading. Having gotten a lot of mileage out of the beginners video, I decided to try a technique from another video: texture patterning. I sat down and just painted white stripes (with thinned down white paint) along the wings. Adding extra lines makes for slightly more white. Long story short: I got a lot of practice painting lines (and proved that I need that). Luckily no one photographed my horrified expression as I realized wings have insides as well. In the end it took me about five hours to texture the wings on both sides. Worth it (I think (and with it I mean my Sunday afternoon)). 

I measured where Minaithnir's feet would go and added cracks there. I also pushed the floor down a bit where the dragon would stand and lifted the tiles up around there to add to the impression Minaithnir 's weight was cracking the old stonework. I fear I may have been a bit too subtle there :)

I wanted a proper base to go with Imrik. My goals where to prop him up a bit, tie him in with the other Lumineth (the ones with pre-sculpted base bits are all standing amidst ruins) and to give polystyrene cutting another go. This last bit because I recently got my hand on Buildings Tabletop Terrain from XPS foam by Gerard Boom (from Shifting Lands (he's been mentioned previously on my blog). This book is awesome, and I'll write a bit more about it later. For now I made a base using some techniques from the book. Basically I hot wire cut a few pieces of XPS foam and used a scalpel and a pencil to make it looked like a random ruined floor. 10/10 for relaxation, would do it again (beats spending an afternoon drawing white lines).

Another dragon for my collection. That in and of itself makes this project awesome. I was planning to say something about painting both the dragon's and Imrik's eyes, but I don't think it shows very well on the pictures. Ah well.

I painted the XPS starting with Stonewall Grey and riffing on this color by adding black and white (and at one point orange) to it, just to break up the grey monotony of the tiles. A quick drybrush with Tyrant Skull tied it all together. I washed parts of it with Athonian Camoshade. When this dried I had quite some fun messing around with static flock to tell a bit of a story around the ruins. My wife suggested adding some yellow flowers too. Apparently they grow everywhere. The red flowers (visible two pictures up) where my addition to get some contrast on the base. This was met with loud protests. In the end I had to point out the importance of picking red flowers in Skyrim (yes I know, nerd points where earned by all me). All in all, I'm very happy that I found a way to restore Imrik. I'm also rather chuffed with the larger wings. I think they make the dragon look better. That said, enough about Prince Imrik, on to more projects...

10 comments:

  1. That.. is a centrepiece. The beloved Prince Imrik and his trusted companion, beautifully done. I like that base a lot, made me wonder what its purpose was.. a raised sturdy platform for stargazing equipment, perhaps for the watchtower's beacon fire.. oh you're good.

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    1. Thanks :D I have just completed two polystyrene terrain pieces that will keep me blogging at a way too high frequency this week.

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  2. beautiful work - love the backstory and really nice basing!

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  3. He looks really good. It's a classic model and the paint scheme works very well. It's a nice mixture of old and new styles. I remember the Imrik model first appearing in White Dwarf many years ago!

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    1. Thanks, mixing styles is fun (and there's so much I love about the old school models (aside from nostalgia)). I checked the old WD pictures of Imrik for reference (and I also found a lovely article where Mike McVey explains how he painted Tyrion and Teclis. I'm itching to try out what he describes there).

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  4. That’s is fantastic! Love the color choices and the extra attention to details.

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    1. Thanks, I still can't believe how much time I spent painting stripes on the wings though :)

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  5. Wow, excellent work! The base is a great way to tie him in with the newer figures.

    I was thinking that the dragon had the plastic wings... which THIS one did, but what a save to have those (also now rare) wings on hand.

    Now what are you going to do with the wingless body of the plastic dragon? ;)

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    1. The second generation Imrik came with plastic wings. This one is slightly older, from the primordial times (well plastic-wise at least). I think GW was experimenting with plastic wheels and horses way back then, but dragon wings tended to be made of metal and because of that, where quite small.

      As to the wingless dragon. I have not figured it out yet. I have thrown it in the trash twice now (I can't seem to find its head either), but it seems a bit of a waste to just throw it out. We'll see.

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