Tuesday, 25 February 2014

LIII. The Faerie Sniper

Over at Wamp forum, a painting competition sponsored by Studio McVey has been announced a couple of weeks ago. Having actually bought one of their miniatures recently, I decided to enter the competition. Even if I hadn't already had the miniature, I would have used this chance to get one: the McVey store offers a 20% discount for anyone buying a mini for the contest. To get the discount just enter the code SMWAMP while buying at studiomcvey.com.


The miniature I painted was the lovely Ar-Fiach, from their limited edition resin range. It's a beautiful sculpt, and the resin miniature is tiny and delicate. I wanted it to be usable for my games- and to fit into the Gardens setting it needed some conversion. A TV aerial it holds on to and the too modern-looking chimney had to go. It's a pity in a way, because those bits really make it much more interesting. It is not often that you see a faerie depicted in an urban setting. Ah well... I might get another one some day.


The hand holding the aerial was replaced by one of the Hobbit Goblin hands. Something a tad smaller would have been perfect, but this was the best I had. The clawed hand reminds me a bit of bird talons, which is cool because Ar-Fiach sports a number of birdlike features to begin with: look at her legs from knees down, for example, and her hair is actually all feathers. I posed the hand as if she were saying to the observer: "Shhh. Don't scare away my prey." Quickly after the moment captured someone or something is going to get shot.




I also needed a replacement for the chimney. The most obvious option was to just build a more fantasy-looking chimney. However, I wanted her to stand much closer to the ground. It would have been cool if I could have put her on a small tree or a log. But the sculpt requires a very specific shape to stand on. After an afternoon of attempting to build some sort of small structure to fill the role, I ended up with this "hitching post + announcement board" thingy.


The base, completely built. This is a 40mm base, by the way.
 The structure was built around a cork. The individial stones were cut from some leftover plaster and clay wall parts from another project, and then glued around the cork with PVA glue. I meant to make the entire structure in stone, but I gave up half way up because the process of making the stone bricks was really annoying me. So I just went with balsa wood planks from there on. However, I put a big, flat square stone on the top in the end. The board with the paper nailed to it comes from the Citadel Wood kit. 
The metal rings on the sides look really nice and are fairly simple to make. You can get the little rings in hobby shops that sell jewellry-making materials. Then you simply cut a little square of plasticard and drill two holes in it. Attach the ring to it with a twice bent piece of paperclip or pin, and then glue the whole thing wherever you need it. This is also great for door knockers.

The painting on the base done.
 After adding some small stones and sand to to finish it off, I undercoated it grey and proceeded to the painting stage. Pale stone parts contrast the dark wood. I used pigments applied as a wash with water to add some colour to the grey dirt. The rusty effect on the metal rings was acheved by painting them first with a light reddish brown, followed by a bit darker brown pigment. It would have been better if I had a proper rust-coloured pigment; but alas, I don't.

The finished base.

The final step was adding some foliage. Grass tufts, a couple of those tiny dry "leaves" I put on everything, and some moss patches on the stone bits. I actually darkened the grass a bit with a brown wash, and then lightly drybrushed the tips for contrast.  
Oh, and the text on the message board was added in the meanwhile. It's just wavy lines, nothing intelligible.

Ready for painting.

After that I started work on the miniature itself. I'm afraid I don't have any pictures of the painting process... The colour scheme was, as usual, pretty dark. I think that suits a faerie well, after all they are terrifying, morbid creatures. Those pretty blue and black striped feathers in her "hair" were inspired by jay feathers I usually wear on my hat. I think their vibrancy livens up the whole grim picture quite nicely.

Pretty little feathers...
I haven't yet got a background story for this character, but a new faction is vaguely forming in my mind already. We'll see later what comes of it. : ) 
And as for the results of the McVey competition: the deadline is a whole month away, and after that who knows how long before the results come in. I'll have to be patient. I'm really looking forward to seeing the other entries.

13 comments:

  1. By the Gods you have painted another stunning piece. I adore it!

    That scenic base is beautiful!

    I picked up this miniature some time ago, but I've been waiting until I have the proper motivation/inspiration to start on it.

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    1. Thanks Stygianheart!
      The sculpt is just beautiful. I loved it as soon as I saw it, but it took me a while to actually go ahead and buy it. Another one from McVey I really like is Pan; I'll probably get him as well some day.

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  2. Very nice!
    I really appreciate the details about how you did the base. I picked up something pretty useful that once again I SHOULD have thought of, and did not.

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    1. Thank you, Varangian!
      What was it that you picked up?

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    2. It was the way to do the ring. The plate is something I had never considered doing.

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  3. I like the change you've made to her left hand. Nice and subtle, it adds a lot to this character.

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    1. Good to hear. It was done out of necessity, and I'm glad it doesn't look out of place.

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  4. Interesting conversion. I've seen this model some month ago and I was thinking about to buy and convert it for Inq28, but I think, I had a black out about the left hand - antenna - problem. Now I think, I should buy this fairy sniper. It has a great potential. Thanks for this conversion!

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    1. Thanks Logan!
      She could totally fit into Inq28 as some sort of Xenos. To make her blend in better add a bionic eye here, some wiring there, and there you have it. Though I think the aerial actually wouldn't look too weird in the 40K universe.

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  5. I love this model. She reminds me of characters from a film called "Mirrormask". If you haven't seen it I would recommend checking it out. From the look of your chosen style I think you would appreciate it! I've added your blog to my blogroll. o7 Inspiring stuff!

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    1. Thanks Jordan! : )

      Yes, I've seen Mirrormask some time ago. There are some very interesting concepts in the film, but what kills it a bit for me is that everything looks so very "computery" (I don't know if that makes sense to you). This does give the picture a surreal feel (which I believe was the intention and I love surreal things), but that kind of look is just not my cup of tea. Most of the time I prefer the use of masks, puppets, animatronics, stop-animation or hand-drawn animation over CGI.

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    2. Oh I definitely agree, I'm all in favour of classical animation and puppetry over CGI. It's just that your sniper has a delicate puppet look to it that I'd associate with characters from the movie. :) As well as others of course. I love the idea of surrealism in miniatures and I think you're doing a wonderful job with it! Jim Hensons Labyrinth and Dark Crystal also come to mind when I see some of your pieces. Albet a tad more macabre.

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  6. Now that's just how I would imagine a Fay creature, dark, menacing and yet oddly beautiful.....

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