Friday, 16 February 2018

"While The Darkmantle Remains Motionless..."

"...It is indistinguishable from a cave formation such as a stalactite or stalagmite."
This 28mm plastic “Wizkids” model of a Darkmantle is miniature number 015 from the Night Below "Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures Game" range and is based upon the "strange magical beast which lives in caves." Resembling "something akin to a dark brown coloured squid, roughly four feet long, with webs of membrane between the tentacles", the creature "first appeared in the third edition Monster Manual (2000)" and "attacks by attaching itself to the ceiling of a cave and disguising itself as a stalactite."

Smothering its victims by wrapping its tentacles around their heads, the monster was initially primed with two coats of "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna and washed with "The Army Painter" Strong Tone Quickshade. The neutrally-aligned cephalopod was then first dry-brushed with pure "Vallejo" Heavy Sienna, and then delicately highlighted with some a mix of Heavy Sienna and Dead White.
Sue Storm & Dragon Man WIPs - Invisible Girls has been re-shaded, and Dragon Man primed
Interestingly, despite having numerous eyes, a Darkmantle actually 'sees' by using "echolocation, much the way a bat does", and momentarily I was therefore tempted to simply stick to the "Wizkids" colour scheme and leave his eyeballs brown. However, having done a little research it seemed clear that the creature is predominantly depicted with red eyes, so accordingly I 'picked out' each one with a combination of "Vallejo" Heavy Red and "Citadel" Carroburg Crimson.

With my latest "Dungeons & Dragons" model finished, I have managed to find a brief period of precious hobby-time with which to return to one of my previously completed "Heroclix" figures. Ordinarily, I tend to wait for a while before 'touching up' anything I've varnished, but with my mind firmly fixed upon playing some games using Stan Lee's "Fantastic Four", I found myself continually frustrated by the darkness of her blue uniform and have thus attempted to rectify the situation somewhat.
Draconian WIPs - The aliens have had their scaly legs base-coated with "Vallejo" Heavy Brown
Disconcertingly, I was faced with something of a dilemma however, in that Invisible Girl had already been fully-based and resultantly had grass flock all about her feet. Luckily, I spotted a moment of inspiration from the original "Wizkids" palette, which depicted Reed Richards' wife sporting black boots and gloves. Obviously I didn't want to completely travel down that path, but thought I could leave those areas dark blue, and simply re-paint the rest of her costume with "Vallejo" Heavy Blue. Incredibly, I've even managed to find an old pot of "Citadel" Asurmen Blue with which to shade the super-heroine with, and whilst I was waiting for it to dry, primed the old "FF" foe Dragon Man too.  

Finally, I have turned my attention to several "Warlord Games" Draconians I want to paint for "Doctor Who: Exterminate" collection. I currently have eight of the "tall, reptilian species" in my painting queue and have started working on the scaly legs of the first three miniatures...

24 comments:

  1. Great work on the Darkmantle, and excellent job with Sue Storm's repaint - add in Dragon Man and the Draconians (sounds like a band from the eighties), and it makes for another of your trademark eclectic posts Simon :-)

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    1. Cheers Greg. I do like to try and mix things up where I can ;-)

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  2. The Darkmantle looks excellent, a creepy looking monster addition. :)

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    1. Thanks Leon. I'm surprised I don't own more tbh, as they're nice-looking beasties, and straightforward(ish) to paint too.

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  3. What a weird creepy looking critter! Love it dude nice work!

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    1. Cheers Simon. I think I simply stumbled upon it on Ebay, and thought it looked just as you describe :-)

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  4. Good work on all of your figures, Simon. Invisible Girl now looks a lot better than she did before. I'm glad you went back to her and lightened her colour scheme.

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    1. Thanks Bryan. Not my best work by a look stretch, but Sue is now more visible on the tabletop for my upcoming "FF" BatReps.

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  5. Yep, definite improvement with Sue storm, and I think leaving her gloves and boots was the right way to go. I love the darkmantle (yes the mire beast was what I was thinking of).your gloss varnish really suits him. I always liked the Draconians, it's a shame they don't match the Absolom Daak figure (size wise), I would have like to have read some Dalek Killer batreps!.

    Cheers Roger.

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    1. Cheers Roger. I'm pleased Sue has come out a little bluer than before, and should be in a BatRep just as soon as the varnish dries ;-)

      Glad I got the Mire Beast right, and the Darkmantle is a great little(ish) mini imho. I do own Daak and plenty of "Black Tree Design" "Dr Who" minis - whose scale matches correctly - so who knows what the future may hold ;-)

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  6. That Darkmantle especially looks great!

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    1. Thanks Myincubliss. Much appreciated :-)

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  7. Nice job on the Darkmantle Simon, nice work on Sue Storm, and dragon man, and looking forward to seeing what you do with the Draconians

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    1. Cheers Dave. Lots on the go - as always. Sorry I missed you at the show yesterday, "Warlord Games" released no less than three new "Doctor Who" boxed sets at the weekend, which cleared me out!!

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    2. No problem mate, it was fun none the less, would have been good to see you, but understand

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    3. I'll certainly be seeing you at "Salute" - got my ticket and just waiting for the big day :-)

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    4. That's cool, everything's booked and confirmed so we will be there, just got to get everything ready now, GULP ! LOL

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  8. Darkmantle looks cool. I'm not sure on the new blue of Invisible Girl. I liked the darker shade, but if its not correct... I'll wait and see what it turns out like.

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    1. Thanks Roy. There's been lots of variations of the "FF" costume, so any blue will do tbh, but this new one is closer to the one I painted Mr Fantastic with. And Sue will be on show in my next BatRep... against Doctor Doom ;-)

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  9. I had to enlarge the Darkmante's photos to appreciate the detail on it, you've done a great job spotting them, let alone picking them out.
    The Invisible girl looks all the better for her paintlift and I was intrigued by the Draconians as they appeared to me to be akin to Thais or Burmese and without the 'space gun' would make a good substitute imo.

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    1. Cheers Joe. Much appreciated. The Darkmantle is a superb mini imho. I am also far happier with Sue Storm, and having now got her on the battlefield agree that she does look better.

      I believe the Draconians were based upon samurai, so there is that oriental tie to their appearance which you mention.

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