A bit of a break from sci-fi, scenery and sci-fi scenery today. Here's a bloody great big red dragon.
For those who aren't from God's country, Y Ddraig Goch is Welsh for The Red Dragon, which is the name of our flag:
As you can see, it's absolutely awesome and is so much better than a bunch of stripes. The dragon is on the green and white background because that was the livery of Henry Tudor, who adopted the dragon as his standard and used it as part of his Royal coat of arms after defeating Richard III and becoming Henry VII. Not only that, but the dragon has appeared in, of all places, Marvel Comics where he battled Thor. And with Wales qualifying for this year's World Cup for the first time since 1958, my flag will be flying high in our little corner of Vermont.
Anyway, painting. I've had this dragon for about 18 months and it was originally bought for Monster Mayhem, but I never got around to it. He comes with a rider, but the modelling on her face was a bit soft so I binned her. After thinking about colours, I decided to go with reds.
As I can't be bothered typing "dragon" over and over, I've named him Dewi, which is Welsh for David and the name of our patron saint.
Things got off on the wrong foot when my new can of Ultra Matte black primer dried glossy. Yay. I tried to fix it by spraying Dewi with matte varnish, only for the varnish to frost and make him look like he'd got a bad case of dandruff. I ended up buying yet another can of matte black primer and this time it worked, so after a couple of days of waiting for paint to dry I was finally able to start the red bits.
At heart I'm a lazy git, so I decided to use the same technique I used when I painted my Temple Dragon back in December last year: overbrushing. Or wetbrushing, it's the same thing. I kicked off with a heavy overbrushing of Khorne Red, trying to get a good base for the lighter shades while preserving the black primer in the deeper shadows.
After painting the Khorne Red with a coat of matte varnish as I suddenly didn't trust my spray can, I gave Dewi a lighter overbrush of Flat Red, aiming mostly for the upper half or so of the wings and body. Overbrushing is a really effective and fast way of knocking out a large mini and I'm all for that.
The final overbrushing was of Vermilion, mainly on the upper-facing areas.
With the reds done, it was time for Dewi's armour. Iron Warriors, which is an absolute gift for doing silvery metallics, worked beautifully as a basecoat, and then I shaded it with Agrax Earthshade as I wanted to keep some reddish tones which Nuln Oil wouldn't have given me. After that I gave it a light drybrushing of Plate Metal.
The straps holding on his armour (and which poor bugger gets to strap armour onto a dragon? It's bad enough trying to get Erebus' harness on) are Chocolate Brown, Mahogany Brown and more Agrax Earthshade.
His claws and horns were originally going to be Ivory, but after painting two horns the off-white was way too much of a contrast so I redid them Black, with Black Grey and Neutral Grey highlights. I don't know why they appear so blue in the photos, and I'm going to give them a once-over with Nuln Oil to tone them down a bit.
Here's Betty for scale, and I know a sci-fi figure is a bit out of place next to a dragon but not only was she close to hand on the kitchen table, but Faust seems enamoured of her, so she'll do.
One thing you might be thinking is, "Oh wow, you put a lot of effort into the base". And this is true but for a good reason: the dragon's base is one of my projects for Season of Scenery, and I'm starting work on it today. Or maybe tomorrow. But it will be done soon. Ish. Honest.
Excellent job on your Welsh Dragon Matt, look forward to seeing the base your doing for SOS as it is a mighty fine beast to put on it.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Dave! The base is coming along and it should be fairly straightforward to build — no bendy straws on this one LOL!Delete
Nice job getting your dragon done and great background. Too bad about the priming mishaps, but I'm glad to hear it worked out in the end. And oh yea, don't tell my Wife about Betty!ReplyDelete
Faust, your secret crush on Betty is safe with me :-) The priming mess was annoying but happily it worked out OK in the end.Delete
Great recovery from a sticky (or dandruffy) start, Matt. The dragon looks awesome, and suitably Welsh, imho.ReplyDelete
Cheers, Simon, when I saw the frosted varnish I thought it was all over but happily the third(!) coat of spray primer fixed the problem.Delete
What a wonderful Beastie! Currently visiting the Land of your Fathers, but no sign of Dewi yet.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Michael! Where in Wales are you? Dewi is said to be sleeping under Dinas Emrys in Snowdonia. I think his alarm clock is broken as we might need him in the World Cup LOL!Delete
We are in Machynlleth, just visiting my parents, so not a million miles away from sleepy Dewi. ;)Delete
Hope you're enjoying my homeland!Delete
Always lovely to see mum & dad, but it won't come as any surprise to you to hear that it is raining!Delete
I'm shocked. SHOCKED. :-)Delete
Nice flag, very nice dragon! :-) It's come out really well, Matt, but I bet it was more than tricky to hold it while painting!ReplyDelete
Cheers, John! He was a bit of a bugger to hold, I mostly gripped him by the head while plastering on the paint :-)Delete
That is one huge critter and wonderful to behold !ReplyDelete
Thanks, Joe, I appreciate that!Delete
Very nice, I've had trouble with matt varnish before, it is a total S*** when it does that!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Roger, and this is the first time I've had varnish do the frosting thing. I was really annoyed.Delete
The dragon came out well in spite of the challenges you ran into! Frosting really is the worse and is one reason I varnish using a brush. I enjoyed reading about the techniques you used and I think you were wise to try to go for speed on this mini. Not only is it pretty large in size but the details aren't as crisp as they could be and I tend to favor a quick paint job over a thorough one in those situations.ReplyDelete
Cheers, Jeff! Overbrushing really is the way to go on models like this. I usually use Liquitex brush-on varnish but used my spray can this time to speed things up, and it's the first time ever that it's frosted.Delete