Head over to part one if you haven't already read it ;)
Welcome folks, to part two of rangers with character. This time, the real characters of the force, the Odd Squad:
These are the weirdos of the rangers, the ones who do more than just shoot crossbows and whack things with greataxes. Thieves, vagabonds, a pirate and a lunatic, good company! Lets start with the lunatic...
I have fallen in love with this model. It's a Reaper dwarf hunter and I suspect is very old, it comes on an integral metal base with a nifty animal cage. I had to remove it to fit him on a normal sized base though. There is just so much interest on this figure. From the mad rat-pelt cloak to the mangy moggy at his feet to the eye-patched face. He's a brilliant character. Painting wise, there was a few challenges, first was to make the rat cloak look "real" and allow the rats to stand out. This was fairly easy as I just adapted my stonework painting method for rats, vary the base colour a little and make sure that no two of the same exact colour are next to each other. I'd love to tell you what colours I used for them and the cat but I can't, like with most of my animal painting it was a dab of this and that mixed until it reached the colour shown on the reference photos. The loincloth thing might have been just a boring scrap of cloth but I figured he could have a map of the tunnels where he does his ratting easily to hand. A few quick lines and presto, mappo!
Next up we have a father and daughter pairing, thieves, both of them. Again, Reaper minis designed as a father and daughter, I even liked the name they gave them Copperthumb so stole it. These were some of the easiest to paint as I had pretty much no decisions to make! The clothing and cloaks needed to match their existing ranger compatriots and all that was left was skin and wood really! I've talked about the cloak weathering on the original Ranger post so I'll leave it there if you want to find it.
Then there is the pair of murderers, sorry, sentry eliminators on probation. Once again, Reaper dwarfs, the cloaked one is probably my least favourite sculpt of the bunch but even he carries a certain something, a sense of flashing blades and swirling cloak. The hidden face makes it quite sinister as well. Neither of these got any of the normal linen-cream contrast that I use against the Incubi Darkness main colour. wouldn't have worked on people whose job is secret murder in the dark. Instead they got black (most clearly seen on the more feminine of the two stab happy nitwits). There's an ugliness to these two that I think underscores their role nicely.
And finally, another old favourite that I've been hoping to find a place for for a while now. The arabian dwarf. In the fluff he's a pirate and trade envoy that went a bit native. Painting-wise he offered me a few rare opportunities for colour and opulent fabrics on a dwarf. First, I painted the waistcoat and shirt in the normal Stormbourne scheme to tie him to the rest of the army. I realised that the trousers would probably also have to be turquoise if the balance was to work. To differentiate them I first painted them as silk (i.e. much, much higher highlights than normal and in sharp folds) and then added the not-really-NMM gold band around the waistcoat to seperate the areas. That left the cummerbund sash. Up until now I had been thinking to paint it cream silk, keep the theme rolling. But I realised that he needed that spark of bright colour to pull him out of the herd, make him seem different. A quick glance at the colour wheel told me all I needed to know. Bright red-orange it is then. I'm glad I did, it really sets off the whole model. Gives him an individual flair.
And that's all! Hope you've enjoyed the companion fluff articles over on Beard Bunker, I've loved painting and creating these guys.