Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Reader's Showcase#3: Kingdom Death Chosen

Defying the dreaded seasonal cold and flu, Sven strikes back for a third week in a row with yet another fantastic Kingdom Death figure - The Chosen. He mentioned this week very briefly in last weeks Showcase figure - The Grand Mother and follows up with this stunning figure to explain a little more on just how he got that cool feathered effect.

The Chosen was the first Kingdom Death miniature I ever painted. Many people thought, the Chosen was a rather boring sculpt by Kingdom Death standards and that he looked a bit like a young Sylvester Stallone. I have to admit, I never saw that link until someone mentioned (DiStudios - I can't picture this figure without a Rocky Balboa accent now!). Joking aside, I did have issues with the sculpt, as I saw quite a few discrepancies between the sculpt and original artwork. So as it happens, my very first Kingdom Death miniature is also the most heavily converted.

My first issue was the position of the wings: In the artwork they look a little heavier and less generic-angel, so I re positioned them by heating the resin with a lamp. While I'm happy with the final position, I sadly overdid it with the left wing, causing it to crack on the backside, so I had to re sculpt the open part. I also made a few small sculpting adjustments to the breast/nipples area and to the arms (fur has been added). Like the Forge God, I was under the impression, that the artwork by Danny Cruz had much more feline features and that the miniature itself seemed to lack these details. So I changed the nose, upper lip and the brows, while also adding ears, the result in my mind alright; while not a perfect fit with the art; is more true to the original art. Last but not least, the original sculpt had an odd part on the back: there seems to be something that looks like cloth that was tucked "under" the wing. I decided that this needed to be remodeled, so now it instead flows nicely over the wing.

After finishing the conversions it took me several days to get an idea for the colours. What I always liked about artworks by Danny Cruz is the fact that they are black and white, I find it is always interesting to see what people come up with, as there's no official version. I spent some time studying the art to get a better feel of the miniature and came to the conclusion, that I did not want that classical angel-image with white wings and bright white cloth. My final decision was to have the wings coloured like the fur of a lion, to tie in with the lion theme and feline features. For the wings I searched the Internet for inspiration and I found a picture a a puppet with real feathered wings, I was stunned and chose it to begin with.  For the cloth I wanted something subtle that wouldn't distract from the wings and so went the bone white route with the skin being a richer more lively colour to contrast.

Sven's Inspiration for the wings

I started by painting the wings. As a base I wanted to use a dark brown by Vallejo, but forgot to shake the bottle before pouring it out and ended up with some king of black oily substance that was slightly tinted brown. I applied it to the wings and the hair and thought it made a great base. I then started dry brushing a mix of brown and increasing amounts of khaki, the final highlights use bone white. This mix that I applied for every layer is basically something I like to do for all natural colours - Choose the main colour and highlight it by adding some kind of off white-tone; like khaki, bone white or off white - That gives natural colours a nice and realistic feel. When I thought the colour was drifting away from looking brown, I used a rich coat of dark brown washes to tie them back together (GW Devlan Mud/Army Painter Strong & Soft Tone). In the end the whole wings looked like the upper, light parts and I once again used washes on the lower parts to darken them accordingly.

The main focus on this model (apart from the wings) is probably the bloody hand. I spend a lot of time thinking on what to do with the hand, as I couldn't really tell what's going on in the artwork and at first I wanted to re-sculpt it like into a lion claw. But I also had this idea of the contrast between the calm (good) angel and this gory, savage deed of ripping an human apart. I came to the conclusion, that both (lion claw and blood) would be too much and may end up unrecognizable. So I removed the claws and went the bloody road and frankly I don't have any regrets on that decision, manly due to the awesomeness of Tamiya Clear Red.So after much thought, trial and error I finally finished my first Kingdom Death Model, The Chosen, and frankly I still love the feel of it.

Below is the full slide show showing the just how much Sven changed the original miniature, to look like his interpretation of The Chosen.

deadlydeceiver's Chosen album on Photobucket

A very thoughtful look into the process of one of Kingdom Death's biggest fans, thank you for your article, we look forward to your Kingdom Death miniature!

The Reader's Showcase is a series dedicated to the you the reader! If you have a painted piece you really love and want to share with the 14th Legion, then please send me an email titled Showcase HERE.

Thanks for reading,

Send The Eighth!
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  1. Great paint job, I especially love the wings, you have really brought this model to life

    1. Thanks a lot! It's always great to know that people are enjoying your work.

      - Sven

    2. And there is certainly plenty to enjoy, your Kingdom Death articles are a great read and i am grateful for it's addition to the Showcase section.