Sunday, 14 September 2014

Darklands: Khthones Ophios By Sven

With the newest Kickstarter of Mierce Miniatures launching tomorrow I thought it would be a great time to start catching up with the blog articles. My Mierce collection has been growing constantly over the last months and I have been able to get some games done. Gaming for me always triggers a great motivation to get painting and so my model choices were mostly aimed at getting playable hosts ready. One model I’ve owned since the very first kickstarter was Ophios, the Gorgon of Khthone, basically a special character for the Khthones.

In game terms Ophios has a huge amount of quite powerful attacks, he is a potent sorcerer and has the ability to summon the powerful Hydra. Also with him being a unique choice he makes a great general that doesn’t take up one of the few rare slots, overall a great, yet expensive general.

The first step was to choose a scale colour for such a special unit. I knew that there will be other (regular) Gorgons released and so I had to find a pattern that could be varied to represent his status. As all Gorgons have this wide scaled back and due to the studio paintjob I felt that a cobra theme would be great on the Gorgons, as you got the space on the back for the typical “glasses”- pattern. So while the regular Gorgons will get the more common brownish scales I opted for the metallic king cobra colours for Ophios. The hard part was to get the metallic look to feel natural, I began with a base layer of gunmetal and inked it with sepia, brown and even a bit yellow and green until the metallic shine was replaced by the more natural gloss of the inks. The pattern then was stippled on with an old brush to prevent an artificial feel. I know, normally king cobras don’t have that pattern on the main body, but it looked too plain without it and the normal cobras have a similar pattern.

For completions sake I have included the colour hierarchy:

Turquoise – Regular troops
Dark Blue – Champions
Rich Blue – Warchiefs
Purple – Warlords

And after giving it some thought I decided to give the unique characters a separate colour which stands out a bit and so I went for a not-too-bright red. This colour was achieved by a base layer of heavy red and then washed with red and purple washes before being highlighted with the same red again. More by coincidence the red armour ties him greatly to the red basilisks. On the picture above you can also see that I went for a very white underbelly in the beginning as that’s how king cobras normally look, but later I changed to a more earthy khaki, that ties him together with the other snakes.

A highlight for me is the expression of his face, also it’s not very pleasant (he’s supposed to be quite insane), but I think it looks very full of character.

I’m very happy with the final result of the scales. While they still look different from the real king cobra I think they have a realistic yet special feel to them.
So, that’s the general of my Khthones and one of only two snake men I’ve painted lately, so stay tuned for more Ysians and Fomoraic.

Thanks for reading,

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