Hey internet people!
So on Saturday I managed to paint my first survivor for the Walking Dead miniatures game, and I'm very very very happy with how she turned out, especially for the time I spent.
I knew since the game arrived that this model would be the first survivor I'd paint. Andrea was my absolute favorite character from the comic (who was given a disservice in the television series, yet her character was still enjoyable). She was a person who didn't want to be a victim and took training into her own hands, and managed to become one of the most reliable soldiers of the group and the best shot.
It didn't hurt that she had the best sculpt of the game in my opinion. Very rarely do we see sculpts of characters squared up for shooting. There's a possibility of this pose being a difficult sculpt or something, or perhaps it's not a dynamic pose, but I find myself wanting to see more of this in miniatures. It's also great to see a female character not cheesed up with skimpy outfits or over-emphasized body shapes. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy these models, but they permeate every game I have or look at and we need less emphasis on games overall. I like a good cheesy model, especially in anime based games, but it's not needed everywhere, and in this game it would betray the character anyway.
So I started out with my mantra in mind (get it table ready) but wanted to spend a little more effort on the survivors as they are the stars of the show. With this in mind I thought of quick techniques to utilize that still look professional - smooth textures for the shirt and leather, but drybrush for the jeans for speed. Lighter washes throughout the clothing to give smoothness and speed.
So with a light grey basecoat I sprayed 50/50 VGA Wolf Grey/VGA Shadow Grey for a lighter blue gray base. I then zenithal sprayed Wolf Grey then a light spray of Wolf Grey/White for the final highlights. I took SWM Storm Cloud Wash, which is a close color to the blue greys of Shadow and Wolf, mixed it with a few drops of GW Lahmian Medium to give more matte to the finish while keeping the wash viscosity properties, and a drop or two of water to make it more runny. I took this wash and heavily washed the shirt to tone down the white/lightness and provide soft shading throughout. Secret Weapon washes are excellent for this, as they're one of the only companies I know of that make light toned washes. They even have one that is a bright yellow green called Fallout. Having light washes is a good way to shade really bright tones and maintain its lightness, and most companies make very dark washes because it works most of the time.
With the jeans I based it with a few layers of GW Shadow for a solid opaque coating. I heavily washed with GW Nuln Oil, then drybrushed with GW Shadow and GW Space Wolf Grey (forgot the new name of this) to build up the highlights lightly and create that rough texture. Drybrushing has been a nice relief of a technique to use lately. Although I don't like the messiness of it (I like a lot of control for my blends) it's been nice to accept it as a valid technique for speed.
I used my usual Vallejo/Angel Giraldez recipe for the red leather on her straps and boots. For the hair I based with VGC Goldbrown, washed with GW Agrax Earthshade, and highlighted with VGC Goldbrown mixed with successive additions of VMC Dark Sand. I think I successfully reenacted Andrea's dirty blonde hair!
I was really proud of her eyes, as I tried a different technique for painting them. I'm getting much more accurate with these, although it is a frustrating element of painting. It's one of those details that is just so annoying to do, and I always have to redo eyes for every model which risks parts of the paint drying thicker in different areas and affecting the dot of the eye's application. But when you get this right it unlocks a higher level in your miniature and draws the attention to the face even more.
Pretty soon I'll have a demo set up fully painted! I'm concentrating on getting two crews of equal level survivors painted, which means I have to figure out what combinations are good for demoing the game first. I am not much of a fan of having Rick/Carl going against the generic scavenger gang, as it doesn't inspire much enthusiasm in me. I was thinking of having Rick/Carl go against Andrea and her sister as an even match, and maybe including one more beater on each side. Fans of the Walking Dead may not like Andrea going against Rick, but I think they are better models to display the game's range - Rick and Andrea both reflect strong characters with support models like Carl & her sister Amy that need protection give the leaders some synergy.
Anyway, let me know what you think! See you next time.