Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Dungeon Saga Masters of Evil (apparently)

Ahh Dungeon Saga... that cuckoo in the nest that somehow managed to get beaten up by the nest's original occupants.

"Maybe we could build a Bronze Tower?"

It's a good dungeon bash for all that, and as we're approaching the final few adventures, I thought I'd better pull my finger out and paint the end-level bosses.

First up was Elshara, guardian of the most entertaining mission so far.

As you can tell, I took Ghost Painting 101 for this, and cracked open my pot of Nihilakh Oxide. After drybrushing from a Chaos Black base, up into a light grey colour, I then doused the model liberally in Nihilakh Oxide and highlighted in White Scar.

That felt a bit too easy (but what an instant effect - it made me want to purchase the Malignants Getting Started set, just so I could paint an army in minutes), so I forced myself to add a bit more definition: gems for the belt, green eyes, and gradually whitening the skin, so it became more distinct from the dress.

I like the model. It's a slightly odd pose (but a cup of hot water could fix that), and since I have a spare one, I'm inclined to see what a 'colour' version would look like.

Dungeon Saga: Dwarf King's Quest: Elshara, Elf Banshee
I could always add a placard to the upraised arm, with the slogan: "Let's Ban Sidhe!"

I'll get me coat.

Next up is Hoggar, the crowning glory of the Kickstarter, but in model and rules, more disappointing than a Dornish subplot.

Dungeon Saga: Dwarf King's Quest - Hoggar, Zombie Troll Shaman
Do you think he became a Shaman after becoming a Zombie? It's not like a Troll is blessed with brains either.

His damp squib adventure can be excused (maybe he had the flu), but I've turned the corner on the model, having previously been a fan when I converted him into Morghur.

Maybe the problem lies with all the bits I removed for the conversion: his Micky Mouse-glove right hand; or his absence of a lower jaw, giving him a Goofy expression; or the knock-kneed stance of, well, Donald Duck.

(I wasn't even going for a theme - those three characteristics occurred to me independently)

Dungeon Saga: Dwarf King's Quest - Hoggar, Zombie Troll Shaman conversion
It's a small world, after all.

And now, the eponymous Dwarf King himself: Grund!

Dungeon Saga: Dwarf King's Quest: Grund, Dwarf King Revenant
"Let us drink to ... hang on, where's my cup?"

Nothing spectacular to report here, but nothing awful either. He's basically just another dwarf revenant, so the only tricky thing is to differentiate between bones and beard.

I'm happiest with his glowing blue eyes effect (poor Hoggar looks like he's over applied the eye-shadow)

There was something funny with his great hammer - it was one of the few pieces to have popped off and, when it came to gluing it back on, the model seemed to be holding it in mid-air. This seemed weird for a heavy hammer, so I repositioned with hot water and had it resting along the ground.

As it transpires, the mid-air pose was the intended one - but it's an odd thing anyway, to have Grund's primary weapon tucked behind his back.

Dungeon Saga: Dwarf King's Quest: Grund, Dwarf King Revenant
Is he wielding the weapon, or taking it for a walk?

Finally, we have the only actual 'Master of Evil' in the set (the others being puppets with no free will) - Mortibris, the little Big Bad.

Dungeon Saga: Dwarf King's Quest: Mortibris, necromancer
"Rise and shine!"

As you can see, I've generally been faithful to the colours of the character models (unlike Kraken, I can't be doing with all this 'imagination' business). The exception was Hoggar's green tunic (which I tried, but was just daft against his green skin), and the pallor of the necromancer - he looks far too healthy with his ruddy complexion.

So Mortibris got Flayed-One Flesh, with a Drakenhof Nightshade wash (which sadly didn't catch his mouth, and I wasn't painting it in). His robes are Naggaroth Nightshade and Genestealer Purple, also washed with Drakenhof Nightshade. I'm not sure my glowing eyes and source lighting represent my best efforts, but with a pose like that, you have to give it a go.

And it is an ingenious pose - squeezing a bit of necromatic narrative onto a 25mm base, and a custom base at that. The drawback is, to make it all fit, Mortibris himself has become very two-dimensional.

Dungeon Saga: Dwarf King's Quest: Mortibris, necromancer
Flat Stanley

And the back of his cloak is a bit of a mess - and it has nothing to do with the pose. It's all rucked up for some reason, even though Mortibris is standing static. And if it were pulled straight, it would be dragging behind him like a wedding train - was that really the intention?

Dungeon Saga: Dwarf King's Quest: Mortibris, necromancer
Cloaks are bumpy. That's how I sculpt them anyway.

So that concludes the bad guys. If I sound unduly negative about them, it's not because I've taken GW's 51 pieces of Silver. The painting of them mostly just didn't inspire me as much as the other miniatures in the set - I actually preferred working on the minions (and I've got one more set of them to go).

Dungeon Saga: Dwarf King's Quest masters of evil: Mortibris, Elshara, Hoggar and Grund.
"Would you love us more if we were on round bases?"

That said, they're perfectly serviceable models, and quick to paint. And we have another Quest coming up in a few days, so the report can now be broadcast in glorious Technicolour!

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