Wednesday, 1 February 2017

A Little Halpi From My Friends

As you may have noticed from my collection over the years, I have an aversion to painting larger models, and anything over a 25mm base brings me out in the vapours.

But there's nothing like some friendly competition to push your boundaries, and the prospect that I might actually beat (or at least give him a run for his money) the painting deamon that is Kraken has spurred me into attempting my first dragon.

Karrathor the Unbroken - Dragon from Tyrant of Halpi expansion for Mantic's Dungeon Saga

Let's get our heads down and get to work!

Karrathor the Unbroken, the Tyrant of Halpi. I've been back and forth with this model: I liked it when unwrapped; I didn't like it when assembled; and I vacillated quite a bit during the painting stage. Now it's all done (and I don't have to do it again), I'm feeling more positive towards the dragon, but still think it's something of a wasted opportunity.

I can accept the rather hefty and compact body - this is a gaming piece, first and foremost, so it has to stick within a certain footprint. But, oy, that head pose. The neck is doubled over in a way that would cripple anything with a spine, and all the fearsome details of eyes, snout and teeth are obscured as Karrathor looks like he's just dropped a contact lens.

If the head had been doing anything else - looking forward, rearing up, I think it would have saved this model. As it is, it's one of those 'kind of okay if you look at it from a certain way' deals.

The material is another problem - it's not the usual boardgame plastic (nor even Manic's 'restic'), but a soft chewable plastic that's heavy to hold and pesky to work with. It reminded me of the Papo toy I picked up to use as a Savage Giant Orc. Except that one cost £4, and this model is the main component of a £35 expansion. Even at the Kickstarter price, I don't rate this a bargain.

Karrathor the Unbroken - Dragon from Tyrant of Halpi expansion for Mantic's Dungeon Saga

But enough grousing, the important thing is he got painted, and quicker that it took for either the Infernal Crypts or Galahir sets.

I soon realised that subtlty was not going to have much impact on this model (my first wash was a redundant Camoshade), so started going with some very bold colours and washes.

  • Scales: Death World Forest base, Athonian Camoshade wash, Nuln Oil wash, Elysian Green drybrush
  • Back plates: Kalabite Green base, Nuln Oil wash, Warpstone Glow drybrush
  • Underbelly: Balor Brown base, Agrax Earthshade wash, Averland Sunset drybrush
  • Wings: Tallarn Sand base, Agrax Earthshade wash, Zamesi Desert drybrush
  • Horns: Averland Sunset base, Fuegan Orange wash, Averland Sunset drybrush, Yriel Yellow drybrush
  • Claws: Zamesi Desert base, Agrax Earthshade wash
  • Eyes: Snotling Green
  • Mouth: Screamer Pink base, Carroburg Crimson wash, Pink Horror tongue, Ushabdi Bone teeth

Karrathor the Unbroken - Dragon from Tyrant of Halpi expansion for Mantic's Dungeon Saga

As this was the only base not to have the uniform 'dungeon tile' (another gripe there), I used Agrellan Earth as a cheat to get broken-up stone. And for a little detail that distinguishes each expansion - what else but gold? A scatter of glitter from my son's craft tray makes for some very scale-appropriate gold coins (although it does get *everywhere* - currently sticking to my fingers as a type up this pure gold).

So that's one behemoth done. I have an ambition to paint no less that five monster-scale models this year (and I like the other four a lot more that this one), so I'd better buy myself a bigger brush.

Karrathor the Unbroken - Dragon from Tyrant of Halpi expansion for Mantic's Dungeon Saga

I think this model works best viewed from direct beneath, so I'll store him on my highest shelf. A shame that the best perspective is going to be at tabletop level, from halfling's eye view.

Speaking of which:

Ally McSween - halfling thief from Tyrant of Halpi expansion for Mantic's Dungeon Saga

From the biggest to the smallest. Ally the halfling thief is teeny-tiny dungeon hero, and considerably smaller even than the goblins. That said, with a fine detail brush, it's a nice enough model to paint.

I may have gone too dark in following the character card, but she is a thief after all: Dryad Bark gloves and boots, Castellan Green shirt, Charcoal Grey jacket. The one nod to colour was the Genestealer Purple hair (I see Ally as akin to Lego's Wyldstyle).

Nice details of satchels and loot bags. In the character card, she had a couple of extra knives on the belt, so it's a shame they weren't included. Also: what kind of halfling doesn't go barefoot?

Ibrahim - human paladin from Tyrant of Halpi expansion for Mantic's Dungeon Saga

Finally, the last of the expansion heroes; Ibrahim the human paladin. Another good model - one of the more dramatic stances of the heroes, and the cloth (Ulthuan Grey and Calgar Blue) and armour (Ironbreaker and Retributor Armour) have been nicely done.

The sword seems a little short (and is therefore likely to be realistic, rather than fantasy-scale). It's not often you see left-handed characters either, but I guess they're people too.

Only one expansion left to go. Plus a handful of other characters. Plus the doors. Always the doors.


  1. See, personally I like big models because they're easier to do small details on, but that's because I'm slapdash and inaccurate.

    Lovely jobs all round. I have six models left from DS before I've officially done one of everything, then I can start again on the undead. I think you've got this.

    1. Ah well, I may have hit an impassable hurdle: I'm trying to assemble the last half-dozen models and none of the buggers will stick together! (why does Mantic hate glue?)

    2. I've got an evening of pinning, gluing and swearing to look forward to.

  2. Bah. I feel your pin.

    It needs superglue, I'm sure you know, but even then it either repels or drinks the damn stuff. Really hard to work with.

    You're safe, though, I've got tonsillitis and can't paint.