Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Screamer in the Surf

A screamer that looks like it might be just below the surface of a body of water, ready to emerge? This is the first of a set screamers to be painted up for use in a daemons army.

Aims and Model.
When visiting a swimming pool, or looking at a lake, the ripples on the surface of the water interact in a complex interference pattern. Screamers of Tzeentch possess strong similarities to oceanic creatures like rays and therefore present an opportunity to try out painting an interference pattern on their surface.

The model is a standard screamer of Tzeentch assembled in the usual manner with superglue and a touch of green stuff to disguise the joining of the tail segment to the main body. Looking at the model from afar, it is apparent that any ripples from water would be most prominent on the flatter portions of the "wings" of the screamer where there are no protrusions to break them up. That's not to say that the protrusions should not also have some patterns around them, just that it'll be more obvious on the flatter areas of the sculpt.

I was torn between a white and black undercoat here. In the end, I opted for black following the maxim of working darker to lighter in the absence of a good reason. Whilst not all bodies of water are blue by any stretch of the imagination, most people think of lakes and oceans as being blue in colour. The reality is often more murky, in a perhaps very literal sense, as any observation will show. Yet, we still hold the almost childish adage that water is blue! Therefore, the choice for the basecoat colour had precious little alternative!

An inking of deep blue was applied to the mid-blue basecoat and allowed to fully dry before tackling the intricate water-like details. These details were painted on free-hand in a dabbing, almost pointillist style. The colours started out at a dark blue level, working up through lighter shades of blue to white highlights. The shapes that were dabbed on were semi-random, based on empirical observation of swimming pools: boxy, elliptical and circular shapes in the main part. These shapes were criss-crossed and interconnected to suggest the distinctive interference pattern observed on bodies of water. Since the "wings" of the screamer are pointing downward, I figure that the patters should also be bunched up closer together toward the wing tips; more spread out on the horizontal plane. Each lighter shade was applied to only fewer and fewer locations of this interference pattern. The final details included painting the tusks jet black and various surface features in a cream / stone colour.

Positives: I like the look of this miniature. From a distance, I feel it gives the strong suggestion of water-like ripples on its surface -- that child-like reaction of "water is blue" really pays off.
Negatives: I wasn't certain what to do with the ripple patters that were close to the tusks. In the end, they got highlighted toward lighter colours, which contrasts nicely with, and offsets, the solid black of the tusks. Whether the tusks should have been solid black or not, I'm not too certain but can live with. The surface features in the solid stone colour were not that imaginative either, but again contrast with the deep blue inking of the surrounding recessed areas.


Ranillon said...

I think the model turned out pretty well. It certainly fulfills the 5" rule. It also fits what one expects from a tzeentch daemon. I certainly wouldn't want to meet it in a dark alley!

RonSaikowski said...

I agree with Ranillon, it says Tzeentch to me as well. Even if it is a bit hard to "read" in some places (because of the detail and trying to balance pattern with higlighting for shape) that almost seems to add to the model's feeling. Sort of disturbing and changing.

Nice work.

jabberjabber said...

Hey Guys,
thanks for your kind comment - much appreciated!

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