This has to have been one of the most unique commissions I have ever done. Check out this completely custom designed, 3D printed and painted Dungeons and Dragons adventure group!
I was approached a couple months ago about doing this commission. The client had a group of friends who played D&D and he wanted to surprise them with custom models for each of their characters. He had already had an artist illustrate the whole group and then went to a 3D printer to have each of them made as close as possible to the drawing.
I immediately was excited about tackling this project. It was really cool being able to participate in bringing these characters to life. He sent me all the models and then shortly thereafter I got the illustration to use as a guide. There were a few differences between the 3D printed minis and the illustration due to the limitations of the printer, but it wasn't a huge difference.
The first mini I painted was what I referred to as the "thief" since that's what his pose conveys to me, but his name is actually Sirajhn. What drew me to him were the colors used in the drawing. I really like the unique colors of his shirt and the paleness of his skin. I saw them as fun challenges to paint. For the green shirt I used Gauss Blaster Green Edge Paint from GW as my main color. It's always a treat to get to use one of my Edge Paints.
The rest of the model is fairly blue, and with his pale skin I feel like he really conveys a cold feel. His skin was a mix of Cadian Fleshtone and Rakarth Flesh, but with a higher concentration of Rakarth Flesh. This made him look suitably pale, but still human.
The next guy up was the halfling archer Eldon, which honestly I picked due to the fact that he would go quickly. I was also not as excited about this guy at first, so I wanted to get him done sooner rather then later. I ended up enjoying him quite a bit though. He has a really earthy feel with all of his greens, browns, and brownish grey. He also has a lot of black on him, which I find unusual for a fantasy figure, but makes him look pretty cool in my opinion.
If you compare him to the illustration you will notice the biggest difference is the lack of a cape. I was afraid that this would make him look too different since that is a lot of green missing. In the end though I think it worked out fine and without the cloak I feel like he looks a bit more streamlined and ready for action.
The Elven archer in the group, Preswynn, really strikes an earthy feel. I'm not sure on her back story, but I imagined she would fall more closely into a Wood Elf faction is she had to chose. It was interesting having to come up with a bunch of different shades of brown that all had to work together on the same models. I don't know if any of them had a straight out of the pot color as their base besides the dark leather, which is Rhinox Hide.
Her skin was also decidedly darker and more olive in tone. This was a lot of fun trying to recreate and I think I got pretty close to the illustration's color. I don't even remember what colors I mixed together, but I'm pretty sure Gothor Brown and Cadian Fleshtone were in there at some point. Being the second archer in the group I also wanted to make her bow different, so I painted it a darker shade.
Now I moved onto the two most dynamic minis of the group, starting with Alvaard. The mini didn't have a sash across his chest at first, and the client told me I could just paint the strap holding his armor on as the sash. Knowing it wouldn't be a huge inconvenience to sculpt a sash I asked if that's what he wanted me to do. I'm really glad we did because I think it looks great. It was a lot of fun painting a plaid pattern. This mini had a cloak that he's missing in the illustration (maybe he stole the Dwarf's cloak) so I opted to paint it a dark blue to tie into his shirt and also Sirajhn's cloak.
I really enjoy painting blonde hair so this was fun to do. It just pops so much on a mini. I also got to play around with a shaved head texture and a mustache. All of these minis had a lot more armor on them then their illustrated counter parts. I imagined they are about to face a very tough foe so opted for a bit more protection. I still wanted them to maintain a more adventurer like feel as opposed to a heavily armor knight though. Instead of painting them as metals I painted all of them as a dark brown leather. This also helps tie all of the models together as a unified group despite the variance of colors across them.
The last member of the group, Boldorn, differed from his illustration in one key way. He was missing his bear skin pelt. The mini came with a small cloth cloak on him and the client asked if I could just paint it to look like fur. When I offered to sculpt a fur texture on it he asked if I could also sculpt the bear head on the shoulder.
I have to say, for my first bear head I think it turned out pretty well. His pants were a unique shade of brown to try and achieve. Again, I almost pride myself on how many different shades of brown I was able to achieve across the whole group.
The shield also turned out looking really cool for how simple it was. I did a base coat of Gothor Brown for the wood, washed it with Agrax, highlighted the edges of the planks with Gothor again and painted in a grain pattern, then mixed in a bit of Screaming Skull for further highlights. I was afraid that this model was too dark since the bear pelt is black, but one I finished the basing on all of them it really popped. For the bases all I did was glue down some sand, wash it with Agrax, drybrush with Screaming Skull then add some rocks and foliage.
I'm really happy with how the whole group turned out, and more importantly, so is the client. He plans on giving them to his friends in a game tomorrow and surprising them. He has assured me that they don't look at my site and said it's okay for me to post this today, so this shouldn't ruin the surprise at all. He has promised to send me pictures of the game and everyone with their models, so maybe I will post an update to this in the future.
The illustration was done by Karen Petrasko, who plays as Preswynn in the group. You can see more of her work on her website.
Be sure to watch the video below for a 360 degree video of the whole group. The music is once again provided by Adam Harvey, you can follow him on his Facebook page and listen to some more of his music on his Youtube channel. Enjoy!
Until next time,