I spent my summer holidays in Denmark. As usual, among the various places I wanted to visit I looked for a good hobby shop and I found Faraos Cigarer, in Copenhaguen. It is a sweet three floors store with loads of nice boxes and many many paints and accessories. I really like to visit shops when abroad, just to see where hobbyists of the world get their stuff, and I was not disappointed with this one. It is not as large as Battlefield Berlin (one of my all times favourite), but still a very nice place.
Every time I visit a shop I buy some minis there (just to help local businesses, not because I am addicted) and I try to buy stuff I do not easily find in shops back home (of course I can find them on the internet, but I lile hobby shops, call me old school if you want!). This time it is the Reaper Mini range that caught my eye.
New shop, new range…
I had never bought Reaper Mini stuff before and only know the range thanks to people I follow on the twitterverse. I was impressed with how large the range is and how creative are the scultps. Since I need some NPCs to respresent « unexpected events » in my Mordheim campaigns I decided I needed at least one monster. I hesitated quite a bit between Frog Shamans, Rhinoceros warriors and a lovely Griffin and the sweet sweet Giraffe avatar of wisdom. I finally settled on the « Ice Troll » and a blacksmith (also for my Mordheim campaigns).
The sculpt itself has a refreshing « naïveté » that I find appealing. It reminds me of old fantasy aesthetics. When it comes to scifi settings I am all for « Grimdark » but for fantasy settings I prefer a subtle mixture between grandiose, grotesque and plain funny miniatures. It has certainly something to do with the fact that I entered the fantasy universe via LotR in which you meet great evils, mighty knights and silly hobbits. It has also something to do with the way I picture the middle ages: not a dystopian unbearable dark era, a time of violence and war, yes, but also love, songs and laughs. Anyway, when it comes to fantasy, I like simple and naive sculpts which I would find not dark enough for scifi setting.
The « Ice Troll » (and most of Reaper Mini’s range) falls into that category in my opinion. The troll itself is a pretty straightforward sculpt. Nothing fancy, no thousands of details to get lost into, it is just a massive brute, all in strength and movement. The pose is really dynamic and the face of the troll is very expressive.
I bought the troll without paying attention to his « name » and without knowing its usual colour scheme. In my mind it was immediately a red devil, an elemental creature born of magic and lava. I only realized I was far from the « classic » paint scheme once home when I shared my findings on social media.
Anyway, it stuck with my first idea and here is the result:
I am pretty pleased with it since it matches almost perfectly what I had in mind when I first saw it. On top of that, I completed it in one sitting (couple of hours in the evening) which is a great satisfaction for me since I am cursed with the « slow painter / never get anything done » spell.
Painting on « Bones »
Now some thoughts on the mini itself. It was the first time I painted on « bones » material. I gathered some advice from the twiterverse (thank you oh mighty Goblin King) and started to work on it.
It has been a long time since I painted an unprimed mini and I have to confess it was both fun and unsettling. I gave the mini a good bubble bath and threw paint at it right away.
After years and years of learning to thin my paints, I had to go back to heavy and sticky paint (at list for base colours). I do not know how you guys work on bones, but I went the easy way and applied quite thick layers as base colours. This had two consequences: first it allowed me to work « as usual » for the following layers; second it gave a « cartoonesque » look to the mini that I liked very much.
In the end there is not much to it. Once the surprise of having to use thick paint again was over I worked my way through the paintjob mire or less as usual. I liked not having to prime the mini since it allows to just « pick » the mini from the « unpainted stuff box » (as long as you give them a bubble bath as soon as you bring them back home) and paint it right away. Another thing that surprised me was how well the paint stick to the mini and how resilient it was. I was able to handle the mini with my sweaty fingers without risking to ruin it and it was quite pleasant.
All in all I am pleased with the experience and will look deeper into the range to expand my fantasy NPCs collection for next year Mordheim campaign.
Well that’s all for folks. Hope you liked what you read, see you soon.
Pictures in this post are my own, except the one with the Yoda quota, that I shamelessly stole on the internet.