Dem Bones – Fire Dragon

It’s been a while since I did a post about my Bones miniatures. Over a year. Fifteen months, actually. In an ideal world, this post would read something like this: I had a blast the last fifteen months painting my Reaper Bones! I was having so much fun, I didn’t have time to blog about it, so you all will never know all the painstaking work I put into painting these miniatures. Instead, enjoy these pictures of the whole painted horde!

I could write that. It would be a LIE.

I hardly painted at all those fifteen months. I was busy. Life got in the way. I wasn’t really playing D&D or running a game. Etc. etc. Blah, blah, blah.

Guess what? HOLY COW there’s a real, honest-to-goodness update here!

Fire Dragon 1 - Assembled-UnpaintedI painted a DRAGON. Not just any dragon, a Reaper Bones Fire Dragon (clicking on the pictures brings up a larger version).

Everything glued together really well. Superglue made a fast, strong bond on this miniature. It seems to work better with large areas to bond rather than something small, like a hand. There was relatively little flash on the miniature, but it was very front-heavy. I glued 1″ steel washers to the feet and it still flopped over. I glued 1.5″ bases to the washers and it was still unstable. I’m thinking of cutting a wood block to 1″ x 2″ and screwing the two bases to it, then painting & flocking the wood.

Now, I said this was a Fire Dragon. I don’t need another fire-breathing dragon. I don’t need a red dragon of the D&D mold. I did need an awesome Blue Dragon, though, so I went with that. Fire Dragon 2 - Base ColorMost blue dragon pictures I’ve seen use a tan/yellow type contrast for the wing membranes and belly scales. In the pictures, it looks pretty good. On my miniature, I HATED the wing membranes. The belly scales looked good, but I didn’t think that color would work well on the large flat areas of the wing membranes. They have very minimal texture, so it’s just a flat expanse.

I replaced it with a light blue. Fire Dragon 3 - Wing Membrane 1It seemed to work reasonably well. I went with a darker blue for the spine plates and intended to go over the entire dragon with a black wash, followed by a lighter shade of blue for drybrushing the highlights.

Fire Dragon 4 - First Coat FinishedIn the end, the final color scheme is pretty pleasing (to me). The scales have some subtle texture which is really nice compared to the doughy faces in some of the character miniatures I’ve seen. I really like this dragon.

Then… I did the wash. What an unmitigated disaster. The scales handled it fairly well, but the wash just pooled on the wing membranes and didn’t sit in the fine striations as well. I hoped it would make them more visible, instead, it was like dumping water on a piece of flat plastic. I almost threw the whole thing out.Fire Dragon 5 - Wash Disaster

Maybe I didn’t thin it enough. Maybe the paint is not formulated correctly (I’m using Privateer P3 paints now). I don’t know. I’m not an expert. It sucked. It didn’t work. In my head I was going “oh shit oh shit oh shit” while my stomach was knotting up like a clenched fist.

I used another layer of the light blue to cover up the wash on the wings (if you’re keeping track, that’s now 3 layers of paint on the wing membranes), and dry brushed the rest of the mini. I then did some touch-ups.

The end result… I’m pretty pleased with. My skill level is probably at the high end of Beginner or low end of Intermediary. The light plays pretty cool on some of the scales, and I think the color I picked for the eyes works really well. Unfortunately, you can’t see either of those in the picture. I have several other Bones dragons, and I learned some lessons on this one that should serve me well going forward… providing it’s not fifteen months before I paint another miniature!Fire Dragon Finished-Unbased

I still haven’t fixed the base, but it stands well enough now. I’ll get around to the base eventually. I painted a couple of metal minis at the same time as this one. I should’ve taken pictures of them, but I haven’t based them yet, either. Maybe once I get the bases done for all three I’ll post more pictures.

I have an Eye Beast, too. It will be the focus of a different blog post. It’s totally NOT a Beholder, y’all. That would be a violation of WotC’s IP. I haven’t based that one, either.

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2 thoughts on “Dem Bones – Fire Dragon

  1. Haha, this was certainly a good read! I have also had to take a break from painting due to life, the universe and…um…everything and definitely think there will be a severe re-learning curve when I pick up my next paintbrush.

    But, after all of disasters for your mini, looks like it turned out really nicely!! Very jealous of your impressive dragon 🙂

  2. Agree it’s an entertaining read. These step-by-step posts are pretty cool- always great to get additional perspectives on techniques. I’m working through my Vampire box too; split them with my son, we’re having fun together. He got the big ones though.
    Nice job on yours; the eyes, while hard to see, do look very nice!

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