I had been wanting to get some time to paint this guy ever since I saw the Castle Ravenloft list of miniatures. He really is the centerpiece of the whole box: the dreaded Gravestorm, the Dracolich!
Image borrowed from Always a Gamer
I am not sure about the usual quality of this miniature, and seeing a it is part of a DnD boardgame, expectations were not high, but… my Dracolich had HORRIBLE MOLD LINES all over the model, a large space between the spine and its left side and the wings were so bent together you could barely see its back! Its horn was also bent at the tip: these sort of problems are expected, since Wizards of the Coast’s miniatures are cast in this rubbery, bendy material (that’s why most miniatures have bent weapons), and it only took some time with a hairdryer in order to get the wings set in its proper place. A lot of cleaning and gap-filling with Plastic Putty, and Gravestorm was looking a lot better.
“Aaw, what a lovely cloth!”
You can see all of the work I had to put into filling those gaps. The mouth also took a lot of filling, and I should’ve made the tendon that connects its shoulder to its maw out of Brown Stuff, but at this point I was too tired of all the prepping process. Fortunately, this time I did remember to wash the miniature before starting all of this, so priming it was easier than it would’ve been had I forgotten that step.
Let me give you a tip: when it comes to larger miniatures like these, never… ever… EVER decide to apply your primer by brushing it on. It took me something like four hours to cover the whole miniature in white primer, doing a single coat and then retouching on parts I missed on the first run. I eventually gave up on doing a second coat, so I just drybrushed plain white on top of the primer in order to cover all of the surface. You can also see how the wings and the horn are now looking much better after being straightened out.
Modlines removed: check. Gaps filled: check. Primer applied: good enough. Basecoat: not going to bother with. Onto the good part: shading everything down with a generous amount of brown wash.
Here it is. Already looking much, much better, and I can already see how good it is going to look at the gaming table once it is finished. In this photo the wash was still drying, but I took a photo later on with all of the projects I managed to start during Christmas holidays.
You have stoked the wrath of the Dracolich and its minions. Roll for initiative.
I’m going to take my time on the first highlighting pass… when I get to it, which will take some courage in order to get started. There’s a bank holiday coming soon, so I may just start doing just that. Then again, I have four other projects that I have started and haven’t bothered to finish since so… we’ll see.
DnD Castle Ravenloft’s Gravestorm the Dracolich
- Agrax Earthshade (shading)
- Plastic Putty 70.400 (filling in gaps)
- White Primer 74.600