Super Dungeon Explore Vol. 5: Kobold Warrens

The painting this last week took a decidedly slow turn, as I opted to tackle the four Kobold Warrens for SDE. While the original plan for these models seemed pretty simple in my head, in practice it turned out quite different. These four models have managed to take me the better part of three weeks to paint. Of course, some of that is because I have been more active with Malifaux recently. However, part of it was simply because these models became more complicated than I had anticipated.

That said, I am very happy with the way they turned out.

Like I said, the concept for these models was pretty straight forward. As I have with all of the Kobolds, the warrens were undercoated black and then basecoated with Vallejo Heavy Charcoal. I then set to adding progressive amounts of Cold Grey to the Charcoal to build up the highlights until the entire thing was given several thin washes of Umber Wash. Once I was satisfied I have a suitably earthy rock look, I went in to work the details.

The lava was basecoated in white, and then a mix of Blood Red and Bright Orange. I haven’t ever done much with painting lava, so this was a bit of a new experience. The trick here is that you have to paint it like fire, but it isn’t exactly like fire. While we highlight them the same way, starting with the lightest color and work darker and darker as you go, this can make lava look a little strange. Instead, I basecoated with the reds, and then shaded with orange and progressively up to a mix of yellow and white. There wasn’t enough area on these models to get all the way to white, and I think I like the look of cooler lava a bit more.

The lava also gave me the first opportunity I’ve had to use the airbrush for anything but undercoating and varnishing. With the Sotar, I was able to add some glow to the sides of the lava and really make the reds pop. This took a considerable amount of going back and forth between the airbrush and painting the grey back on where I’d gone astray, but for a first attempt, I think it turned out well. I will be practicing more with the airbrush for sure.

For the skulls capping the spawn points, I wanted to stick with the theme I’d already put in place for the Kobolds with an old bone look. As with the Ironscales and their weapons, I imagine the kobolds looking at dragons with reverence and so the skulls, while old, would be cherished. I started the skulls with a mix Snake Leather and gradually added Bleached Bone until I was about half and half. Then I applied several layers of thinned down Sepia wash to age the bone, highlighting again with the same mixture. To keep the bones aged looking, I was careful not to go too bleached with the highlights. The dragon horns were basecoated with a 50/50 mix of Scorched Earth and Black, then highlighted with just a touch of scorched earth. A glass varnish helped the highlights stand out.

Finally, I went over a few of the rocky outcroppings to pick them out as gems. In my own ideas of Kobold culture, I imagine that these warrens are initially found as lava springs, carved into altars and crowned with the skulls of dragons. It would be fitting therefor, that gems unearthed during this process would be left in honor of the dragon whose skull sits atop the outcropping, and they would be polished and cut accordingly. From a stylistic point of view, I think the gems also help bring up back to a more cartoony look.

With the Warrens complete, this now leaves the Gougers and the Dragon Priests as all the Kobolds I have left. After that, the dragonkin should be pretty easy to mop up. Then onto the heroes. My hope now is to have this project complete, or very near complete, in time for the masses of Gencon purchases to take over my table. We’ll have to see about that.

More to Come.



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