Peeps, we have a winner! After quite a bit of soul searching, I have selected the Ranger that I will be using for my Rangers of Shadow Deep campaign. Drumrolls are not necessary right now, we’re in the middle of a pandemic and loud, repetitive rhythm might startle a neighbor.
I went with the Lila the Wood Elf Ranger model from The Dragon Trapper’s Lodge. This company releases a great range of figures, each with a main character on foot and mounted, as well as a dragon. The whole range is pretty cool, and very thematic.
Now that my printer is back up and running, I plugged the supported STL file into my slicer software with another five zombies on the build plate, and three some odd hours later, Lila was done!
Once she got a UV cure, I went over the model with a black primer in the airbrush, then added a zenithol highlight with white. For those of you who don’t know, the zenithol highlight allows you to see your highlights and shadows before you even commit paint to the model.
After the highlight, my first color pass went down using Citadel Contrast paints and Daler Rowney inks. This lets me get color on the whole model quickly, but at the cost of having to be really careful afterward. Contrast rubs off of models pretty easily, so use a paint stand and try not to touch the model with anything but your brush.
The next step is the highlight pass, where I go over all of the main colors with lighter shades of paint. I use Vallejo airbrush paints for this, since the pigment count is higher, which lets you get more done in less time.
After the highlights dry, I use a combination of citadel shades either straight out of the bottle or diluted with acrylic based floor polish, depending on how strong of a shading effect I am after.
Using this technique has been a pretty tried and true process for me, and has taken me the better part of 20 years to perfect. Before Contrast Paints came into the picture, I was using inks diluted with acrylic medium, and I only stumbled across zenithol highlighting about 8 years ago! It’s been a long process, but at this point I can get a figure like this one knocked out in about an hour.
Which means if I did nothing but paint, I could get the pile of shame painted up in about 400 hours…
It won’t win any awards, but it’s a damned good table top quality that will make me real freaking happy to play a game with!
I think I’ll keep her name as Lila, I just need to come up with a cool last name, and get her stats together! One step closer to my first game of Rangers of Shadow Deep!
If you have a cool last name for an Elf Ranger in mind, leave it in the comments!