Monday, July 6, 2015

SDE: Caverns of Roxor - Completed!

It was a long road, but I have finally escaped the firey domain of Roxor and his minions. Originally purchased when it first released in 2012, Caverns of Roxor was left unpainted thanks to SDE painting burnout and the long process of painting the base set. But it is now complete and I can move on to Von Drakk Manor (before dying under a tidal wave of Forgotten King plastic).

Much like my Forgotten King Wave 1 unboxing. I'm going to lay this out with pictures and captions. It makes things so much easier that way.

The Heroes!
The Heroes of Caverns of Roxor are Star Guild Sapper, Deeproot Scout and Princess Ruby. This Ruby is actually a metal prerealse version and I've yet to finish the plastic one. But I have her started and I know what the plan is. Perhaps I can knock it out this week. Obviously, Sapper and Scout are based on Mario and Link. But I couldn't bring myself to copy their color schemes, so I came up with my own. It was a lot tougher that I thought!

Rocktop Gang!

The Rocktop Gang is a group of turtle minions. When I was getting ready to paint them, I had the crazy idea of color matching their skin tones with my old TMNT action figures. Some ended up closer than others, but I'm pleased with them.

These are the Rockpile Spawning Points for the Rocktop Gang. Since they were turtles, I couldn't help but paint them each a different color from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (big fan). They turned out pretty well, but at this point I had lost my original technique for painting bone and I'm not 100% pleased with the skulls.

The Rocktop Bombadiers were originally meant to be painted with a skintone similar to Donatello. But I didn't get the mix right. It's close to my original toy's coloration, but not spot on. 

The Rocktop Slowpokes come in 2 flavors. By the time I got to painting these guys I had given up on painting them up like the TMNT skin tones and decided that they needed to be a turquoise. I really like how they turned out, but damn they don't like being photographed. Also, for some reason the matte spray got really glossy on them.

The Rocktop Rollers were meant to be the Leonardo of the group and it was in painting these that I realized I suck horribly at custom mixing paint to match color. 

I really like the Rocktop Crushers. They are big beasts and as such I decided that they would be Raphael. This is the only mini out of all the turtles that I was able to match the skin tone even close to the toy I was copying. 

Turtle Shells! The turtles in the Rocktop Gang can use an action to turn into these. Then using the Rollers, you can whip them all over the board at players. I haven't used the Rocktop Gang in a game yet, but the idea of bowling with them seem super fun.

Fireflow Denizens!
The Fireflow Denizens were an interesting challenge. Painting them required a ton of patience, as I needed to batch paint the whole bunch of them for their firey areas. I do like working with red and on less stylized miniatures the fire effect is super easy to do. But on these, the softer details meant I need to cut some corners to make it work. All in all, I've so far gotten a ton of compliments on them.

The Fire Whirl Spawning Point was really fun to paint and possibly the easiest of all the fire effects in the set.

Ember Hounds were supposed to be nearly 100% fire. But I liked the idea of their mouths being flame as well as their tail & snout. I think it turned out well and kind gives them a Pokemon vibe.

Firey Gels actually come from Burning Gels after you kill them. I like them and they were fun to paint, but some of the fire technique broke down while attempting to paint them. It was on these little guys that I realized I needed to simplify my steps a bit.

The Burning Gels are one of my favorite minis in the set and I'm really digging how they turned out. I was originally dreading painting them up, because I thought painting them would be a chore. Turned out, it was super simple!

I really like how the Blaze Beetles came out. I knew I wanted a dark shell on them but hate highlighting black. That's when I remembered the technique for painting Space Hulk Genestealers from an issue of Games Workshop's White Dwarf magazine. Super simple too, Paint black, Highlight the edges with a dark blue, then edge highlight with a lighter blue. Boom.

The Bosses!
Caverns of Roxor comes with a mini-boss and a new boss. The mini-boss is Rockgut the Troll, apparently trolls in Crystalia aren't affected by fire the way other fantasy trolls are, because he's full on inferno mode. The new boss is Roxor, who is a large fire elemental and in original Super Dungeon Explore, he was a wreaking machine. Some folk complain about his sculpt, but I think he looks wholly badass.

Rockgut was painted completely in fire colors. His entire body is made up of rocks and I wanted the molten core of him to be showing between those rocks. I then used a technique I developed on Roxor to paint his rocks so that they looked like they were burning/molten. I think he turned out ok, but I'm not 100% happy with him. It doesn't help thaT I really don't like the sculpt much.

Roxor is the main man of the Volcano. Working on his fire was fun and I was able to put more than 1 hot spot on him, which made highlighting the fire a fun challenge. His runes are the same colors as the Rocktop Gang's spawning points, which helps give him a bit more color, since he is 90% Reds and Oranges. His rocks were a pain in my ass, originally. It took me two tries to get it right, but thanks to some drybrushing and stippling, I think he turned out great!

That's it! Super Dungeon Explore: Caverns of Roxor is finished! It only took, like 3 years... Now I can move on to finishing my Great Cyclopean Gemstone Heist! and then paint up SDE: Von Drakk Manor. I'm really hyped for Von Drakk, mainly because I'm a huge Castlevania fan. 

Also in case you're wondering, here is my technique for painting molten rocks:
  • I mix all my paint with Liqutex Matte Medium. 
  • Base coat the areas White, I used Vallejo Model Color White. But any bright white should do.
  • Then using GW Yriel Yellow, I drybrushed over every rock, leaving some white showing around the edges.
  • Next up, I mixed GW Blood Red (old line color, could sub it for Evil Sunz Scarlet) and stippled it over top of the yellow,  leaving some yellow on the edge.
  • Then using some old GW Scorched Earth, I stippled that further in towards the center or each rock.
  • Finally in the very middle, I stippled Black. On the stones at his bottom I had to paint them black and then stipple over the edges for a proper effect. But on the smaller stones, I just stippled and called it good.
And that's it!

I'm super happy to have gotten these finished and it was great having the #warmongers on Twitter pushing me along. Also I couldn't do fire as well as I do now it if wasn't for the tutorial from Hot-Lead. You should check it out, it's super in depth and he also has a bunch of other good ones over there.