Dio-Bolical Monday No: 20 – “The Wizard’s Tower” – Part 11

This time last week I thought there would be two more posts before this diorama was complete but it is looking now like this will be the penultimate post.

Before I started on this diorama I knew I wanted to have a bit more drama going on rather than just the tower, some waves and a wizard prancing about.  The question of course was what?  In keeping with a mystical theme I decided to have the tower under attack from a dragon if I could find the right figure.  After a fair bit of research I settled on the Narthrax dragon produced by Reaper.  There was only one problem though, the dragon was only available in the Reaper Bones range.

From what I have been able to gather Reaper Bones has very mixed reviews.  Now I am no fan of plastic but at the same time I needed to be able to bend this figure about a bit in order to position it how I wanted.  I decided I had little choice but to take a punt on it.  All I can say is I fully understand the mixed reviews.  The figure was well boxed and looked superb but the touch of it was something else.  Right from the start I knew this was something I didn’t want to paint and I can say with 100% confidence I will never do another bones figure again.  I know some of you like them and have produced great results so I am happy for this to go down as my aversion to plastic and bones models in particular.

First up I needed to assemble the thing and remove the plastic pins which slotted into the base which came with the model as I wouldn’t be using that.  Then I had to play around with some hot water to bend various body parts to get the position I required.  This took several attempts because the plastic had a life its own and wanted to spring back into its original shape.  Perseverance paid off in the end and I finally felt confident that it would remain in shape and I could start painting.

Already in the wrong frame of mind my mood wasn’t helped any when after priming the figure I learnt that you didn’t need to prime this bones figure!  Nevertheless I continued to soldier on and for the first time ever I used contrast paints.  I didn’t know quite what to expect but I found them to be pretty good and for something like this they were ideal.  I’m not sure I will use them that often but I certainly have nothing against them and can see why people would use them if they are looking for very effective and quick results.

Now the store images for the Nathrax dragon show it painted in blue.  I discussed with my inner self what colour I should go with and decided blue was probably the way to go.  Against the tower it would offer a nice contrast and with the sea and waves it somehow felt like the right habitat for a dragon of this colour.  Regrettably I didn’t take that many photo’s of the painting process.  I think I feared that if I put it down I wouldn’t want to pick it up again!  Despite everything I pretty much managed to get there with it and a few images are below.

The dragon isn’t fully finished and the uncompromising and magnified images show that it is scruffy in places.  It clearly needs some tidying up, quite a bit actually, and more dry brushing but I don’t think any of that will make for a lot of work or for an interesting post so next week we will skip straight to the finished diorama.  Well that’s the plan anyway.



32 thoughts on “Dio-Bolical Monday No: 20 – “The Wizard’s Tower” – Part 11

  1. I was wondering what else might go on your diorama! And I’d say you have done a great job on it.
    Its a shame you did not like the Reaper Bones I have been half thinking about getting some monsters from that range, but like you the mixed results had put me off todate.
    On the contrast paint front firstly great job with them here they have clearly worked for you! I also like them on some big natural surfaces like here. But I actually used the a lot now in other ways, they are great to paint shadows, e.g. gap between fingers.
    Anyhow looking forward to seeing it done!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you. The contrast paints I was pretty impressed with and am more than happy to do more with them as and when but I can’t say the same for Reaper Bones figures though. That said they do a another range (Reaper Black?) which is more expensive than bones but better from what I can gather. One day I might try them but deep down I’m just a metal guy! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I don’t think Bone’s material is really plastic, it’s some special material cooked up in Hell. Plastic, metal, resin – I’ll paint pretty much anything and enjoy it, but I don’t think you could pay me to paint that Bone’s stuff again… It’s a pity because the models themselves are often very nice, as is the case of this dragon, and you’ve done a lovely job with it. That wizard had better have all his best spells with him or he’s going to need a new house I reckon!

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    1. Thank you. If the figure wasn’t such a crucial part of the diorama I most definitely would never have bothered to finish it. The look of the figure is excellent but the touch of it was something else entirely. I guess it’s each to their own as I know several people have been more than happy. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Considering you did not like the bones material the Dragon looks great. P.s as you dislike bones I recommend you avoid Mantic resin/plastic stuff. I can deal with either but I’m not as good a painter as you – but the later makes me cause a lot more. It’s very hard to clean trim lines and you can’t manipulate it at all

    Liked by 3 people

    1. If it wasn’t such an integral part of the diorama I would not have continued. From what you say Reaper aren’t the only ones dealing in the dark arts of poor materials. Thanks for the heads up but It’s metal figures all the way again for me after this one although I can’t fault the tower which was made of resin either. 🙂

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  4. Oi, how did I miss this post, oh yeah, because I’ve been off-line for a couple of days! Dude, that dragon looks really good!
    I know what you mean about Reaper Bones, I want to like them, but… The figures that I have painted, I don’t re-prime, but wish I had, as my non-reaper paints seems to “slide” around rather than stick!
    Can’t wait to see the final diorama completed!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Cheers Eric. It’s fair to say I am not a fan of Reaper Bones after trying to paint this one. All is well that ends well I guess but the journey was like being in a third class train carriage and travelling on the roof! All being well next week will see the end of this diorama, albeit with the mixed feelings, and I’ll be interested to know what you and others think in due course. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  5. The Dragon looks nice, mate! I have heard mixed things about Bones and never tried them as a result. My impression is that they’re meant to be budget minis that appeal to a wider and more casual audience but I tend to subscribe to the idea of you get what you pay for and I’ll happily pay more to get better when it comes to minis. All that being said, I’m very excited to see how the dragon looks on the dio!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I did deliberate for quite a while before I bought this one and searched high and low for the right dragon to buy which I felt worked with what I had in mind. I just kept coming back to this every time and finally said what the hell, it can’t be that bad can it? The pose is fantastic for my needs but the material it’s made from! In fairness I think I got there in the end but there was no pleasure in it. ☹

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The final result is definitely the most important thing so I’m relieved that you were able to make it work. It would be awful to find out that the dragon part of this diorama isn’t going to work so that is some silver lining anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I think you did a wonderful job on the dragon – I blew up the pic on the scales and it’s pretty cool to see what you did to edge each little scale. Also to have a peek behind the curtain on your work area and paints was interesting. Glad you’re trying the contrast paints, I’ve been very happy to have them in my armamentarium. I think you did well to make the dragon blue, and it will look great on the castle. Unless he is taken out by the wizard that is…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Mark. The pose of the dragon is perfect for what I had in mind but alas it could only be bought in bones. Confronted by the same dilemma I’d make the same uncomfortable decision. The contrast paints were a hit though. Should all be done for next week so will be interested to hear what you think in due course. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Well done for persevering mate, it turned out great in the end,when you said you were painting it blue I was a bit doubtful, it not being a color I would think would suits a dragon, but after seeing what you have achieved I was very impressed!

    Liked by 2 people

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