Much like the aboleth I painted a while back, we’ve encountered an ancient black dragon in our campaign, and it looks like there’s gonna be a big fight with her at the end. SO… time to paint a big blue dragon.
I looked at the new WizKids pre-primed dragons, but the only one my alternate FLGS had in stock was the green one, and I was not impressed at all. So I went for Narthrax from Reaper instead. Knowing that she’ll have to look extra impressive on the table, I started out by picking her base. As an ancient dragon, she needs to be gargantuan, or on at least a 4” base. I did Blightfang on a 4” base, and Narthrax is just a bit bigger so she got a 5” base. Then I layered up some cork to boost up her height on the table a bit, and carved it out to fit with her integrated base.
Then it was onto painting. After washing in warm soapy water, I primed her with both Blue and Brown Liner, depending on what color the section was going to be. For the main body, I used True Blue as the primary base color, darkening it with the Blue Liner, and lightening it with Linen White.
The wing membrane, belly scales, and horns and teeth were base coated with NMM Gold Base over the brown liner. For the teeth and horns I then went to Yellowed Bone, and then Linen White. She’s a little too old to go all the way up to Pure White or even Bleached Linen. I’m not really thrilled with the wings yet, but I’m not entirely sure how to make them look better. I think I’m going to do the boring “deeper shadows, higher highlights” thing and start by darkening the shadows.
After building up the scale color, I then added in Frosty Blue (Not to be confused with Frost Blue, which is an entirely different color) to bring up the lightning crackle that I imagine courses over her scales when she’s pissed. I used Nightmare black and Eldritch Purple to paint the transition spots where horns/spines poke out from the scales, as well asher gums and the interior of her mouth.
A few notes up to this point:
She was painted (and still is) entirely unassembled.
Initially I didn’t clean up any mold lines, but there were a few on the wings and head that needed it after I applied paint and saw how bad they were.
I haven’t decided how to paint the rocks, but I’m thinking about using the same recipe for them as the flagstone bases of the minis.