88355 Orc Berserker

Finished up the Orc Berserker yesterday.

I'm still not thrilled with the lacquer on this one. I usually finish with a coat of Testors Glosscote and then follow up with a layer of Dullcote. This is still too shiny, though.

The piece itself illustrates what I like and dislike about the Chainmail line. On the plus side, it's a very well done figure. It's a breeze to paint with a very lively expression. At the same time, like many in this series, it's very 2 dimensional. I'm not sure if it was for budget reasons, or if it was an artifact of the WoTC manufacturing process, but many of the figurines in this line are very flat. When they flesh out, it's often with attached elements that extend laterally. I find it somewhat disconcerting, since I'm used to contemporary miniatures by Reaper and other manufacturers, who don't seem to have to operate under the same constraint. The result is a figure that is pretty flat overall and aesthetically disappointing.

That said, I very much like the balance struck in this series between a stylized, cartoonish aesthetic and realistic depiction.

I've been getting better at thinning my paints. My first few attempts seem blotchy and rough now because I was layering on thick paint that clumped up. I'm now starting with a 1:1 paint/water ratio and building up color in multiple layers. The basecoat on this orc's skin, for example, was laid down in at least six layers. The result is a much smoother finish.
I'm going to pick up some Vallejo Glaze Medium, which should extend the drying process and allow for more subtle wet-blending of tones. Hopefully this will culminate in some better experiments in a week or two and an improvement in the color transitions and highlights overall.

Next up are four Goblin Scouts. They're glued, primed, and prepped. I'll start painting them tonight or tomorrow.

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