I picked up D&D in Jan, 2018 (last year at the time of writing this) after a 20 year break and one of the first (if not the first) youtube channel I found with advice was “Running the Game” by Matt Colville – A really great, to the point channel of advice for DMing.
Matt often makes a point of saying that his channel runs without ads so when he launched the kickstarter for his D&D supplement “Strongholds & Followers“, I immediately decided to support it regardless of what it was, as a way to give back to Matt.
However, when I learned it came with Gem Dragons rules and miniatures I was hooked and now months later, I have received the Ancient Ruby Dragon, The Topaz Wyrmling and this Emerald Dragon you see below, the first I painted.
As with all my bigger monsters, I tend to speed paint them and this was no difference. I spent in total ~2hrs excl wait time while paint dried.
People have asked me how I painted it, but stupidly enough I did not take photos during the progress. I will when I paint the Ruby Dragon, but in steps here is what I did:
- Prime it bone. I did this a lot as it gives some great highlights when you wash it with a shade.
- Wash it with Biel-Tan Green shade.
- Drybrush with very light green/grey
- Paint all the gems emerald and give them a wash of Drakenshof Nightshade.
- Paint wings black, then bronze.
- Glaze wings with Emerald.
- I then shaded the wings with Drakenhof Nightshade, which I normally wouldn’t do with a bronze colour, but with such a big surface it looked too flat.
- Drybrush the wings with bronze followed by a light drybrush of metal (it makes bronze look more realistic I find)
- Finally paint a white dot on every single gem (this step took a while)
I painted the wings bronze because Gem Dragons come from a much older lineage than Chromatic and Metallic dragons and they are largely Neutral in nature. As such, it felt like they should exhibit traits and colours from both sides, so the hide is that of the chromatic lineage and the wings of metallic lineage.
I am really happy with the result. Can’t wait to do the Ruby Dragon.