Monday, January 28, 2013

Oaken's Twelve: Dwalin Fundinson

And now here's Dwalin, younger brother of the agreeable and venerable Balin, albeit not quite as agreeable from the beginning. The Hobbit's Dwalin is a rather aloof character, not entirely convinced of Bilbo's credentials, and striking a somewhat haughty tone. Like the other Dwarves he comes around, but typical of the wider Company is given little more description, save for a dark green hood, and a golden belt into which is tucked a long blue beard. A far cry from Graham McTavish's 'badass' Dwalin of An Unexpected Journey, then.

Truth told, this combination of dark green, gold and blue (whatever a blue beard looks like) presented a problem in colour choices here - the green I started with (GW's Dark Angels Green)was chosen to reflect a sort of greenstone/jade aesthetic, but typical of that colour, I just couldn't make it work. It's a sod to blend. So, the olive drab Catachan Green it is, even if it is a green that recurs throughout my painting of the LotR minis (especially with Rohan and the hobbits.) And how do you paint a blue beard? Well I gave it my best shot, using Shadow Grey, Fortress Grey and a wash of blue and black.

The sculpting of the beard itself took three passes, but I'm happy with the result. I even gave him an ear! Being able to do the beard justice was what consigned this model to the back of the queue, as I reasoned that I'd be more enthusiastic about it after I'd got better with putty. I've never been crazy about the model's pose (there's too much cloak, and even front-on that bow intrudes across the model, plus Dwalin's bow hand is wonky), but I do think a larger beard pulls things together a little better.

Finally, I was rather unkind to Dwalin and filed some of his hair off, giving him a bald pate. The sculpt's hair wasn't best rendered (it's also been bulked up with green stuff), and giving him a little more flesh area introduces some variety to the Company's look, as well as complimenting that beard as well.

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