This week, I put the finishing touches on the vampire lady. Here's a look at how she turned out:
The Vampire Lord Lucinda Vale is one of the inhabitants of the Tombs of Tithing. I imagine her using her wings to trap victims and completely drain them like the Winged Devourers in The Beastmaster, leaving nothing but ravaged husks.
I shot a quick rotation of her:
Lucinda is accompanied by the two Gnawbone Strays (zombified cats) from Cursed City. She was relatively simple to paint, except for the face. Her features are so tiny, this was the first time I had to resort to a magnifier when painting a miniature. She's the first "army model" that I've painted since February. It's nice to get back to painting undead miniatures.
I hadn't noticed until I started painting her, but she's got pretty interesting wolf iconography on her collar and a wolf face on her stomach.
Turning to the subject of hobby supplies– People are always searching for the right spray varnish to seal their models. For a long time, Testors Dull Cote was the answer. But the Testors Model Masters line was discontinued a while back, and now there's concern about whether the precious, precious Dull Cote would also soon be going the way of the dodo. My understanding (according to what I've been told at the hobby shop), is that Dull Cote is still available to order, but there's essentially a run on it and it sells out as fast as they can get it in.
However, I've become more and more dissatisfied with the quality of Dull Cote over the past few years. It has been my go-to matte varnish of choice basically since I started in this hobby. But either the formula has changed, or the quality control just isn't there, because it seems like every other can just isn't dull enough. Dull Cote was famous for being dead flat matte. Like, it would kill any shine on the model and give you an even, flat surface. But more often than not, it seems to behave more like a "lusterless" varnish, and even ends up shiny at times. It's just not what it used to be.
I've been searching for a replacement, and Tamiya TS-80 "Flat Clear" is it. It's super flat, just like Dull Cote used to be, and it even kills the shine of metallic paint, the same way Dull Cote used to when it was properly dull. My practice had always been to paint the model, Dull Cote it, and then paint the metal bits so they'd retain their shine, but lately I haven't needed to because the spray just wasn't dulling enough.
When I sprayed Lucinda with the TS-80, and the silver metal on the spikes around her base turned grey, I knew I was in love. As I touched up the silver, I could hear birds singing and everything. Sorry, Dull Cote, we had a good run but I've found someone new.