“Fourteenth of the Hill” – Repainting Triss Merigold, part 1

You may not believe me but for the last few years I’ve been working mostly with large scale models, so when it came to painting something for myself I could hardly remember how to squeeze all the transitions and details on a 32mm model, hahaha 😀
So instead of fighting I decided to simply change the subject (maybe to one Triss Merigold?).

My problem with collectible statues

I’ve always been envious of the great display cabinets of all the proud collectors. Sometimes I tend to forget why I don’t have one. Purchasing this Triss Merigold model was one of those moments of confusion 😉 but all my reason returned as soon as I unboxed her.

The beautiful design was flooded with paint, as if it was machine-painted. I won’t make a good collector as I cannot afford the quality that could satisfy me… And just to be fair, Prime One models also can fail to impress me. The sculpts are great, composition and scale too, and even casting quality can be totally satisfactory! But if I am to enjoy and appreciate those sculpts, I would rather enjoy them not “colored”.

This is the version from Prime One. Definitely a higher-end statue. Photo taken from Don Antonio Baltazar’s blog.

And no, I don’t mean those solid paintjobs we see on prototypes and master models, but the weaker models from production runs. I can barely understand why somebody who can afford such an expensive, limited model, so rarely decides to get it properly painted. Painted in quality that those beloved characters and great sculpts deserve.

Why Triss?

I’ve been a fan of the Witcher saga for years. And Triss Merigold was a character that felt pretty interesting to me, so when it came to choosing a statue I would like to add to my collection, the choice wasn’t all that difficult. The problem came when I saw the quality…

The box. Looks nice. 🙂

I know that Dark Horse statues are the lower end of the range of collectible statues, with brands like Prime One, Hot Toys or Sideshow placing higher than that, but still..

Triss Merigold that I received

The model I had was the Dark Horse version of Triss Merigold, official licensed statue of the character depicted in the popular games from CD Projekt Red. While the box looks nice and the pose is good, after unpacking the statue you can see that the quality seriously differs from the standards I’ve been used to:

Here’s what I received (photo on the left) compared to what is presented in Dark Horse’s online catalogue (right). Well, at least they’re not trying to pretend that the product looks anything like the box art. 😉

Here you can see some more close-up shots of the statue, and for those unfamiliar, it is not small at all! These details are there, just not painted properly despite the size…

I even recorded a short video to depict it:

Triss Merigold from Dark Horse – quick look at the quality

And if you have time for a slightly longer video, you can see some more details and angles here:

A bit longer video of the Triss statue from Dark Horse

This immediately gave me an idea – why not try repainting the statue, so it would be closer to the quality that I would agree to accept. As I said, I had been working with large scale collectible statues for quite some time already, but rarely had opportunity to do something outside of the production models, so having this chance for a hobby project felt great!

Triss Merigold that I wanted

Here’s the image I chose for my main reference.

Triss Merigold from Dark Horse, official box art
This is basically the art you get to see on the box. The printed version is slightly darker, but it seems to be the same image

You can surely see the differences between the box art, the painted model presented on Dark Horse’s website and the model I received, can’t you? 😀

Naturally there was more, so here are two more examples of my main inspirations:

While one comes from the game, the other is from Xenbis. I also took inspiration from pictures found on guild_hunter_of_vengerberg‘s Instagram account.

Potential issues

So when I inspected the model, I thought there were two problems I had to solve:

The model was made of rubbery plastic, the soft kind. Which meant any kind of modeling work would be difficult, or at least not as enjoyable as the miniatures we’re used to. So if you want to do any upgrading or converting to your statues, have it in mind.

The other thing I was a bit worried about was the base, which was rather boring and bland. Of course, it is not the standard of the Prime One version, so we cannot expect too much. But still it was very basic and not very inspired.

The last thing I noticed was that the model couldn’t be disassembled. It was a one-piece thing, so handling is not as convenient as it could be if I were able to remove some parts for the time of painting.

But knowing these things I was ready to start! 🙂

Getting started with repainting Triss!

The thing I disliked the most on the model was the face. You aren’t surprised, are you? 😀 So the face would be the first thing I would like to repaint!

But before the cool and creative, artistic part, the mundane has to be done. So we started with washing the model. 😉

We have to make you clean first, Triss, before we apply some make-up, OK? 🙂

After the model was cleaned and de-greased, I was ready to start painting! 😀

I’ll be posting updates on the repaint here, and what seems to be the main fields for upgrade are: the face, the corset and the trousers. And stitches, a lot of stitches…. 😀

UPDATE: Now you can follow straight to part 2 of this article or even to part 3. 🙂

What a ride it was! (The team is growing)

Despite the global trend of social distancing and isolation, we’re going in the opposite direction – we are socializing and expanding the team!

You may wonder how and why. Well, that’s a story for sure. Let me tell you, briefly.

Three-years-long adventure

For nearly three last years we have been cooperating with Mixed Dimensions, and quite a ride it was! Wow, we have been thrown into the world of international corporations, big businesses, gaming companies and modern technologies. While it was exhausting and kept us busy for most of the time (as you could easily notice by our reduced internet presence), we’ve built a crazy team of artists, and learned a lot.

Production of large-scale statues for Mixed Dimensions

After the project was closed, we were richer in so many ways! We were very experienced about 3d printing. We learned how to cast models – from small miniatures to large statues or terrain pieces. We knew about prototyping, creating master models and master paintjobs for reference for further production. We built efficient processes of painting both individual and unique projects and standardized projects, where one is difficult to tell from another. We had people who could coordinate those tasks, and people who could follow such directions like a charm!

Moving forward

So what do we want to do with the knowledge and skills we acquired? We want to expand the scope of our operations and services we offer.

Prototyping a model for Mixed Dimensions

Soon I will be writing more about these matters, so you can get a glimpse behind the courtains (well, only as much as we can uncover things), but for now let me tell you what it can mean to you.

What’s new?

Previously we were mainly a group of painters, now we have a fully trained teams of modelers and diorama builders.

Example of a diorama designed by Benathai

Previously we had nothing to do with 3d printing or casting models, now we can boast some serious 3d printing and casting expertise.

Previously we mainly focused on individual models, usually display quality ones. Now we can efficiently paint a large coherent project, like an army or collection.

New workflow allows for efficient, coordinated handling of larger and coherent-looking projects

Previously our prices were mainly tailored for high-end collectors, now we can offer much more affordable options, thanks to the optimized workflow.

Finally, previously we dealt mainly with private collectors, but now we have experience in working with companies, business partners and institutions. Prototyping, preparing for production, creating anything from single copies to long production runs is now possible!

Statue from Mixed Dimensions, repainted and customized by Kacpero

The team is expanding!

In addition to this, we can announce that our team has expanded, and we would like to introduce three new artists joining our ranks: Amalryk and Thymos.Theos being mainly painters, and Calamity, whose field of expertise is construction of dioramas, scenic bases, conversions and other modeling works. They will get more of an introduction soon (with their bios and galleries), but for now I just wanted to tell you that the family is growing bigger. 🙂

Calamity at work

All of them are great artists with a lot of individual style and their own preferences, but they have also been trained by Ańa to work as a team, like a well-oiled machine when needed.

There’s more…

And yes, there’s more to tell you about, but I don’t want to make this one too long. Instead I will just share a few more posts with you, detailing the parts you may be interested in, so stay tuned, keep your fingers crossed for us, and if here is any interesting project you would like to work with us on, just contact us and let’s discuss it. Maybe you find our work style suitable for your needs! 🙂

After all, it’s good to be back home! 😀