“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. 🙂

My new WIP paintjob

Still painting…

You know I tried to post here as often as I could. And then I disappeared. No explanation, no warning. My life changed drastically and for two years I was so deeply involved in my work that I could hardly find any time for anything else. I also was pretty limited in what I was allowed and what not. Fortunately recently things have changed and I can start sharing my hobby with you again.

Explanations?

Of course I will explain it all soon, but now I just wanted to prove I am still painting. I haven’t quit, I didn’t change my hobby and I didn’t change my job (well, I kind of did, but it still involves a lot of painting ;)). Those of you who have been following me on instagram, may know a part of what I was doing, but more is coming! 🙂 And let this photo serve as a proof of what I say:

Cyclops from Mixed Dimensions, painting inspired by Warhammer trolls
Cyclops from Mixed Dimensions, painting inspired by Warhammer trolls

More explanations will follow in another post, as there is a lot to tell you about. I don’t even know where to start… So stay tuned for some more news on our Facebook page or just keep checking oiur website 🙂

Orc Pilot Bust

I was always a big fan of orc models and wanted to paint them for many years. Unfortunately nobody seemed to share my opinion, so I had to do it regardless of commissions and such, only for my own fun. And this orc pilot bust from Kromlech seemed like a perfect choice!

Of course the official box art painting is so good that trying to paint another standard orc would be of no use – why do something that has been done already? No need to copy somebody else’s ideas…

So I came up with my own concept! 🙄

Monument to an orc pilot

Orc Pilot Bust
Orc Pilot Bust – the whole model

Instead of painting him as an actual orc, I decided to make him a statue, a monument to a nameless orc pilot (or: the “collective” pilot). Orcs do honor their heroes in their own specific way, don’t they? 😉 But instead of making it bronze or stone, I went for a more crystal-like look, plus more realistic equipment. Just as if the statue was partially made from actual items or… trash. 😀

Small touches for fun…

If you pay enough attention to the model, you will see small pigeons pooping on the monument, depriving it of its remaining glory, much in the traditional orcish disrespectful way. There’s also some moss and grass growing on the statue, just as some might expect…

Orc Pilot Bust
Orc Pilot Bust

Then there’s the base, spotted with pigeon excrements and covered with propaganda posters calling all orcs to war (or: waaagh ;)). These are mostly based on actual war posters, but modified to suit the theme.

I hope you like the unorthodox approach to the model I took, and don’t mind the tongue in a cheek interpretation of the model. I think I had enough fun painting it and after being awarded for it at the show in Toruń,  don’t need it in my cabinet anymore ;), so if any of you feel like having such a model, why don’t you contact us about it?

Thanks for your attention and cheers!

This model is available for sale now. If you are interested in adding it to your collection, contact us, please. 🙂