Miniature Monday: Centaurs
Centaurs are literally “classical” monsters (or creatures), since they originate from Ancient Greece, and today they are present in many wargames and RPGs, may it be as wise beings or creatures of chaos. Let’s see what’s pawing the ground today…
Overall, the miniatures were quite nice to work with. Very detailed, nice texture on the fur rug and the tail. The downside are, als so often with the softer “Bonesium”, very bendy spears. We tried heating an re-postioning, but the plastic just bent again. Finally we decided the spears were “ergonomically designed” to fit the special needs of centaur warfare. Or whatever 😀
Dirk chose to paint the minatures as classic era centaurs.
As our life doesn’t leave much time for hobbies at the moment (long work hours, even longer baby nights) Dirk started painting four centaurs in one color scheme, for use in a tabletop wargame, for example, but only got to finish one. Nevertheless he is happy with the mini, although the bendy spear never ceases to annoy him 😉
I really like the markings on the fur rug, which remind me of a (very large) grey wolf, and the horse part, which was inspired by Prezewalski’s horses, a (sub)species of wild horses and probably how the first domesticated horses looked like.*
The leather armour which is only studded with metal is also a nice touch, it makes the mini look more feral than civilized. Oh, and I envy him for how well he did the face! I don’t like my result as much (see below).
As usual, I went unusual and decided to paint an African version with dark skin and zebra striped horse parts:
They say you should’t combine two different animal prints, and I can see why: the mixture of spotes an stripes gives a lot of detail, but I like it anyway 😀
For the zebra body I used pictures of plains zebras as reference to get the stripes right – I could have cut off parts of the tail (zebras have more of a donkey’s tail, thin with a small brush of hair on the tip) but I liked the mini as it was so I took artistic licence with that*. The spots and stripes were fun to paint!
On the human part I trimmed the tips of the hair to give it a more thick and full appearance (next time I’d try to sculpt a bit to make dreadlocks or sth. similar). The faces were difficult for me to paint, especially the eyes (painting eyes seems to be the bane of my miniature hobby existence), but oberall I’m happy with the result.
Jim sent us a pair of more traditional centaurs:
I really like the choice of colors and the shading on these ones, nice idea to use the grey fur as a contrast to the bronze armour plates, that way they really shine. Funny how everyone of us thought centaurs ought to use bronze, maybe that’s the Ancient Greek “flavour” centaurs have… or perhaps because reddish metals
Jim wrote us he was glad he managed to find a color scheme beyond “brown on brown on brown”, and as I said, the choice of a cool grey and a yellowish brown with the reddish bronze is quite effective.
But be honest: How did you get those spears that straight?! Or were we just unlucky to have some minis with crappy ones?
How about the rest of the herd? Did you start painting a centaur but maybe didn’t finish? Nevermind! Just send us a pic of the W.I.P. (Work In Progress) or the final mini if you just needed a bit more time, and we’ll happily update the article 🙂
*In case you didn’t know, I have a degree in Biology. It does show sometimes, right? 😛
This week’s gallery:
07/03/17 Arran Rabin (Male or Female Thief) Core Set
07/17/17 Mystic Theurge, Core Set
07/31/17 Gauntfield (Grim Reaper Scarecrow), Core Set
08/14/17 Olivia, Female Cleric, Core Set
8/28/17 Swamp Invasion Part 2: Turtle Warriors, Core Set
9/11/17 Little ones: Hobbit Ranger and/or Gnome Druid (as many as you like 🙂 )
9/25/17 Catch-Up Monday: Monday Minis that you missed last time! Bones I & II
10/2/17 Start with Bones III! Mini is still to be announced 🙂
Dirk – Great minds think alike! The similarities are striking. I think your wolf pelt came out much better than mine, though. Nice Prezewalski, mine is really just a dun bay.
Antonia – Very cool zebra centaurs! And the leopard (?) pelts work very well. I’m the same way about archaeology as you are about biology
I usually prefer plain old naked centaurs, but ended up really liking these more dressed versions. I was trying for “Greek but more rustic” effect and it seems to have worked out.
I really struggled with getting the rear legs to stand up correctly and even after I did the spears just would NOT straighten out. If you look closely, the spears are metal replacements. I cut off the old ones and drilled out the hands to accept the new ones. Now you know! I have a couple of things I need to finish but otherwise I’m very happy with these minis and I’m glad to have them in my painted collection.
Hi Jim, thanks for your detailed comment! Strangely we didn’t see it until yesterday, but since the little one was sick over the weekend, maybe we just forgot to check :p
Anyway, thanks for your kind words and the info with the spear replacement, I think it’s especially helpful for Dirk because he plans something similiar – was it difficult to drill out the hands? At least bonesium is really soft and friendly to work with (even if veeery bendy).
By the way, if you are geeky about archaeology, do you prefer painting “historical” or “classical” monsters and characters, or do they rather annoy you because they are never really “correct” – like viking helms with horns on them?
On my part, I broadened my interests for animals & nature to include monsters as well, thinking about ways to fit them into imaginary eco systems and the like. I get a lot of inspiration from photos and books about all sorts of animals and plants, like exotic reptiles for lizard folk or asian rabbit species for special fur patterns 😀
I would say it was more tedious than difficult to drill out the hands, but I just went slowly and carefully and it wasn’t too bad.
When I’m dealing with fantasy minis, I am pretty much able to control the professional/scientific part of my brain and enjoy them for what they are. In other words, anachronisms are fine in fantasy, even those horned Viking helmets! An active imagination and fantasy are important for exercising your mind, I feel.