Miniature Monday – Pack Donkey
Brave and often overlooked, this week a special beast of burden gets its place in the spotlight of mini monday!
(posting by Antonia)
It was in the comments section of the Bones II Kickstarter when I heard someone demand a “pack donkey”. Again and again. This person even sculpted a pack donkey and put it in his profile pic, if I recall correctly. Do I, Arjen? 😉 Although he adamantely campaigned for it, Arjen’s wish was only granted later, in the Bones III Kickstarter where a pack donkey was part of the core set, and for this personal connection we picked this mini as our first from Bones III 😀
As for the mini itself, I was surprised how realistic, harmonic (in lack of a better expression) and detailed the piece turned out, even the thin ropes keeping the luggage together are textured! It’s quite a nice mini for “just” a simple pack donkey.
Since Dirk wanted to paint his donkey grey (the poor thing is still on its way but its heavy burden slowed it down, it seems), I decided to make mine a hinny, which can look rather similar to donkeys but tend to be browner.
I chose earthy tones, mute greens and dark red. Overall I really like how harmonic the whole mini turned out, but of course I like the eyes best – I dotted the pupil on with a fine pen and (more or less accidentally) achieved an annoyed look which fits exactly with my mental image of this animal – trudging with its whole back full of miner’s gear on a stony mountain path, only minutes away from stopping grudgingly.
The base I made with some pieces of wood bark which I added to the mini’s regular base with some putty. I could use grey (because my hinny was brown), but only stone seemed lifeless, so I added two specks of grass.
Michael researched donkeys and also chose a brown color:
He wrote due to illness and other hobby-inhibiting obstacles this mini is more of a “95% Work in Progress”. Anyway, like the fur markings, they give a good contrast, and with the dark eyes your donkey looks a lot cuter than mine! Donkeys *can* be nice and patient! Michael wanted to do lots of different patterns on the different pieces in the burden but ran out of time. Still, the polka dots on one of the sacks give an idea on how that can look – nice idea, I’ll think about that for the next project. Patterns give a lot of “flavor” to cloth!
Arjen finally got to paint his pack donkey, although he doesn’t need it anymore!
He said he didn’t spend too much time painting but is still contend with the results. I like the color pattern again, especially around the eyes, and the strong colors you used for the luggage and the leather harness! Very lively and a good contrast to the animal itself, I bet it would be of great use on the gaming table.
Would? the readers wonder. But why did he ask for it in the first place? Well, it’s the curse of Kickstarter taking oh sooo long from start to delivery. Arjen wrote: “Unfortunately, the D&D campaign where I needed it (I had a dwarf character with the slogan “leave no loot behind” who was hauling a bag of copper pieces, a couple of splint mails and all kind of low value weaponry with him to the nearest shop, more than he could carry, so he then bought a donkey) has long ended.”
Still, thanks for the inspiration, as I enjoyed painting the donkey a lot!
Jim thought the donkey could need company:
Since everybody knows donkeys can’t be left alone without causing trouble, this brave hillbilly is here to accompany the rascal. Very funny idea, and a very neat and tidy paintjob on both of them. Is the hillbilly one of the Bones I villagers? It seems familiar… Jim wasn’t too happy with the surface structure due to a primer problem (which one did you use? I heard that bones can react strangely with some spray primers so I tend to just wash the mini thorougly and then paint on, doing the base color with not-diluted paints right out of the bottle), but I don’t think it looks too bad. Think of it as fur or cloth structure 😉
The crisp lines on the whole donkey caught my eye immediately, how did you achieve them, eg on the belly harness? Simply a steady hand or maybe some sort of liner/wash?
this week’s galley:
10/23/17 Bones III Aglanda, Herald of Razmir (B3 Core)
11/06/17 Bones II Strange Monsters: Mind Eater and/or Chthon (B2 Core)
11/20/17 Bones III Vagorg, Half Orc Sorcerer (B3 Core)
12/04/17 Bones III Death Dog (B3 Core)
12/18/17 Bones II Friar Stone, Monk (B2 Core)
01/01/18 New Year’s Break (Really! But you can prepare for the next minis while sobering up, of course 😀 )
01/08/2018 Bones III Dashing through the snow: Yetis (Shaman, Warrior, Shredder, as many as you like!) (B3 Core)
01/22/2018 Bones III Aeris, Female Elf Ranger (B3 Core)
02/05/2018 Bones II Infernal attack: Fly demon and/or Blood Demon (B2 Core)
02/19/2018 Bones III Giant Cobra (B3 Core)
03/05/2018 Bones III Lendil Blackroot, Wizard (B3 Core)
I love the angry look on Antonia’s donkey. In my mind donkeys have very dark eyes with no white, so I looked up donkey pictures and she is right, they do have white around their irises, it is just that it is mostly obscured because their irises are large and the corners of the eyes hairy.
Michael’s donkey is a lot like mine, but more friendly. I am curious if he has plans to soften the transition from the white legs to the brown fur. It was something I was struggling with and I ended up applying a sort of semi-drybrush that is a little more blotchy than I intended. I like how Michael highlighted the headgear, it looks a little more crafted now.
Jim’s donkey has a nice palette of different browns that could become boring if you don’t do it right, but you pulled it off! It is a nice and subtle mini.
Oh, and Antonia does have a nice and smooth transition from white to brown, especially on the hind legs.
I feel like I should make some juvenile joke about everyone’s asses, but then I’d be the jackass of the group! I’m pleased to see that everyone did a little research on donkeys to get the coat pattern correct. They all look very realistic to me.
Antonia – Sometimes a happy accident is the best! I really like the way the base came out and I like the overall look of the mini.
Michael – I love the polka dot bag! The equipment stands out nicely against the donkey’s coat.
Arjen – I was surprised how much variation there is in donkey colors in real life! That’s a very nice darker version.
When I started, I was thinking of a mule, but then realized I had the wrong animal. However, it made me pay more attention to donkey coloration. The belly ropes, along with the rest, are just emphasized with a simple but carefully applied wash. The primer problem was more of a user error than anything. I was using a new can of Army Painter primer but I was trying to spray from too far away and ended up with a bad finish. As Antonia pointed out, it’s fine on the donkey. If you look closely, you can see the problem on the gun barrel and other spots on the Hillbilly. He’s out of the Mythos expansion from Bones 3, by the way.
Just a quick note here. When I was looking up coat variations, I went with a brown color because I thought everyone would be doing gray. Here, most of the donkeys went brown! All are different shades, though, and all carry their own unique traits. Antonia, the eye is great. Arjen, I really like the variety of colors on the pack gear. Jim, as usual, you’ve got great transitions from base to shade and highlight.