Miniture Monday – Tengus
This week we travel into the far east and encounter some legendary creatures: Crow people!
The Tengu (aka Kenku, how D&D calls them) miniatures are relatively small, but very finely detailed, especially the armour details are downright amazing if you consider size and material. The theme is somewhat special and probably not for everyone, since tengu/kenku are rather exotic critters from a western perpective, but I’m still glad we chose to paint them. The level of detail aside the minis are really nice for use with asian RPGs (we have a “Legend of the Five Rings/Rokugan” campaign, eg), as unusual encounters in standard fatasy and for funny and strange RPGs like “Turtles/TMNT” where you get to play all sorts of mutant animal characters. Maybe just seeing them painted works as inspiration for some of our readers!
I painted my tengus in three different colors:
Thinking about the minis I decied to give each one a separate basic color: Red for the samurai, green for the rogue/ninja (ranger, in this case) and dark purple for the spellcaster. The skin/feathers are black and claws and beaks dark grey, as in real crows, although you often see crow and raven feet and beaks in contrasting yellow (the biologist inside me wonders how that happened, are there yellow-beaked crows in the US somewhere?).
I painted much of the minis with washes and liners again, mostly because that way the details aren’t obscured and I don’t have to be so careful with the paint (lazy, tired me) – it flows into the recesses all by itself! Some parts I painted with opaque colors too, to give a variation within the colors. This way I could paint the minis relatively quick in a couple of hours (free time is rare and valuable with a small child, belive me!).
Dirk also tried different colors:
His minis are mostly WIP, the rogue/ninja is nearly finished because he already knows where to use (an “ongoing asian RPG campaing” was all he wanted to disclose… Spoilers? I’m a player in most of his groups, after all…). For the samurai he wanted to try a yellow armour, as samurai armours allows for much brighter colors (and colors at all) compared to its european counterpart. Yellow is alsways a bit tricky, he started with a yellowish brown undercoat (Army painter’s “Desert yellow”) and will continue with layers of yellow for a realitic and rich tone. The robed tengu will be some kind of monk (not sorcerer), but with a nod to shaolin monks who wear brightly colored robes too.
In case you were wondering why the eyes on all our tengu seem to “glow” a bit – we both used “Vallejo Metal medium”, a kind of mother-of-pearl color, to give the eyes a special look.
Michael painted one of the Tengu for a friend:
He wrote he painted the minis in advance in February, and did the robed one for a friend who is playing a kenku cleric (may I ask in which game? Some kind of D&D setting?). He used reds and blues on the cleric and painted the other two to go along with that. Michael had fun painting the little details and adding a pattern to the breastplate – well done! Do I see right that you even painted the eyes of the demon head on the staff? I didn’t pay that much attention (reason see above) but maybe my minis deserve a closer look and some more detailwork too…!
Michael wrote he is also quite happy with the shading on the ninja/rogue’s sleeves, which the picture doesn’t do justice (like always).
Arjen’s Tengu sports a ghostly green:
Since Arjen had to bring the kids to bed (I feel with him) he didn’t write much about why he used green and purple, but anyway I think that’s an unusual, but really interesting choice! The pale green looks as if it is glowing, that’s probably where my “ghostly” association comes from. Are the feathered areas brown, or does it just look like that on the photo? During my quick research I read that tengu can have many different colors, eg deep red, so maybe if I ever paint another batch I could try another species of bird… maybe a magpie?
Jim’s tengu wear brightly colored clothes:
Jim wrote that he claims artistic licence for making the tengu that colorful, but fortunately we’re not working for a museum here but just for our own fun, so please don’t worry 😀 In fact, I really like the contrast and clear colors on your minis (mine tend to be a bit dark and muted in times), I bet they look great on the tabletop, and all the details seem to have been painted with great care too! Jim wrote he painted a golden pattern on the warrior/samurai’s trousers (you can see it on a close look), which is quite funny because Dirk plans something like this for his tengu too!
Jim wrote that the minis were surprisingly fun to paint, which is great news – with this project we try to bring all sorts of minis in the spotlight, even strange or special ones which one wouldn’t have painted normally.
This week’s gallery:
04/30/18 Bones II Aaron the Conjurer (B2 Core)
(I added some of your suggestions already, I might shuffle them around a bit, but keep them coming! For some minis there are no pics in the onine shop yet so I’ll add them later.
As you can see I prepared a lot of date entries but am still looking for mini ideas. Post your suggestions if you like! The ‘Type of mini’ placeholder is just that, if you want something else tell us!)
05/14/18 Bones III Werebear (B3 Core)
05/28/18 Bones III Nazeera Bloodraven, female fighter (B3 Core)
07/23/18 Bones III Quinn, Iconic Investigator (B3 Core)
08/06/18 Catch-Up Monday – your pick from Bones 1 & 2 incl. extras. What about some demons (toad, wolf, slime…), a dragon or a giant?
08/20/18 Bones II Skeletons, as many as you like (like this or this or this one) Here you can find the Bones 2 Core Set picture, look for “Shambling Dead”. On reapermini.com you can search for “skeleton” and check the bones minis to find them. If you have other skeletons to paint just send us pics of those!
09/17/18 Unhooding woman/cleric (not yet available) (B3 Core)
10/01/18 Bones III Bregan, Valkyrie (B3 Core)
10/15/18 Bones II TBA
10/29/18 Bones III Hobageddon: Hobgoblin warriors (B3 Core)
11/12/18 Bones III Elven Blacksmith (B3 Core)
11/26/18 Bones II TBA
12/10/18 Bones III Animal/Monster TBA
12/24/18 Christmas break
12/31/18 New Year’s break
01/07/19 Bones III Humanoid TBA
01/21/19 Room for your suggestions!