Miniature Monday – Werebear
This week we are featuring a really heavy hitter, so to say – the massive werebear.
(posting by Antonia)
I have to admit that I wanted to paint this mini as soon as I saw it on the pledge graphic on Kickstarter. I love were-creatures and anthropomorphic animals (remember my TMNT reference earlier on the tengu article?), plus I even created a humanoid bear as my player character for a D&D campaign once!
The detail on the mini is great, with a nice and realistic looking fur texture, and I love how massive and bulky the whole mini is – you can absolutely imagine how such a creature can weight 600 pounds!
I had some fun creating battle damage and a woodland base:
My color scheme is not that extraordinary, because my bear PC ist based on a “standard” grizzly/brown bear, but since my character used to work as a gladiator I gave him a lot of scars and old cuts because I imagined he would have seen his fair share of damage. I even carved out pieces of his ears. It took me some time to decide which color the scarred tissue would have (pink looked strange and black was too boring) until I settled with a greyish brown and some red washes to give it more of a flesh look.
The base was real fun – I wanted it to look like some deep woodland (bears don’t need streets) and used a lot of different flocking materials, from static grass to pieces of bark. The shrub in the background came out quite nice – it seems as if the bear just came out from behind it, and guess what: I made it from island moss and re-painted grape stems! The whole base looks like a miniature diorama and I’m really happy with it.
Dirk went into a rather exotic direction:
When we talked about painting the werebear we wondered how to get some variation into the theme and decided one of us would do something different: A polar bear! Since I had my bear PC to paint, Dirk started the project “Frozen North” and created an awesome base, resembling a sheet of floating ice. He also swapped the bear’s weapon since a spear would probably be of much more use for hunting seal or big fish in the arctic than an axe. I did a tiny re-sculpt of the face since polar bears have a convex and heavy snout and I’m surprised how such a little change can do so much (a bit like with my bison minotaur some time ago).
The paintjob is not yet finished, but I already love the miniature: The base is great, and swapping the axe for a spear gives the miniatures outline a complete different balance and unexpected… dynamic perhaps. I don’t know, but I *am* a bit envious 😉
Arjen painted the bear in advance:
Arjen wrote that the last weeks he was busy painting for a new RPG campaign (I’m curious: Can you tell us what kind of creatures you are preparing, or would that be too much of a spoiler – or warning – for your players?) so he “slapped paint on the bear” every time the paint on the kenku was drying. It’s a time management technique which I really recomment, painting in advance and several minis at a time, if just to use up leftover paint… alas, we never really manage to paint in advance. Life and stuff.
Anyway, although Arjen wasn’t too sure he would ever use the mini in a game, he used the mini to try fur painting techniques, and I think it came out great. I like the choice of a pale color for the loincloth, the bronze axe head is a nice hint on a more “primitive” culture that bear could be part of, and did you intentionally use a more reddish brown on the face to accentuate it? That works quite well!
Mike was once again inspired by RL:
He wrote that he wanted to do something exotic but then saw an old brown bear in the Central park Zoo, NY and decided to use that color scheme. I think that’s easily the most important part of (miniature) painting, having an idea and getting the right inspiration – in my case that’s what truly motivates me to paint, otherwise a mini might end up in the “WIP pile of doom” (or is it the “Island of lost WIPs”? Maybe that.) Michael wrote he enjoyed painting the mini and did a lot of drybrushing – so much fun, right? I always love how much detail “appears” this way. Oh, and nice job with the loincloth/ragged shorts – I wondered if there could be layers of cloth there, and using three colors really supports that idea!
Jim went for a stroll in middle earth (maybe):
Jin wrote his bear is loosely based on a brown bear too and he is very happy about how the facial expression came out. I have to agree – the angle is perfect to capture the bear’s self assured look, as if he was observant, calm, but ready to strike. Was it that look that made you think of Tolkien’s Beorn? I like the cinnamon tone for the fur and the reduced color palette, it’s surprising how different all our “simple” brown bears look just for different variantions in the furs.
This week’s gallery:
05/28/18 Bones III Nazeera Bloodraven, female fighter (B3 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!)
06/11/18 Bones II Bugbear Warband! Hunter, Warrior and/or Leader (B2 Core)
06/25/18 Bones III Let the dogs out: War Dog and/or Foo Dog (B3 Core)
07/09/18 Eastern Encounter Part Two: Oni demon female and/or male (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!
09/03/18 Bones III Ogres (guard, smasher, clubber) (B3 Core)
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!
Love the variety on the Bears.
I’d really like to suggest some Bones #1 for the Catchup day, but there’s a lot of back catalog to go through from your site!
Hi Cole, thanks for commenting!
You can suggest whatever comes to mind, and if you want to paint a specific mini (or more) just do so and send us the pictures, we will have a lot of different entries on catch-up days!
I really like the modifications and diorama set-ups that Antonia and Dirk did. I feel bad for Antonia’s poor scarred-up guy! The snout mod that Dirk did looks great.
My favorite parts of both Arjen’s and Jim’s are the little details on both the axe and the necklace. Arjen’s axe looks like it may have been used recently. Jim put some nice red striping on the white feather. Both look very cool!
I’ll agree that working ahead and on multiple minis is my usual way, although this model was done in a single, relatively focused night of painting. My teaching semester is finally coming to a close, but for the last few months, I had to keep ahead because I knew there would be weeks that I was going to be too busy to pick up a brush. I think I finished this guy nearly a month ago, and my Nazeera is all done too. So are the bugbears, but that’s because I did them all last year before they went on the schedule. This does let me continue to work on the ridiculously large pile of minis I still haven’t done from Bones I & II. I might have a bunch to show off come the Catch-Up day!
I struggle with those little details, frequently forgetting about them until the end! I also tend to do feathers in bright colors as if they had been dyed, but I thought I’d go a bit more naturalistic this time.
Werebear? There bear! (Sorry, bad joke)
A great bunch of bears from all.
Dirk & Antonia – Nice minis and mods, of course, but the base work on both is really outstanding. What I painted as a simple gaming mini, you both elevated to beautiful displays! I love the battle battle damage (and the mushrooms) and I would never have thought to try a polar bear. Well done!
Arjen – The bronze axe gives him a more primitive feel and the facial expression almost looks as if he’s smiling. I would be too if I was that big!
Mike – Again, a nicely painted mini, of course, but I’m most impressed with the multi colored loin cloth. I wasn’t sure whether it was one piece or more when I was painting.
Mine is very loosely a brown bear. It’s a little lighter on the head and back so maybe it’s a grizzly? It was after I started painting that I made the connection of man+bear+axe= Beorn. He wasn’t a lycanthrope but a skin changer, an interesting distinction. I didn’t want to go too primitive so my bronze axe got re-done as steel with some bronze detail.