The first group I chose to paint-up from Descent was the Cave Spiders. These little buggers are from the core set for the game and are relatively easy to deal with.
In Descent, the number of monsters deployed in each group changes in scale with the number of hero players. In addition, there are two classes of monster within each group: minions and masters. Minions are weaker and moulded in white plastic, while masters are stronger (often possessing abilities unique from the minions) and moulded in red plastic. In order to differentiate the master monsters from the minion monsters, most painters work red into the paint scheme for the master in addition to adding other identifying markings. Using several references found on Google (including this one: https://boardgamegeek.com/image/1496722/descent-journeys-dark-second-edition), I settled on a paint scheme for the minions as seen below.
I spent a good bit of time trying to decide on a fancy design for the bases. There are lots of monsters available for Descent, so whatever I chose to do with the Cave Spider bases would back me into a corner with the other monsters down the road. Each monster in Descent has two traits which limit the Overlord’s options in deployment. I had toyed with the idea of having each base reflect those two traits; in the case of the Cave Spiders these would be “Cave” and “Wilderness.” I did a quick paint-up aimed at mimicking art from the game tiles, but decided against it. The spiders covered up too much of the art and the images looked grossly out of scale as well.
So I settled on a simple cobblestoned base for the spiders. I still may do some grassy, watery, fiery, or brick bases down the road, hopefully without looking too out of place.
Again, using inspiration from other painters, I chose to distinguish the master Cave Spider with a red marking on its back similar to the one on the card art. The card art doesn’t clearly show the whole design, and many of the lines are so thin that they would be difficult to paint well over the “hairy” sculpted detail, so I created my own design. I also painted some slight differences to the base, including a red rim and spider webs (fitting, as the master has the unique ability “Web”, which requires adjacent heroes to suffer one fatigue when exiting their space).
And finally, the finished group of Descent 2nd Edition Cave Spiders!
Base coated with Vallejo Model Color(VMC) Black Grey (70.862) lightened sequentially with VMC Basalt Grey (70.869), VMC Neutral Grey (70.992), and VMC Sky Grey (70.989).
Vallejo Game Color (VGC) Electric Blue (72.023)
VGC Cadmium Skin (72.099)
Based in VMC Flat Red (70.957), highlighted with mixes of Flat Red and VGC Cadmium Skin (72.099)