In addition to groups of monsters, such as the Cave Spiders, each Descent Second Edition boxed expansion features one or more boss monsters that are often encountered in the campaign’s finale. Unfortunately, the expansions only feature these villains as cardboard tokens. Completionists, like myself, are easy targets to Fantasy Flight Games’s marketing strategy in releasing separate Lieutenant packs featuring plastic miniatures for the bosses. Since we will finish the Shadow Rune campaign in the very near future, I decided to paint the dragon Valyndra, the Lieutenant from the next expansion, Lair of the Wyrm.
Overall, I was somewhat disappointed with both the character design and miniature for Valyndra. She appears to be a red dragon, but due to the stylish object source lighting on the only available character art, it is impossible to tell what, if any, color scheme was intended.
Many fellow painters have attempted to reproduce this intense orange and yellow appearance, but in my opinion, the result always appears flat and washed-out. I chose to paint Valyndra as a simple red dragon. The sculpt was very difficult in areas, however. The scale pattern doesn’t make much sense, as scales appear to overlap in random patterns rather than any orderly fashion. There are also several areas, such as the tail, where there is no scale pattern sculpted at all. Some of the skulls on the base have some serious mold offset problems as well. Be that as it may, I think I still managed to pull off a pretty nice interpretation of this monstrous beast.
For the base, I tried my hand at some lava. Not completely satisfied with the result, but it gives the right impression.
Scales: Based the whole body in Vallejo Model Color (VMC) Hull Red (70.985), painted each scale with VMC Cavalry Brown (70.982), then highlighted certain scales in Vallejo Game Color (VGC) Bloody Red (72.010). Further highlights to the tips of certain scales with VGC Hot Orange (72.009), and final point highlights with 50/50 VGC Pale Flesh (72.003) and Bloody Red.
Wings, Spines, Horns, and Claws: Based in 50/50 mix of VMC Green Brown (70.879) and VGC Bonewhite (72.034). For the wings, I washed with diluted Daler-Rowney FW Sepia Ink. Shading for all parts with VMC Chocolate Brown (70.872), highlights with pure VGC Bonewhite and 50/50 mix of VGC Bonewhite and VMC Ivory (70.918).
Lava: Based in VMC Black Grey (70.862). A layer of VGC Gory Red (72.011) was applied with a large brush in a sweeping pattern, followed by a second layer applied selectively to accentuate the wavy areas of the first layer. Each wave was then strengthened with layers of VGC Bloody Red. The middle of the waves were highlighted with VGC (Hot Orange) followed by VGC Sun Yellow (72.006). Intersections of waves were further highlighted with VGC Moon Yellow (72.005) and then point highlighted with 50/50 VGC Moon Yellow and VMC White (70.951).