Having bested the brutality of Bol’Goreth in the Trollfens, our adventures in Descent were destined to lead us next into the Shadow of Nerekhall campaign. This expansion contains several new features for the game, not least of which is four additional Lieutenants. Ever since I saw the reference art for Verminous, the filthy-looking rat-king of the city’s sewers, I couldn’t wait to get him on the painting table.
While there were many aspects of this character that I loved, there were still a couple issues that concerned me a bit. First, the color palette is rather limited. With only off-white, brown, flesh, and some minimal dull red, there wasn’t a lot of visual interest to the reference art. The face of the miniature is also incredibly asymmetrical. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and may in fact have been intentional, but it also may have been a sculpting or molding flaw (the miniatures of the SoN expansion are widely considered to be the worst all the Descent expansions). Whenever I tackle a miniature that has large areas of fur, I get concerned about the placement and severity of mold lines, as it is very difficult to remove the flash without also removing the fur detail in the process. This can lead to noticeable “bare patches”, which are usually more of an eyesore than the original mold lines. Unfortunately, the extent of this potential damage is difficult to judge prior to attempting the removal, all to commonly leading to the great frustration of making matters worse while attempting to “correct” a relatively minor flaw.
With that being said, I was actually very pleasantly surprised when I began prep on the miniature. The mold lines were surprisingly subtle, and most of the detail was crisp. I adjusted the color palette slightly, increasing the contrast between the different colors. I made the fur a little less yellowed, the skin a more standard rat-flesh, and the red sashes more saturated. For the overcoat/cloak, I really wanted to create a wet, greasy-looking fabric that was obviously different from the leather armor. I think I did a pretty good job of making this guy look visually bold, but rather disgusting at the same time. But you be the judge…
I am particularly proud of the non-metallic metal work on his rapier. The reference art really makes this sword look scratched and dinged, more like the cheap, tinny metal of a fencing saber rather than a finely crafted steel weapon.
According to his character history, Verminous is a “sly and dangerous monster that haunts the sewers and alleys of Nerekhall is a phantasm, a bogeyman invented by mothers to make their children behave.” To this end, I intended the art on his base to suggest the floor of his sewer kingdom. I knew this would include some water, but I did not think the “pond water” effect I had created for Bol’Goreth would read correctly for this model. The effect I created here is much more stylized, but I think it reads well as a dark, underground stream.
Overall, I could not be more pleased with how Verminous turned out. I am especially happy with the base, the rapier, and the rat-flesh. There weren’t all that many versions of this guy painted-up on the web, so I didn’t know exactly what to expect from the sculpt, but I think I managed to create a very impressive villain, full of character and interest. He will definitely be a pleasure to see on the board. As always, I appreciate any comments or feedback you have to offer. Until next time…
Base coated with a mix of 3:1:1 Vallejo Model Color (VMC) Green Grey (70.971), Vallejo Game Color (VGC) Black (72.051), and VMC Buff (70.976). This mix was remixed with incrementally reduced amounts of Black for several layers, before mixing in VGC Dead White (72.001) for several layers. These layers were placed in progressively smaller areas with near-dry brushing over the tips of fur that extended into the darker areas. A final point highlight was placed with straight Dead White. In several places, the Dead White was painted in thin lines where no texture was available.
Base coated with a 1:1 mix of VGC Parasite Brown (72.042) and VGC Heavy Skintone (72.140). Some slightly darker lines in the deep shadows with the addition of a little VMC Mahogany Brown (70.846). Layers were added with the original mix and the addition of VGC Dwarf Skin (72.041), followed by some VGC Cadmiun Skin (72.099). Point highlights with pure Cadmiun Skin finished off the brightest areas.
The base coat was a mix of 2:1 VMC German Fieldgrey WWII (70.830) and VMC Leather Brown (70.871). Layers were added with the addition of VMC Neutral Grey (70.992) followed by progressive amounts of VMC Sky Grey (70.989). At times, additional Leather Brown was added if the mix became too unsaturated.
Leather Leg Armor:
Base coated with a 1:1 mix of VMC Leather Brown (70.781) and VGC Beasty Brown (72.043). There were some small areas of shading with the addition of some VGC Charred Brown (72.045). Layers and highlighting with the progressive addition of some VMC Khaki (70.988).
Gloves and Leather Trim:
The base coat was a 1:1 mix of VGC Beasty Brown and VMC Khaki (70.988). Slight shading was done with a dash of VMC Leather Brown. Layers and highlights with pure Khaki, followed by the addition of some VGC Bone White (72.034).
Base coat consisted of 1:1 mix of VMC Khaki (70.988) and VMC Vermillion (70.909). A shade was created for beneath the sash with the addition of some VGC Charred Brown (72.045). A layer of 1:1 Khaki and VMC Amarantha Red (70.829) with final higlights adding just a bit of VGC Bone White (72.034).
Knife and Rapier:
Non-metallic metal work done with VGC Black (72.051), VMC German Fieldgrey WWII (70.830), and VGC Dead White (72.001).
This followed a very similar process to that described in the Cave Spider post, found here: Cave Spiders from Descent 2E
The only difference was that some VGC Steel Grey (72.102) was mixed into the greys in order to give a darker, more bluish hue to suggest the subterranean sewer environment this character is said to inhabit.
A base coat of VMC Sky Grey (70.989) mixed 3:1 with VGC Steel Grey (72.102) was applied to the entire area. Several layers of VMC Dark Sea Blue (70.898) were glazed over this color in somewhat random parallel lines. Some lines were progressively darkened with further glazes, while some areas were lightened back down with the original mix. The resulting effect gives the impression (I think) of dark, flowing water with some ripples.