This absolutely beautiful sculpt by Werner Klocke is not a bad way to end the year though. Anwyn, Female Bard (03080) is available from Reaper Miniatures. The miniature is a perfect example of why I'm such a big fan of the company. The sculpt is simple yet elegant and devoid of all the unnecessary additions and trappings (I'm looking at you GW) that make many fantasy miniatures look absolutely ridiculous. Skulls hanging on chains, forty-seven different weapons arrayed on the body, and 80's-style shoulder pads complete with spikey bits just doesn't work for me. Anwyn shows that a company can produce a striking miniature while still adhering to the laws of fantastical reality.
Admission: I've never been a big fan of red-heads, both in real life and in miniature painting (no offense to those of you out there that have been "kissed by fire"). I really don't know why either. But lately, for some odd reason, I have painted several - both male and female. Perhaps it's because one can only paint so many blondes and brunettes before growing bored of the same formula. Or perhaps it has more to do with the striking contrast that red hair provides. Whatever the reason, I have grown to love red-heads these days and decided to paint Anwyn as one as well. I think the hair color gives her a bit of charm and more than a hint of innocence, which is perfect for the project I want to include her in. Of course, once I determined she was going to sport red hair, I knew I wanted to go with a strong green to set off the hair even more. And while I was at it, why not a white top to really make the model pop. Don't you love it when colors choose themselves for you? I wish all my color decisions were that easy.
As far as other characters for this First Level group, I think I only have a female fighter selected and painted at this point. If any of you have any ideas and suggestions for other party members, I would be interested in hearing your comments. I think it would be quite fun to see what others think of when they envision new adventurers heading out into the wilds for the first time to start their new careers.
As always, thanks for reading!