I'm a huge fan of DSM. At last count I have over sixty of their miniatures. All are great sculpts, but the thing that keeps me coming back is the fact that a large portion of their line are adaptations of paintings from many of my favorite fantasy artists. I grew up playing D&D in the 80's and the images that graced the rulebooks, modules, and magazines of the era from artists such as Larry Elmore, Keith Parkinson, Clyde Caldwell, and Jeff Easley really define the fantasy genre for me. I still reminisce about endless hours of making characters and rolling dice when I see those images and recall the fond memories of those days long past. To be able to actually paint miniatures that seem to have walked from those very pages of my past is a pure joy.
This particular miniature is taken from a Larry Elmore painting titled "Waiting for Shadamehr" (the image can be found at the bottom of this post). In it, a scantily clad female ranger/warrior kneels at the edge of a forest with her gnomish companion, while lands that beckon the adventurous fall away in a valley to the right. I never knew the title of the painting back then but I think it is perfectly named. In my mind, they were indeed waiting for someone, though whether that someone was friend of foe, I knew not. That, I think, was part of the allure of the painting. One could stare at the image for hours and conjure up a thousand different stories that could define Mr. Elmore's effort.
Sculptor Dennis Mize did a wonderful job capturing the essence of the painting and transferring it to the miniature. The similarities are striking, which is what drew me to the mini in the first place. Most every detail is present and well-executed. In my opinion, only her facial countenance differs. In the painting, she has such a stern expression while the miniature version seems to flash a sly smirk. It's not an unpleasant change by any means (perfect for a mini used for roleplaying) but it is a change nonetheless. Unfortunately her gnomish companion does not seem to be available. Too bad, as the addition of the gnome would make for a great diorama.
I thought of painting the miniature to match the colors of the painting itself. After starting, however, I realized that I had been using quite a bit of blues lately. I wanted to switch up the routine a bit to help shake off the Thorin & Company funk so I changed up the main colors to mainly green and red. Those colors always look good together but one has to be careful or else the final outcome starts looking like a Christmas decoration. By keeping my reds muted and the green bright, hopefully I dodged that fashion faux pas. I rarely paint large flat sections of my miniatures red because I have a hard time creating proper highlighting and shading in those circumstances. I couldn't resist this time, though. To camouflage my lack of skill with shading red, I drew up a nice pattern for the shield's heraldry then tried my luck with a bit of freehand. Not my best effort but certainly not my worst.
Just like many of the DSM models, Waiting for Shadamehr is shipped in multiple pieces (two in this case). Due to the high quality of their products, I rarely encounter problems with assembly. However, the sword arm on this model did not want to play nicely. A large gap was present after assembly and no amount of filing and repositioning would correct the issue. Finally I gave up and used liquid green stuff to fill the gap and sculpt in some of the missing detail. By looking closely at the photo below, you can see my poor attempt at sculpting just below and to the side of the bracer.
For the most part, I'm pleased with the outcome. Even had the miniature not turned out as she did, I still would not complain, though. Just to be painting something different than those blasted dwarves was pleasure enough. I think I'll polish off a few more projects before returning to the dwarves. By then I'll hopefully have renewed vigor to tackle the remaining companions of Thorin Oakenshield.
By the way, I'm really not sure who Shadamehr is. Any Larry Elmore fans out there know?
Thanks for reading...