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The Visions In Color gallery is a showcase of the best the Mini-Painter list has to offer. All participants are given the exact same miniature and then allowed to do whatever they want to it. At the end of the working period the results are put up on Dominic Heutelbeck's site and everyone can leave feedback for the painter.

I was jaw-droppingly surprised that this year's VIC went off without any loss of limb or property. I guess it must be someone else's turn to get The Curse.

As soon as I saw the figure in the green stage I pictured him crouching on top of a gravesite rather than the timber of a building (must have been re-watching The Crow that night). So I began to wonder how he'd end up in that pose, and in those surroundings.

Very quickly his background filled in on its own- I named him Kirk (because of a line in Rammstein's Heirate Mich) and imagined him as the kind of thief who specializes in robbing the dead. And in this case, not just any dead guy, but a recently dead wizard supposedly buried with all manner of magical goodies. The season is just turning to spring and the frozen ground is thawing out, leaving a mudslick around the grave.

Kirk no sooner begin preliminary digging that the wizard's faithful servants burrow up from the mud to protect their master's rest. Kirk's first reaction is to leap to the top of the wizard's memorial and then to figure out how he's going to get out of this tricky situation.

Ok, so now you know the "why", let's get to the "how":

The figure was sliced off the timber base easily with a jeweller's saw The torso and legs were mounted on brass rod separately to make it easier to paint them A primer of Krylon spray Gesso was applied after the pieces were cleaned up The red cloak and the pants were painted with an Iwata HP-C airbrush using Vallejo Air paints Finer details and highlighting were done with conventional brushes and Vallejo Model colors

The base is made of Super Sculpey and was set with gravel, sand, and talus before being fired Two Rackham Skeletons had their bases sawn off and trimmed to fit into the graves While the Sculpey was still soft, graves were dug out and the skeletons were placed inside

The monument was built around a 1" x 1" block of pine, which was crammed into the sculpey to make a hole for it

To make the monument I added half-round ABS plastic piping to the corners, a 1.125" wooden tile on top some plastic shields from some old Games Workshop bitz, some resin skulls I cast for VIC 7, some bone details from the Games Workshop Skeleton Warriors plastic set, and a RAFM Angel of Death figure with base.

The snow was a complex mixture of Woodland Scenic's Water Effects, Baking Soda, Woodland Scenic's Snow, Liquitex Acrylic Gloss Medium, 2 part Marine Epoxy, and various clumps of flock and spices.

The base was primed black and highlighted with the airbrush before fine detailing.

After the base and skeletons were finished, the thief's legs were glued to the base first, then his torso was glued to the legs.

I had a lot of fun with this one, as well as the other one I did which was a fairy conversion for Fairy Meat.

© 2002 Mike McCuen
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