|Red Dragon sans wings: work-in-progress with scales at an advanced stage|
|Comparison between the dragon's scales and that of an arowana; both have purplish red shadows|
Key to making the reds pop was having a purplish shadow in between the scales for contrast. Yet, as you can see in the photos above, the purples are not as obvious as those found on the Arowana (inset photo above). Making the shadows very purplish was never my intention. Instead, I wanted a dark black red shadow with a hint of purple akin to a secret food ingredient that is just beyond your palate. If I had used pure black for the shadow, results would have had a different and duller effect.
|Front view of the red dragon sans wings|
|Games Workshop's Lord of the Rings Dragon miniature has a fluid, dynamic look to it|
|Having a light beige underbelly adds contrast to the whole piece|
Ever aware of not making the highlights too bright, I consciously limited myself to light orange as the final highlight. My main fear was inadvertently turning this beast into an orange Umpa-Lumpa. So even if I were to make further adjustments to the scales, it would be to add darker reds to the existing colour scheme. This would make the existing highlights brighter as well as create greater contrasts.
|Back view of the red dragon sans wings|
|Purplish dark red is the new black ... at least as shadows for a red dragon|
|Light orange was as bright as I dared take the highlights on its scales|
Meanwhile, the dragon's wings were painted to look slightly brighter than its main body; pure yellows were used as the final highlight. And to mimic the membranous nature of wings found on the reptilian flying lizard or the mammalian bat, I painted a lined texture on the dragon's wing membrane.
|Highlights on the wing membranes went one step higher towards pure yellow|
|Care was taken to create a lined texture to simulate a wing membrane|
The next steps would be to paint the dragon's bones, claws, teeth, mouth, tongue, eyes before gluing the wings to its body and finally either brightening up the wings or darkening the reds of the scales (or both or even neither). No work is planned for its oval base as the dragon is meant to be a piece on a yet-to-be-fully-envisioned diorama. There is a possibility the base will be discarded in exchange for a bigger one that can contain other miniatures, so that a story befitting this dragon can be told. But that day is still far away. For now, the priority is to complete the dragon's paint job and do it well.