Thursday, 1 May 2014

Kingdom Death White Speaker [sans cloak and spear]

One of the reasons why Kingdom Death easily makes it to my Top 5 favourite miniature range is because their figures allow me to do a lot of something I have come to love in this hobby ... painting skin tones. Personally for me, a miniature truly comes alive only when skin tones form a large percentage of the surface area ... caveat being they are painted well, a skillset that I am always striving to improve each time I tackle a project. This then serves as the perfect introduction to my latest work on a Kingdom Death miniature i.e. the White Speaker without her cloak and spear. 

Kingdom Death White Speaker, sans cloak and spear

Although I am fully aware I have a long way to go before I can achieve my two main aims when painting skin tones of female figurines - porcelain-like smoothness and realistic looking skin - this highly detailed 35-mm scale Kingdom Death miniature represents my best effort to date on skin. That's hardly saying much when my baseline effort is so low but I'm happy with any progress I make.

Lovely sky blue to complement the White Speaker's blond hair

After some thought, I felt it best to go with blond hair coupled with white/grey/sky blue clothing. It's a colour scheme which soothes me, and likely the White Speaker's enemies too before she sticks that dagger deep into their gut. But at least they will all die with a relaxed smile on their face. 

The White Speaker [sic] Wears Prada

I was also pleased with how her toes and high heels turned out. I managed to clearly define separate toes on her feet, paint the nails of individual toes and paint a little blue dot into the high heels thus adding depth to her shoes. Some of this came about due to a better understanding of how important it is to paint some lining in between two not-so-contrasting colours. I am still susceptible to lapses in which I forget to paint the lining (e.g. parts of the strap in her clothing) but I am getting better at it. As minor as this may seem, it can be the difference between 'meh' and 'not too bad'.   

Base was kept simple with some sand, stones and grass

Slightly more work was done on the White Speaker's skin but not too much as my original skin tone mix had gone dry despite being in a wet palette. I concentrated mainly on her chest area to improve contrast as well as repositioning her navel lower towards the crotch area. Some minor work was done to bring out her collar bone by adding darker shadows and brighter highlights.

White Speaker's cloak had to go as it would have covered up her beautifully sculpted back

Two things about the miniature that I did not like was her spear and cloak. The former because it seemed out of place. After all, why carry a spear if you already have a dagger in hand. Stylistic I must admit but it looked off-putting to me. Meanwhile, the Kingdom Death White Speaker's cloak was not as well sculpted as her back so I left the former out so as not to block the latter.

Two of her fingers had snapped off turning it into a victory sign gesture

Now if you ask me to choose between resin and plastic miniatures, I would pick resin anyday. The details that a resin miniature can provide a painter cannot, in my honest opinion, be as well replicated in a plastic miniature. Unfortunately, one main drawback of resin is the brittleness of some parts which can result it being snapped in two if not prepped with care and gentleness. Having prepped the White Speaker during my early days in this hobby - when I approached prep work without care and with an impatience bordering on devil may care heavy-handed brush strokes when cleaning the minaitures - there were consequences. This White Speaker had two fingers broken off  so now it's because she was careless during a battle and got them cut off. I am sticking with that story.    

Kingdom Death White Speaker (side view from right)

In line with my Achilles Heel with bases, I didn't put much work on the White Speaker's base other than to glue some sand on it, drybrush the sand with brown/yellow hues, add stones and grasses, and finally drybrush the stone block upon which her right leg rests. All very unexciting stuff. One day I hope to create the very dioramas which made me go 'ooohhhhh' and 'ahhhhh' as a very young kid in a Tamiya model shop (I couldn't afford this hobby till I was well into my late 30's so I am painting with a zealot like single-mindedness to make up for lost time) but for now simple bases will have to do.

I just love this dynamic pose struck by the White Speaker

360 view of Kingdom Death's White Speaker
For a 360 degree view of the Kingdfom Death White Speaker 35-mm scale miniature, please check out the YouTube video below. For other videos, please visit my YouTube channel FourEyedMonster Miniatures. Also be sure to choose the high definition (HD) option when viewing the videos.

Finishing the Kingdom Death White Speaker has wet my appetite for yet more skin tone experimentations. With that in mind, I am sorely tempted to get some of Kingdom Death's new hard plastic miniatures to practice on while I keep the few resin miniatures that I have left for future days when my skills have gone up a notch. For now, I feel like I am in 2nd gear and halfway up the RPMs while driving a five gear manual transmission car. Just hope I don't blow up my transmission while moving up the gears. Achh! Why am I talking about cars? Must be the constant bombardment by sexist magazines that equate scantily clad models with cars. Power of the media indeed! 


  1. Nice work! I think you got the skin tones right. Good choice on the hair too. I have the twilight knight pinup in 54mm and the whole range of ladies in plastic at 30mm. Skin tones are something i struggle with on large surfaces so I'll be delaying those minis till the cows come home ;)

    1. I have seen your work Zab, it's good and you shouldn't be delaying any further. Get started on them gals ASAP and you will definitely get better with every mini. ^_^ I wish I had the budget for more resin minis from KD as the details they have on them are simply amazing!

  2. wow, i really like it!
    she's sexy, frightful and almost alive!
    i agree with you: it would be a pity to cover such a body with a cloak.

    1. Thanks so much luca. :) Also on the cloak I became a bit too lazy to paint it. XD

  3. Yeah.. The skin tone looks real. Great piece of work here bro.

    1. Thanks bro and I really appreciate the positive comment. :)

  4. Great job! Especially like the skin tone. I've been getting real lazy about that lately and it's nice to see a good one

    1. Thanks a lot. ^_^ Not much skin shown in the Imperial Guard (or is it Astra Militarum now) so not much chance to paint skin tones in that army. But I still can't paint armour worth a damn, something you do very very well I might add.

  5. Really good work Kuan , nice model , i love your video , I also think to buy a rotary base .Cheers .

  6. Thanks Vincent. Yes you should get a rotary base as your miniatures are very beautiful and would look even better in a 360 degree view. :)

  7. Great work ! Love the skin tones.
    Any tips or tutorial on how to improve?

    1. Thanks Mario for your kind comments. ^_^ Hmmm ... good question. Speaking for myself, to improve on skin tones I checked out the blogs of many talented painters to pick up tips as well as observe videos of painters reknowned for their beautiful skin tones, which among others include (but not limited to) painters such as Jen Haley and Marike Reimer. But most important of all is to practice. By practicing, I am slowly coming to an understanding of how different colours affect skin tone when added to the traditional flesh colours. I still have a lot to learn and need to improve more but practicing helps me get better quicker. :)


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