Bravery comes in all sizes – Elliwyn Heatherlark

Poor Elliwyn Heatherlark. Nobody took her serious when she decided to become a fighter. Her father always said: “Who ever heard of a Gnomish fighter? You should become an engineer instead”. And now she got some serious problems with human-headed snakes. But how did this all transpire?

Reaper Miniatures Elliwyn is a nicely sculpted, if diminutive Gnome fighter. I really like the rucksack and signalling horn, as well as the unusual pose and expression: victory! That said her weapon and shield seemed a bit too cute for my tastes. So I swapped the small dagger with a gladius from the Agema Romans and removed the small shield entirely.

To add some brawn and interest I thought of adding a monstrous head – freshly coiffeured around the neck. This would also provide a nice narrative: her heart still pounding she raises the slaughtered creature high in the sky, hailing her goddess.

But which monster? First I thought of a Gnoll head, but that turned out too large. Always a fan of Japanese Yokai I decided to sculpt a Nure-onna,  basically a snake with a human head. The original creature supposedly lures people in and drowns them. So I assumed this one terrorised a village, until it met its deserved fate.

The Nure-onna is a Mantic Zombie head with a nose, hair and body added. The belly and scales on the back were sculpted after a rough shape had been made and cured. The hair were added last together with the fingers on Elliwyns hand to account for interaction with her pose.

Dirty business – Blood and gore

The overall theme gave me ample opportunity to test out the Army Painter effect paint Glistening Blood and some dirt and grime effects.

The overall colour scheme is simple and would work well with a ranger or druid, too: A warm green tunic over off-white pants. Leather parts add a neutral brown and red-brown hair some contrast with the green tunic.

The Nure-onna’s scales feature a green with a cool yellow mixed in, providing a nice contrast to Elliwyn’s warm green tunic. That way they are easy to differentiate.

I added quite a bit of the blood effect. It is basically high gloss red acrylic paint. It works well for fresh blood, but ultimately could be even glossier for my tastes.

The black hair was a bit of an experiment, as I wanted it to appear shiny and wet, in accordance with the Nure-onna myth. The creature would at first appear to be a woman washing her long hair, only to reveal her horrific nature should a poor soul come closer. The highlights are all a fairly bright blue to avoid the look of grey hair, with two distinct spot lights separated by a shaded area.

Both leather straps and tunic got some subtle texture and signs of wear and tear. Some light horizontal scuff marks were added to the edges of straps, while the tunic got blood splatter and a good helping of Tamiya weathering master pigments.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s showcase. Next week we meet a dear elfen friend of Elliwyn. So keep the Nure-onna at bay, but always wield your brush with honor.

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3 years ago

Super cool conversion. The sculpting came out really nice. had you just showed the painted model i would have assumed it came that way. Well done!

Mark A. Morin
3 years ago

Really nice post and I love the detailed WIP. Elliwyn came out nicely, but the ⭐️ for me is the scratch built monster head and how you painted it. Adding yellow to the green clearly worked. Two questions. First, what did you use for blood – was it Citadel Blood for the Blood God? Second, with the weathering powders, I use Vallejo, but mostly on bases and terrain – how did you use and fix these here on the figure?

3 years ago

I like what you’ve done there, that Nure-onna looks very creepy (on the whole I’m glad its reign of terror has been brought to an end!). Lovely bit of sculpting there and the whole piece is very well painted.