Stick and Stone – Nienna, Female Elf Ranger

Today I would like to showcase the heavily converted Reaper Bones Miniature Nienna, Female Elf Ranger. Usually conversions encompass small additions or weapon swaps, but with Nienna I kinda overdid it. In the end I changed almost every aspect of the sculpt and learned quite a bit about sculpting small detail such as laces. Naturally I will be happy to share my musings. I’ll also cover my cloth texturing technique and the rational behind the colour scheme.

Converting Nienna – going all in

It started with a simple head swap, as my Bones version had fairly soft facial detail. Then I saw the boob window and weird leaf loin cloth and decided: this shall be my trial by fire. In the end I redid the entire front, added a Statuesque head and a sword from the Agema Republican Romans set. I exchanged the bow and arrow heads, too. The former was shaped from a HIPS rod, using a scalpel and sand paper. The arrow heads are a transpaltnf rom the Warlord Skeletons.

It was an excellent opportunity to train my sculpting skills, as I never attempted boots or laces. I learned a few things:

  • A ratio of 75:25 yellow to blue is optimal for fine detail work.
  • Always work in stages. First the tunic, then the belt and so on.
  • Do not be afraid to cut away already applied greenstuff. The second time it will come out better.
  • Using a Bones mini as a fancy armature is a great way of learning sculpting.

Freckles are a must – painting the ranger

The paint job was fairly straightforward. I wanted high contrast and saturated colours, without being gaudy. Blue, green and grey seemed like a nice combination. I used a combination of Kimera colours and Vallejo. The former are highly saturated single pigment paints and are really nice to work with.

Another area I wanted to improve on were textures. So I tried to apply a cloth texture to both the cloak and tunic. I applied highlights and shadows as usual and then went back in with a fairly watered down sand colour, painting thin lines only in the highlighted areas. After this had been accomplished I glazed over it with a medium green for a more natural look and to fuse the texture with the underlying green.

I also attempted some freckles, after all they go well with her red hair. They are subtle, but I felt going too stark with them would look odd. Mixing a bit of brown into the medium skin colour I dabbed small dots here and there. The paint was fairly translucent, with the underling skin tone changing the final results

I hope you enjoyed seeing Nienna being transformed. My version is a bit more grounded without the leaf loin cloth and fancy quiver and bow. I also like that her face is now not just directed downwards or hidden by her hood. As always if you have any questions comment below. Until next time and always wield your brush with honor.


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

1 December 2020 at 6:44 am

Hey, nice to see you updating again! Also, great modelling work on the ranger, you have massively improved the look of the model. Plus I love the painting, especially the cloak.

1 December 2020 at 9:35 am
– In reply to: davekay

Thank you. I really didn’t like the original, but now she is definitely one of my favourite minis. I shall attempt to post more often. Usually the WIP shots are now on social media, but the finished work I would like to present here, where stuff is not as ephemeral.

1 December 2020 at 9:56 am
– In reply to: daggerandbrush

sounds like a good approach!

5 December 2020 at 1:22 am

Wow I love her face. Really impressive work.

6 December 2020 at 12:00 pm
– In reply to: mellis1644

Thank you kindly. The freckles were an experiment, but worked out well in the end.

Mark A. Morin
5 December 2020 at 4:29 am

Welcome back, great to see you posting again. Wonderful post and so glad you shared the WIP process. But freckles? Holy shit you’re good!

7 December 2020 at 1:17 pm
– In reply to: Mark A. Morin

Thank you. Yes, toddlers and life in general can have that effect. I will add some more info about the colours used, but have to think first which ones I actually used in the end. The freckles were not too hard. Jist make sure you have a good pointy brush and glaze like consistency with the paint. That way the skintone shines through.