Monday, 12 May 2014

Shadow and flame

The title says it all! I got this Balrog when it was released, about a dozen years ago:

Painted a dozen years ago
Even then I knew I was doing something wrong, but I wasn't capable of seeing what was it. Some time ago I finally discovered. I had painted the fires just the opposite way, red in the inside and yellow/white in the outside. Ouch!

That slap in the face couldn't remain uncontested. Let's work!

Only shadow, no flame at all here...
I decided to go one step beyond. I used some Oyumaru to make molds of the fire crest:

Green flames!
Now to the very beast itself! I needed some white priming all over the back, then I started with white and yellow:

Fear the Yellow Balrog!
More variety in whites. And yellows. And then some more.
Then some orange & yellow, some pure orange, some orange & red mix... You can imagine:

Agh! It burns! It burns!
The next step was daring to paint all the small dark pieces:

One by one
Though you really can't see it well in the pics, I have used no pure black in this mini, nor have I used grey for the lights. It is all a mix of black and dark blue, highlighting by adding a little flesh colour to the mix.

More lava and magma and skin and...
This is the aspect it was getting:

Shadow and flame. It begins to look something
Rear view. By now I was going nuts
I extended the effects to other parts of the body:

Wow, baby, your thighs are on fire!
Kinda sexy
Then I begun to work on the base and other details.

Sexy? I am supposed to look scary as hell!
I hadn't shown the wings!
I painted some light effects on the skin, of course, reflected light from the flames. But by now you may be asking what were the green stuff flames for. That's a legitimate question. Let me answer. I used them on the base, as if the floor itself was caught in fire by the presence of the Balrog. That forced me to paint some additional light effects, of course. This is the final result:

Durin's Bane
What can I add? Only one thing. Predictable, but here it comes:

You cannot pass. I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. You cannot pass. The Dark Fire will not avail you, flame of Udûn. Go back to the Shadow! You shall not pass.


  1. 4 Thumbs up mate !

    He really looks superb, I've always been terrified by that sort of painting which is why I always ended up painting my avatar some silly way but know I see this, I really want to have a go at it.
    The time and energy psent really show Suber, Great piece.

    1. Thank you very much! You see, it's all in the variation of colours, I think. For the 'original' one I had tried some sort of 'logic' pattern (though I had inverted the colour scale, d'oh). This time I had tried a random pattern, though making it look brighter in the core and more red on the edges.
      Of course I can improve it a lot, but for the moment I'm satisfied :)

  2. Jesus; that must have taken some effort and will power. How long to paint all those black bits mate?

    1. Haha, I lost some hours of my life on this one, I must admit. The black parts were a nightmare; I spent some time mixing black, blue and flesh, and when I was in the middle of it, the mix had always dried. Soeday I have to dare to try a wet palette...

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you very much! I love the mini and, though I needed some effort, I enjoyed a lot bringing the beast into life!

  4. Suber, my friend, excellent job. This is the only mini in the LotR range that I dont have, and it because the prospect of painting it properly scares the hell off of me.

    1. Well, it is time you get one! You can manage to paint it much better than I did. I challenge you!! :D

  5. Ha quedado espectacular!
    El aspecto de la figura en la foto "Agh! It burns! It burns!" mola mil!

    1. ¡Muchas gracias! La verdad es que en ese momento me planteé dejar más fuego a la vista y no pintar la piel negra, pero al final me fui a lo clásico...

    2. Una pena... ;-P
      Habría quedado muy original!!

  6. Replies
    1. Haha, thanks! It's all a compliment! :)

  7. Nice work on the Balrog ... Gandalf's killer. :)