How to Paint: Bell Gargoyle

This is a How-to-Paint tutorial of the Bell Gargoyle miniature from Dark Souls The Board Game.

Background:

The Bell Gargoyle or sometimes just referred to as Gargoyle is one of the bosses that player encounters in Dark Souls the video game. The Gargoyle is one of two gargoyle statues that come to life in order to protect one of the Bells of Awakening. The Gargoyle can also be found in at least one other area as a mini-boss. 

The Gargoyle is a statue that comes to life and can breathe fire as one of its attacks. It wields a long-range axe and blocks with a shield. When cornered, the Gargoyle can fly and attack with a swift downward motion. In addition, its metallic axe-tail can whip like an elastic band, attacking any unsuspecting players. The player can attack the tail, and with enough damage, can cut it off and gain it as a weapon.

Paints used:

Step-by-Step painting guide:

  1. Cut and remove visible and prominent mold lines. Be careful when using a hobby knife. Some significant mold lines are on the top of the wings, the tips of the wings, the legs, and under the arm (along the armpit).
  2. Wash the figure with warm water and soap to remove any oil and residue that may prevent the paint from sticking to the figure.
  3. Apply Primer: I use a brush-on primer by Vallejo – Surface Primer Black. I chose the black because the Gargoyle has some pretty muted and dark colors. With the intricate texture of the wings and the armor it wears, using a black primer can potentially eliminate the need for a dark wash later on.
  4. Dry brush with a flat gray/stone color. For this one I used MSP Shadowed Stone. The Gargoyle is an animated statue and it has tones of light brown and gray stones. Dry-brushing with a gray color sets the under-layer of stone.
  5. Dry brush earth tones. For this I used a 1:1 ratio of MSP Shadowed Stone and MSP Leather Brown. This will start to make the miniature pop in certain places, while keeping deep crevices dark, which accentuates all the texture and details. This is especially visible along the wings. Note: If you are familiar with Zenithal Lighting or just lighting in general, and wanted to vary the way light and color comes off the figure, especially the wings, you can concentrate your dry brushing on certain raised parts. I did this with the bigger parts of the wings that point upward.
  6. Dry brush highlights and lighter earth tones. For this I used a 1:1 ratio of MSP Shadowed Stone and MSP Dirty Bone. The Dirty Bone paint color is nice, but needs to be muted with the Shadowed Stone to give it that darker, more subtle gray look. I specifically applied this to parts that should be lighter and would receive a lot of light like the tops of the arms, and the ridges and bones on the wings.
  7. Brush on Nihilakh Oxide for oxidized metal/verdigris. For this one I used Citadel’s Nihilakh Oxide technical paint. It emulates an oxidized metal or verdigris, which is a stain that often appears on worn and aged metal. I applied this only to the tops of the wings, the helmet, arm sleeves, shield, axe blade and tip, and the gargoyle’s hip/tail armor-axe combo.
  8. Dark wash with 1:1 Shadowed Stone and Black in order to let the black color seep into the crevices of the helmet, shield, wings, etc.
  9. Highlight/Glazing with Nihilakh Oxide to bring out the brighter and raised parts of the oxidized metal parts. This part is like dry-brushing, but the Nihiliakh Oxide does not dry-brush well. Instead, take a small amount of it on the tip of your brush and gently pass it on areas you would like to highlight. I called it glazing because the consistency you want for the Nihilakh Oxide is similar to that of a glaze. It should be thin and translucent. Just enough to highlight certain areas.This is your chance to make parts of the minifigure pop!
  10. Paint axe handle black. Nothing special here.
  11. Varnish with Vallejo Matte Varnish. Since the Gargoyle is supposed to be stone and chalky oxidized metal anyhow, there aren’t really areas of shiny metals or gloss.

Other Ideas for painting:

  1. I gently added some Nihilakh Oxide to some parts of the wings and the feathers. Check out the pictures below.
  2. Basing: some people might feel inclined to use a more detailed base for this one. Some ideas include rooftop shingles to remind us that the Gargoyle battle happened on a cathedral rooftop.

Here’s the video tutorial:

[Work-in-progress]

Finished Product:

Gargoyle 1Gargoyle 3Gargoyle 4Gargoyle 2

 

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