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Anna Valerious & Vlad Tepes

Posted by Flashcad on 19 Nov 2021, 23:10

BACKSTORY
(Mostly from my fevered imagination)

The chivalric order of The Ordo Dracul was tasked by Pope Gregory XII on December 12th, 1408, to push back the forces of the Ottoman Empire. The Empire which was on the verge of conquering the last of the Byzantine's and was to duly take Constantinople in 1453. Thus allowing the Turks to follow up their great victory by invading the European homelands. What the Pontiff in Rome didn’t know was the Order of the Dragon had been founded in 105AD by the Emperor Trajan to battle more than mere mortal enemies -- in the Lands beyond the Forest.

One of the most famous Knights of the Ordo Dracul was the immortal, (literally), Anna Valerious of Transylvania. Born in the region of Dacia around 85AD, she had been appointed Agent Extraordinaire to the Vatican by Alfonso de Borgia, (Pope Callixtus III), in1456AD and dispatched to the border lands of Europe to help stem the tide of the rapacious Turks and their legions of monstrous shock troops.

The following year, Anna allied with the forces of fellow Member of the Order and courageous Christian Hero, the well-beloved Voivode of Wallachia, Vlad Tepes. Despite being vastly outnumbered, the small armies of both Dragon Knights, along with troops sent to Wallachia by Steven the Great of Moldavia, enjoyed victory after victory in their epic struggle against the Forces of Darkness who were invading Europe.
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However, a series of strange and unsettling events surrounding the mysterious disappearance of Vlad Tepes in early 1477 was to have serious consequences for the Christian forces.

The Turks had displayed a decapitated head in the Anatolian city of Edirne which Sultan Mehmed II claimed was that of The Impaler. But all Europe knew this was just propaganda, and that the Just and Popular Ruler of Wallachia couldn’t really be dead, (could he?).
Nevertheless, Anna Valerious now decided to fall back on support from King Mattias of Hungary.

More to come on this narrative, once I finish the highlights and shading on the swallow-tails of Vlad’s Ordo Dracul banner.
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Meanwhile, I found a bunch of old 54mm photos the other day upstairs in the spare room, just gathering dust at the back of a drawer. Several of these feature Anna Valerious and have been carbon-dated to circa 110AD, or thereabouts.
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TO BE CONTINUED
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Flashcad  China
 
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Posted by Bluefalchion on 20 Nov 2021, 05:04

Your achievement with flesh tones borders on the supernatural
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Bluefalchion  United States of America
 
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Posted by Peter on 20 Nov 2021, 13:31

Fantastic work again! and Anna is a well armed lady! :mrgreen: :thumbup:
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Peter  Belgium

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Posted by Flashcad on 20 Nov 2021, 13:50

Bluefalchion wrote:Your achievement with flesh tones borders on the supernatural

Took a while to develop my own way of doing things, with plenty disasters along the way. I paint exclusively with acrylics, So I usually lay down a bright color first for the highlights and pre-shade with a darker tone than I want to end up with.
I then use a layering technique until I get close to the colors I'm trying for, then go in with a bit of wet blending as the final step. Of course, being acrylic paint means you have to be fast with the brush, especially as I've never had much luck with drying retardant mediums, but I can usually make it work okay. I don't wet blend faces; the small area and quantities of paint used on a 54mm face means that just doesn't work for me. Layering very diluted touches of paint usually gives reasonable results though.
Cheers
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Flashcad  China
 
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Posted by Flashcad on 20 Nov 2021, 13:54

Peter wrote:Fantastic work again! and Anna is a well armed lady! :mrgreen: :thumbup:

Yeah, she's well-endowed with some pretty deadly weapons, I'd say.
I called her Anna Valerious cos that was Kate Beckinsdale's character's name in the 2004 "Van Helsing" movie -- and I thought it was cool.
:-D
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Flashcad  China
 
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Posted by Flashcad on 20 Nov 2021, 14:09

Got Vlad's Ordo Dracul banner finished today and added a couple more of his merry men to the scene.
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I'm really pleased with the subtle highlights and shadows on the swallow-tails of that banner now.
Still trying to decide whether or not I'll add some basic groundwork onto the miniature display table. I'd rather use a sub-base that fits just inside the lip at the top of the table -- same way I did my 90mm Dueling Samurai vignette,
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Finding a bit of wood with the correct diameter is the key to making that idea work though.
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Cheers the Noo
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Flashcad  China
 
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Posted by Santi Pérez on 20 Nov 2021, 14:28

Two wonderful new works, Flashcad, both Vlad's and Anna's. The figures are great, but I am amazed at the astonishing level of detail on the banners. :drool: :drool: :drool:

Santi.
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Santi Pérez  Spain
 
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Posted by Flashcad on 21 Nov 2021, 11:23

Santi Pérez wrote:Two wonderful new works, Flashcad, both Vlad's and Anna's. The figures are great, but I am amazed at the astonishing level of detail on the banners. :drool: :drool: :drool:
Santi.

The Ordo Dracul design was painted onto an old Greek Hoplite shield to suggest the founding of the order stretches way back into Antiquity, (same as their Vampire foes). The shield is suspended from the cross-piece of the smaller banner, which is causing weird shadows on these quick snaps as I didn't set up my tabletop photography lamps when I shot the photos.

The design is also hand-painted onto the larger banner and protected with two coats of clear gloss, followed by a coat of matte varnish. I used masking tape to avoid any potential disasters to the design when I added the shadows and highlights to the banner swallow-tails, and, although I used a light touch, was anxiously hoping the tape wouldn't leave marks on the varnish or, (horror), lift off any of the previously applied paint. Well, it did lift a small section when the tape was removed, but happily, that was an easy fix.
Phew.... :affraid:

Which reminds me; I'm not sure if the same design on Vlad's shield received any protective varnish. So that's another job added to the "To Be Done" list.
:-)
Oh, and the Wife has ordered some circular wooden platters from Taobao for me, which I hope will fit inside the top surface of that rather nice display table I'm using for the Impaler and his men-at-arms. That'll provide a suitable sub-base for the vignette, as long as one of them fits, (or can be made to fit).
Cheers
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Flashcad  China
 
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Posted by Emperor on 21 Nov 2021, 23:27

Thats great painted Vlad Dracul...I have comic about him from Herman...
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Posted by Flashcad on 22 Nov 2021, 06:38

Emperor wrote:Thats great painted Vlad Dracul...I have comic about him from Herman...

Yeah, he's a great 54mm white metal kit figure from Beneito Miniatures.
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The kit shield has been changed, and I reckon swopping out his sword for that brutal looking axe was a good change to the standard figure as well.
Here's a few more photos of the ultimate Bad Lad of Wallachia.
:P
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Flashcad  China
 
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Posted by Peter on 23 Nov 2021, 09:08

Vlad looks fantastic. I like those colors. :thumbup:
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Posted by Flashcad on 23 Nov 2021, 10:19

Peter wrote:Vlad looks fantastic. I like those colors. :thumbup:

Red and black are always a dramatic combination.
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Flashcad  China
 
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Posted by Kostis Ornerakis on 23 Nov 2021, 12:06

Wonderful painting once again! :yeah: :-D
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Kostis Ornerakis  Greece
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Posted by Bluefalchion on 23 Nov 2021, 15:05

The level of detail on the cloak and the…cloth thingy hanging down from the front of his waist? What is that called? Anyway, truly, truly impressive. Have you had your pieces published in modeling magazines? They would take pride of place.
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Bluefalchion  United States of America
 
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Posted by Flashcad on 23 Nov 2021, 15:53

Bluefalchion wrote:The level of detail on the cloak and the…cloth thingy hanging down from the front of his waist? What is that called? Anyway, truly, truly impressive. Have you had your pieces published in modeling magazines? They would take pride of place.

Hmm, I was initially reluctant to respond because I'm not here to blow my own trumpet, but don't wish to offend by ignoring your question either.
Yes, I'm a regular contributor to "Toy Soldier Collector & Historical Figure" magazine which hits the news-stands every two months or so. Don't be fooled by the title -- it includes modelling and figure painting sections as well. My latest article was published in September's Issue #102 and I think the next one is to appear in issue #104 when it comes out in January -- but don't hold me to that, cos it's entirely up to the editor...
8)
Here's a copy of page 1 of September's feature.
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Flashcad  China
 
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Posted by Bluefalchion on 23 Nov 2021, 16:11

That’s very cool. We used to have newsstands with all kinds of different cool magazines, but many of them went under. The newsstands, and the magazines, too. But I may have to check this one out. Now the cloth thingy hanging down from the front of his waist?
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Posted by Flashcad on 23 Nov 2021, 17:28

Bluefalchion wrote:That’s very cool. We used to have newsstands with all kinds of different cool magazines, but many of them went under. The newsstands, and the magazines, too. But I may have to check this one out. Now the cloth thingy hanging down from the front of his waist?

I've no idea what it's called. Perhaps it's part of a gambeson-type garment worn under armor and split to the thigh/waist to facilitate riding on a horse? Could even be the ends of a sash worn around the waist to help prevent his armor chaffing?
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Posted by Flashcad on 25 Nov 2021, 15:37

Better images to follow once the groundwork dries out overnight.
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