Translucent Bones: Large Fire Elemental

I have painted this one several times over. It is an orange translucent. However, I could not make it work properly, as the orange was far too dark for my tastes, and any number of the yellow washes I used did not make it lighter or work at all in any way.

In the end I decided to forego the translucency altogether and just paint it like a proper fire, starting with basecoating it entirely white.



The layers of colour in this fire is as follows:

White base coat, successive layers of drybrushing:  bright yellow -golden yellow -dark pink -dark red brown – black. let the colours dry a bit between coats to avoid tearing off the layer below when drybrushing.

and dot in some blues for the eyes.

When painting fire like this, it looks pretty terrible up to the dark red brown layer. Suddenly, it looks pretty sweet indeed.


77082: Large Fire Elemental

Reaper Bones translucent orange

from the first Bones KS

sculpted by Julie Guthrie

Bonesium PVC

60mm base


Painted so far this month: / 30   -just 27 to go!

Painted so far this year: 197 / 365 -just 168 to go!


Translucent Bones: Large Water Elemental

Painted at the same time as the water weird:


I used the same method for this piece as with the water weird. However, I didn’t make a mess of this one with the drybrushing. I think.

I did some color shade variations all over this one, but I think maybe the gloss varnish fuffs it up so this can’t really be seen in the pictures.

I really like this elementals pose and sculpting. So much more imposing and dynamic compared to most other water elementals I have seen.


77311: Large Water Elemental

Reaper Bones translucent blue

from the second Bones KS

Bonesium PVC

60mm base



Painted so far this month: / 30   -just 28 to go!

Painted so far this year: 196 / 365 -just 169 to go!


Translucent Bones: Water Weird

Second to last of the blue translucents from the Bones 2 kickstarter:

The Water Weird.


A water weird is a water elemental that exists within / is bound to a specific body of water and that can give the heroes a nasty surprise when going for a wash or a drink.

I made the mistake of using blue ink on this, which turned the whole thing too dark, which I tried to correct with drybrushes of lighter shades, but it seems I just made a mess of it. I salvaged it somewhat by dumping ancient citadel turquoise glaze on it and then gloss varnish to make it look wet. The basin was done with my basic green/gray stone combo. It ended up better than I first feared.

Large elemental, neutral
Armor Class 13
Hit Points 58 (9d10 + 9)
Speed 0 ft., swim 60 ft.

17 (+3)
16 (+3)
13 (+1)
11 (+0)
10 (+0)
10 (+0)

Damage Resistances fire; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities exhaustion, grappled, paralyzed, poisoned, restrained, prone, unconscious
Senses blindsight 30 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages understands Aquan but doesn’t speak
Challenge 3 (700 XP)

Invisible in Water. The water weird is invisible while fully immersed in water.

Water Bound. The water weird dies if it leaves the water to which it is bound or if that water is destroyed.


Constrict. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 10 ft., one creature. Hit: 13 (3d6 + 3) bludgeoning damage. If the target is Medium or smaller, it is grappled (escape DC 13) and pulled 5 feet toward the water weird. Until this grapple ends, the target is restrained, the water weird tries to drown it, and the water weird can’t constrict another target.

taken from:


77310: Water Weird

Reaper Bones translucent blue

from the second Bones KS

sculpted by Bob Ridolfi

Bonesium PVC

30mm base



Painted so far this month: / 30   -just 29 to go!

Painted so far this year: 195 / 365 -just 170 to go!

Fingerpainting miniatures!

On the Reaper forum’s  bi-monthly resolutionary painting challenge the first bonus challenge of the year is to fingerpaint a miniature.

…as in use your fingers to paint it, no brushes or other implements, and you need to do this yourself, not get any help from others, including small-fingered children. Priming and sealing excepted.

And it must be a creature, no scenery to make it easier.

I decided to make a go at the bonus challenges this year.


*Witness! The Hand of DEEEWM!*  


So, my fingers are about one and a half centimetres in diameter, with fingertip-pads at more or less a full centimeter square. How to paint a mini that is only 2-3 fingers high with that?

Obviously I would need to select a mini that will not need too much detailing…

I considered the great worm, the land shark, the sharkorosaurus, the brass bull and any number of metallic robots shiny or rusted both. Should be doable, with some vigorous rubbing and weathering.

But I ended up with a creature of mist and shadows.


Enter the Reaper Bones translucent purple Shadow Demon! And some translucent inks to paint it with.



Added red ink as well. Messy work this.


at this point I got carried away and forgot to take intermediate pictures of the actual mini work in progress.

I had some nice differently coloured areas here and there to make it look insubstantial on the mini by the time I set it aside to dry, but the day after I found most of the colours had done gone and mixed it up all over the mini, leaving it more samey all over. oh well, should have done the colours one at a time and let it dry more between each colour.



Eyes of blue, tongue of red and teeth of light grey. Still done with my fingers! …or rather, a torn fingernail. A lucky happenstance that worked a treat to dot in some details.


Base was also done by finger, brown inside, black rim. Tufts glued down in massive-fingertip sized blobs of pure PVA; the rest with watered down PVA, wiping glue off the rim before dunking it in the tub o’ mixed flock.

—and then having to dab some glue here and there where I had managed to wipe off both glue and flock when hamfisted wiping the rims… and some more black on the rim to fix the results…and the same again. Rinse and repeat.

Conclusion: Fingers are not very appropriate tools for painting miniatures!


But the results ended up not too shabby:

170129-reaper-bones-77368-shadow-demon  170129-reaper-bones-77368-shadow-demon-side2 170129-reaper-bones-77368-shadow-demon-side 170129-reaper-bones-77368-shadow-demon-back

and since the backdrop it a wee bit too samey to show up the colours properly:

170129-reaper-bones-77368-shadow-demon-a 170129-reaper-bones-77368-shadow-demon-a2

this is taken with a pink piece of paper as backdrop.IRL it is a bit more blueish.

These pictures show better that it does in fact have some of the insubstantial not-quite-there effect I was hoping for, with the translucency and blotchy colour variations all over. But one does need a bright light to see them.


77368: Shadow Demon

Reaper Bones KS2

Sculpted by Bob Ridolfi

Translucent purple Bonesium

40mm base


Painted so far this month: 33 / 31.  +2 past target!

Painted so far this year: 33 / 365.  Just 332 to go!


Translucent Bones: The Grave Wraith

The first series of translucent Bones were made either in orange or in a bright greenish tinge, and it seems I only ever got round to painting one or two of the green ones.

We can’t have that now then, can we?

reaper-bones-77097-grave-wraith-front reaper-bones-77097-grave-wraith-back

As with all the translucents, the key is to prime the model with matte varnish. I use Army Painter Anti-Shine spray for this.

After that I use mainly inks as they also are translucent. I have learned the hard way that normal paints are opaque and should be kept to a minimum if I want to keep the minis even slightly translucent.

For this piece I started with a liberal coating of Vallejo Green Ink, taking care to draw off exessive pooling of ink with a damp brush. After that I used some old red lidded hexpot Citadel Turquoise Glaze on the bottom half. I detailed the mini with a very light dusting of normal light bone paint on it’s visible skeletal hand, and a slightly heavier drybrushing of ScaleColour Cobalt Alchemy light blue metallic on the sword and crossguard, as if it is half-materialized. I also painted the inside of the hood’s cowl with ScaleColor Bloodfest Crimson (a very dark red/brown). What cannot be seen in the pictures are the pinpoint bright yellow/green eyes in the depths of the cowl. The gravestone with skulls was done in typical greys and bone-colour with a simple strong tone quickshade for effect.

Now all it needs is some matte varnish to take the edge off the shinyness of the inks, but that will have to wait until springtime.


77097 Grave Wraith

Reaper Bones KS1

Sculpted by Bob Ridolfi

Green translucent Bonesium PVC

40m base


Painted so far this month: 8

Painted so far this year: 8

Minivember: Fireball Coming Online!

Next up is the orange translucent Bones Burning Sphere.


161112-reaper-bones-translucent-77081-burning-sphere-2 161112-reaper-bones-translucent-77081-burning-sphere

Not all that much to say about this one. The trick to paint translucent bones is to undercoat them with matt varnish so the plastic will accept paints and inks. I use Army Painter Anti-Shine spray for this.

I have heard that several brands of spray paint might cause some sort of reaction in the plastic, making them tacky or even flaking off. I personally have not experienced this, but I have experienced my usual miniatures paint (citadel, army painter, vallejo, reaper, etc) being rejected by the bare plastic.

I find that the Army Painter sprays work well on Bones in general. Apart from that I use Vallejo Acrylic Surface Primers -black and light grey-  in my airbrush to undercoat most minis incluiding Bones. Works a charm. I make sure to wash said minis first in warm dishwash detergent-soapy water and an old tootbrush first to get rid of any remaining release compound from the casting process, and make sure thay are dry before priming.


77081: Burning Sphere

Reaper Bones KS1

Orange Translucent Bonesium PVC

30mm base


Minivember tally: 8

Painted so far this month: 11

Painted so far this year: 335

Translucent Bones: The Crystal Golem

And a second incredibly fast paint job, done in between the Night Terrors:


160916-reaper-bones-77309-crystal-golem 160916-reaper-bones-77309-crystal-golem2

The mini is actually translucent! Second image is more backlit.

As for all the translucents, the key is to give the models a wash and an undercoat with Army Painter Anti-Shine clear spray, which gives the paints something to hang on to.

(much like Lord Flashheart and Baldrick-in-a-dress’s beard. Woof Woof!)

For this one I chose to lay off the inks and washes, and gave it a couple of quick drybrushes with light blue and lighter blue.

Evil eyes and teeth in the lightest blue, base and done.


A nice Ice Construct for Frostgrave, or even some sort of summoned elemental demon.


77309: Crystal Golem

Reaper Miniatures, Bones KS 2

Translucent blue Bonesium PVC

40mm base


Painted so far this month: 4

Painted so far this year: 275