So guys I painted a thing! My very first model of 2021 has been completed. Although I started it at the end of 2020 I am counting this in the 2021 model count. I printed and painted the Purple worm from Fat Dragon Games. I absolutely fell in love with the model and really wanted to try my hand at glazing as a paint technique. I still have a ton to learn but overall am really happy with the result. This model I also thought would be a great model to practice on improving my layering as there is so much surface area of the same color to really try to hone my skill in that area. I did not have to worry about accidently bumping paint into fine details due to its simplicity.
Notable Achievements/Proud Moments of painting this model:
- Largest model ever painted to date and not terrain. All previous models have been medium to large monsters.
- First model painted to completion in 2021
- First model where I attempted to glaze
- First model using Vallejo Earth Ground texture.
Unlike other models I did put a lot of thought and research into the model. For more information on the mentality and evolution I took to paint this model follow along below. Otherwise check out the final product. Let me know what you think.
Printing the Figure
This model I 3D printed on my Prusa mk3s of which you can find the print log here. It is labeled as a “Giant Worm” as the Purple Worm name is a license and unique copyright to Wizards of the Coast Dungeon and Dragons.
Above is the graphical images of concept art of the Purple Worm from all 5 monster manuals going from most recent to oldest left to right, top to bottom. Image credit goes to the WOTC Monster Manuals.
Price Comparison of Printed vs Purchased Models
Overall there are 2 primary and most popular models that I could find of a Purple Worm on the market. One created by D&D Icons of the Realm: Fangs and Talons – Purple Worm (~$50) and the other Reaper Miniatures- Bones Goremaw ($29.99). Since the Icons of the Realm figures are found with collectible boxes and not guaranteed the price of that model is around $50 (found on Miniature Market). Due to its higher price Purple Worms are commonly crafted by hand as there are plenty of guides online.
However if I were to buy the STL from Dragonlock Miniatures ($2.49) and 3D print today ($1.94) for material cost. Total personal cost of this miniature is approximately $4.43. This makes this model cost 85.3% cheaper than the cheapest competitor, the Goremaw model, not including shipping. Overall i’d say 3d printing is amazing.
When attempting to figure out my goals in painting this project I set out and did some home work reading up on the model and most notably listening to YouTube video for Purple Worm lore. This was fascinating and gave me so many ideas that I applied while painting this model.
My favorite video was “What They Don’t Tell You About Purple Worms – D&D” by MrRhexx
Based on the description of the monster. The Purple Worm is of course purple in color with a pale yellow underbelly. Its sides have hard crests and actually has a paralytic stinger in its tail (not shown in model). It is thought that the worm darkens as it ages making the deepest of purple marking an extremely old and terrifying creature to encounter. The worm is actually a relative of an aquatic monster and has a slimly skin giving it a shine. Part of the reason why the worm is purple is due to the valuable purple blood that courses though its body.
Also as a beginner painter I was curious how or what methods were utilized in painting Purple Worm models. Although at the time I found a picture of the model painted on the Dragonlock & Dragonbite 3D Printers facebook group I wanted inspiration. Overall I found 3 youtube videos that I found interested and gleaned various pieces of information from each. The largest downside is that due to the size of the model a lot of the painting is done by airbrush which I don’t have
- Painting the D&D: Purple Worm by OnTableTop (a 3 Part Series)
- Painting Reaper’s Goremaw (D&D Purple Worm) by Doctor Faust’s Painting Clinic
- How To: Paint a Purple Worm by MWG Studios
Progress Shots and Mentality
Picture of printed Purple Worm/Giant Worm model from Fat Dragon Games
My poor attempt at zenithal highlighting. The idea was that since the monster was an underground creature the light source would most likely occur from a poor adventurer holding a torch. So instead of the highlight of color being from the top down i’d come from the bottom up. It is a great idea that I really enjoyed but do not feel like I captured that mentality enough.
- Base coat Daemonette Hide Citadel.
- Base coated Battlefield Brown for base.
- Worm Spikes are Vallejo Game Color Earth
Starting a glaze of Heavy Violet on top of Daemonette Hide left a noticeable glossy texture to figure which in the case of this model works fine but is concerning for the future.
Continuing the glazing attempt I added Hexed Lichen from Vallejo Game Color to place on the top portion of the scales. Along with a top coat of Oozing purple from Army painter. The focus was to lighten the effect from the bottom of the plate having less paint moving upwards.
Adding a few dots of Pink Horror also added some extra pop around the spikes.
I proceeded to go back and forth adding darker and lighter in attempt to smooth out the noticeable layers to make an easier transition.
The mouth started with Rhinox Hide mixed with Scarlet Red to give a dark color of the mouth. Proceeded by a layer of scarlet red and pink horror as a top layer.
Using a combination of experimentation of several colors and layers helped build up the multi layered process of the belly. So much so I do not have an accurate color order of the belly. The overall goal was to leave the recesses of the model with the purple underbelly to indicate that you could see the blood veins of the model to match the lore.
Using my favorite process of painting bones I used that for the teeth, spikes and tips of the belly spikes.
I even experimented with the thought process of having rocks “fly” or explode out of the base as you can see from my tack and hot glue testing. Overall I did not fall in love with the method and opted to just do a plain ground base.
Future experimentation on the exploding base is coming soon!
This was a long project and overall I am very pleased with my result. I learned a lot and testing many different things. I think this definitely marks a turning point for myself in how I am thinking more deeply and purposefully in my painting.
Overall I think I have the promise of great growth for 2021 and can’t wait to see where I go.