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Author Topic: Spooktalker's Talisman: April 21st: Timescape Archeologist & Scientist  (Read 331 times)

Offline Spooktalker

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I have long been on a Talisman kick and found the time today to share here. I had so much fun doing my DungeonQuest project that before I knew it, the DungeonQuest project had segued into a Talisman project. Some projects feel like work and I slip in one of these from time to time as a reward. Sometimes, though, I'll get on a tear and do a bunch at once and it feels like eating ice cream for dinner.  lol

I've been sharing these on my blog for awhile now and so I've got a substantial dump of these to kick things off.


I doubt that many of my readers will need an introduction to Talisman: The Magical Quest Game, a classic that has weathered the test of time over thirty-four years and four editions, and is rumored to be getting a fifth soon.

I have fond memories of this game, having owned the 2nd edition since my youth and having also played a fair number of 3rd edition games. There is some elusive quality inherent more in the illustrations and presentation than the actual game experience that has captured my imagination all these years, and driven me to tinker, over the course of the decade and more, on a design of a game that mechanically bears no resemblance to Talisman but attempts to deliver on the sweet promise that the game seemed to make to me all those years ago.

Hopefully more on that later, but in the meantime I'll just note that that is mainly the purpose I intend to put these figures to, more than playing actual games of Talisman with them, though I am also half-heatedly wearing down the resistance of those around me to consent to a a game or two of Talisman itself as well. I made the mistake of relaying an anecdote to my GF about Talisman sessions that dragged on for hours and hours and now she, specifically, won't touch it for anything.

On to a few words about the figures. These are all sculpted by Aly Morrison, best known as the Marauder Miniatures principal, after illustrations by Gary Chalk. I'm unabashed in my enthusiasm for both. It's interesting to have the opportunity in the later editions to compare the experience with Gary Chalk to without. I was actually surprised at the time, back when I played the 3rd edition as a teenager, that I enjoyed it as much as I did, as I might otherwise be telling you now that Gary Chalk illustrations represent some 90% or more of what Talisman "is" to me. Instead, I know that's not entirely true, but still these illustrations, and the character illustrations in particular, made and make a huge impact on me and my "fantasy ideal," or whatever I should call it.






















A few notes about the painting. I used some black and brown stippling on the sorceress to capture a bit of the pen and ink feel of the illustration as well as the rough quality of the dress and paper on the staff. The minimal base texture is watered down concrete patch and it was painted quite light and then a heavy wash of ink and matte medium. Believe it or not, on both of these figures the nose was at least fully twice as big as shown here before I carved them down with an exacto knife to better match the figures. I actually like big noses but on both of these they were grotesque-level big and it was hurting my ability to see the card illustration in the figure. The barbarian still has an enormous nose even after the major nose-job operation! Last note, the gold on the barbarian's sword is a new style for me. I painted it very, very bright yellow over white before painting P3 "Sold Gold" (the brightest of the golds they make), and then I put a brown wash for depth and yellow glazes for even stronger color. I am really, really happy with the result and have used it on a few other figures since. Let me know if there's anything else you'd like to know about them!

« Last Edit: April 21, 2018, 05:27:36 PM by Spooktalker »

Offline Spooktalker

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Re: Spooktalker's Talisman: The Prophetess
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2018, 07:25:56 PM »











Ah, the prophetess. She's arguably the most powerful character in the base game and was a favorite choice in my games back in the day. I have a hazy recollection of having a hard time getting my family to play with me, but at least on one or two occasions my mom agreeing to play when offered the prophetess.  :D

The prophetess always has a spell and draws an extra adventure card on any space she lands on and discards one she doesn't want. Especially in the early game this means she can avoid most would-be setbacks such as encountering a dragon before one is ready, while getting double the chances of pulling a great boon like the fountain of wisdom.

I love the sculpt Aly Morrison did here, but the mold line runs right down her center looking straight on, and sculptors should know that a figure loses 25% of the mass along that axis between sculpt and casting. Here it may have been even more; she looked pretty squashed. I used greenstuff to take get her back to normal, adding mass to her cheeks, giving them the flush of health (and some work on the eyes was required too), and her bustle, giving her hips back, and her ball. For this last one I sliced it almost-but-not-quite in twain using an x-acto blade, rocking it back and forth, back and forth. Then with same blade I pried it open so there was a large empty wedge atop, and then I filled that back in with greenstuff. Thus, round again. She also had what I thought was too much hair flowing over the top of her gold band. It just didn't make sense to me and I couldn't get over it. She might pull a lock out as a fashion choice but there is no way either accidentally or intentionally that half her hair would be hanging outside the band. So I carved away and resculpted the hair and band on that side.

This is a good example of the difference between pleasing the judges and pleasing oneself. In some ways painting old figures has freed me up and I'm looser, not as picky about certain things I would spend more time on if it was a commission or for a contest. On the other hand, there are things like this lock of hair that if I was painting if for someone else I would not think twice about, but when it's my figure I'll go all out no matter the cost. With no before-and-after shots, who would know I did it if I didn't tell you? Perhaps only me, but in the end I'm still the hardest to please.

On the painting side I also had a tough standard I wanted to achieve on the blue robes. I don't know why, but I've never seen a cold blue or cold purple in a miniatures paint. The closest I have is Vellejo Ultramarine, but it's a far cry from a tube ultramarine. So I broke out the tube paint. From there I can't recall the steps exactly, but there were some blue and purplish washes and back-and-forth to get the final result.

The gold was done in my new style of underpainting strong yellow and then painting my brightest, gold over, P3 Solid Gold (stirred well, not shaken). Then darker golds shading, brown ink washes and yellow glazes, and finally a few Mithril Silver highlights  (I seem to recall for this particular figure I just liked the gold result early on, though, and there wasn't too much beyond a basic shading and highlighting). The ball was Mithril silver over white and I decided to just go with that way.

The flesh is mostly P3, I think, mostly Midlund Flesh over a bit darker base, then Rynn Flesh highlights, and then old Citadel Elf Flesh or Bleached Bone (can't remember which but it's way lighter than the later incarnations of these).

As I put up the pics here I see one thing I think I will go back and add, some black lining on the eye on her breast and a few other places on the gold dress lining.



Offline Spooktalker

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Re: Spooktalker's Talisman: Ghoul, Thief and Dwarf
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2018, 07:31:34 PM »
 Here are the ghoul, thief and dwarf:


 




 

 


 











Three wonderful figures from the base Talisman set. Gary Chalk and Aly Morrison, you guys rock. The thief and the ghoul have similar red and purple color schemes and I will probably use this on other figures. I did the golds on the dwarf dark to light and then glazed with color, as opposed to the bright method I did on the barbarian, in fitting with the differences in the illustrations. The ghoul and thief have significant black lining which may only be visible in the full-size versions of the pics, for example, in the lines of the cloth, face, and the muscles and veins of the ghoul. I also tried an illustration-like black ink shading method on the dwarf axe that I think was successful. I chose to make the ghoul's eyes face forward as I prefer more generic, neutral poses in figures so they can interact more naturally with one another in a game. The thief's flesh is particularly jaundiced to match the illustration, using P3 Thrall Flesh as the made tone.


Offline Spooktalker

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Re: Spooktalker's Talisman: WIP Talisman and Friends-of-Talisman
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2018, 07:34:46 PM »
Here's a view into the painting process for my Talisman figures, and preview of some to come. Although I have enough Talisman figures to keep me busy for awhile, I couldn't help but adding some other figures to the Talisman family, as some just call to me as being the same kind of archetype.


Talisman WIP: Front row L-R: Itenerant Scholar, Witch Doctor, Sorceress, Pilgrim, Barbarian; Middle row: Sea Captain, Halfling, Ninja, Falconer, Saytr; Back row: Sprite, Dwarf, Gladiator, Rogue

Sprite, Swashbuckler, Witch Doctor, Druid

Thief, Ghoul, Dwarf, Scout

Archeologist, Alt Elf, Gipsy, Prophetess, Footpad or Alt Assassin



 The Priest, by Aly Morrison, with embellished hat

The Amazon, by Aly Morrisson



The Spy, by Aly Morrison, telescope replaced with aluminum tube

The Itinerant Barber/Scholar, by Aly Morrison, Citadel Miniatures Fighters range



Falconer, by Aly Morrison, Marauder Miniatures, either a Noble or a follower who competes for his lord or lady



Alt Assassin, by Aly Morrison, though I think I will call him the Footpad




 The Hunter, by Alan or Michael Perry, Citadel Miniatures, one of my favorite figures





 
The Sea Captain, by Michael Immig, Metal Magic







The Warlock, by Bob Murch, RAFM





The Landsknecht, by Werner Klocke, Das Scharze Auge





Size comparison showing Citadel fighter, Metal Magic Watchman by Michael Immig, Das Schwartze Auge Landsknecht, Foundry Perry Landschnecht



Offline Spooktalker

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Re: Spooktalker's Talisman: Halfling, Satyr and Witch Doctor
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2018, 07:36:08 PM »
Three more of Aly Morrison's Talisman figures.

Talisman Halfling:

Talisman Halfling


Talisman Halfling


Talisman Halfling


Talisman Halfling

Not much to say on the halfling.


Talisman Satyr



Talisman Satyr


Talisman Satyr

The Satyr here is a nice figure although I think there could have been a way to capture in the sculpting some of the dancing skip motion of the illustration, with the pipe lifted at an angle. I chose a more sunny complexion as the paleness of the illustration didn't make sense to me for a creature of nature.

Talisman Witch Doctor:

Talisman Satyr


Talisman Witch Doctor


Talisman Witch Doctor


Talisman Witch Doctor

I had a lot of fun painting the Witch Doctor and am pleased with how he turned out. I made one small change to the sculpt and added the ends of the knot that ties his cloak around his neck. It makes sense why they were left off as they would have been problematic or impossible to cast on a one-piece figure. I had one shot at getting the facepaint stripes right and saved that step for the first step on a an evening I was still feeling sharp after work. Did several practice strokes holding the figure at different angles to make sure the stripes either side would follow the forms of the figure and be symmetrical. I think I got it. Also worked to achieve an overall brightness or glow, emphasized by the yellow gold, yellow suede of inside of the cloak, and yellow bone. Have an old and trusty pot of Citadel Spearstaff Brown which makes a good base for yellow, and W&N Sunshine Yellow ink to make it pop.

Offline Spooktalker

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Re: Spooktalker's Talisman: Druid, Pilgrim and Scout
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2018, 07:38:53 PM »

Talisman Pilgrim

Talisman Pilgrim

Talisman Pilgrim

Talisman Pilgrim

In western Europe in the middle ages it was common for people of all stripes to make pilgrimages at certain points in the their lives or others, and we can imagine it to be similar in the Talisman setting. The Talisman Pilgrim, though, seems to have made it his calling, and there's a more specific term for these individuals: palmer.

I'm reading Edmund Spencer's The Fairie Queene and the palmer character therein is the perfect inspiration for roleplaying this particular figure.He follows a knight called Sir Guyon, and takes it upon himself to guide him on the path of temperance and away from such perils as a group of flirtatious nymphs seeking bathing companions.

In short, wonderful, clear inspiration to bring this miniature to life in games (as a follower, rather than PC)! I can see the GM of my Talisman-inspired games providing the same sort of incessant moral guidance, perhaps in the service of some Monty-Python-esque burlesque.

In terms of painting the painting, we are looking at a limited palette of off-white, brown, gray and flesh. The main base color is P3 Trollblood Highlight, a favorite light neutral of mine. I washed it with faint wine-brown made with P3 Sanquine Base before highlighting up to white.

I don't like how his sign turned out. It's supposed to be a piece of cloth or paper stuck to his staff and depicting a black heard. But the size of the nail leaves a cramped space for the heart beneath, which is made worse by a little notch on the bottom of the sign. In hindsight I should have sliced away the nail and puttied over the notch at the bottom, and maybe even enlarged the sign a bit, then added the nail back much smaller at the top. As it is, it looks almost as much like a fuzzily-rendered spade symbol. Maybe I'll fix it.



Talisman Druid

Talisman Druid

Talisman Druid

Talisman Druid

On to the Druid. Here's a character I've always felt a kinship with. The key to the scheme is the periwinkle  robes, and this is set off by the blue sleeves, red belt, and green mistletoe. Thankfully I have the perfect periwinkle, Vallejo Shadow Grey. This is equivalent to the old Citadel Shadow Gray now made by Coat'd'arms and called Shadow Grey there too. The highlights are warm. I can't remember exactly, but they may be flesh tones.

When it came to painting a white beard, I looked at reference pics as a I usually do and noted in photographs a white beard shows almost no definition or shadows. A white beard is generally brilliantly white. Journeyman painters will often apply the same degree of shadow, mid-tones and highlights to each thing on a figure, and in my view this is a trap that painters will have to grow out of to achieve the next rungs of our craft. Understanding the reflective properties of the different materials one is trying to depict is one of the cornerstones of mastery. To get the beard right here didn't take careful shading, it just took conviction and five extra coats of pure white.


Talisman Scout

Talisman Scout

Talisman Scout

Talisman Scout

The scout was a quick one. I think an old GW Dark Angels Green and P3 Ordic Olive were two main greens I used, among several others. Photo reference is a must for me when I paint feathers.

Offline majorsmith

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Re: Spooktalker's Talisman
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2018, 08:56:48 PM »
Super stuff
i was raised like a muslim, praying to the east

Offline Nord

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Re: Spooktalker's Talisman
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2018, 10:38:44 PM »
Lovely stuff, you have really nailed the palette from each piece of art.

Offline Katsuhiko JiNNai

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Re: Spooktalker's Talisman
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2018, 02:23:40 PM »
Some fine oldhammer miniatures :)
I found your excellent dungeonquest project some time ago too, during a net surfing. I was looking for original pictures of painted dungeonquest miniatures to get ispiration for my own project. Initially I thought that the picture was from an original eavy metal gallery too. ;)

Offline Spooktalker

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Thanks Nord, Katsuhiko and majorsmith!


Today I have two Timescape figures to show:




















I wrote more on the blog post: https://belchedfromthedepths.blogspot.com/2018/04/talisman-timescape-archeologist-and.html#gpluscomments


Offline dadlamassu

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Re: Spooktalker's Talisman: April 21st: Timescape Archeologist & Scientist
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2018, 07:39:46 PM »
superb work.  Taisman is one of my favourite games since the 1970s.  I was very lucky all those years ago when I bought a second hand copy at the "Claymore" show in Edinburgh.  Inside the box was Talisman, Dungeon, City and Timescape and all of the figures.  I do not remember what the lot cost but I do remember it as an absolute bargain. 

I painted all the figures then and they show it!

Well done!
'He could have lived a risk-free, moneyed life, but he preferred to whittle away his fortune on warfare.'
-- Xenophon, The Anabasis