This is the dragon from "The Antagonists" box set from Ral Partha. It's one of my favorite dragons, and while I liked the Denis Beauvais painting the set was based on, I didn't particularly want to paint up the pegasus and its female rider. In addition, I thought the evil rider for this dragon was a bit too wacky... spiky armor and all that...
So I decided to paint just the dragon itself - I ground off the saddle and filed/sculpted armor plates in its place. Now the dragon was looking cool, but I needed something special to show it off with. The idea of making it rise from a volcano hit me, so I tapped my talented wife to help with the crater (she sculpted it out of Super Sculpey). After it was baked, I epoxied the dragon to the crater, and whipped out the airbrush.
This was the first time I'd used an airbrush on a mini; even though this was much bigger than a 25mm PC, it wasn't the same as airbrushing a flat canvas. I started out using some Creatix airbrush paint, but it didn't work too well, so I switched to Ral Partha paints, since I was going to use those to finish off the paint job anyway...
I wanted the dragon to look like it had just risen from the lava, and was slowly cooling toward the edges. The airbrush was a great help getting the tones and transitions right. After that, though, it was back to the brushes. I did a dual-blending job on this that I probably won't be mad enough to do again: 1) I finished off the yellow to red-brown transition for all the scales and 2) went back and blended the recesses between the scales as if they were still molten (like cracks in a lava flow).
Kind of crazy, but I've won quite a few awards with this dragon, including 1st place in the Large Fantasy Miniature category at GenCon 98!
Update: I've uploaded new pictures of the dragon, which are truer to the original colors than the previous pics.
All images and text Copyright 1999 Laszlo Jakusovszky