Stick and Stone – Nienna Elven Ranger by Reaper Miniatures

Back on track dear readers with a new post. Life is busy with a toddler, who would have thought! In any case, today I would like to showcase a heavily converted Reaper Bones Miniature Nienna Elven Ranger.

I’ll cover my cloth texturing technique, paints used and finally give some sculpting advise. Enjoy!

Glowing amber

Inari darted through the dense thicket in front of Nienna, his red tail disappeared, only to reappear under a fallen log.

Her heart was pounding, sweat ran down her forehead burning in her eyes. The sun twinkled through the tall branches and orange-red leaves. She loved everything about it.

Over a rock, through a muddy stretch, sliding down a log, across some earthy smelling mushrooms and through the underbrush, a last jump over a shallow river and there she was.

The arrow seemingly missed vital organs, as the deer lay dying in the clearing. It put up a valiant flight. She approached slowly, looking out for animals attracted to the wounded prey. Everything seemed calm, so she knelt down at the deers head, slowly gliding her dagger out of the sheath.

“Forgive me, for my aim was not true. Now rest, you will provide us with food for many days.”

She finished with a short prayer and cut the deers throat. Blood soaked into the wet soil, a curious scent of pungent spice and iron.

Inari seemed uneasy. His eyes fixed on a nearby copse.

“What is it?” Her eyes looked for movement, but instead she heard a muffled, rhythmic pounding. A few moments later she felt it resonating in her guts.

“Not now, by the gods. Run!” She went back the same direction, over the shallow river, the slippery log. Faster, faster, her heart pounding, ready to burst.

Behind her the trees parted. With long lumbering strides a twisted oak moved quickly towards her, its nose a gnarled branch, its beard moss, its eyes milky amber. She could not tell how it moved, as its limbs bend and cracked with each move, yet didn’t burst, but it moved.

Down the hill and past the old beech, along the stony path and there it was… the cave. Long gnarly claws grabbed at her, but failed to reach.

In she went, her heart still pounding, blood rushing through her ears. All she could see were amber eyes glowing in the dark…

Foret. Birch trees. 28mm wargaming terrain.

Conversions – going all in

Usually conversions encompass small additions or weapon swaps, but with Reapers Nienna Elven Ranger I kinda overdid it. It started with a simple head swap, as my Bones version had fairly soft facial detail. Then I saw the boob window and weird leaf loin cloth and decided: this shall be my trial by fire. In the end I redid the entire front, added a Statuesque head and a sword from the Agema Republican Romans set.

Nienna Elfen Ranger conversion. Reaper Miniatures.

It was an excellent opportunity to train my sculpting skills, as I never attempted boots or laces. I learned a few things:

  • A ratio of 75:25 yellow to blue is optimal for fine detail work.
  • Always work in stages. First the tunic, then the belt and so on.
  • Do not be afraid to cut away already applied greenstuff. The second time it will come out better.
  • Using a Bones mini as a fancy armature is a great way of learning sculpting.

Freckles are a must – painting the ranger

The paint job was fairly straightforward. I wanted high contrast and saturated colours, without being gaudy. Blue, green and grey seemed like a nice combination. I used a combination of Kimera colours and Vallejo. The former are highly saturated single pigment paints and are really nice to work with.

Another area I wanted to improve on were textures. So I tried to apply a cloth texture to both the cloak and tunic. I applied highlights and shadows as usual and then went back in with a fairly thin sand colour, painting thin lines only in the highlighted areas. After this had been accomplished I glazed over it with a medium green.

Nienna Elfen Ranger conversion. Reaper Miniatures.
Fine lines applied to the highlighted areas of the cloak.
Nienna Elfen Ranger conversion. Reaper Miniatures.
Glazed down for a more natural look.

I also attempted some freckles, that go well with her red hair. They are subtle, but I felt going too stark with them would look odd . Mixing a bit of brown into the medium skin colour I dabbed small dots here and there. The paint was fairly translucent, with the underling skin tone changing the final results

Nienna Elfen Ranger conversion. Reaper Miniatures.
Nienna Elfen Ranger conversion. Reaper Miniatures.
Nienna Elfen Ranger conversion. Reaper Miniatures.

Hope you enjoyed the showcase. If you have any questions comment below. Until next time and always wield your brush with honor.

8 thoughts on “Stick and Stone – Nienna Elven Ranger by Reaper Miniatures”

    1. Thank you. I really didn’t like the original, but now she is definitely one of my favourite minis. I shall attempt to post more often. Usually the WIP shots are now on social media, but the finished work I would like to present here, where stuff is not as ephemeral.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. Yes, toddlers and life in general can have that effect. I will add some more info about the colours used, but have to think first which ones I actually used in the end. The freckles were not too hard. Jist make sure you have a good pointy brush and glaze like consistency with the paint. That way the skintone shines through.

      Liked by 1 person

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