David Rodríguez
Un lungo viaggio

I giganti sono presenti in quasi tutte le mitologie delle culture antiche. Sono esseri dotati di statura e forza incredibile, molto longevi, depositari di una vasta conoscenza, ma immorali e distruttivi. Per questi motivi, spesso i giganti simboleggiano proprio il caos primordiale al quale le divinità si opposero per riportare l’ordine nel cosmo.

Li troviamo nella Bibbia (i Nephilim o “ i caduti”): nella Genesi, ad esempio, si citano espressamente i giganti abitanti della terra degli albori e il famoso Golia sconfitto da David. Nella mitologia greca, i gigantes sono gli esseri immortali, figli di Urano e Gea, protagonisti del ciclo la Gigantomachia, che narra la loro guerra contro gli dei dell’Olimpo, terminata grazie all’intervento di Ercole. Alcuni di questi giganti sono sepolti nelle profondità della terra e sono considerati gli artefici dei terremoti; altri, i ciclopi, sono considerati da alcuni come i conoscitori dell'arte della lavorazione del ferro e adibiti alla fabbricazione dei fulmini di Zeus; nell’ Odissea, però, li troviamo dediti alla pastorizia.

Nella Teogonia viene invece narrata la Titanomachia, ovvero la lotta tra i titani, residenti sul monte Othrys, e gli dèi dell'Olimpo. Si tratta di una battaglia, durata dieci anni, fino a quando Zeus libera i tre Centimani e, dopo averli rifocillati con nettare e ambrosia, li coinvolge nella battaglia determinando così la sconfitta dei titani e la loro segregazione nel Tartaro; in questo luogo, chiuso da alte mura e da porte di bronzo costruite appositamente da Poseidone, i Titani saranno guardati a vista dagli stessi Centimani.

Molti altri sono i Titani protagonisti delle saghe della mitologia greca; in alcuni casi, i Titani sono rappresentati come figure positive. Un esempio è Crono, che fu anche re: grazie a lui gli uomini passarono dallo stato selvaggio alla civiltà. Fu proprio Crono a insegnare agli uomini ad essere probi e semplici d'animo, in un’epoca lontana in cui furono giusti e felici. Ma è nella mitologia norrena, che i giganti (jotnar nell’antico norvegese) rappresentano figure predominanti e sono presenti già prima della nascita del mondo, originato proprio dal corpo del gigante Ymir. Ogni parte dell'enorme corpo del gigante servì a creare una componente della vita sulla terra, così come le larve della sua carne originarono la razza degli Gnomi, progenitori dei Nani e degli Elfi. E sono proprio i giganti, o figli di giganti, molti degli esseri mostruosi e terribili che abitano la terra. Nel ciclo mitologico norreno, nell’ora del Ragnarok, il “crepuscolo degli dei”, saranno proprio i giganti che attaccheranno Asgard e sconfiggeranno gli dei Asi guidati da Odino.

Nel folclore più recente, questa immagine si è parzialmente trasformata; i giganti delle fiabe, come ad esempio il protagonista di “Jack e la pianta di fagioli” sono, come gli orchi, stupidi, violenti e divorano gli esseri umani (specialmente i bambini); esistono, però, caratterizzazioni atipiche, come quella del “Gigante Egoista” di Oscar Wilde, in cui i giganti appaiono intelligenti e amichevoli.

Sono numerose le storie di combattimenti tra giganti ed eroi narrate nei cicli epici del Galles e dell’Irlanda, nella letteratura bretone e nei romanzi arturiani, così come nelle opere di Torquato Tasso (la “Gerusalemme Liberata”), Ludovico Ariosto (l’ “Orlando Furioso”) e Edmund Spencer (“Il cavaliere della Croce Rossa”), anche se spesso non è facile distinguere tra giganti e figure analoghe come troll, orchi o altri mostri antropomorfi.

E ovviamente i giganti sono presenti in tutte le maggiori saghe fantasy, da Final Fantasy a Warhammer, da Confrontation a Magic the Gathering fino al Trono di Spade. Sono generalmente umanoidi e vivono solitamente nelle zone pianeggianti o vicino alle montagne, anche se è possibile incontrarli all’interno di grotte o sotterranei. Sono distinti solitamente in base al colore della pelle, che in genere denota la padronanza di un particolare elemento. I giganti schiavizzati degli Ogre di Warhammer Fantasy sono mostri stupidi che si muovono goffamente sempre alla ricerca di carne e birra. Una volta abitavano in castelli scavati dalle vaste cime delle Mountains of Mourn, circondati da un mare di nuvole bianche, nascosti agli occhi delle razze più piccole. Ma quando gli Ogre furono distrutti con l’arrivo del Great Maw, i numerosi sopravvissuti fuggirono sui monti, sconfiggendo gli antichi abitanti e cacciandoli verso le valli sottostanti. I pochi sopravvissuti, riuniti in piccole tribù, terrorizzano il Vecchio Mondo come mercenari o bruti.

This Giant is the largest model I have ever worked on. I painted it for the Italian Golden Demon in 2006, where it won Silver in the Monster Category. From a sculpting perspective it does not have major conversions: I just added a belt across his shoulder and chest building it with some brass, and I also included inside the cage a kidnapped goblin, forced to follow the giant everywhere. For me this project had two main challenges. First it was a real exercise in shading and highlighting skin textures, and on the other hand it gave me the opportunity to use artificial water for the first time.

SKIN

I used airbrush for the skin, which gave the Giant’s flesh an amazingly realistic, dappled look. One of the first things to take into consideration when airbrushing is that the paint must be quite diluted (with the consistency of the milk), otherwise if the mixture is too thick it will block the airbrush and it will spit blobs of paint; and is it is too watered down we will create the so called "spider legs effect" making the paint go everywhere in a quite uncontrollable way and to areas we don't want to paint...

For the basecoat of the skin I used a mixture of English Uniform, Sunny Skintone and Vermillion from Vallejo, shading it with some Scorched Brown (Citadel) and a little bit of Black. For the highlights I used Sunny Skintone, Base Flesh and Light Flesh from Vallejo (in that same order). When I finished this part I realized that the skin was too pale and dull, without life. So I decided to add some midtones to warm the general tonality of it. I started with some thin layers of Orange Brown (Vallejo) and afterwards I added some Red Gore (Citadel). After all this was done with the airbrush it was the time to use the brush for the final details such as deep shades, final highlights (mainly in the face) and some extra midtones

SCRATCHES

For the scratches in the skin I did the following.

1. Thin line with Red Gore (Citadel) + tiny bit of Black - 2. Volume applied with Light Flesh (Vallejo) - 3. Red Gore (Citadel) glaze around the wound, a bit of Gloss Varnish.... et voilà - Once the skin effect had been achieved, I started on the clothing and other details

CLOTHES

One of the nicest things of this figure is that the trousers are done by 15 different pieces of cloth. And this was going to give me a huge opportunity to try different combinations of colors and the possibility to prepare as many freehands as I wanted. I used blacks, browns, blues, reds and whites, keeping always a general cold tone for the highlights (mainly using Space Wolves Grey from Citadel). I also drew different patterns such as diagonal lines, a sun, the twin-tailed comet of Sigmar, the Fleur de Lis or even a tartan!

WOOD

Painting wood is always fun, as it allows you different combinations of browns and ochres and it is very difficult to have a bad result. For the log in his right arm I used warm vivid colors starting with a Vermin Brown of Citadel followed by a general wash of black, brown and chestnut ink. Once the ink was dry I painted the grains of the wood again with some Vermin Brown and Snakebite Leather. Afterwards I applied some random washes with Chestnut Ink and also with some Catachan Green (Citadel) to give some moss effect.

RUST

Painting rust is a very easy and effective technique that can create a fantastic effect in just three steps, and I used these three steps in this figure. Usually rust happens on metallic surfaces, so first of all we have to make sure that the metal underneath the rust is fully painted and finished (with its shades and highlights). The first step is to apply a layer of Scorched Brown (Citadel) in large random areas. Afterwards we will apply some Vermin Brown on top of it. And finally for the "fresher" rust we will use Fiery Orange. The combination of these three colors in the right places can create a very realistic effect, but other color can be used for other kind of rusts (for example turquoise and white for the rust of the copper).

TERRAIN AND WATER

The terrain has a lot of prominence in this project, as such a big figure requires a nice well constructed terrain. Here I tried to do my best... :-) The base itself is conformed by four main elements: the terrain, the trees, the sign and the water.

The Terrain: This was quite easy to do. I used some Milliput to elevate the surface and some very thin beach sand for the gravel. After it was painted in dark browns I added artificial grass an some flowers to give some color.

The Trees: As I already mentioned before, painting wood is always fun. I used some real wood branches that I twisted and glued together to represent broken and rotten vegetation. Afterwards I used some oil paints (mainly dark browns and blacks) very diluted with white spirit to almost automatically create the wood grain effect. This is a very interesting and fast technique.

The Sign: For the sign I used the same painting process as for the tree in the giant's right hand. And considering that the figure was a project for the Italian Golden Demon y wrote "Tilea" (Italy in the Warhammer Fantasy universe) to represent the path the giant needed to follow :-)

The Water: To create the water effect I used some Artificial Water from Andrea Miniatures. It is a very liquid and clear two components element that dries in 24 hours crating a completely transparent surface. I needed to carefully create a little dam with some plasticard around the base to avoid the water to drip down when pouring it. Once the water was dry I removed the plasticard, filed down the sides of the water to align it with the rest of the base and applied some gloss varnish to keep the clear and transparent effect. Afterwards as a final touch I created some water crests applying some Vallejo Water Effects with a clean brush.

WEATHERING EFFECTS

Staining a figure is scary and interesting at the same time. It is usually done at the end of the whole painting process, once the painting of the figure is finished but it is too clean to be considered fully finished,

For this figure I used some brown pigments from MIG mixed with gloss varnish to create a fresh and humid effect, especially considering the fact that there is water and mud around... I applied the mix in random places but mainly in the feet, knees and the lower parts of the trousers (the areas that typically would get more dirty).

Some final touches et voilà! The project was over!

CONCLUSION

As I mentioned at the beginning this was the first large scale figure I painted and it gave me the opportunity to better understand how to use the airbrush in skin areas and how to create water in a realistic way. I hope you like it as much as I enjoyed painting it.

Details

  • Modello alto 32mm.
  • Dipinto ad acrilici
  • Produttore Games Workshop