I’m getting a slow start on 2022, mainly because my painting desk is in complete disarray as I look for a better way to organize the paint racks of doom. Still, I’ve managed to paint a couple of miniatures this year so far, one of which is my Character of the Month for Tom’s (@the_goodground) painting challenge over on Instagram. If you recall, Tom came up with the completely original idea of painting one miniature each month of an official Dungeons & Dragons character class from the 5E Player’s Handbook. Well, who am I to turn down that kind of challenge? It’s pure genius!
Of course, anyone taking part might be tempted to write a complete backstory for the miniatures they paint in a challenge like this, but not me. I’m content with simply painting my miniature and showing it off, thank you very much. Who has time for back stories? That way lies madness.
I decided Tom’s unique painting challenge is a good excuse to paint up some old, classic lead; something I have long chastised myself that I do not do enough of. So, I’m starting things off with a classic Ral Partha miniature from their AD&D Dragonlance line: 11-073, Lord Gunthar uth Wistan, Knight of the Rose and Grandmaster of the Knights of Solamnia. (Sadly, I don’t know who sculpted this miniature.) Both of those honorifics are simply fancy titles for what Lord Gunthar is, at heart: a human fighter.
That’s Lord Gunthar on top of the dragon, there; in pretty much the only picture I’ve ever seen of him. This was from the 1985 Dragonlance calendar and was painted by the great Larry Elmore. Lord Gunthar is a guy in plate armor with a huge mustache. He isn’t described much differently in the books, and he isn’t a primary character. (On a side note, although I love Larry Elmore as much as any kid who grew up in the 1980’s playing Dungeons & Dragons does; I’m not wild about the dragon in this picture. I think he looks kind of insectoid.)
Anyway, the picture doesn’t really help much, since most of Lord Gunthar’s body and his rear are not depicted. The miniature doesn’t include the dragon, either; so he’s far less impressive than he is in the painting; and it’s not exactly faithful to the image (although it’s close). So, I had to wing it a bit.
Here he is: The Grand Master of the Knights of Solamnia: Lord Gunthar uth Wistan, who should be about a 15th level fighter or so. If you want to read his backstory (but why would you?), you can read the original Dragonlance Chronicles. Or, skip that and find the abbreviated version here.
The miniature is fine, I guess; but the Knights of Solamnia are renowned for having highly stylized and ornamental armor. Lord Gunthar’s armor is kind of plain. Even his scabbard is unadorned. Not really living up to the whole Grand Master of Knights look.
I think I will enjoy this challenge a lot this year. I had fun painting this classic miniature and I’m looking forward to doing more.
Great looking knight Keith, enjoy the use of the blue in the plate, giving it a more polished look, than just silver, and the hair colour looks very realistic.
Can’t believe anyone would be mad enough to try writing back stories for all their entries ! LOL
Glad you noticed the blue, Dave! I gave it a wash of Drakenhof Nightshade, then reapplied the highlights. He looked a bit too silver for me; especially since the armor has no ornamentation at all to offset it.
And yeah…it would be utterly mad to write up a backstory for each miniature!
Nice figure and very well painted as usual, I have to say though that I was very drawn to his base (sorry), I’m impressed with your stonework there, I really like that look.
Best of luck with the rest of the challenge mate.
Thanks! The stonework on the base is Gale Force Nine “Rocky Basing Grit”. To my eye, it looks like crushed walnut shells. Once they’re painted, they really look like stone!
Nice painting, Keith! As Dave says, the blue tint really adds to the armour, and his face is really well painted. His ‘stache is certainly magnificently flowing! I like the base too, it’s very effective. Shame about the missing backstory, but I can totally understand your reasons for not doing those again. Great to see you back to painting! My desk was a bomb site for months and I’ve just cleaned it up, and ordered more paint stands as two of mine have basically collapsed.
Thanks, Matt. I’m still getting things in order, and I think I may do a post on my new setup. It’s awesome and easy to do, and I have plenty of room for all my paints!