Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Otherworld Evil Adventurers

As they have now been released, I thought I'd share some of the concept art I've done for the FA7 - Evil Adventurers mini-range from Otherworld miniatures.

Before pencil was put to paper, had an initial discussion on direction with Richard Scott at Otherworld, this included referencing some classic fantasy and Dungeons & Dragons references you might recognise in the final pieces, and a list of race-class combinations in traditional Dungeons & Dragons style. The general idea was to produce an Evil adventuring party that a group of adventurers might meet, or as miniatures to represent an Evil aligned player character option. Obviously the miniatures have to be in keeping with the current Otherworld Adventurers ranges - in ready and marching poses, rather than mid-action, and with backpacks and adventuring gear, as befits a dungeon explorer on the tabletop. Whilst the characters were to be of evil alignment,  eschew the excessive skulls, and spikey khaös deth mutant grimdark dungeonpunk goth tropes, but rather steer more towards the classic 80s Dungeons & Dragons look that is the hallmark of the Otherworld range.

So the general approach set and character list I started on some rough sketch work, keeping things fast, loose and small. A couple of examples, sketchbook pages for the Evil Dwarf and Evil Fighter:

Evil Dwarf Concept Sketches
Evil Fighter Concept Sketches
These drawings aren't really fit for human consumption, they're not 'cooked'. They are working drawings defining the character and concept and a way of quickly refining a myriad of ideas towards a final outcome, in true 'back of a napkin' style. Each of the drawings are about 1" tall and for helping make broad-brush decisions about the character silhouette, basic pose, shapes and key features.

One of the design options for each character was elected from rough sketches to go forward to the next stage, with any further direction or options carried through to the pencil drawings, which I then inked by hand before being scanned and passed over to the sculptor, in this case Drew Williams of Satyr Art Studios  to base the sculpt the of the final miniature on.

FA71 – Evil Fighter in Plate Armour

Evil Fighter Concept Art

Evil Fighter Miniature

FA72 – Evil Cleric with Staff & Mace

Evil Cleric Concept Art
Evil Cleric Miniature

FA73 – Evil Magic User with Staff

Evil Wizard Concept Art
Evil Wizard Miniature

FA74 – Evil Necromancer with Staff

Evil Necromancer Concept Art
Evil Necromancer Miniature

FA75 – Evil Dwarf Fighter with Battleaxe

Evil Dwarf Fighter Concept Art
Evil Dwarf Fighter Miniature

FA76 – Evil Female Elf Assassin with Sword & Dagger

Evil Female Elf Assassin Concept Art
Evil Female Elf Assassin Miniature

FA77 – Evil Half-orc Barbarian with 2 Axes

Evil Half-orc Barbarian Concept Art
Evil Half Orc Barbarian Miniature

FA78 – Evil Halfling Fighter/thief with Shortsword & Dagger

Evil Halfling Concept Art
Evil Halfling Miniature
As I'm sure you'll agree Drew did an excellent job of translating my two dimensional line art into three dimensional miniatures, making small tweaks here and there for casting and refinement of the design, and I'm really pleased with how well these have turned out. 

These models were painted by Andrew Taylor - and it's great how the colour choices are spot on, some like the Evil Wizard are, of course, perfect and simply couldn't be anything else, in contrast the Evil Elf going full-on Drow, was a complete surprise, and revealed that her to be something of a gender-swapped Drizzt, which is great in itself and also brings to life the Otherworld ethos of taking classic iconography and giving it a fresh twist. The contrast between the cold and warm blacks on the Evil Necromancers layered robes are really quite skill full, and as a set they all look downright dirty and nasty.

Hope you've enjoyed taking a look at my concept drawings for the FA7# Evil Adventurers Series They are available now from the Otherworld Miniatures online store, priced between £5-£8.


  1. Wonderful--a good insight into the process, thanks.

  2. Very cool stuff! I always love getting to see process/behind the scenes stuff.

    I like how subtle the "evil" touches are. When painted suitably, like this, it's clear, but I feel like most of them could also work as good guys with a different paint job.

    And as for the Evil Wizard, well, I would guess that some call him...Tim. ;)

    1. Cheers! The Evil Wizard knows much that is hidden ;)

      It is fascinating how pop-culture associates colour with morality. Only need to swap blue for black to make Superman evil, or change black to white and gold to make Vader good. Of course out in the 'real world' from football to cars to evening wear, none of that really holds true.

      A specifically Lawful Good set of adventurers would likely take a different approach. The Fighter, for example, would be less skulking, more upright and noble of bearing, and wouldn't have his face completely hidden. Would be an interesting project to do.

    2. Yeah, if the goal was to specifically show them as good, a different approach would be taken from the start. But I'd wager that a significant number of the minis resulting from that approach could still work as evil with the right paint job.

      Also, one of my favourite recent examples of subverting that colour coding is Captain Phasma from Star Wars. Pretty much just a space version of classic Knight in Shining Armour imagery, but she still always comes across as a baddy.

    3. Everybody loves Captain Phasma! A subversion of the 'goodly knight' motif is interesting take on her design, which reminds me I need to watch Excalibur again. Her black and silver aesthetic puts me in mind of the Centurions from the 70s Battlestar Galactica series - likewise the Poe/Finn jacket and the Colonial Warriors. The evil super shiny silver (in)humannoid metallic robot-person, from Cybermen to Gort, but Star Wars has always played with a dehumanising glossy, stark, clean uniformity of evil vs. a more disheveled rag-tag goodly humanity. Whatever colour they are, there's no painting over the grumpy-face emoji of the Stormtrooper / First Order Trooper helmet, similarly a dwarf with spiked knuckle-dusters gloves is always going to look like more of a dirty fighter than one renown for upholding dwarven honor.

  3. Fantastic stuff. Really love the behind-the-scenes material. Doesn't hurt that Otherworld is one of my favourite modelmakers - funny that Drew was the sculptor as I'd just emailed him today about a different old-school project. Small world!

    1. Thanks Dallas! Otherworld has a good stable of talent, and Richard has a keen eye for the old school aesthetic

      I'm working with Drew on a project for his Satyr Miniatures range right now, so more collaboration on it's way!

  4. Great art, great minis. Well don!

    1. Thanks JB, glad you like the art and the minis!

  5. That's awesome. Nice work.
    I have several of these miniatures & currently using the Halfling Thief "Fflyn" as my model in a D&D game :-)

    1. That's excellent, glad you like them Paul. Hope Fflyn gets a good haul on his next dungeon delve.