Quoting one of my favourite Black Label Society tracks, December 2019 represents a new beginning for me, at the end of another whirling year: my girlfriend as returned from Canada, we are approaching to the Second Government release (everything proceeds as planned!), and I've got plenty of mighty ideas to make the upcoming year, the very best of Durgin Paint Forge career!
At the moment, however, let me show you the latest Elf sculpted by Valerio for our new range: the Elf Archer B!
I'm really having fun with these guys, especially the Archer characters (I'm planning to make 4-5 of them) that have developed this minimalist, sneaky style!
Elf Archers, in fact, work as a kind of guerrilla group, ambushing the invaders into the thick of the woods and getting them into a frustrating hit&run firefight (well, arrowsfight!).
For this character, in particular, I wanted a vibe of East-Asian guerrilla, expanding the Asian look of our Elves that you've already seen in the first Elf Warrior. It's not easy at all to balance these features with the basic style of our Elves and, above all, the South-American style, but I think that it works so good and has given birth to a complex, yet solid, overall aesthetic!
This character has simple, smooth design: after all, it represents a common Elf, a basic troop, probably an average civilian that serves the kingdom helping to patrol its borders.
As always, before designing new characters, I try to imagine their society, way of life and social context: my Elves, in particular, developed a kind of socialist-clan based-monarchy, where the single villages, despite they must obey to the crown's will and rules, have a kind of autarchic structure. Each Elf must protect their lands and must actively take part in their growth: for this reason, I imagine that an average individual, inside Elf society, has duties that go beyond his/her job: each Elf is a perfectly functional gear of a complex system!
I imagine this character not as a proper soldier, Elves have not a properly organised army (we can imagine that in case of an incredibly serious menace, all clans must send their best Elves-at-arms under the command of a highborn leader), but rather as a civilian temporarily recruited to serve his clan as a sentinel.
Looking at him, I imagine he's normally a fisherman, or something like that, I don't know why but I think he has the right look of an Elf fisherman!
Despite warriors, that for obvious reasons have to be more trained in warfare, I imagine that Archers/Sentinels are not professional soldiers: they just defend their lands, taking turns, from any kind of not-welcomed being (so, a very long list!), and then they just return to their normal jobs.
You can see this idea by looking at the clothes of this character: a simple straw hat and a comfortable cloak made of leaves, that help to hide the Elf among the foliage. He has not highly decorated equipment or unnecessary frills, everything is designed to be simple but effective: it's like Apple design, but without consuming your whole heritage!
Inside the pipeline of our sculpts, imagine this character as the fresh ginger that you have to eat between one type of sushi and another, to refresh your mouth and prepare it to change the flavor and properly taste it: after the first Elf Warrior, I need something simple and refreshing, to prepare your mouth (well, eyes) for the next character, that indeed will be one of the main course of our Elf feast: the first Elf Knight!