When I find myself in a hobby rut and can't get my creative mojo back together I look to other sources for inspiration. I'm primarily a reader but I have also become something of a binge watching glutton. A third source for firing the imagination is computer gaming and while I find the medium as a whole hasn't reached it's potential for good storytelling there are some good ones to be found
The Telltale Games interactive PC games are what sold me on The Walking Dead universe. At the time I had only watched a single episode of the AMC series, and didn't think much of "Wildfire". The game was more than a year old and on sale. I was in a mood for a good yarn with some interesting character's and I wasn't disappointed.
Lee belongs in an old country song; The kind that a storyteller like Willie Nelson tells. A story of love gone wrong, jealousy, then murder, then a peculiar swerve. On the way to prison society reaches the end of it's own road. It's interesting to see a string of so many classic Old West tropes end in zombie apocalypse. What makes Lee such a wonderful character is that the world changes but the nature of the classic hero doesn't. He becomes a protector and father figure to Clementine and chooses a path of redemption and sacrifice.
While Lee is a well worn, familiar archetype Clementine is a far more complex character that had me asking far more questions. Almost from his introduction I knew how Lee's story would end. Clem's story continues and remains a mystery to me. Clementine raises questions that challenge my amateur sociologist/psychologist and have more contemporary relevance than Rousseau's Emile. What defines the mind of a child and how severe are the ramifications of their upbringing on their development? I thought that Clementine's evolution into a, "small adult" or hyper competent was the only reasonable iteration as a survivor. In some respects the character's experience would be comparable to the life of a child soldier. Throughout the run of the AMC program and the Telltale's series I've found her a more compelling case for a child in a zombie apocalypse than Carl; At least one that has the capacity to survive independently.
When Mantic released a Lee and Clem set earlier this year they were on my, "must have" mini list but with the special release at events that seemed quite unlikely, and the greedy sellers on Ebay did nothing to make it any more likely. Fortunately, Mantic expanded the production and I managed to place an order in late November. It arrived shortly before Christmas, but I didn't get around to painting them until now. The set goes on the books as my first painted models for 2018.
|This image by akandrov was one of the helpful references I was able to goggle up as a painting guide.|
Before I started painting them I had a look at in game assets and fan drawings online to develop a paint plan . I knew that I wanted Lee and Clem to share a selection of colours that bound them together. The blues and tans of Lee's clothing are repeated in Clementine's with the addition of magenta, but without the grey. The image above won a prize for giving me the best view of Clem's backpack