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About Swanton

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    Mostly Harmless
  1. They were fun to paint, and I'm very much still learning. I haven't painted in several months, but I think I will get back into it this summer. I like using the painted minis while playing and DMing, especially for the PCs.
  2. Hello, It's been a long break since I posted, but I recently had several minis I painted for PCs in my D&D 4e campaign get featured on Robot Viking. Please check them out, and if you are playing D&D, please also check out my blog at The Id DM. Happy to hear feedback!
  3. I am working on yet another mini for a player in my campaign, a Tiefling Wizard. This mini is sooo perfect for a variety of reasons, because the player is a scene-stealing wizard that flexes anytime a natural 20 is rolled. haha (Good times) So, I once again started by priming it and then covering the mini with black. I wasn't happy with how flat the leather cloak looked; I wanted it to be more "rock n' roll" so I added some Silver to the black and added a layer or two of that. It's still dark black, but it gives a better sheen to the coat. The red skin has been a challenge because I'm not sure how to highlight and shade it. I don't want to turn pink - so I may just leave it as is. Thoughts? (the same questions apply to a lesser extent with the hair) I have a similar concern about the orb in his staff. I feel like this should have a glowing quality, but I don't want to mute the colors there. Suggestions? And finally, I want to give more depth to the white fur on his coat, but when I tried a wash, it took on a grunge/dirty quality that I don't exactly want. I think I'd rather leave it really bright than too dirty looking. How would you handle giving the fur some "umpf"? Any other thoughts are welcome. I'm really happy with his eyes! It took me painting on a demon to be really happy with the eyes - go figure!
  4. Long time, no posts. I have been busy painting from time to time and believe I'm making some progress. The following are presented in order of when I worked on them, although there was some overlap with finishing the Ranger and starting on the Fighter. First off, the archer in the party, Alistrilee (now named Lelu in the campaing): It took me awhile to find a color scheme I liked. I knew the cloak would be a dark green and I wanted to go with a brown leather look for the armor but everything felt drab. I tried to spruce it up with a purple undershirt but that just stood out and clashed. I was somewhat inspired by the Elves in the prologue from Fellowship of the Ring; I tried to give the armor a bit of a bronze/copper feel that might be aging. I messed around with a couple of blends - mixing Ancient Bronze with Green and changing the ratio to get the opposite effect. I'm happy with how it turned out; it's much better than my first pass on the figure. I was happy to finally paint some decent looking eyes! That also took forever, but I'm happy I stuck with it. I tried something a bit different with the second figure. Instead of starting from a white primer base, I primed it and then painted the entire figure black: A few notes; the guy that plays the Black Legionnaire (now named Krackus Urlacher) is a "kick in the door and fight the monsters" type of player. Very fun to DM for because he takes on any challenge. He is also a big Houston Texans fan, so that is where the color scheme comes from. I wanted to try something different from the woodsy look I went with on the last two elves (including the one above). I think the black base really helps to make the colors pop, although I needed many coats to get them as bright as I wanted. I toyed with the idea of trying some freehand on the shield, but left it as is with the skull on the front as the main area of focus. I didn't take pictures before taking the figure to the game, so the pics are as clear as I'd like. Always happy to hear feedback.
  5. Swanton


    Thanks for the feedback. I was basing the color scheme on a plastic mini that the player has been using and it had the bright yellow hair. I tried to mix in some subtle yellow-white highlights but kept it mostly yellow. I will use those tips in the future. Another player in my campaign uses a mini with flaming orange hair, so I welcome any suggestions for that mixture. I feel like at first it was a lot of work to simply notice the different details of the mini. I feel like I'm in a "paint-by-numbers" phase and I'm just happy when the edges are clean. I think the next step is to focus on the shading and highlights.
  6. I posted some photos of the finished figure. Thank you for all the feedback. I keep working on getting better.
  7. Swanton


    Well, I skipped creating a Work In Progress thread for this one because it came together faster than I anticipated. I've learned that working on more than one mini at a time is very helpful since it allows me to focus on small details on each figure without getting bogged down in boredom. I've also learned that painting throughout the day/week in small bursts if more effective than devoting an hour or more at any given time. Perhaps that is just me, but it also helps my back, which seems to get wrecked if I sit around painting too long! Anyway, I'm pretty happy with how this female ranger turned out; she is for one of the members of a campaign I'm running who plays as a twin-strike elven ranger. I feel like I'm improving a bit. I am even partially satisfied with her face although I know I could have spent more time on shading and highlights. I think this robe looks much more dynamic than my last mini, although some of the blending seems "off" to me. Thoughts? I tried to make her dagger look like there was some dried blood on it; not sure of my success there. I experimented with some freehand on her sword but my blacks were too messy for painting elven runes, so I just attempted to make the sword look weathered. Again, not sure of the success there. Oh, and final thing. You'll notice a "blob" around her right shoulder. The mini came in pieces and the glue dried in less than concealable fashion. I tried to paint over it to make it look like part of the clothing/armor. How do you handle the mess of glue when the figures come in pieces? Can you go in with a knife after it dries and clean it up a bit? Here are the photos:
  8. Swanton

    Unthar Godshand

    I've been working on Brother George here for a few weeks. I found a great human cleric figure and thought it would make a fine match for one of the players in my 4e campaign I'm running. This is the second mini I consider "completed" although I know I could still improve some things. Overall, I'm happy with the result although working on his eyes drove me crazy (I will keep practicing on future minis). Here are some photos of the final product, although I took these in the early morning and the light in my room was less than ideal. I have one of the OTT Lites, which really helps to paint, but isn't the best when taking pictures. Any tips?
  9. Thank you for the feedback. I feel like a bit of a dope asking the question, but I've only painted a few minis and doing any kind of modification is beyond me at this point. I think my next step will be trying to base the minis.
  10. Does anyone have suggestions for a Dragonborn Rogue? I haven't had too much luck with the Figure Finder in locating good Dragonborn options. Thank you!
  11. I'm just happy the orange/yellow sun symbol looks decent. I think I'll leave the rest of the shield plain. Besides, I don't have any freehand to speak of! I should have more pictures of him soon. How do you go about incorporating graying hair? I thinned out wash of grey?
  12. Swanton

    Goblin Ranger

    Thank you for the feedback. I am working on an female elf at the moment and putting the finishing touches on a human cleric. I continue to have a very difficult time with eyes! I've thought about getting him a new base but I feel like I need to focus on painting for now. If and when I get more skilled with that, then I will turn my attention to the bases.
  13. I started working on him a few weeks ago and these are the first photos I've taken. I feel like he is coming along pretty well, although I applied a wash and it made the cloak too "grungy." I'm going to have to hit that again with the Phoenix Red to brighter it up. I also want to try to add in some eyes and eyebrows, which will be a challenge. I am pleased with the shield so far. I mixed a bit of the silver to bring out the emblem in the shield, which seems to have worked. Here are some photos:
  14. The completed Goblin Ranger can now be seen here. Thank you for all the tips!!
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