Jump to content

Tabletop vs. High Tabletop vs. Diplay painting


Recommended Posts

I'm working on a blog post and wanted some input from y'all.

 

The post is about painting busts and going beyond the tabletop. But this got me thinking what do people consider table top. Like how would you paint a table top mini compared to a high tabletop mini compared to a display piece.

 

So what criteria do you need to meet to reach each of these three "standards" of painting?

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 5
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Moderator

Here is how I see it (with an added category):

 

TableTop: 

- Everything is painted.

- Lighting is done with three shades for each color: a base, a shadow, and a highlight.

- Eyes painted basically (dark-lined, whites, and a dark iris/pupil combo)

- Dark-lined

 

High Table Top:

- Everything is painted.

- Lighting is done with three or more shades for each color: a base, a shadow, and a highlight. Prominent features such as face, hair, and other eye catching details are painted to a higher degree with smooth transitions between color shades used for highlighting

- Eyes have dark-lined edges, whites, a colored iris, a black pupil, and a reflection dot (white dot from hell)

- Dark-lined

 

Display:

- Everything is painted.

- Lighting is done in shaded degrees for all parts with smooth transitions and a high level of attention to the lighting of the piece.

- Eyes have dark-lined edges, whites, a colored iris with highlight color, a black pupil, and a reflection dot (white dot from hell)

- Dark-lined

- Base is given attention as to the composition of the piece

 

Show:

- Everything is painted.

- Lighting is done in shaded degrees for all parts with smooth transitions and a high level of attention to the lighting of the piece.

- Eyes have dark-lined edges, whites, a colored iris with highlight color, a black pupil, and a reflection dot (white dot from hell)

- Dark-lined

- Attention is given to the composition of the piece, using the lighting of the piece to draw the eye to the prominent feature

- Base is crafted to show the piece in the best light possible.

- Everything on the piece is done to the best of my abilities given the time I have, pushing the boundaries of what I can do.

  • Like 7
  • Thanks 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A common way to distinguish is how far away from you the mini need to be to still look good. Tabletop looks good/fine looking down on the table while playing, but if you pick one up you can start seeing problems pretty fast.  High tabletop the distance where it looks good is in the 1-1.5 foot range, but when you look super close that face is derpy as it gets. Display is looking good no matter how close you look at it.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, SparrowMarie said:

I'm working on a blog post and wanted some input from y'all.

 

The post is about painting busts and going beyond the tabletop. But this got me thinking what do people consider table top. Like how would you paint a table top mini compared to a high tabletop mini compared to a display piece.

 

So what criteria do you need to meet to reach each of these three "standards" of painting?

 

This is something that I think about more than I really should.  And it's a thing that is a bit of a problem in the hobby: we pretty much lack a consistent language when describing the level of finesse used in any particular paint job.  We all have our own little variations of what "tabletop," as well as the other terms, really mean.

 

For myself:

 

I start with Block Color.  This is the way I learned to paint first, just getting the right color onto the right places of the mini.  No real highlights, no real shading.  A wash, some drybrushing, or black lining might be involved.

 

Tabletop starts with Block Color, and then adds washes and highlighting.  Real efforts to show shadows and highlights come into play.  Layering may also be in play, but it's more likely to be rough than to be smooth.  Advanced techniques (freehanding, OSL, NMM, etc.) are uncommon at this level.

 

Tabletop Plus incorporates Block Color and Tabletop, and then bumps the effort level.  Blends and layers start to smooth out, shading and highlights may become more directional, and advanced techniques are more common.

 

Display/Show minis are, to date, a bit of a mystery to me.  I kind of know what I would consider to be a show/display piece, but I don't believe that I've ever painted to that level and (frankly) am unlikely to get there.  Layers and blends should be fairly smooth at this level.  Advanced techniques, while not necessary, should be reasonably common.

 

One of these days, I think I'm going to get 4-6 of the same mini and work it up at various levels just so I can keep it straight in my own head.

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I categorically have the same mentality as@TaleSpinner 100%.

 

tabletop: 3 color shade to highlight


high tt: 5 colors shade to highlight

 

display: 6+ colors shade to highlight, superior lighting such as OSL, high attention to the base as being part of the composition but still requiring a diligent amount of work just on its own. 
 

show: greater than display and requiring many weeks-months worth of work on the total composition 

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I usually think of it as army/random monster, character/officer/boss monster (boss monster could also go in the army/ random monster category if the party will only see it once, or the display category if it's a fun model or I'm trying to make a really epic/ memorable encounter), display piece. 

 

I'm not good enough to have a separate show category yet. 

 

Army, or tabletop, would be "put the base colors on, add shadows and highlights with washed and drybrushing, to get something on the table."  Better than the average prepainted mini, but not by a lot. 

 

Character, or high tabletop, would be for officers in a war game, player characters, a recurring nemesis, or the like.  That generally involves blending, more layering, some freehand, and a basic base.  

 

High tabletop is probably about the limit of my ability at the moment, though I might add more effort into the base, and get more intricate on the freehand, of a display piece. 

Edited by Gryphon
  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...