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Ral Partha: Troll

02583: Townsfolk Inkeeper

02583: Townsfolk Wench

03584 Dar Dimplefoot, Halfling Thief

Otherworld Miniatures - Evil Acolytes II

77020: Bathalian (Bones)

02188: Knight Templar

77043: Eye Beast (Bones)

01-317: Ral Partha Wizard



Hi, Everyone.


This is probably going to be a long post, filled with pictures, but hey, isn't that what we are all here for? :)


Fair warning - I am by no means a professional painter, I have never entered a contest, but I do strive for good tabletop minis.


I am a little nervous, as I am sure everyone on these forums are...but I figured, this would be a good place to document progression, share with the community, and get feedback. What use is a mini that is rarely seen?


With that all being said, lets go through some former history.


Circa 2006








I really dont think there is a person alive who has not painted one of these.


At the time, I wasn't thinning paints at all, just going straight from the bottle.


Moved across the country. Hadn't painted in years. Got asked by one of the guys in my gaming group if I would be willing to do up his collection of plastic minis. I said sure, if you pay for the tools and paints. We struck a deal, so half of my collection was paid for...well, half at one point. As we all know, painting stuff has a tendancy to grow.


The Workspace, a few months ago. I now have a cutting mat and a Master's Cake. :)





The Tools:







Remember what I said about collections growing? Both of those containers are now filled, I don't have a single spot left in my paint box for another bottle, and I think I have somewhere around 9 or 10 WN/Davinci's.


Last week, and the topic of a post elsewhere on these forums (I have to get the sheen down, and I want to do something a little more elaborate with the base.) I'm REALLY new to basing, have only actually added terrain to 2 minis (in the last 2 weeks) in my history of painting, so expect some newer stuff to be "properly" based.




You know how when you take a picture of a mini you notice something you never saw before? Well, I REALLY hope I fixed the chip on his knuckles before I varnished him....






And the current project....whereupon I finally get to show you work in progress...


One note on this: I have never, before this mini, worked with "warm and cool whites," nor have I ever done any major league "proper" layering, but because of how much I knew he was going to be used, I wanted to do him up "right."


Also, I am experimenting with camera settings to get things looking better. Please bear with me as I get things more dialed in.






Basecoated. I usually work in sections, and for the life of me don't really know why I started the apron this early on.




After an ink wash, before I started really working on skin tones.




Skin tones created, hair completed, eyes in. What bothers me about this picture, and every other one you will see of his face is that because of the camera, it looks like he has an "A" across his face, and the shadows really are NOT that deep. I know I can be sloppy sometimes, but this just doesn't look accurate to the mini at all when you are actually looking at it.




Started doing layering on the apron, and at some point, slipped with the brush, putting that blob on his nose and lip.




Apron layering complete.





Sadly, I don't have any pictures of the interim, where I was messing around with his back...but this is where it ended up.




....and that is where we are. I'm hoping to have this guy done tomorrow, but depending on how much time I have, it may or may not happen.


Told you this would be a long post! :P


Looking back, I already can see some things I have adjusted, or changed about my own style. I don't paint from the pot anymore. I don't fully rely on washes to do shades, and layering is just a brand new game to me, one I never would have had the confidence to try before. I can only wonder where I will be a year from now...


Cheers, all, and as always, comments are welcomed, and appreciated!

Edited by galladril
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Nice minis. I agree that your next leap forward will be improved basing. At a minimum I recommend filling the slot of the slotta base. For years I simply puttied the slot over or puttied the broccoli base onto a slotta base. Slopped sone Elner's glue on the base. Spooned some sand on it. Brush the loose sand off once the glue is dry and then painted it green.


Now days I do different things including adding tufts of Army Painter grass tufts...awesome stuff for basing.

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One of the things you don't see in that picture is the terrain I have purchased. I got a couple of GF9 tins with static grass, coarse and fine grit, and the cement blocks, just to get started. It's something I always wanted to mess around with.


As for the slotta base...I wasn't working with greenstuff at all at the time, but I'll never let that happen again. That is actually one of my main complaints about those 2 knights.....


Thanks for the comments!

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@Uber - I would search ebay for him. I actually purchased him when you could find him at stores. He has been waiting a long, long time to get painted. I still need to do something extra with the base, and Dull Cote him down a bit....and make sure his knuckle isn't screwed up. :)


Got a little bit of painting done yesterday, as was the hope.




Cup and rag completed.




Pants started.




Little closer detail, you can see I got his "armcuffs" finished as well....might need to fix up that grey blob on the underside of the "right" arm.




Pants completed. I specficially used that lighter color to act as a visual separator between the brown on the boots and the reddish-brown of the pants.


"Herbert" the Tavern Barkeep is pretty much finished up, with the exception of the base, which, I have no idea how I am going to do. Any suggestions?


I have to say, I'm really pretty happy with him. I feel like I gave him justice. Hindsight being 20/20, I wish I would have rebased him to put him on a "wooden" floor, but I've never really cut up a miniature, and don't wanna screw it up, now that he is painted.


So, as luck would have it, I got an Ott-Light yesterday. We literally had one in the house that wasn't being used, that I had NO idea we even HAD. Because of that, and because the original pictures were pretty outdated, I took some new ones of my current workspace.





Keen observers may notice I'm working on the Crypt of the Vampiress, along with 3 other minis... :)




View from the chair.


So, to keep things interesting, as I am sure many of you do, I work on multiple miniatures as I wait for coats to dry. I really only focus on ONE when I'm trying to do something a little "higher" ended, like Ol' Herbert.


As previously mentioned, half of my painting setup was paid for by one of the gamers in my group, cause he wanted his game pieces painted. Well, that particular game is Talisman...I'm sure some of you know it.


Talisman minis come with "character sheets," so I have been using the artwork on those as a basis for the paint job, not straying too much.


Talisman Minotaur: Plastic - Fantasy Flight Games







As you can see, all I have done for him is the basecoat, but I have a feeling this mini isnt going to take long at all. Couple drybrushes on the fur, a little work put into his "robe," swords, and horns, and this one should be good to go. I love miniatures like this - you can really just go on autopilot and relax.


Current issues: I gotta figure out what to do for Herbert's base, same as with the troll, and Dullcote the troll.


As always, comments and suggestions are appreciated, and all the "likes" on the post above is helping to give me confidence in showing off.


Thanks, everyone. :)

Edited by galladril
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Funny how things work out, isn't it? I thought this would be a piece of cake, and its turning into a pain.


I realized last night that even after going over (what I thought) every millimeter of this guy, I had everything basecoated. I didn't.


Secondly, I really try not to take artistic liberties if I am painting a mini that is based on a drawing, and I've been doing that.


This one is not ending up where I want it to be. I don't think it looks BAD, neccessarily....but I know I can do better.


Then again, it's tabletop, so perhaps I'm being too harsh on myself?






(No spot on his eyebrow, light hit it in a weird way)




I need to clean up the stitching on the sheaths, for sure....for I honestly may just redo all of them a little darker.




Cheers, All!

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Happy Monday, Everyone.


This was a good weekend.


First, a few things I ordered came in. I love getting packages, and have some more stuff that will be delivered this week (paints and pinning tools, primarily.) My collection of tools is growing even more. I am one of these guys who would rather pay a little more up front and have something, vs. be in the middle of a project and need to stop it in order to get a tool or materials.




I got some grey and black primer. I have never tried using black before, but want to give it a shot on a few upcoming projects. The grey was more just to have "in case of."


I am sure you are all familiar with milliput. I had almost none, and I will be using it, en masse, for a few new projects (specifically on bases.)


I needed a decent set of clippers...mine weren't really rugged, nor did they cut really well.


I also got 2 12in x 12in styrene sheets, again for basing.




I have a lot of minis that I will be getting in the next few months thanks to Kickstarter. I like these Plano cases for storage.


Hmm, whats in the top there....?




/me smiles wickedly...looks like an upcoming project....one I would need milliput and pinning materials for....




This stuff is actually kinda hard to find, and expensive to ship, so when I ordered it, I wanted to make sure I had enough to last me a log, long time. Did I go overboard? Probably, but I know it will get used.


Onto painting.


I completed the Minotaur. I did wind up darkening down the leather straps on him, just because it was driving me crazy. I did also clean up the lines a little bit, and the few blotches of paint / areas where there was no paint. Didn't take super long, and I don't really feel like I deviated much from the existing artwork.






So you know those minis that you are really excited to paint, and then when you get in process of actually doing it, it becomes an absolute nightmare?


This is that mini.


Talisman Elf in Plastic - Fantasy Flight Games




Originally, I was thinking to myself, "Cool - I get to work on lining, shading...this one will be fun."


Then, I began to actually paint it.


A green tree trunk, I can almost understand, from natural moss growth. A sliver bow....ehhhh.....


The major problem with these older Talisman minis is a real lack of detail, and way too many flat spots. Primer doesn't really stick to the plastic well, either, and they go from a fun upcoming project to a nightmare.


This particular mini was on my table, half finished, for over 3 months, because I didn't know what to do, how to correct it, how to give it some life.


This weekend, I bit the bullet and decided, "I'm really sick of looking at you, and you are going to get finished."


I don't have WIP shots, so all I can give you is the completed piece but all I can say is that this thing tested my nerves, patience, made me hate plastic that much more, and was directly responsible for me taking a break from painting for about 6 weeks.





So, with 2 down, I started up the next project, and made decent headway:


Talisman Dwarf in Plastic - Fantasy Flight Games






Look closely at his right boot. See that "scratch?" That is how fragile primer is on these things, even after 2 sprays.




So, lets get skin done.




And now, lets give some color to his armor.






So far, so good.


Now, here is where the problem begins, and I hope you guys can help me out.


The cloak itself will be shades of red. That symbol, however.....


I could do white, but red and white seem to be "common."


I could do black...but then it might be too dark, and take something away from the red.


I could do silver, or gold, to go with the armor...but then there is a metallic color on a cloth cloak.


I have no idea what color to paint this thing.




As always, comments, and critique are welcome.


Cheers, All, and Happy Painting!

Edited by galladril
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It was...an interesting weekend.


The first thing I did was got the dwarf completed. After hemming and hawing, I chose to paint the symbol on his back in white.I didn't take too many pics in the interim, so I know there is a big "jump" from what he did look like to the completed mini, but here he is. Dwarf: Officially done.





Second, I decided to give the troll's base the attention and detail he deserved, after cleaning up his chipped knuckle.






This is a mix of GF9 Dirt Foundation + Marsh Grass, and I added some crushed walnut kitty litter to act as "rock" piles.


I think the base turned out pretty well, but I need to watch a tutorial on proper application of static grass, so that it "stands up" a little more. Remember, I have almost no basing experience, so this is part of my learning curve.


Finally, with the basing done, I decided to get some of the sheen down on his finish. If you checked out this thread, you know I was having issues with the Krylon Matte I used before, making him too shiny. Dullcote worked perfectly. Troll officially done.


Next up, I began changing the base around on the Barkeep, something that terrified me, and the subject of a thread over here.


I ran out and bought a Black & Decker rotary tool (a Dremel,) and began by clipping away the large chunks with my pair of wire cutters.




I then wrapped him up in a sheet of plastic wrap, to try to protect as much of the paint as I could, and began to grind him down.




Not the best, not the worst. This isn't going to be a competition entry, after all. I really don't know what I did though to allow his pants to get that damaged, especially being wrapped up in plastic.


I then cleaned him up a small bit using my hand files in the areas I didn't want to use the Dremel for.


So, remember what I said about "I'd rather have something when the time comes?"


I have a pin drill since I rebuilt my kit. I never used it before. I had never even pinned a miniature before - never did custom basing, and never did a multipart model that couldn't be attached with anything more than glue.


I had also purchased brush on primer, specifically to be able to do touch ups if I needed to, before putting on a varnish.


2 things I had never used before, both got used.


So, knowing that I was going to pin the barkeep down onto a "custom" base, I began to drill into his feet - my first ever "drilling experience."


Exactly 9 seconds later:






I guess this happens to pretty much everyone the first time they start drilling & pinning, and I actually chuckled inside a small bit before cursing.


I was really lucky in the fact that I started with a smaller bit than I needed. I moved up to the "right" size, and began to drill.




Pin holes created to proper depths, and widths. I'm actually kinda happy with how this is going so far. Drilling was easaier than expected.


I then primed up the damaged areas.




After getting him primed, I whipped out my hobby knife and diamond files, and started to prep more miniatures for paint, including primer, but I wont waste your time with more pictures - You will see them eventualy.


Finally, I took the Dremel and ground down 2 bases of 2 other minatures I will be painting up in this "set," one of which is right here:


Sorry, I didn't many pictures of the interim. I kinda got into the zone, and didn't think about the camera.





As I was doing her up, I realized something major, and I think it is going to change the way I paint. When I was trying to wash her face and breasts, the wash was too runny for any of the pigment to really stay where I wanted it to. You can look at those images and see where it ultimately wound up getting : everywhere except where I wanted it.


I chose to start actually painting darklines. Once that was done, I began to work on layering her dress. I am really beginning to think that instead of using inks and washes, layering, while it takes a lot more time, is ultimately going to give me the look I really want. I don't think there are "problems" with using inks and washes, but this seems to happen to me EVERY time I do a wash. I have to repeat it a hundred times, and it never flows the way I want it to, or look the way I'm hoping for it to look. Maybe I have gotten to the point where, for my own miniatures, "good enough" no longer is?


So, I would say this has been a weekend that was almost less about painting, and more about learning.


I got some stuff completed, sure, but now I know I can properly pin, and why to be careful in doing so.


I know that DullCote works for my preferences over Krylon Matte.


I learned that patience can lead to decent layering paintjobs - her dress took me about 60 minutes across 6 blends of blue.


Most importantly, I learned that proper planning and work on a mini means no terrifying moments of taking a set of cutters and a Dremel to a decent paintjob - a mistake I will not be making again.


Up next:


Creation of the Barkeep's new base (waiting on supplies that will be here this week,) and finishing up the barmaid.


Happy Painting, All!

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I had the same problem with washes, and I found that using a mixture of water and matte medium helps. I'm still trying to figure out the best ratio, but I think it's somewhere around 1:4:4 to 1:6:3 paint:water:medium

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I had the same problem with washes, and I found that using a mixture of water and matte medium helps. I'm still trying to figure out the best ratio, but I think it's somewhere around 1:4:4 to 1:6:3 paint:water:medium


Does that formula apply to ink washes as well, or just paint washes?


I have some matte medium, but I haven't really figured out how to use it - I actually bought it to use as an additive to paints in the pallate in case something was a little too "gloopy."

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Does that formula apply to ink washes as well, or just paint washes?


I have some matte medium, but I haven't really figured out how to use it - I actually bought it to use as an additive to paints in the pallate in case something was a little too "gloopy."

I have never used ink washes, so I don't know if they would act the same way. Matte medium is basically paint with no pigment, so you can you use it to reduce the opacity of paints without changing their consistency much. If you have gloopy paint, best to thin it with water.

Edited by fanguad
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I have never used ink washes, so I don't know if they would act the same way. Matte medium is basically paint with no pigment, so you can you use it to reduce the opacity of paints without changing their consistency much. If you have gloopy paint, best to thin it with water.


For paint, I thin with water only.


For the ink washes, I use roughly: 1 drop of ink, 1 drop of flow aid (to break the surface tension and kill bubbles,) and 10-13 drops of water.


Maybe the flow aid is what is causing the issue?

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Long update, and this is probably out of order – my painting over the past few weeks has been slightly sporadic, and I know I was working on multiple projects at once while I was waiting for glue or paint to dry.


I got my styrene strips in and began to work on the bases that I tore apart the barkeep in order to make.


If anyone wants to follow along with the process, there is a really in-depth tutorial on how to do this

. I cannot stress this guy enough – he is a really great painter, and easy to follow.


Basically, you score the strips to create the woodgrain, glue them to something flat (I used a 1in x 1in different piece of styrene,) and then cut, and sand.






Interesting sidenote, after spending about 90 minutes to create these 3 bases, I found out about this Kickstarter, which I am backing. I like the look of the wood planks I have created, but styrene strips aren’t exactly cheap, and the process of making the bases isn’t exactly easy, although, in fairness, this was my first time trying to do something like this, so I am assuming it becomes easier, and quicker with time.


Basecoat, drybrushing, and a few washes later:




You will note that one of the bases has 2 holes for pinning in it. That is because the only miniature out of the trio I will be pinning is the barkeep himself. The other 2 had their bases ground down flat and trimmed with the Dremel, so I will simply be gluing them directly to the wooden planks, but before that the styrene bases needed to be glued down to the actual “bases” they will be on.




For my first time doing it, I’m pretty happy with these. I could have cleaned them up a little bit more, but I actually like the “wood slivers,” and I really think these are going to give the Tavern set a little more flair – I just wish I would have had this idea before I fully painted the barkeep.


Onto the barmaid: Not TOO much progress, but a little bit. The apron is actually a few shades of grey, but it’s still hard to see. Painting “white” is definitely testing my skills a little bit. So far, though, so good.







These were 2 of the minis I had stripped and primed last week, and they are not “complicated” miniatures at all. Like with the Dwarf, I just wanted something I could zone out on, and not have to worry about too much, which is why you will see mold lines. I chose to do them in unison simply because I was going to do the same steps on each of their mouths.






I have had these for years, I don’t even know who the maker is. I have a sneaking suspicion that the bed, at one point, had a “lid” that you could lift off, because there were 2 holes in the side of the headboard. Time to break out the green stuff, and work with it for the first time. Wasn’t anything challenging, nor did I expect it to be, however, I wasn’t trying to sculpt anything, I was literally just filling in a hole.


Basecoat, some drybrushing, and a few washes added. I know it’s not difficult to paint, but I actually think I have brown woodgrain colors finally figured out to the point where I can get a decent result.








So far, I think these are coming along nicely. I am testing some new washes, but so far, so good.


Up Next: Get **something** completed. J


Cheers, All, and Happy Painting!

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