Hello! Wowza, it has been a while… I am pretty crap at this whole writing thing (I’m glad she hasn’t but if I were Amy I woulda kicked me out on my butt a long time ago… Thanks for being the best, Amy!)
Ok, so with that apology out of the way. I want to talk about painting miniatures. Have any of you done this? Well, it is a lot different than the kind of painting I am used to and while fun, is very challenging.
Let me back up a skosh: I like to play Dungeons and Dragons. For those unfamiliar with the game, go watch Stranger Things on Netflix. It is the game the kids are playing; adventuring, exploring dungeons, fighting monsters, rolling dice… lots and lots of dice. Another thing you can use as a prop is a miniature to represent your character. While this isn’t strictly needed, and in fact I know some people that prefer not to use them, I enjoy having a little avatar on the table.
There are several paths you can take if your game uses miniatures (minis from now on). You can buy packs of them that are pre-painted and great for people that like collecting. I personally have two issues with this path. First, you will never have a perfect mini for your character. It will have the wrong color of hair, or you just won’t ever find the right type of character you want to play. Secondly, I am a sucker for collecting things and I don’t want to fall down that expensive rabbit hole. You see, most of these pre-painted minis are sold in packs of collectible figures… which means you never know what you are going to get, but you will know you have to get them all. I can’t afford to get sucked into that. Some people make their own from scratch, That is straight up beyond my skillset. Although, if you have money there are amazing websites nowadays that will let you design your own and get it 3d printed. (The technology has opened so many possibilities.) Just like with collecting though, I can’t drop that kind of cash.
That’s why I prefer the idea of buying single minis that are not painted and trying to paint them myself. It lets me get what I want while still operating on a budget. I just need to put in a little time to paint it. There are a ton of websites you can buy them from, and most local comic/collectible shops will have a wide selection as well.
People can get very good at painting minis, but I am not them at this point. In fact other than painting figures for HeroQuest waaaayyyy back in the day the mini I am showing today is the 2nd/3rd (I painted two at the same time this weekend.) I’ve ever painted.
The character I am playing now is a Halfling Warlock that has made a deal with an Old Great One to gain magical powers. In exchange for these powers he has agreed to be the Old Great One’s “Eye” in the world (That is why one I looks giant and black on the mini, it’s on purpose). Unlike wizards in D&D warlocks don’t usually wear robes, so I wasn’t tied to that clothing. Also my character uses a dagger. With these little details in mind I found a cloaked yet not robed halfling figure wielding a dagger. This character could also be used to make a rogue, or bard, or ranger. Really depending on your imagination you could paint it to look like several different things. But for me he is a warlock.
Ok, so here is the figure I bought without paint:
While painting minis or really anything with layers, it is best in my opinion to work from the inside out so that if you accidentally paint over a spot it can be viewed as the outer layer covering the inner, “Oh no, his hair is just blowing in from of his face there.” is a lot more justifiable than, “He just has part of his scalp out in his hair.” And this is probably going to happen if, like me, you are just painting without some kind of magnifying glass or such because they are not called miniatures for nothing.
After getting the skin and hair, I moved on to the clothing. Because the clothing kind of folded in and out of itself it was not really easy to stick with the “inner layer first concept I started with so I just had to try and be as steady as I could with edges.
Then I went in and added a few spots of detailing. I added some bronze buckles and rivets and painted in the ground and painted in a greyish scar area around the eye that is going to be black.
Lastly I added some facial details, putting a light line in for his mouth, painting in one good eye with eyebrow, and adding the pitch black eye I previously mentioned. So there you are. This is my Halfling Warlock, his name is Finrykip Nightingday.
As a bonus the other figure I was painting was a gnome wizard…
He kind of turned into Dr. Strange.