Many More Minis

I’m still trying to finish up my batch of forgotten minis.  I’m getting close – I think I have maybe 8-10 left?  I bought more contrast paints a few months ago and I think I’m getting the hang of using them.  At the time, I felt like I bought a lot of brown shades and I wouldn’t use them all, but I have.  I haven’t opened everything I bought yet, and some colors seem to work better than others, so we’ll see how the rest do. I did open the contrast yellow and I am much happier with it than the Vallejo yellow I was using previously for hair.

First up is the fighter.  He was pretty easy to paint since most of him is armor.  However, I did spend some time picking out details on both the armor and shield, just to make him a little more interesting.  His hair didn’t turn out great – for some reason my Vallejo black is very runny.

FighterBut, he is done and ready to go on the table.  After him I turned to an easy job – a pseudodragon or dragon familiar.  I decided to paint it metallic blue.  I had put off painting it because it was in two parts and superglue is not my friend. 😀

However, I faced my fears (and my possibly stuck together fingers) and finished him.

Pseudodragon

He’s a bit plain, but he’s done and ready to use should any of my players decide their wizard needs a dragon familiar.

This next one is one of my last couple of plastic minis.  The detail seemed nice on the bare mini, but like with the last batch, I wasn’t sure how she would hold up once I started painting.

Female Dwarf Fighter

Again, the eyes are not great, but at least she doesn’t look cross-eyed, so I’m calling that a win.  I used some of my contrast browns on her boots and fur cloak, and I love the way they turned out.  I probably could have filled in some of the gaps on her with greenstuff, but since I don’t have any and I have no idea how to use it, I just painted her. 🙂

After the dwarf I turned to an older metal mini.  He’s a bit weird, because his proportions are off.  He’s got a weirdly long torso.  Also, because he’s so old, he’s one of the minis that came with a slotted base.  So, he got a fancy flocked/tufted base to hide the ugly slot.

Blue Fighter

I don’t think he turned out too badly, even if he looks a bit weird due to the proportion issue.  And for once, I think I applied the wash correctly – or at least I got the look I wanted from it.

This last one is a favorite.  I did have to glue on his hand and bow, which was a bit fiddly, but I got it done.  I had more green contrast and Vallejo paint to use this time, so I had fun sticking with the typical green/brown ranger color scheme.

Elf Ranger with Bow

That’s it for this batch of painting.  I have more already sitting on handles, waiting to be painted.  Hopefully they will be a nice change, since a few of them are more monster than PC/NPC types.  I might actually get to use my monster red!

 

 

Still More Minis

I finally managed to find some time to take photos of the miniatures I have completed so far. We’re almost done with the huge cleaning job at my work, so I can begin to concentrate on lesson plans for the coming year. Assuming, you know, school is in session. :/

Anyhow, I’ve been painting whenever I have a spare moment and I’ve managed to complete a fair few of the stockpile. I’m still learning how to use the contrast paints and, at some point, I’ve got to spend some time learning how to do better eyes. The cartoony look is getting old, but at least they are done and ready to go on the table. If we ever play in person again, that is.

First up is a weird magic user figure. This one was plastic, though the contrast paints seemed to adhere well. Some nice detail, even though it is plastic. Not sure what the figure in his hand is supposed to be – some sort of arcane focus? Who knows.

Next up is another magic user, though she could also be used as an NPC – a townsperson or something. I was trying out new paints, so the color scheme is awful, but that just makes her more interesting, I think. That’s my story, anyway. 😛

This lady is one of my favorites so far. A metal mini, lots of details, and a color scheme I’m happy with. Her hands are a bit weirdly sculpted, but I can ignore that for the rest of the detail. I should have photographed her back as well – her hair is a long braid down most of her back and the back of the tabard is as detailed as the front.

Again, the cartoony eyes, but aside from that, I’m really fricken’ pleased with this one. His cape was a separate piece that I attached after painting. I think the color scheme works for him and the wash turned out how I wanted for once. Win!

Another metal mini, with lots of nice detail. I stuck with the green/forest color scheme. I do need to figure out some different options for hair. I almost gave him green hair, but ultimately decided against it.

This guy was pretty easy to paint, but I like how he turned out. His eyes make it appear he is looking up at something – a dragon attacking maybe? Who knows? His sword is a bit wonky, but I was afraid if I played around with it too much trying to straighten it that it would just break off entirely. In any event, another one done.

This last one was a plastic mini, and I almost gave up before I finished. Not a ton of details to paint, but certain poses and things like capes and weapons can make some parts of the mini almost impossible to reach with a paintbrush. Though, of course, you can clearly see the parts you can’t reach. So frustrating! But he is done, and I’m moving on the next batch.

Most of the ones I have left to do involve painting pieces and then attaching them, so I’ve put them off until last. We’ll see if my painting skills (and my patience) hold up.

Two Wizards, a Rogue, and a Centaur . . .

Sounds like the start of a joke, doesn’t it? I’m still plugging along painting my seemingly never-ending trove of D&D minis. I managed to get a few more painted, and I must say, the practicing does help. Of course, so does better paint and paintbrushes!

First up is the wind wizard, as I’ve dubbed him in my head. A plastic mini, so the facial features are not sharp, but I think he turned out okay. My youngest wanted to know why I painted him in Captain America’s colors. Something I hadn’t really thought of – I just wanted him to be showy, because he seems like that kind of wizard.

Next up is the centaur. Now that there are some PC centaurs, I’m curious to see whether any of my players will choose it. I did pick up the new Mythic Odyssey of Theros book, and I would love to run a game using it. We’ll see how the players feel after we are done with all the Icespire Peak add-ons. Not sure if you can tell from the photo, but he is mostly drybrushed, which I think worked out well with all the ab muscles and the horsey bits. 😛

Next up is another wizard. This was a metal mini, and the details were much clearer. His face is a bit shadowed because of his hood, but that works for him. The staff seems a little oversized, but maybe he’s a strong wizard? I used mostly contrast paint on this guy, and I love how he turned out.

Lastly, my current favorite, the rogue. Again, a metal mini, so lots of details. Her eyes are a bit cartoony, but they’re good enough for my shaky hands. A mix of contrast paint and Vallejo paint on her. I’m not sure I’m happy with the leather of her boots, but it’s good enough for the table.

I’m still working on others – plugging away on my vampire and base coating the remaining minis. I do have a couple more completed, but I haven’t had a chance to take photos yet. I’m sure one of them will end up being my new favorite, too. 😀

Miniature Painting

Along with my new obsession with diamond painting, I have continued to paint my trove of forgotten D&D miniatures. I broke down and purchased some of the new contrast paints, and I’ve been building up my colors in those as well as the Vallejo Game Color paints.

I have finally said goodbye to my craft paints and moved to solely using paint made for miniature painting. I’m still learning, but I think I’m getting better?

I started off with some small pieces – some familiars from various packages that I found among the pile of forgotten minis.

First up are the eagle and some sort of tree/woodland creature familiars. The tree was super simple – black primer and some brown and green drybrushing. The eagle had to be glued together and then I used some of the contrast paint on the branch he is sitting on and on his beak. He got a coat of brown, then some tan drybrushing and green on the base.

Familiars 2

The other familiars are a small fairy and a vulture. The fairy was not fun to paint. It is made of plastic and the sculpt was lacking a lot of detail. However, I powered through and got enough paint on it to call it done.  The vulture was another simple and quick job.

Monk

After the familiars, I started working on some of the other plastic minis I had. This monk was purchased for a player at my table, but never got used. Not a lot of detail on this one either, but now she is done.

Next I chose a mini I thought I would have more fun painting.  It was a Hero Forge purchase for a PC my youngest was playing at the time.  Poor Tink sat on the table unpainted for quite a while, then got thrown in a box and forgotten.  But the 3D printed minis generally take paint well and have a nice amount of detail. 

Tink

Again, a simple color scheme, but it did give me a chance to practice painting eyes.  Eyes are so hard to paint, especially with my shaky hands, so if they look close to human, I call it a win. 😛

Following Tink I picked another plastic mini.  I wanted to play around with the contrast paint and see how it took on the plastic.  This mini was supposedly primed, and I wanted to see how the paint performed on it. 

Ranger

The cloak was painted using the contrast paint.  It wasn’t horrible, but I have a sneaking suspicion that repeated handling will end up causing the paint to flake off.  Lesson learned, and I primed all the rest of the plastic minis I had, even if they said they were pre-primed. 

Finally, after struggling with the plastic minis, I chose an old pewter mini to paint next.  I primed it white and then used both contrast paint and the Vallejo paint on it.  It was such fun to paint this one, as there was a ton of detail. 

Dwarf Fighter

I have a soft spot for dwarven fighters, and this one is a favorite of all the minis I’ve painted so far.  I was able to give his weapon, his armor, and his chainmail all different colors, something I hadn’t been able to do before, because my paint colors were so limited.  I love his braided beard and hair – and his bushy eyebrows!

He will certainly get used on our table – if we ever get back to playing face-to-face.  In any case, I can mark these all off as ‘done’ and move on to the remaining pieces.  I’m currently working on a vampire and another ranger.  I’ll post again when I get them finished. 

Busy Bee

The last week has been very hectic. We’ve had a lot of appointments and obligations and I feel like I’ve been running around all week, which means lots of things I normally take care of haven’t gotten done. That leaves me feeling anxious and uneasy, because I don’t like leaving things undone. This weekend is looking like it will be just as busy, so – ugh.

There are always positives to celebrate, though. My husband is getting a promotion at work, which means a pay raise – awesome! 😀 My youngest may finally get to have a graduation ceremony – also awesome. I’ve been diving into my new job as well, which right now just means I’m spending a lot of time sorting, cleaning, and disinfecting so that everything is ready if/when we open up in the fall for students.

We’re still working on paying down our debt – something I hope we’ll be able to do a bit faster now with that pay raise. I’m still plugging away trying to create other income streams for us. My dream is to make a living virtually, so that we can live anywhere we want and still have a stable income. We’re a long way from that, but – baby steps.

I did also have someone ask me about buying one of my Monday Mandalas. In case I haven’t made it clear, the Monday Mandalas are FREE. You can grab them off the blog anytime. They aren’t very hi-res because of storage limitations on WordPress, but they are free. If you want to use them for something, an attribution would be nice, but if you just want to print one out to color or load into your favorite digital coloring app, feel free. 😀

If you’d like something a little more challenging/intricate to color than my Monday Mandalas, you can take a gander at my Etsy shop and see if there’s anything you like. I don’t have many items there at the moment, but I’m hoping to get some added this weekend.

That’s if I can peel myself away from my newest obsession – diamond painting. 😛 I discovered diamond painting one day when I fell down the YouTube hole. I used to needlepoint and embroider, but my carpal tunnel (and my bad eyesight) has made that impossible. Diamond painting is sort of like cross-stitch, but with little sparkly bits called drills. I found some cheap ones on Amazon (they are mandalas, of course!) and bought them to experiment with and see if I liked it before I spent a lot of money on some bigger, fancier pieces. So far – I love it. I’m a little annoyed with the first one (I got a package of 4) because they shorted me two gems for the design, so I can’t finish it. However, I do like doing it, so I’m planning on adding it into my craft rotation.

And, of course, I’m still trying to finish up those darn minis I discovered hiding in the basement. I have quite a few of them done – I just need to find the time to take some pics and get them posted. Maybe after graduation, when I have a few spare moments!

Hope everyone is staying safe and healthy.

Lazy Days

I’ve been lazy the last few days. I have a to-do list a mile long, but I’ve taken a few days just to chill and relax.

I have gone to my new job and spent a couple of hours figuring out what I need to do first. Unfortunately, it’s cleaning and inventory. 🤨 But at least it’s a start. So I’m heading there tomorrow to spend a few hours getting started.

I’ve also spent quite a bit of time painting miniatures. I have about 14 done, so at some point I will take pics and share them. I am still experimenting with contrast paints. I bought some more Vallejo and contrast paint yesterday, as well as some new brushes. I’m excited to try them.

As I’ve been lazing about, I decided to try out ordering my groceries online. I thought I would hate it. Turns out, I was wrong. I love it. It also is saving me money, because it cuts down on the number of impulse buys from my husband. 😂 Instead of spending an hour shopping, I order online, schedule a pickup time, and only spend 30 min getting groceries. Plus, I don’t have to spend time in the store with people. Win-win!

The world is a crazy place right now. Stay safe and well, everyone. ❤️

More Minis

I have spent the last couple of days hurriedly trying to finish up painting my pile of miniatures for Ann’s ‘Paint the crap you already own’ challenge, which ends today.

Sadly, I didn’t make it to all of the minis I had planned to paint, even after I cut out all of the Critical Role KS minis I still have waiting.  However, I’m still claiming success, because I managed to paint a whopping 23 miniatures during the challenge.  Woohoo!  That’s 23 minis that would still be sitting in boxes or drawers waiting to be painted, and they are now DONE.

If you want to see the first batch I posted, you can find it here.

What else did I manage to finish?  These two were quick paint jobs, but they still count, darn it!

Stone Golem

The stone golem was just a black base coat followed by some shades of grey drybrushing.

Bat Swarm

The bat swarm was just some grey shades for the headstone and black and brown shades for the swarm itself.

Troll Mini

This troll was also easy to paint, since most of him was green skin.  His tongue is still too pink – I think it’s a bit jarring, but he’s done, and good enough for table use.  Maybe I’ll just make him a variant troll that has some weird disease that turned his tongue pink.   😀

Next up was a set of bandits.  Painting people is always harder for me than painting monsters, because you know what people look like.  Or should look like.  Painting monsters gives you a bit more free rein because they don’t really exist.

Bandit 2

The first bandit was definitely a challenge with his eyepatch and overly complicated accoutrements.  I persevered, and now he is done.

Bandit 1

The second bandit was a bit easier, since most of him was covered by clothing.

After the bandits we have the gnolls – just regular gnolls. 😀

Gnoll 2

I looked at the back of the package and online to see how others had painted them.  I tried the orange stripe of fur on one, but I didn’t like how it turned out, so I skipped that on the second one.

Gnoll 1

The second one was a bit more complicated with all the bits and bobs on his belt, so it seemed like a good balance to skip the orange.  I think the orange made me think of hyenas, and they don’t seem very scary.  This guy ↑↑ does.

The last two minis I am pretty chuffed about, I must say.  I’m usually very critical of my work, but I think these two turned out really well.

First up is the bugbear.

Bugbear Mini

His open pose made it easier to paint all the details.  Painting on his chest would have been near impossible if he had been posed like the big gnoll.  He was just fun to paint, and I think he came out great.  His weapon is oddly curved because he is plastic, but he is still very menacing.

Finally, the last of the minis I managed to finish.  I didn’t have the box for this one anymore, so I had to look him up online to figure what he was and how to paint him.  I thought he was a mummy lord, but it turns out he was actually a mummy captain.  I saw a really cool paint job online and tried to imitate it – I didn’t manage it exactly, but I’m still really happy with how he came out.

Mummy Captain

I was hoping to get all the minis finished so that I could put my painting supplies away and work on one of my other projects.  However, I think I might actually leave them out for a while.  That way I can finish up the last of the plastic minis and maybe even take a crack at some of the CR minis.  We shall see.  In any event, participating in the challenge was fun and I’m glad I did it.  😀

Painting Progress

Since I am spending lots of time at home, I have been trying to finish up some of those ‘projects’ I’ve had laying around forever.  Ann’s recent ‘Paint the crap you already own’ challenge was very timely, and I’ve been trying to get all those miniatures I’ve had shoved in drawers for months finished.

I cleared off my puzzle table and loaded it up with all my painting gear:

Painting Table

One of the reasons I find it hard to get minis painted is that I have a LOT of stuff to drag out when I want to paint.  This isn’t even all my paint supplies or all my minis.  I have been working on them, but I don’t think I’m going to get to all of them.  I’m starting with all my Bones/Reaper/WizKids minis and doing those first.  If I manage to get through all of them (which I doubt), then I will drag out all the Critical Role minis that are still in boxes.

But even if I don’t get all of them done, I have at least made a big dent in my ‘waiting to be painted’ pile. 😀  I started out with some easy terrain/misc pieces, because I knew I could paint them quickly.  I also had some zombies that were mostly done, so I finished those up first as well.

Here are the zombies done:

Zombies Done

Not fabulous paintwork, but they are done, sealed, and based.  Good enough for me!

For the miscellaneous pieces, I had some entrails (I finished them with a gloss spray, because I wanted them to be slimy looking):

Entrails

A small treasure pile and a random pile of rocks/debris:

Misc

Two piles of bones:

Skulls

Another small treasure pile:

Small Treasure

And finally, a large treasure pile:

Treasure Pile Large

Once I finished all the easy pieces, I moved on to some of the other miniatures.  My husband wanted me to paint one of his Hero Forge minis, and it had been sitting around half-done for months.  So I finally finished Odin:

Odin

After Odin was done, I worked on the two WizKids mind flayers.  I figured they were fairly simple and quick, plus I had to base paint the other minis I still had waiting.

Here they are done:

Mind Flayers

None of these are fantastic paint jobs, but they are done and ready for use on the gaming table, which was my goal.

And now that I have taken (not great) photos and posted them, the minis will find homes with all my other D&D minis.  I still have other minis to paint, and I will hopefully finish them and post pics before the challenge ends on May 3rd.

Puzzling Times

I’ve been doing all sorts of things to keep myself occupied, including (gasp!) cleaning my house.  Sometimes, though, I want an activity where I can just zone out – listen to some music, or some of my favorite Forensic Files podcasts and just zen.

Puzzles are one of my favorite ways to do that.  So I pulled our card table out of the garage and set it up in the living room so I have a space to leave the puzzles out until I’m done with them.

I have a handful of puzzles, most of them 1000 pieces.  I’ve put them all together before, but it’s been a while, so I thought I’d do it again.

The first one I picked is an old-timey picture with a western Main Street and trains and mountains in the background:

Puzzle 1

I always start puzzles by separating out all the edge pieces and putting them together first, so I have a starting point.  Invariably, I miss at least one edge piece during the first sorting.  This puzzle was a little easier than some, because the storefronts all had writing on them, which made it easy to put the pieces together.

It went quicker than I thought – filling in all the trees was a pain in the behind, though!

Puzzle 2

It only took me a couple of days to finish this one:

Puzzle 3

Then I moved on to the next one – it only had 500 pieces, so it went more quickly than the first puzzle.  This one is a Route 66 puzzle, with a map of various stops along the way.  I’m saving the Star Wars one until last – it’s one of those that has tiny pictures that make up the bigger picture, and it’s a real doozy!

Puzzle 4

Again, this one was probably easier than some because of all the writing on the various pieces.

Puzzle 5

I did another puzzle, but I forgot to take pictures of it.  Then I put the puzzles away for a bit while I work on painting some miniatures for a painting challenge.  I’m using the card table for that, so that I can leave all my painting stuff out instead of having to pack it up each night off the dining room table so we can eat dinner.

If nothing else, having the card table covered with painting stuff is motivation to get the stuff painted, because it’s messy to look at and drives me crazy! 😛