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. 

Painting Challenge

I posted before about the “Paint the Crap You Already Own” challenge by Ann’s Immaterium.  Given that I have roughly 50+ minis sitting around in boxes waiting for paint, I thought I’d join in.  I have extra time right now, so why not finish some of those projects, right?

I have 3 boxes of minis from a Critical Role Kickstarter that I backed last year (gosh, that seems like so long ago!), as well as a ton of plastic Bones and WizKids minis I’ve purchased here and there.  I decided to leave the CR minis for last, since they are 3D printed and are generally much nicer to paint than the others (no mold lines or flash to clean off).

So I pulled out all the minis that were languishing in the drawer, still in boxes, or in various stages of painting:

Mini Challenge 1

The ones at the back are two zombies, who are flanking a Hero Forge mini of one of my husband’s characters.  The zombies are pretty much done, except for the matte finish spray and basing.

The rest of the scattered minis include a troll, a bugbear, a mummy lord, two bandits, another Hero Forge mini, and various pieces of treasure/terrain.  The boxes include mind flayers, pirates, a bat swarm, two golems, gnolls, and a set of familiars.

I pulled everything out of boxes and washed them.  Then I realized I forgot to clean off the mold lines, so I did that, then washed them again.  After drying, I got them ready for a base coat.  I bought cans of Army Painter base paints in white and black, so I took the minis outside and got a base coat on most of them.  For the few that already had a base black coat, I decided to try the zenithal priming method, so they got some shots of white as well.

Here are some of them after base coating:

Mini Challenge 2

Sadly, I haven’t done much with them since.  I did get a matte finish coat on the zombies, so if I can just get them based, they will count as done! The tall guy in the front is a centaur – I forgot about him. 😛

The treasure piles and terrain pieces won’t take long – just a few coats of drybrushing and finish spray and they will be done.  I think my youngest is going to try his hand at painting some of the minis, so we’ll see how it goes.  In any case, at least they are now out of the boxes and sitting on the shelf, taunting me to finish them.  Crossing my fingers I manage to get some of them done – I’d really like to finish all of these so I can move on to the CR minis, because I think those will be fun to paint.

Am I An Artist?

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Credit: Pixabay

I love to do creative things – write, draw, paint, dance, sew, crochet, etc.  I may not be any good at some of them, but I love doing them.  The other day I was wondering where my creative need comes from, because I’ve never thought of myself as particularly artistic.

It suddenly hit me the other day that I come from a long line of creative people.  Something I knew, but never really considered until recently.  My paternal grandfather was an extremely good artist.  Unfortunately, a mental breakdown and electric shock treatment seemed to burn that creative spark out of him.  I treasure the few pieces I have of his.

My maternal grandmother was creative, too.  When I was small, she was always painting ceramics.  In the 70’s, she owned her own kiln and we would buy bisque ware, clean it, and then fire them in her kiln before we would paint them.  She was a poet.  She wrote poetry for herself, but also for other people.  She was often asked to write poems for birthdays, retirements, and obituaries. In her later years, she took up oil painting.  I still have some of her work.

My mother was also very creative.  We didn’t have a lot of money growing up, so she sewed most of our clothes when we were little.  She could create a pattern for anything out of thin air.  She once helped me create (from scratch, no pattern) Star Trek uniforms for my brother and I to wear to a convention. (Yes, we’re those nerds.)

My mom taught me all kinds of creative skills.  She was a troop leader at one point for my sister, and they were always making something.  They had one project where they transferred designs from coloring pages onto wood, carved them out, and then painted them.

She taught me to knit, to crochet, and to latchhook. (Does anyone do latchhook anymore?)  I learned how to cross-stitch, crewel, and embroider with her.  We even did macramé at one point. (Jute plant holder, anyone?)

It’s funny how for all these years I’ve resisted labeling myself as artistic.  I was surrounded by all these creative people, which I recognized, but I never thought of myself the same way.

Over the past several years, I’ve come to realize that most people are artists – although in many different ways.  So, though I still often suffer from that dreaded imposter syndrome, these days I consider myself an artist.