Mo’ Minis

Now that school is back in session and I’m back at work, it’s been an adjustment. For the past several months, I was looking for things to fill my time. Now that I’m back at work (and working more hours), I’m finding it difficult to make time for all the things I want to do. :/

I’m slowly dwindling my pile of forgotten minis, getting them painted and ready for use on our gaming table (which I’m sure we’ll use any day now). I ended up chucking a couple of them into the trash, because after priming them, it became apparent that they would be a pain to paint and probably would still look terrible because of the poor quality of the mini.

I think I’m down to less than 10 minis at this point, which is amazing. Which also doesn’t count the three boxes of CR minis I bought during a Kickstarter last year. BUT – they are 3D printed, and are much better quality than the ones I’ve been painting, so I’m hoping that means they will go faster.

I got a few more completed last week – one has had to return to the paint table for touch-ups, but the rest of the batch is done and now resting comfortably in foam, awaiting their turn on the table.

First up is a fun one – it was meant to be some sort of dragonborn PC mini, but when I went to paint him, I realized his head was missing. So, he is now some sort of reptilian BBEG, made even more scary by his headless state. 😀

After him was another fun one – if only because they weren’t human and I got to paint something besides flesh tone for skin. I think this guy was meant to be a PC mini as well, but I wanted to paint him red and make him look more like a demon, because I don’t own many demon miniatures. I think he turned out great.

Then I moved back into humans – this wizard? mage? sorceress? was interesting. I like her pose and all the details on her belt and belongings. Her pointing hand, however, is a blobby mess. Not sure what happened with the sculpt here, but at least she is done, so – win. 😀

Lastly, yet another fighter PC mini. However, I do like the flaming sword and I bet he gets a lot of use once we are back to in-person gaming. It was also fun to try my hand at painting the flames. It’s not a fabulous job, but it’s not bad, either. I did also have some time in the last month to watch a few tutorials on painting eyes, and I think it made a difference. I didn’t have any minis turning out cross-eyed, and I didn’t have to spend hours trying to hold my shaky hand steady, so again – calling it a win!

I’m currently working on a set of matching guards, another ranger, a dwarf fighter, and some sort of beholder-type thingy. Once they are done, I can move on to the remaining few minis from the forgotten pile. It’s been a learning experience – I’ve been painting for years, but I’ve made a few changes that have definitely made painting more enjoyable for me, and I hope, resulted in a better quality paint job than I was capable of before.

My husband and I are (still) debating whether to invest in a resin printer and start resin printing minis ourselves. There are so many great quality 3D files out there – I’d even love to just be able to resin print my Hero Forge minis. We’ll see. 🙂

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!

 

 

Busy, Busy, Busy

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Credit: Pixabay

Life has suddenly gotten crazy busy.

I’m hip deep in lesson planning for school.  I’ve started a new diamond painting, this time with square drills instead of round ones.  I’m busily painting minis and trying to improve both my painting and photography skills.

I’m desperately hoping that my black thumb hasn’t killed all my garden plants, though I’ve yet to actually see any produce.  And my children are starting college, so I’m scrambling to pay tuition, buy books, and arrange schedules.

All while trying to get my Etsy business off the group, as well as launch a YouTube channel for my mandalas.  Speaking of, (insert shameless self-promotion here) if you haven’t checked out the mandalas on my Etsy store, you should!  They are larger and more intricate than my Monday mandalas.

Right now it’s just got coloring mandalas, but I’m debating putting some of my stickers up as well, maybe even some of my dot mandalas.  I’ve been hesitant to just jump in before now, but it’s amazing how having to pony up for college tuition can railroad right through your reservations about something!

I did manage to snap some photos of my most recent finished minis – I’ll try to post them later this week.  I think I’m learning how to use the contrast paints more effectively.  Now if I could just find the time to watch some tutorials on painting eyes.

Looking through my files, I found an old mandala I’d drawn using Amaziograph.  I can really see how shaky my hands are when looking at the lines here.

Amaziograph 3

I do like the flow of the design and that it’s fairly simple, but the shakiness of the lines bothers me.  Or does that make it seem more ‘authentic’?  Because it’s not perfect, so it’s clear it’s hand-drawn?  Do you consider it ‘hand-drawn’ if it’s drawn digitally rather than on a physical medium?

So many questions, so little time.  I’ve got to get back to work, so I hope you and yours are all doing well right now in this crazy world of ours.

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. 

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. ❤️

Success!

Credit: Pixabay

It’s been a crazy few days, eh?

I’m trying to focus on the positive and things that I can actually control. One of those is my job. I posted before about applying for a new position at my current job.

I had an interview via Zoom – a strange experience, but I watched some Zoom tutorials before the meeting, so I knew what to expect. It went pretty smoothly – I even managed to screen share some of the work I had prepared. And it all worked out – I got the job!

It’s going to mean more work, but it’s also more pay, so. . . 😀

I’m also still working on completing other personal projects – like my miniature painting, my writing here, my Etsy shop, my mandalas, etc. It’s going well – I like being able to jump around to whatever project seems most appealing at the time. I spent yesterday painting minis and experimenting more with the contrast paints. Made mistakes, but I’m learning.

Today I’m meeting with my boss to discuss plans for next year – we’re going to have to make a lot of assumptions about what the world looks like 3 months from now, so we’ll see how it goes.

For the last week or so, I’ve been using the new block editor here on WordPress. I’m still not sold, but I’m going to give it a few more weeks before I make a decision. There are some features that I like, but some are just annoying.

We planted some new seeds for our container garden. My youngest made me a raised container bed and we bought several other containers from the local garden store. So far, everything is green and growing, but we’ll see what happens. I have a definite black thumb, which is why I don’t keep houseplants. I’m not sure if we’ll get anything edible out of the garden, but crossing my fingers that the plants know what to do, and I just need to provide food, water, and sun. 😛

Mini Progress

I am still slowly working my way through all the unpainted miniatures I discovered in the basement.  I did visit my local game store and picked up both a painting handle and some of the Citadel contrast paints.

I gotta be honest, so far I don’t like them.  They are really runny, like ink, and even with thin coats, it took forever to get full coverage.  That said, I was painting on minis that were based black, so I’m going to blame it on that.

I have taken some of the minis and based them with white, so we’ll see how it turns out.  I am just playing and experimenting, since most of the minis likely won’t ever see the light of day, honestly.  A lot of them were purchased for use as a PC mini, but now that we can either 3D print our own or have them printed via something like Hero Forge, they’ll probably never get used.  Maybe I can use them as NPCs.  Dunno.

In any event, I finished some of them, so here they are, in no particular order.  First up is the battleguard golem.  I actually like the way he turned out.  The matte spray sealer made a huge difference in how he looked.

Battleguard Golem

Next is a weird doll with a knife, from a package of familiars.  She certainly is creepy, I’ll give her that.  She was hard to paint, because the model has almost no detail.  I wasn’t even sure what she was until I looked up the models online.

Doll Familiar

The last two are the pirate set.  The eyes on these gave me fits, because I have an intermittent hand tremor.  I finally gave up on the eyes.

Pirate Wench

They will only be NPCs, and since I have no idea when, or if, we will return to playing in-person, they’re good enough.  There seems to be a fine line for me between not enough detail and too much.  The pirate wench was ok.  This guy, however, waay too much:

Pirate

He was fun to paint, but man, my poor old eyes.  Also, I can’t seem to find a happy medium when I use the Citadel washes.  Everything seems to come out looking muddy or dirty, whether I use a lot or a little.  Hopefully I’ll figure it out.

Now that these are done, I can move on to the next pieces.  😀