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.  😀

Still Learning

You’re never too old to learn.

That seems to be a lesson the universe keeps sending me lately.

I need to learn new things so that I can be better at the new job I hope to get.  That’s good, and I’m working on it.  I’ve already taken three classes and have at least three more I’d like to take over the summer.

I need to learn new things so I can be better at blogging.  This one is a bit harder – I’m trying to figure out how to set up the Google Analytics for the blog, and I’m struggling.  I need an Analytics ID, but to get that I have to set up a Google Property (whatever that is?) and when I follow the links they show, I get stuck.

The directions says to go to the admin section, but I don’t seem to have one.  😦  I’m sure I’m just missing a step somewhere, but after several failed attempts, I’m going to leave it for another day when I have more patience.

This weekend I also learned that I am forgetful.  I was so happy about all the progress I made with my mini painting (see here and here) and thought I had only 5 or 6 left besides my CR KS minis.

Until I went downstairs to put away the minis I had finished, and discovered this:

28mm miniatures dungeons and dragons

A whole tray of unpainted minis.  These are mostly minis we bought to use for our PCs, and then promptly forgot about.  Gah!  This isn’t even all of them, as I pulled some of them out of the tray.  I cleaned off mold lines and flashing and then washed them.

Cleaned 28mm miniatures

My initial reaction was just to ignore them, but then I thought I could use them for painting experience/experiments, if nothing else.  More learning!  And, since I will need to take photos of them as I go, even more learning!

I’m starting to finally consider myself on summer vacation, even though I’ve been off work since mid-March.  So, I will continue painting, photographing, and learning. I’m even trying my hand this year at gardening, so we’ll see how that goes.  😛

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! 😛

Busier Than Usual

stopwatch-2061848_1920
Credit: Pixabay

You’d think that since I’m spending all this time at home these days, I’d be caught up with my work – perhaps even ahead of schedule!

You’d be wrong.

For some reason, since my children are at home, I am now in charge of making sure EVERYONE gets all their stuff done.  So even though I usually finish each day feeling like I’ve been productive, some days it isn’t MY stuff that I’m getting done.

Argh.

Also, there is a new position opening up at my job in August that I want (hopefully I’m back to work then).  So I’m updating my resume, doing some work creating curriculum, and planning out lessons.  Spreadsheets make my brain hurt. 😦

While all that is good, it means I haven’t been keeping up here like I should.  I’ve been drawing, but I haven’t been doing much writing lately (besides lessons).  I’ve actively been avoiding social media, because it’s too stressful right now.

Rather than sleep all day (which is an appealing thought many days), I’ve pulled out some projects for me to work on to keep me sane.

I love puzzles, so I gathered all the ones I had and I’m slowly working my through them.  (I have pictures of my progress, but I haven’t gotten them off the camera card yet.)

I’m also working on a challenge that Ann over at Ann’s Immaterium posted – to ‘paint the crap you already own.’  I have a lot of D&D minis that have been languishing in drawers for almost a year, so I’m going to try and power through painting them.  So far I have some washed and mold lines removed, some base coated, and some done except for bases.  Again, I have pics, but I haven’t taken them off the camera card.  I’ll try to post them here soon.  I’m not a fantastic painter, but just getting them done and off my plate will be nice. 😀

I have another online class starting tomorrow, so I guess I’d better get busy!