May 8, 2013

Inspiration in Mini Painting + a Couple More Done

So I went digging through all my old minis, pulling them all out of storage. Boxes of them. I started pulling different minis out and getting together a collection of different minis to work on. Sort of like miniature painting ADHD. Can't decide on working on just one thing at the moment. Considering that I easily have over 100 unpainted minis from various games -- Warhammer Fantasy, 40k, Warmachine, Hordes, Malifaux, not to mention various Reaper and Anima Tactics minis -- it's not hard to see that tying oneself to one thing is a bit difficult.

Part of me thinks I'd be best to choose one thing and work on it. For instance, I have a few folks I know that play 40k and have asked me if I want to play. I'd love to! That means I have to get my Necrons together and start painting them. I know I don't NEED to have them painted to play, just assembled. (although a few people can attest to the infamous "invisible" Necrons I played with... just the bases as I hadn't assembled them yet) Plus the local game store (Art of War) is goign to be starting a Fantasy league which I'd love to participate in (though my wife would likely not like me finding yet one more thing to do on the weekends) so I could work on my Dark Elves or that Skaven box set that I haven't done squat with since buying it back during the 6th edition days.

I keep waiting to see if I get inspired to sit down and knuckle down on one project or if I will forever be flitting from one mini to another. Do a Warmachine here, a Hordes there, maybe a couple 40k, etc. Perhaps I should force myself to at least sit down and do a squad rather than individual minis.

What do you think? Do you find insipration guides your painting? Or is it necessity? Or, unlike me, do you only have one army to worry about? Or do you buy a squad and work it until it's done before movign on to the next one? (I tend to buy in bulk)

Anyway, here's a couple more minis I have finished.

A Dark Elf Witch Elf just base coated. I gave her a dip in the Army Painter Soft Quickshade (not pictured). I'm debating if I should have used the Strong Quickshade. The Soft didn't make much of a contrast. I used strong on a mini with more white than this one had (see below) but it made the white look "dirty." But I guess I could have gone back over the white afterwards.  I'm just a lazy painter. :)

 This is a Repenter Warjack from Warmachine. From The Protectorate of Menoth force. A theocratic country. The official color scheme is white with red and gold, but I wanted to do something different. Not totally different. I went with:

 White with purple and gold. And I used Tamiya gunmetal on other metallic parts. I gave this a Strong tone Quickshade dip. I ran into a few snags. If you zoom the picture you can see some of the issues. First off... the mini was too heavy to shake off the excess using the pliers. It kept slipping out of the grip. (this is an old mini, so it's all metal) As a result, it ended up in the grass a couple times and it got vegetation stuck in it. I didn't get it all out. Secondly, the white got too "dirty" looking. I wiped the large flat areas clean of the Quickshade using a bit of toilet paper. Unfortunately as it snagged on pointy bits and as the Quickshade varnish settled and got tacky, I ended up with a lot of fuzz being deposited onto the mini. Looks like crap up close, but from a distance both issues aren't that noticeable. This mini is fully matted and based.

Here's a few other Menoth minis. From left to right: Revenger, Knight Exemplar, and a Crusader. They have been primed and I have blocked out in gray the areas that will be painted white. I cover them in gray, essentially "priming" them a second time, so the white goes on better and doesn't require 5 coats to not look splotchy. So these will get some attention next. The big area blocked to be white on the front of the Revenger, most people freehand a Menofix (the symbol seen in the Repenter above and on the Crusader's shoulders) onto the area. But what I want to try to do is make it look like the area is covered in scripture. Not sure how I am goign to go about that yet, but I think it would look cool and would be thematic with origins of the army.

May 7, 2013

First Mini & Quickshade Test

So I finally got my first new mini under my belt. All in all, the techniques came back pretty easily, so I guess it's like riding a bike. You never forget. Truth be told, my hand wasn't as steady, but that will come back with practice. I had a lot of little touch-ups here and there I had to do.

On top of being my first mini painted in over a decade, I decided to use it as an experiment for a product called Quickshade made by The Army Painter. The company was started by a couple ex-'Eavy Metal team members (Games Workshop's pro painters), so I was interested in the purported ease of building entire regiments of minis. Their instructions are to just basecoat the mini (no drybrushing or highlighting) then you dip the mini into the can of Quickshade -- which is a pigmented varnish -- then shake the excess off and let it dry. Sounded too good to be true, so I decided to drop $30 on a can and try it out.

So here's my progression:

1. Here's the mini I worked on just base coated.
It's a Reaper mini, but I don't remember which one.  
 2. Here it is dipped in the Quickshade and dried.
 3. Back view after being dipped and drying.
4. And lastly, matte sprayed and based. (I also took
some black paint to the edges of the base)

I think it turned out well with the Quickshade. I was actually quite impressed with it. I definitely will be using it when I start to make legions of Dark Elves and Skaven for Warhammer. They offer the Quickshades as inks in their paint line as well. I will have to try that with another mini to see how that works.