Christmas present and painting stuff I’ve been testing…

I’ve been trying to paint a bit between all the other holiday stuff going on. I find that if I give myself a bunch of very different miniatures then I can try out a bunch of stuff and I won’t get bored as easily. And then when I keep painting, I get better at it. I still dread the idea of painting X number of Ys, but if it is just a bunch of minis I like, it seems doable. Since seeing The Hobbit, my yen has been to paint a bunch of dwarves. I have a couple of really great dwarf minis, so I might do some of them next.
My christmas present to the Rise of the Runelords game group is that I’ll paint a miniature as best as I can to whatever specifications I can manage. Bring me a mini, I’ll paint it. This is of dubious value, especially as some of our players enjoy (and increasingly excel) at painting their own miniatures. But do with it what you will.
I could not get the lighting in my house to be anything close to conducive to taking pictures of small things and at this point of the year, there isn’t much use in waiting for sunshine. Anyway, here is the latest batch of experiments in various things…:


Left: Half-Orc… anything. If there was a Half-Orc Wizard, I’d imagine him like this. I tried some skin texture stuff, to varying degrees of success. I want something that isn’t quite as green as the regular GW Orc skin (which is tons of fun to paint on GW orcs) and went more… half-orc. This is blurry, and a lot brighter than the mini really is.
Right: Count Smiorgan Baldhead is the name of this miniature and he was part of the Eternal Champion line of miniatures. He was an ally of Elric of Melnibone and yes, Elric ended up killing him so that Stormbringer could keep his fey albino ass alive. That’s what happens to all of Elric’s friends… enemies… actually, everyone not called Elric in those stories; his soul-gnoshing sword manages to munch the entire supporting cast. Sorry for spoiling the plot of all Elric stories. This miniature is boss and I’ve always wanted to paint it. I’ve had decent luck painting “old people skin” and it ends up the dude actually does look old. Too old for this shit? I don’t think so. He has a sword and a helmet on his back and that fuck-off headsman’s axe. I think the thing I like about him is that he is wearing a style of clothes popularized be rapier-duellists – the slashed sleeves tailored to emulate the cut-up clothes of swordsmen. Yet he has a pretty enormous axe, as though his solution to guys proffering duels is to show up to the duel with his log-splitter. The features are good and broad, which give the face a lot of character, even if it does make the eyes seem gigantic in this photo.  


Left: Shortfang. I have a bunch of cool familiars, but a lot of them look lost on a base by themselves. So I made a treasure chest base for Shortfang and then took a really out of focus picture of him. Her? I didn’t paint those bits.
Center: One of the bonkers miniatures from Rackham back before they threw everything behind prepainted miniatures. which is too bad because they made some very quirky interesting miniatures. I have three Rackham minis, two giant-ish barbarians and this guy. You can’t really tell, but against the other human-sized miniatures, this guy would seem very tall – not out of scale – just very tall. I like his bone armour and it was a chance to do some skin and some tartan. I also tried doing animal hide, but that really didn’twork out like I thought it would. I figure someone can use him for a Barbarian or savage Ranger. 
Right: I call this “The Nervous Druid”. Feathers are easy to sculpt, I’ve done a bunch, so it must have been the casting that ruined this miniature. Not nearly as fun as i thought it would be. Still, we have a bird.



Above: I kind of love this guy. It is an old (mid-80s) Citadel “Fighter” back before everything had to adhere to a list. So he makes a good adventurer miniature because he has a bunch of gear. Axe, purse, arrows, bow, dagger. I like this generation of Citadel because they just threw everything on, not to look kewl or to conform to a game mechanic, but because they thought a dude should look prepared. I worked quite a bit on the tartan on this one (Leslie, btw) and I’ve now got the process down. It involves inks covering small flaws and pointillism. I hate pointillism in 2d art, but it seems to work a bit better at this scale.



Left: 87? 86? I think so. After all that shit about Citadel making miniatures that look geared up, this guy forgot his armoured boots and any kind of gear. He just brought a badass hammer and a badass wolf hat. So I guess his errand has a pretty tight scope of expected encounters.
Right: Plastic dwarf that I like a lot. After the ninja I did a while ago I realised that a lot of miniatures get more boring if you paint them in dark, albeit realistic colours. When I think dwarves, I think dark green, rich browns and maroon, as though all the dwarves in my frame of reference wear Carharrts. Where’s the fantasy, man? Anyway, I didn’t want him to be bright in the other way that you make miniatures bright and pop, by using heraldic colour combos, so I went with orange and pale blue, which you rarely ever see in heraldry (Netherlands aside) and not together.