Miniature Painting Spotlight: 10/25/2020

Hello, dear readers. Today’s miniature painting spotlight is brought to you by “Unfinished Works”. Unfinished works, were all I’ve done is prime some stuff and paint little else.

In all seriousness I started painting again, but realized a lot of what I needed to paint needed priming first. Remember when I told you that Dungeons & Dragons miniatures aren’t the only thing I paint? Well guess what, I’ve got some inclusions there.

First in our list is Xanathar. I’ve been trying to get this stupid miniature primed for some time now. Unfortunately, I keep finding places where I’ve missed priming. But on a larger mini, I’m not totally surprised about this. I’ll get him all primed before I truly start on him. The biggest problem, as I’ve told you before, is having to paint the inside of his mouth before I could glue on his lips and teeth. Well, I got that done and glued on his lips and teeth. Additionally, I have painted and assembled the base to his miniature.

I’m very satisfied with how it turned out.

Here he is, just sitting on top of his stand:

As you may be able to tell, and for those of you who are unfamiliar with the process, I used liquid green stuff to fill in the gaps around his lips. It’s a little messy, but I got the spots filled in.

Next on our list is one of my restoration projects. You may remember her.

Well, I had a harder time than I had previously thought I would in finding the specific type of green that matches her cloak. It took me two tries but I did get it and I’ve started to restore the back where it was particularly chipped. The staff is already looking very good.

Ashley of our D&D miniatures, is a tiefling warlock that I began. Mostly, I painted his chest hands and tail. He is, of course, largely unfinished, but that won’t last the week.

Lastly, is my attempt at painting my battle tech miniatures of course, they are all plastic and need primer. That’s perfectly fine, but there are a lot of nooks, crannies, and crevices. they send it up being a much more daunting task than I expected, and will likely be using spray primer next time. Priming these things by hand has become the bane of my existence. Thankfully, I’m doing my learning on the two miniatures that came with the starter set. They will likely just augment my normal neck forces so it’s not too big of a deal. That said, I sat next to it and unpainted/primed miniature so that you can see the difference between prime and unprimed in the greys.

If you can’t tell, The one on the left is the one that has been primed. You may be able to notice all the crevices that are still the same color as the one on the right. Part of the problem, was that I didn’t follow my own advice. I forgot to wash the mini before I painted. It’s an important step, but even people who have an idea of what they’re doing can screw up and skip a step once in awhile.

Well, that’s what I got this week. I know you may have wished for more, but so did I. Next week I should have the tiefling done, and my restoration projects completed.

Until next time, dear readers.

Mini-Painting Spotlight 10/6/2020

Hope you enjoyed yesterday’s post!

Today’s post is going to highlight a few different minis that I’ve done recently.

Male Aasimar Paladin. Turned out better than I expected.

Why is this one deathly-pallor gray? Well, once I get a pot of paint that shows that he is bloody around the mouth, he’s going to be a vampire. One look at his clothes, and I thought “Kind of old, even for the time period for most D&D games…” Then I thought about who would be wearing such anachronistic clothes. Vampire. Just waiting on a pot of paint.

The next submission for your approval is a restoration project that is near and dear to my heart.

You see, my mom and dad used to play back in the old first edition AD&D days. My mom and dad having both been players, although my dad would DM alternating within their group, had his two characters and my mother hers. The players would each have two characters as they only had a total of three players across the DM. As such, to round out the party, more characters were needed than players were had.

When I inherited my dad’s things after he and my mom stopped playing, I inherited all of his miniatures as well. Among everything, I found my mom and dad’s old computer miniatures, battered and used. I also, looked with heartbreak on their condition. I found myself with a quandary: restore the miniatures to their former glory, or leave them in their original state.

So I called my folks and asked them their thoughts. Although my dad was unavailable for comment, my mom’s answer was: “We gave them to you so they are yours to do with what you want. I don’t mind if you want to restore them.”

Therefore, my mind was set: I’m going to restore them to their former glory. Considering the extensive color palette of paint that I have, as well as my ability to mix paints fairly accurately, I figured I would have the ability to restore the minis to their original condition. So far, I’ve only had time to restore one of them. The original character’s name was Sabrina, a human fighter. Here are her before and after photos.

Dusty, chipped, faded. Well-used!
Good as new!

As you can see, the original paints used were Testors brand enamel paints. I restored using acrylic paints without using the Delco lacquer that I recently took up using. Also note that I did not use any kind of shading on them. The goal was not to redo the miniature so much as to restore the miniature. As such, they will likely never get used again, holding a special place of honor amongst my other miniatures. Here are the before photos of the other two I intend on restoring.

Amber the Cleric of St. Cuthbert
Erlic the Thief

As you can see, I have my work cut out for me! Although I did not show you pictures of the back sides, they are much worse. More chips and scratches.

Later this week, I’ll do my Miniature Painting How-To on restoring old miniatures to show you step by step how I do it!

Until tomorrow, dear readers!

How To: Miniature Painting

So this week I had time to paint only two miniatures. The one we’re going to discuss today is Robin Hood.

The last time we discussed painting miniatures, my advice was just a pain miniatures despite how good or not so good You are skills may be. Today we’re going to discuss the tools of the trade.

It seems to go without saying, but you need a few good brushes. There are several types out there, but in reality you could do with five decent brushes. You would need a large brush for painting on shading, a medium brush for doing some larger areas, a small brush for smaller details, and then a very small fine detail brush for doing fine detail work. For me, I have a rather nice and large brush set that my wife purchased for me for Christmas. I use maybe four brushes out of the whole thing. mostly because they’re nice brushes, I use older brushes for things like slathering on shade. Now, I know some of these terms I’m using maybe foreign but will explain those later, at a different date.

In addition to brushes, you obviously need paints. there are several paints from various companies that you can choose from. Vallejo is one commonly trusted name, as are the paints from Games Workshop, typically used for Warhammer games, but work well for any miniature painting. Personally, I have enjoyed using the Army Painter brand. They are the same quality as the other brands, but come in droppers, which make mixing paints and measuring out just the right amount of paint you need much easier than with paint pots from other brands. Again, this is just my humble opinion. There are other brands of acrylic paints, but remember: you get what you pay for. If you buy cheap paints, they won’t likely last very long. Trust me, I know this from personal experience.

Next up, you’re going to need something to use as a palette. I use a specific brand of plant-based breakfast sausage cartons which work very nicely for me. You can, of course, purchase a paint palette from any hobby store. I think that’s a waste of money. You do you.

Having a container of nail polish remover is always helpful. Nail polish remover is great for taking off that dried on paint that you change your mind on which color was going to go on. It’s also helpful for removing paint from other surfaces. Just remember, nail polish remover will take varnish off of wooden furniture and surfaces.

Lastly, you’re going to need some kind of container to hold water so that you can clean your brush in between colors. Acrylic paints are water soluble. As such, you want to be able to clean your brushes off with water. My wife and I like to buy tea from a company that provides loose leaf tea in small half pint jars made of glass with a metal lid. These work perfectly for me. Again, find something that works for you. Keep in mind, plastic will get stained.

Now that you have assembled all your tools and your paints, it’s time to get painting!

Next time we’re going to talk about differing techniques in base coating.

I hope to see you then!

This is a Robin Hood mini I painted this week.
Reverse side

How To: Painting Minis

Before I begin, I want to say that I know, for some of you, the idea of taking the blank canvas of a miniature, and turning it into some sort of amazing piece of gamecraft that you are proud of is a truly daunting task.

I get that. I really do.

If you are not one of those people, I envy you. I am on the former.

Looking at a blank miniature, even worse, one that doesn’t even have primer on it, can be daunting as all can be. There are days I don’t even know how to begin! But don’t worry, today I’m going to talk to you about how to prep for painting minis.

Like most things relating to D&D, and dungeon mastering for that matter, It all boils down to your state of mind.

“But Daily DM,” you might say. “I get all anxious when even looking at blank miniatures.” So did I random reader. But you want to know how I got over that? I had, what you could call, a miniature hoarding problem. I have, literally, hundreds of miniatures. Easily half those have never had paint touch them. The worst part is that 2/3 of those actually have primer on them, as they either came pre-primed, or I’ve actually taken the time to prime it.

For me, especially since I have nothing better to do between blog posts, I have decided to paint. And paint I will do. I was discussing this very concept with a good friend of mine, whom I will call “A.”

“A” said something particularly profound. He said, “A blank miniature is like a placeholder. It’s not until you put paint that it develops a story.” Like I said, profound.

Do you know what I did, when I made the decision that my miniatures needed painting? I sat down, I prepared my tablespace, and I began to paint. Now, I won’t say my first attempt was great. I won’t say it was perfect. In fact, the shading job I did on it was pretty shoddy. Am I happy with the job I did overall? Absolutely. I painted a miniature. Granted, I still have to paint the base, but that’s fine. I’ll get to that eventually. What’s important is that the miniature itself has been given life, so to speak.

You may remember me having posted this before. As you can see, I could have done a better job with the shading. Oh well. But this is what I want you to turn your attention to: I put a lot of heart and soul into that miniature. The level of detail on the shield, the detail on the armor, the detail on the gloves and the sword. Here’s the back of it:

See the detail of the back of the shield, the detail of the dagger on the hip. The part where I’m apparently do not touch up the boot and dripped a little paint onto the boot. The detail of the hair.

Now, I’m not trying to brag by any means. I know that there are many people who could have done a better job than I did. But, it was the first miniature I had painted in over 25 years. And even then, I was too intimidated to consider the idea of painting a miniature in full. I had a half a dozen primed miniatures lying around. Most of them painted with gloss paint. I don’t prefer that any longer.

So what did I do? I stripped every single miniature that I had previously done that wasn’t completed, and I began planning on repainting it. I’ll show you some as I get them done. This particular one was just an old pewter mini that I had inherited from my dad’s collection. He looked like he needed to be painted. And so, I took the better part of an hour or two and painted him.

So when I talk about how to paint a mini, you have to get in the right headspace. The headspace that says: it is okay not to get it perfect the first time. It’s okay to do it badly the first time. I mean, seriously, have you ever been picked up anything and been perfect at it the first time? You’re likely answer is no. So give yourself enough grace to be able to paint without judging yourself before you’ve even begun.

If you are really and truly worried, pick up something easy, or relatively easy, to paint. Like a pack of spiders or a gelatinous cube or something of that nature which doesn’t require a whole lot of paints but can still be very fun to throw down on. The idea is that you just start painting.

Now, if I get some requests to do more, I’ll do a couple of posts on my process for painting miniatures as I post pictures of the miniatures I’ve painted.

So you all around!

Merch

Just a reminder, you don’t have to be a continuous patron on our Patreon page to buy our merch. You can support us by buying a sticker, coffee mug, t-shirt, or hoodie, or whatever else is up there. First person to send me a picture with a piece of merch look at a free miniature painted by myself!*

That said, I have a wonderful graphic artist working on a new logo. Once I have that, all of my merch will change, so get your “vintage” DDMB logo merch while you can!

*I will need an address to send it to you…

Tuesday Adult D&D Night

This group is probably the furthest along in any of my campaigns, Sundays aside (mostly because they are tooling around with new characters after finishing Avernus, Lost Laboratory of Kwalish, and then Tomb of Horrors).

They are playing a campaign based on some magical items that I found in an old 2e sourcebook on the Forgotten Realms nation of Netheril: the Nether Scrolls.

Long story short, they sold a magical item that they needed to get into another area of the first place they had explored that began the campaign, which I placed below Old Owl Well.

The party is 6th level and found, via an informer, the man they needed to find was currently residing in Calimshan, particularly in Calimport. Unfortunately, there were no ships in Waterdeep that were traveling directly to Calimport, and therefore had to take a ship to the nearest port, which ended up being the city of Memnon, the city directly north of Calimport, connected by the most southernly section of the Trade Way.

The party found that it would be a four month trip, and so settled in as sailors and guards for the small shipping sailing ship, with the kobold wizard borrowing one of the eponymous Nether Scrolls from their wizard friend Iul, still studying inside the bag of lodging.

About a month into the trip, the ship was attacked by a group of 8 scags (water-dwelling trolls), which the rogue (who was introduced as the ship’s navigator) helped defeat by club hauling the ship to throw off the trolls from the edge of the ship.

After that encounter, the party’s craft watched in the distance as another ship was torn apart by something with large tentacles. The ship opened their sales, and ran for all their worth.

A time later, the lookout spotted an island that appeared to be the same as was on a treasure map that was purchased by the party’s kobold wizard. Going ashore, the party found the treasure, keeping it from the ship’s captain.

Next was the run-in with the kraken priest, demanding the party sacrifice their most treasured items, or be destroyed. The cleric/warlock (we call her a “spicy cleric”) sacrificed a higher level spell scroll, and with the dragonborn sorcerer’s intimidating speech, the kraken priest takes the sacrifice and leaves…for now.

Having seen much, the party’s ship came across a 40′ diameter tree sticking out of the water! Not on any kind of island, but in the middle of the ocean, did they find this tree, its trunk extended as far below the surface as they could see. It had beautiful foliage with some sort of delicious-looking fruit. The party approached the tree, curious as to its origins.

After watching the kobold wizard eat of the tree with seemiy no I’ll effect (or rather, a seemingly good effect, similar to a goodberry), The barbarian, the spicy cleric, and the wizard began gathering the fruit. Simply watched on wary of the strange tree. Upon picking the fruit, the cleric/warlock felt something devastatingly wrong: she lost her connection to her deity. All of her cleric abilities ceased to function. The wizard, angry for his friend, punched the tree causing some sort of curse to befall him.

The three of those who had picked the fruit, began to get more than a little worried. The cleric especially was terrified at what just happened. The Paladin of the group thought on the situation and cast ceremony to allow the cleric to atone for what was clearly an offense to her goddess. The cleric, realizing that this tree must have been sacred to her goddess was determined to follow the counsel of the paladin, which included two days of constant prayer and fasting, both day and night for 48 hours. All three of them began, with the wizard and barbarian both failing, never having had to do this activity before.

After the first day, the cleric determined to complete her atonement, the party spotted a ship in the distance. Only after it was close did they see the flag: the Jolly Roger. They chose to fight instead of running, and found themselves faced with the largest ship they’d seen. It was a massive galleon with a huge crew, and at least 30 ballista pointed their direction. After several attempts by the wizard to destroy the opposing ship with spells like fireball, counterspelled by the pirate ship’s wizard, the party’s new rogue friend (the ship navigator) attempted to parlay, without success.

Seeing no recourse, the party surrendered, and were placed in the brig, the cleric continuing her atonement without ceasing. The barbarian, seeing a single opportunity, placed the bag of lodging down his pants, hoping against hope that they could at least keep that from the pirates and keep their other friends inside safe.

After almost 2 weeks, they felt the ship stop. they were locked into hand and foot medicals chained together between them, other prisoners in the ship’s hold included, all together some 100 people. Seeing an opportunity,

Upon being led out of the hold, the party found themselves in a port city with a hot sun beating upon them above. Yes, they were in Memnon, their destination, but instead of as adventuring, they found themselves headed for the slave market.

Will they escape their circumstances? Will the party recover their gear and get revenge on the pirates that had them enslaved? Only time will tell…

This is the troll I painted yesterday. I was very happy how it turned out, except its warts. I’m thinking of dry brushing them darker. Give me your thoughts in the comments below!

Miniature Painting

So I said that I will, on occasion, do a post and add a picture of a miniature that I have painted. I have a considerable amount of time on my hands, so doing one or two miniatures a week is not that difficult. In fact, I often sit down and complete an entire miniature in a few hours.

Fun times, I know. It relaxes me.

That said, the barbarian that I painted previously was, in my humble opinion, one of my absolute favorite and best works yet. There’s only one piece of work that I enjoyed having completed more than that: a human paladin I did a few months ago in the middle of the quarantine.

This particular mini took considerable amount of time to accomplish and was a pewter mini. I put a considerable amount of detail into the shield and the sword, which I hope you’ve noticed and appreciate. For those interested, I used a dark shader to fill in the gaps in details.

And yes, I know that I did not paint the base. I’m getting to that. Eventually.

Front
Rear

Until tomorrow!