Thursday, April 25, 2013

Ramblings of Mrs MiniKingdom

I’m not entirely sure why I decided to start painting minis. Granted, I've always had a bit of a creative streak and painting minis was something that only Jay did, but over the years I guess his passion for this hobby (which is now growing into a small mini business)  has slowly, but surely, wormed its way into my life.  Plus, it looked like a lot of fun!

So, I got myself set up on another desk in what we call the “studio” room and started to paint... more on that in a moment. However, I did feel a bit guilty about taking over Jay’s little sanctuary (a nice quiet place sans nagging wife) and I think it was a bit of a shock for him. Also, it may not have helped that I rearranged and organised the place a little and demanded we do a stock check of all the models/bits etc that Jay has accumulated over the years. He was reluctant at first of course, but it was definitely worth it – we unearthed a long list of cool stuff that is just begging to be painted!

Now, here’s where I confess; I have painted minis before and failed (to complete). I tried my hand at it not long after we got married but got quickly bored with it – I put this mainly down to me not being in the right head space for it at the time... and maybe the crappy uninspiring model. But, anyhoo, now is a different time and I’m full to the brim with ideas and can’t wait to paint.

My first lot of models that I started and finished last week were a unit of High Elf archers. These were pretty fun to paint, I even went as far as naming a couple of them – especially the ones that gave me trouble; don’t you just hate tight, inaccessible parts of a model?! Yeah Jerry I’m talking about you...they drove me mad they did.

Frank, Roger and Jerry!

But this was all a good learning experience. I got to try different techniques, tried my hand at wet blending and got to know which paints were my friend and which were bloody awful and should be avoided at all costs.  However, although these little dudes were a good starting point I know now that painting multiples, like an army or unit, may not be my forté. For one, even though I’m a newbette, I took way too long to complete them – fussing over every minute detail and going over things many many times. I think my calling in the mini-world will be with painting single characters to a high-ish standard... I suppose though only time (and skill) will tell.

My second project I really enjoyed doing, and this time I decided to focus my efforts on just one model or “little dudes” as I call minis. So, I chose Herald of Vulcanis by Soda Pop Miniatures, a promotional anti-hero for Super Dungeon Explore... which Jay just so happened to get recently (he’s been working on some other SDE models too which he’ll be featuring on the blog soon).

Now, this little dude is so super cute (god I sound like a right girl don’t I?)! Plus he’s got this whole Roman/Spartan thing going on which I love and which you don’t see too much of.

Sidenote: If you’re a Kickstarter fan you may have come across Arena Rex by Red Republic Games – now those models are to die for! After a lot of persuading (yeah right! Jay was hooked before I was) we pledged a decent sum for Arena Rex... early Christmas pressie you say? Don’t mind if I do. I’m especially looking forward to painting Bjarrhvit, if the artwork is to go by the model is going to be frackin insane!

Anyhoo, back to little Lord Vulcy. He was great to paint and pretty easy and I was able to take as much time as I wanted with him. He has a couple of cool little details that I made features of like the symbol on his shield – I washed it with bright red, so it would sink into the crack of the symbol and later painted around it with a gold/bronze mix. Then was his skirt and all the gold embroidery on that – I tell you, I got to know my 00 brush rather well for that task! I also made a feature out of the base. I didn't want it to be plain and so I gave it a molten lava effect. I also made sure that his eyes stood out, the colours I used also echo the colours I used on the base - black for the whites of the eyes and then red, orange and yellow layered on top, resulting in a striking deathly stare.

All in all Herald of Vulcanis is not a bad mini, the only real downside to the model is the material it’s made from; it’s very squishy and waxy but I guess for what it is it’s not too bad, after all it's meant to be a boardgame miniature.

But now that he’s done, I’m not sure what’s next. I do have some Warmachine models incoming but they may take a while to arrive, so I guess I’ll have to dig into our stock and find something shiny to paint... either way you ain't heard the last of me! :)

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