Variant: Taking the Plunge into Painting
Okay. So I’m admittedly a total geek. I own it. But one area of geekdom that I always thought was super cool was painting miniatures. I, however, have not been blessed with an abundance of artistic talent, so I’ve always been far too apprehensive about painting. But after doing some research and looking into the dip method, I decided it was time.
So out comes my copy of Shadows over Camelot. Shadows has several plain gray minis and I thought it would make the perfect starter set. The minis are a decent size and, though I enjoy Shadows, it’s not something that gets played all that often with my group. I felt like it was a safe choice; should I mess up, I wouldn’t have to endure the taunts of my friends.
So I borrowed the Wife’s acrylic paints (she’s got actual talent) and decided to give it a go. I bought spray primer at the local Michaels along with MinWax and a Matte coat to take away some of the sheen the dip gives. I also bought a set of the smallest (but still reasonably priced) brushes available. Primering was actually a big step. Before then, I still had pristine factory minis. After the primer, though, it was on. I had now tainted them and there was no choice but to continue painting. Like burning my boats behind me. Overdramatic metaphor for mini painting? No!
From there, I just started mixing and applying paints. I started with the colors that would be most prevalent. The first to go on were all of the browns (I also painted all the catapults). Belts, boots, scabbards, and the like all got the treatment. Then I went to flesh tones. Then metal, and so on. This save me a lot of time in drying and mixing paints. Were I to do it again, though, I think I might actually start with the skin and other inside paints. Then I could be sure to over paint and come back around later to paint over with other colors. As it was, a few of the figures ended up with a little bit of primer showing through.
Then it was time to dip. Although Andrew recommends dipping the whole mini and then shaking off, that was too messy for me. After trying that once, I decided that I would brush on the dip over the mini. I felt like that gave me more control and I was still able to coat the entire piece. From there, I waited for them to dry and sprayed the matte coating over everything that wasn’t supposed to be shiny. And, even though I definitely have room to improve, I’m pretty happy with the results.
Originally my plan was to paint the armies from Chaos in the Old World. Unfortunately, the figurines are a good deal smaller. So I’m going to wait until I have a little more practice before tackling that particular project. Instead, I’m now eying Legend of Drizz’t. With roughly one bazillion minis, that might take a while. But it should be fun.