Category Archives: Miniatures

Articles which talk about miniatures, painting them, etc.

Painting Diary – Chronoscope – Sasha DuBois – part six

The Devil is in the Detail

Light grey undercoat on cuffsThis is part six in an increasingly long painting diary for my Sasha DuBois miniature.  There were five parts before this, which you can get to in order from here, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.  One of the most crucial things this diary has taught me is that no matter how good you think your painting is, no matter how well you think you covered an area, no matter how fine you think the line you just painted was, photographing it with a 7 megapixel camera and blowing it up will prove you wrong.  In some ways it’s quite handy, for example I’ve just come to the end of a session working on Sasha, and reviewing the photo’s shows me some places where I need to look a little harder and touch the various colours up a little bit.  I guess with a magnifying glass /visor I may be able to see that kind of detail, but when holding the miniature normally and painting it at the moment I can’t.

Continue reading Painting Diary – Chronoscope – Sasha DuBois – part six

Beaten by the zombie hoard

So I didn’t finish them all, but I put in a damn good showing!  They are zombies after all and eventually, all mortals fall to them.

Four more done, only 5 of the 20 left to go!

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I’m really tired of these zombies now and it’s showing in the detail (or lack of it).  In fact, looking back at the way I cleaned them (hardly at all) and undercoated them (badly) it’s clear I wasn’t that excited about them from the start.  I bought them when it looked like I was going to give Warhammer the game a go, but that never really got off the ground.  I’ve enjoyed painting them, don’t get me wrong, but in order to enjoy it I’ve had to basically use the figures as experiments, playing with technique and colour and seeing how things look.

Five more to go … but working tomorrow and roleplaying in the evening (yay), so they won’t get touched until the weekend at the earliest.

Painting Diary – Chronoscope – Sasha DuBois – part five

Cloak and not Dagger

First couple of washes go onThis is the fifth post in the Sasha DuBois painting diary set (the others are one, two, three and four).  I’m a bit up and down about my painting skill level at the moment (my regular normal state for anything I create), some days thinking I’m quite happy with my skill level thank you very much and other days a bit down because I feel I should be better, if I just spent a bit more time.  However, I spend as much time as I spend and I enjoy that time and at the end of the day that’s what truly matters, it’s relaxing and enjoyable.  I’m happy with being slightly better than barely average (at the moment).

At the end of the fourth post I’d just put the base coat onto the coat (this could get confusing), using scab red.  I then spent a little while (a few days) not really painting anything, and finally got back into the swing by putting a lot of effort into the zombies.  I also managed to wash and brush the coat on this mini and then put some black onto the boots (too thickly, sigh).  Anyway.

Continue reading Painting Diary – Chronoscope – Sasha DuBois – part five

Bah and buggerit

I thought I was doing the right thing taking the photo’s without the flash with as much ambient light as I could generate and then using picasa to correct the white balance etc.  However, looking at the new pictures (uploaded) they’re worse than the ones I initially took with the flash ages ago.  These are only there to get the basic images on-line so folk can see the figures, but I’m still annoyed at myself.  Internal warring between the ‘it’s done, leave it, they’re only crappy little miniatures’ and the ‘do it right, if it’s worth doing it’s worth doing it right’ factions.

I’m going to take Simes up on his offer to do some good photo’s of some of the better mini’s, this isn’t about that, it’s just about having a library of all the minis I’ve got in photo form.

Five hours.

Maybe I’ll do them again, but much later.

This is a similar issue to when I was doing the photo scans, ended up throwing a good weeks worth of work away when I changed my mind about DPI and file format.

Anyway, here’s some of the earliest miniatures, in their terrible horrific glory.

10 minutes turns into 3 hours

After writing the last post I thought I’d go looking for some really old mini’s, what I thought would take 10 minutes turned into 3 hours of photographing even more of them.  I found several more batches that I’d not photographed before, and despite the fact that many of them are very early pieces and so painted really badly, I’m going to post them to the picasa albums anyway.

In some respects, the terrible ones are an inspiration, because it reminds me that I have actually gotten better over time.  I did find some really old models and one of the earliest figures I painted (in enamel) which I’ll post pictures of later.

Now I have to work out how to repack and store a bunch of mini’s that I’ve taken out of the tin they were in because it wasn’t a good place for them, despite the fact that I probably have no-where better to put them either.

Miniatures over time

The five hobbies I’ve been doing since my early teens are watching movies, reading books, using computers, playing games and painting miniatures.  Books have changed the least, although I suspect we’re on the cusp of something in that area.  Computers have changed beyond recognition and now take part in every aspect of my day-to-day life.

But I’m surprised by how much has changed in the world of miniatures.  When I was collecting and painting miniatures in the 80’s, they were pretty cool, almost all metal and made by a range of companies.  They were sold in Beatties and various model shops as well as early hobby stores.  The model detail was ok, but they weren’t always very crisp.  Multi-part pieces didn’t really fit together that well and you had to spend a lot of time filing and filling.  As the 80’s progressed the miniatures got better and at some point, Games Workshop flooded the market with collectable miniature games.  Soon, all you could easily get hold of were GW mini’s, and they were plastic!  Cheaply moulded, not always very clean and very similar in design.  Time moved on again and their mini’s got more complex and more interesting, and now I find, after not painting for quite a while, that in the UK there are a few small family run mini businesses making very high quality figures in a range of genres.

What has also changed, in my eyes, is the quality of painting.  Sure the guys painting for White Dwarf in the early days were good, but these days the quality seems to be on another level all together.

It’s interesting to me because I tend to paint for a while, and then take a long break, and when I come back there’s usually been a major change in the world of miniatures.  This time I have a real desire to keep at it, to continue painting for long stretch in the hope that it gives me something to do and that I can actually improve my skill past the point I’m at.  I feel that I’m no further forward now than I was in the early 90’s at university because of the long breaks I always take.

If I can paint more often, keep my hand in, as it were, hopefully I’ll be able to improve my skills, and now that I’ve found some amazing mini’s for sale in the UK there’s a wealth of figures I’d just to have a go at.

I’ll try and dig out some of the mini’s I first bought and compare those with the detail on mini’s you can get now.