Tag Archives: painting

Painting Diary – Hasslefree – Eve – part one


Eve leg strapsI really enjoyed writing the Sasha Dubois painting diary posts (start here), they actually made the process of painting the figure more interesting.  I thought I’d try stepping things up a notch, have a go at one of Hasslefree’s awesome sculpts (Eve), and write a few posts on doing that.  In terms of anatomy, relative sizes and detail it’s probably the best miniature I’ve ever tried to paint.  Usually things like belts or leg straps are 0.5mm or more in depth on miniatures, if you consider the scale (28mm being around 168cm) then a 0.5mm strap is about 3cm deep (I think), which is clearly unrealistic.  However, we’re talking about ‘representative’ miniatures, so it’s never been an issue for me.  Hasslefree sculpts are on the more realistic side of the barrier, so leg straps have a tiny depth (see image), barely any higher than the surrounding leg.  Painting this figure is going to be a challenge.

To add to that challenge, there are some amazing paint jobs of Eve on the Hasslefree site, the people who paint those mini’s are real artists and their attention to detail, brush control and fine touch is beyond me.  So I just hope I do the figure some kind of justice in my own way.
Continue reading Painting Diary – Hasslefree – Eve – part one

Size matters

So, here’s a collage (I love Picasa) of 10 miniatures.  In theory, these are all 28mm or 32mm scale mini’s.  It’s 1024 wide so if you’re looking at this on your smart phone you may want to wait!  Click for the full size image.  From left to right, top to bottom they are, Big Boris (Heresy), Echo (Black Scorpion), Black Jack Davey (Black Scorpion), Sheriff (Black Scorpion), Sadie (Hasslefree), Tony (Hasslefree), Shimmer (Hasslefree), Ceril (Hasslefree), Kat (Hasslefree) and a dwarf from Rackham for a completely wacky counterpoint.

Miniature Size comparison


So I’ve been ordering a bunch of miniatures recently, a couple or three from a range of different places to find out which ones I like best.  You can get an impression of the miniatures from the on-line shops but you’ll never really know what they’re like until you get some.  From Hasslefree I bought Ceril, Eve, Kat, Tony, Sadie and Shimmer.  I can’t believe how clean the molds are, virtually no mold lines and absolutely zero flash.  The mini’s are really delicate and very fine.  They’re beautiful, but I fear I won’t be able to do them justice when painting them, and personally I think I tend to prefer slightly over-scaled miniatures (heroic scale, 32mm, whatever you want to call them) with slightly exagerated features.  We’ll see how they work out.

From Heresy I bought Big Boris mk2 and some green stuff (modelling putty, to fill gaps when I’m putting multi-part mini’s together).  There was quite a lot of flash on the axe, but hardly any mold lines or flash anywhere else.  The figure is pretty big as 28mm scaled figures go, I’ll get a photograph of them all together sorted out with a ruler or something.  I got Big Boris because I wanted a go at painting flesh with a lot of area to work with, and he fits that bill.  I’m eyeing up the sci-fi range at Heresy, so you may see some more stuff from them soon.

I bought three mini’s from Black Scorpion miniatures, really to see what scale they were and get a feel for them.  I got Echo, Sheriff, and Black Jack Davey to see what the various ranges were like.  There’s a lot more flash on these figures than Hasslefree or Heresy, and some quite large pieces of metal left over from the molding process.  They’re also much more like the figures I’m used to when compared to Hasslefree (they’re slightly less realistic and more overscaled), but that’s good, because I think that’s what I prefer.  They’re nice figures.

Then last night I found a link to another UK miniature place (Copplestone Castings) on a forum, and ended up buying a few miniatures from them (clearly, not arrived yet), to see what they’re like.

Most of the Hasslefree miniatures are multi-part, because the angle of the arms or various weapons prevents them from being cast a single pieces, the Boris mini from Heresy is also clearly multi-part for the same reason and also so that several options can be provided.  The Black Scorpion Miniatures likewise, have several bits.  So over the last couple of weeks and for a few hours yesterday I’ve been glueing them together using super-glue.  I don’t think any of them are large enough to need pinning (strengthening the join with metal pins), but I guess we’ll find out when I try painting them if they fall apart.

First real go at non-drybrush skin

I’ve gotten into the habit of just dry brushing skin tones on miniatures, in fact, dry brushing everything.  These three mini’s represent my first serious goes at non-dry brush skin.  I picked mini’s with a lot of spare flesh since the aim was to practice flesh tones.  The top three are from a female warrior and is the one I’m trying to get most right, the bottom three shots are two Ral Partha mini’s I’m using to test things out on for now.

inprogressI’m pretty pleased in general, there’s a lot of scope for much smoother blending, but I’m pleased with the general highlights.  I just need to look at more real flesh to work out how it actually looks (I’m going to call it research).

Painting Diary – Chronoscope – Sasha DuBois – part seven

Is that a Light I see before me?

touch-up-comparisonI often find that with miniatures the end sneaks up on you, and it’s no different with Sasha.  One moment I was looking and thinking there was a lot of work ahead, and the next minute, she’s done.  Done in the sense that the main figure is done, the base is clearly not done, but I haven’t properly based a miniature for about 10 years since all I do when they’re finished is stick them in a foam box.  So, this is part seven in a seven or maybe eight part diary about painting Sasha DuBois (other parts are one, two, three, four, five, six).

Yesterday (Saturday as I write this) we popped out after breakfast to Hobbycraft and Maplins and picked up a few things.  Some acrylic extender which I’ve been after for a while, a magnifying visor, a brush stand and a few other items.  Acrylic extender prevents the paint drying so quickly which is useful when it’s very thin, which in turn is very useful when using small brushes and detail work.  I tested the visor on a couple of other miniatures and then set about Sasha’s yellow bits.  The extender is really excellent, keeping the paint on the brush useful even when moving slowly with small amounts of paint, and the visor is good enough to let me see some real detail.  The picture just above shows the panels on the back of the figure before and after the second layer.  That layer was put on using the extender and the visor.  That was all that got done on the figure on Saturday.  There’s a few of photo’s of that stage after the cut …

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

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!


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.