More Geeky Hobbies

Earlier this year I decided I needed a hobby where I could unplug my brain and destress once in awhile. So I took up painting miniatures. I’ve been getting better at it. I did this one tonight for one of my daughter’s L5R characters. As usual the iPhone really doesn’t do it justice, especially for the shading or color detail. I’m going to build a light box, borrow my wife’s really nice camera and take all new photos before too long, but I was really pleased with this one and wanted to show it off.

I still need to base it. (using fake grass and gravel) and clear coat.

If you are curious, the character originated during this game:ยย  And I’ve since gone on to run a campaign for my kids. I’d already made one for this particualr daughter, but that was when I was first learning, and her sister’s Moshi shugenja was way prettier, a situation which I was informed was completely unacceptable.

The mini is from Anima Tactics, but I had to make the ono (big ax) myself.




The Burning Throne, Episode 9: Traitors & Rice Merchants
Monster Hunter Vendetta was one of the highest rated audiobooks of 2011

23 thoughts on “More Geeky Hobbies”

  1. It’s good to see you’re using Reaper paints. Best around for minis. But keep practicing. Don’t let mediocrity go to your head.

      1. Yeah. Blame it on the camera.
        At least you didn’t have her eyes drooping down her cheeks as some of your other work.
        Keep practicing.
        And keep writing.

        1. It is an iPhone picture taken under flourescent lights at night. So yeah, actually it does pretty much suck. You can’t even differentiate half the colors there. And to be fair, the droopy eyeballs date back to my first ones from a few months ago. I haven’t done anything with sloppy cartoon eyes for awhile.

          So John, why don’t you send me a piece of fiction you’ve written that you are really proud of and I’ll post it here and brutally critique and nitpick it? But I wouldn’t do that, because it would be rude. Spoil sport. ๐Ÿ™‚

          1. Hah. Larry, you’re comparing apples and oranges. I love your writing and find no fault with it. Can I write fiction/non-fiction? Absolutely not and have no pretenses. But I can paint circles around you. I’ve been sculpting and painting minis for 40 years ( yes 40 ) and have enough awards to keep the state of New Jersey warm and comfy this Winter if I burn them.
            The worse harm that an experienced painter to do to a beginner is tell him his work is just fine and dandy. This shows a lack of respect for the potential that is in all of us. As well as a lack of respect for the beginner.

          2. Fair enough, but I’ve been painting for a few months and have no pretenses about winning any awards. It’s a hobby to unplug my brain. I’m certainly not sticking it on CoolMini! (Yeah, I’d be about a 2 over there, and I think you get a 1.5 if you can color in the lines. I’m under no delusions)

            And truthfully, the pictures don’t do it justice. Once I get the light box and borrow my wife’s camera, I’ll put these next to it and you can see what I’m talking about. When the guys in my game group came over to my house last time and saw the ones I’d done, they were all very happy to see that they didn’t suck nearly as badly in person. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve been doing layers of shading and brightening high spots on the last few, but you literally can’t see that at all on these pics.

            Once I get MHL out the door I plan on hooking up with Howard Tayler for a painting session so I can see how he does it.

          3. That’s the right attitude. Back when I started I had an epiphany. I had been painting for a year and my buds and family told me how great I was. I knew I was ready to show the World the Durer of miniatures, the new Michelangelo of details and the re-born DaVinci of creative mini-settings. I went to my very first competition using my buddy’s van to carry home all the awards I would receive and the very first display I saw was of 3 mounted Curassiers ca 1812 in full charge with froth coming from the horses mouths and detailed teeth in the riders screaming faces ( in 54mm ). This was the work of Shep Paine. I took my stuff out to the van and tossed ( literally ) the garbage into the back. Then a little red-faced walked back in to the competition and started to learn. It was 3 years before I competed again.

          4. Trust me. I’m under no delusions of greatness in this or any other endeavor. I’ve got friends that have made a living painting minis for money. My stuff looks like garbage in comparision. I’m a rank newbie who does this for fun.

            Here is my issue. Back when I started shooting competitively, I’d won a few local matches and thought I was pretty awesome until the first time I shot in a national match and looked like a chump compared to the best in the world. Some of the top shooters gave me advice, a couple were pricks, but most were totally awesome and gave me tips. I got better. At the same time, other people that I started out with dropped out of the sport because of the pricks.

            Here’s the thing, back when I was shooting a couple thousand rounds a month in practice and was an instructor, if I came across somebody that was new and enthusiatic to guns, I’d be a real dick if I criticized their relative mediocrity. Maybe it is a difference in teaching philosophy, but I like to build up and encourage people to get better, rather than to insult them because I’m a lot more experienced. Sure, you can say to yourself that you are helping them not become complacent or realize their potential or whatever, but in my experience more often than not what you do is turn them off completely. I’ve seen it profesionally with shooting and I’ve seen it even more with writing. So it irks me when I see people do that sort of thing in any endeavor.

          5. Don’t know about shooting ( last time I was shooting was in ’66 in some place across the Pacific….God the women were beautiful ) and don’t know about writing. I understand you’re painting minis to increase the pleasure of your gaming. I’m well aware of that. But credit must be given where credit is due. If realistic criticism wounds the egos of the thin skinned to where they drop out it only shows the lack of deep seated competitiveness that is necessary in any endeavor. I tell everyone I meet who aspires to paint and paint well that 50% is technique and even a one-armed monkey can learn it. The other 50% is creative ( what separates me from Shep Paine ๐Ÿ™ ).
            And when I criticize I ‘m looking only at the work….not the individual.
            I expect no less in return.

            Btw. The charity idea is cool. But I donate only to the Salvation Army where I know 100% goes to the needy and not lining the pockets of ‘administrations’ first.

          6. As for deep seated competitiveness, you’re talking to a guy who became a novelist out of spite.

            There’s realistic harsh criticism, and if you choose to enter that level of competition, then you deserve it. When I write something for professional publication I have to bring my A game, because I know I’m going to be savaged by critics. (and they can be very mean) The fictions I write for fun and throw out on the blog are of much lower quality accordingly. If somebody comes along and insults the literary qualities of Tom Stranger, then they’re a humorless ass, because duh. It was something created for laughs, not to win a Hugo or make a million dollars.

            If you just feel the compulsive need to poop on somebody who is only trying to have a good time, you just soured their good time for no good reason. If I go to someone’s blog, read their Harry Potter fan fiction that they wrote for kicks, and then give them my unsolicited comments telling them that their characterization is flat and their plotting is mediocre, yet don’t offer anything helpful or constructive, and tell them I should know because I’m like a successful novelist and stuff, I’m not doing them a favor, I’m just being a dick. ๐Ÿ™‚

          7. You live in a different world than I do, Larry. The Art of Writing verges on magic to me. I cannot comprehend it. While the figure painting community is something I’m intimate with. And it is one of egos.
            Remember I said you painted minis to add more pleasure to your gaming and the fun fantasy you write surrounding the gaming.
            You and I are Facebook chums. You can check out a few photos of my work there ( including a 28mm Warhammer ).
            Please don’t forget that while I’m not in awe of your painting I am in awe of your writing having literally the pleasure of reading everything you published. I’ve passed your work onto my adult son who after two MHIs got a tattoo of the MHI horned-one on his right arm. I’ve also passed your work onto my friends in the figure painting community and have addicted them as well.
            You realize if this string continues too long you and I will have to get married…..

          8. I’m already taken. And if they bring back polygamy I’m really hoping it is the kind with multiple wives and not the other way around. ๐Ÿ™‚

          9. Hah. Been married now for 44 years. Since I’m the cook my wife wont share me with anyone. While we chatted I made a homemade tortellini spinach soup with meatballs….and I have 3 commissioned
            minis on the workbench I’ve ignored…..
            Life in NJ is complex at best!

  2. I prefer Citadel metallics. Good work Larry! I agree with your coaching style and I know how crappy a phone pic can be compared to the real thing.

  3. Perhaps the cause of the Christmas Noun isn’t being off your anti-psychotic meds, but instead the paint fumes? ๐Ÿ™‚

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