Geeky Hobbies: Sunday Afternoon Painting

Last week I posted up the mini I was making for my son. He was very specific on his Iron Kingdoms RPG, so I had to use bits and pieces from 6 different minis, a bunch of Dremeling, and some green stuff, to get it together.

So I painted him today according to my son’s very exacting specifications. (no darker. Make it darker. Make those bits look glowey!)

People have asked me to do step by step pictures before, (probably non-painters who don’t realize that I’m not actually very good relatively speaking) but I did remember to do it this time, mostly because my son was helping me.

First up, primer. I spray prime white, then do a really watery black primer brush coat to see all the details and to shadow the hard to get to bits.

Hutchuck 1

Then the base coat. This is just slapping down some watery coats to block out areas.

Hutchuck 2

Then a little bit of shading up and down. Darker colors in the shadowed areas and a little white or grey mixed in with the base colors on the high spots.

Hutchuck 3

Then more shading and details. Red is weird, because if you shade it up with white it just turns pink and looks weird. So I use red ink on the the recesses to give it some depth, and shade up with greys.

I used bronze metallic paint, but shade it up with metallic silver, the give it some shadow and corrosion effect with a metal wash, and some jade green and torqoise.

Hutchuck 4

Now the details, which means getting out the little tiny brush.

Hutchuck 5

My regular iPhone pictures look like crap, and I tried a light box and my wife’s good camera, but couldn’t figure out the settings. So internet to the rescue, and using some paper towels and a couple of lamps, my iPhone took much better shots.

Hutchuck 6

Here’s the requested spots. Don’t ask me. I’m not 8.

Hutchuck 7

After clear coating with Testor’s dull coat, I threw down some glue on the base and rolled it in static grass. So that’s it.

Since my improvised paper towel light box seemed to be working well, I took a couple of photos of other minis I’d painted which I’d only gotten really crappy pictures of before.

Stannis front

Stannis Brocker

Stannis back

Halberdiers (that I replaced their heads with conquistators)


EDIT: my next conversion projects

conversion wip

The evolution of a book cover
The Drowning Empire, Episode 8: Shintaro in the Swamp

4 thoughts on “Geeky Hobbies: Sunday Afternoon Painting”

  1. And here’s the painted pics!

    Ogrun with gas mask, funny smoke, and ‘idiot calibration tool’: Would not want to meet that in a dark alley!

    And I think you paint faces better than I do!

  2. > People have asked me to do step by step pictures before,

    As one of those people who’s been asking – thanks!

    > (probably non-painters who don’t realize that I’m not actually very good relatively speaking) but I did remember to do it this time, mostly because my son was helping me.

    Well, I’m a realist. I know that you’re not world class…but I also know that I haven’t painted a figure in 20 years, and I want to get back to it, so I figured a overview tutorial by someone who is achieving decent results…but also has a life and a lot of other responsibilities…would hit the sweet spot.

    …and it did! Thanks!

  3. Larry,
    For even higher contrast, you can always dry-brush with white after you blackwash the mini. That way, you get really bright highlights and really deep shadows. This increased contrast can look almost comic bookish, but a lot of kids like the way the details jump out.

    Another method that I have seen one of my favorite miniature painters (Jérémie Bonamant Teboul) use is, after applying the basic colors to the mini, very lightly spray paint white from above. This gives you a really good idea of where the highlights should be (assuming light from above), so you know where to highlight. More importantly, it creates a bright undercoat for the highlight areas, so you can get brighter highlights.

    BTW, for intermediate to advanced painters, I think that Jérémie Bonamant Teboul’s instructional videos are the most useful. The video is in French, with his own voice speaking English dubbed in on the English-language version of the video, but even considering the sometimes spotty production quality, it’s the most useful video that I have ever found. It’s just called “Miniature Painting with Jérémie Bonamant Teboul). His site is at this URL:

    Anyway, you have done a great job on this conversion. Achievement unlocked:

    Have a great day, Larry.
    -Steve Myers

  4. Glad to watch your efforts show constant progress. The secret to painting red is that it is not ‘weird’….paint all dark red first, then a medium shadow second and then pure red for all hi-lites.. ..

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