Rather than begin my main project I wanted to start with a smaller one, I looked over my collection of board games and found The Hobbit - an easy playing family style game, designed by Reiner Knizia and published by Fantasy Flight Games. The game itself isn’t the best I have on my game shelves, but it’s one that’s fairly simple, and one I hope will make for a fun little family game as my son and daughter approach ages more appropriate to such activities. I also love The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings books.
After experimenting with various undercoat sprays it took me a little while (I was mainly distracted by the launch of the Games in Schools and Libraries podcast) to get around to putting paint to figure.
|Undercoated and ready for paint...|
I started with the base coats, then liberally washed the miniatures with a black wash mixed from acrylic paint (not ideal, but there you have it), after the wash I used various coats of paint, from the base colour to lighter shades, to highlight and drybrush and pick out the details. To finish I used a gloss spray varnish, and then flocked the base of the Bilbo figure.
|Bilbo nearly complete, Smaug has just had a wash...|
All in all I am reasonably happy with the results, though I certainly think I’ll change a few things around before starting my main project (the Splintered Light figures for Song of Blades and Heroes).
And all done:
My current paints aren’t good enough - it may be that the undercoat is too smooth for the paint to purchase, but the pigments in the paints I have are paradoxically both too watery and too thick to give proper cover. I have ordered a new set of miniatures paints - The Army Painter paint set. This will give me some new brushes (which I need), as well as a good range of colours, metals and some proper washes. Hopefully these will fare much better.
I will be changing from a gloss to a matt varnish - I am happy with the finish for The Hobbit figures, but the gloss varnish is perhaps a little too much for what I want on my Splintered Light minis - I think a matt finish will produce a better effect.
I need to work on my basing techniques - I have some flock, static grass, sand and tufts of grass to use, and while Bilbo wasn’t going to be a complex base, it’s still not something I’ve ever done - even when I was painting miniatures all those years ago.
I am still not 100% convinced of the undercoat I have hit upon - it certainly covers well and doesn’t obscure the detail, but it may also be too shiny to serve as a really good undercoat. This may have been entirely the fault of my current paints - which are very poor at covering, well, anything, but the undercoat may also have exacerbated the issue. We shall see.
I am reasonably happy overall with the end results - hopefully when my new paints arrive I’ll be able to get stuck into my Splintered Light figures with pleasing results.
Well - I have already mentioned several times that I have a bunch of Splintered Light figures ready. I got these to use as warbands for the ‘Song of Blades and Heroes’ rules set - a great little simple table top game. I also have a figure from Gripping Beast I will be using to replace the figure I ruined from my Beowulf game while testing undercoats (and it’s a far better mini as well - and will stand in for that great Geatish hero). Lastly I have some lance wielding unicyclers for the bizarre little game ‘Pig Tickler’ - a rather odd little game from Eureka in Melbourne about Victorian era officers on unicycles trying to lance a mechanical pig. Yes, you did just read that.
I am also looking forward to the arrival at some point of the Dux Britanniarum rules - a set of early Dark Age miniatures rules that look fantastic. Undoubtedly after my Song of Blades and Heroes figures are ready to use I’ll be looking for some Romano-British and Saxon figures for that game (which I think I’ll collect in 15mm - for both quickness of painting of ease of storage).
I think that’s enough to be going on with!