Adventures in Mini Painting

I’ve never been a minis guy. Mainly, I’ve stuck to roleplaying and board games. I dabbled with Magic, but never took to minis for one dark, secret reason: I’m lousy with a brush. At least, so I thought.

When I say ‘lousy,’ I don’t mean tried-it-once-and-didn’t-like-it lousy. I went to art school and did fine with pencils, charcoal, pens … but whenever my hand brought brush to paper it looked like I hired a caffeinated grade schooler to cover for me. My hand shakes like I’m running for office. It’s bad.

Now things are changing. Minis will be a big part of +1 Gaming, which means it’s time I learned to stop worrying and love the paint. I goaded a gaming buddy into showing me the ropes. I had an unpainted mini for a paladin character to use.

So How Did It Go?

First Time Painting Job - Prince Imrahil

Caleb, paladin of Bahamut, before and after

Pretty awesome! You can see the results. I had two big concerns going in:

It’d be boring. It was in fact extremely relaxing. I had to focus just enough that all the random chaos and noise I usually call my thoughts got drowned out. It’s a great time to listen to music, a podcast, or a movie that’s not heavy on visuals.

It’d look amateur. Luckily, my friend showed me a few shortcuts to a detailed look requiring no real skill. The two biggest were using a dark wash and how to drybrush correctly.

My only problem was that I didn’t pick the most forgiving chair, and my posture’s pretty poor. I was in agony by the end, mainly because I was enjoying it so much I painted through all the warning aches. Learn from my mistakes!

Final Thoughts

There are lots of ways to paint, but this was dirt-easy. Even if I wasn’t getting acquainted with minis gaming, I’d love to do this for roleplaying minis. Reaper makes a gazillion unpainted minis for a bunch of genres; we’ll have some as cheap at $3 last I checked.

DakkaDakka has a slew of articles, videos and an awesome gallery (not to mention forums) for inspiration and help, too. A few folks have even talked about offering painting workshops at the store, and I’d love to swap tips.

Would you like more posts about painting, such as tutorials or tips? Let us know in the comments.


4 responses to “Adventures in Mini Painting”

  1. EarlofGroan says:

    Nice work, Jeremy!

  2. TheGrease says:

    you must teach me oh wise one!

    No seriously, I need to learn how to paint these things!

  3. Cferretrun says:

    Honestly, had you not convinced me that painting really wasn’t so complicated I probably would have passed over Hordes (even though they taunted me with warpwolves). I was terrified of picking up a brush, and reasonable convinced that my figures would come out looking horrible and messy. One of my favorite things about +1 is the community. I got tips from so many people, and constructive criticism that really helped me find easy ways to detail pieces without spending agonizing amounts of time having to fix mistakes for small details. I learned that inks and washes are your best friends, and even though I personally dreaded tiny human faces, I am ecstatic with how my warlock came out. I couldn’t have done it without +1 Gaming’s close knit community. Thanks!

  4. mattblackgoldknights says:

    nice did u piant the demo 40k if so start the hobbie