Different Strokes: Technique and Painting Speed

Recently I’ve been experimenting with a few of the techniques that the Privateer Press painting staff talk about in their recent books.  It’s taken a while to adapt to a new way of doing things but after getting used to it I’ve been able to increase the speed I can paint a figure pretty significantly.

Vice Scrutator Vindictus
Vice Scrutator Vindictus

The biggest change I’ve picked up on is how I layer cloth.  In the past I’ve started with the darkest shadow color and slowly worked up from there layer by layer.  But recently I’ve switched to basecoating with my  mid-tone  and shading down from that in thin coats, falling back to wet blending occasionally just to smooth out some of the larger surfaces.

Vindictus in particular only took a few days for me to do, and for me that’s faster than it usually would. If it weren’t for the filigree around the armor plates, I expect it would’ve gone even faster.

I’ve also spent some time on a reaper figure lately, using this technique primarily on her cloak. A lot of the rest of her is quick-work, but all in all, she’ll make a good RPG figure once complete.

Reaper Miniatures #2834 Deladrin, Female Assassin
Reaper Miniatures #2834 Deladrin, Female Assassin

I’m still refining the techniques, but for now I’m satisfied with how the figures are turning out. Soon I’ll be moving on from my recent string of Protectorate pieces to try out the wintery blues of my Legion. Between that and a few side pieces I’m working on, I should have ample opportunity to perfect the new technique.

¿Qué pasa con todo el azul?

My painting has been progressing slowly but steadily.  Nowadays it seems like I can only spend so much time with the brush before I need a break.  But I recently made progress on a handful of miniatures so I figured it was time to add to my (lacking as of late) collection of WIP shots.

Rhoven & Honor Guard
Rhoven & Honor Guard

First up is Rhoven and the Honor Guard.  I posted some initial WIPs of the Honor Guard a while back and since then I’ve made some pretty good progress.  The Honor Guards have actually been sitting mostly done for a little while now while I worked on Rhoven himself.

I’m most happy with the lower portion of Rhoven’s robes so far, but there’s still some work that needs to be done.  I’m going to repaint the stole for starters; the highlights were pretty borked when I did them the first time.  That and some more general cleanup work should make him ready for sealing.

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Switching Gears – Painting RPG Miniatures

After the rush to get my army painted for Hardcore and the disappointment of not being able to play, I decided to take a break from painting Privateer Press miniatures.   I’ll come back to them soon enough but I spent the past couple weeks finishing up a handful of models for our weekly roleplaying game.

First up are a couple of Reaper figures that I picked up for two of the players.   The first for a hammer-wielding fighter type.   As our “knight in shining armor” I went with bright plate armor accentuated with a bright regal blue.   The stock figure (Reaper 3324, Stern Kestrelmen) is armed with a sword but I swapped it out for a hammer from the Games Workshop Mordheim Mercenary Sprue.

I thought about accenting his armor with a brass or gold color but the character really isn’t one for embellishment.   I’m pleased with him overall, thought he needs a little touch up before his final sealing.   I also used Stern here to test the “Advanced Faces” painting guide in issue 23 of No Quarter Magazine.   The technique turned out ok for a first attempt but I need to experiment some more before I’m comfortable with it.

Reaper 3324 - Stern Kestrelmen
Reaper 3324, Stern Kestrelmen

Next is our party arcanist.   For this figure I went with a bright fantasy-esque fiery theme to match his flavor of magic and his temper. I had initially painted his inner robe yellow but it looked too much like a rain slicker.   I repainted it in the gray you see here to try and evoke a little smoke to the robe’s fiery color.

Valdarynn probably needs the most work out of all of these models before getting “finished” – his hands need highlighting and I have to clean up his fire and smooth out his robe.   I’ll  probably also  add a few highlights to his outer garment.   The blond hair turned out fairly well though – I used Reaper Master Series Yellowed Bone (similar to GW Bleached Bone) as a base coat and washed with a thinned down mix of a yellow paint and GW Brown Ink, adding a little more ink in for successive washes to do the deeper shadows.

Reaper 2591 - Valdarynn, Arch Mage
Reaper 2591, Valdarynn, Arch Mage

After Valdarynn we have the Mercenary Assassin from Confrontation.   I picked this figure up a while ago and was holding on to him until I got inspired enough to paint him.   When I dug him up while searching through my bare pewter collection for a good figure for my rouge/assassin type character I figured now was as good of a time as any.

I really wanted this figure to have an overall shadowy feel to him, hence the various grays that were used as the primary colors.   Even the browns for the leather were done in a   muted tone so as to not stand out.   I realized that I needed something to make him pop, though and decided to paint the cloth mask a bright red as an accent.   Once I clean up a few areas and paint the lantern on his back, the merc assassin will be ready for his final sealing.

Confrontation Mercenary Assassin
Confrontation Mercenary Assassin

Even though I’m posting my merc sprue soldier last, he’s actually the first of the models I did for my game.   We had a few of my older figs that stood in for everyone except the axe wielding hedge mage in our group.   Before I knew I was going to be picking up a couple Reaper figs, I dug through my bits box for pieces from the Mordheim Mercenary Sprue to put together this model.

I did a quick 2-day speed painting job to get him finished and on the table as quick as possible.   The result wasn’t as high of a quality as my other work.   If I knew I was going to be painting new figures for most of the party I would have taken more time but he was already completed and sealed before I made that decision.   Still, he’s a solid tabletop-quality piece and works well for us in our RPG campaign.

Merc Sprue Soldier
Merc Sprue Soldier

I’m including the last two characters of the group below, even though they’re not new paint jobs.   I painted this first figure back in 2003 to use as a priest-type character, the same type of character it’s getting used for now.   This was back before I started cutting the broccoli-bases off my Reaper figures – I hate those things.

Reaper 2720, Inquisitor of Malvernis

The archer is another GW Mercenary Sprue figure I put together for my friend’s archer in an Earthdawn game I ran back in 2004.   That same player is playing another bow-wielding character in our current group so it seemed fitting to re-use the same figure.   He’s from my pre-basing days, so he’s just on a plain black base.   One of these days I’ll go back and add some basing to him.

Games Workshop Mercenary Sprue Archer

So that’s it for my current gaming group’s party of characters.   We’re trying a few things different this time around with regards to the game itself which are working out for us.   I want to talk about them some time in the near future but I’m going to wait until after we get a few more sessions in first.