It’s been a while since I did a hobby update, and I promise I’ll get back to painting the new Pai sculpt and Jugger soon, but Bernie and I decided to take it easy for a couple weeks after our recent Kickstarter campaign. In the spirit of clearing my head and just having some low pressure fun I decided to work on a couple models from my growing “guilt” collection.
Last week we sculpted our foam base and I got a bunch of hexes glued down on the 4 quadrants. This week I worked on our decorative end-cap. We wanted to make the diorama break down into parts for travel, the priority being the actual play surface. We painted some apartment buildings long ago and they always attract people to our table at conventions, this will be the deluxe version. With that in mind, we wanted to make an add-on with buildings and scenery that was optional.
I’ve been trying to take my time to make our first run of metal models look as good as I can so we can take photographs and videos to build our Kickstarter page and attract people to our game over the next few months. It fits well with a long-time personal goal of mine: learn to paint non-metallic metals (NMM). On the other side of the coin is the mounting pressure to get it done already
It’s no secret that painting black on miniatures is hard. I learned a few tricks at GenCon, the two that stick with me are: highlights should be about 1/2 the size of normal highlights, and highlighting from black to grey often just ends up looking grey - it is best to tint your black highlights with another color like blue (cool) or brown (warm). Very few things in life are truly pitch black, tinting blacks can help differentiate materials on a model and reflect the world around the miniature.
I’ve had an airbrush for a while but I could never seem to get it to work for me. I read all about how to use my airbrush, how to clean it, what consistency to get the paint (milk). I did have some success, well ONE success: base-coating my palm fronds for my Guild Ball Fisherman’s goal. Even then the resulting mess and frustration was hardly worth the effort. But in the back of my mind I know I need to learn this skill if for no other reason than to improve my horrible zenithal priming method.
My current painting project is like no other in my experience. I am painting our first metal miniatures to use in photos and videos on our Kickstarter page. I’ve submitted models in competitions before but this is a unique sort of pressure, this is for all the marbles! I really want to push myself to do the best that I can. With that in mind I need to take an honest look at my strengths and - more importantly - my weaknesses.
We started with this very helpful article which does a great job of breaking down the pros and cons including estimated costs of pewter, resin, and ‘board game plastic’. There are a few considerations when choosing material - the most important for us being cost because we are self-funded -but there is also ease of assembly, level of detail, and physical integrity. Our initial thought was pewter but we decided to weigh our options.