Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Brand New Universe- Miniature Painting

I originally chose the name of this blog to be aspirational. I sure would like to let my soul stand as "cool and composed" as Uncle Walt would have it. I also liked the fact that the name could represent the scope of my many, many interests. I have a lot. And I have a new one!

I give you RPG miniature painting.

This is a natural progression from our ongoing family interest in playing Dungeons and Dragons. We often use  miniature representations of our player characters during game play. We initially bought a few plastic, pre-painted miniatures, and the boys quite liked them, and each started a collection squirrelled away in their rooms, that mere mortals wouldn't dare to touch for the purposes of gaming or other. Oh, no, my precious. These kids have the collector gene, and their stuff remains mint in box, or else!

These never caught my interest. The paint jobs tend to be poor, and the selection is limited. We looked into unpainted pewter minis briefly trying to find ones that matched our player characters better, but I was really disappointed in the female offeringsT&A, and bikini mail galore, or just not enough to my liking to take on the task of learning to paint them.

Enter Stonehaven. A fledgling miniature company with great art concepts and female minis that have every bit as much character and interest as the males. So far they've done a set of dwarves, and their Kickstarter for a kick ass set of gnomes has just wrapped up. We bought a set of each, to be shared and used, and not to be locked away in air tight, temperature controlled chambers (this took some convincing), and we are learning how to paint them.

These suckers are little. With a quarter for scale:

Painting them requires quite a bit of technique, and a steady hand. We're learning. The boys are taking to it like ducks to water, and because these can always be stripped back to the pewter if you hate your end result, the rampant perfectionism isn't getting the better of them. We've also gotten great help from our local Games Workshop. The owner has taken time to give us advice and demos even though the shop is always bustling.

The above miner dwarf is my first attempt. He is temporarily affixed to a Golden paint jar, but will eventually be glued to a base that we are going to trick out with sculpey stonework and mini jewels. The boys aren't quite ready to display theirs yet, but expect a lot more dwarves to come (we have 20!). I am excited to see how we improve as we practise and learn.

For an example of just about the most skilled miniature painter I have come across in my research -James Wappel. He blows my ever-lovin' mind. Hella talented.

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