Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wraith Revisited

In the comments to my post from last Thursday, I was asked by Kiltedyaksman (of Discourse & Dragons) to give some more detail on the method used to paint the Wraith miniature, particularly what paints and inks I used. I don't recall where I first saw a similar method of painting ghosts, and I played around with a couple different things that I wasn't happy with, until things all seemed to come together on this one. Unfortunately, I did not take any notes for this miniature. Fortunately, I do remember the technique I used and many of the paints are standard colors that I use all the time, so recreating the “recipe” isn’t very difficult. So while I can’t swear that this is EXACTLY what I used and how I painted the miniature, it’s a damn close approximation!

As a refresher, here is the miniature in question:

This is the Crypt Wraith from Reaper Miniatures, sculpted by Bob Ridolfi. Or as my wife calls it, the Statue of Liberty Ghost. 

Paints used:
White spray primer (Krylon)
Neutral Gray (Model Master Acryl)
Flat White (Model Master Acryl)
Titanium White (Liquitex)
Green Ink (Games Workshop)-I don’t think this is available any longer from GW
Gloss coat spray lacquer (Testors)
Dull coat spray lacquer (Testors)
acrylic thinner
“Magic Wash” (Future acrylic floor polish & water)

After priming, I put on a base coat of Neutral Gray, then a dry brushing of Flat White, enough to hit all the raised surfaces while leaving gray showing through on the deep parts and the flat surfaces (shield, armor, helmet). Then a very light dry brushing with Titanium White (thinned quite a bit), just touching the highest points. For the inking, I used Green Ink mixed with “Magic Wash”. I believe I first used a mix of 50/50 ink/wash, then a second coat of 70/30 ink/wash to darken the deeper spots. I may have touched up a few spots with an even heavier mix of ink to wash, as it seems there are a few spots that are darker than the rest. 2 coats of gloss coat and 2 coats of dull coat finish the mini, aside from basing.

If you’ve not used or heard of “Magic Wash”, a quick search online will bring up many, many hits with different ratios of floor polish to water. From straight polish to mostly water, everyone has a mix that they like best. Truthfully, I don’t remember exactly the ratio I used last time I mixed a batch up, I think it was 1:4 but it may have been 2:3 (wax:water). I’ve got a good sized bottle of it mixed, so I won’t need to figure it out any time soon.

For the base, the mini was glued to a 1” washer, then coated the washer with crazy glue and dipped in Woodland Scenics Buff Fine Ballast. This was painted dark brown (not sure of the exact color) and dry brushed with 2-3 lighter shades of brown. The final details on the base are from Galeforce Nine. Basing Grit: Rocky (which I believe is actually crushed walnut shells) and Winter/Dead Static Grass (a mix of greys and browns).

I hope that is a satisfactory explanation! I've played around with this a bit on a few other minis, using different color inks and different paint colors, some worked well, some not so well. I hope to have some of those minis posted soon. Give it a try, it's really a simple technique, and I'd love to see what kind of results others have with it, or other similar methods for painting incorporeal undead.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Few Miniatures (Fighters)

As a follow up to my post yesterday, here are a couple of fighter miniatures that I painted about a year ago. 

Elf Great Swordmaster (Target Games, Chronopia)

The Elf Great Swordmaster has wings that are supposed to go on the sides of his helmet, but I found them to be far too large. Otherwise, I really like the sculpt on this mini. Chronopia had some really interesting figures scattered among it's armies, especially the orcs. It also had some really bad ones as well. I have a few more that I picked up on clearance, but this is the only one I've painted.

Fighter (WotC, Chainmail)

When WotC was blowing out their stock of Chainmail miniatures after the game was canceled, I bought a lot of them for what seemed to be a great deal at the time. Looking back, based on the number I've actually painted, it wasn't quite the deal I thought it was. There were some great miniatures in the line, though, and I've got a number of them assembled and primed, waiting for their paint job. I'm not sure what I was thinking with some of the colors I used here. I like the yellow and green, but I don't know what possessed me to give him a blue helmet. I guess I thought he needed something to match his pants. His sword also took on a little bit of a rusty tint during the final shading wash that he received.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Few Miniatures (Some Bad Guys)

*Updated on 2/18/2011 with a bit of info for each miniature. 

Since it's been a little while since my last post, here's a quick one with a few pictures of miniatures I've painted over the past year or so. These are all monsters of some sort, I'll get a post with some character miniatures up soon.

Wood Golem (Reaper)
While I've never used a wood golem in any of my D&D games, this miniature was just too neat to pass up when I spotted him among all the other Reaper minis at a game shop. Unlike most of the minis that I have purchased in the past, this guy immediately went to the top of the painting pile, and he came out pretty much as I wanted him too.

Mummy (Grenadier, Folklore Creatures of the Night box set)
This is actually the second time I have painted this miniature. I received the set he came with (Folklore Creatures of the Night) as a gift when I was in middle school, sometime in the early-mid 1980s. All the figures in the set were painted at the time with Testor's oil based model paints, which were the only paints that I had access to at the time. It was a pretty poor paint job, although the color scheme I used back then is basically the same as what I used this time, but he now has shading and highlights and the paint isn't slopped on nearly as heavily. Stripping 20+ year old oil paints off these old minis isn't nearly as difficult as it sounds, just a long soak in PineSol and a good scrub with a toothbrush.

Hellhound (WotC, Chainmail)
Not one of my favorite miniature sculpts, but I needed a hellhound and I had him in my unpainted miniatures among the WotC Chainmail minis I had purchased in an overstock blowout sale. He came out pretty well, although he was a lot simpler looking when I used him in the game. After using him I went back, touched up some paint, gave him a quick shading with Minwax polyurethane stain, and painted the base as "fire".

Crypt Wraith (Reaper)

I really like how this wraith came out, even though it's a very simple paint job. Gray base coat, white highlights, then finished with a couple washes of green ink. Glued to a washer for a base with some gravel and grey/brown static grass and he's done.

I enjoy painting miniatures, but it takes me a long time to finish one. After my son was born this past June, I only managed to pull the paints out once, back in December. I keep telling myself I'm going to pull them out again "this week", but it never seems to happen. Maybe by posting these pictures I'll have a bit more enthusiasm to do so one night after work.