Miniature Painting Warmup

So I selected a miniature to paint from my bucket of D&D miniatures. I picked on the Azer Fighter from the War of the Dragon Queen Set, here’s the promo picy, mine didn’t look anywhere near that good out of the box:

I decided to put this guy onto a washer base to add a bit of heft and to make storage in the future easier, it also meant I could try out a different idea for a dungeon tile look base. First up I glued four small pieces of plastic to the top of the washer and filled the hole with some cheap air dry clay. I then removed the fighter from his plastic base:

Next I had to get the little guy ready for painting, the only effective way I’ve found to strip the paint wizards puts on the mini’s is to use acetone. It does damage the plastic the mini’s are made of so I have a soft toothbrush I dip in the acetone and then softly rub the mini and then rinse in water. Normally the paint comes right off although sometimes I can’t get it out of all crevasses without risking damaging the mini. It’s surprising how much detail is normally covered up by this layer of goo paint. After the paint stripping I stuck a pin in the base of each foot and mounted him to an old plastic soft drink bottle top. Then it was of to be primed with a gentle dusting of white primer. Sorry I didn’t get a picy of him undercoated but here he is cleaned up and mounted:

Then I started to paint him. I tend to do metals first followed by plain colours, I’ve found I get less odd glittery bits that way. I’d also decided to paint him up as a standard dwarf rather than as an Azer Fighter. I’m fairly happy with how he turned out although the shield is pretty terrible, I struggled with trying to get any kind of shading/highlighting onto the flame patten on the shield. I also need to go to lighter shades when highlighting as he still appears fairly dark and muted. His dungeon tile base turned out fairly good although it could use some bones or something else. He’s not about to win any mini painting contests but he’s good enough for gaming with, He looks slightly better in person I find the camera is always a harsh critic when you photograph miniatures (probably just me):

I also finished off two others I was painting mid last year before I got sick. First up was my metal practice guy Hammerer from Blood war, heres the promo wizards shot:

I basically wanted to practice metal highlighting and blending, initially I really didn’t like how this guy turned out, but looking at him now I don’t think he turned out to badly. As with all my miniatures I need to work on my blending and paint smoothness. Mine always seem to come out grainy, I did like how his mud base turned out:

Last one I finished up was a ranger originally a Grey Cloak Ranger from Archfiends, here he is in his promo shot (sorry it’s pretty small):

I gave him a forest themed base and mounted him so he’s balanced on a log, This does make his cloak look bunched slightly funny but I’m not really ready for sculpting yet. I’m not convinced using herb’s and spices as leaf litter in a forest really works but I figured it was worth a try. I’m happy with how he turned out although he still suffers from graininess the other two suffer from as well:

I may post these up onto coolmini but I’m not sure I’m ready for that again. Hopefully with enough practice my painting will get better.

4 Responses to “Miniature Painting Warmup”


  1. 1 wreckage October 1, 2010 at 4:12 am

    Very nice work on the painting. One tip I got years ago is after painting with metallics, wash brushes with soap/ brush soap, and throw rinse water away.

    What metallic paints are you using? Are you doing any drybrushing with them?

    • 2 Sirrob01 October 1, 2010 at 2:17 pm

      I’ve pretty much stopped dry brushing, all washes and highlights, I really need to paint some more but been to busy drawing :). I might pick 4-5 out to try and get painting again. I’m using mostly coat d’arms colours and metallics, I think that equates to the old GW paint mix. Thanks for the tips on the metallics Sam 🙂

  2. 3 wreckage October 2, 2010 at 6:56 am

    I insist the drybrushng has a place with metallics. But if you really won’t, try out the Reaper Master Series, they’re very smooth and flowable, the old and new GW metallics have very good metallic “flake” but the paint is thicker and stickier.

    If I may say, your painting is outstanding. If you want critique with less pissing-contest, try the Reaper boards, there are some great painters there but more of a helpful attitude. Posting of pretty much anything that isn’t porn is allowed: they are fine with other company’s miniatures, paints, whatever.

    Oh, be careful with Dullcote as it will suck some lustre off metallics. A gloss coat might also make a difference- the final lustre of a paintjob can subtly change the whole thing, so maybe play around with that? Finally, a white pearlescent or transparent metallic can be used to bling up the highlights. I’ve had mixed success. Use sparingly.

    • 4 Sirrob01 October 2, 2010 at 11:08 am

      Thanks Sam for the positive feedback on my painting, makes me want to paint a few more :). The stuff I put up on cmon seems to earn about 4.7’s so sub table standard, but I suspect I’m getting downgraded as everything is a D&D min repaint, not cool :).

      I had a quick nifty metallic worked out for armour it was something like block in mid metallic then wash into the crevasse etc with darker metallic then pick out the highlights worn spots with a thin coat of bright metallic highlight. Doesn’t seem to take much longer than dry brushing but when I get it right it looks great. I should dig out all my notes. I was trying to paint either 1 really nice mini a week or a unit of troopers I might try and get back into that pattern as i was starting to get quicker.

      I’ should go re-install MSN/trillian so we can chat although it makes my blog look well commented 🙂


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