Today I’m going to take advantage of the first Finished Friday and show you a finished project that I don’t have either a tutorial or hourly progress for, but I still think is really cool and want to show off. Before I start, I should note that since I’ve started painting again, this is around the 20th mini I’ve painted. Most of the other ones were a plastic material, while this one is metal, and many of those were duplicates. Back in August, I signed up for a miniature exchange on the Reaper messenger boards.
First, a bit about Reaper. Reaper Miniatures is a company that makes plastic, metal, and resin miniature figures. They are used for all types of gaming (war gaming, strategy gaming, board game replacements, role playing games, etc.), but we use ours primarily for role playing games. I’ve always wanted to get into miniature painting, but it was too cost prohibitive to get a bunch up front for gaming use. That changed last year when they kickstarted their bones line. A bones mini is cheaper than the metal mini (often by 1/3 or more) and is harder to destroy. With the kickstarter, we got a ton of minis for what ended up being less than $1 a mini, even with getting some of the more expensive ones. They have announced they they are doing another one, and soon, so if you’re interested keep your eyes peeled!
I enjoyed the community enough that I started an account on their forums. Though I don’t go there too often, I liked the idea of a mini exchange. The way it works is that everyone interested sends their information and any preferences on what they want to receive and can or cannot do to an organizer. For example, if you only want fantasy miniatures and not sci-fi stuff you can say so. Everyone ends up painting one mini (or more if they want) and sends it to the person who’s information they are given. Sometimes the person you paint for also paints for you, but it’s really more like a big circle of exchange. My partner wanted a fantasy mini and likes shades of purple, but had no other preferences. I chose to paint up the female wizard Sharyn sculpted by Julie Guthrie. Here she is!
I’m mostly happy with the way she came out. The bird is a second miniature that I added onto the base, since I felt she really needed a companion. For the woman, I stuck with a purple robe and then decided to go with blue under clothes. Despite Earl’s pleas for green gems, I kept with the blue. I am not entirely happy with the wood tones. I did the two pieces separately, so while I could use a similar color pallet, they weren’t exactly the same. I’m also not sure how I feel about the really light highlighting on the staff. I’ve decided that since the staff is essentially dead wood, it’s ok, but I’m still not entirely happy with it. I’m a little more pleased with the bird’s branch. Likewise, had I painted them at the same time, I would have probably changed up the colors of her feathers to match those of the birds. But, I did have a deadline, so it stayed the way it was. I’m not so happy with the boots either, I think that shading needed to be a bit more subtle. I’m mostly happy with how the hair turned out, though I do question some of the highlight placements in the front. The hand is, well, it’s eh. I just need more practice in understanding how skin highlights really.
While I really like the girl, I have fewer critiques for myself on the bird, even though I spent less time on it. I’m happy with how the blue/green speckling came through. I wanted it to be reminiscent of birds with shimmering color-changing feathers. I also really wanted to have a white breast, and I think I did the transition there well. The one thing I could have done to help with that a bit is to go over with a dry brush and highlight with some true white and let the leather white act as a deeper shadow.
For the basing, I just painted everything in stone grey and washed it with stone shadow to give it a color base. Then I covered the whole thing with forest green flocking. I like how it hid the parts of the boots that I disliked the most. Also, I ended up rubbing off some paint and primer on the base, so instead of having to go through and re-prime and paint the bottom, it nicely hides those errors. On the last photo you can see a bit of a lip where the mini was glued to the base. I should have gone back and added a bit of flocking to that as well, but it is what it is.
I’m really happy with this mini in the end. It was my first try with a wet pallet and my first black lining (you can see that a bit in the face). I also focused more on using several layers of thinned paint to shadow and highlight instead of relying on washes and dry brushing. I almost didn’t want to send her out to my trade partner since she’s probably my best mini yet and I spent so much time on her. But, truth be told, I was inspired to do all that work just so I could send off an awesome mini. So off she went! He’s since received her, and the response was one of joy (he said thank you three times!), so that was well worth it. Thanks for reading!
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