Saturday, September 13, 2014

Pre-Winter Brimstone Painting

Its September and its starting to get cold again here in the upper Midwest. And while to many people that may mean a respite from lawn mowing or relief from mosquitoes, to a miniature painter it has a more sinister chill. That is, oncoming winter gives one the realization that they'd better prime their miniatures now, or they may have to wait until Spring.

Why the rush because of the oncoming cold weather? Two reasons:

1) Spraying primer on minis is extremely stinky, and the stink lasts for four or more hours. You can do it in your house or apartment, but it slowly drives you insane from prolonged second-hand paint-huffing. Plus any housemates will really hate it, so you're best doing all your spray-priming outside.

2) If you spray primer on miniatures in the deep cold, the primer doesn't coat properly and you'll get this terrible bubbly effect on the bodies of the minis. This really ruins any chance you have of actually painting the miniatures to look like anything other than a pile of glop. When paying upwards of $11 a model (Games Workshop prices), you don't want to wreck a model like that from the get-go.

So September is priming month. Once primed and dry you can actually paint the colors and details on them inside the house, but you gotta get them primed outside before its too cold.

"So what's the big deal?" I hear you ask. "Why not just prime them all and then paint them whenever you get a chance?"

Because until you finish painting them, primed and partially-painted models look like shit.

As you can see, once primed, previously good-looking naked sculpts lose all their detail and just look like black lumps of plastic. Not much fun to play with. Even if you get a few base colors on them they still look pretty awkward compared to naked sculpts.

So naturally you want to wait to prime your models until you're ready to paint them. So my priming rule is: Once you Prime, you must then Paint! 

Believe me, you do not want a bunch of primed models sitting around your house. Because if you leave them sitting as just black lumps too long, you lose all ambition to get them painted. But if you leave them naked and procrastinate too long on getting them primed in the first place, then you'll be priming in winter-time when you finally get the gumption up to paint them, and that means either a bad coat of primer on the minis or an angry housemate.

Since I still have about a month and a half or so before things get really cold out there, I went ahead and just primed the character minis for starters. Because hero characters will each require a specific paint job, they always take longer than hordes of identical zombies or tentacled beasts (who you can paint in an assembly-line style once you make a template color scheme). Plus I'm not a 'pro-painter,' and generally just aim for what is collectively known in miniature circles as just 'table-ready.'

I started with Steve's character: Marshal Brock Masters, to get my painting mojo back by making all my, working out the kinks on him...

Marshal Brock Masters: Ready to heroically run from trouble.
...before moving onto my character: Mingo (the Indian Scout) or Mary's character: Clementine Sureshot (the Outlaw).

Mingo: Ready to scout out portals to other dimensions.
Speaking of the Outlaw there isn't a mini for her yet from Flying Frog, so I used one of the minis from the first Reaper Bones Kickstarter. Its a female cowboy mini that is armed with a pistol and a sawed-off shotgun, which is perfect for Mary's character.

Reaper Kickstarters: Filling your basement with unpainted miniatures since 2012.
That picture is the pewter version of the mini from the Reaper website. I actually have the plastic Bones version which had a little less detail on it, and the face didn't look nearly as good as that looks in the pic. The Bones one I have was basically missing a nose and kind of looked like a goblin-face. But since Clementine is an outlaw, I just made a bandana out of greenstuff for her and problem solved.

Also I got some advice from Mary on how to address the cleavage situation with Clementine's mini. Despite what you see in the picture above (or in every female fantasy miniature sculpt ever created), Outlaws generally don't always have their nips just hanging out. Upon Mary's advice, painting in a tasteful black bustier was the answer to this problem.

Clementine Sureshot: Ready to rob banks and blast Hellbats.
So there you have it. Three characters rush-primed/painted and nearly table-ready for Shadows of Brimstone. Clementine still needs a good base and all three bases require flocking (which I'll do when everyone is painted), but at least they look better than they did when just primed.
Pro-tip: Never let anyone look this closely at your minis. From a gaming table distance (>3 feet away), these will actually look pretty good.

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