…and so it begins
I’ve been collecting and painting miniatures since I discovered Airfix World War 2 1/72 scale figures looked great with my HO scale German village railroad models, sometime around fifth grade if memory serves. In the beginning it was purely out of a love of creating another world as well as the joy of improved skills that I took brush to plastic. Wanting to get the details right I found myself immersed in my father’s library and was soon hooked, wanting to learn more about any aspect of the war long after my specific questions had been addressed. Thus began the connection between play and lifelong learning. Since then my interests have been many and varied but creating tiny worlds were almost always at the heart of it. It wasn’t until I reached college that my room mate (one Necron99 to whom I simultaneously thank and curse-lol) introduced me to the concept of Wargaming (units of painted tiny soldiers moving across fields and town to use dice to do battle with one another) and I was hooked. Since we both came from Role Playing backgrounds, where each figure represents a unique individual, we began painting each and every figure to the highest level we could. It was sometime before we both figured out how to paint blocks of minis efficiently. While I do paint some miniatures to my very best ability, even entering the odd competition, it is bulk units, playing pieces that represent the majority of my efforts. I truly enjoy the creative process and challenges they represent and want to share some of that joy. In addition, I know a lot of folks who can’t comprehend how they could ever tackle the pile of toy soldiers they have acquired. To those, I hope to offer some inspiration or at least the sense that “you aren’t alone, it can be done and it is worth it”. So, in that spirit I present my first attempt. It is actually a couple of years old but finally seeing the light of the internet.
The 2010 KublaCon Speed Painting tables (props Wayne and gang!) answered the problem my refusal to store any more unpainted miniatures had presented. Having picked up a full set of Mantic Skeleton sprues at the con I set myself the challenge of painting them in a day. After three hours of assembly I had a solid block of twenty-two skeletons (one being that of a warhound) and primed them white. The pictured practice or prototype figure took between 20-30 minutes.
Here are the first layers going down. I also limited myself to eight colors in order to speed any decision making and force more color mixing (another personal goal). I use a sharp #1 or #2 brush to base coat as they hold plenty of paint (though never past halfway up the bristles;-)) and the sharp point helps me control where said paint goes. I try to keep my application neat, hating continual touch-up. I start with my lighter colors, work toward the darker and end by cleaning up the white areas
The next stage was to carefully wash the entire unit in alternating sepia and mud color stains (would be Gryphon Sepia and Agrax Earthshade washes by Games Workshop now). When they dried I did minimum highlighting, based the unit in mixed flock and added snippets of twine as tufts of dead grass.
Having primed the unit the night before, I sat down first thing in the morning with my coffee and paintbrush. With limited breaks for snacks and DVD changes the Brotherhood of Widows’ Tears was complete in about 7 hours. The white surrounding the tufts of grass is fresh glue as I took the picture as soon as I had completed the work (they dried clear). There is only the matter of a paper standard, that has yet to be designed, but they are ready to make more 28mm widows and orphans.
With the Horde rules in Warhammer 8th edition my Vampire Counts have been glad for the reinforcements.