Saturday, 19 October 2013

More miniatures painting

The PCBs are designed, tested, and on order now - just need to wait about 10 days for the first batch of ten from the manufacturer so we can try out some prototype boards - very exciting!

While we're waiting for the boards back, there's still plenty to do.
So of course, everything else has gone on hold and we're back to painting miniatures. Or at least, I am!

I'm trying the Army Painter method of cranking out miniatures, but I'm not very good at it. I know the theory - get one colour and paint it onto all miniatures, get the next, paint it across all your miniatures and so on. A quick splash of QuickShade and some highlighting and you're done.

That's fine - except it means it's a lot time between taking your first primed miniature and seeing a finished model (although using the A/P method, you do end up with about 10 finished miniatures all at once).
I've been painting two or three at a time, and that's plenty for me!

Having not painted miniatures for a long time, I've forgotten the most important rule: knowing when to stop. Knowing when to say "if I carry on, I'll more than likely make this model worse, rather than improve it" is a skill, as much as keeping a steady hand to get the right blob of colour in the right place with a paintbrush.

So I've decided it's time to stop with these models.
 I can't do all the fancy blending and shading and ultra-realistic looking effects. But these models are about as good as I can get them without messing them up, so it's time to say "they're done". Well, as far as painting goes anyway (finishing the bases is another minefield I've yet to negotiate).

The eagle-eyed will already have spotted a few brush-slips here and there, but in the main, they're good enough to go on to our first prototype game boards (once they're built).

The black-and-yellow stripes on the robot are a bit wonky but, having decided these are finished, they'll just have to stay like that (knowing when to stop is a skill I'm slowly learning).

Most nerds are familiar with tabletop war-gaming, 28mm miniatures and the like. When I first asked at BuildBrighton if anyone had any experience with miniature gaming, there was complete silence. Over eighty people had no idea what I was talking about. But slowly, over the last few weeks, more and more have started to take an interest in the board game project, and have started saying things like "I think I had some miniatures once.... Space somethings.... Space Marines I think" and a few have even admitted to not only playing, but also painting miniatures for various board games over the years!

For the non-gaming nerds, here's a photo to try to show the scale of these models:

(the minis in this photo have been QuickShaded but not yet dull-coated so they're super-shiny. The coin in the photo is a modern UK 50 pence piece)

In my younger days, I might have wanted a finish like the McVey Studio miniatures.
These days I'm just thrilled that my eyes hold out enough to get the basic colours in roughly the right areas!
Next, it's time to learn how to finish the bases for miniatures onboard a space ship (the usual textured-sand-and-drybrush finish for a grass-effect  base would just look weird).

These "stampers" on Kickstarter ( look great but might be difficult to use, given I've superglued the miniatures in place on the bases. I think in future I need to look at the base and the model separately then just join them together at the end.

Right now, however, I'm just pleased that I've got three miniatures "finished" and another four or five almost ready to join them!

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