Sunday, 25 May 2014

Miniature painting revisited

It's been about five months since I last picked up a paintbrush (maybe even longer) and with just a few hours to spare between now and a five-day excursion (one of those return-to-work type meetings spread over two days, plus a Bank Holiday, and an all-day return journey) there isn't really time to do anything meaningful on any of the (many) half-completed projects, so I thought I'd give it a go again.

I've had a few Judge Dredd miniatures on a shelf for a while and they always looked like they would be good fun to paint. With a number of light sources now installed in my workshop/loft, I took my paints upstairs and got comfortable at my new painting station

I always thought I had just a few paints, but after tracking them all down and putting them together in one place, I can understand why The Boss was so pleased to see them gone

There are inks, paints, washes, varnish, any number of different brushes - and miniatures everywhere!
It always takes a little while to get back into painting - to "get your eye in" so to speak - but this time, it was particularly difficult. Mainly because the characters start with a dark base-coat (so there's no point washing the model with ink to create darker shadows, and our Army Painter Strong Tone doesn't really work too well on blue/black/grey colours). But also because - well, there's no nice way to put it - the models are a bit rubbish.

One of the miniatures has a massive great big lump for a shoulder pad. It's completely devoid of detail. It even has what look like tool marks on the exposed sides. It looks like the sculptor got so far and then thought "that'll do" and just left it. Or maybe they hit deadline day and just sent in as far as they had got! The face is also a bit weird - all squashed up and lifted on one side, like the character has had a stroke, and then had it's face slammed in a door.

The actual Judge Dredd character is a little better. As I've not painted for a while, I didn't fancy the thought of shading, blending and those advanced techniques, to get the nice blue-and-green cartoon-y look from the comic strips, so stuck with the simpler colour scheme from the (1995 Sylvester Stallone) movie (although I added green to the pads and boots as an afterthought).

The clenched fist (unpainted in this photo) is still a little lacking, and some details have been painted over flat/plain surfaces, to make it look more intricate than it actually is. The feet in particular were a nightmare to paint, being quite indistinct and unwilling to take either a wash or highlights to define their shape.

In all, it means that I've little enthusiasm to finish the model.
Usually - and particularly when I've not painted for a while - I find it's the model itself that makes you want to finish it, if only to see how the little details come out and whether your paintwork does the model justice. But if the model is slightly disappointing before you start, it's only really likely to be a slightly disappointing miniature once it's been painted up.

I guess I need to find a few half-decent miniatures from this range (I've only got about eight Judge Dredd themed models anyway) and persevere. But as a procrastinator who finds it difficult to get anything actually finished, I almost don't want to start them, knowing the results will only be a bit "meh" even if I do my best!

On my return, we're going to get the new nerd space sorted out in the Boiler Room Studios and make some board game sections, for these miniatures to make an appearance on. It's time to stop painting our tabletop wargames, and to start playing with them!

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