Friday, July 17, 2009

Painting minis again: the kiddies join in too!

Well, it's been a while. I almost forgot how to do this posting thing. Looks like a month has flown by since my last one. I guess I'll blame it on summer vacations and such...why not? This is my first summer since beginning to blog, so maybe it's somewhat normal. Hitting some of my favorite blogs during this seasonal break of sorts (remotely usually via my phone), I do in fact see some that have slowed down quite a bit, while other diehards have kept up their usual impressive pace.

At any rate, I have previously noted that I wished to get back to painting minis. I haven't done so since the mid '80s! I have shown some pics of a few of my old Grenadier, Ral Partha, Citadel, and TSR lead minis from that era, but other than those, I really don't recall dipping a brush and slapping the paint on any of them since then.

I dug through some of my old painting gear, and as it turns out it almost all pretty much useless at this point. Paints have dried up and brushes have become mutilated. It was time to update my supplies and have a go.

I snagged some Reaper paints at a local gaming shop, then stopped by a local art store for some brushes, palettes, knives, sticky-stuff, primers, and finishes. I already have tons of minis to paint - tons of old lead figs, some newer lead-free ones, and some plastic guys too.

Now my son has really taken an interest in minis, and even my little girl has been known to join in some games, so I knew they would want to make a mess... err... do some painting too. So I set up the kitchen table, because that's just where you're supposed to gaming and gaming related stuff (IMO), and we all sat down to paint us some minis.

Here's my little girl's first (and last) attempt. There's something utterly terrifying about pink, glittering undead, ya'know?:

And here's my son's first go at it, same zombie fig, as I have (quite literally) 100 of them:

I figured I'd start them out on the zombies, mainly because I have so many of them (cheap and great for undead minions and mobs in general), so that if they totally hosed them up, they could just grab another and hit it again.

Well, my daughter spent somewhere around a whopping 5 minutes in her miniature painting career and retired from the hobby...for now, at least. Best part about her supplies - the pink glitter that she absolutely insisted on using is actually your basic glitter glue, which actually turned out perfect to sum up a 3 y.o.'s infatuation with princesses, Barbies, Littlest Pet Shop, etc. The artwork completely mirrored the artist in this case. Well that is, minus the whole undead, brain-eating thing.

However "the boys" stayed at it. My son's next attempt was a plastic Dwarf Crossbowman:

This fig is from that bunch of Dwarves from the Grenadier Fantasy Warriors game, as discussed in some comments of this post. I have bunches of these figs, as well as dwarf axemen, orcs, goblins, etc from that same game. They too are great for minions, or bigger groups of baddies, as well as good specimens for the kiddies to learn how to paint. Heck I even used one (a staff wielding dwarf) for one of my current 4e characters, a Dwarf Invoker - looks exactly the part for that guy. I'll post a pic or two of that mini. It was one of the first few I did in this return to painting minis endeavor. I just don't have the pics on me ATM. Ah well.

Although he chose the flesh color for the dude's beard, I'd have to say that for a 5 y.o.'s second attempt at painting a mini, he freakin' rocked the house! I am very, very proud of his work. He is too. Check him out modeling his masterpiece:

It was pretty funny when he asked across the table, "Daddy, what color are you using for your guy's face?" I replied a bit smart-@$$edly, "Uhmm....the face color. That one right there." He replied, as if nothing was strange about his choice, "Oh, I used that color for my guy's beard." Awesome. He did a great job on some of the details, like the hand-axe on the belt, the crossbow, sections of the armor, straps, etc. That face and beard swap is freakin' funky though...hehe.

As far as my own mini painting, the only one I have with me on this SD card is this Reaper Gnome:

I needed a good gnome for another current 4e character I'm playing, a Gnome Illusionist Wizard. I couldn't find a good gnome caster mini from the WotC D&D mini sets, and this guy looked a lot like how I pictured my character, so I decided to paint him up and use him for those sessions. I know I didn't do a very good job on him, but I guess all things considered it actually turned out better than I expected. It really has been a looooooooong time since I did this....hehe. I went a little crazy with the gold dry-brushing, but after I accidentally got a little bit of it on his hair, I kinda liked the glitter look (thanks to my little girl's zombie influence?), and decided that since he worships Garl Glittergold, why the F not just sprinkle it all over him. And so there it is - an excuse... err... a reason for my messy dry-brushing What say ye, Garl?


I'll try to collect the pics of the other figs we painted that day and the next, as some of them are quite interesting. My son made up his own version of washing and dry-brushing...with mixed results. I think he did some retouching on the crossbowman fig too, IIRC, so I'll post more pics of that one, if that's the case.

After feeling all good about myself for still having (some) skills, my wonderful wife served me up with this gem: "So which one did you paint and which one did Bobby paint?" And she was serious.

Laugh it up fellas. Laugh it up.

Reeeeaaaaaaal funny.


Chad Thorson said...

Hey, not bad! Especially for the first time. I tried this with my son when he was 2 1/2, he painted a plastic cowboy gold. I should have another go with him now that he's almost 5.

brandykruse said...

I'm sorry, but is that the cutest kid in the world or what?

yoyorobbo said...

@Atom Kid:
Yeah, I thought so too. I mean he's only 5 and those minis are... well... "mini." So I think he did a great job. Thanks for the nod.

And yeah, I'd say it's time for round two with your son. This stuff is so much fun, especially with the kiddies involved. It's great to see the sponge that they are, totally absorb it all. Near the end of our painting session, he was going on and on about dry brushing this and black washing that. It was too cool.

yoyorobbo said...


No need to apologize, bud. You're right, he *is* the cutest kid in the world! Well, it's a tie, actually. His sister could melt a Frost Giant's heart. ;>]

But seriously, thanks for the comment. Made me blush a bit.

Jay said...

That gnome is pretty wicked! Nice!!

yoyorobbo said...


Hey, thanks!

If you think he *looks* wicked, you should see the debuffs that little pecker-head throws around the battlemat ..err ...battlefield. My DM has wonderful thoughts of dropping a ton of rocks on him, and *only* him...ha!

ze bulette said...

what, someone else is playing a gnome illusionist? love the figure and excellent job painting him. i just started looking around for a mini to rep... don't really need it but thought it would be fun to have and maybe paint up, this one looks very decent.

yoyorobbo said...

@ze bulette:

Hey thanks for the comment! My painting skills certainly need to improve, but like I stated it's been a looooooong time. Still, thanks.

And yep, I'm playing a gnome illusionist wizard in a 4e game. The party is currently level 12, which is the highest I have ever played a 4e character. Don't get me wrong, he started at level 11...ha! Still, that's a lot of powers (spells, etc) to keep straight for a 4e newb like myself.

I loved the fig when I saw it online too and decided to hunt it down locally. Here's the webpage again at Reaper, if you need it for info on the fig:

I have two other minis that I was going to paint up for my gnome. One of them is an old Grenadier lead fig from their Specialists box set (1980). He's labeled the Gnome illusionist...go figure.

inside sheet

box front cover

The other mini I had in mind is one from a set of Munchkin figs.

Munchkin minis

It's a halfling wizard with pointy-hat, wand and big hairy feet!

Halfling Wizard

I still may paint both of those figs, but for now this Reaper one is my guy.

yoyorobbo said...

Ya'know what I just noticed in the first pic in the post? Check out the paper-plate palette that my little 3 y.o. daughter used (on the left).

Wow! Kinda destructive there with that black paint smearing, eh?... especially for such a little princess. Ha!

Jayson said...

Actually, I think a corpse reanimated by some uncanny pinkish glittering sentient ooze coating it works pretty well...

yoyorobbo said...


I think you might be on to something there bud. The glittering pink ooze....ewwww.

Maybe it's a new variant on some Green Slime or Black Pudding. Anyone have a MM entry for "Pink Glitterglue?"

It's just the "disco" quality of it that has me perplexed. I keep waiting for it to bust into some Travolta moves or something.

Additionally it for some reason makes me think of Marvel Comics' Dazzler. I know, I know...that's pretty weird. But it's true. ;>]

Jayson said...

I think I'll have to write up Glitterglue myself. What? It's no worse than Tinkles...

I dunno, it's like seeing a painting of a Lovecraftian horror that also includes a beautiful starry night--it's that genre-accurate but incongruous detail that pushes it past "horrifying" into "mind-snapping."

And, glitter's not the least reasonable thing to remind one of Dazzler. :-)

yoyorobbo said...


Dude, if you write up "Glitterglue", please send a link. I'd love to see it.

Also, on the Dazzler tip, I'm sure you're talking about the rollerskates, right? Right?!?!?

I still have Dazzler #1 in the basement somewhere...weird. Maybe I bought that back in '81 (weird timing, right?), somehow knowing I'd have a little girl someday, to pass it along to. yeah, that's the ticket. I mean, no way I bought that issue for myself...hehe.