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2024 Painting Log

2024 Painting Log

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Project Blog by jeffersonpowers Cult of Games Member

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About the Project

I like the idea of keeping a log of all the miniatures I paint this year, and what better place for that than here? I think it will be interesting to see how many I end up doing, and also how many different games I'm painting models for.

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The brush strokes are intentional

Tutoring 5
Skill 6
Idea 6
2 Comments

First up we have some Star Wars: Shatterpoint figures that have been languishing on my “in progress ledge” for some time now. These were assembled and primed in December, but I didn’t get any actual paint on them until last week. Most of them were primed in Army Painter brush-on grey, then drybrushed white, then painted with Army Painter Speedpaint 2.0 paints (I dislike the term “Slap Chop,” which doesn’t really describe the technique and is also the name of a vegetable slicer kitchen gadget).

After doing a base coat with the speedpaints I painted in the odd detail with regular paint, and drybrushed over the top to get some extra highlights.

The Clone Troopers were pretty much ready to go after priming and drybrushing, I just had to add some black for the armor joints and weapons, and then the red stripes for the Clone Commander. For Savage Opress, I primed in black and then just did some quick highlights and details (face & lightsaber). The green smoke is the only part that I used speedpaint for.

I like the brushstroke look that we see on the Clone Wars animated series. I tell myself that I’m making a conscious effort to mimic that style, but really I think that’s just what my painting style always looks like…

I finished these on Friday, and did manage to get a game in using some of them (Savage and the Dathomir witches) the very next day.

2024 models painted so far: 8

Does terrain count?

Tutoring 2
Skill 2
Idea 2
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Well, I’ve just spent nearly three weeks of hobby time on it, so I’m going to say yes. Especially when it comes to plastic Star Wars: Shatterpoint buildings and bridges — they have enough detail bits that they often feel more like figures than terrain.

I don’t really like assembling miniatures, but I do enjoy painting them. I have found that the opposite is true when it comes to terrain: I enjoy the assembly but painting those wide, flat expanses of wall can get boring, and my usual techniques (washes, drybrushing) are either much more difficult or don’t really do anything useful.

In this case, however, I think these came out okay. The tan buildings were primed in Army Painter Leather Brown primer, and the bridges and rooftops in black. It was a rare case where I used spray primer, as brush-on would look awful on all those flat surfaces.

When I painted the terrain from the Shatterpoint base set I assembled first, then primed & painted, but for these (the “High Ground” terrain pack), I primed and did some of the basic painting first, then assembled, then touched up the details, which I think was a little easier, or at least faster. most of the painting was drybrushed tan or silver, then I went in and did all the wires and control panels. For the grey concrete I did a base coat of a mid-grey, then drybrushed in a lighter grey.

I’m happy to have these done, but I’ll be even happier to get back to some actual tiny fighting men. I’ve got miniatures for Gangs of Rome and Star Trek: Away Missions in various stages of prep, plus a bunch of the Wyrm Forge “Sky Wars” characters who look like they’ll be a lot of fun to paint.

2024 models painted so far: still 8

2024 terrain pieces painted so far: let’s call it 7 (3 buildings and 4 bridges) and not worry about the ladders and boxes.

Big heads means I can actually see them

Tutoring 2
Skill 4
Idea 3
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Moving on from Star Wars to Star Trek…

I hadn’t planned on getting into Star Trek: Away Missions. The goofy looking miniatures were a bit of a turn-off, and I never really thought Star Trek was a good fit for a skirmish game, since it usually tries to be about non-violent solutions and doesn’t actually feature combat very often. But, the OTT Let’s Play made the game look interesting, with an emphasis on mission solving over head to head combat, and I am a big Star Trek fan, so…

Big heads means I can actually see them
Big heads means I can actually see them

I originally wanted to do these in a more flat, action figure style, rather than falling back on the usual base coat-wash-drybrush. After a few false starts with the Borg I ended up doing a drybrush with metallic black, painting in the pasty faces with a mid grey and drybrushing a lighter grey, then filling in a few details in silver and washing over that.

Big heads means I can actually see them
Big heads means I can actually see them

The Romulans were more interesting but also a bit more difficult. On the TV show there are actually several different styles of Romulan uniforms, but that doesn’t really come through in the sculpts. I tried copying some of the different quilt patterns on their jackets, but I don’t think it’s very noticeable. Luckily the character names are on the bases so you can tell them apart during play.

Big heads means I can actually see them

I managed to get my hands on the Q promotional figure, and he was by far the most fun to paint so far. I do have to admit that the cartoony style of the figures is growing on me — I’m actually painting eyes for the first time in years. Next up is the Next Generation crew, which should be fun to do since there is a lot more variation between the characters.

2024 models painted so far: 20

Lovely colorful uniforms

Tutoring 2
Skill 3
Idea 2
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I had a feeling that the Federation characters would be the most fun to paint, and I was right. There is something really satisfying about painting bright primary colors, and these models have more expressive faces than the Romulans or Borg.

These have such flat surfaces that my usual base-coat-and-drybrush technique didn’t look all that good, so I went over it with a lot of flat layers. I think they finished up looking more or less how I wanted them to.

A few notes:

  • Worf was by far the most fun to do, with Riker a close second. Those eyebrows!
  • There are probably 12 layers of paint on Data’s face and hands. His skin tone was very difficult to get right — it’s a pale gold (or yellowish silver) and since it’s metallic it picks up reflections from whatever room he’s in. Plus it’s a lot more yellow-gold in the films as opposed to the TV series.
  • Shelby was an interesting addition, but it makes sense given her prominent appearance in the episodes the game is based on, and I’m glad they included another female character.

Next up: the Klingons!

2024 models painted so far: 29

Klingons all dress the same

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Skill 2
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I decided to use the old black primer –> drybrush –> speedpaint –> highlights technique for the Klingons, since there isn’t much variation between their mostly grey uniforms. I tried to add a little variation with their skin and hair color, and of course the Duras Sisters and their annoying nephew Toral all wear red collars and sleeves (although, weirdly they changed to green in the second part of the two-episode story that introduces them).

I’m quite pleased with the way these came out, given the short amount of time I spent on them. I think Gowron’s likeness is particularly good.

2024 models painted so far: 38

I’ve still got the two Original Series sets to do, which feature all Federation characters so they should be fun and colorful, although I do want to try to make them look distinct from the Next Generation characters. I might take a break and work on some other stuff before I get back to them. I’ve got a ton of other stuff waiting in the wings: more ShatterpointGangs of Rome, Savage Core, Test of Honour, a few others, and the big one: Mythic Battles Ragnarok, clocking in at 109 miniatures plus a bunch of terrain pieces. Hmmm, maybe I should finish up the Star Trek characters first…

Gangs of Rome part I

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Gangs of Rome part I

My entry into Gangs of Rome followed an all too familiar pattern. I read about the game and it sounded interesting (it’s possible I had just rewatched the Rome TV series and was flush with enthusiasm for ancient Rome). So I bought the rule book, accessories and enough miniatures to try it out, plus a terrain kit or two from Sarissa. Assembled and painted everything, then played the game and enjoyed it quite a bit, although I did find some elements of the game to be a little fiddly, particularly the damage and equipment tokens. I especially like the amount of NPC action the game has, between the mobs that wander around the board and the individual incola who do things like throw scorpions at your fighters for no good reason. I bought more miniatures and terrain, painted those…and never played the game again. That was in 2020.

Gangs of Rome part I

I like the game and the setting, it’s just that there aren’t enough days in the week for me to have time to play all the games I want to. However, the Kickstarter for the second edition caught my attention — it looked like they addressed most of the issues I had with the game, and the new action system involving planning out your actions and then rolling to see how many you can actually accomplish looked interesting, so I decided to give it another go.

Gangs of Rome part I

I have quite a few miniatures from the older edition which of course are perfectly usable, but I am conditioned to paint first, then play, so I want to get the new miniatures done before I try out the new rules. This represents just under half (10 out of 23) so I’m well on my way.

Gangs of Rome part I

These were all done primarily with speedpaints over a black-then-drybrushed primer (still not calling it Slap Chop). The speedpaint flesh tone doesn’t cover particularly well, so after one test (the puppeteer), I did the skin on the rest of the figures by painting flat skin tone with regular paint and then doing a flesh wash. But I think maybe my bottle of flesh wash might have gone off, it was pooling and drying in a really patchy way. So I had to go back over most of the skin with regular paint to clean up the mid tones and highlights.

Gangs of Rome part I

2024 models painted so far: 48, for 3 different games

Gangs of Rome part II

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Skill 2
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And here are the rest of the miniatures from the recent Gangs of Rome Kickstarter, plus the Reapers of Minerva, a set from a few years ago that I never got around to painting. These went considerably faster than the first batch since seven of the thirteen are Vigiles (Roman police, more or less) who wear the same outfit, and one was a statue that took all of 15 minutes to do.

Gangs of Rome part II
Gangs of Rome part II
Gangs of Rome part II

And yes, I’m counting the 2-per-base Vigiles as two figures each.

With these done I’m looking forward to getting a game or two in, maybe even this weekend…

2024 models painted so far: 61, for 3 different games

Up next: I’ve got the rest of the Star Trek Away Missions figures primed, as well as the first batch of Mythic Battles Ragnarok (I may post those as a separate project since there are so many of them, we’ll see). I also (perhaps foolishly) bought the miniatures upgrade pack for V-Sabotage (formerly V-Commandos), which adds 110 more figures to my queue. I seem to be on a tear with regards to miniature/board game hybrids…

Two Golden Buttons!

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Skill 1
Idea 0
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I’m thrilled and surprised to have received not one, but two Golden Buttons related to this project, one for the first round of Star Trek: Away Missions figures back in March, and another this week for the Gangs of Rome models. The encouragement and validation really means a lot, it’s definitely a great motivator to get more painting done.

Switching back to the final frontier

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Skill 3
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Switching back to the final frontier

Here are the last Star Trek: Away Missions figures: the original series crew, including Lt. Leslie, the ultimate red shirt. Apparently Leslie (played by actor Eddie Paskey) appears in the background in almost every episode of the original series. He’s worn all three colors at various times, and has the distinction of having died and then reappeared later in the very same episode.

Switching back to the final frontier

Like the rest of the miniatures for this game, these were great fun to paint. I started this batch out primed in light grey and then drybrushed white, thinking I would try to do them entirely in speedpaints to give them a slightly different look from the Next Generation crew. I got mixed results, and ended up doing extensive highlights over the speedpaint with traditional paints (I even repainted Chekov almost entirely). The final results look good though, and I’m looking forward to spending some more time with the game.

Switching back to the final frontier
Switching back to the final frontier

2024 models painted so far: 69, for 3 different games

Starting on Mythic Battles: Ragnarok

Tutoring 2
Skill 2
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I’m starting to get a little fatigued by excessive Kickstarter games that bury you in grey plastic, but at the same time, I am looking forward to playing this game as I’ve really enjoyed Mythic Battles: Pantheon. And say what you like about Monolith, but they do make great looking miniatures.

Starting on Mythic Battles: Ragnarok

For reasons I don’t clearly recall, I’ve decided to start this massive undertaking with the Ragnar Saga expansion. For me, the goal with board game miniatures is to get them looking as close as possible to the accompanying artwork — the only thing that really matters is being able to easily tell who is who. This might be a little challenging with this game, as a lot of the artwork is on the dark and murky side, but the art for these figures is actually pretty good. Luckily, the art book that came with the Kickstarter pledge includes the full image for Eysteinn Beli so I was able to see what color the giant cow is supposed to be (you’ll just have to take my word for it unless you have the book).

These were done by priming in black, drybrushing in various browns (grey for the giant cow), and then filling in other colors where needed. I used a bit of speedpaint here and there (mainly on Ivar’s shield which you can’t see because it’s on his back), and washes where needed to darken up the color a bit. Then a final light drybrush of an off-white to add highlights. The other goal with board game miniatures is to get them done as quickly as possible since there are so many of them.

There is one miniature from the core box here (Gullveig) — I had to pull it out in order to straighten the spears out (the hot water trick really does work!), so I decided to go ahead and slap some paint on it to make it an even six. Only about a hundred more to go…

2024 models painted so far: 75, for 4 different games

The next batch of Ragnarok figures

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In the midst of the mad dash to finish my Spring Clean Challenge project, I still managed to get some more Mythic Battles: Ragnarok figures done. I’ve started on the core box in earnest — I started out by picking figures out of the box one row at a time, but if I keep that up I’ll have to finish everything before I get to actually play the game. So I’ve course-corrected slightly by looking at which figures are needed to play the first scenario and working on those first. This batch is more of a random smattering, but when I get the next batch done I should have enough to play.

BrunhildBrunhild
Harald HardradaHarald Hardrada
HuscarlsHuscarls
JomsvikingsJomsvikings

2024 models painted so far: 84, for 4 different games

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