A Little Confession

It has been a long time since I painted any toy soldiers properly. A very long time. So long, in fact, that I have entirely lost track of when I last did it. This is a bad thing.

This may seem peculiar for a game designer who works with miniatures on a daily basis, but that’s also a major part of the reason. Armies/warbands/gangs/etc of miniatures are a stock in trade for me. Some of the time I’m working on video games and other times board games, but a sizable portion of my work is with tabletop games. Without exception, these need me to work with several armies at once, without being partisan about their relative merits and skipping from one to the other and back before I have any chance of painting a whole force. If I collect one army out of half a dozen then it’s harder to be impartial when I balance the game. Couple this with the inevitable fact that often the models aren’t made when I am writing the game or army list that goes with them, and the fact that I’m a very slow painter and you can start to see the problem. However, I’ve decided that this isn’t acceptable.

I do own more than half a dozen painted armies for Warhammer, a bunch of gangs for various skirmish games and so on. However, the ones I painted myself long since ended up on Ebay, and what I have left are playtest armies acquired ready painted from various disparate sources. These armies stand in for whatever I’m working on, and do me good service, though none of them feel like “my army”. They’re just tools for the job.

When your hobby is also your work it gets easily muddled, and so this is really me attempting to regain some of my hobby and to separate the two a little more. It’d be nice to have an army of my own again 🙂

So, with all this in mind, I’m setting out to clear my painting desk again. I’m going to relearn my old skills and add some new ones. And, while I’m about it, I’m going to document it here.

My first step is illustrated above; I now have some Hull Red. Now I can paint anything 🙂

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14 Responses to A Little Confession

  1. Elromanozo says:

    Absolutely !
    Hull red is the all-purpose magical color… It paints rust, gives a worn tint to metals, wear and tear and chipped paint, shades most fleshtones except the darkest, is a good basecoat for blood and wine, shades leather, shades gold for a richer nuance, shades metal for its matte-ness, shades yellow (which is notoriously difficult to shade), shades embers, shades autumn leaves, shades bark and wood, shades earth and dirt, shades purples and blues, shades olive green, shades warm stones as well as cold ones, replaces black in any occasion, make a good highlight for firelight source-lighting, and of course is a passable warm red/burgundy.

    I’m not sure yet how to filter coffee and bake potato chips with a pot of Hull Red, but I’m working on it…

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Just to clear up any confusion here, Romain gets an 80% commission on all sales of Hull Red…

    • I am looking forward to your posts as I am new to figure painting and still learning. I was watching a video on painting the other day and he had a tool he called a rubber brush. It had a wood handle with a flexible rubber point on it that he was using to press green stuff into the model joints. It looked like it was doing a great job and there would be no further work required on the joints. Any idea where I could source that tool?

      • Elromanozo says:

        Good figure stores, some model stores, and fine arts/hobby store… These are sculpting tools, in essence, called “rubber brushes” or “color shapers”. I found the ones I own in a good miniature store in the large city I live in… Depending on where you live, you might have to order it online. There are several shapes and sizes, and all are useful in my opinon !

        If you need advice on painting, I do tutorial videos on the Beasts of War website… Why don’t you drop by ?

      • Quirkworthy says:

        As Elromanozo (Romain) says, he’s got various tutorials online at http://www.beastsofwar.com. Well worth a look.

        The tool you’re describing is usually called a “clay shaper” in my experience, but it’s sufficiently odd to have other names too as Elro says. Put “clay shaper” in Google and you’ll find a host of online options. If you have a craft or art shop nearby they’re reasonably common (in the UK at least). They come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes as well as hardness. Luckily the sizes you need for miniature work are pretty cheap so you can afford to try out a few different ones and work out by doing which suits your needs. It’s the best way 🙂

      • I am starting to look at Elromanozo’s videos. Very good stuff. I had a chance to do a one on one with a painter at a very similar skill level to Elromanozo. Was able to learn a lot in one go and it gave me a big step forward. I did get some art brushes but could use more information on what to pick and to discard it seems Elromanozo uses smaller brushes on the same tasks compared to my one on one teacher. Not interested in winning contests but I would like to have the skills to do it. My goal is to be gaming with figures that are extra nice AND try to make those extra nice figures in less time. No speed painting but I don’t want to take a week to get a figure done either. Like all things it is about finding balance. It seems I might have to look about a bit to locate a rubber brush in the Denver, Colorado area. I live in the mountains west of Denver.

      • Quirkworthy says:

        The internet would be easy, but it’s nice to support your local traders. At least if you can’t find any nearby you know there’s a fallback option.

        Painting both better and faster is a goal most aspire to, and I have some thoughts on that, as does Elro, I’d imagine. At the end of the day we all have a limited time to devote to our hobbies, and which parts of that hobby get the lion’s share of that resource varies from one person to another. I’ve always been a slave to the game, Elro focuses more on the painting end. Neither is right and there’s every shade between. You just have to find what suits you.

      • Elromanozo says:

        Thanks, Mr. Torquist ! Kind words are always appreciated.
        Articles about brushes are in the works !

  2. Yep Hull Red from Vallejo and Smoke from Tamiya get brought out WAY too much by me. There are others but those two instantly spring to my mind as my ‘go too colours’. I too need to get my ass in gear and actually get more stuff painted!!!

  3. Sam Dale says:

    You need a pot of Devlan Mud in order to paint everything…

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