*UPDATE FROM 2018*
I finished my Descent 2nd Edition sometime last year and I think the entire gang looks beautiful. It took maybe 100 hours to get all the heroes, basic and advanced monsters out, but I'm super proud of my accomplishment. Check it out!
I'm also glad to say my that looking back at my first few minis, now that I'm at least a good 100 minis experience in, my first minis were horrendous looking. Slowly but surely, I'll get better. I'm happy with my progress for now!
I decided to get into miniature painting recently, so I thought a progress post would help chart how far I go. I’m not really sure how to go about these blog posts, but I’ll just detail them to explain what problems I’ve had with them.
I got all these miniatures from Reaper at http://www.reapermini.com/. They have a massive selection of affordable minis, go check them out!
As part of my research, I heard that matt -> gloss -> matt varnish is the best protection and texture for miniatures, and it’s supposed to leave them with a satin finish. But… that didn’t happen.
Don't overvarnish your minis. They end up looking like crap.
Satin Varnishes are available. They may not last as long, but they are much prettier. As a preface, I do not have proper lighting or workspace. I sit on my floor, and paint on a stool. It's a pretty miserable setup.
This was my very first painted figure. I didn’t know how to highlight, shadow, or blend. I used the paint straight from the pot, without mixing down or watering them. The colors came out blockish, and I slathered wash all over it within the hour to cover up problem areas and places that looked too flat.
I cheated on the eyes. Because the hat’s brim was so large, I decided not to care about it and either painted it completely black or white. It can’t be seen in the photo, but it looks bad. Real bad.
I decided to try out dry brushing for the first time, and I screwed up. I didn't know how to fix it, but I kept the effect because it looked like snow.
When drybrushing, DRY THE DAMN BRUSH.
The dynamic pose of this miniature was amazing, and that was what motivated me to finish them. They all look glossy because of the varnish, so learn from my mistakes.
Colors felt right, but definitely could use more shading. I avoided eyes again and painted them black.
I really liked how this miniature turned out. The colors work well, and I tried my best with the phoenix. It was supposed to be a magic green, but I liked the fire against the blue coat. I should've learned how to do object source lighting, but progress is slow.
Just do what you're able to. And always appreciate your own work.
The indentation of the scroll was a challenge. I didn’t know how to make it bright, so I added a red wash and then dry brushed the parchment color.
His skin came out too yellow, I'm not sure what paint I used. The most time I spent on this piece were the chains wrapped around his body. The individual chains had a lot of detail on them.
I personally despise the work I did here. We needed barbarian in our D&D session, so I decided this piece would do.
Straight away, you can tell the miniature is pretty simple. I couldn't really work out the color scheme, and worked in the skin tone as well as I could, considering how many other times I screwed that up. But the eyes. Sigh.
There isn’t a right and wrong to painting miniatures. Paint your miniature the way you envision it to be.
I also hated this miniature. The book details were troublesome and I didn't know how to do them. I ended up drawing lines. They were horrible.
I tried eyes for the first time. That came out nicely.
Each piece took about an hour to 2 hours. I learned to space out a day for paint to dry to add wash very late down, so most of the wash I used here was applied after the paint touch dried in 15 minutes. They’re pretty good for a first attempt, if anything.
I’ve decided to paint my Descent 2nd Edition miniatures after this. But Reaper Miniatures are fantastically cheap and have an amazing range. Definitely easy to get into without worrying about spending too much money.