Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Gordon's Alive ! - Painting a 15mm Miniature

I say again these mini's are really bloody small ! But I carried on regardless, this Bank Holiday weekend in between gardening, in-laws and me and my partner, Em's, April boardgames day I managed to get some time in to paint my first 15mm miniature.

Sadly I have no in progress pictures as I was too excited and just got on with it, next time I will aim to do better as a blog with no pictures (and my somewhat lacking prose style) does not a riveting read make.

First thing I decided on was how to base them. After some good advice from a variety of folks here I decided on 15mm steel washers as I like the magnetic storage potential, sadly I only had four of them in, so armed with super glue and paper (to cover the hole) I based the miniature I was going to use as Flash, the 'straightened' female figure I had singled out for 'action Dale' and two others from
Peter Pig's Fantasy Red Alien range which I was going to use as practice.

After the glue had dried I whipped out my ancient can of Citadel Chaos Black spray and let them have it. Once dry I saw some still silver areas on all four miniatures and gave them another blast. Then once dry I saw some more silver areas and blasted them again. Then I saw some more silver areas and once more gave them a blast. This time once dry I had (mostly) covered up all the metal and was ready to paint. I dug out my (also ancient) box of Citadel paints and started on my first character, Flash Gordon.

At this point I changed my mind as to which figure to use for Flash, I liked the action pose of the 'firing' Red Alien as opposed to the relaxed pose of the Red Alien Hero. 15mm miniatures really do look better with an undercoat on, you can see previously unnoticed detail and the pose much much better than when in base metal. The
GZG figures I saw on display at Salute in light grey looked really good, I only wish all their mini photo's on their webstore were done in this way.

So after this small change I got the littlest brush I owned, took off my glasses (as I could not focus on the mini with them on) and started applying bits of pigment to the tiny little metal man. Always a fan of Kevin Dallimore's painting tutorials on Foundry (before they decided to remove them and publish them in a book) I always start a mini with the face to give it some character. A few swathes of Bronzed Flesh and Flash looked a bit more human than Red Alien. Next up I went for his shirt which proved to be a bit tricky due to the chest belt thing he was wearing. I used the very dark Scab Red as my base colour as although on my 15mm adventure I wasn't planning on doing Dallimore's three paint method for all of it, the pigment in red is always a bit pap so I start dark and build up. Next up was his hair, I went for Sunset Yellow on the black wavy locks, then I got some Ultramarine Blue and quickly daubed his trousers, I ignored the sculpted loincloth as the front piece is barely noticeable and the back one looks like a bag/pouch attached to the belt. Then I used some good old Chaos Black to tidy up any errant strokes (of which there were surprisingly few) having been splodging for twenty minutes and took a look at my master piece. Hmm, my first thought was 'that's crap' but after a few more glances and some better light it looks okay. Definitely okay for the first colours for tabletop gaming standard anyways.

I had a bit of a break and later that day I went back to it. I used Snakebite leather on all the belts opting not to go for yellow as I didn't want it to clash with his hair. I was surprised how good it looked, giving him a pulp 1930's adventurer feel. I then mixed a bit of Bleached Bone with some Sunset yellow and highlighted his blonde locks and put a light drybrushing of bronze on his pistol. I like the steampunk feel of bronze weapons so you'll probably see this across all my mini's instead of brightly coloured blasters as per the comics.

At this point I also did a quick 50/50 water/wash of Flesh Wash on his skin. This turned out to be a mistake as it turned him a David Dickinson orange fake tan colour. Out came the Bronzed Flesh and Bleached Bone and after some work I thought it looked okay so I stepped away (knowing when to walk away from a mini's paint job is always so tricky).

Then I put a quick bit of Boltgun Metal on his sword blade and some Shining Gold on the hilt/pommel and he looked okay. I did take some pictures at this point but they're worse than crap. Will take some practice to photo 15mm mini's I feel.

And that was as far as I got, all in all about 30-40 minutes for a hero character.

I still have to highlight the shirt with a lighter red (which I don't have at the moment) and highlight the blade with Mithril Silver. I'm also considering highlighting his trousers to make them look a bit more worn but I'm not sure, similarly I may put a bit of lighter brown on the belt/bag/holster.

Tonight I'm going to add some basing materials and attempt to take some photos. I also might try and make a start on Dale. I have ordered 100 more 15mm washers from eBay for the grand price of £2.80 including postage so I can base up my squad of Ming's robot henchmen (
Automatons from Alternative Armies) and actually get a game in !




Anonymous said...

Hi Craig

Can't wait to see the photos.

I have the same issue with painting reds and had made the decision to pick up Scab red from GW earlier today. I wanted a red that wasn't blood or bloody red! Strange how we tend to use the same colours or at least plan on using the same colours?

I have too many projects on the go at the moment, but will also try painting a 15mm figure - just to test my painting style.


I also remove my glasses when painting.

MadWelshWizard said...

lol, we are also both Welshmen with close links to Swansea who now live in the Midlands :)

My Mum is from Gorseinon :)


Eli Arndt said...

Parallel universe Flash Gordon minis fan Welshmen!

It's practically a pulp plot in itself.

Good call on using the Automotons as Ming's robot grunts. I had the same thought when trying to crunch other useful figs for your project. I have no aspirations to do Flash Gordon myself, you gents have that covered well enough, but I like the theorize and exercise the ol' brain muscle just the same.