Minivember: One More Once!

So I didn’t get my All Mini’s Eve calendar done. But I knew I couldn’t put off some big challenge for myself. Thus leading to the decision to do Minivember again and maybe again next year if I still don’t get the calendar done, because life, but I’m really hoping I can get it together and finish it up as soon as possible.

As usual  I encourage anybody who is interested in it to participate.

The rules (these have changed a little):

  • Paint 30 (or more) unique minis.
    • This means you can paint a bunch of one sculpt but it only counts as 1 mini towards the count.
      • Example: I painted over 70 minis last year but because of the number of sculpts that I did it only came out to 30 discreet minis.
  • You do not have to paint one a day but one for each day.
  • Prep beforehand is totally permitted (washing, mold line removal, priming, etc.)
    • Any paint other than primer is not permitted.

If you’ve got any further questions just leave me a comment or send me questions through my contact page!

Paint Swatch Journals

I realize this is a /very/ late write up but I got some interest in it on Instagram and thought I’d share a more detailed process than what I could fit in one post.

So in January of 2018 I decided to find a way to catalog my paints. I have a spreadsheet that I am really bad at updating and I wanted to be able to see the colors at a glance.

Quick aside, I have an Android phone so I use an app called PaintRack. It allows me to do these things but I did not know about it at that time. It’s not currently available for iOS but they are working on it. It is free but you can purchase it for more features and I highly recommend that if you’ve got the money.

It essentially lets me do a spreadsheet in a much more user friendly way. I can pull up the colors and, if I have the color, mark how many and many other fun features.

Back to the journal.

I started by buying a sketch book. It looks like this:

sketchbook cover

This is a very plain sketchbook. It does not have fancy paper, I believe it is similar to standard printer paper. This became an issue a little later down the line but it was workable.

Next I drew a grid on the paper and titled the columns:

grid 1.jpg

The first column is 1.5″ x 1″ and the rest of the squares are roughly 1″ x 1″. The larger, left hand, column was to give me enough space to write down the color name and it’s SKU. This book only contains my Reaper MSP Core paints. The titles of the columns got moved around a little to accommodate things.

I decided that the grid was not defined enough so I went over them with a black permanent marker.

sharpie grid.jpg

It was at this point I erased any extra lines where I did not either go over them properly or they were crooked.

Then I used Vallejo’s white brush on primer, since that is what I use primarily on things I plan to prime, in the squares that did not currently have writing in them. I don’t have a picture for this as white on white did not show up well on camera. I had already decided, mostly because I did not own them, that I was not going to use black or grey primers. So instead I used Reaper’s brown and blue liners. I shifted a few columns around and ended up with the picture below.

final setup page.jpg

I then jumped in head first into putting paint to paper.

setup 1.jpg

And that wasn’t the best idea. I decided that I needed something under the paints to show opacity.

I decided to do some testing with different types of pens and a black paint to see what I would use in the end. I tested over a #2 pencil, mechanical pencil, sharpie, a black pen, and black paint.

setup test.jpg

I was happy with the initial testing over the liner so I didn’t continue with that. I also wrote words in sharpie and #2 pencil to see if I liked the writing better than the lines or X’s.

This was the result of that test:

paint test.jpg

I ultimately decided I liked the writing more than the lines. This left me with the decision of #2 pencil vs. sharpie.

none test.jpeg

In the end the sharpie won out because under un-thinned paint it was hard to even tell there was pencil there too.

So after trial and error I decided on this set up:

paint ready.jpg

At this point I should probably tell you what each column title entails.

  • None: This is paint straight out of the bottle.
  • Brown Liner, Blue Liner, and Base: This is 3 drops of paint that have been thinned with 2 drops of my water and flow aid mixture.
  • Wash: This is in theory what it would more or less look like if I was making a wash. Still 3 drops of paint but with 5 drops flow aid mixture instead of 2.

I also wrote more or less what kind of color it is in the last two columns. This allows me to flip through quickly and scan the last columns while flipping through and pick or find a color with ease.

Finally, I put paint to paper.

finish.jpg

I did skip things like pre-made washes, inks, other liners, and additives.

That’s it! It was a long setup but I totally think it was worth the time. I hope someone finds some inspiration from this and does something of their own.

Happy painting!

-S

Goals

It’s the end of August already?!

I’ve missed a lot of hobby time this year due to life.

I sat down and made a list of stuff that I want to work on the rest of this year and will most likely spill into next year. I want to do All Mini’s Eve this year but it might have to wait until next year as well.

Here is my to do list:

Happy painting!

~S

July 2019 Goals

I’ve got a lot I want to do but I’ve parsed it down into just a few things.

  1. Mail off mini swap mini.
  2. Spend time with nieces and family.
  3. Finish fire giants from Bones 3 and start on Bones 4 giants.
  4. Work on Ma’al.

One: Pretty self explanatory. Just need to address it and make it to the post office.

Two: Family is in town! We don’t get to see them often, a couple times a year, so we pack as much fun as we can into the time they are here. We are currently playing through Stuffed Fables. I, also, plan on bringing paints and minis over next week to paint with them. Now to sort through what I’ve got and see what I can part with.

Three: I’ve had these on the Shelf of Shame for quite some time now and really need to finish them. Then of course start on the new ones we just got.

Four: I need to get some work on it done but also need to figure out how to do some things but I need to work on it nonetheless.

Other: I’m still working on blogging it’s just going very slowly with the move and unpacking.

That’s all for now.

Happy painting!

– S

June Update

I’m here! I’ve still been working on unpacking and setting up the hobby area. I have gotten a little bit of painting done but not much. Here’s a sneak peek of what little I’ve been doing.

lava.jpg

As far as the blog goes, I am still working on it. I am having to split my time a million ways so it’s on the back burner for now.

Sorry for the radio silence. Be back soon(TM).

Happy Painting

-S

Tools of the Trade: Brushes, Brushes Everywhere #1

Brushes, brushes everywhere but not a drop of paint!

I asked around and I’ve gotten so much feedback that I need to make a smaller series on brushes alone! So, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m not sure how many I’ll have but until further notice the Tools of the Trade series is going to be Brushes, Brushes Everywhere. Now I feel it wouldn’t be fair to y’all here to not ask the same question I’ve asked everywhere else so I can have even more input.

So my question to y’all is: If/when you are/were new to painting what would you like to know or would like to have known about brushes?

This could be anything from brush care to specific brush pointers. Post below in the comments!

Hobby Holder: Kickstarter #2: A Review

Here I am with another Hobby Holder review! Once again I was NOT paid to do this review, I spent my own money to acquire these items. Also, a quick note, permission was given to use the gifs and photos in this post. If it has my watermark I took it, if not it was with permission.

If you are new to Hobby Holders or have not read my first review you can find it here: The Hobby Holder: Review

“I remember this! I love mine! What’s new?”

It’s only been a little over a year since my last review but the people over at GameEnvy are at it again. With a second Kickstarter campaign under their belts I have some new and exciting things to share with you.

This second campaign was more successful, by a lot. With a projected $15,000 needed to complete the project they blew way past that by making $125,827 with 3,298 backers! That’s over 500 more backers than the first project! According to the Kickstarter there are now “well over 8000 painters in more than 50 countries are using the Hobby Holder”  

Once again I am blown away by the quality and ingenuity of this product which is still made from high quality ABS plastic in the USA.

I pledged for the 4 part kit, where you could mix and match the four parts available. I chose one of each piece which included: a base, an original stability bar, an XL stability bar, and an ergonomic grip. Then, because of stretch goals, I also received: the “Hit the Ground Running” pack (made up of 5- 28mm bottle caps and some Loctite Fun-Tak (which I personally do not care for), a screw, two nuts (of different sizes), and a promo button (with new art!).

“So, what is new?”

I’m glad you asked! They have introduced a new Ergonomic Grip and an XL Stability Bar.

These are completely compatible with the original Hobby Holder set up, which is made up of a base, stability bar (in this case either bar works), and a 28mm bottle cap.

“Tell me about the grip first.”

The QuickClick system is the first and biggest thing, it allows you to quickly click the bases in and out of the grip. Before, to attach a base to a grip you had to screw a bolt through the hole of the base into the hole in the grip. If you feel the need or want the extra security two nuts and a bolt are provided to screw the base down. The next thing is shape; because of the redesigned shape it is now easier to hold both the handle and the grip at the same time giving more control and support while painting.

The grip is made of two pieces that are screwed together with four screws, two at the top and two at the bottom. If the grip is too tight to turn the base or just tighter than you’d like when you click in the base you can do a couple of things. Firstly, you should click the base into the grip and rotate quickly for about 20 seconds. Then unclick the base from the grip and this should solve any issues with tightness.

If that does not fix it or loosen it to your liking it is recommended to loosen the screws a ¼ turn at a time until it has reached an acceptable tightness. If loosening them a little at a time doesn’t work you may remove the screws and and start from scratch. However, over time it will get easier to manipulate, so regular use might solve your problem anyway.

If you would like to weight the grip you can completely disassemble it and reassemble it with some sort of weight inside and then screw it back together. If you backed the Kickstarter you will receive an email with a download to STL files in it. There are several files included, one being for a weight to go in the grip. If you do not have access to a 3D printer these products should be available at retail at a later date, like what they did with the STL files from the first Kickstarter.

Overall, I find this much more convenient than the previous iterations of grips that I own and will be purchasing more of these over time.

New Ergonomic Grip

“Super neat! What about the stability bar?”

The stability bar or, as it is more commonly referred to as, the handle is now available in a larger size. I find it will be good for both accommodating larger minis and for people with larger hands than myself.

Here are the two handles side by side, original on the left.

The XL handle attaches in the same manner as the original handle. Using the same QuickClick design it snaps into place around the same bases that the original handles use, so no need to buy extra, unless you want to or don’t have one already.

The XL handle allows you to put minis on bases as large as 70mm whereas the original handle only allowed up to 50mm bases easily.

The angles of the finger rest have been adjusted very slightly, this allows you to place minis that are taller than the handle on the holder while still being comfortable.

You do still have the option of turning the handle upside down and can paint minis even larger. Either handle gives you many ways to hold the Hobby Holder so you can get just about any kind of angle to paint.

My only gripe about the new XL bar is it’s slightly too large for me to hold, but I have smaller hands so this may not be the case for you. While I can’t comfortably hold it with my index finger I can hold it with my middle finger fairly well. You can see this in the pictures below.

“Where can I get these again? And how do I follow them to learn about future projects?”

Currently, you can pre-order the new items through the Kickstarter page here.

You can also follow them on social media: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

And as always you can visit their website and find all sorts of hobby related items. From brush stands to bases! They even carry Paint Pucks!

Happy Painting.

-S

Abscence

Many apologies for not being around. We’ve had some life changes happen and very quickly in the last month. We are going to be moving soon so that might slow things down further.

I have put the Tools of the Trade series on hold until we can get moved and settled.

As for painting, currently, I am working on a couple of Driders and a mini for a swap. Just have a few details on that left before I can base and send it to it’s new owner.

In the meantime you can check out what I’m doing on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Links to all three at the very bottom of the page.

Happy Painting

-S

Tools of the Trade: Minis: Bones Black

“I’m back! Now, tell me about Bones Black.”

Bones Black is a new material developed by Reaper Miniatures. As of January 2019 they will be releasing a mini a month in this material throughout the year. If you were a part of their fourth Bones Kickstarter you will also be getting some along with the traditional Bones. All of the expansion packs and several of the add on options will be in Bones Black.

If you didn’t get in on the Kickstarter don’t worry! Reaper is doing a promotional sale and you can get your own. Each month in 2019 you can get a free Bones Black miniature with orders over $40. You can also just buy the model individually. These models are not a part of the Bones 4 Kickstarter.

Does this mean traditional Bones are going away?!”

The original Bones line is not going anywhere. Reaper will continue to produce them and continue to make new models in the original material.

“What’s the difference between the two?”

The differences between Bones and Bones Black are huge. First and most obviously they are not white like traditional Bones; though they are not black either, they are a dark grey. The color difference makes it not only easier to see small details but makes the mini easier to photograph.

“Speaking of detail, how does it compare?”

The detail is great! Traditional Bones can be known to have softer details in some cases. I have the January promo Owlbear and I can tell you the details are very crisp. In some cases it can be compared to the detail of resin without the fragility.

Bones Black Owlbear

“Well, since you mentioned fragility, how durable are they?”

They are every bit as durable and sometimes even more so than Bones. They can be tossed around, stepped on (probably not suggested due to rigidity), and dropped. They are much, much more rigid than traditional Bones. Because they are so rigid it will help prevent some things that happen to the original Bones, for example this will cut down on bent weapons like seen below.

As you can see his scythe is bent at an odd angle. Bones Black will remedy this problem. (Darkrasp, Evil Priest)

“How do you prep them?”

You prep them the same way you would any other mini. Wash with soap and water, remove mold lines, etc. The one big thing that is different is that you are able to scrape off the mold lines rather than having to cut into them to remove which will prevent cutting into the model. As said by Reaper themselves, mold line removal is similar to that of models made of styrene.

“Can I spray prime them without it going sticky?”

Absolutely! Reaper has tested many brands of both hobby spray primers and many hardware store brands such as Krylon and Rustoleum. They work just like it would on most any other hard plastic model. No stickiness to be found!

Of course, they always recommend brush on primer. However, it is now truly up to you how you want to prime. No more fear of spraying to find out you can’t paint it because it became sticky.

“How do they paint up?”

While I have not yet painted my Bones Black Owlbear, they are still touted as paintable out of the box. Sometimes you can even start painting completely straight out of the box, no washing needed, though as always washing is recommended. As mentioned in one of the Reaper Live Episodes (#007) on YouTube the painting experience is similar to that of painting resin and even sometimes metal.

Another nice quality is that they are not completely hydrophobic like the original Bones. You are able to, reasonably, thin your base coat and it won’t automatically bead off like a lot of traditional Bones minis.

“Those sound really neat! How does price compare?”

The price of Bones Black is totally comparable to traditional Bones. They may vary by a a little, especially depending on size, but nothing as drastic as getting a metal mini instead.

“Well, this sounds great! I can’t wait to get my hands on some.”

I’m glad you agree with me! Next time we’ll be back to talking about some other tools that are essential to painting and not more materials minis are made of. See you soon, and in the meantime, happy painting!

February 2019 Goals

Where did January go? No matter where it went I’m sure it’ll be back eventually. It’s the first of February so it’s time for a monthly goals post.

First some updates:

  • I finished the Frost Giant Queen! The giveaway is still running through tomorrow so if you want to enter head over to my Facebook page or Instagram and give it a shot. You can find a link to both at the bottom of this page. But hurry! It only runs through tomorrow (02/02/2019) and ends at 11:30 AM PST.
Frost Giant Queen
  • I still have a TON of photos to take and upload. However! I finally found my camera charger that I misplaced so I can take much nicer photos.
  • I started back up on my Tools of the Trade series at the beginning of the year. Except for yesterday’s post (which will be posted tonight) they’ve all been on time. Keep an eye out for those every other Thursdays. Also, if there’s anything you are remotely interested in that is minis or minis adjacent you’d like me to cover please leave me a comment down below!

Next up, things I finished painting last month:

  • All 3 dark elves
  • Bathalian D’Khul
  • Ghoul Queen

I started on the, Reaper Bones, Arachnid Warrior and Arachnid Archer (Driders) but they are not finished yet.

I am going to start back up on those Fire Giants that I have shelved this month and hopefully get at least one of them done before the 10th.

Anyway, here are my goals for February:

  • Finish the two arachnid people.
  • Finish up the three (3) Fire Giants I have remaining.
  • Work on printing out my Maiden of the High Seas boat PDFs so I can start assembling it.
  • Coordinate with artist about art for All Mini’s Eve calendar. I hope to have this finished by June.
  • I want to pick Ma’al Drakar back up and make some big progress on it. And while I’m at that I’ll pick up Mini Ma’al and finish that up since it just needs a few highlights.
  • Do more research and planning for my two dioramas.

Last but not least DON’T PANIC. Reaper Bones 4 is coming! Soon! But I must focus on current projects before I start up a lot of new ones.

Here’s to February, hope it’s a productive month for all!

Happy painting!
-S