Light Miniatures

Never be afraid to paint outside the lines

Month: October 2014

Tutorial: Painting Battle Damage


We all love tabletop wargames, and our miniatures often see many battles. As hobbyists, we want our miniatures to look it! Well-done battle damage effects can make miniatures look more realistic on the battlefield, and also more fun to look at. In this tutorial, I will demonstrate a couple different techniques for giving your models that battle-hardened appearance. The miniature I’ve chosen to demonstrate them on is a Deathripper, a Cryxian bonejack from Privateer Press.


Realistic Chipped Paint

The first technique I’m going to demonstrate is called the blister-foam technique. Its purpose is to give the appearance of chipped paint. A warrior or war machine in the field is going to be scraping against the terrain and other combatants, not to mention getting pelted with gunfire and hacked with melee weapons, and its paint will not remain intact long. That is the effect this technique will achieve.

You will need a small piece of foam, like the “blister-foam” that comes packaged with most miniatures.

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From the workbench: steampunk Leia, part 2

I’ve made a bit more progress, and taken a few more photos.

Steampunk Leia WIP 2 - front

You can see the lighting effect a bit better now. I’m really happy with how that came out. She’s still WIP, but at least there’s no more primer visible (except a few spots where the paint rubbed off, but those will get fixed).

Steampunk Leia WIP 2 - left

Steampunk Leia WIP 2 - right

Steampunk Leia WIP 2 - rear

Sorry about the inconsistent lighting on the photos. They were taken outside since I still need to obtain a decent photography setup. But at least they weren’t taken by my phone this time, so there’s that.

Please comment if you have any questions or comments. Critiques are always welcome and appreciated!

From the workbench: steampunk Leia, part 1

My current project is a steampunk version of a certain famous character.

Steampunk Princess, work-in-progress

Steampunk Princess, work-in-progress

This is actually the first bust I’ve painted, and has been a lot of fun so far because it’s a much bigger scale than I usually paint. My normal fare is 30mm models, which is about 1:60 scale. This bust is closer to 1:10 scale. It’s a lot of fun to be able to put in details like irises and eyelashes. The miniature is Steampunk Princess Bust, by Cool Mini or Not, cast in resin.

The color scheme (with the orange lighting effect) was inspired by a scene from Star Wars:

Princess Leia; image copyright 20th Century Fox

Image copyright 20th Century Fox; used without permission

The lighting effect is not too dramatic from this angle, but it’s much more dramatic from her left side. I’ll take some more photos from different angles when I’ve made a bit more progress. There’s still lots to do, not just the pistol!

Please comment if you have any questions or comments. Critiques are always welcome and appreciated!

The Happy Painter’s Manifesto

Six rules to live by.

  1. There is no right and wrong. Each of us must find our own happy painting spirit, and our own path of miniature painting. Others can offer helpful advice and guidance, telling us what has worked for them, but what worked for them may not work for us, and vice versa.
  2. There are no mistakes. There are only accidents. When painting with the happy painting spirit, it is up to us to make our accidents into happy accidents, which while not intended can bring interesting life to our miniatures.
  3. There is no fear. Nothing is more paralyzing to an artist than fretting that the mini won’t be good enough, or that the technique is too difficult, or that we won’t have time to finish. Just forge ahead, and we will always make progress.
  4. There are no deadlines. All of us have our own stresses, and miniature painting can contribute to that, if we have miniatures for clients, or miniatures which have to be finished for this gaming night or that convention. It is important sometimes to paint, just for ourselves, some pieces which are finished when we say they are, because we are happy with them, and not for any lesser reason.
  5. There are no critics. We should listen to others’ suggestions, but not feel bound to follow them or pay attention to criticism. It’s also good not to pay too much attention to our inner critics, especially in the early stages of a piece.
  6. There are no rules. Never be afraid to paint outside the lines!

Inspired by Roman Lappat of Massive Voodoo.

Welcome to Althai Paints!

I’m a miniature painter best known by my online moniker “Althai”. I thought about saying a bit about myself, but I decided I’d rather let my work speak for itself.

Ruby – Studio McVey; Photo Courtesy Crystal Brush

Ruby – Studio McVey

"Riot Grrrl" Lisbeth – Studio McVey

“Riot Grrrl” Lisbeth – Studio McVey

Troll Axer – Privateer Press

Troll Axer – Privateer Press

Commander-Adept Nemo; Photos Courtesy Privateer Press

Commander-Adept Nemo – Privateer Press

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