Light Miniatures

Never be afraid to paint outside the lines

Month: October 2015

From the workbench: St. Mark on Dragon, part 3

I reached an important milestone since part 2. There’s no more primer showing! There’s still lots of work to be done, but all of the main elements are now in place, so you can see how it all looks together.


I can’t decide which side is the front of this mini. I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing, but I think it’s good. There’s a lot of energy moving in several different directions, which I think is one of the things that drew me to the mini originally.


The most obvious change since the last post is the rider of course. Originally, I painted his cloak and pants pink rather than orange. The color worked okay in the color scheme, I think, but I couldn’t get over my societal hangups about pink.


Fortunately a thin glaze with yellow ink was enough to change the color completely without destroying all of the highlighting and shading, and my careful texturing work.


The other main change is the addition of pigments to the base. I don’t think it photographs as well now, but it looks way better in person and that’s the main thing. Pigments create a wonderful dusty effect which makes the base look much more realistic as dirt and stone.


The pigments I used are mostly from the Secret Weapon “wet earth” set, which is somewhat ironic since I created a dry dusty effect using the pigments. Just goes to show you never to take names too seriously, since at the end of the day they are just colors. I used terracotta as the main color for the lit areas and violet (which is an awesome color!) in the shadows, with a few spots of red brick to provide variety.


I screwed up when I added the pigments, since I added the pigments first, then sprayed the whole mini with dullcoat (which it needed to kill the shine from the inks I used). Unfortunately the dullcoat ruined the lovely dusty effect. I added another layer of pigment, but that pretty much obliterated the highlighting and shading I had done before. So I had to re-paint the highlights and shadows over the pigment, and then add pigments a final time. Oy.

At least thick paint is not much of an issue for the rocks and dirt. But next time it’s definitely dullcoat first, then pigments, rather than the other way around.

A step backwards in time

In honor of “Back to the Future” day, I’m doing some time-traveling of my own.

I started painting miniatures in high school. I acquired an eldar army from a friend-of-a-friend, and painted my first minis with Testor’s enamels. Sadly, these have been lost to time, but I still have the first minis I painted with acrylics.


They came from the Citadel paints box set, and I painted them to try out my new paints. Needless to say, I quickly fell in love. I may not have had much talent, but I certainly had ambition, going for a legion of the damned color scheme that involved blending yellow into red over a black base-coat. Unsurprisingly, that did not end well.

Anyways, it just goes to show that anyone can end up a good mini painter, if they keep trying long enough.

I wish I could show you the Geocities website I created to show off my painting, but that has become lost to time. Unless someone has a DeLorean I could borrow?

Twitter integration

You can now follow @althaipaints on Twitter for site updates, for those of you who like to get updates that way instead of RSS or whatever.

From the workbench: St. Mark on Dragon, part 2


There’s been a lot of progress since part 1. The dragon body is nearly finished, and I’ve built out the base a bit.


I haven’t really put any paint on the rider yet, but I converted his arm holding a pistol into binoculars, which involved a fair amount of resculpting.


The round resin plinth he’s sitting on is only temporary, for holding him while I paint. I’m planning on putting him on a larger wood plinth eventually.


I’m not sure about the highlighting I did on the back leg in this shot. It doesn’t really make sense from a physics standpoint, but it also provides a sense of energy and motion which I like (and which was inspired by something Alfonso “Banshee” Giraldes said in a class I took from him). I’m going to leave it for now, and see how I feel about it when the rest of the mini is closer to finished.


On to the rider! I’m off to Google some fabric reference for his clothing, since I still haven’t figured out what I’m going to do with it. I’m thinking about doing something inspired from West Asian or South Asian fabric patterns. I visited the Victoria and Albert Museum in London a couple of weeks ago while traveling for work, and there was a show on the Fabrics of India which got me thinking along those lines.

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