09 July, 2014

A Fox's Guide to Figure Painting (Part 1)

My laptop is dead. After a thorough cleaning, half of the keys still don't work on it and now it goes through an endless cycle of rebooting, staying active for a minute or two and then rebooting again. I'll hopefully be able to rescue the hard drive with notes for dozens of unfinished games, hundreds of illustrations, and all the other stuff one might normally have on a general use computer.

So, while I work on getting a new replacement, the blog will take a detour. I'll be focusing on something that can be handled purely with the iPad that has temporarily become my primary computer. Hopefully I'll get back to the geomorph tutorials soon.

For the moment though...

A Fox's Guide to Figure Painting

I don't claim to be a great painter, I've scored a plenty of seconds and thirds for my painting in local wargaming events, even earning a couple of first places for best unit, or most interesting display. I've been paid to paint miniatures for friends, but never done anything professional. I'm certainly no "Golden Demon" winner, I just try to paint figures to a degree that they look good when they hit the table (not to the degree that they're so good I wouldn't dare play with them).

My aim with this sequence of tutorials will be to show my general technique for painting figures. First I'll work through a squad of troops, then I'll show my technique for painting and detailing a specific heroic character. 

I've had a pile of Reaper Bones from the phenomenally performing Kickstarter last year. I haven't worked with the plastic of these figures before, but they will work well enough for the tutorial.


In this case, the first thing I do to get a feel for the figures is to paint some flesh-tone on them. I'm deliberately painting these figures with darker skin tones, because I have plenty of green-skinned goblins, but the vast majority of my humans are generally caucasian or asian (including a horde of pale skinned samurai). My sci-fi figures tend to be more diverse, but it wouldn't hurt to have a bit of diversity among the figures on my shelf.

I'm seeing these figures as a sci-fi police force. As a peacekeeping force they don't really needto be  camouflaged, in fact it works better to their purposes if their armour is highly visible. Their armour will generally be white, perhaps indicating a degree of purity, order and integrity. I'll apply accents in a metallic colour, silver seems too obvious so I'm aiming toward golds and bronzes.

Over the next few days, I'll build up the figures toward this goal...but invariably, the figures take on a life of their own. How they end up is anyone's guess.
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