Tag Archives: Mini Monday

Keeping Motivated to Hobby — Mini Monday 21

It’s Mini Monday, where we share customizing, scratch building, kitbashing, and miniature painting projects for your roleplaying table. This week we talk about motivation and keeping motivated to hobby.

Mini Monday Logo - Keeping Motivated to Hobby

Phew! Is anyone else finding they’ve got less time during lockdown? I sure am. These days, I finish a good chunk of work at night, so my hobby time is at a premium. But let’s not get discouraged. If anything, lockdown and new obstacles are just opportunities to do better at the things we count as important. Let’s see how we can keep the motivation high and paint more minis.

The Satisfaction of Starting

Taking your first steps on a new project can be just the change of scenery you need (ha, modeling pun)! If other projects have stalled, a quick project can bring out the joy of the hobby and get you excited again. New ideas are often the most exciting, so use that energy to revitalize your enthusiasm.

Having a few projects on the go helps too. Just be sure to keep finishing some of them off, otherwise you’ll feel overwhelmed by the number of incomplete projects waiting for your attention.

The Joy of the Journey

Every step closer to done is a small victory, so get a little done when you can. If a project sits for too long, it can kill enthusiasm, so a little progress often is the way to go. You’ll probably find that, if you keep progressing, you’ll find time to finish the project off in one final, satisfying go. This was the case for me with my Gundam Deff Dreads, which took ages but were finished off quickly over a few final sessions before a big tournament.

The Dopeness of the Destination

Finishing is possibly the greatest motivator, and it will energize you well into the next project. It’s also an important part of learning, because you’ll learn more from completing the whole process than from only getting through a part of it. With a completed model you can take a step back and consider the work as a whole, and you’ve got something you can show off n your display shelf.

Good luck, get minis painted, and stay safe!

Sculpt Saxon from Mouse Guard – MM #20

It’s Mini Monday, where I share customizing, scratch building, kitbashing, and miniature painting projects for your roleplaying table. This week we’ll build Saxon, from the Mouse Guard comics.

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In case you’ve never heard of it, Mouse Guard is an award-winning series written by David Petersen. It was also turned into a best-selling tabletop roleplaying game, based on the Burning Wheel system, by Luke Crane. I love the series and the RPG, and I wanted figures to use in my games, so I made one. Let’s take a look.

Saxon from Mouse Guard

I built a wire frame for the model, then covered it with aluminium foil to give it more shape, particularly around the body, face, and ears.

I then used paper mache, much like in our recent Barrow-downs project, to cover the model.

Paper Mache

For fine detail like this model, which stands about 8 cm high (excluding the base), I made a very fine paper mache by shedding newspaper. I tried to soak and mash it finer, which took a lot of effort but did give me a slightly finer paste in the end. Mix this with 1 cup of water to 1 cup of flour.

Paper mache is great for model terrain projects, and although it’s not great for detail work, I chose it because I figured it would give me a furry, natural look, which worked out well.

Saxon Mouse Guard Paper Mache
The base is made of hardboard, and his hands are made of modelling epoxy. You could use Green Stuff too.

Painting

I base coated the model brown with acrylic paint, and picked out the skin of the hands, feet, ears, and tail with a browny pink. I used grey for the base, stippled on with a brush.

I then switched to Citadel Colours for the main coat. I used Snakebite Leather/Ballor Brown and Bestial Brown/Mournfang Brown for the fur, with Skull White/White Scar for the white patches. I heavily watered down the paints to blend them better.

Finally, I used a brown/black mix with lots of water as a wash, covering the whole model.

Finishing

I used pliers to cut a tiny black bead in half, which I superglued on for the eyes. Two coats of matt varnish, and Saxon was almost ready to join the Mouse Guard.

Saxon of the Mouse Guard

Sword and Cape

I’ll cover Saxon’s iconic sword and cape in a later tutorial, because I’ll need to experiment with a few techniques for the sword first. I’ve already tried plastic card, and now I’m shaping some alluminium, which seems to be working very well. Have any ideas? Drop them in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you.

Jump into Mouse Guard

Looking for the comics? You can find Mouse Guard issues on Drive Thru Comics for a cheap $1.99 each. I highly recommend finding the printed books though, they’re gorgeous.

Barrow-Downs — Mini Monday #19

It’s Mini Monday, where I share customizing, scratch building, kitbashing, and miniature painting projects for your roleplaying table. This week we’ll build super simple Barrow-downs for your undead horde.

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To make this little addition for your gaming table all you need is an old CD or DVD, an egg box, papier-mâché, paint, flock, and some matt varnish.

Barrow-Down
These guys love death metal. You can find our skeleton painting tutorial here.

What are the Barrow-downs? In J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, they’re tombs built into earthen mounds, which became the home of the ghostly barrow-wights. I don’t think they featured in the movies, but hey, a roleplaying table can never have too many tombs.

Because of the CD’s size, the model fits well on battle maps. Barrow-downs makes a stunning centerpiece for an encounter, or to mark the entrance to a dungeon. The model is so cheap and easy to build that you could bang it out in a weekend.

Building the Barrow-Downs

Build the structure out of bits of the egg box, using your CD as a base. I used the center bits (whatever you call them) to form the standing stones at the entrance to the tomb. Papier-mâché over the whole thing to form a solid shell, then let dry. This makes for a strong, lightweight model.

Paint the earth a muddy brown, then dry brush it with a lighter brown to highlight it. Paint the stone gray, then dry brush with a lighter gray.

When that’s dry, flock over the model, leaving the stone, a path to the tomb entrance, and any cliffs free of the flock. Then spray the model with matt varnish and you’re done.

There are thousands of ways to take this project to the next level, so get inspired and have fun with it.

Till next time, stay frosty!



Ork Gundam Deff Dreads: Mini Monday 18

It’s Mini Monday, where I share customizing, scratch building, kitbashing, and miniature painting projects for your roleplaying table. This week we’re building Ork Gundam Deff Dreads for Warhammer 40,000. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get stuck in, boyz!

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Cubicle Seven’s newest incarnation of Wrath & Glory just arrived and has me pumped for more Warhammer 40,000. As you may know, I’ve been working on two Gundam Deff Dreads for my Ork army. Let’s check these clanking contraptions out!

Looting Parts

Both Gundam Deff Dreads started out as chibi-style plastic kits of iconic Gundams. The legs, bases, saw arms, and big shootas came from Mech Warrior Clix figures. The heads, torsos, and backpacks were from the kits. The rest came out of my bits box.

Gundams

The point is, let your inner Mek Boy out and use whatever inspires you. Most things can work for Orks, if you add enough spikes and DAKKA! Mork’s teeth, there’s even a Mr. Potato Head Stompa terrorizing the Internet.

Deff Dread Guncan Tankskrappa

Let’s talk about this build’s concept. Tankskrappa was the first Gundam Deff Dread I did, and I had a very clear concept in mind for the build, which you’ll see in a bit. The issue was that I sidelined a lot of my concept during the build because I didn’t know how to get the look I was going for. I figured things out in the end, and I’m very happy with the final result, but it would have been too easy to cop-out. Perseverance really paid off.

The weapon arms are magnetized, allowing you to swap out weapons.

Tankscrapper Big Shootas - Ork Gundam Deff Dreads
Big Shootas and buzz saw

Deff Dread Guncan Mek-krakka

The biggest influence on Mek-krakka’s design was problem solving. It was much easier on this build to dive in and figure out the best way to create features like rokkit launchas and rokkits as I went. Mek-krakka has three rokkit launchas and a big shoota, and those rokkits took more of my time on this build than anything.

Experimenting and adding details helped a lot. The rokkits were made from ballpoint pen nibs. I’d tried toothpicks, but they didn’t look right at all. Adding fins to the rokkits near Mek-krakka’s big shoota brought the build together. Without the fins they just didn’t read like rokkits.

By Gork, I spent so much time thinking about rokkits for these two Gundam Deff Dreads I could write another whole post about them.

Mek-krakka Deff Dread

Mek-krakka - Ork Gundam Deff Dreads
Mek-krakka, rear view

Mek-krakka - Ork Gundam Deff Dreads
Lots of rokkits!

Mek-krakka More Rokkits - Ork Gundam Deff Dreads
More rokkits!

Play It Forward

As you might know, Rising Phoenix Games has published a bunch of Dungeons & Dragons titles on the Dungeon Masters Guild. From May 4th until May 17th, you can get 20% off all our D&D titles, and 100% of the earnings go to community creators like us and our contributors.

Play It Forward

This is a massive opportunity for us, so if you’ve been eyeing any of our books, now is a great time to grab them and support us too. You can find links to all of our books in this blog post.

 

Please consider sharing this with your D&D friends, but most of all, stay safe and good gaming!

 



Painting a Doom Cacodemon: Mini Monday #17

It’s Mini Monday, where I share customizing, scratch building, kitbashing, and miniature painting projects for your roleplaying table. This week we’re paining a Doom Cacodemon.

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Here’s another miniature painted with Flesh Wash, my new secret weapon that I used to paint my skeletons and Yochlol. For this post I painted a Doom Cacodemon, from the Doom: The Boardgame Expansion Set, which came out in 2005. I’ll be using this mini as my Patriarch in my twisted Genestealer Cults army — more on that soon!

Doom Cacodemon

Painting a Doom Cacodemon

 

There’s not much to painting the Doom Cacodemon really; he’s big, but not overly detailed. I undercoated the mini white, then painted the pinks, followed by the coconut crab pattern on the back. This was based on CatgutPainting’s excellent Tyranid ‘Coconut Crab’ paint scheme tutorial on YouTube. I know this isn’t strictly “canon,” but I think it adds some visual interest.

The back of the Doom Cacodemon
The back of the Doom Cacodemon

I replaced the last two coats of CatgutPainting’s wash mix with Flesh Wash, which made him look more fleshy — surprise surprise. Generally, I don’t like Flesh Wash for skim, but monster skin is a different story.

I painted the base black, then added detail with metallics for the panels, wire, and steel rods. I might go back in and use the rust technique on some of those panels later, but I’m happy for now.

Next, I mixed white and yellow to paint the teeth. I finished them off with a little Flesh Wash around the base of each tooth to give them some grungy definition. Avoid pure white teeth at all costs!

Finish off with matt varnish, or with gloss varnish if you want a wet look. Done!

Follow Mini Monday on Pinterest and CMON

We’re sharing mini painting and kitbashing photos on Pinterest, on our Mini Monday Pinterest board. I’ve also been collecting a huge amount of Warhammer 40,000 Ork kitbashing pictures. Check it out and get inspired.

We’re also on CoolMiniOrNot now, come and check out our growing gallery and vote!



Mini Monday #16: Painting Skeletons and Easy Rust

It’s Mini Monday, where I share customizing, scratch building, kitbashing, and miniature painting projects for your roleplaying table. This week we’re painting skeletons and rust.

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Walking skeletons are a staple of fantasy, so knowing how to paint them will come in handy, even if you’re only painting a few for your roleplaying sessions. This method is super simple and very effective. If you haven’t already had a look at how I painted Yochlol, be sure to check it out. That tutorial goes into using Flesh Wash, which is the key ingredient in this recipe.

1. Basecoat White Then Flesh Wash

Basecoat your skeletons white, then wash with Flesh Wash, aka Ink Wash: Flesh.

Painting Skeletons 1

2. Dry Brush Off White

For this step, I used a 1:1 mix of white and a brownish flesh tone. You’re looking for whatever looks the most like bone.

Painting Skeletons 2
The guy in the middle isn’t dry brushed, so you can compare the effect.

Painting Skeletons 3
All dry brushed… and done!

To dry brush, dip your brush in the paint, then wipe most of the paint off. Paint this residue over the raised edges of your model by flicking the brush back and forth. It takes a little practice, but the technique is very useful.

And that’s it, those bones are done. Let’s move on to the rust.

3. Paint Rusty Surfaces Orange

‘Nuff said!

Painting Rust 1

You can mix things up and have patches of different shades of orange, if you like. We’ll be adding plenty of visual variety still, so don’t worry too much if you don’t.

4. Sponge on Brown

Using a small bit of sponge and tweezers, sponge brown over the rusty surfaces. Like with dry brushing, you don’t want too much paint on the sponge here. The aim is to get a random pattern of dots.

Painting Rust 2

5. Paint in Metal Edges

Now, here’s the magic part. Paint a metallic colour on the edges of the swords and shields, focusing on raised edges that would see wear in battle.

Painting Rust 3

It’s a smoke and mirrors technique, but the metallic edges sell the rust and suggest that the weapons and shields are actually made of metal… actually.

6. Finishing Up

Lastly, put some Nuln Oil or a black wash over the rusty armaments, paint or base the bases as you wish, and seal off the miniature with two coats of matt varnish.

Painting Rust 4
Done dun dun dun DONE!

I was blown away by how easy and effective these techniques were. I’ve used the rust technique a bunch of times on my Warhammer 40,000 orks already, and painting these bones felt like cheating, it was that easy.



Mini Monday #15: Painting Yochlol

It’s Mini Monday, where I share customizing, scratch building, kitbashing, and miniature painting projects for your roleplaying table. This week we’re painting Yochlol from Dungeons & Dragons: The Legend of Drizzt Board Game.

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We’ve already painted a few minis from this great game, and we’ll be painting loads more in the weeks to come. Yochlol is a pretty simple model, but it’s also perfect for highlighting a few techniques that we’ll come back to in the next few projects. Today is all about washes! (No, not handwashing, though you should be doing that too.)

Step 1: Clean and Basecoat

I base coated Yochlol white. I used to love black as a base coat, but white is nice and bright and, in this case, it’s a perfect base for step 2…

Step 2: Mellow Yellow

I painted the entire model yellow (Flash Gitz Yellow), except for Yochlol’s eye.

Painting Yochlol 1
Custard Monster!

Step 3: Flesh Wash

Paint the entire mini with Flesh Wash.

Painting Yochlol 2: Flesh Wash
A little definition goes a long way.

Flesh Wash isn’t available from GW anymore, but Coat d’Arms still sell the original Citadel Flesh Wash, now called Ink Wash: Flesh. It’s a terrible wash for skin tones, but I discovered a bunch of great uses that make this is a great paint to add to your collection. Yochlol is our first test subject.

Flesh Wash pools in the recesses of the mini and gives a nice contrast with the yellow. If too much wash pools in one spot, just use a dry brush to mop up the excess. When you’re happy, leave the mini to dry.

Step 4: Details

Paint the eye white. When that’s dry, add a little blue to your white and paint a line along the top edge of the eye. This provides a slight shadow. Paint the whole pupil and iris black. When that’s dry, paint the iris orange, being careful to paint within the “lines” or edges of the iris you painted black before. Lastly, paint the base to fit the rest of your collection.

Painting Yochlol 3: Detail
Here’s Looking at You.

Step 5: Varnish

Varnish with gloss varnish. Two coats works best. The gloss gives Yochlol a wet, slimy look. You can use a matt varnish on the base to create some variety.

That’s it, you’re done!

Painting Yochlol 4: Finished
Done!

Yochlol is a quick and easy model to paint, which also makes it perfect for trying out new things. This was the first time I’d found a good use for Flesh Wash, and the techniques I used on the eye were a first for me too. Overall, I’m very happy with the results.

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Stay safe out there everyone!



Mini Monday #14: Jump into Miniature Painting

It’s Mini Monday, where I share customizing, scratch building, kitbashing, and miniature painting projects for your roleplaying table. This week I share why you should take the plunge and jump into miniature painting.

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Many of you already know that I got back into miniature painting after 20 or so years away from the game. In all this time, and the four or so years I’ve been back, my Space Marines have gone unfinished, all because I was too intimidated to paint their Angels Encarmine chapter symbols. Here’s how I took the plunge.

Jump Into Miniature Painting

Blood Angels fans might know about their sister chapter of the Second Founding, the Angels Encarmine. Their chapter symbol is a blood drop between bat wings. Drawing symmetrical bat wings is hard enough, but try painting them freehand on a 10mm wide shoulder guard! There are no transfers for this. I didn’t want them to look cheesy, so I left my minis unfinished.

Now, these were some of the first minis I ever painted. They don’t look great, but I didn’t want to scrap them or strip them. Why I thought badly painted chapter symbols would make a difference, I don’t know, but ego is a powerful thing.

Skilling Up

Knowing how to paint freehand is half the battle.

I had already tried making a template, which worked well for the company symbol — a single yellow-gold blood drop for my 2nd Company. Miniac, a prolific mini painter on YouTube, recently posted a great video on freehanding, which showcased templating along with a load of other freehanding tricks. That got me onto using electrical tape to make templates, and I was halfway there.

But the template didn’t always work. Most of the time it left me with a big black blotch. What did work was painting in the detail with red on the red shoulder guard, hiding the black. Think of it like deleting parts of the image to get what you want. This worked phenomenally well, and turned out to be pretty easy.

But That’s Not the Point

The point is, you have to try, otherwise you’ll never learn. These Space Marines aren’t about to win any prizes, but this has given me a bunch of ideas for improving, and I can move on (finally).

Angels Encarmine First Attempt
Yes, I’m posting embarrassing photos of my poor painting skills, but that’s not the point…

The other thing is motivation. I’m very interested in what motivates me. I realized it would be awesome to do “painted” Adeptus Astartes that looked like they’d been worked over by a Renaissance artist.  Maybe the Angels Encarmine decorate their armor with elaborate images in veneration of the Emperor or as a reminder of past battles. It sounds like a cool bit of lore to me.

So now I’m not just freehanding chapter symbols, but scrolls and oaths of moment, and have plans for much more intricate work. I have a vision, a plan, and all I need to do was jump.

So jump into miniature painting.

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Mini Monday #13: Level Up Your Painting in 2020

It’s Mini Monday, where I share customizing, scratch building, kitbashing, and miniature painting projects for your roleplaying table. This week I’m playing it lazy and sharing an excellent video from Midwinter Minis that will help you level up your painting in 2020. I’ll also add in a few of my own tips.

Mini Monday Gargoyle

Guy and Penny from Midwinter Minis share great painting and scenery making tips on their YouTube channel. They’re one of the top mini painting channels, in my opinion, and their 23 Free ways to get better at painting models video (below), is worth checking out.

Rodney’s Tips

Here are a few of my own tips:

1. Paint with a Pal

Painting with others is a great way to learn, make time for painting, and keep motivated. Kim Frandsen (writer of Heaven & Hell) and I chat over Google Hangouts while we paint. We talk about the industry and all sorts of things, and we share our progress live or by sending photos of our work. Kim used to work at a games shop, where he also had to paint minis, so I’ve learned loads from him.

2. Finish Models, Keep Painting

Mini Monday is all about keeping motivated and getting through that pile of plastic. After 20 years, I got back into painting and found it to be a great (and even cheap) way to clear my mind and relax. But why had I given it up for so long? I loved the hobby, and even made it into a career, but I’d started collecting prepainted minis and my grey plastic ones were collecting dust. I realize now that the pile of unfinished models was intimidating.

Now I pick my battles and get models done, and that keeps me motivated.

3. Batch Painting

Batch painting really sped up my painting. By painting squads or groups of similar miniatures, I can turn each step of the painting process into a production line. That way, the minis are ready for the table at the same time and I don’t have to switch tools or paints often. You can literally do your whole army like this, as Brent from Goobertown Hobbies did with his 100 goblins (another YouTube video).

level up your painting
I painted four drow together, before finding four more that needed the brush. Doh!

May 2020 be a great year for you as you level up your painting!



Mini Monday #12: Travel Wargaming

It’s Mini Monday, where I share customizing, scratch building, kitbashing, and miniature painting projects for your roleplaying table. This week I’ll show you my travel wargaming solution. Welcome to Mini Monday #12: Travel Wargaming.

Mini Monday Gargoyle

Here’s a trick for getting your wargaming and roleplaying fix while you’re traveling. You can’t always carry your hobby with you, but these minis fit in an Altoids tin.

Mini Monday #12: Travel Wargaming
The trusty old Altoids tin. I’ll happily accept donations of these, any day.

Mini Monday #12: Travel Wargaming

These mini miniatures look cool and are easy to play with, and have bases of a standard size. You can easily adapt this idea for building a roleplaying set too.

Mini Monday #12: Travel Wargaming
LEGO Minifig heads make great travel wargaming miniatures.

Each mini is a LEGO minifig head on a 2×2 inverted dish, with a round 1×1 plate between them to give the figure extra height. You can use different colors to distinguish between different types of units, such as leaders and rank and file troops. I just used whatever I had. These custom LEGO wargaming miniatures work well for skirmish games and roleplaying games.

Mini Monday #12: Travel Wargaming
The battle commences between the Empire and the Rebels.

You could easily build terrain too, since it’s LEGO, or maybe a custom measuring stick—anything you want.

RPG Blog Carnival

This week’s post is brought to you by the RPG Blog Carnival, and the theme “Adventurer, Take This… .”  Rising Phoenix Games is hosting the carnival this month. Using LEGO minifigs in your campaign is a great way to allow your players to customize their representation of their character, without having to paint a new mini each time a player decides to dip into a new class.

Got any travel tips related to tabletop gaming? Have some nifty ideas for carrying your Kill Team? Let us know, in the comments below.