Sunday, March 2, 2014

Saturday, March 1, 2014

How Low Can You Go?

As mentioned last post, I started to paint at a much smaller scale, 10mm and then 6mm. For perspective, 10mm is roughly the size of a pinky-fingernail.

I've always wanted an ancients and/or fantasy miniatures army, but the popular scales -- 28mm and 15mm -- are both cost- and space-prohibitive. While the 15mm figs of Battles of Westeros and Battlelore could do (games I already own), the scale would demand a much larger playing area. Painting at 15mm also invites a level of detailing I didn't want to get into for a massed army. 

So I looked for something smaller. While Games Workshop as a company might get basheds, you gotta admit that their sculpts sure are pretty. So I started with their 10mm Warmaster line a few years ago. But when GW announced recently that they'd stop making it, prices on everything 10mm skyrocketed.
Click to zoom. A unit of 10mm Warmaster Chaos Army in need of drybrush highlighting. Painted in winter 2011.  

So I had to go smaller again, and accepted 6mm -- which is sustained by a growing number of manufacturers and a dedicated following. I had previously decided against 6mm as being too under-detailed. There's also the fact that in the U.S., there's only one or two companies (MicroWorld & GHQ) making 6mm figures that i find interesting. Beyond that, everything else has to be shipped from overseas. 

Here are a couple units of 6mm MicroWorld undead spearmen and knights. These were painted January 2014.

These aren't finished. I need to figure out how to stabilize the flags. The spearmen were done more recently and I used a finer static grass for the basing, which is closer to scale. I'm happy with how the flags turned out. The skull icons are based on 40k Orks.

So the main point of 6mm is to make massed armies appear closer to scale. Here's a great article comparing the visual benefit and cost benefit (in money and time) of 6mm vs 28mm: The Myth of the 28mm Vision

Below, 25m figures from War of the Ring are used as large creatures to the massed 6mm undead.
Finally, this is what the unit of 10mm Warmaster (unbased) looks like next to a based unit of 6mm MicroWorld undead.
While the Warmaster figs are obviously sexier, they cost at least twice as much and take longer to paint. I found Warmaster's 10mm, like 15mm, still invited a level of detailing I didn't want to obsess over. At 6mm, I'm far less concerned about the details. I can also fit three strips of 6mm figs on the same-sized base, which adds to the "massed" look.    


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Domino Effect, Arts & Crafts...

I've been able to get in more creative time with the girls sleeping through the night more consistently. Lately, that creative time has gone toward miniatures painting. Thought it'd be fun to document the progress here. If the painting has improved recently, it's all been due to learning new techniques and finding the right supplies. 

I think it's also helped that I've been painting lately at more than half the scale (10mm & 6mm) as most of the figures below. I'll post those later.

Ghouls 32mm D&D, Nov. 2010

Kobold Skirmishers, 32mm D&D, Nov. 2010

Haradrim, 25mm War of the Ring, Dec, 2010

Winterfell Cavalry, 15mm Battles of Westeros, Jan. 2013

Note, if there's some drop-off on the Wintefell figs it's due to painting at a much smaller scale, and with brushes not suitable for that scale. Not pictured above, I later painted on a small black wolf emblem on the riders' chests.

And then back to larger scale for more-recent work: 

Ents, 25mm War of the Ring, Dec. 2013

Here, the spray sealer I'd been using the last few years started to spit out white spots. I pretend it's bird poop.

And on to the latest at this larger scale:

Cave Trolls, 25mm War of the Ring, Jan. 2014