I haven’t done any new painting projects since lockdown; I rarely actually end up using the minis I paint at the table, but something about even having the option is enough to get me motivated to paint them. But that’s not been the case for the last few months! So here’s some of my backlog from the mini shelf – mostly painted for Mordheim, so using the slightly grubby style that I like:
Lots of minis from lots of different eras here; the three Skaven (rat men) in particular are (l to r) a single-piece plastic model from HeroQuest, a single-piece white metal model from about 1987 (Some sort of paymaster? I’ve painted him collecting Wyrdstone rather than gold), and a 90s multi-part plastic nightrunner, all of which came in a bag from ebay. The plastic nightrunners were one of the classic Mordheim sets, second in that regard only to the empire militia, which you can’t get for love nor money nowadays – I’m continually kicking myself that I didn’t pick them up while they were still in print. Check out the back of my paymaster for some funky vials – he’s full of fun details, and I couldn’t resist trying out some new techniques.
The ghouls were an opportunity to practice getting a dirty, “ground in” look just right. I wanted practically to be able to smell them by looking at them – if you think that’s a gross sentiment, check out the one with his hand down his loincloth. I wanted to experiment with a technique I’d read about of doing a purple glaze to give a bit of life to flesh tones. Surprisingly, given that purple isn’t normally a colour I’d associate with a healthy, living face, it actually does give it some believable vitality – if you have a problem with your warm flesh tones coming out looking like a waxwork model rather than a human being, give it a try, it works really quite well, after some practice. Anyway, the ghouls were a sort of study in that technique, to see just how far I could push it. The result is a kind of “undead but also not”, which distinguishes them nicely from the zombies in my warband.
The Spider Queen herself is the centrepiece of my Oldhammer collection, such as it is. She’s from 1984 (the C09 line of dark elves, for those interested). That means she’s one of the last “pre-slotta” minis (meaning she’s standing on a round splodge rather than having a citadel “slottabase”… I hate that word with a passion), and she’s made of good old lead. It really makes you feel like an adult, playing with toys that can kill you. Those old models are a different experience to paint, but a fun one; there’s a lot more sculpting and contouring, because the detail isn’t quite as fine. She’s also a slightly more human example of the purple glaze technique mentioned above – that really helped bring out her facial expression, and made it look believable. She’s the first, and so far only mini I’ve painted that my phone has recognised as a human face and attempted to tag – high praise indeed!
Many thanks to my wonderful partner, a true gem, for helping me take the photos. Hop into the comments if you have any tips on mini painting or photography (I’m very much an amateur), or if you’ve made any cool oldhammer finds. Thanks for reading, spiderlings.