Sunday, July 31, 2011


There have been many times I have wondered why did I pick non metallic metals for this project. Quite a few of those times were this weekend. I got in many hours of painting but not many figures actually complete. Two almost complete miniatures I decided had gone too far in the wrong direction to be saved and were sent into the vat of simple green to start afresh.

The answer I guess is to push myself and make it challenging. I have to admit I am finding it to be just that. These three pieces have emerged today at the finished-enough-to-post phase and I would welcome comments and critique.



Fighter in Plate Mail with Sword

FA19-1 Female Fighter with Sword
FF17 Minotaur
(Axe replaced)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Werewolf and the Bard

Raining today and for the first time in a week I'm pulling cool fresh air through the studio.

Hot + humid + heat from lights + noise from old window air conditioner = unfavorable conditions for painting. I paint above the garage, lots of space, no Disney channel in the background, its usually quite civilized.

Finished these two anyway:  FA6-1 Bard v's FF19 Werewolf

Sing it Zevon!

You better stay away from him, 
He'll rip your lungs out, Jim, 

Cheers, Caius

Angel with a hangover?

The FF31-1 Satanic Angel has been a very challenging piece. Mine still needs some base work but it is just about finished:

 I started absolutely clueless for a color scheme. He is supposed to be "Satanic" so the obvious would be reds, browns and maybe black wings (If I find another I might try that I suppose) but I think he would get lost among all the bat winged demons. 

He has a squished broad face beneath high domed forehead and though full of character it is hard to take this figure seriously.  I can only assume that the sculptor was inspired (knowingly or not)  by Eagle comics Mekon - Dan Dare's nemesis.  And I'm sure if i had picked green the likeness would be striking.

But then the Mekon doesn't have wings - he is an early proponent of the flying disc (Eat your heart out green goblin)
(Mekon: 1950, Green Goblin: 1965, I looked them up)

Blue was another color I considered - but...

My Mum suggested gold for Servants of the Gods - and in the end I went with that general idea:

Cheers, Caius

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Three monsters in one

FF34 - Chimaera

Weird spelling but apparently correct - This figure is another I started months ago and am very pleased to have finished. Determining a "realistic" paint scheme (looking up pictures of lionesses and goats) and then executing it made this at least as much work as three miniatures. But I guess it only counts as one. Other than the two dragons which have barely got past the priming, basing and pinning phase this was probably the most complex of the 52 figures I'm working on.


Added just for Adam: Not much of a tail.  If it is supposed to have more than this it is long lost. 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Monsters Monsters

Monsters Monsters

And if you remember and or owned the Tunnels and Trolls book of the same name I tip my hat to you.

These three large guys have been on my painting table for months - It feels really nice to have them finished.

The Crabman (FF4-1) was particularly challenging with large areas and really not a lot of detail. I started painting him (as described in the Fiend Folio "reddish brown" but he really did't look aquatic enough. So I started over and am much happier with blue green body contrasting with the orange patina on the shell.

The larger bases on monsters take more work and some invention or they look very plain - but I don't feel that base details or color should distract from the miniature. I have a shell and (though its hard to see) some spongy coral stuff behind the Crabman, The Phantom Stalker (FF5-1) has tendrils of melted plastic sprue rising from the ground (I wanted "elemental plane of fire" but subtle) and the Two headed ogre (FF16-2) gets twigs that match the bleached wood look of his clubs, leaves and some Spanish moss I gathered on a vacation years ago.



Saturday, July 2, 2011


At the end of last year – with my resolution in mind – I set about working out what the standard would be for the 52 challenge – paint style, NNM and basing.

I decided to practice, and rather than use Citadel figs’ I choose several from the Grenadier D&D gold line.

I was a Citadel snob very early on. Even at 15 I remember looking at the various offerings in the Waterloo hobby shop on long Island and being less than satisfied by the large assortment of crudely formed lead that were citadel’s early contemporaries.  I bought the Grenadier dwarf box set and painted them with testers paint (which is by far the worst paint ever in the history of paint – early cave dwellers had better products available) and then applied hacksaw and soldering iron to them to make “modifications and improvements” a few months later when I went back to the UK I think only two were left.  

But I must be going soft as I’ve started adding the gold line back into my collection – I’ll even concede that there are a few nice ones

Anyway - I figured if I could make these look good…


Apparently inevitable

I’m 46 years old – which means I have been painting miniatures for over 30 years. Not continuously of course – There were significant gaps like college when I was too busy; and there were addictions to other pursuits like a few years with Magic the Gathering and video games like Doom and Unreal. But overall A lot of time painting.

All of that time I have enjoyed the process of painting - brush in one hand, miniature in the other and all my paints and palettes and tools around me. However about a year ago I went through an apparently inevitable change in eye sight. I have worn glasses since I was nine and never had trouble painting while wearing them. Then I noticed I could no longer properly focus at my normal holding position while wearing my specs – So I would push them up and could focus on the figure just fine. But I couldn’t properly find my paints and tools. So I was constantly moving my glasses up and down and squinting.  It was messing with my painting groove.

So last month I went to our local optician (whom I had not used before) and took with me a half finished miniature, my trusty series 7 brush, and a bottle of reaper master series paint and explained. He tested me thoroughly then got me to sit in my normal painting position and tested me some more. I am now the delighted owner of what my optician (I’ll never go anywhere else again) calls occupational glasses.  I have special bifocals just for painting with my normal prescription above and a gentle 2x magnification below. It’s taken a little while to get used to but I’m very very happy with the results.

Ok that was probably really boring, particularly if you are younger than 40.

It was too hot to paint in my studio last night so I spent time working on basing details – Here are some newly finished miniatures:  FA13-2, FF11-2 & FA5-1