MGibster's Big Bad Thread of Big Bad Miniatures 2024

MGibster

Legend
I know there's probably a billion websites and YouTube videos out there now, and AI can probably show up at your house and paint your miniatures for you these days, but I bought a book in the early 2000s by Ral Partha I believe titled something to the effect of "How to Paint Fantasy Miniatures" but ICR exactly the title. It had a blue cover IIRC. It's worth tracking down as it walks you through step by step in pictures and text, nice to have at the table while painting for reference.
I've always had difficulty learning how to paint from a book, so YouTube has been a fantastic resource for me. There are a ton of people with good videos, many of them for beginners, and they'll show you different techniques and to apply them. It's a lot easier to learn how to paint these days than it was 15-20 years ago.

The Reaper forums are awesome - a fair number of the professional painters and sculptors hang out there on occasion, and everyone is friendly and helpful. It's literally one of the most friendly and welcoming forums you'll find on the internet.
For the most part, I've found places devoted to miniature painting online to be overhwhelmingly positive. The people on those sites are generally helpful and when they provide criticism it's constructive. i.e. You won't hear that your miniature sucks, but you might hear someone talk about shading, thinning your paints, etc., etc.
 

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R_J_K75

Legend
I've always had difficulty learning how to paint from a book, so YouTube has been a fantastic resource for me. There are a ton of people with good videos, many of them for beginners, and they'll show you different techniques and to apply them. It's a lot easier to learn how to paint these days than it was 15-20 years ago.
Understandable. I'm kind of the opposite, I find YouTube hard to follow, especially for guitar tutorials, but it's all in the delivery and pacing. Some are definitely better than others, so I'd assume it's the same for mini painting as much as any other subject.
 

MGibster

Legend
Understandable. I'm kind of the opposite, I find YouTube hard to follow, especially for guitar tutorials, but it's all in the delivery and pacing. Some are definitely better than others, so I'd assume it's the same for mini painting as much as any other subject.
Oh, some YouTube tutorials are better than others. There are some painters who just kind of paint in front of you without actually explaining much in the way of what they're doing and why. Dana Howl has some pretty good videos for beginners as does Goobertown. Dana starts off by explaining what tools you need along with some terms and goes into techniques that she builds upon on the next video.
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
I will say that while I am not much interested in getting better (aside from the progress that comes from ongoing repetition and variation) since I don't have the patience or budget to try some techniques or use some tools, but I do love using You Tube for just reference, seeing how others did something so I can do my best to replicate it with the tool and skills I do have for my table ready needs. As I like to say, "Quantity over quality but always cheaply first!" :LOL:

For example, i have had a lot of people recommend speed paints given my approach and some of the results do look amazing, but I have already invested in a ton of paints and don't want to buy more just to try a method that even if I do like means using all my other paints less frequently. Neither my wallet, nor my psyche can deal with that.
 

R_J_K75

Legend
Oh, some YouTube tutorials are better than others. There are some painters who just kind of paint in front of you without actually explaining much in the way of what they're doing and why. Dana Howl has some pretty good videos for beginners as does Goobertown. Dana starts off by explaining what tools you need along with some terms and goes into techniques that she builds upon on the next video.
As it should be, if you're going to do a tutorial at least explain things. I suppose this could be said for any media, whether its YouTube, books or DVDs, some are better than others, but I find that separating the good from the bad is much harder these days based on the sheer numbers online and anyone with a computer or cellphone and a lightbulb can post a "tutorial." I watched a few walk throughs of RPG rules for various game systems, and most weren't good.
 


MGibster

Legend
There is always an ugly phase when you're painting a miniture. You'll have a vision in your head of what it should look like, but at some point you're going to look at your work in progress and think, "What hath I wrought?" I'm working on a command squad for my Imperial Guard army for Warhammer 40k. I cannot remember the last time I painted a banner, but this is supposed to be the Cadian flag carried by the bannerman. I had an idea of what I wanted the flag to look like. This is the ugly phase, and the part where I started having some doubts.
Flag_1.JPG


But I powered through it. I've got a little touch up I'd like to do, cleaning up some of the gold trim mainly, but I'm pretty happy with how this is turning out. The decals were a pain in the butt, but much easier than me trying to freehand letters and numbers.

Flag_2.JPG
 


Weird Dave

Adventurer
Publisher
Apologies for the long post - I wanted to share my own journey of painting!

My own fight against the Great Gray Tide really started when I purchased a resin printer back in 2021. I've spent ... uuhhh ... too much money on WizKids prepainted miniatures over the past 20+ years mainly because I didn't want to stare at an overwhelming pile of unpainted miniatures. And since my interests lay exclusively with RPGs for that time, it was the Reaper Bones Kickstarters and various Zombicide games which really added to the tide. I kept it manageable for the most part, and even got all of the Zombicide Black Plague miniatures painted once I discovered the wonders of Army Painter Quickshade.

Then the resin printer arrived and hooo boy did that raise the tide. I tried to keep on top of it but the real game changer for me was Army Painter Speedpaints. These paints A) went on fast and B) looked really good with little effort. I'm not interested in showpieces for most of my miniatures so I followed the basic mantra - "a painted miniature is better than an unpainted miniature." Speedpaints allowed me to very, very quickly slap a coat of paint on a figure, especially in batches, and then move on to the next one.

In late 2021 I added a filament printer to my repertoire which added terrain into my Great Gray Tide. I found Speedpaints to be too thin for large terrain so I went back to the basics of drybrushing and washes for them. Kept up pretty well. Then in early 2023 a friend convinced me to take another look at Warhammer 40K, which I've looked at over the years but never fell in love with any of the factions. Grimdark, no heroes, blah blah. Nothing appealed to me - but that was before SPACE DWARVES! Leagues of Votann was my jam, so I jumped in just before 40K 10th Edition dropped last summer. Speedpaints helped keep my Votann army from swelling the tide even further.

As 10th Edition dropped, however, I found myself losing more and more with Votann. Discouraging. Similar to 40K, I've always had one eye on the Warhammer Fantasy stuff, so I dipped into Age of Sigmar in the summer of 2023 with the Dominion starter set. A bunch of Orruk Kruleboyz and Stormcast Eternals entered the Great Gray Tide. I really liked the models so I decided to knuckle down and get them painted.

As I went through my Votann units, I was discovering I was terrible at remembering which paints I used where. I wanted a way to capture what I was doing for each unit, both to repeat it for future units to create consistency and to change up certain elements. I settled on an Excel spreadsheet to track base coat details, models in a unit, and each "step" in the painting process, which I applied similarly to the terrain I was generating. I also captured date completed because it helps me to have that kind of "final overall step."

Painting up the AoS Dominion figures - I loved it. They flew by! The Kruleboyz are fun orc models and I really enjoyed developing a color scheme for my Stormcast Eternal force (purple and steel overall). I caught the bug, and I dove deeper into the Age of Sigmar line. Over the following months I picked up significant forces for Fyreslayers, Kharadron Overlords, Maggotkin of Nurgle, Soulblight Gravelords, Idoneth Deepkin, and Gloomspite Gitz. Have I played a game of AoS? No, not yet. But I've got a lot of painted models!

Since July 2023, I painted a total of 334 models across 92 Age of Sigmar units (a unit can have one or more models within it, though none with more than 10 for the ones I've got). During this windows I played around with the slapchop method (black base coat + gray dry brush + white dry brush) but I found it made the models too dark in a lot of cases, so I've largely gone back to a white base coat and then Speedpaints on top of that.

Since the start of 2024, I've added an additional tool to my arsenal - an airbrush! Last year I picked up a cheap battery operated airbrush but it turned out to be garbage (you get what you pay for, I suppose). But I picked up a Badger airbrush and a small air compressor on Black Friday last year. And wow do I love using this airbrush! As an occupant of Minnesota, spray painting outside is not viable roughly 6 months of the year due to the cold, so at its basic level the airbrush gives me a quick base coat option all year round. I'm super stoked to start playing around with actually painting with it too - I've printed a number of airships for D&D over the past few years that are sitting unpainted, and the airbrush should give me the tool to make it fast and enjoyable.

As I look further into the year, I hope to actually PLAY Age of Sigmar, but I also discovered I really enjoy painting the bigger miniatures, monsters and whatnots. I'm eyeing Sons of Behemat with their impressive (both in cost and size) mega-gargants, and many of the armies I've focused on I'll begin poking around at the bigger units since I've got a lot of the base units covered.

Anyhoo, that's my most recent experiences fighting the Great Gray Tide!
 
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