Saturday, July 6, 2013

Bones Dungeon Attack: Rats - Finished!

Yesterday I finished my Reaper Bones rats, all 12 of the guys. Now I have 16 rat minis, including four GW ones. I really could use another dozen or two, since I tend to use rats in swarms, not in mere bunches.

In any case, this is how I went through painting them.

First I have to break a rule I follow and apologize for the pictures. My rule is if you have to apologize, you should just fix it first. If I could make them better, I could, but my camera was chosen based on its ability to suffer a drop to a hard surface without damage, not for picture quality. Its macro setting isn't great and it has real trouble dealing with small figures with natural lightning. Still I managed to get some serviceable pictures.

Step 1: Bones prep

I clipped the figures from their sprue (they come in threes) and washed them with soap and water and let them dry. I didn't file or slice off mold lines because I didn't see any that could be easily removed. I figure, who cares, they're rats.

Step 2: "Prime"

I paint over grey primer most of the time, black primer a little less often, and rarely over white. Also, my test of colors on my Bones showed that some of my colors puddle up on the figures instead of sticking to them. Lucky for me, Apple Barrel Colors Pewter Grey (20580) did not and it's almost the same shade as my primer of choice, Rust-o-leum.

Here is how they look "primed." Really, a base coat of grey.

Bones rats - grey base coat

(A bit blurry, and you can see a lizardman who I'm attempting next, in a bid to match the other gazillion lizard men I just painted for my megadungeon.)

Step 3: Base Coat

Here is how I did the rats:

- ABC Burnt Umber (26512) on the body, head, around the eyes, feet.

- ABC Pewter Grey, again, on the base.

- Anita's All-Purpose Acrylic Mauve (11024) on the tail and a touch in the ears. Generally I hate my Anita's paints and they've often proven to be watery and uneven in color. But this mauve doesn't separate and makes a great "dark flesh" or "dark pink" color.

- ABC Cardinal Crimson (20590) on the eyes, because giant rats should have scary red eyes.

- ABC White (20503) on the teeth.

Here they are:

Bones rats - fully painted

Step 4: Quickshade

For speed-painting and for tabletop, I like Quickshade. So I brushed these guys lightly but completely with Strong Tone, which should make the browns browner, and add some stain and definition to the teeth. It did that pretty well.

Bones rats - Quickshaded photo Gaming076s_zpsd03a54c2.jpg

As you can see, they are shiny as hell, too. A shot of matte finish takes care of that.

Step 5: Matte sealer

Finally I lightly sprayed them, twice through, with Army Painter Anti-Shine. Any good matte sealer would do but the AP stuff is a pretty good deal for the money so I have a can and I'm using that.

Bones rats - finished

They look a bit shiny in the picture, but that's flash and sunglare. The paint is actually matte and dull.

These guys are 100% done and ready to go. I was going to drybrush them, and I may come back and do that sometime if my players seem to think so (one of my players paints, and if he says it needs it, he's probably right). But otherwise they're done. I dumped the lot into my Plano "miniatures case" (heh) and they're read to go to game.

(And yes, I generally drybrush over the sealer, and then re-seal or just leave them as-is.)

Next up - that lizardman.


  1. Vallejo makes a nice dip that is waterbased and dries to a Matte finish. It's similar to the Medium Tone for the Sepia and the black is like Strong Tone.

    1. Thanks, I'll check that out!

      Somehow I don't feel - yet - like my Bones need a hard coat shell like my metal ones. So a water based dip would be nice.

  2. I've found that red eyes often don't show up well, especially small ones (such as rats'). It seems to help if I paint the eyes white first, and then red - the red comes out brighter.

    1. Thanks - I'm going to try that. I usually end up repeatedly painting them red, then dabbing red ink on, then a gloss sealer. Basing them on white would save me a lot of steps!


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