Saturday, June 10, 2017

Half-Painted Minis Abound

I have a shocking* number of minis that are partly done.

I have a drawer full of them in my desk, a bunch on my desk, even more in Plano tackleboxes on my shelf.

My half-painted minis basically sit in one of four stages:


These guys are prepped, glued, based, and primed and ready for paint. They can sit in that state for anything from 24 hours (enough for the primer to fully dry) to eternity. I've got minis I prepped and primed in 1999 when I got back into painting, still waiting to be painted.

After that stage, it's more subtle:

I have no idea what color goes with that.

Color wheels, color theory - doesn't help. These guys have a bit of paint on them and then I totally lost all sense of what to do with other parts of them. Maybe I like that cloak green but I can't see what goes with it. I like how the brown leather armor looks but what about all those pouches? Or I had an idea and lost it and can't complete it on the mini.

These guys are annoying. My lack of basic art education hurts me here.

I can't think of how to finish this guy.

These guys are almost done. They're coming along very nicely, but the completion requires touches here and there that I haven't gotten to. Often they are quite good by my standards but need something . . . and I'm concerned about messing them up. I've done that before - I painted this awesome mini, blackwashed it with black ink for some reason, and had to re-do almost the whole mini because all of the blends and highlights got blacked out and deepened into a single over-dark color. So I get cautious on some.

Too many or too small bits.

A lot of guys sit in this state - finished except all six of these guys have tiny belts with tiny chain links and amulets on them and it's hard to paint them. Finished except for the fact it's got this one bit I just can't paint without slopping paint on the adjacent bits. Or "I'd finish this guy except he's carrying 14 pouches, bags, scabbards, weapons, and tools and I have to paint each and every one."

That's where my minis sit - the ones that easily go from "bits in a bag" to "painted, sealed, and table-ready" are not as common as the ones that make me struggle.

* to anyone who doesn't also paint minis.


  1. "I have no idea what color goes with that."

    My solution for that was always to just pick a color at random and go with it. So what if it looks like he stole that pouch from a color-blind pirate, the mini is painted and sometimes that odd/weird color gives them a characteristic that stands out and is easily memorable.

    If your really stuck, make a choice*: Analogous or Complementary

    * I really like doing "90 degrees" when I'm truly stuck. So if I've decided that Blue is the primary color, then other smaller objects will get light green and red. I also like doing Complementary to Analogous, that is I pick one color and then use analogous colors to it's complement (so if my primary is red, then I'd use light green and aqua as it's off-color stuff).

    But honestly I have an eye for color so I rarely have to go crazy with random or weird stuff. Though sometimes I do weird just to have the figs be slightly odd or confusing (like your Pirates with their terrible fashion sense).

    "Too many or too small bits."

    I skip it. Seriously if the stuff on them is way too fiddly*, it might just get skipped (all the pouches are painted the same brown as the tunic for instance). I'd rather have it done than languishing undone for a millennia because "it was too fiddly".

    * I'm notorious for not painting eyes for instance...

    1. That helps.

      Sometimes it's not even a lack of color theory understanding, so much as suddenly losing my mental picture of what it's all going to look like. If I have that, I can keep going regardless. If I don't, I tend to just stop and switch to easier minis where I do have that visualization. I'm not short on minis, not exactly anyway . . .

    2. "I'm not short on minis, not exactly anyway'

      I never had that problem always being poor (then later switching to paper only)... except for my last 40K army where I bit off waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more than I could chew. I decide to customize every single figure's positioning (arms, legs, etc) and gear... and only got halfway done by the time we stopped play 40K forever.

      So they've sit in their storage boxes unfinished and worry at me like a pebble in my shoe... and now I have no safe space to work on them. Le sigh.


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