Monday, September 9, 2013

I've Got 99 Problems But A Lack Of Bits Ain't One:

Miniature Modeling for Advanced Beginners

by Randy

Hello, all! I think it would be an understatement to say that the Growing Up Gamers crew was on a big Privateer Press kick lately. The Warmachine Tactics Kickstarter really got us going, and speaking to Matt Wilson also really got us excited. This is not a new thing, however. I have personally been a fan of the Iron Kingdoms from very early on, and had a years-long roleplaying campaign based there. This article, however, focuses on the miniatures.

Elf warcaster Kaelyssa, on a custom Cygnar ruins base. 

I have been painting minis on and off for about twelve years, not counting a handful that I mangled in high school. Rather than a veteran, I would classify myself as an "advanced beginner". What does that mean? I can paint models, and they usually look pretty good. I can make pretty nice bases, do fun conversions... but when it all comes down to it, I don't have a lot of time to invest in it. So I try to get a lot of mileage out of the techniques I do know.

Scenic base, probably for a warjack.

One thing I love is what is called converting miniatures. Basically, this is taking a miniature and altering it. It can be as simple as a repose or a swap of a weapon or head from another mini. Or it can be a more drastic thing where you take a bunch of parts from different minis and/or made from epoxy putty and making something altogether different. It helps to have a well-stocked bits box.

Work  in progress: Mage Hunter Eiryss on fallen tree base.
What's a "bits box", you might ask? Well let me tell you. A bits box is a box where you keep any stray mini parts that aren't going on a mini. You have a kit with three different weapon choices? Put the other two in the box. You sawed the head off a mini to put on another mini? Put the rest in the box. Made an order from the Privateer Press Parts Store? Put 'em in the box! Here's my bits box:

Here's a few choice bits:

Weapons & accessories!


...and here's what you can do when you have a stocked bits box:

Master Necrotech Mortenebra, iron lich and crafter of Cryx's legions of Helljacks!

For the record, this is an alternate version of the Cryx warcaster Mortenebra that I started quite a while back, before she was released as a mini. Since then, she has gotten her own mini, and I picked up the upper torso from the stock mini to use. The parts are from eight different models from Wyrd Miniatures and Privateer Press, with some parts built from sheet styrene, putty epoxy, paperclips, some old guitar strings and a brass rod. I'll put up more pics when I paint her up.

So... anyone else into miniatures? What are some of your favorite? Any miniature modeling topics you'd like to see here? Let me know!