A brush with the past

It may be recalled that I splashed out and bought two new brushes and some cleaner a couple of months ago. That purchase was prompted by an activity that I had not undertaken for some 6 years previously. In short, I had taken up painting miniatures again and found I needed some new brushes.

I did attempt to resume painting about three years ago, but after so much bereavement and grief, I was unable to bring myself to do it. I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind and found no pleasure in it. So, in comparison, the last few months have been a positive change and I have managed to paint miniatures now and then, although I have slowed somewhat recently due to having a new puppy to distract me.

I have mostly concentrated on assorted fantasy and random historical miniatures that I have accumulated over the years. These figures have the advantage of only requiring me to paint a few at a time. This allows me to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of attempting to paint an army. I can also either use them in our D&D campaign, should it resume, or for some solo “dungeoneering”. They have also provided me with the perfect opportunity to use the Citadel contrast paints that I have stockpiled over the past year or so.

Assorted 25-28 mm fantasy

My technique of choice for using contrast paints is to prime with white and then put a black wash over the miniature and then work it up using grisaille to create the underpainting. Finally, I then colour the miniature with contrast paints, although I do use metallics where appropriate. The quality of the miniature does make a difference to the end result. Plastic miniatures, such as those from Reaper Miniatures, respond well to that technique, but metal miniatures seem to give the best results, probably due to the sharper edges and detailing. The finished miniatures will be given a coat of satin varnish and be attached to a plain black disc for a base so that they fit better with my old D&D pre-painted miniatures.

It doesn’t end there either, as I have also made some effort to paint some 1/72 historicals. I have completed but not varnished a handful of ECW pike and command figures in the toy soldier style. I am currently working on the matching musketeers to make up a regiment. I even completed painting the big game hunter toy soldier that I started and abandoned three years ago. He, too, simply awaits to be gloss varnished. Having finally found the impetus to resume painting, I can only hope that I will remain motivated to complete some of the other unfinished or unstarted projects that have languished in boxes for the past 6 years or more.

Home-cast big game hunter

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