Claw Claw Bite Paints – Happy Little Figures

We here at Claw Claw Bite love using visual aids in our games. Whether it’s handouts, maps, illustrations, models, tiles, intricate model terrain, lego creations, or dungeon-building blocks, for some of us gamers lots of fun and enjoyment comes from the props we use in our games. In that spirit, here’s a little painting guide I put together for big, textured figures such as elementals. Personally, I have always wanted good figures for all of the classic elementals, but have never found a collection of them that I really liked until a fairly recent set of sculpts from Reaper Miniatures. I got the large water and earth elementals first, and then, several years later, got the large air and fire elementals. And now that I have them, I want them to look good, so I put some paint on them. Here’s what I did.

The figures used here are from Reaper’s line, but the guidelines explained here could be used for any similar miniature, or could be used for painting stone terrain. It’s an easy, fun project for beginning painters or veterans alike.

Both the fire elemental and the air elemental started with a base coat of spray model primer. In the past I would prime by hand but eventually found that a careful spray of primer gives a thinner coat and therefore diminishes the details of the figure less. I always use a respirator (gas mask) because those VOCs will give you the cancer, so whatever you do, don’t inhale those fumes. Stand upwind or whatever.

For both of these figures I planned a paint scheme of simple gradients through the appropriate colors. For the fire elemental I wanted a base of red in the crevasses, then a big slow dry coat of orange, then a highlight of yellow. The air elemental will go from base purple, through a progression of lighter blues and a top coat of white. Well, turns out that with figures this big and a paint scheme like this you can do very well by turning your usual dry-brushing into slightly-wet-brushing. The paint gets on the big figure faster and the scale of the details doesn’t suffer from a broad stroke. Feel it out as you usually would – try a small amount of paint on an inconspicuous spot and see what you think of the results.

These figures turn out to be very fun to paint because of their large size and the nature of the figures. There are no careful touch-ups to do because you accidentally got a drop of green on the figure’s white scroll. You just go from the valleys to the peaks of the sculpture with a darker to lighter gradient of colors and get a very dynamic figure (with all due credit to the talented sculptors over at Reaper).

So, here are the step-by-step pictures from this painting exercise. Get the dark color in the depressions, then wet-brush the highlights with the middle color, then dry-brush the highlights on the top ridges.

The models used here were from the Reaper Miniatures line here:

Happy painting,

Adam A. Thompson

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ChupacabraCon starting up in Austin

chupacabra-259x300Lamenting the lack of gaming cons in Austin? Find MillenniumCon too devoted to historical minis?  It will be interesting to see what the next ten months brings in the run up to ChupacabraCon, which is scheduled for Jan 17-19 at the Hilton Austin Airport!

We are hoping they have a slew of board games and rpgs on the schedule, and a few of us will be signing up to run some of our classic and novel adventures.

Follow the developments at the ChupacabraCon website.

And stay tuned for more info around this year’s UniCon.

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