So I’m starting to paint my Descent 2nd Edition Hero miniatures now, and we’re doing heroes! I’ll probably do the monsters in batches since there are duplicates. I might have some trouble as some of the pieces are out of shape and the “hot water” trick isn’t working, but it’ll work itself out! I’m just going to put off gaming and recording for awhile, just cause I do wanna work on my miniature painting.
These pieces, I found out, were 1-2 cm smaller than the Reaper Miniatures. I was up for the challenge, and here’s a sneak peak of what I have so far. I’ll update this post as I paint more.
This was the final result with photo reference. The illustrators did a really good job, along with the sculptors, keeping them consistent with each other. My previous pieces were without photo references and I colored them based on memory and what I thought look good. Anyway, as far as pieces go, I’m pretty happy with this piece. At a glance, the hair should’ve been more orange, the green should’ve been leafier, and the boots should have been tanner.
First thing to notice is that I have unpainted spots. That’s always bad. I’m trying to rectify that in my current pieces by doing double or triple base layers, but I guess nothing can be done about my older pieces without completely redo-ing them.
Also, there seem to be bad grooves and textures in places that are not supposed to be there. There’s what I assume to be a thin mould line across her head (could be a hairband, but who am I kidding) that I should have used my blade to remove. I might try the shaving thing on pieces that I don’t really care to ruin, but my descent set is a one piece thing, so I can’t afford to screw up and cut excess.
Paint seem to spill over different areas too. I see yellow on her arms and fur coat, white on her face, and green and brown in places they shouldn’t be in. The fur color took a lot of tries to get right. I must’ve redone that one 5 times to get a mixture of 7 colors right, with multiple dry brush coats. Ugh, tough process, but I was satisfied (or couldn’t be bothered any longer) with the result.
You may see strands of small string things. That, I presume, is my matt varnish spray. It leaves a grainy, flaky texture with strings for some reason. Ah well, protection is protection. Also, the figures are at most 3cm tall, so it’s not an easy feat to get rid of those tiny tiny strings. Trust me, I’ve tried.
I paid more attention to the tiny details of the belt buckles and the leather boots and straps. They came out really nicely, though you can tell the wash kinda pooled in wherever it did. Might’ve been overdone, from the looks of it. The centre buckle piece could’ve been better, but I didn’t have gold paint at this point and went ahead with yellow.
I did the eyes!! There are these weird holes that are unfilled for some damn reason and I don’t know why! God looking at it infuriates me! I tried to make shadows for her face but that doesn’t look very appealing on close up, and the eyebrows, though two layers and colors give depth, still are uneven and completely unnatural looking.
I think the long bump on her arm was supposed to be her ponytail. SIGH. NEXT!
HERO: JAIN FAIRWOOD
From the get go, you can immediately tell that some of my colors are too dark. Her purple is fine, but her hair should be redder, her skin should be whiter, and her gauntlets and boots should have a shade more yellow in them. I’m not sure why I’m not observant about the tone of the color until this process, but it’s probably a good thing that I started this reflection if it helps me really see what’s going wrong.
From a large overview like this, it’s good to see that there doesn’t seem to be too horrible a mistake. I mean, maybe the hair/face lines need to be better, and the shading should be less blotchy, but I think my painting has been improving at a good rate. By the end of this set, I’ll probably be solid enough to rework them with significant improvements.
Yeouch. This shot looks terrible. The leather tanning and the yellow buttons look fine, but the eyes are horrid. Some face paint got onto the neck, and the nostrils and mouth weren’t shaded or colored. The left eye was what I wanted to achieve for both eyes, but the right eye went to shit right about there. Yuck.
I really need to learn how to paint fabric. It’s really flat, and I tried to draw broken lines with the shade, but to no avail. It looks bad, real bad. Also, my gigantic thumb as a reference to how small the miniature is. Not complaining or anything, everyone paints this size of miniatures. It’s just… tough, okay!
When painting, mind your strokes. The direction of paint strokes is especially important when it comes to flowing fabric.
The bottom part looks quite clean. At this point, I’d like to say that the model people were lazy. The quiver, if you can’t tell, is completely melded into the cape. It’s super lazy modeling! Other than that, I’m quite impressed by how thorough my coat of paint was compared to the other miniatures. I’m glad to see improvements.
Don’t give up. You’ll definitely get better over time.
The insignia on the cape reminds me of the Attack on Titan one. It’s really complicated from the reference picture, and should probably be more silver.
Also, the strings from my matt varnish are really bugging me. I really dislike the way it leaves those things, and I’m not really sure if it’s a humidity thing or a proximity thing. The matt varnish still works and coats my figures nicely and protects them from oil and scratches, so… oh well.
I think I must’ve tried really hard for the details, and I clearly attempted at least 4 different shades of brown. ALSO, THE GLOVES ARE MELDED INTO THE CAPE. Really, really bad modeling. I tried to give the pants, boots, bow string, bow guard, quiver and bow all different browns. It looks nice. Also, I don’t think the buttons were supposed to be there. I think I drew them on.
I’m improving! The piece still has a lot of flaws, and my eyes need to fix and ascertain tones and shades better. I also need to learn how to highlight. But otherwise, I’m happy with my progress. 🙂 NEXT!
HERO: LEORIC OF THE BOOK
One thing I notice about most if not all my miniatures is that paint looks good from a normal viewing distance. I use a magnifying glass to paint these, and I’m pretty satisfied with the coverage, but somehow against a white backdrop with my DSLR and macro lens, all the little flaws and problems show. That really sucks. I’m fed up with the little bits of colors that I missed or didn’t paint properly or accidentally smudged.
When I painted this, I didn’t have gold paint, so the trims around his neck and belt buckle were just painted yellow. There was less color variation, but more detail work. This figure started teaching me accuracy, which I failed quite badly at. The yellow beside his pouch was sloppy, and the shade just makes it all uglier. There’s white on the ruby in his hand for god knows what reason too. Urgh.
I think the turquoise was more or less correct on in terms of hue and saturation, but the color tone was off marginally. It should be slightly lighter. The Agrax Earthshade (Citadel’s most versatile choice of shade for me) muddied most of it, giving the body a dirty look. Maybe a brown shade shouldn’t have been used.
Be wary of muddying your colors with a brown shade. Brown shades are extremely versatile and works with most colors but not all.
I’m not sure if it’s me, but the guides for this miniature, and I guess most of the miniatures, were indistinguishable. I figure that when you create a 3d model, the artifacts that you place on an object is separate and not melded together. I haven’t done 3d modeling to print before so I wouldn’t know if it hurts the integrity of the miniature model. Maybe it does, who knows?
So yellow and brown combine well, and the shade makes short work of tinting the yellow. There are definitely spots where I think I might have slathered too much shade. The brown from his pouch leaked to his coat. Sloppy, sloppy work. Not good at all. Is there a technique where I can use black to line the miniature?
I got a bottom shot of the book. It could’ve afforded a bit more detail, but it’s one of the least visible parts of the miniature. The pages, though, turned out really well. Beige + yellow + brown + red make a good parchment color.
Don’t be afraid to eyeball your mixes. Try out weird combinations and you may be able to come up with cool results.
I got really nervous tackling the halfling miniature because, you know, halfling. I took a picture to show how much smaller the Descent Heroes are as compared to the Reapers Miniatures, and then the halfling even further.
HERO: WIDOW TAHRA
Thing is, I never knew this hero was female until I closely observed the boobs. Right up to priming the figure I thought she just had lots of chest ornaments. Seriously, though, it makes sense that they try to balance the genders in the heroes.The skin should have to be lighter, and the black hair on her chest makes it look ugly. I need to work on my skills… >.>
It’s kind of cheating, but the eyes are hidden by her skull, so it looks decent from certain angles. The coat’s white lining is slightly off, and looking at it now, there’s a glossy sheen over the miniature despite having matte sprayed it. Hmm.
Spots on the skull and hair, and the seam at the arm are not painted, along with what seems to look like another bangle. Damn it. I’ll have to go back to revise.
Alright, here’s the thing. The reference didn’t show the hair color. From all I could observe, the hair of this hero was black. It wouldn’t have been a great color to paint on an already darkly painted miniature, so I went with brown. I decided since she already had a kind of helm on, the back of the skull helm could be like a fur thing. Brown fur actually worked out pretty well, too.
I think the back view is general looks great. I tried this thing where instead of using a brown wash, I darkened the base color with black and painted the places where shade should be. THROWING SHADE.
The details along the body are actually pleasant. Somehow, I work well with browns. The browns of most of my miniatures are solid. Maybe I just pay more attention to the front of the figure…?
HERO: TOMBLE BURROWELL
I got a shock again with this miniature when I realized how small it was. It was a full head smaller than the already tiny Descent Hero miniatures. Braced myself and took it up.
I was instructed that eyes would’ve looked weird too far apart, and I wanted this guy to look into a corner, so I attempted it like this. Not sure how to fix it, but oh well.
I really feel that Descent Heroes use a lot of brown. I’ve been struggling to find different ways to describe and change up the browns that I have. There are at least 4 browns in this model, the darkest of which are the boots (unnoticeable).
Here’s my gigantic thumb beside the figure. I like how the front pouch came out, though slightly poorly colored. Still has a dirty overall look. We’ll need to look into that in the future.
Apart from the ugly eyes, my miniature painting standard is slowly, VERY slowly, improving. Need to work on face more, too.
HERO: AVRIC ALBRIGHT
I think, of all the pieces I’ve done so far, I like this one the most. The colors are nice, and the details are clean. Although, we’ll have to wait for the closeups before I realize I did a shit job again lol. It should be greener, according to the reference picture.
At a first glance, there doesn’t seem to be many problem areas. Some yellow, some silver, but otherwise clean?
The back of the shield was something I was not willing to paint. From this angle, you can’t really tell, but it’s really tight. Didn’t really know how to get my brush in there properly and it turned out, well, passable…
I am glad the matte varnish didn’t take away too much of the silver sheen. I like the silver and the way it’s contrasted against the rest of the outfit.
I slobbered on the shield. It was supposed to be really nice, but this was the most I could muster without going crazy. Miniature painting is not easy!
HERO: GRISBAN THE THIRSTY
We’re down to our last four Descent Hero miniatures! This dwarf was relatively simple to paint and I got bored quickly. Reds and browns and stuff. Small note, I missed the ends of his beard tie and I could’ve pinked his nose a bit more.
I fucked up his eye. He looks like he was enucleated. Fuck it, coolness factor up by a thousand.
Still looks dirty, and there’s this noise looking thing. I’m not sure where or what it’s from. I tried doing the triangles on his sleeves, but they came out blotchy more than anything.
The lining of his axe tip was new to me. I decided to just paint a white strip across it. That would’ve sufficed. It didn’t look so nice originally with the sheen of the steel color, but after matte varnish, it looked pretty alright blended.
Otherwise, there’s not much to talk about this piece. I could’ve paid more attention to smaller detail like his side keg or his boots. Certainly more shading could be done.
HIGH MAGE QUELLEN
This was, by far, the HARDEST miniature I had to paint to date. I’m not sure why, or what, or when, but I had SO much trouble with it. Perhaps just figuring out the colors from the reference picture was what made it difficult. It wasn’t clear cut, and there were a lot of details.
Starting a miniature painting from the inside out is the way everyone says you should do it. I can’t begin to explain how difficult that was for me to figure out. There were a lot of garments on the same plane as each other, and the overlapping cloth made it hard for me to decipher which should be painted first. Also, because some parts were covered by other parts, and I didn’t want to remix my colors, I had to have simultaneous colors out to paint them together at the same time.
The metals came in last. The hands look kinda weird from this angle. Maybe a good filing would’ve helped.
So here’s a shot of the really elaborate coat. Stupidly difficult figuring out which color goes under which fold as you can tell. Tough nuts, really.
Here’s a glamor shot of his face. Should’ve touched up the eyes a bit more. The eyebrows don’t really show too. It took awhile to be able to mix a hair color I was happy with. Not to mention the primer was black.
I’m seeing these potholes across my figures. I’m starting to think it’s the fault of the 3D printer.
HERO: REYNHART THE WORTHY
For the last 2 miniatures, I had the opportunity to take pictures before and after the process. I already primed the miniatures, so that’s the closest to the original with no paint that I could go.
I have to admit. I had a lot of problems with this miniature. I think it’s the one I hate the most amongst the heroes. I didn’t manage to get shades, colors or anything close to the reference picture.
I had to add yellow bands on his gauntlets because the colors were too dull. I did pre-highlighting, basing, shading, highlighting, and the extra colors, and it still came out crap. The main armor was closer to the color in the reference picture, but did not posess the metallic sheen, and together with silver highlights, the light blue looked horrible. I ended up using this mixture.
His eyes also proved to be an issue, but I focused more on shaping the eye than getting the color right. There are whites in it, but barely visible as well. I found out that dry-brushing silver paint on the blue gives the impression that its metal. I didn’t realize that. Really want to redo this one.
And the last hero of the set. I enjoyed painting this. The colors were simple and distinct. Really fun to paint.
The most interesting part of this miniature was the shield. I ended up mixing my own brown-yellow-black shade for this, and if I can say, it looks great. I didn’t know how to highlight metallics, and wasn’t sure if gold and white would’ve mixed, so I didn’t go there. The weathering on the shield was there originally, but whatever.
Ended up using the brown wash for the shield on the clothes too. It might not have been that good a color choice. Also, I realize now that I forgot to do the head shading and the hair shading, so that’s a bummer.
I worked really hard to shape the eyes properly on this on, going over white with beige with white with beige. Then adding the blacks and going back to beige to shape it. Some shadows would help, but I think these are my best eyes to date! Yes, progress!
As previously mentioned, these are for tabletop. I’ve been seeing beautifully painted miniatures outside with gorgeous bases and I feel so demoralized each and every time I see those amazing miniatures.
I’ve only painted a handful of models, and I can see that I’m improving slowly. The work I’m currently doing is visibly better, and I am better equipped for it, too. Lighting and magnification, for one, is really important.
Use proper lighting, and get a magnification device if possible.
They could’ve all been better had I put more time in them. The eyes, color filling, shading, pre-setup all need work. I know I’ll get better in the future, and it’s all practice. I may consider investing in getting an air spray, but knowing me I’ll probably chuck it out after a few uses because it becomes too cumbersome to clean. I realize how much more clean sprays are than brushes, and the effects you get are so different, but that step might be too much for me.
Till the next post! Thanks for staying.