On Game Terrain Engineering, Jim Kelly posted this great tutorial on building a wall-mounted display for your lovingly-painted fantasy miniatures collection. The display, while looking quite elaborate and substantial, is little more than a cheap wooden picture frame, some foam board, and lots of time and hot glue. The Archdevil Moloch statue in the middle was 3D printed. That is, of course, optional.
Months ago, well-known dungeon crafter, DM Scotty, posted some similar wall displays on Facebook that used a printed image on their back walls (relevant to the theme of the minis on display) and simpler shelving. Scotty's might be an overall better solution for displaying your minis in a less busy but still thematic way. Jim admits that the lighting/viewability of some of the miniatures on his dungeon-themed display is not the best. He’s considering adding LED lighting.
I am definitely going to build some of these displays. With all of the time I’m putting into painting minis these days, I don’t want to hide my hard work away in cases when it could be enjoyed by others. I think this is a really fun way to do it. I can’t wait to plan out and create thematic frame-displays for my Frostgrave, Gaslands, Blood Bowl, and All Quiet on the Martian Front minis. For displaying years of collected Warhammer 40,000 armies? We’re going to need a bigger boat.
BTW: The latest D&D game book, Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, includes the exiled Archdevil Moloch in its bestiary, with great artwork, background, and stat block. Read the rest
I have been a tabletop/roleplaying gamer, off and on, for most of my life. Miniature modeling, painting, and terrain building have always been my favorite aspects of this wide-ranging and very maker-friendly hobby. As I've given in even more completely to my game-related obsessions these past few years (I may be in line for an intervention), painting minis has become my daily go-to activity for relaxation, creative expression, and escapism. I pretty much live for my painting and modeling sessions each night.
I'm really enjoying focusing on painting and trying to get as good at it as possible. I am currently painting up a bunch of Frostgrave wizard warbands, adversaries, and terrain, several teams for Gaslands (and suitably Mad Max-ian terrain), and the recent plastic OGRE miniatures.
After several years of nearly daily painting, I can now look back on my experience with some sense of what I did wrong. I was struck when I saw this video on Miniac because Scott touches on most of the key tips and cautions that I would share at this point.
Besides what he listed, I would add a few of my own.
You really only need one good brush
There is a trap that new or inexperienced painters fall into of thinking that they need a different size brush for each type of painting operation (e.g., a size 1 or 2 for base coating, a 0 for highlighting, a 00 – or ridiculous sizes like 5/0 or 18/0 – for painting eyeballs and super-detailing). Read the rest
Want to take your modelmaking to the next level? here's a cool way to make dynamic bases with lit-up explosions. Read the rest
Ross Symons wanted to improve both his photography and origami skills, so he challenged himself to create a fun photo of one of his miniature origami each day, something he started for fun in 2014. Read the rest
Not sure what inspired Mav Vasquez to craft this miniature fireworks stand but I'm glad he did. He not only took the time to make each tiny papercraft firework look realistic, he also made them fully functional. Yes, each one is packed with powder and blows up!
Want to make your own? See his behind-the-scene photos over at Imgur.
Though, for $155, he'll make a replica of the stand for you (although its fireworks won't be functional).
(MAKE) Read the rest
Sculptor Juliana LePine takes plastic vitrox clay, slaps some on a skeletal figure, and creates a tiny version of one of rock and rolls’ defining figures. Sculpting Freddie Mercury has a creepy Westworld vibe, but the process leads to a model pretty damn close to the Queen frontman. The large teeth and Live Aid 1985 outfit are what helps brings the piece together. Read the rest
Enjoy this video of an Iraqi artist's intricate and realistic dioramas, depicting city scenes from around the world, crafted in exile: "When I tried to make a tiny bellows for the old camera, it had to be very very small. Each fold less than a millimeter thick, and I needed about 124 folds."
It's presented by Veena Rao at The New York Times.
Read the rest
Mr. Alamedy was born in Karbala, Iraq, in 1982, during the Iraq-Iran war. At the time, his father was imprisoned under Saddam Hussein for political reasons, and Mr. Alamedy wasn’t able to meet him until he was 9 years old. His mother taught him to read at a young age and reading quickly became his favorite hobby, as well as a way to escape to calmer and more secure places. Mr. Alamedy credits the novels he read as a primary reason he started building miniatures, “to recreate some of those scenes just as I had imagined them to be in my childhood.”
Many of us who play fantasy and sci-fi roleplaying and tabletop miniature games struggle with our ability to paint minis so that they look halfway decent on the table. Getting me to paint my minis is like getting 8-year-old me to eat his broccoli. I'm something of a perfectionist and I look at a lot of pro painted miniatures, in gaming magazines and online. My miniatures never look as good as what I see, so it's an effort for me to even bother. But also being a perfectionist, I wouldn't think of "gaming in the nude" (playing with unpainted miniatures). And so I press ahead, and try to do at least a little painting every night.
My pal, James Floyd Kelly, who I wrote about previously when he launched his new dungeon crafting channel, Game Terrain Engineering, was in a similar boat of not being happy with his painting chops. So, he decided to buy the Reaper Miniatures Learn To Paint Bones Kit and record a series of videos of him painting the three minis that come in the kit. It's really encouraging to watch the series and to see how much his painting improves over the three videos and three miniatures. Bolstered by that improvement, Jim plans on now getting the next kit in the series, the Layer Up Bones Miniatures Learn to Paint Kit and to paint (and hopefully document) those three miniatures.
Also: Here's a list of beginner painting tips that I ran into recently. These are all of the same tips that I share with people. Read the rest
We survived bottle flipping and fidget spinners, but will the next big fad be dangerous modded toothpick crossbows that shoot nails more than half the length of a football field? Read the rest
Australian artist Joshua Smith makes models of run-down everyday things like dumpsters, but they have such detail and craftsmanship that they are truly remarkable. Read the rest
Check out this astonishing workmanship by mulletsaurus, who hand-painted The Black Knight from Kingdom Death. Here's the blank for comparison: Read the rest
Dayna Corbitt of WhimsyCalling makes impossibly cute clay figurines of whimsical and mythical animals. Read the rest
Mini Materials posted a video showing you how to make 1:24 cinderblocks (they sell a kit). Finally I can embrace my lifelong desire to have a train set, having hitherto been unable to do so due to the difficulty in accurately replicating the vast featureless Communist closed cities and rural Pennsylvania beer distributors of my imagination.
Make the tiniest cinder blocks in the world! This nine piece 1:24 scale CMU mold is the same one we use to make our blocks. Made of heavy duty silicone, these things will last forever. You can pour almost any hardening material, and they will withstand up to 500ºF
The not-obvious part here is how thin the mix is, to guarantee good, bubble-free form in the wee mold. Read the rest
@marcoterenzi's Instragram of tiny handmade tools is a joy to browse. He sells his tools, too!
(Thanks, Daniel!) Read the rest
Luke Towan makes a lot of gorgeous model railroad items, but his tutorial on making tiny trees using wire, latex, glue, and paint is especially cool to watch from start to finish. Read the rest
Directed by Robert Carlos, filmmaker and author, who "spends his spare time playing with toys and riding roller coasters."
Read the rest