Recently, we had friends over for a fun painting party and a lot of them were first time miniatures painters. While the new painters did an admirable job, I noticed that to a one they were all very anxious to “ruin a fig” which despite no amount of assuaging we couldn’t get many of them to let go of that fear. Fortunately, they did fine and confidence was gained but a few of us found ourselves facepalming for forgetting a basic fig paint rule:
Monsters Make Great Painting Practice
Now, monsters are often (unfortunately) a little more on the expensive side but often times they will come in larger packs which helps drive down their overall cost per fig. Reaper’s Bones line and other miniatures companies sell affordable lots of monsters you can go in on to get a novice painter started or hone your skills with. Here are a few good ideas why monsters might be the go to for new painters or practice when painting for Pathfinder Games:
- Imaginary Anatomies! – Monsters as (presumably) fictional creatures are not going to trigger the same critiques as say a human knife fighter or a even a cavaliers horse. The less real something is, the more freedom there is representing it.
- Tons of Templates! – Pathfinder is a game chuck-filled with planar variants, undead, and other variant versions of creatures. Your daughter’s first effort with the giant spider is fire engine red? Maybe it is a elementally bonded spider from the menageries of an Efreeti prince.
- Experimental Techniques! – Like a mad wizard breeding that which should not be (Owls and Bears anyone?) you can experiment with techniques (dry brush, undercoats, stains, washes…. etc) to your heart’s content. The above points mean that truly bizarre results can become storytelling fuel and the basis for new expressions of horror entirely.
- Hordes of Hideousness! – On the practice front few things are as skill building as (sigh) repetition. Once you get whatever look you love on a figurine, trying to replicate it for a whole brood or pack of such creatures can be an enormously skill building effort. Awesome cracked magma look was an accident? How much cooler when you figure our how to do it on purpose… Six molten spiders for the Efreeti king!
- Nothing is Ever Ruined! – Outside of shattering a figurine to bits glue and re-paints can fix nearly anything. Videos like this one can show you how to strip paint from a figurine and start over though, most efforts can be saved by partial or full re-primes and new paint schemes.
Don’t be afraid to paint figures if you want them for your games. Grab some beasties and get to practice. You might be pleasantly surprised by the results. If you haven’t seen this Mythos for Pathfinder Kickstarter yet, you really might want to check it out if you want some really awesome monsters practice on: