This will be my first blog series on the painting of miniatures, about 28mm scale (meaning from feet to eyes a human figure would be 28mm–as I understand it). The Scythe characters are 28-32mm and a bit elongated by the artist to stand out on the board. The Heroes of Land, Air, and Sea are 28mm or close enough and are oddly hunched a bit.
First, is to select the figures all usually about the same size. I find it easier to do about the same sized figures at the same time. The surface area increases with the cube and so larger figures take more and more paint, and I like my figures to progress about the same speed. It is just a mental thing for me.
Next, wash the figures with dishwashing soap and warm water. I will skip this on fragile figures or ones that must be assembled and hope the primer will handle any “sins.” Surprisingly the Scotts figure from Scythe broke when it fell to the floor when I was drying them with a paper towel. Oops–no way to start! The break was very clean, so I was able to use cyanoacrylate glue from our local hobby store. I used the slow curing thick version for two reasons: It is easy to work with, and it does not run down the bottle onto my hand and glue me to the bottle. I used the tiny swabs you buy at hobby stores (over-priced!) to apply the glue after I put a few drops on a bottle lid. I use spaghetti cause lids for disposable trays and put my paint one drop at a time in them. After the fix, you cannot see the break. I was worried that I would have to drill and pin the parts to make the piece usable, but no it is fine.
After that near-tragedy, I carefully let the piece air dry, and then started the masking.
I use Micro Mask to mask the bases of some of the figures. In Scythe and Heroes, the base color identifies the faction. These are colored plastic with the figures strongly attached to same. The painter can mask or repaint the base. I did the repainting option for my first time painting Scythe miniatures, but I managed to mask the plastic for the add-on figures for Scythe (see Rise of Fenris) and was able to mask for another Scythe set I made for a friend. So I will use Micro Mask.
We are also doing the Undead for Heroes, and there are too many figures to mask, so I will mask the bases of the main characters and repaint the surfs and warriors figures bases. This works as I plan to devise a clear way to identify warriors and surfs from characters. I find this an issue for the undead and lizard factions of Heroes. It is likely I will put an ‘S’ and ‘W’ on the bases. I was also thinking of painting a black ring on the warrior base, so it is effortless to tell apart from the surfs and the characters.
The bases are painted with the masking fluid with an Army Painter regimental brush. I use their brushes as they are always the same. I find other brushes vary in function. Army Painter Insane Detail is just perfect as is the regimental brush.
I wear eye protection at all time. This is safe, and my eye protection has 3x bifocals too. This makes the painting so much easier. I also have a halon light in my bench light to see natural colors better.
The mask will dry hard in a few hours or even a day if thick. It gets all over if you are careless. Let it dry and then use good tweezers to remove any misses. It is water-soluble and hard to remove when wet. I just let it dry.
If you get some of the masking fluid on the feet of the figures, you can try to cut it off when dry and use tweezers to remove it, but that is very difficult without destroying the mask. I just have some undercoat I can paint on, and I paint it on with a tiny brush and then lightly repaint the feet.
As I have noted, the mask is water-soluble, so I will paint it on now before we prime. The primer is a can-sprayed black and will lock the masking fluid in place.
Lastly, I have lacquer thinner to clean-up and misses on masking later. I had to remove a bit of primer on Saxony Scythe figure under the wolf last time.
So later today I will prime. So that will be the next entry.