Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Road to Gencon: Speed Painting Prep

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Last year was my inaugural Gencon, and as a girl whose gaming interests are relatively limited to board games and RPGs, I found myself drawn to the artsy-craftsy side of things - specifically, Speed Painting. The concept is simple: throughout the Con, 12 participants at a time are given a mini and 45 minutes to work their magic. The top painters from each qualifying round then face off in the one-hour championship round on Sunday for a chance at fame and fortune (in the form of gift certificates from the sponsoring company).

I'd only done a little miniature painting prior, but with The Hopeless Gamer's encouragement, I decided to try my hand at the Privateer Press event. And somehow, by the grace of the Gaming Gods... I won the qualifier! This was a great victory for me over THG, who never lets me paint any of his minis pink.

My win was totally based on luck - Gul the Gobber Rogue (I decided he's a she) is a small mini with simple gear and not too many complex details (trying to interpret armor and fancy weaponry is my utter downfall). That said, I crashed and burned pretty hard on Hemrick Groot, Second-Story Man in the Championship round:

Maybe "crash and burn" is a little harsh - I mean, he's fine, tabletop quality at least, but compared to the other entries, not so much. I still have no idea what all the little gadgets on his backpack are (can't possibly be mushrooms... right?) and my panicked Hail Mary wash at the bitter end left the whole thing dark.

So this year, I decided to go in with a little more practice under my belt - at least as much as painting a few minis in the week leading up to the Con can be considered practice. I tasked THG with picking out a random mini for me to paint, got my primary colors and lone brush ready to go, and started the timer! And THG handed me Captain Allister Caine and the instructions "blue and gold."

I concluded 10 minutes in that this $20 mini was a little beyond the size and detail range they usually assign for a 45-minute speed paint, so I opted to consider it the championship round and allow myself a little longer. All said, I took an hour and a half, but I knew it was a mini THG was interested in seeing done well:

Even though I didn't force myself to feel as much pressure from the time clock on this one, it was still valuable prep in that I got to play around with different metal shades I can create with just silver and gold as bases. I combined silver with a little gold and a little red to create the bronzy color of his armor and I'm really happy with how it turned out - a nice, somewhat unexpected shade to have in my toolbelt for the real thing.

I rushed over the base as an afterthought at the end, and it wasn't until today that THG pointed out the emblem on it. Guess I'll be going back in to highlight that later. I'll also probably be going back in to re-do the face - painting believable faces is nearly impossible for me (and something I'll be reading up on asap!)

The next night, I tasked THG with finding a simpler model for me to do in 45 minutes. He handed me this guy from Rackham's Confrontation (exact name and faction unknown):

See what I mean with the faces?

I technically took 55 minutes for this guy, but I'm calling those extra 10 my "picky husband" minutes: I first painted the arm and exposed side silver (thinking it was armor - trouble seeing the details, like I said) before THG pointed out that this guy's a leather-wearer. If this had been actual competition, he would have been stuck in plate, but for THG, I went back and re-did it - but then the leather didn't stand out enough against the brownish-red cloak he was in, so we had to start over there, too.

The wash and dry-brush on the cloak was pretty frenzied at the end, but I don't hate how it turned out. And I attempted to add detail to the axe handle to make it look like real wood, but I think this is another skill I'll be reading up on.

Oh. And then when I finished, THG tentatively asked, "Did... did I mention he's half-orc for the game I want him for? His skin's supposed to be green?"


To be totally fair, yes, he did mention. But he mentioned much earlier in the day and failed to re-mention once I actually started painting, or while I was commenting about mixing up a nice peach flesh tone.

Anyways, at least the face looks a little better now!

Stay tuned for photos from Gencon of my speed paints - and wish me luck!

1 comment:

  1. Those look great! I'm always in awe of the speed painters, because I have about zero talent when it comes to all things art. Good luck!


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