Tag Archives: Bones

Elements on Fire!

I combined several ideas and minis from several places for this project.

Some manufacturers are producing plastic/resin minis using colored plastic that is translucent and looks pretty nifty. The one that started this project for me was the Reaper Bones fire elemental. I liked the look of the colored plastic, but it was kind of hard to make out the details in the sculpt. I didn’t want to prime it with white or black paint, as priming would wipe out the translucency, so I started by coating it with Vallejo brush-on matt sealant.


The matt dries clear and also creates a surface that is more accepting of paint than just plain Bones plastic. *Reaper, the manufacturer of Bones, claims you can paint straight onto the unprimed Bones material without priming; you can, it just looks like poo to me.

Next up was a coat of a deep red that mainly hit the high areas as I wanted the red plastic to show in the crevices.


Then my nice bright orange going lightly over the red painted areas.


Then Yellow over the orange, but not as heavy as either of the two previous colors.


And at this point I thought I was done, but it felt like it needed a little more…something. Thanks to Google I found this guy who had done the exact same thing and his project showed me a good finishing step. Heroscape Blog

The finishing step is to highlight with a 50/50 mix of yellow and white and only touching the high points on the sculpt.


I liked it! I then dug through my box of minis and found another couple of fire elementals from Reaper also made with the translucent red plastic. Then I remembered that in my Arena of the Planeswalkers set Chandra’s minions were made of a similar material. Here are the Flame Cats and Phoenixes just before they received the final yellow-white highlight.

Here is Chandra, a Red and fiery Planeswalker from Magic the Gathering, with her flaming minions.


Her hair kind of disappears. She came pre-painted but I need to do a little bit of highlighting. Here are all of the fire projects with some black sand added to their bases.



Muscle Milk! Grrr…

Horace and his sidekick Blue run across some ugly creepers at the construction site.

Muscle group

These guys leaped out of my Reaper Bones pile and crossed the painting finish line pretty quickly. They are, from left to right, a Ghast, a Flesh Golem, and a Clay Golem. I didn’t realize it was a Clay Golem until later, so now he’s just a misshapen body builder with thuggish minion written all over him. Nothing special in their paint treatments; black primer, white dry-brush, bronzed flesh dry-brush on the clay golem, rotting flesh dry-brush on the other two, chestnut ink wash (diluted 50%) on clay golem, brown paint wash (diluted 50%) on the other two. The Clay golem then received a couple of dry-brush highlights of 50/50 bronzed flesh and white. The other two received bleached bone dry-brushed highlights and then 50/50 bleached bone and white dry-brush highlights. I really wanted to accent their darker recesses, clothing folds and muscle depths, but didn’t want them showing up as stark black and white in the finished minis. Brown and off-white worked well for my purpose.

I usually have four or five brushes going at once with things being dry-brushed, highlighted and washed all at the same time. I keep my brushes pretty clean, I’m rinsing them constantly in clean water to keep the paint from caking and drying in the bristles, that’s an easy way to lose a good brush. Having all three of these guys on my table at the same time with similar treatments going meant that while one was drying I could be working on the next and just kept them moving. It only took a few hours before they were ready for a satin tudor polyurethane dip and a 24 hour drying period..

Then they got matte sprayed, and a little more highlighting, really soft, where things got a bit too dark from the poly-wash. Then another matte spray.

Ghast Flesh Golemclay golem

For Horace, who makes me think of Taurus from Interstate ’76, I looked up pictures of Superfly and decided I wanted a more flamboyant color scheme, so purple shirt and white pants. the white pants are about three layers of dry-brushed white as I wanted them to be pretty bright with minimal shading.


As for his pal Blue…I don’t know where he came from. He’s a metal mini that ended up in my pile and I didn’t have a clear idea as to what to do with him, so I painted him blue with a bit of bronze hair. My daughter looked at him and thought he looked more like a woman, his musculature sculpting is pretty strange.

In other news; A friend is sending me a Reaper Bones Cthulhu model to paint and play with. 😀



WordPress is very happy to inform me that this is my thirtieth post, I’m not sure why that’s special. They just seem to like inventing and then celebrating milestones, yay! I was going to talk about painting an iron golem, but it’s 30th post time so I’ll start with something else, I’m still going to talk about the golem but he’ll be farther down the page, just jump down to the pictures.

When I turned thirty the world had turned upside-down. I had been working that summer as a Scenic Design instructor at the Fairbanks Summer Fine Arts Camp, back when they still had a big theatre program. Fairbanks gets ridiculously hot (104 degrees+) so I ate a great deal of ice cream at a place called Hot LIcks-which was totally awesome-sauce! They made all of their own ice cream and had some amazingly good flavors like Alaska Blueberry and Prudhoe Mud-slide (extra double-chocolate) and they were a life-saver to me as I’m a serious heat weenie (it’s the ice in the blood).


My then girlfriend and now wife…sounds weird to write it that way, feels like we’ve always been married 🙂 … came to visit me at the camp and I got to show her around to places like Hot Licks and a spot where the pipeline passed close by the city and there was a little park there, I guess for viewing the pipeline, although there isn’t really anything to see…it’s just a big pipe.


However, when I took my later to be wife there I was overcome with the urge to propose, apparently pipelines are inherently romantic to theatre technicians, but didn’t, because I’m a technician and I analyze everything to make certain of teh consequences. She did sense that surge of excitement in me though and quizzed me about years later, she had guessed correctly what was on my mind, but waited for me to say it, but that didn’t happen for eight more months. She went home and I thought it over and decided it was the right course for my future, but then I got a phone call about my uncle Hans. I say uncle but actually he was no relation, my family kind of adopted him when they met him out in the Aleutians before I was born. Hans was a German immigrant who grew up in post WW2 Germany and had fantastic stories of being knocked out at a bread riot…by a loaf of bread, German bread is much harder than American cake bread. Anyway, Hans kind of raised me when I came along. My Dad and I never really connected, he wasn’t a bad guy, just busy, and tired, then sick for a long time before he passed away almost 14 years ago. He was a great guy, I just didn’t really know him. Hans was a huge determining factor in who I am today though and before I turned thirty, before I got married, before I had my children he died quite painfully in the hospital. The phone call I received in Fairbanks was that Hans was extremely ill in Homer and was going to be moved to Providence in Anchorage, which was good because small town hospitals are the death for serious illnesses, and he was seriously ill. Hans had been sick for quite some time it turned out, but hadn’t been telling anybody about it. He had also been a hardcore alcoholic his whole life and had managed to wreck most of his body internal body functions, but you wouldn’t know it as he always seemed so robust, unlike my dad who always seemed tired. I finished my summer contract and got back into Anchorage just in time to see Hans and talk with him for the few days before he passed. He gave me some money at the hospital to go buy him some socks as he claimed the doctors had stolen his so he couldn’t get away. A few days later he slipped into a coma and died. And I turned thirty. He did leave me a great deal of money, which was an immense surprise, so I was able to pay off my student loans, which left me free of debt and in a position to look forward in life, instead of always backwards at the mountain of debt I’d been carrying. Hans loved kids, I wish he’d gotten to meet and play with mine.



Hey look, a bronze golem!

I was working away on him, close to being done, and noticed the cracks on the back of his kilt and thought they were an odd choice. I looked in the Reaper online mins catalog and it turns out he’s a stone golem…well, whatever. For this fella I painted him black and then hit his body parts with a dark bronze metallic paint, then dry-brushed a copper metallic paint on top of that as I thought that process would add more luster and depth to the metallics.


I also washed him with a chestnut ink to see what that would do, seems to have made him shinier.


A bit of leather for his armbands and belt andlots of white brushing so his kilt would be bright.


Then some sand for his base, still not quite happy with my desert sand basing, I think I need to brush in some better highlights on the sand bits.


Next up, some muscle-bound dudes and Superfly go toe to toe to toe. 🙂

Too busy to paint?

No such thing!


Have been crazy busy though as I went and bought a paper miniatures operation called One Monk Miniatures. A wonderful line of paper miniatures and models designed some years ago by the talented and reclusive James Hartman. You can check them out here;

http://onemonk.com/   OneMonk-Logo

That store site is currently disabled but there are a few freebies on One Book Shelf;


I also took control of the Cardboard Warriors Forum;


and I’m managing the Papercuts 2013 showcase. Pop in and have a look, maybe even make an entry;


Whew! And I’m still painting my Reaper Bones minis and having a great time doing so. 🙂

IMG_5934 IMG_5938 IMG_5942 IMG_5948

Decided to play with the fish boys, Tiik Warriors I think Reaper calls them. Primed white, painted blue for the body, blue-grey for the heads and finny bits. Slapped blue ink on them and then dry-brushed lighter versions of the blue and the blue-grey on top. The scales catch the dry-brush quite nicely. Little off-white and yellow in the eyes, little red in the gills, dipped in satin tudor for the night. Matte sprayed the next morning, didn’t want to knock all of the shine off of these fish so I was really light with my spray matte. Bit more dry-brushing of the blue-grey with a bit of white to lighten it up. Flocked the bases with different colors of sand and did a bit of brown washing for shading and a little bit of highlighting on the sand. I was aiming for “Beach”, not quite sure if I got it, looks a bit more like desert to me.


Next up, a stone golem that I didn’t realize was a stone golem and gets painted as a brass/iron golem instead. 🙂