Tabletop Thoughts: Painting Miniatures

A painted miniature - an Arkanaut of the Kharadron Overlords.
A painted miniature for the Age of Sigmar game – an Arkanaut of the Kharadron Overlords.

Painting miniatures – a core part of many tabletop games

Although the topic of painting miniatures is not limited to a single game, like Survive the Night, I think that it is still an important part of tabletop gaming as a whole. In RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons, or in wargames like Age of Sigmar, miniatures are the physical representations of the characters who are part of the game. When you paint your miniatures, you put a part of yourself into the game. The time and effort you put in, as well as how you customize them, makes the miniatures that you paint your own.

Miniature painting – relaxing and rewarding

This past weekend, I had a free afternoon, and decide to paint my first Age of Sigmar miniature. You can see the results above. The miniature that I painted is one from a unit of ten, an Arkanaut from an Arkanaut Company. I’ve actually been sitting on these miniatures for a while now. I received the Arkanaut Company as a gift back in August. Since then, I have slowly assembled and spray-painted all ten miniatures. But there was just something intimidating about painting them. I’ve been subscribed to the Age of Sigmar subreddit for a while now, and seeing all of the paint jobs there was a double-edged sword. The many wonderful painted miniatures there inspired me, but they also caused me to worry. I did not want to tarnish my miniatures with a shoddy paint job when they looked so nice to begin with.

This weekend, though, I finally got over that fear. I pulled up some painting tutorials on YouTube, cleared space on my desk, and started painting. Once I got started, I found that it was easier than I’d thought! Using the official Citadel paints allowed me to follow the videos step-by-step. First the base coats, then some shading, then highlighting and detailing. With just a few basic techniques, I think that anyone can paint a decent-looking miniature.

I won’t say that it was entirely easy, though. The process of painting this one miniature took me around 3 1/2 hours. My lack of a steady hand caused me to re-do parts where I got a little sloppy. Even now, with the finished miniature, there are parts that aren’t as neat as I would like. However, as I painted, I came to realize that that was okay. The hours flew by as I meticulously painted tiny details onto the miniature. It was amazing to see the progress with each new coat of paint. Slowly, but surely, I realized that I was creating something that I loved. By the end of the afternoon, I felt very accomplished and proud of my new, finished miniature.

Going forward

In the very near future, I plan to finish painting the rest of the Arkanaut Company! I had such an amazing time painting this first miniature, I can’t wait to do the rest. I’m already looking ahead to see when I’ll have time to paint some more. While I have tried painting miniatures in the past, this is the first time where it’s really clicked for me. I realized this weekend that this is a hobby that I love. I’m very excited to paint some more, and I will certainly share the results with you!

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