It’s been a while since I’ve added to the hobby tutorials on ToadChapel. Let’s remedy that! As we near Christmas, I’ve painted 18 miniature busts since COVID sent us all inside back in March, so I figure that would be a good subject to explore.
The essence of any bust is the face. Many busts consist of little more than the head. In this tutorial I’m going to focus mostly on painting the face, though I may make incidental reference to how I approach other elements on the model.
I’m a big fan of the small French miniatures manufacturer Blacksmith. I backed their Kickstarter bringing to miniature life the artwork of illustrator Jean-Baptiste Monge, and I have a few other minis of theirs as well. I have been impressed every time by their finely detailed and clean casting, and I love Blacksmith’s children’s book aesthetic.
I was very excited, therefore, to see Blacksmith offering a new sculpt by Matthieu Rouèche, whose beautiful and distinctive painting I have admired for a long time. Blabla, as Rouèche is sometimes known, has provided box art for a lot of Blacksmith’s models, but this is the first figure he has added to their range. I can only say that it fits right in!
On Touille I’m trying to further my study of powerful color which I began on Radigundus. I’ll probably tone things down from where they stand here, but I do want to retain the strength of those beautiful tones. Let me know what you think.
I’ve started a quick project, one I’ve had in mind for some time. It’s Radigundus by Forged Monkey, released by FeR Miniatures. Forged Monkey is the imprint of the brilliant Raffaele Picca. I painted another of Raffa’s busts back in May and really enjoyed the experience, and I had admired Radigundus for a long time. It’s been fun getting some paint on this little cracker.
This will be a gift, which I’ll explain later. You can probably see the Christmasy vibe I’m chasing.
I don’t expect this tiny bust to take all too long, so check back soon (or better, subscribe!) to see him come to life!
I’ve been very productive painting lately, finishing three miniatures since I posted WIP shots of the Norman warrior figure nine days ago. I’m eager to share them all with you, but I am really trying to level up my photography and I’d like to give you higher quality images to enjoy.
Anyway, you can see one of the figures here, hopefully looking a little better than usual.
I’ve finished the great little bust from Lukáš Žaba. Lukáš developed an original concept of the character, Bragg the Broken, an impoverished dwarven king. I thought this was a great idea and let it guide some of my painting decisions, so I’m keeping the name in recognition of the influence I felt.
Spend any time around ToadChapel and you know I’m plum crazy about the fungus. I like the way mushrooms look and I like learning about them, so I photograph them, I draw them, and I use them extensively in my miniature projects. I’ve developed techniques for creating a variety of mushroom shapes suitable for 28mm, 54mm, or larger scale mini scenes, and I’m happy to share my approach with you. Depending upon how you paint these, you could produce many actual mushroom species and an unlimited number of fictional fungi.
These mushrooms are sturdy and small enough to use on gaming bases, especially if you place them intelligently, but they’re delicate enough to add a lot of dazzling detail to display pieces. Read on to learn how to work some minuscule mushrooms into your next modeling project.
Lots of time and motivation Sunday afternoon saw my little bust of H.P. Lovecraft to completion. Last year I was pushing to finish my Eldritch Elf gift in time, but this one just sort of blurped itself into existence. I sculpted and painted it in well under a week.
I had an absolute blast on this one. I don’t fall into a perfectionist trap on these projects, and I think the joy of creativity shows through in the final product.