Monday, November 4, 2013

Make-it Monday: Painting Dwarven Forge, First Impressions

After a month of nothing but costumes, I finally got to scratch my painter's itch this weekend. Yesterday, I cracked open my Dwarven Forge Kickstarter set and decided to try my hand at the technique described in DF's official painting tutorial found here.

Waiting for the paint
Painting the tiles is a four step process when making use of the official Pokorny-brand paints that were available as an add-on to the Kickstarter. here's how it went. 
The walls in the foreground of the pic below show the steps in the process from unpainted on the left to finished on the right.

Pardon the fuzziness, our actual camera decided to stop charging about a month ago,
so I've been stuck with cellphone pics.
  1. From the unpainted tile, you add a gray base coat. It should be a little heavier than a dry-brush, but should still leave some unpainted black plastic showing in the crevices. 
  2. Then you pick out a few individual bricks by coloring them with the earth-tone paint. This adds visual variety to the stonework.
  3. Next, you go over everything really quickly with an olive dry-brush. This blends the piece together and begins to highlight the textures.
  4. Finally, you apply a second dry-brush coat with the light gray "Stone Edge" dry-brush mixture. This coat needs to be very light as well, but once you have the right amount of paint on your brush, it's really easy.

I must say, I was pleasantly surprised at just how quick and simple the whole process was. I sat down and put Inception on the TV to watch while I painted. Over the course of the two-and-a-half hour movie, I finished three wall pieces, got one more to the third step, and got a total of 18 tiles through the first two steps. Considering that I was only using two of the brushes that came with the tiles, which meant I had to wash them in between coats, and that it usually takes me at least twice as long to paint a single gaming mini, I felt like I was practically flying through the set.

As a side note, I was also really impressed with the behavior of the included brushes. The set comes with a number 1, a number 3, and a number 12. The bristles are natural fiber, and though they shed a bit, especially when dry-brushing, they return to a good shape very easily after cleaning. I suspect that as long as I take care of these brushes, they will have an active roll in my mini-painting toolkit.

Three finished tiles
After my first session painting these Dwarven Forge tiles, I was quite pleased with the results. The Wife has also offered to set up an assembly line of sorts to help move things along even faster. Unlike the Bones minis, which I worry I will never finish, I am fairly certain I'll get through this tile set.

Quick SketchUp note:
If you saw last Friday's post, I have started mulling over a tutorial for best practices using SketchUp as a game mapping tool. I opened up my copy this weekend, and gave it a brief test-run using Fraps to record my screen. It looks like I should be able to record while I model, so I'm now trying to figure out how I want to break things up into a series of videos that people will find useful. Hopefully I'll be able to roll out the first video this week or next weekend.

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