This is, I think, a HappyMeal toy. If you press the button it generates some light (as well as an horrible noise). I immediately saw how I could turn that into an elven monument.
First thing to do is opening it to remove the mechanism.
It left a large hole the side that we'll fix later, but at least it starts to resemble a menhir.
I filled the hole with a plastic bit, then glued some plastic crystals on top.
Modelling paste on top to give it this old, rugged stone look. I don't think I should have put paste on the crystal though, maybe just at the base for a smoother transition. Well, I'll now for next time.
I smoothed the surface using sanding paper so it removes all the little hooks creates by the modeling paste.
I primed it black and took a crappy picture of it.
Ah, now with the drybrush it starts to look good.
Even better with a second, lighter, coat.
I started painting the gems in green. My plan was to make them look like emerald. I wanted to try to paint some gem effect, simulating light reflecting on it. I'm no expert painter so I was aiming for something basic, but that would allow me to hone my technique.
I painted the bottom two third of each gem with a slightly brighter green.
I also painted the sculpts in two shades of green.
I then painted the lower third of each gem with an even brighter green. At that point I realized I had my effect reversed. I should have had the brighter parts of the gem on the top, where the light would hit them, not at the bottom. Nevertheless, I continued the effect, curious to see what it would look like.
At first I thought I could add a small light at the bottom of the tower so it would light the upstair window. Turns out my lights were not powerful enough, so I reverted to making it a regular tower instead.
But now I had a top of a small light lying around. I put it in a bottle cap and thought maybe I could make it look like a broken pillar? I'll explain what I do with it in the next section.
I did the same on the tower. Maybe too much actually, I wasn't really sure of what I was doing there to be honest.
Now that it's primed, I should be able to add more details with a dry brush and better see how it goes.
Ok, so the drybrush did bring some details. My brush wasn't totally clean from a previous drybrush so I had a few parts of brown as well. It's ok, it made it look a bit older.
I painted the roof red, giving it an old Warhammer look.
But then something unexpected happened. I started drybrushing some more light grey on it, but I didn't clean my brush correctly once again, and this time it added a green glow on it. At first I wanted to stop and clean the brush and then I got curious: what would happen if I paint it green? So I kept going. I expected that the green would be toned down with the wash I'll be adding later, so we'll see how it will turn out.
I painted a few bricks in another color for more variety. I think I should paint a few in a darker brown or gray as well. Maybe not too much as there isn't that many bricks in this tower I don't want it to look like it has too many colors.
When I found the miniature I knew I would turn it into a kind of Ooze. I find it pretty hard to find cheap Ooze miniatures.
I didn't really know which kind of Ooze I would make, but then I realized Ochre Jellies are large Ooze, so that would fit and I was set on this idea.
I glued the hand in place and tried to fill the gap with modeling paste. This is the only paste I have, but it is very good for that. I will need to learn how to use milliput/greenstuff.
No more of this weird colorscheme it had before.
Heavy drybrush with some Caramel craft paint. It starts to look like an animated quicksand creature.
After more and more layers of drybrush, I'm starting to get this sandy effect.
Adding a wash to increase the contrast of the recesses.
And once the wash dried.
I decided to stray away from my initial attempt at making an Ochre Jelly and went for a custom quicksand monster instead. I painted the rocks in a purple tint, to make it look like it's a stone-related creature.
I painted the bottom half of all gem in a lighter purple.
It's hard to see, but I added some even lighter purple on top of the gem.
The previous effect didn't work as I expected, so I started highlighting the edges with a white-purplish color.
I then applied a purple wash on the gems to try to blend the previous attempts together. As you might guess, I had no clear idea of what I was doing. I didn't check any "how to paint crystals" tutorial online and just went on experimenting.
A simple boat carved out of a trunk.
And another slightly more sophisticated.
I really didn't have much in way of preparation, just cutting the small plastic parts used for the oars and that's it.
Priming them black as well.
Quick drybrush of brown and they already look like I could use them!
I got my hands on those empty homeopathic tubes. I'm sure there is something I can build with them, but I haven't found exactly what yet.
I asked on reddit, and there were a few good ideas there, but I think most people have the wrong scale in mind. Those tubes are actually pretty small; slightly taller than a lighter.
This are the 4 coasters for 50cts I bought. Full of witty jokes on the front and cork on the back.
I already had some Sewer tiles I made in the past from cork coasters, but they were unfortunately not the same scale. So instead of making more sewer tiles I decided to simply make regular tiles.
I divided them 3x3 3.5cm squares. I could have made them 4x4 2.5cm squares but I like my minis to have some breathing room. 2.5cm is the very minimum, and because I will be chopping some cork off to delimit the squares, it would have ended up too small.
Cutting the fork along the lines.
Adding some irregularities to the patterns.
Priming them black. The good thing about cork (as opposed to foam) is that you can prime it without the spray melting it.
A little drybrush and they look much better already.
A second one with some brown and green. I tried to do some irregular patterns. The last thing I tried is on the top right, brushing on the corners of the tiles, I find it gives a nice finish, I should do more of that.
So here is the broken pillar from the remnants of my attempt at lightning the tower.
I applied a fair dose of modeling paste on it. This stuff is not good for filling small gap, but perfect to add some texture to any regular plain surface.
And sanded it.
And primed black.
This looked a bit better. I can't decide if it really looks like a broken pillar or a bit of plastic on top of a bottle top.
The second dry brush gave a bit more depth. I think it looks mildly more interesting. At this point I'm starting to consider this more like a training ground than an actual piece I'll love to have on the table.
Added some grime at the bottom, to separate the base from the pillar.
A full garrison of Dwarves from the Stronghand house, supporting the official blue and red colors of their house.
This is after an evening of basecoat.
And after a Nuln Oil wash and some drybrush on the bases.
This is the first time I actually do highlights. It's pretty simple but effective. I just re-apply the basecoat colors on top of the wash, but only on the edges.
The effect is subtle, but I now feel like my miniatures look like the ones I used to see in White Dwarf when I was younger. I feel like I achieved something!
I recently had discovered the GW Android Application, and it was suggesting a set of steps to paint a zombie flesh tone. I decided that it was the right opportunity to try to paint my Giant Zombie, as it was giving me a lot of flesh space to experiment.
First basecoat of Pale Flesh. I wonder if I will paint all the flesh first, as suggested by the GW App, and the paint the other parts, or if I'll just block all my basecoats first. I've always basecoated everything first, I find it helps me better see what the miniature will look like. But maybe I should try something different?
I was really uninspired by this mini for a long time and it sat on my table unpainted for months. Then I decided to try my new Citadel Contrast paints on it. It finally turned out better than I expected.
I used the green contrast on the white priming directly, used a brown contrast on the leather and then painting the metal in my usual way. The overall visual aspect is much better than what I would have achieved otherwise. Contrast paint are a great way to get it over with miniatures that don't inspire you.