One of my biggest challenges is making sure I'm not psyching myself out before I even get started painting. I mentioned things to avoid in my "How Not To Paint" post earlier this week, but I'll be honest-- I still feel a bit of self-doubt each time I size-up a miniature.
In fact, when my very first order of 28mm Reaper miniatures came in the mail back in October 2011, I panicked. "What the... hold up, these are HALF the size I thought they were! How in the world am I supposed to paint something this small-- it's impossible!!" and I about burst into tears and considered going back to my original, imaginative player character markers (a.k.a. pieces of crumpled paper). After I calmed down, I left my favorite sculpt of the group to stand alone on the coffee table. I'd glare at her each time I passed by, curl my lip in resentment, and mutter to myself. Several days later, I'd given her enough of The Stink Eye to let her know who's boss. That next weekend, I sucked it up and painted this:
How I remember it, I painted her in that stereotypical cartoon artist pose with the elbow at an awkward angle, my tongue sticking out to the side, mouth thin & pressed tight, eyes squinting intensely-- let's just say it wasn't pretty. But after all that, I felt downright proud I was able to get the paint (mostly) inside the lines. When I was finished, I held her up to the light, grinned, and placed her gently on the mantle above the fireplace... when she promptly fell 5 feet to the hard tile below, chipping off a good portion of dried paint from her boots, flute, and crown of her head. I'm fairly certain the neighbors considered calling the police after hearing my wail of despair. Lessons learned that day: Prime your mini. Don't display them in high places where they could fall to their tiny demise (that should go without saying, but well... yeah).
Once I patched her up, I decided she would never again go through the trauma of reconstructive-paint-surgery, so I sealed her-- I sealed the crap out of her. In fact, I still need to go back and knock that shine back with anti-shine sealant or dullcote, but I figure this little lady's been through enough. That'll do, Anwyn. That'll do.