For the past three years, I've painted exclusively Reaper miniatures. Reaper was the first miniature company I discovered when I started painting a few years ago. I've collected their minis over that time until I amassed this hoard:
I feel like owe a lot to Reaper. ReaperCon 2014 was the first convention I attended-- a four-day convention with tabletop gaming, sculpting & painting classes, contests, and panels with some of the best artists in the industry. It was a great experience learning from kind people willing to share their knowledge. ReaperCon inspired me to paint more, paint often, and keep working to improve my skills. I'll definitely be returning next year.
Lately, I've challenged myself to become more involved in the community and research as many different companies as possible in order to expand my knowledge of the hobby. Here's what's in my mixed bag so far:
I know many people only paint a certain type of miniature-- especially ones specific to their particular gaming system. Others find a miniature sculptor they like, either within a company or one who sculpts for multiple companies, and purchase their work knowing the quality of the sculpt will make a difference. This past Monday, I received a shipment of Infinity miniatures I purchased when I became obsessed with the dynamic style and detailed quality of Corvus Belli's miniatures. I admit I had a hard time paring it down and when I opened this box, I knew I'd gone overboard:
Like I mentioned in my "...and Beyond!" post, I appreciate well-proportioned 25-28mm miniatures with dynamic poses, expressive faces, and well-rendered details. I haven't painted enough different types of miniatures to have specific preferences-- that's the main reason why I'm running this experiment. So far, I only know what I don't want to paint. For example, I'm a bit embarrassed to admit I don't care to paint skeletons or zombies-- it's just not my cup of tea. I find it difficult to stare at a mini for hours at a time when all I think when I look at it is, "eww" (I often sound like a 5 year old). However, I have a great appreciation for painters who are able to use many different styles to paint a broad range of miniatures-- from beautiful ladies to ghoulish monsters, terrain, mecha robots, and everything in between. I aspire to one day be that experienced and well-rounded in my own painting. I also realize that once I'm able to paint faster, I know that painting miniatures I don't particularly care for will become less of an issue since each one won't be a serious time commitment.
In the meantime, I'll continue to research more companies and find as many different examples of miniatures as I can to find out what I like (and dislike) about the materials they're made out of, the quality of the sculpt, style, and overall experience. I find that I'm inspired to try new painting techniques on different miniature styles-- it can't hurt to mix it up!
While I'll always have a special place in my heart for Reaper miniatures (and Lord knows I have enough in my stash and will be painting them for years to come), after three years, I'm ready to branch out and paint some other types of miniatures. I admit, I feel a little guilty ending my monogamous relationship with these Reaper minis. At the very least, I'll be able to speak from experience when I talk about the pros/cons surrounding the different types of miniatures. First up will be a Privateer Press miniature and an Infinity miniature. I'll start each of them this weekend and have some Works In Progress pictures to show next week. We'll see how it goes!