Old Mini Monday 17 – Fantasy 07

Old Mini Monday 17 – Fantasy 07


While visiting my brother, he rounded up all his old painted minis and let me borrow the box of them to share on the blog.



From Left to Right: Drizzt (Forgotten Realms Heroes boxed set 10-550), Thief with Shortsword 11-005, Elminster (Forgotten Realms boxed set 10-550)




Ral Partha



Well, after having the “Sneak Thief with Dagger” show up last time. I just had to go with the image that included the “Thief with Shortsword” this time around.

Short Swords and Daggers?

Also, this time around we have two more iconic characters from Fantasy stories. Drizzt and Elminster from the Forgotten Realms campaign setting in D&D.

Drizzt is a Dark Elf (or “Drow”), and they originally were described as having black skin, like night-black. That ends up looking pretty unnatural for skin colors, and most of the time I’ve seen them with dusky brown or greyish skin. Which personally looks more realistic (and better) to me.


Early example of jet-black skinned Drow

Example of 80s Rocker Drow

So how do you pronounce “Drow”? Drow like ‘row your boat’ or Drow like ‘cow’?


Tangent – The Best Around

Feel free to sing the song from Karate Kid in your head.

Part 1: Curious what tip, trick, tool, or technique you learned that really upped your painting game?

For most of us, it’s probably a multitude of things. I’d probably go with having a decent enough paint brush that I can get a good tip on it. That could be the old sable that I had for a long time (still have), or the Winsor & Newton Series 7 that I graduated to. Really it’s me slapping the paint onto the miniature regardless of what brush I use, but for some reason things just seem to be in sync when I have the right brush. How about yourself?

Part 2: What’s something that would turn you into the best painter around? Well, we might not all get there, but what is something you feel would help take you to that next level?

For me, I think it’s mainly time and dedication. I have no disillusions about my “talent”, but I started to notice quite a difference when I was painting every night for a month. Having more time to paint, and that extra time to experiment instead of just trying to get minis done, would likely help a lot.

And that’s a wrap!

24 thoughts on “Old Mini Monday 17 – Fantasy 07

  1. Someone at Ral Partha clearly needed some schooling in the different types of swords/daggers 😉

    I actually really liked the pure black Drow look. My fave is the purplish or bluish black you see sometimes. Certainly not complaining about the greyish or (how now) brown Drow, tho. But honestly, I’m not sure any kin tone could make the face on that Drizzt model not look derpy.

    That third one looks more like Moses than Elminster to me. At least like Charlton Heston Moses, if not a historically accurate depiction.

    1) I really can’t think of any one thing that made a big difference. It’s all been gradual changes that I don’t really notice until I put stuff from different years next to each other.

    2) I will never be the best painter around. My eyesight and muscle tremors put a hard cap on my possible quality. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a good painter, but it is literally impossible for me to hit the very highest levels. That said, more practice, and more consistent practice, can only ever help. Wouldn’t hurt if I took better care of my brushes, either.

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    1. Yea, soon as I looked for pics of Drow…I then see some black skinned ones that I really like, and end up not so keen on the one I thought was great from memory (that second one).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love Ral Partha stuff, always happy to see.

    The one thing that has made a big difference is seeing others work and techniques and asking myself what I want to do – and finding a way to do it. Being patient with myself, and being willing to try new techniques and hone old ones.

    As far as getting to the next level, who knows. As long as folks like my stuff and I get an occasional wow, I’m content to progress at whatever rate I’m currently progressing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Mark! Indeed, paint for yourself. There will always be a like mind out there somewhere, who will appreciate the things you do. Learning from others stuff is pretty useful, it has often made me want to find a local group of painters to bounce ideas off of. The blogging community works better with my time schedule though. 😉

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  3. I’ve always said Drow like cow but that’s just because the first people I met who talked about Drow said it that way.

    1. Patience, brush-control, getting the initial layers down properly before I start on anything else, learning to use washes.
    2. Practice. The more you do the better you get. Also passion, if I’m really excited about a project the results will be better.

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    1. We say “Drow” like the “row your boat”. We retrained a friend to say it our way too, haha.

      It’s funny, washes should be dead simple, right? A tad deceiving though.

      Practice, practice, practice. I’ve heard the opposite about passion as well. Some artists have put out their best work on stuff they didn’t have any real passion for. That seems weird to me. I’d love to find a good metric for that. Something along the lines of a personal vote of how much I liked something, versus a public vote of how good something turned out. I’d need to crank out a lot more stuff though. 😉

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      1. It’s funny how one pronunciation becomes so familiar that another ends up sounding very weird. A friend of mine pronounces Skaven with a soft A, as in “scavenge”, rather than a hard A as in “shaven”. As soon as I heard it I realised how much sense it makes. After all these are scavenging creatures (although the patchy fur on the most recent clanrats suggests they might be shaven too!). I still say it with a hard A though.

        Aye, washes are more complicated than you’d think. There’s a lot more to it than just dunk it in the wash and call it done, despite what you sometimes hear.

        Despite what I said about passion above I have found in the past that I can get really bogged down in analysis paralysis, trying to make every model perfect, especially if it’s a model I really care about. I just don’t have a technically perfect painting style and I don’t really enjoy painting in that way. Nowadays I’m happy if a model is good enough, if it’s better than the last one that’s a bonus. I still want to paint well but I’m not going for a Golden Daemon, the aim of the exercise is just to relax and enjoy painting.

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        1. I pronounce Skaven with a hard “A” too. Just sounds right to me. What’s weird to me, is when I learn the correct pronunciation for some of these things, and that I was wrong. It’s so hard to get used to saying it the “wrong way”. Gif is like Jiff!

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  4. I like Elminster the most.
    Part 1. Using a wet palette (only recently started doing this Haha) and also, same as you gooooooood brushes. I buy pretty cheap ones from an office supply place that are broad but end in a fine point. Sam Lenz (the God amongst men) got me onto this. The brush holds more but applies small. Probably learning to highlight has helped me a lot too.

    Part 2. I think if I woke up as Azazel I’d be the best painter around haha. For me I think I need to learn to be more patient. I just getbtoo excited and wantbto show people what I’ve done haha. I need to learn to take my time more.

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    1. Thanks man. Yea, wet palette is right up there for me, and learning paint consistencies. That was another big one, and just takes time until you start to feel what is right and what looks right once it gets applied. Can’t really learn that from reading/watching videos.

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  5. Part 1: I would say is not just shoving a wash on everything to add shadow and leaving it there. Taking a bit more time helps. Funnnily enough I found a set of GW ghouls I painted years ago. I decided to repaint them. The change from best then to best now was immense. The originals were flat, featureless creatures, basically paint straight out of the pot. The one thing I like about my blog is that it is recording my progress, one of the reasons I did it.
    As for improving…. keep practicing and keep trying.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks maenoferren22. Blogging is great for recording, isn’t it? It’s one of the reasons why I’ve kept blogging, just so I have a record of what I’ve been doing and can track paint recipes and progress. I’ve been working on thinning washes and targeting them to specific areas, but lately have also been finding where the opposite is applicable. Perhaps an area where I need some deep shadow, and a few straight washes in that area really help. I also had a tendency to think “I can always darken that color with a wash”. Yea, kinda. It doesn’t always turn out the way I think it will, and leaves the color pretty dull and flat.


  6. Cows and Ravens, my friends. And if you disagree with me, then you’re wrong and should hang your heads in shame. Or not. Whatever. I don’t care.
    As for your questions, I’ve got a cunning set of answers to avoid giving away my dark secrets!
    1) I don’t remember. (now read it in a Homer Simpson voice).
    2) If I won the lottery. So I could stay home and paint as much as I liked. Because being mentally rested means I’m more open to both doing the “grind” of getting better via repetition of existing techniques as well as time to experiment more with new ones. (Technical August has been a personal failure – too much work/late work = too tired to work on stuff or push/stretch myself)

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    1. Technical August has not been the strongest here either. I should have a post soon-ish though. Heh, took me a minute to figure out “Cows and Ravens”. Maybe more sleep, more coffee? Either way, glad to count you among my new friend in the Cows and Ravens club!

      I just bought you a lottery ticket, so we can all have a heart attack at your monthly output, TRIPLING!

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  7. Oh, and I’ve got that Drizzt figure somewhere. Didn’t realise it was supposed to be Drizzt. Don’t remember why or how I got it. I think it’s still unpainted.

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    1. Yea, a couple pair of reading glasses has helped me immensely as well. I don’t think any of my experimentation has been backed by confidence. Possibly the opposite, thinking ‘Hey, it can’t get any worse!’. The other big thing I’ve learned in painting (which was my major breakthrough in minor woodworking projects too), is learning how to recover from mistakes. Again, I wouldn’t say I’m super great at it, but at least I can usually manage to fix some stuff without having to repaint the whole mini. Which is pretty much what I would end up doing when I first started. Ironically, the first several posts on my blog are about me re-priming miniatures over and over.

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        1. So true, though I still feel like a good amount of research and helpful peer direction is key. I practiced for a long time on my own, and never really got much better. Flash forward to now with a lot of helpful bloggers and I feel like I’ve improved more in 2 years than I did in 5.


    1. It’s kind of what I wished for without knowing it. I had often thought about joining some sort of painting group, but finding time and a group that just so happens to share the same niche hobby, is tough. I still think the in-person part would be nice, maybe someday, but blogging communities is where it’s at!

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