Old Mini Monday 26 – Fantasy 16

Old Mini Monday 26 – Fantasy 16


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:  Sahuagin 2 (11-443b), Sahuagin 1 (11-443a), Sahuagin 4 (11-443d)



Ral Partha


From pics I found of Sahuagin 1, it looks like it is supposed to have a spear and net, but got a weapon swap instead? Odd, because I can’t imagine my brother doing weapon swaps, but who knows?

I really liked these minis and they make great monster minions. Which is exactly what we used them for in our dungeon crawl game. I think they were a race that could leap over other people, and cause quite a bit of havoc.

Tangent – You can’t go back

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” – Heraclitus

Well, we would likely say “no one…not the same person” nowadays, to be more inclusive, but it’s still a pretty good quote. Maybe it’s as I get older, or since I’ve been working at the same place for a number of years, that I have developed this ‘Old self vs Current self routine’ at times. I’ll look at work that I did in the past and wonder what the heck I was thinking. There has been the very rare occasion where I go “Whoa! That was brilliant!”, but often not. Sometimes it seems so out there from what I’m currently doing, that it feels like I’m looking at the work of an errant clone. This might happen with a lot of people in different professions, but I feel like it’s really applicable in programming. Especially when you’re the sole programmer and having to revisit your own code on a regular basis. What seemed like a great solution 6 months ago, might not look so great today.

Happens with minis too. First off, for the people who have a large enough pile of half painted minis that they are constantly going back to, I bow before you!

I’m tackling my Blood Bowl Dwarves again this month (should have a post before the end of the week). They were partially painted from previous excursions, dating back to around June 2017. It’s nice to be making some headway on them after such a long time, but trying to figure out what I had done previously, with different minis at different stages, was a bit of a headache. I had some ideas of paints I had used, from posts on my blog. But I hadn’t started a painting journal at that point. In my painting journal, I try to be more consistent about ratios of wash to Flowaid. How many coats of wash I apply, etc. Since I didn’t have that, I just had to wing it. Apply a thin coat of wash. Nope. Apply some more. Nope. Try again. A bit of a pain.

Also I noticed that I probably improved technically as a painter. I’m still not sure if that is from putting a lot of time in, tips from fellow hobbyists, or a difference in the tools I’m using. More than likely some combination of all three. My lines are a lot steadier, way fewer mistakes overall. Best of all, I know how to quick fix mistakes, which is something I wasn’t good at in the past. Alas, that means I’m working to fix those mistakes as much as possible, and still have some minis to show by the end of the month.

I guess if there is any takeaway from my rambling, it would be ‘Do you keep some sort of painting journal?‘. If so, how often do you use it and what sort of entries do you put in there?

ballpen blank desk journal
Photo by Jessica Lewis on Pexels.com

For myself, when I’m on point, I will add an entry after each paint session. It might look something like this:

10/28 Blood Bowl Dwarves – Layer of VGC Charred Brown over brown areas. Touch-up Gold.

Though when I was working on the Necromunda Van Saar gang, my journal entries also included the name of the specific mini (“Necro-VanSaar-Johan” vs “Blood Bowl Dwarves”). I found that even more helpful, as maybe I did some hair or something else that I liked on that one mini, and might want to recreate that same recipe later. That means that I need to have some identifier for the mini in question though. With Necromunda, I just used the name from the GW box, and taped that to the mini handling base I was using. For Blood Bowl, that might be a little trickier. One, there tends to be a lot of linemen. But I might start using some shorthand like “L2” (Lineman #2), and also label the mini handling base. One other benefit with this approach (and probably why I started labelling in the first place), is keeping track of the bits when using a subassembly painting method. If you’ve never heard of that, check out this video:


By attaching a label to the base, I could make sure that I wasn’t mixing up the wrong parts later. Which did happen back then with the Dwarves, and I ended up painting the beard on a detached head piece, a different color from the hair. And returning to that particular mini after a long while, I couldn’t figure out the hair color I had used to make them the same. So more work there for a partial repaint. Again, hats off to those of you who do this on a regular basis! For myself, I’m going to keep trying to document my paint process in a journal.

27 thoughts on “Old Mini Monday 26 – Fantasy 16

  1. The reality is you do not know what you do not know. If you are willing to learn and practice, and that goes for most but not all things in life, then in theory you will improve and move on. Why most but not all? Simply because of the ageing process. For example, at my age I could get fitter than I am but I will never be fitter than I once was.

    As for a keeping a journal. No I don’t. Why? Two reasons. Firstly, despite being a lists person this is something I do not have the self discipline to do. Secondly, even when mixing paints to do say uniform figures I prefer the mix to be at least slightly differnet each time so the figures appear more individual rather than clones.

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    1. I find that as I learn more about any given field, pretty much for every given “bit” of knowledge I gain, I learn about the existence of two more, but not enough to say that I’ve learned them. The more you know, the more you know that you don’t know.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Sounds about right. I think the 80/20 rule has palace in this too. When you know nothing or very little on a subject it’s possible to amass a lot of information quickly, further refinement is of course much slower and both are dependent upon ones desire to learn in the first place.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Like Homer Simpson. Every time I learn something new, I forget something I once knew because my tiny brain runs out of space. I guess it does mean that I’m always learning something “new”. 😉

        Liked by 2 people

        1. LOL! I sometimes feel that way. And feel even worse when I remember that I knew that before. The funniest, is as I get older, my memory starts to become worse, and I can reread a comic I read before, like it was the first time. Or rewatch movies. I have a never-ending source of perpetual entertainment!

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  2. Heh, funny that you mention that…when I started running, I got into probably the best shape I had ever been in my life. At age 40 something. I literally had more energy than I had ever had, and better muscle tone, from lots of running and cross-training (biking, yoga, etc.).

    That seems to be a thing though, I’ve known a lot of people who all of a sudden got super fit around that age. Maybe it’s a midlife crisis sort of deal. I’m now probably in the worst fitness shape of my life, so totally counter-balanced! I also don’t know that I could recreate that success story, as 50 is coming any day now, and aging will take it’s toll regardless.

    Yea, with your painting hobby, it might not make sense to keep a journal. When you’re painting 20+ models all with the same uniform, it’s a bit different. I can’t even imagine trying to keep track of painting an army of 100 some figures, like some people do for war-games. I’m usually trying to do all the base colors across the whole team. Then start to work on individuals when I get to the highlight stage. Roughly 3 models at once at that point. I can be fairly self-disciplined, so not too much problem there. Keeping notes on the blog helps, but ultimately a paper journal to the right of my painting area, made it much more likely that I would write things down right afterwards. I’ve also taken to making a paint list in Google Docs for each project.

    I guess that’s another area where we really differ. You’ve finished a lot more projects than I have, so record-keeping might be way more tedious with your completion rate. For me, it’s been primarily three long projects for quite some time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Like the post and the comments! I occasionally make notes on what I should paint and usually lose them! I’m still trying to work out what colour to paint WW2 Finnish tanks, trading off what I think is realistic, what I like and what I think looks right on a scale model (you can assume here I’m not going with a simple winter whitewash)! Keeps me busy though!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks JNV! Yea, I’ll sometimes plot out what colors to use. I started listing the main colors I was going to use for all my Blood Bowl teams back in the day. With 24 teams lined up, I didn’t want all of them to end up having the same colors.

      These days I’ve been a bit more haphazard. Probably since I’ve only got the 1 team anywhere near completion. Hopefully future teams go quicker, and then I can start worrying more about paint schemes and less about getting things finished. 😉

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  4. Comparing the pics on Lost Minis Wiki with the ones here, it looks like the weapons for those Sahuagin came as separate bits, that could be fitted into any of the hands, since they’re all curved the same way. I’d bet your brother didn’t look at the picture on the box (if they came with even that much, and weren’t just a blister pack with no indication of who got which weapons), or just decided he liked them better like this. The one on the left there is shown on LMW with a crossbow or something, and the one on the right has a trident as well as the conch.

    I’ve always like the underwater monsters in D&D, but I never got around to running the campaign I started working on to showcase them.

    I keep no records of my painting whatsoever. Largely because I almost never actually mix paints or thin them more than just the basic degree for decent flow or anything like that, so it’s usually pretty easy to figure out what I did. Also, I’ve been doing this for long enough that some of the paints that are nominally the same have actually been reformulated two or three, or in a couple of cases, I think even four times, and even if I did follow the same recipe that I used back whenever, there’d be a bit of difference regardless! Also, I rarely paint in sub-assemblies, and when I do, it’s usually for larger Models where I’m only doing one or two of them at a time, so it’s easy to keep which parts go with which sorted out.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ah, thanks for pointing that out about the Sahuagin and their weapons. Yea, I’m pretty sure they were from a blister pack and who knows if there was even a pic on the front with how they intended them to be setup?

      Strangely, I’ve never been crazy about most of the water creatures (or water Superheroes like Aquaman and Namor for that matter). But I spent a good two hours swimming everyday in High School, and love being underwater in general.

      Yea, some days I think if I just kept a consistent mix formula, it would be much easier. Maybe I’ll settle on some later on. Good point about the paint recipes changing. Probably a major advantage of going with Vallejo early on, as their paints have lasted me forever and ever.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve always been fascinated by deep sea creatures. Colossal squid, Anglerfish, all the weird adaptations made to live with no light and the cold and the scarce food. I always liked Namor, too, but never cared about Aquaman until Jason Momoa started playing him.

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        1. Yea, the ocean has some really cool creatures, but also some really dangerous ones. Part of the reason we never wanted to go into the water, was the monsters were usually tougher than on land.

          Namor grew on me later. When I was a kid, I didn’t like heroes that were in the grey area, or that argued and bickered, like the Fantastic Four. As I got older, I found they were much more interesting, as they were closer to real life.

          Did you like the Mom/Conan movie?


          1. Momoa was a good choice as Conan. Unfortunately, that was basically the only good choice made in the production of the movie. I’d love to see him in the role again, but with a writer and director who understood Conan better.

            Stargate Atlantis was where I really became a fan of him. Ronon was awesome.

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            1. I only know Momoa from GoT and Justice League. Maybe a random movie here or there. He’s got a good screen presence. I was also kind of hoping they would tackle Conan again. I liked the very start, but the rest, meh.


              1. He was great on SGA. The only other thing I’ve seen him in is The Bad Batch, which is an incredibly weird film, but I liked it, and he was one of the standouts.

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  5. I have a feeling Alex and and Mark Morin will like those minis.
    I’m the kind of guy that steps in the river and then goes back for a running leap into it haha. Painting journal? What the?? The only record I keep is this blog. I’ve definitely improved since I started back with the hobby and hope I’m always getting better but my whole process would horrify people I reckon. Like TIM I’m a lists guy and used to be a journal guy when I had a lot of teenage angst hehe.

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    1. It’s ok, from the old folks I know, it seems the angst comes back later. I might return to my Heavy Metal days in my latter years. “It’s not that I can’t hear the music, it’s supposed to be played LOUD!”. 😉

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  6. Of course I like them IRO, THEY ARE METAL! Tougher to convert though!

    I do update a 5” x 8” card with notes about my project and paints/stuff I used. This serves two purposes. First, helps me with writing my blog. Secondly, if I ever do want to remember what I did, I have my better annotated blog. In a to be shortly released blog post, you will see what I mean…hint hint

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    1. Thanks Mark, looking forward to that next blog post!

      Actually, I was chopping up some stuff last night. The metal was super easy. The newer plastic GW stuff, got misshaped as I cut through it with clippers. Plusses and minuses to both though.

      Hmm, I think I might have started with index cards at one point, and switched to a small notebook. I do really like the advantage of organizing the index cards, but my log would overfill the index card.

      The journal helps keep track of where the minis are at any given point. I also tried time tracking at one point, but I could probably just estimate 1.5 hours for any log entry. For the actual paints I used, and the general recipe that was used for all of them, that all gets put into a Google doc, which I can then cut and paste into the blog after wrapping up the project.

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  7. Those minis remind me a little of Mer-Man from the old He-Man/Masters of the Universe stuff. Especially the face on the left-hand model, due to the angle of photography.
    Notes? Not really. I do keep Duncan’s recipe for Black Hair on a sticky on my computer’s desktop, but beyond that not really. Sometimes I post up how I painted a mini, and a few times the recipies there have been so I can refernce them again, but right now I couldn’t tell you which ones I’ve written up aside from the Skeletons (and that recipe in embedded in my brain anyway!)
    Most stuff, I either just remember, fake it, or eyeball something I did previously if I want to match it…

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