One night while shopping for board game expansions for a board game (Scythe), I noticed within a list an incredibly expensive component: painted miniatures for the game. At about $200 CAD, the hand-painted miniatures were three times more expensive than the game itself (which includes unpainted miniatures).
Balking at the price, but drawn in with the pleasing aesthetics, I started digging about undertaking a small painting project. Could it be done for cheaper while acquiring a new skill? Surely it can’t be that difficult. Oops.
While doing research, the options and depth was a lot deeper than anticipated. It’s quite a process, but the price tag on those miniatures started to make sense, even sound like a bargain.
I decided I’d use a guinea-pig approach on a game with fewer pieces and details on the minis: RobboRally. I purchased my equipment and here are the results.
I went with an introduction game colour palette, matte black primer, and black wash to get a darker/gritty feel for Scythe. This transformed the slightly comedic RobboRally robot crew to a hue slightly geared towards despotism.
Overall, I was happy with the results. I had the chance to practise everything I needed for Scythe. Notably, I learned how to layer coats to create battle-worn scratches and rust, blending/brushing (challenging), using a file to smooth plastic-cast edges, and varnishing.
Oh, I also attended to an Introduction to painting miniatures workshop at our local board game café. I painted a relatively huge owlbear.
One of the guides I found useful: how-to-paint-miniatures.com/miniature_painting_necessary_equipment.html#acrylic-paint