Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Spyglass Miniatures...

I hadn't really planned this blog to be a shameless promotional engine for my work, more a place for me to mutter incoherently about whatever minis stuff I like but occasionally these things cross over so I hope you'll forgive me announcing that I've set up a new website for Spyglass Miniatures. Initially the main idea was to have a place to sell my new 28mm Monk and the other bits I'm currently working on and I really think Eolith, the other brand name I've used, is more associated with 54mm.

But, I can hopefully saunter over to a relevant side of things as I've painted my new monk and he was an interesting process that harks back to previous blog posts. Yay for vague relevance. It's my excuse and I'm sticking to it...

Here he is by the way.

Painting him was a curious process. I had one resin casting of him so I kind of had to get him right not having any useful stuff about the house for stripping resin. He was to be painted with my recent wash techniques and I tried a slightly different approach as I'm still developing the best way to make the technique work. Went with white undercoat this time and I ended up with a rather grainier basecoat that didn't take the wash so well. Wasn't awful but lacked the quality I'd been pushing for. So I ended up repainting a few bits. In the end I was never going to get the result I wanted inside the normal way I work with the basecoat double wash technique so I had to improvise...

And here we get to a new painting tip.

I decided to re-highlight the figure. This is the normal way of working with these washes but I find it's a tough one to pull off as it can look harsh and I love the subtle effect of the washes. Still, the fig needed it. So, I tried something new. I ixed a highlight colour basically the same as the original basecoat and then I added wash to the paint to achieve several things. Firstly the wash tints the paint below it so the highlight colour is a tough one to judge. Mixing the wash and the paint makes it much easier to amtch and get a a matching tone. You need quite a lot of wash in the paint as the pigmentation is so low. But this has a side advantage. The washes have enough body that they don't ridiculously thin the paint and they also add to the transparency nicely so it makes for a great paint on highlight without chalkiness or stepping. This made life rather nice to be honest.

The Monk ended up taking the best part of two hours though a lot of that was wasted motion. He's probably an hour or so paintjob if I'd planned this from the start. Came out quite nicely anyway...

And rounding back to my announcement, you can find my new online store at...

Spyglass Miniatures


  1. I very much like these wash techniques and find them much more naturalistic and pleasing than the very artificial style of super-shading and blending that has become prevalent over the past few years.
    Perhaps you should experiment with underpainting before using washes, the wash becomes an almost final layer to tie it together.
    It can be a bit hit and miss until you have a better idea of how washes react over different tones and colours but its a technique I used thirty years ago with some mixed success. I initially used it on horses, the matt enamels we then had were pretty lifeless for these and I tried a basic body colour and then used a drybrushed lighter tone, this was covered by the 'secret magic wash' of its day- Rotring ink, the ink softened the blend and accentuated the deeper parts of the model leaving only odd highlights and other details to add.
    It looked great for its time and I was reluctant to share the secret as it proved to be a good holiday earner for me in my student days. Its also very quick to do.

  2. Your painting just gets better and better... The monk looks incredibly realistic, the shading is so smooth! Also, congratulations on getting the shop opened up. Can't wait to see all the new additions that are bound to make their way into the store. Best of luck to you!

  3. Beautiful stuff! The paint job looks amazing for 1 hour and I will definitely be picking one of these up.

  4. Hey mate!
    I've given you a Stylish Blogger Award. Check it out here:


  5. Looking good, Steve. I've been following your progress with the washes with great interest as the techniques you've been using just might allow me to actually finish a painted figure!

    Can I ask what colour you used for the base coat of the flesh and what washes you used on it?

  6. I have been looking at a certain amount of underpainting, so to speak. Or at least highlighting before adding the washes which amounts to a similar idea.

    Thanks for the award David :)

    Andrew I can't actually remember but I think it was a base mix of white and Tallarn Flesh with a roughly added highlight with more white added then a wash of my custom Gryphonne Sepia/Asurman Blue/little Baal Red mix and another coat of just Gryphonne Sepia. Highlights with a mix of Gryphonne Sepia and the last highlight mix... I think... or something like that...

  7. Cheers Steve. I'll give that, or something like that, a go then.

  8. Hi Steve

    I've been lurking around here for the past few weeks and really enjoying your posts. I've just received this figure and the other three you have in the shop at the moment and have to say that they are all fantastic. I'm looking forward to painting these and any future releases.

    Thanks for sharing your experience with the washes, I plan to give them a go on a couple of mini's in the next few weeks as I'm interested in anything that speeds up the painting process.

    Good luck with Spyglass mkII.


  9. Hello,
    I know this is an old post, but I hope my comment will reach you anyway.
    I really want one of these monks.
    Any idea where I can buy one now?
    Thanks much
    Legion McRae

    1. Heresy Miniatures bought the rights to all my old Spyglass Minis and I'm pretty sure he's available there right now :)

  10. Hi Steve. I was wondering if you still had that Warmaster scale mammoth figure prototype you designed for Warmaster for GW way back (but they rejected it the fools!). Would you be willing to cast up and sell some models of that figure to me for my personal use? E mail me to discuss if that's o.k. - there may be others at spcialist games warmaster forum who would want some too?