Miniatures for Stargrave and Five Parsecs now have oil paints!

The further you are along on a project, the more nerve-wracking it can be to make drastic changes. This is true for many projects but for tiny nerdy things, this is especially true.

Stargrave miniatures have a tendency to be “too clean”. It’s the wide areas and the faces. I spent a lot of time with ink washes and highlights and was pretty happy with the results. I even played a few games with them, and they looked good. However, they were still way too clean.

I have been inspired lately by Blanchitsu / inq28 / 28 Mag style of miniature painting. It has an aesthetic I always liked. , I used to do a lot of drawing when I was a teenager and a friend loaned me his copy of Rogue Trader. The drawings and paintings made an impression on my own art style. I found it deeply inspiring.

The heroic-style of miniature painting seems like its more popular right now. This is especially apparent in the official Games Workshop painted miniatures for the box art. They are clean, crisp and look great.. but are a far cry from the original paintings and ink drawings that I love.

Oil paints can be applied to miniatures and terrain with dramatic impact. This is the secret to this painting style. That and lots of customizations. You can read more about Blanchitsu in 28 Mag.

Anyhow, I would like to show you what my Five Parsecs crew looked at before I applied oil paints.

Pretty good, yes? These are the same techniques I used when I painted 60+ of miniatures from Core Space. However, I knew that would look better with some oil paints.. once I made the plunge.

Did I ruin them?

It was scary but after removing the extra oil wash, the oil highlights really gave them character and contrast.

This is what my crew looked like after I applied oil shadows and highlights.

It’s a dramatic difference isn’t it? I was concerned I wouldn’t like it.. so I held off. The first weekend of 2022, New Years weekend, and I was quarantined at home due to exposure to covid (but not sick), so I finally finished painting them.

I don’t do a lot with bases right now. I would like to spruce them up at some point but my goal is to just have enough playable models right.

Stargrave requires significantly more models. I painted them with oils too.

I plan on using them for Five Parsecs when some of the crew inevitably perish.

Heads on each end are from another kit with giant arms but the heads were still usable.
These were built only using Stargrave kits
Middle is a Frostgrave barbarian head.
The Stargrave metal minis are awkward but I am pretty happy how they look now.
Of the Stargrave metal minis, these are my favorite.
The folds were fun to paint!

Those last two, I am using for the Captain and First Mate of my second Stargrave crew. Here is the rest of the crew.

That concludes the first time I have successfully photographed miniatures. It is tricky but like the painting part, it is all about experimentation and getting a system that works for you. In my case, I had to increase the aperture (f-stop) so enough of the model stayed in focus (f7.1), reduce exposure by a lot (-2) and use a black background.

I am not doing any post-processing on these photos. The oil paint let me do full high contrast with all the shadows and highlights. Shadows are mostly raw umber, burnt umber and ivory black. Highlights are Titanium white with a little raw umber to warm it up. There is probably a better oil white I should be using.. but I found an old painting kit in the garage and this what was in it.

It is better to buy good quality oil paints. The cheap paints used Linseed oil which is pretty stinky. Winsor and Newton is preferable.

I used spray matt varnish before I applied oil paints. I added it again after I let the oils cure for a week. I could have probably only waited three days but I was in no rush.

Thanks for stopping by! I have more things to photograph and I have been trying to make a new post early every week.

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