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  • Writer's picturezoe birrell

Gloomhaven Miniature Painting Commission

Sedition Minis studio started off the year with a Gloomhaven miniature painting commission. It started with the base 6 minis, but when the customer saw those painted, they decided to go ahead with getting the other 12 miniatures painted as part of the commission as well.

One of my most requested estimates via Etsy is for painting the Gloomhaven minis, so maybe you will find it interesting for me to look at how I’m working through this commission service.

Please be aware there will be slight spoilers in regards to the miniatures in the boxes.

I’m not gonna lie, the quality of the particular minis that come with this game is not the best for painting. They are tiny have terrible mould lines and flashing left overs and as a consequence the prep is particularly important with this lot. Not only are the mould lines an issue but some of the miniatures consistently need a bit of re-sculpting work, in my opinion, to not look like crap. Another thing that makes them particularly tricky to paint is that they have a lot of minute detail and texture all over the place that is a bit tricky to paint well.

I find they present very specific challenges as well due to the monochromaticness of the original art. When I am doing a Gloomhaven miniature painting commission I often struggle to stay true to the colour scheme on the player card at the same time as getting good contrast and a visually interesting painted miniature.

This is reflected in the price I charge for painting them and I will always estimate a minimum of two hours and a half to paint prep and finish each miniature within a Gloomhaven miniature painting commission. This does add up fast though if you want the whole set of 18 minis painted, so I often recommend painting them in batches as you unlock them.

The Process of the Gloomhaven Miniature Painting commission

These minis started their journey by having the mould lines removed with a scalpel and files. Following this step they where washed in some warm slightly soapy water. This is done to remove the mould-releasing agents that are used in the casting process which in turn, if left on the miniatures, can cause issues with paint adherence. The whole process for this batch took a bit over an hour.

I then moved on to prepping the bases. This particular customer chose to go with the no bases level, which is free.

You can find out more about the basing levels I offer here.

This is normally a very plane base with some basing past for minimum texture, however in this instance I decided to add some extra bits of cork here and there as it was a considerable sized commission.

The process of prepping the bases on the whole lot took almost two hours so this was definitely a kind of discount I gave on the cost of this Gloomhaven miniature painting commission without having mentioned it to the customer, something I have learned from for the future as obviously if they come back to me again for more work they may expect this as the standard. I do however really appreciate larger jobs and like to be able to take that into account. There is definitely a balance I need to master of sticking to the brief at the same time as appreciating commissioning to paint miniatures can be a large financial investment so even if I end up working a bit extra for free I want the customer to be really happy with the work the end results more than anything else. But I digress.

The next step in this Gloomhaven miniature painting commission was priming and getting the minis ready for painting. They where primed with the zenithal highlighting technique. First priming them in a dark colour then either with an airbrush or a brush then applying a lighter colour primer, normally white, from the angle of light, normally directly above to replicate sunlight. I like doing this as it helps my see the detail on the minis as well as setting me up to have brighter colours on the highlighted parts.

I like to have the original art for each miniature in front of me while I paint, and/or whatever I am using for reference while painting (which you saw in a previous photo). In this case to avoid spoilers for myself of too much information about the characters, as I am still playing my way through the campaign, I have made some paper sleeve covers to hide all the text other than the artwork.

I separated the miniatures into groups batched up by similar colour schemes subdividing them into what my daily painting targets are.

Some of the minis as I have painted them so often are almost like familiar friends other can be a bit more challenging. Every time they are on my table it is interesting to see how my brain resolves the painting challenges they present. I could jot down a process and just repeat it like a recipe by using the exact same paints in exactly the same style but at the moment that is not how I like to work. Painting diaries are awesome things but I have found every time I start one I treat it more like a sketchbook than a painting diary and get to caught up in the painting to keep notes… that may be an iteration of the way my dyslexic brain works, or may just be me being disorganized with my practice… something I probably should not admit in black and white on here. The is definitely a value to learning specific processes and techniques so you can replicate them like muscle memory speeding up your practice, I don’t ever want my painting to feel like washing dishes or painting by numbers which I fear if I followed specific recopies every time painting these guys would start to feel like. You can find out more about the different painting levels I offer here.

Gloomhaven Miniature Painting Commission: What Happens After The Painting Is Done?

After the painting of the miniature was done I gave the bases a quick dry brush and finally gave all the miniatures a coat of premium satin varnish for protection. After this step I am a big fan of leaving the minis for at least a few days before packing them up for shipping so that the paint has time to set properly.

I’m still half way through this Gloomhaven miniature painting commission but as the customer wanted the minis that are currently in play in the campaign as quickly as possibly I sent those back with the first batch that had been completed as soon as they where done.

They where packed up safely in some recycled packaging and then posted using royal mails next day special delivery by 1pm as that is the delivery service I trust the most and it fully covered the cost of contents if the unimaginable happened in transit.

I hope you liked this mini painting journal entry and as always if you have any questions happy to answer. I plan to come back to the blog with some final photos when it is all done. Blogging is a whole new universe for me and I’m still getting comfortable with it. Any thoughts and feedback on content you would like to see in future is more than welcome.

The Politics of Gloomhaven

I am linking a video here that you may find interesting that talks about all of this in a far more articulated way than I am currently equipped to. The host of Shelf Stories channel is reflecting on some of the issues within the lore of this particular game. He addresses how the designer is planning to on improving in this area in the upcoming Frosthaven, and how the community reacted to this announcement. I only recently came across this channel and have to say it makes me very happy that someone within the board-gaming community is putting so much time and effort into opening up space for these sorts of discussions and conversations. I thoroughly recommend checking it out even if you disagree with it all.

These conversations are really important to have, even if awkward at times, so we can all grow and learn as a community and society, but that is probably the subject mater for another blog post.

Thank You For Reading About This Gloomhaven Miniature Painting Commission

I hope you liked this mini painting journal entry and as always if you have any questions happy to answer. I plan to come back to the blog with some final photos when it is all done. Blogging is a whole new universe for me and I’m still getting comfortable with it. Any thoughts and feedback on content you would like to see in future is more than welcome.

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