For 2021, I decided to paint a “Benchmark” of my skill growth for the year. The goal is to see the before and after of how I have developed as a painter. This year I decided to paint a model from the Hold my Dwarf kickstarter set. This duel wielding swordsman, from the Solider Set 5 collection, contains several aspects on what I really want to focus and improve upon on for the year. The areas of desired growth and questions I ask myself are listed below.

At the end of the year I will print another version of the model and paint a new model and talk about my personal growth. I am interested and excited to see where this experiment goes.


Aspects of Desired Growth

  • Fur: Can I learn to paint fur better that it could even dictate the type of animal it comes from? Potential area to improve skills and knowledge in drybrushing?
  • Armor: Methods and ways of painting True Metallics in miniature figures. Can I make armor shine? What are the different types of metals?
  • Weapons: How do I make metallics & weapons look more battle worn and dinged?
  • Skin: Starting completely from scratch. Largest desire is to have growth and variety in skin tone for my miniature collection.
  • Hair: Much like skin I have not put much effort into growing or researching this area in miniature painting.
  • Clock: Layering and contrast. Can I improve my layering? Make smoother transitions in blending the layers? What methods & techniques work best for me?

Technical aspects I seek to improve upon

  • Improving Brush Control
  • Zenethial Highlighting & Source LIghting
  • Basing. Can I make the miniature tell a story

Adjacent Goals

  • Improve my miniature photography.

3D Printing the Figure

  • Can I improve the state of the print itself?
  • Methods to improve post process clean up
  • Note I did break a hand/weapon joint and had to use green stuff to clean it up again

Progress Photographs


Final Photographs

Overall I am happy and satisfied with the display of my skill for this model. I have several things that I am frustrated on such as lack of choice in hair color and knowledge to create better more defined skin. I also would like to learn how to do gems/crystals for the sword hilt. I am really happy with the little detail in the green pouch and have received several comments about the swords being a key point of enjoyment.

One interesting comment which I think could lead to a great study or discussion on personal preference was the feeling of the figure being too “clean” as in not adventure worn enough. Adding dirt and grime to the model could give this dwarf a more warrior feel.


Paints Used

Also apparently as a goal for the year I am going to improve my formatting on documentation of paints used. I mean this is a thread on improvement right?

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