What I Learned in a D&D Miniature Painting Class PLUS How D&D Miniature Painting Compares to Fashion Doll Repainting !

Ciao lovelies! Today’s post is about something I don’t talk about very often- miniature painting! Recently I went to a D&D (Dungeons and Dragons) Miniature painting class and painted a figure. I learned many things from this experience, and I’ll share those with you today, and I’d also like to talk today on how this type of painting differs from repainting a 12inch Fashion doll like Monster High or Ever After High.

As you all probably know if you’ve been following the blog for a while, I’ve done some doll repaints on fashion dolls (Monster High, Barbie and Ever After High), but I have never painted a D&D or tabletop gaming figure before. So when my fiancé recommended that we attend a class at our local game store, I decided that it sounded interesting, and we went.

This is my final result from the class:

As you can see, I’m clearly a novice at painting figures (and this figure is not based yet). But I learned a great deal in the process of painting this figure.

Some tips I picked up from this class:

-          If your hands shake, press the heels of your hands together. Now both hands (the one holding the figure and the one holding the brush) are shaking at the same rate so it will be easier to guide paint to where you want it to go.

-          If you’re doing metallic paint do it last and with an old throwaway brush (or a brush specifically for metallics). This is because the metallic glitter flakes can remain on your brush and contaminate other colors that you might prefer to be matte.

-          Do a base coat in either white or black depending on the color scheme you want.

-          Work bigger areas first and work your way down to smaller details. 

-          Water your paints down with a little water so they can get into all the little crevices.

-          For highlighting, put a little bit of paint on a brush and wipe it off until there’s barely any left on the brush. Then run your brush over your figure. This is called “Dry-Brushing”.

-          Using a “Wash” (which is just really watered down paint) can help bring out details and make your figure look really good. 
-          Using old medicine bottles with poster tack on the bottom can help you hold your figure in place while you paint. 

-          A suggestion I heard was to use a high gloss sealant first then a matte on top, once the figure starts to look glossy again it’s time to re-seal.

-          When cleaning the brush, brush it up against the sides of your water cup, don’t push it down against the bottom.

So now let’s talk about how painting D&D Miniature Figures differs from Fashion Doll Repainting.

For starters, the scale of the figures is obviously different, Monster High and other fashion dolls are in a 1:6 scale, often called “Playscale,” while D&D miniatures I’ve seen estimated at 1:76 scale all the way to 1:54.

Secondly, the materials you use to repaint differs with what you’re working on and the quality, as well as what YOU prefer.

While you can use Acrylic Paint for both fashion doll and D&D figure painting, many fashion doll faceup artists prefer to use MSC (MrSuperClear) sealant and watercolor pencils as opposed to acrylic paint. I personally use acrylic paint because MSC is very expensive, but I’ve done a face-up or two with pencils and I prefer acrylic paint, but that’s just a personal take.

Third, the techniques differ. Even if you’re using acrylic paint for both fashion dolls and D&D miniatures, you’ll be using very different painting techniques. D&D miniature painting seems to be more about covering areas than designing, (though of course there is some design involved). But fashion doll faceups are all about design, as you wipe the face clean usually and start on what’s essentially just a blank canvas. Though both are similar in that there is a high amount of detail. 

Personally, I prefer painting fashion dolls than D&D miniatures, but I did enjoy the experience of painting a D&D Figure for the first time.

What do you think? Have you ever painted figures for D&D or other miniature tabletop games? What did you think of the experience? Let us know in the comments!

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