Hassle, from Hasslefree


I've been playing around with Warhammer 40K minis. Not to play 40K. Not to add them into different games. Instead, to test things out. Some might think this is an expensive approach to playing around with (learning? testing?), and I'll admit it's not cheap. The thing is, most mass produced and easily available things that I find fun or interesting to paint aren't cheap. I've got plenty of minis I could use as test fodder, but most of those I lump into "I'd really like to paint that well (some day)" and/or "It's out of print and expensive/impossible to get another if I screw this one up." So, 40K!

I picked up some Space Marines on Motorbikes thinking they would be interesting to practice magnetizing parts. Turns out this was a bad choice, because this kit does not have the classic Space Marine combo of Legs, Torso, 2 Arms, Head that I've grown accustomed to always seeing. This featured more new-fangled seam-hiding parts. Front of legs. Back of legs and back. Right arm and front torso. Well, not exactly that, but an odd enough combo that no magnetization was going to happen. Fair enough, there's other things I want to learn better. Black priming is something I suck at, I'll do that, and then some different things after. Overall drybrushing is a thing that's supposed to help bring out details for later painting steps.

And that's about as far as I got before I got bored. Drybrush highlighting atop black does seem to do a good job of bringing out the subtle highlights. Maybe (before) throw in some zenithal highlights. That's part of the joy of looking at these as "disposable". I can just go back and hit it with some more paint and keep trying things out.

The finished mini today (this month?) is Hassle, from Hasslefree. Somehow with a different head than what's pictured. I don't know if the pics from the site didn't include all the heads, or I picked a head from a different mini and didn't realize. In the end, it all worked out well enough. My new things to try this time were better painting pieces before assembly, so as to get into those nooks and crannies that are impossible once everything is glues together. May last attempt did ok, but once it came time to (super) glue bits together things started to go awry. Bad joint/seams, scratched off paint while fighting with glue, oh I completely forgot to paint that part. Lots of lessons learned that time, which I actually learned from as this go-around I didn't run into any mentionable problems. I felt like I've been skimping on base detail lately, so i went back to putting a little more effort into making the base more than a flat, painted stand.

Not sure what kind of method testing/learning I'll be up to next, but there's a group of Walking Dead minis being prepped for priming.

gaming miniatures Hasslefree

Shading Boobs and More


Following my posting of a small painted batch last time, I continue the trend with 4 minis I didn't take an assembly line method to, but instead focused on 1 at a time.

These are more Hasslefree minis, which I just find fun to paint. I primed these with the Not-BSG minis last time just because they were handy.

This time I continued on focusing on detail work when painting. I'm not sure which brush I picked up, but the point of the tip was working with the questionable steadiness of my hand/squint to see any details. I had particular fun with Grant since his mold has some good details with belts and add-ons. I even noticed his belt buckle was supposed to be a US flag, so I tried (with mixed results) to bring that out.

Rae/Not-BSG-6 was my chance to focus on flesh shading. Boobs are an area where trying shading techniques can be fun, although it can feel a little pervy, too. It's a self contained system of shadow and highlights. For once, I think I nailed it! The right base of light flesh color, then 2 darker layers of shade for the recesses.

On the remaining 2 female minis I tried some more non-Caucasian skin tone methods. While not as good as I would hope, it's better than I've done in the past. I'll count that progress as a win.

On the whole, I'm happy with how this batch turned out. Some of the clothes seem a little more mottled in the pics than when I just look at them. Hopefully this is a side effect of camera lighting and not how things always look.

gaming miniatures Hasslefree



Despite my lamenting the weather not cooperating with painting, the opportunity presented itself to prime a batch of minis. I grabbed a hand full of Hasslefree Minis and commenced to priming. I then did something different, which was to not try and paint them all. I picked 2 to paint. Not Adama and Tigh from the Not Battlestar Galactica reboot.

Just an aside, but I still think of 2004's BSG as new/recent even though it aired almost 20 years ago. Since that reboot was over 20 years after the original (which I have very fond memories for) my sense of time for this show(s) is just all messed up. Anyway, back to painting.

While I have no BSG game to stick these 2 in, they are the perfect starship commanders for whatever space game comes along. This meant I didn't have to stick with the colors from the show! There was something new I wanted to try - the piping on the uniforms looked perfect to try and detail. As such, gold and silver piping accents became my thing to try.

Thanks to not trying to do too many things at once, along with working at a glacial pace since I was working on 2 minis over the course of a week, I could take my time and concentrate on those little details. Plus, I could clean up mistakes along the way! In the end, it was a good approach as I really like how things turned out.

gaming miniatures Hasslefree

Unthemed Batch O Minis


Another random batch of non-game affiliated minis. Like the Scooby Gang, this batch was also cast by Hasslefree Miniatures. I'd forgotten how much I like their casts. There's the right amount of detail, usually there's no too much in the way to get all of he (important) details painted.

A little more careful prep helped. I washed the metal minis before doing anything - one of those steps I skip 95% of the time. I primed on a humid day. It may have actually been drizzling outside, but the primer stuck well enough and didn't run. I mainly stuck to contrast paints on these, too. I think contrast paints work well with fabric, although dark streaks covering large areas (backs, mainly) are more prone than I care for.

This was also my best batch of eyeballs. I read a Facebook post of someone explaining how they paint eyes and I was already pretty close to that method. Since I normally prime everything white, starting at the whites of eyeballs should be a natural thing for me to do. After priming, paint the pupil. If the pupils don't line up, paint white over them and try again. If the pupil spills over - it's a little hard for me to type that with my eye phobia - just clean up the part(s) you don't want. I've gotten better at going over mistakes along the way, normally dabbing a little white at whatever color has gone beyond its line. Cleaning up pupils that way, instead of trying to add those dots to eyes close to the final step, sounds much more feasible. And, it turns out, it is!

I again veered away from making everyone white, which for some reason makes me a little nervous each time. Skin tones came through a little mottled, but that was for everyone. Skin was giving me a fit on this go around (again). Overall, it turned out to be a good batch. Outside of the prep work of washing and priming, it only took a day to paint everything. A day of PTO I was taking, and it was an enjoyable and relaxing day at that.

Here's a who's who:
Vince - Kind of a biker gang guy, with his sleeveless leather vest-jacket.
Sgt Spanner - Basically a Capt America knock off.
Kristen - I'm not sure what she's supposed to be doing. Maybe hiding a gun behind her hair?
Frank Cisco - It's really Dirty Harry. Punk.
General Sinclair - Always in need of another unarmed military looking guy. "General" seems ambitious though. He looks more like a colonel, or maybe a major, to me.
Gina - Hasslfree has 2 sculpts for Six from Battlestar Galactica. This is one. The other is still in my TBD pile.

gaming miniatures Hasslefree

Those Meddling Kids


For my first batch of painting for the year, I went for a group of minis which I don't really know how long I've had sitting on a shelf. Quite a while, at least. The Hasslefree version of the Scooby Doo gang. Each has a different name so as to not infringe on any copyrights, but the key there is that without the correct colors it's not Scoob and the gang. Although I learned, based on my color choices and reference pics to the cartoon, that just getting close to the right color combinations is good enough for people to recognize who it's supposed to be.

There was really nothing special about this batch, save for I think these are the best eyes I've managed. Brush-felt tipped pens, with ever the slightest of touches, while paying close attention with my magnifying headband glasses ended up being the right combination - this time around. I also ended up using those brushes, think of it as painting with ink, to touch up hair and some clothes parts.

The Mystery Machine in the last pic is a Jada 1:32 Die Cast toy I came across at Wal Mart. Normally 1:48 and maybe 1:42 will work with 28mm, so this is a big accessory. The van is just under 2 inches wide, which is what most vehicles in 28mm treat as 1 lane. For $10, it's close enough to work. There's a resin van and add-on decals you can get for the right scale, but again, for $10 this was a quick prop to add in.

Only I will really notice, but I'm not going to add my spreadsheet update any longer with each painted mini post. Any gains or losses are hard to notice unless you go back to the previous post, and I don't plan on getting done anytime soon. Maybe when a category of minis gets done I'll make a special note, but no more "0.3% more complete!" paragraphs :)

For next time, I'm still working on a Blockbuster Video store for the 4Ground mall. After that, I think I may work on a non-mall building while also finding another batch of minis to paint for when the mood strikes.

gaming miniatures Hasslefree

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