I have long been a fan of Arthurian legends. I really enjoy getting into the roots that prop all of these tales up, from ancient Welsh mythology to old tropes that different cultures would trade about in their oral traditions. It’s a lot of fun for me, and I’ve been wanting to do my own book of Arthurian tales since I was about 20.
With David Ayer directing the new Green Knight movie for A24, I was able to geek out a bit about the story of Gawain and the Green Knight, one of my absolute faves. It has just a little bit of everything peppered into the story, from impossible contest to ridiculous trading games. And woven throughout is the concept of honor, and what honor, or a life without honor, would mean to any knight of the Round Table.
I drew my own rendition of the Green Knight, which you can watch with the video I have attached to the story. I also tell the beginning of the story, which finds Gawain rashly choosing to agree to a game with an obviously supernatural being.
Hi. My name is Leigh. I run Grimmleighs, and have been for the better part of a dozen years been trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.
The fact that I am nearly fifty-two is making this hard to deal with.
I have spent a lot of time either developing Grimmleighs as a art site to show off my monster creations, which can be popular and makes me pretty happy.
The rest of the time, I try to make Grimmleighs a place to showcase my love of miniature painting, which can be popular and makes me pretty happy.
I’m like a freaking pendulum in this regard.
Over the last two-ish years, though, fate has treated us to a pandemic, and life has treated me to a scorched esophagus from an ulcer that has been percolating about in my guts for most of my life.
The pandemic lit a fire under my ass, it seems, while the scorched esophagus has chosen my path. With my guts damaged, I can’t paint miniatures for very long without ending up in excruciating pain. I also can’t lay on my right side very well, but I’ll survive.
That pretty much kills the blog space as a place to post miniatures that I have painted.
So, welcome to my AMAZING on again, off again art blog.
I hope you enjoy my monster creations, they make me pretty happy.
With my newly rekindled love of sharing monsters, I have also launched a YouTube channel and have been posting stories and time-lapse videos of my art. Here’s the first one, it’s a fun little story about a forest princess:
I hope you enjoy! This is a challenge for me as I am easily distracted. But I really like drawing monsters, so I hope they make you as happy as they make me!
This project is short and sweet. A squad of Necromunda figures with an Ambot for backup.
I have only played a couple of games of Necromunda, and while I enjoyed it I found it overly complicated. And there were a couple of spoofs that players could pull that massively wreck the fun factor, so I won’t be playing again since I already know what any opponent will be fielding. Take out the glue guns, and maybe I’ll think it over again!
Still, the minis are incredible and full of character, and will work really well with Stargrave, Core Space, and Zone Raiders, so this probably won’t be the last Necromunda set that I pick up!
The squad was painted primarily with Citadel Contrast Paints over a zenithal primer coat. Highlights were then layered in to punch of the details, then a diluted wash of Agrax Earthshade was given to tie everything together.
My favorite little detail in the Cawdor kit is the candles a lot of these goofballs have just jutting out of their armor, with the dude with the giant crossbow dealing with dripping wax all over his visor! Great little details that tell their own story. Love it!
Since absolutely no one has asked, I thought it would be fun to put together a quick guide to how I paint ork skin. This is a speed paint method that I have been tinkering with for the better part of 20 years, and allows me to get a squad of orks (or goblins, or green dwarves, or emerald halflings) on the table pretty quickly!
Now, the colors may seem a bit washed out, but that’s because we’re looking at this guy much bigger than he is in real life. Look at your screen at about what his real world size would be, and you’ll see what I mean!
If you enjoyed this guide, let me know! I’m thinking about starting a series to help people navigate learning to paint miniatures!
The Kings of War project I started last year is one of those giant undertakings that I really struggle with. I’m not much of a horde painter when it comes to miniatures, I would much rather paint up a dozen minis and focus on skirmish games, but there is something about the enthusiasm of my local KoW group that is a little infectious.
I have a couple of good, solid core groups put together, and my command minis have arrived from Durgin Paint Forge in Italy, so I have some great character options for my Vanguard detachments.
What we need now is some artillery. Big, brash cannons and terrible engines of war. With Dwarves, you need a bit, too. Or just stay home.
The first two cannons are plastic hold-overs from a box of Dwarves I picked up from a friend. A couple of quick multi-bases later, and these standard cannons are ready for action!
The organ gun is also a plastic kit, but it looks cool and actually has a stat line in KoW, so that’s even better!
The Flame Belcher is the only vintage mini in this group, and it dates back at least 20 years or more from the classic Games Workshop Dwarves line. And, don’t you know it, there is a stat line for this one, too!
It’s going to be a lot of fun seeing these models back in action! Now all we need to do is get this pandemic under control, and let the heavens rain fire! At least the heavens in my games.
There is something about the color green that inspired Jack Kirby to make his more evil-inclined Asgardians follow a jade hue. Or, perhaps it’s because they the green of Enchantress, Hela, and Loki contrast the overwhelming pop of Thor’s red cape so well. Regardless, it seems like the three primary Asgardian baddies really dig their green duds!
So far, Loki and Hela are the only “evil” Asgardians that Atomic Mass Games has released, and I finally got a chance to get them painted up!
Hela is a lot of fun, with a sculpt that kind of hints at the casual immensity of her power. I have been experimenting with a new speed paint technique, which came together pretty well with her.
Loki is pulling the inspiration for his look from the more recent comics, with a pretty nice coat and a smirk that speaks volumes.
The magic effect for both was created by layering thinned inks over silver, which looks pretty cool in person. In photos, it’s really hard to see the effect working!
I used the same effect on the stone in Loki’s scepter, with a little plasma blue painted over silver. It’s not perfect, and I’ll probably play with it a lot more before I get it to where I want it!
There’s another pack coming soon with Enchantress and Angela, which is cool, but I would rather have Sif packed in with Enchantress if I’m being completely honest. Angela may be a Marvel character now, but she really feels like an eternal Spawn character to me. Still, I’ll be happy to see them in the collection!
I’m still grappling with my near fanboyish love of Core Space. The miniatures are absolutely not the best on the market, but there is something about them that makes my little heart go pitter-patter. I’m also really intrigued by the mechanics of the game, and love the aesthetic.
I’m working my way through all of the minis, and figured after having a crew painted up it would probably be a good idea to get some of the NPCs together. So, here’s the first batch, most of which are from the Shootout at Zed’s expansion from Battle Sytems.
I still need to finish the rest of Zed’s gang, as well as Zed himself. This part of the box has me pretty happy already, though!
I have literally too many miniatures, more than any rational human being should consider having about their home. And yet, I keep buying more.
It’s not a collection, since (in my mind) having a collection of something is kind of useless if you don’t display it or do something with it. I have miniatures just sitting in boxes in my garage. That’s not really fun, hobby wise.
So, I have launched a challenge to myself for 2021. I’m not buying any more minis until I have either painted or given away my backlog. And I am trying to make sure that I paint everything, even if I plan on giving it away.
I am exempting anything I was gifted, because I end up being the guy that gets all the stuff when someone bails on the hobby. If I bought it, I will need to paint it before I buy something else.
This is going to be really hard. I love buying miniatures more than just about anything, but I’m pretty sure I have close to 500 unpainted minis choking off the house!
Now, here’s the first mini out of the way as the Great Shame Project of 2021 kicks off!
We’ll see how this goes. As long as I don’t look at the internet or go to game sites, I should be okay! Hahahahhaahahah!!!
Believe it or not, I get a whole lot of questions about miniatures. It might be because I run a miniature blog, or because I spent several years of my life as a freelance miniature painter. It might be because I spend so much time nerding out about miniatures. I have no idea. But, being as how I absolutely love miniatures, I though a series of educational posts covering the full spectrum of the hobby might be handy.
First up, we’ll be covering SCALE.
Exactly what is scale? Really, it’s just a way to make sure that your toy soldiers don’t look too ridiculous when you have them going pew-pew at each other. By collecting miniatures in a similar scale, you can avoid the terrible shame showing up with Micro Machines when all anybody wants to play with is Matchbox cars.
That’s really the nuts and bolts of scale. Your six inch tall Star Wars: Black Series action figures are going to look a little funky if you’re facing off against normal three-and-three quarter inch figures. Scale is a just a handy way to make sure you’re in the right sandbox.
Most miniature games stick to a general range of scale between 28mm and 40mm. But even then, there is a massive amount of variation, even when the scales supposedly match!
Scale normally measures the height of an average (assumedly male from a production standpoint) miniature from the base of its foot to its eye level. Unfortunately, some companies measure from the base of the figure’s foot to the top of its scalp, which means two companies can say they produce 28mm miniatures that can still end up having a pretty sizable difference in height.
Once one of the most common scales produced in miniatures, 28mm standard miniatures tended towards smaller details in their sculpts, with heads and hands that were more realistically proportioned to their bodies.
You can see this example illustrated with the miniatures below. Both are considered 28mm figures, yet the Core Space mini is definitively smaller than the miniature from Corvus Belli‘s Infinity on the right.
There are still plenty of miniatures being produced in this scale, with some fantastic multi-part kits being produced by Osprey Games for the Frostgrave family of wargames.
Games Workshop has largely disrupted that over the last few decades, with the advent (and proliferation) of what is commonly referred to as “heroic scale”.
Supposedly, heroic scale figures are the same scale as 28mm standard, but their larger heads, hands, and feet make them look more like comic book characters (hence heroic). There has also been very little attention paid to keeping the scale of most 28mm heroic figures consistent, which has led to a fair amount of “scale creep” over the last 20 years or so. Just compare a Warhammer 40k Space Marine from 1999 to one produced in the last few years, and you can see a huge difference in their size.
And yes, I know Primaris Marines are bigger. I’m talking about your standard marine. And I have Imperial Guard from 20 years back that are a bit smaller than newer figs.
On the plus side, though, larger minis make for more possibilities for detail, which leads us right to what is becoming the industry standard for miniature scale.
Malifaux, Zombicide, Kings of War, Runewars, and a fare amount of independent sculptors have settled on the 32mm scale range for their miniatures, which has some definite perks; the larger size allows for crisper details, which can lead to more dynamic or expressive characters.
It’s also close enough to 28mm, especially Heroic 28mm, that most people won’t care much about the size difference.
There’s really very few games producing minis in 35mm, notably Wild West Exodus and other figures from Warcradle Studios. Everything that we said about larger size is even more apparent at this larger scale, but they’re also much larger than 28mm figures when presented on the same table!
Atomic Mass Games produces Marvel Crisis Protocol at 40mm, and at this point they’re one of the few miniature lines at this scale. The miniatures are so large that they are much easier to paint, which is nice, but forget putting your Iron Man on the table against someone’s Frostgrave minis. He’ll look like he’s attacking students from that school model in Zoolander.
Other Common Scales for Wargame Miniatures
Quite a few wargames rely on much smaller scales, and this is purely due to economics of space. If you’re going to re-create Waterloo, you’re going to need a lot of miniatures to pull that off!
That’s where 15mm comes in, which is the standard scale for historical wargames. The average figure is pretty small, which means that a whole lot more of them can fit on a table!
Gaslands has been taking off lately, which uses customized 1/72 scale Matchbox and Hot-Wheels cars. This works out to 20mm scale for miniatures, which there is not a lot produced for, but some enterprising sculptors on Etsy and Patreon have been filling that niche beautifully.
Another semi-common scale is used primarily for giant robot games, but it varies wildly between 3mm and 6mm. At this point, human sized characters are about the size of a Nerds candy, and the real stars of the game are the monsters or robots that the game focuses on.
Of course, there are even smaller scales for starship battles, but even those tend to exaggerate scale to produce evenly sized ships. Star Wars: Armada, I’m looking at you…
Why does any of this matter? That’s a pretty good point, and one that some people won’t even care about. Some folks are just fine facing off with any scale miniature that strikes their fancy, and there is absolutely fine!
There are others, myself included, who get caught up in the scale trap because of the immersive quality of a good miniature game. I like to bring a nicely painted group of figures to play on a table with nicely built and painted terrain, and I tend to get lost in the story that plays out in a game. Differences in scale can be a little jarring, but it’s not a deal breaker for me.
Mostly, this comes from the types of games I like to play. Most of the game systems I like are setting agnostic, which means they don’t have an established universe set up for them. So, you can bring whatever miniatures you want to the party. I have a ton of 28 and 32mm minis, so I tend to collect miniatures in that scale to use in the games I like to play.
If Marvel Crisis Protocol was the only game I played, or I wasn’t really keen on throwing Wolverine at a Genestealer, this wouldn’t be a problem at all!
I also tend to display my painted miniatures, and I like seeing minis that are similar scale displayed together. It might be a little fussy, but that’s my preference!
If you have questions about scale, or miniatures in general, drop a comment below!
Seeing as how my friends from my local gaming group can’t get together during the pandemic, we decided to do a miniature painting based Secret Santa project.
I was chosen to paint up a Mercenary from Infinity for my friend Brock. Infinity minis are a blast to paint, and the merc he submitted is one of the best figs in the game, so I was really happy to get to work!
I have to admit to a certain crutch with Infinity models, though! I tend to want their boots and gauntlets to look like they were made from high-grade plastics or ceramics, so I often paint them white. I wanted to do something a little different with this merc, since she has a lot of earth tones, so I went with a yellow scheme with Menoth White highlights.
The red tones were Citadel Contrast paints, which were then highlighted up to a warm orange. The reds help balance out the tones established by the yellows and browns, and also contrast her hair.
The hair started out with a turquoise glaze, which was then highlighted up to near white through some soft blue tones. The turquoise base is a pretty good contrast to the red tones. Normally, I would go more green on a project like this, but just happen to live in a country where red and green are considered Christmas colors. And no-one wants a Christmas themed mercenary!
At least no-one I know directly! Who knows, maybe there’s a market for that somewhere out there?