I originally thought that I’d never had to write this post.
At the time I wrote this post on shading Tainted Grail miniatures, I was growing a bit tired of the exercise of airbrushing minis. I knew that painting the second wave of Etherfields minis was ahead of me.
That was about the same time that I placed my initial crowd-funding order for ISS Vanguard. I decided that I wanted a mini-painting break. As I placed the ISS Vanguard order, I chose to have Awaken Realms apply their “sundrop” effect to the minis. It cost extra, but at the time it seemed worth the extra cost to save me the effort.
I received the ISS Vanguard first-wave shipment a few weeks ago:
Here’s what Awaken Realms’ sundrop effects looks like on the ISS Vanguard minis. You can compare this to my own efforts in other mini-painting posts on this blog.
My overall verdict: AR does a good job. In particular, they do a better of drybrush/highlight than I do.
So why am I writing a mini-painting post? I ordered two optional accessories for the game: Section boxes and Section PETs. (Since I haven’t played the game yet, I’m not sure what a PET is; I do know that even though each Section has its own, there’s never more than one PET on the game board at a time.) The problem is that I made a mistake when ordering: The Section boxes and PETs were not sundropped.
You’ve guessed it: I had to paint again. I couldn’t stand to have unpainted gray minis on the table.
Since ISS Vanguard is a science-fiction game, I decided to use Vallejo Shifters to paint the minis. I’ve written about these paints before: These are metallic paints whose color shifts depending on the angle you view them.
In the game, each player takes control of one Section in the starship: Engineering, Recon, Science, or Security. Each one of those sections has its own color:
If I was to use the Vallejo Shifters on these minis, I had to figure out which one of the paints came closest to each Sections’ color.
When I looked over my old pictures, I saw plenty of alternatives for purple, and even one for yellow. But there wasn’t really anything that matched red or blue. I ordered the Vallejo Shifter Space Dust set, in the hopes of getting those colors.
Of course, I had to test all the new paints. The last time I worked with Shifters, there weren’t enough dwarf brewer minis available, so I settled for bugbear warriors. Since then, Amazon’s supply of dwarf brewer minis has been restocked. I ordered enough for this project and, perhaps, any future projects I may understake.
In the end, two of the Space-Dust dwarves approximated the color blue. None looked red. I’ll get to my work-around below. First, some of the colors that I did not use:
Here are the colors I picked:
Now that I picked the colors, let’s take a look at what there was to paint. The Section boxes are an alternative fancy way for the players to store the cards, sleeves, and dice they accumulate during the course of the game.
What you may notice is that color of boxes, at least as I photographed them, doesn’t always match the apparent colors of the test minis. The issue is that the minis contain lots of crinkly, detailed surfaces. The Section boxes have mostly flat surfaces, which is closer to what the Shifters were designed for. As a result, unlike the minis, the reflected color of the Section boxes changes depending on you look at them. The color-shift is so strong that, when looking at them side-by-side and moving your head, it can be hard to tell blue from purple, or both the “yellow” and “blue” boxes can look green.
After seeing the consistent color from the metallic red paint, I wished I’d gone with Vallejo Metallic Colors instead (though I would have had to order metallic purple separately). But having started with Shifters, I was determined to see it through.
Will there be more mini painting in my future? Maybe, but not soon. My next “big game” projects that I anticipate receiving are Great Wall and Tainted Grail: Kings of Ruin. I ordered sundropped versions of all the minis.
Eventually I’ll receive the solo expansions for Mysthea and Icaion, which may have minis that I’ll want to paint, but that’s at least a year away. Also, while I’ve painted my Mysthea minis, I’ve never painted my Icaion minis since I’ve never been able to play that game face-to-face. I may not have much incentive to keep up with the airbrush.
So it goes!