Need some diversity in my mini's.

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Need some diversity in my mini's.

Postby cynthialee » Thursday January 1st, 2015 1:37pm

As I look at my collection of heroes and villains I see a sea of white faces with a few a couple shades darker into Latin range... Now I tried to correct this but I am having the most difficult time finding a way to paint black skin. But then I am against the issue of Caucasian faces with black skin. Now it looks striking and handsome on my nephew, (a fabulous mixed heritage young man of great moral fiber), but such features are rare and not the norm...

I do not want some stereotype jungle warriors that look cliché and out of central casting for a Tarzan movie. What I need is an adventurer or 10 that have obvious black features, but then I also need a way to paint them that looks somewhat realistic.

I use brushes and have only a dabblers level of skill, so please don't say air brushes as I don't have the cash for such a kit nor do I have the skills to use it.

Any ideas?
So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss.
If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose.
If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself.
~Sun Tsu The art of War~


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Re: Need some diversity in my mini's.

Postby Sjeng » Thursday January 1st, 2015 2:17pm

I've seen several Reaper Bones models painted with black skin. I don't have any good tips, but I think if you google for Reaper Bones paintjobs, you might find some black characters, and follow the link to see if the painting technique was discussed somewhere.

Or join the facebook page: paint my bones
They post pics of all their painted Bones, and often discuss techniques.

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Re: Need some diversity in my mini's.

Postby knightkrawler » Thursday January 1st, 2015 2:22pm

It's a liitle frustrating, but as far as your request for realism/non-cliché is concerned, I can't think of any miniature suitable.
From my frontal lobe, Akanke from Hasslefree comes closest.
I also like - and own - Valaska Syn, also from Hasslefree, who makes a great female Barbarian. With High Heels.
Valaska, however, is very fanboy-y. I stand by my decision to buy her.

Maybe there's something in the Malifaux line that can be converted, but i doubt it.
I have seen my share of awesome minis, but racial differences transferred from reality to fantasy is an issue where the miniature afficionade makes it one.
In fantasy, you decide if color variation of type X suits features of type Y.
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Re: Need some diversity in my mini's.

Postby LordZeke » Thursday January 1st, 2015 3:05pm

I have used Charcoal or Raw Umber. Seems to work pretty well.


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Re: Need some diversity in my mini's.

Postby Anderas » Thursday January 1st, 2015 3:34pm

With miniatures, i can't help you.
Black skin color, however, is quite horrible to paint. There is not much contrast to play with, so it comes down to reflections. And. That is. A lot. Of work. And reflections need a high skill, too. I have talked with master painter who said they have done it, but one time in a life is enough.

If you stay with mid browns to dark browns you can save a lot of time, and i think the result will be mixed enough. Luckily the african type has a lot of variation between mid brown and near-black. :-)

Also, the arabs have a lot of varying colors, and often enough their face is close-to western. So maybe you can easily reuse the normal minis and just paint them in a color you like.


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Re: Need some diversity in my mini's.

Postby whitebeard » Friday January 2nd, 2015 11:50pm

Well, you could do some dark elves without changing the elven features. Technically Dark Elves are evil but you can make a really good argument for the regular appearance of a rogue elf on the surface (e.g. Drizzt Do'urden).


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Re: Need some diversity in my mini's.

Postby Anderas » Saturday January 3rd, 2015 3:34am

I've just taken my time to write a lengthy article. Now it's gone.

Ok, basic messages:

- Website Skin Color painting article on Coolminiornot
- personal remark: Often the same palette is reused again, but it depends on the extend how much you use which color

Some additional blabla that i won't repeat. Sorry. :D :)


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Re: Need some diversity in my mini's.

Postby cynthialee » Saturday January 3rd, 2015 5:49pm

whitebeard wrote:Well, you could do some dark elves without changing the elven features. Technically Dark Elves are evil but you can make a really good argument for the regular appearance of a rogue elf on the surface (e.g. Drizzt Do'urden).

I could do that.

My games are all built on each other. Lolth has been slain eternally* and the Dark Elven people have been released from her mystic bonds. The Dark Ones have fallen into numerous 'successor states' with some following gods and others living godless. Regardless, there are more dark ones running around than prior to the Lolth days. The Dark Elven Empire is shattered and there are many in the kingdoms who would claim the right to rule all of the Drow.

But.... I have banned them for play at my table due to the fact they are not balanced for player character use until end game and I don't care to have a minion of dark forces on the hero team at any level of play. I guess I could allow the occasional one off character that is independent and free of such worries...


*Great game this one.
One of my NPC's in the game was a shunned demonling named Scratch. Just a tiny dude with a 'tude who would talk smack about any Demon Lord that came up. Well one day the heroes heard some smack talk about Lolth from little Scratch and they listened. (If Scratch could just get one of the Demon Lords who cursed him dead, his curse would be lifted.) They started asking questions and Scratch who had been trying to get the party to quest to slay demon lords for ages was all to willing to tell the heroes everything he knew about the demon realms and how to permanently slay a demon lord. Well Scratch had a serious issue with the demon lords because he was an A list demon lord at one time. He knew everything the heroes needed to know on how to get to the dark palaces of the hierarchy...Well the players fixated on Lolth. They were having drow issues and they wanted to end it once and for all...
After numerous missions to recover artifacts and a heinous trip into the abyss they pulled it off. Lolth is dead. Scratch was released of his curse he was under and his diabolic powers returned to their former glory. He set up shop in the palace of Lolth and he gave the heroes free passage out of the abyss. Instead of solidifying power over the Drow, which he could have easily done, he fixated on tearing the joint apart and killing any other demon who supported the other lords in his banishment.
Left the players wondering what evil they had released on the realms with Old Scratch back in the saddle...
So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss.
If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose.
If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself.
~Sun Tsu The art of War~


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Re: Need some diversity in my mini's.

Postby Anderas » Wednesday January 7th, 2015 3:29am

So you search for diversity only among the dark forces? :)
Just a joke.
I would love to see results of this thread. Do you already have some skin colors in your ranks?


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Re: Need some diversity in my mini's.

Postby Big Bene » Wednesday January 7th, 2015 5:17am

Anderas wrote:- Website Skin Color painting article on Coolminiornot

Great link!

Some time ago, I came across this table:
Hauttontabelle.pdf

which I of course kept in hope I could use it for miniature painting.
Actually, tables like this are used by the print industry to retouch photos (readers seem to prefer stereotypes...).
Hence, the colors are given in the CMYK print standard, not as Valleyo or GW colors.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Have a look ;)


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