So you want to make a sea monster miniature! If you're anything like me, you just paint your miniatures' bases black and are done with it. Well for watery creatures I decided to be a little more creative and the players in my campaign appreciated it! Here's how to do it!
If you're interested in learning to make minis for D&D or other miniature gaming purposes, please check out my other instructable: https://www.instructables.com/id/Custom-RPG-Minis/
Step 1: What You'll Need!
In order to proceed with this instructable, you will need:
- An unpainted miniature
- Acrylic Paint
- A paintbrush or two
- Clear drying epoxy glue (The 5-Minute/Quick dry varieties are best)
- A thin stick or rod to mix and apply the epoxy
- Good lighting
- A fan (optional)
Step 2: Painting the Mini!
Ok, at this point, you should mix up your paints, figure out how you want to paint the figure and go for it!
Here are some tips with painting the water:
- The messier you are with painting the base, the better. If your brush strokes are somewhat obvious and the colour is applied a bit oddly in a non-uniform way, it will look better once there is a layer of epoxy covering it.
- If you are adventurous, use different shades of blue applied in a somewhat random way. I don't have much experience with this since the grey colour of my base showed through thinner parts in the paint resulting in different shades of blue, which essentially amounted to the same thing.
- Make sure that the edges between your figure and the base are clean before proceeding to the next step. Don't worry too much about the bottom edges of the base, if you forget to paint some parts of it you can always fix it later.
- I suggest to start with painting the figure and painting the base after and then retouching as necessary, but this may just be my personal preference.
Step 3: Mix and Apply the Epoxy
The first thing you'll need to do is squirt out equal parts of both compounds out of the tubes. If you have a dispenser like mine, you'll have to make sure that the pistons are pressing on the compounds evenly (seemed like a great idea when I bought it, but it's more of a hassle than anything).
Proceed to mixing the epoxy. Make sure it's evenly combined. With clear expoxy, it's somewhat hard to tell, but it will shift to a slightly murkier colour as you progress with the mixing, probably because of bubbles getting trapped in it. Don't worry, it's fine.
Begin applying the epoxy to the base - This is the most dificult part of the process so be sure to follow these steps. It will have to be done in numerous stages to get the right appearance:
1. Apply the expoxy in wavy lines along the base, make sure to space them out and don't cover the entire base!
2. Let the epoxy dry, using a fan is optimal. If you have multiple minis, you can do them at the same time to avoid wasting too much epoxy. By the time the epoxy on your figure has dried, it will also have dried in your mix so you won't be able to use the same batch numerous times.
3. Repeat the mixing steps and apply a second layer over the same ridges you made. Do this until you are satisfied with the height of the "waves". MAKE SURE TO LET IT DRY AT EACH STAGE! ALSO DON'T FORGET TO PROPERLY MIX IT! If you don't let the epoxy dry or you don't mix it properly, subsequent layers will also not dry properly. This will result in a sticky base that will possibly never dry and remain sticky in consistency forever!
4. Cover the rest of the base with a THIN layer of epoxy. For the same reason that we want the epoxy to dry between steps, you also want to make sure that the thin layer dries properly as well.
Once these steps are done, let the base dry completely before proceeding to the next step.
Step 4: Painting the Bubbles on the Waves
Unforiunately I don't have any proper pictures for this step since I rushed to complete this before our D&D session.
What you want to do here is that you'll need to apply a thin layer of white paint on the edges of your waves, but not all the way down on either side. If you have Y shaped waves and V shaped waves, you can follow the shapes with the white paint as well.
Let the paint dry.
Scrape at the paint using a needle or something with a bit of a point, but not enough to scratch the epoxy too badly. This will create a crackled look that from a farther vantage point looks very much like the whitecaps/bubbles on waves!