Some thoughts on improving


In recent weeks, my painting time has been rather limited. But I watched some YouTube videos while doing some dull office work. Watching accomplished painters made me think about my own skillset. Don’t get me wrong, I am not planning to compete in serious painting competitions. What I am talking about is stepping up my painting game.

After doing some soul-searching, I had to admit that my painting had reached a plateau. Nothing is wrong with that, but the idea of challenging myself and getting out of my comfort zone excited me. I had some Empress Russian vehicles on the workbench and improved my weathering technique.

On Weathering

After some research, I ordered some weathering products from AK Interactive. Some enamel washes, for example. I was excited to start working with them because I had never used anything besides acrylic paints. While I am still in trial & error, the results are not bad. But even more importantly, I can almost feel my skillset growing, which is amazing.

This summer we will move some 750km. While losing my local gaming group is sad, painting-wise, this is a big chance. In the past, I was mostly painting armies for upcoming games on a tight schedule. Because of that, I tended to work on a relatively small set of skills. Nothing is wrong with that, and it certainly gets the job done. But there is also not much room for improvement.

So, I decided to improve as a miniature painter. There are so many techniques – blending, actively painting highlights, making metals really pop, freehands, you name it – which I knew but never used in my projects. This will change now.

on the process

My goal with this project is to paint some models as well as possible. That’s why I won’t paint a whole army or even something historical. I want to stir up my whole process altogether. So, after some brainstorming and web browsing, I decided to paint some Lizardmen from Games Workshop. Why that? I am not interested in playing Age of Sigmar, so the appeal to paint a whole army very fast is not that strong. Besides that, they look damn cool and offer the chance to paint some brighter colors. Before doing that, I will have to expand my paint collection, but I guess the new color choices will help spice up my painting time. Because most of my paints are from Vallejo, I will stay by this brand for new purchases. But for some unique colors or effects, I will also buy paints from Games Workshop.

Another reason is that many painting guides for Games Workshop stuff are out there. So getting information and inspiration won’t be a problem. Games Workshop also offers excellent pictures of their painted stuff on their website. They will guide my painting, and I will also use them as some benchmark for my own miniatures. And, of course, let’s face it, the quality of their miniatures is outstanding, which makes the whole painting process easier.

Which models will I paint?

The Games Workshop Start Collecting Seraphon box will be the first choice. It offers a good mix of small, medium, and big models. Hell, it even includes a character model. So, there is plenty to work with.
At first, I made a list of the skills I wanted to improve. Obviously, testing your progress in such an endeavor isn’t easy because our hobby has no objective measurement. I thought about taking part in some painting competitions, but then I wouldn’t be able to paint the models I’d like. After revisiting the GW website, two models stood out. And voila, they will be my milestones until the end of 2022.

The battle plan

Skill / MilestoneModelWhen?
LayeringSaurus WarriorsMay – June 2022
HighlightingSaurus WarriorsMay – June
ShadingSaurus WarriorsMay – June
BlendingSaurus KnightsJuly – August
Milestone 1Oldblood on CarnosaurSeptember
Milestone 2StegadonDecember

I am fired up to paint some stuff and enjoy the ride. So until next time, happy wargaming, everyone!


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