I’ve discussed the idea of display painting versus tabletop painting but I don’t think I’ve shown almost any of my best projects on this site which is something I aim to rectify! Its also well-timed as I got a bunch of Goblin Town terrain finished this week but not enough to make for an interesting post. I do have one LOTR mini to show off but first I’d like to share the first mini I ever painted for display.
Display painting is when you focus on painting a miniature to the best of your abilities and for the sole reason of displaying or entering in a competition. You generally don’t do display painting for a gaming piece (unless someone is paying you for that quality work in a commission) in my experience. Display painting is something I dabble in because it is high stakes and can be quite frustrating. I could never paint that way all the time because any mistakes you make feel like a disaster because what you painted is no longer your best work as soon as you realize it. I’ll mostly talk about completed projects in the coming weeks but rest assured, I’ve had a number projects (like the Breaking of the Fellowship) where I thought I’d start off by doing display painting and ended up giving up altogether or switching to a tabletop standard.
The first piece of displaying painting I ever did was this guy. A Knight Questor from Warhammer: Age of Sigmar. This was before I got into LOTR SBG and I was really just painting to paint and learn as much as I could. I bought the army book (or whatever it is called) for Stormcast to see different color schemes of the army and get an idea of the lore behind them. I would never do that now as I did not get $20 out of that book but oh well, I was younger and dumber back then! I came up with a concept straight out of the lore for a Knight Questor who ended up in a chaotic hell but was still bravely forging ahead. It worked perfectly with the lore as these guys supposedly went on quests against evil quite often.
I learned a ton from this project and honestly, as I look at it now, there is so much that I could have and would do better now if given the chance. At the time, I didn’t know how to work with metals that well but I felt like I really did a good job on the sword with the realistic scratches and that generally, the metal is well shaded. I think it could use even brighter edge highlighting on the gold but it still looks nice and is above tabletop standard.
The base is something I am proud of too. It is from Scibor, a cool Polish company, that makes pretty cool minis for Warhammer that GW doesn’t make anymore (Dwarves and Chaos Dwarves come to mind). I think the demons contrast nicely with the knight and brings my vision for this display piece to life. That may seem like a fairly easy or routine thing but I often find that the concept in my mind does not always get realized in these projects so I’m really proud of the results in this case.
So as I have the motivation and when I’m not too tired, I’ve been working on painting Theoden on Foot at display quality. The Golden Demon is coming up in March and if I’m going to enter something, I need to get going on it now, hence this guy. One thing about display painting I struggle with is being patient which is why I’ve really slowly been chipping away at Theoden. The gold on his armor really looks nice and pops in hand even more than it does in this photo. I have the hardest part (his shoulder plates) to work on next which are really close to things like his hair and face which are already done so those will be challenging to paint. As I get further along, I will show off some more pictures and hopefully I end up with a really nicely painted piece at the end of this long process.