Bring Your Own Brush – Miniature Painting

It occurred to me that I should post on here about my miniature painting.

I don’t want my blog to become all about mini painting, but it is an aspect of D&D and something I enjoy immensely.

First a little background. In 2012 the owner of my local game store (Guardian Games!) received some demo materials – some paint and a couple of brushes and some color guides. She offered to let me use them, then dug out a couple of old Warhammer figures to let me paint. My first figures weren’t primed, and they were painted with a very limited selection of colors. Surprisingly, I think they turned out all right for someone who had never painted a miniature:

In the following months I discovered I really enjoyed painting. Despite bad eyes, shakey hands, and many a cramped wrist, I started getting pretty decent at it.

So I plan to post here occasionally about whatever I’m working on currently, like this samurai that I’m painting for a friend (Rich Ellis!)…

samurai_mini_wipor this goliath warrior with a greatsword for one of my players…


… or any of the many other miniatures I have in progress!

Edit: A quick mention… I paint every Thursday Friday night at 6:00pm at Guardian Games, so if you’re in Portland, drop by and try your hand at mini painting!

The Lost Crown of Neverwinter Session 10: Paper or Plastic?

Here there be Spoilers: Players wanting to be surprised when they play Encounters should steer away now and come back later!

In the upcoming Session 10: Kraken Tunnels, I noticed the encounter has kraken tentacles and slimes. If you use minis, you’re kinda limited on what kind of mini to use to represent those tentacles. Of course there’s tokens and I don’t know what the availability of tentacle tokens are but even so I imagine they’re not that plentiful. So I came up with two sets of tentacle minis!


I made my own set of amazing tentacle miniatures. Not only was it easy, but anyone could do it! Unfortunately I forgot to take photos of my construction process. Nonetheless, here’s a quick guide on how I hacked together these wiggly miniatures.

  1. Find and purchase a plastic or rubber octopus toy.  I found this exact same octopus toy while I was in Seattle (I’m probably going to buy another from this online store so I can have two sets). The spread of the tentacles without too much webbing proved perfect for making miniatures. Plus, every tentacle on this toy is shaped differently, so the result is 8 unique tentacle minis!
  2. Use a craft knife to carefully sever each tentacle. Note: You must account for the way the tentacle will stand on the base. Some cuts needed to be cut at sharp angles so the tentacles wouldn’t touch the table once they were mounted. You can experiment: cut close to the body and you’ll have lots of length to experiment with angles. Cut an angle, stand the tentacle and evaluate, cut again if needed until you have something that looks great.
  3. Save the head: You can mount the head on a large base for a complete set. (Head is not pictured)
  4. Purchase mini bases or washers to mount your tentacles on.
  5. Clue tentacles to their bases using a hot glue gun. You may need to experiment with glues if you’re using a different octopus than the one I linked. I tried three kinds of glue for the Large Pacific Octopus toy and they all failed miserably. The rubbery toy doesn’t hold well to just being glued flat, it needs something to secure it all the way around the base. Hot glue looks less neat than what I was hoping for but it’s still holding strong. Still, the dried hot glue has a neat effect you can see in my picture. I plan on painting the bases with some green to give it a slimey effect.



I put together these paper miniatures for any Encounters DM that would like to use them. They’re a lot faster and cheaper than the plastic toy tentacles. They also have the added bonus of two extra tentacles on the sheet (in case you need to scale up your encounter) and two slime minis!  Simply print, cut, and fold to use these at your table.

Download the PDF here!