Set pieces are my favorite type of miniature. They add so much detail to a scene. I painted this rickety cart for our new campaign that is going to take place in our very own homebrew world. The cart is supposed to be made of cheap wood so I tried to recreate that look.
This miniature was another Wizkids miniature that I bought for five dollars at my local game shop. They really are worth it. I love how they already come primed and ready to paint. It makes my life easier by cutting out an entire, very tedious, step. I began by applying a base coat of very light brown. It took about two layers of lightly watered down paint to get the desired opacity. I then used my dry brush to add some light yellow to the wood as the second layer. It lightens the wood a little further which is what I want for this mini.
For my next step, I added a second dry brush layer. This time I used white paint to add the last layer of dry brush paint. I wanted to get the effect of birch or balsa. The idea is that a cart is constantly being used and abused so expensive wood would not be used to make one. It made more sense to make it a light wood than a wood that is darker and looks more expensive. It is so light in the photo below that the detail is almost lost but the next step will fix that issue.
I used a brown wash for the last step in my wood painting process. The wash serves multiple functions. It deepens the shadows in the wood which brings out the details that are lost during the base paint process. It also dirties the wood a bit, making it look worn and used. Aged items are what allows us to create varied scenarios. You can also manipulate the “age” of an items with the density of wash you apply. If there’s a lot, then it might have been an abandoned cart with crusts of dirt clogging it up. If there isn’t much then it might mean the cart is new.
My final step was to add all the little details. I used a Rigid Leather effect paint for the lashing that holds the cart together. Then I used some metallic paint to fill in the bolts on the wheels and the iron loops on the handles to allow the owner to hitch up a horse or other hauling animal. Combined with the wash, the final details bring the miniature cart to life. All that is needed is to put it into a scene to see how it looks.
This was a super fun and easy paint job. Overall it took a total of six steps to paint the entire miniature. It also took me less than an hour to paint. My favorite part was applying the wash. It is really easy to underestimate the effect a good wash can have on a miniature. Now I have a wonderful new set piece to try out!
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