Kuribo's Mansions of Madness WIP
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Thread: Kuribo's Mansions of Madness WIP

  1. #1

    Default Kuribo's Mansions of Madness WIP

    Hello everyone,

    I'm new to Cool Mini or Not and getting back into painting after a ten year hiatus. I've been playing Mansions of Madness Second Edition and was reminded how much fun painting minis can be. I love MoM and decided it would be way more fun to play with nicely painted minis. As you may know, these are not the greatest or most detailed minis but I have seen some painted well and I hope I can get them painted to a decent standard and improve my abilities along the way.

    While I did paint Games Workshop stuff before, I did not learn proper techniques and used toothpicks more than a brush to create clean but simple paint jobs. I would say they almost looked cartoony because of this crazy painting method. I want to learn how to paint at a higher level than that and perhaps at some point I'll share some pictures of my old style (I still have most of my best work stashed away).

    I hope that all of you good people can give me suggestions for how to improve and we can chart my progress here on this thread. With that goal in mind, I'm going to show off my early progress on the cultist mini. I'm batch painting five of these and I figure what better place to start than with the weakest villain in the game? In MoM's art, they are depicted as having plain black robes but I think that would make for a boring mini so I'm going with red and gray.

    So far I only have base coats down and need to decide what color to paint the staff but with Agrax Earthshade in the mail, it won't be long before I get this mini looking better. I've never done a wash correctly so I'm hoping this will be one of the first new techniques I learn!

    Since this is my first time taking pictures of minis, please let me know if the image is too large. It looks like it could be that way to me and I'm happy to lower the image resolution in the future

    Thank you for checking out my thread and I look forward to sharing my progress again in the near future
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  2. #2


    Hi Kuribo, welcome back to the hobby!

    Can't say I've heard of using toothpicks to paint before, but it's good you're looking to improve. Take a look at some of Games Workshop's YouTube tutorials for a good guide through some useful techniques (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enUq...3y6hx&index=66).

    I'm looking forward to watching the progress on your MoM 'Thriller' cultist:
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  3. #3



    Using toothpicks was not a good method at all. It was limiting overall even if I could pick out details on the miniature fairly well. I will take some pictures sometime this week of my Warhammer and/or 40k minis using this "wonderful" method to show you what I mean.

    Thank you for the advice! I have been enjoying watching the GW videos on Youtube, they are one of the biggest things that motivated me to take painting back up. It is so much easier to see the techniques. When I was painting before, Youtube either wasn't around or wasn't very big so I was relying on reading White Dwarf and trying to learn from it though to be honest, my odd painting method was not suggested by them!

    Haha! You're exactly right. These cultists may be followers of Michael Jackson and not Cthulhu! I just hope my mini doesn't end up being quite so shiny when all is said and done

  4. #4
    Freak! SaintToad's Avatar
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    These minis are going to contribute to an awesome-looking game.
    Fantasy Flight Games will also be releasing a cooperative LCG based upon the Cthulhu mythos in the next few weeks that you would be able to use these figures on.

  5. #5



    I completely agree. Mansions of Madness (while a bit expensive) really is quality. I think with nicely painted minis and the beautiful tiles you get with the game, the game will be really immersive for Lovecraft fans. I can't wait to get these minis painted and on the table!

    The card game does look pretty interesting. I was really into the Lord of the Rings LCG for a while and ended up being disappointed by it so I hope they can improve upon the ideas in LOTR LCG with Arkham LCG. I'm curious how it is going to be different than Mansions of Madness (which is already getting a lot of content) as well. FFG announced a new MoM expansion today which offers at least one new mini that looks awesome and higher quality than the previous minis though we'll have to wait and see what the final product actually looks like. It is a great time to be a Lovecraft fan, that is for sure!

    Thanks for visiting my WIP and it is always nice to talk to another Lovecraft fan!

  6. #6
    Freak! SaintToad's Avatar
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    Yeah, I don't play Mansions but I play Arkham Horror with all the minis. It adds so much to the fun. Immersive, as you say. I'm trying (well, really I'm failing!) to paint a whole Zombicide game.
    I will certainly buy Arkham Horror right away, and I will definitely play it plenty. I'll let you know if it's fun.
    Internet: you are witnessing a pleasant conversation between a Pittsburgher and a Cincinnati-er. This is heretical during football season.
    Last edited by SaintToad; 10-11-2016 at 10:21 PM.

  7. #7


    Ahh! Arkham Horror is a lot of fun too. I used to play it and while I still have fond memories of playing it, I found that adding expansions made it too hard to play solo because there is so much to keep track of and eventually stopped playing. Mansions cleans that up nicely and makes you feel a bit more like an investigator which it sounds like the card game will do as well. Do let me know what you think of the card game once you have it. Zombicide looks like a game I might want to try after I finish painting Mansions. The idea certainly appeals to me.

    Haha! Well as far as I know that comes from the football rivalry and I have given up on football and the Bengals several years ago. It seems the Bengals are destined to always disappoint so I hold no grudges against anyone from Pittsburgh or Baltimore or Cleveland for that matter

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    I have a painting update to share and a question as well. I finally got Agrax Earthshade and was excited to give one of these cultists a wash! I think I initially applied the wash effectively but decided the top of the mini needed more and foolishly applied a little more without seeing where it pooled so there are two spots that will need to be corrected on the back. I wanted the bottom of the robes to look darker than the top and was a little too successful in that regard. I plan on going back over the mini now and leaving the shadows in the appropriate places but am not entirely sure how to clean up the bottom of the cloak. Any suggestions? I hope that if I can apply the base colors back on and leave the shade where it needs to be, I'll be ready to highlight soon. I feel like I'm already improving as a painter and I hope that I can deliver on the details now. I have Kislev Flesh and brown paint for the staff coming in the mail so I should have more updates to share in a few days.

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    It has been a while since my last update. I have been painting slowly but steadily and focusing on getting the other four cultists painted up. I have made progress on my "lead" cultist and acquired a number of new paints and a palette pad from Citadel. Other than the staff which needs some shading, this mini is moving onto the highlight phase. I've already done the red parts and cleaned that up a bit. I have Evil Sunz Scarlet arriving very soon so that will help highlight it even further. I'm happy with my growth as a painter thus far (already starting to feel more confident with washes and shading) and I've made a number of rookie mistakes to try and avoid in the future (clean the mold lines better, water your paints down a bit when applying them, choose which parts of the mini to paint first and last, etc.).

    My biggest concern at this point is getting the highlights right. Especially they gray parts of the mini. I want the lighting to be overhead (for a creepier look) and while the red is coming along, I'm more nervous about the gray part which will be a bit harder to highlight. If anybody knows of good resources for highlighting/figuring out the lighting, that would be much appreciated! Any other comments or suggestions are appreciated as well

  10. #10


    Lol@"Thriller-Cultist"! :P
    But since you voice concern about getting the highlights right, we can actually put Foxtail's joke to good use here. Take a look at this modification of the pic he posted:
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    I've isolated one part of the image, (yellow inset,) blown it up, (black inset,) and reduced the color palette. These are good colors to be aiming for when you're shading this model. Sure, it looks extreme in this example, but you need to go extreme in order to really "pop" and create a good visual effect. You can make the material appear more of less shiny by choosing how abruptly you jump to the final highlight color. Hopefully, this will shine a bit of light in the right direction for you.

    Best of luck!
    Last edited by Thri Keen Priest; 10-23-2016 at 07:23 PM.

  11. #11


    Glad I could be of use!

    Red's quite a difficult colour to highlight well. If you just add white to the mix it has a tendency to make the material appear pink, even when just used on the highlights. Grey shouldn't be too bad, just keep adding white and hitting the sharp edges of the cloak.

    If you want to get a good judge of where you should be painting, hold the mini under a bright light like a desk lamp and take a picture. This will highlight (ha) the areas that need to be in light and shade.

  12. #12


    Thri Keen Priest and Foxtail,

    Thank you both for your advice. It has definitely helped me feel more for confident and I'm making progress on the highlighting phase. I look forward to showing off some new pictures in a couple of days. Painting thriller cultists may have been accidental but I'm really entertained and amused by it now

  13. #13


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    I’m finally back with another update. I decided to take some time to paint as much as I could and show “real progress” (more on that in a bit).

    I’ve also been studying other WIP threads and am blown away by how good you all are. I have a lot of work to do to become a better modeler and painter but I feel very inspired by the work I see on CMON and I’m happy to be part of the community.

    With that said, I have been making painting progress. I have 5 of the 6 cultists nearly complete now. I’m trying to take my time on the last one and make it look as good as I possibly can. I look forward to showing that off in the near future.

    I have acquired new paint in the meantime (as any painter should) and also one new tool. Abrasive sanding needles are incredibly useful especially for board game miniatures with bad mold lines. I have actually gone back and cleaned up some of the miniatures more and repainted aspects of them to improve their look and it really has been painless. I believe that the new needles will help me prep the minis better in the future.

    I also bought some awesome, substitute bases for the Mansions of Madness figures. They are the Dock/Quay bases from Model Display Products. I have just about finished painting one and I look forward to showing pictures of it in the near future. I think it will definitely help make these minis look better than the ugly bases you have seen thus far in my pictures.

    I’m also experimenting lighting because I haven’t been completely satisfied with the picture quality. This time I took the first three pictures of minis using the same method I have been using where I place three desk lamps around the mini. One over the top (but a fair distance away) and two on the sides closer to the mini. For the other two pictures, I also tried not using the top and light and trying to make the side lights face more towards the front. Does this improve the picture quality at all? When I take final shots, I’m going to create a better looking background which will also make a big difference so I look forward to that.

    With that said, I went from elation with my paint job as I was working on it, to now examining it more closely, and feeling a bit down on my painting the last couple of days. There is so much that could have been improved on these minis (especially basic cleanliness when painting which really shows up in pictures) and the flesh color scheme I followed from Games Workshop was bad. Rakarth Flesh as a base, then Kislev Flesh, Reikland Fleshshade, and then Kislev and Screaming Skull as the lightest highlight does not look good or blend well at all. I noticed that GW changed their recommendation for “Pale Skin” recently and for good reason. I’m going to experiment with some other ways of painting flesh and see if that helps. Sorastro’s painting videos on Youtube seem to show a better method. I feel like the shading and highlighting could have been better on these minis and I’m also kind of surprised at how much the paint job varies from mini to mini. I never was good at “batch painting” when I painted Warhammer and had a lot of variation mini to mini and that is the case here.

    I know it takes many models and a lot of patience to get better and I’m trying to look at it like, I’ll just have to keep painting and keep trying to improve as best I can. I feel like these minis are good to cut your teeth on but more challenging to create a really excellent paint job with too. To cheer myself up, I think I will compare one of my newly painted Thriller cultists to my favorite (at the time) Warhammer 40k mini where I started to fall in love with the “toothpick painting” method. I have a feeling we will be able to see a big quality difference even though I’ve just started back in this hobby. Thank you as always for reading and if you have any suggestions for how to improve, whether it is picture taking or painting, I greatly appreciate it!

  14. #14


    Don't feel down at all, you're making excellent progress. With the flesh tone, I don't think it looks bad at all, it may just need another very gentle highlight to bring the total brightness up a touch. With the colours you have, I'd recommend basing with Rakarth flesh, then shading with Fleshshade, going back and repainting all but the deepest shadows Rakarth flesh again to neaten everything out and then hit everything that wouldn't be in shadow at all with Kislev. That should give you a good solid mid-tone to start with. After that, place a little Kislev on your palette and thin it as you normally would, do the same with screaming skull. Begin by adding a little bit of skull to the Kislev flesh and start painting the areas in light, then add a little more skull and highlight a slightly smaller area. Keep doing this until you have just screaming skull on the very sharpest features of the flesh. This sort of layering will really boost the contrast and the smoothness on your mini.

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    I took your first image and last image (colour corrected and upped the contrast a tad) just to demonstrate side-by-side what progress you've made. A lot of hobbyists would paint it like you first did, and leave it there fairly happy. Pushing yourself will naturally make you a good painter, and making mistakes is a part of that. And if you ever feel down about what you're doing just remember that just by trying it, you're a better painter than most.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Octavian80's Avatar
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    Hey Kuribo! I'm also picking up painting after a decade+ hiatus. One of the things that I have learned is thinning ttyl8r paints. I haven't come close to mastering the correct consistency but what I have done over the last couple months has helped with blends and smoother transitions. So if you haven't thinned your colors, try doing that. Maybe even look into getting some glaze medium or flow improver. I get discouraged too. But I just keep telling myself that I'm just starting out again and the only way to get better and make models like the awesome artists around here is to practice. People like you and I aren't going to get crazy good over night or after one paint job. Just have to persevere and keep cracking at it.

  16. #16


    I am with Foxtail, i definately see improvement in your painting. Also the ladt two pictures look better from a lighting standpoint on my iPad.

    And don't get discouraged. EVERYONE sees things they could do better. Even the super duper award winning painters on this site.

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    Foxtail - Thank you for helping me see the progress and for suggestions on the flesh tones. I will definitely be focusing on that for my future minis to make sure that I improve in this area. You're right that I have already made a lot of progress and I should not lose sight of that.

    Octavian - Great screenname (makes me think of Roman history which I love) and I couldn't agree with more with you on thinning the paints! That has been a revelation for me as I have gotten better at painting these first six minis. You can tell the minis I painted first versus the last two where I thinned the paints and got the desired results.

    KruleBear - Thank you for the words of encouragement. It always means a lot to hear from experienced painters such as yourself.

    I'm going to shoot for a weekly update to keep these posts from being too long. I have been promising pictures using the infamous toothpick method and I thought I would show off some of my favorite 40k models I painted. This was early on in the toothpick method days after maybe six months to a year of painting. When I look at these now, I remember why I was proud of them (color scheme looks good) but also how much I have improved. So many little mistakes here and there and no real blending. I really have improved even just since I restarted painting. I will show off some of my Warhammer figures later on which is when I started to improve at this method and got better as a painter.
    This week I focused on the last cultist and I have to say, it is looking sharp. The sharpest of the six anyway. When I get it finished (which should be very soon) I will definitely show off pictures. One thing I forgot in my dismay last week is that I can always touch up any painting that suffers from minor brush control issues. My main artistic hobby is drawing and I use "traditional" methods meaning I ink my drawings. When you ink something and make a mistake, it is permanent so I was coming at my minis with the same attitude. Fortunately, I can fix my mistakes and I will try and do that at least for some of the cultists and I might redo the flesh paint if I can though I'm also hesitant to put too many layers of paint on a figure.

    This week I've started preparing and painting the Innsmouth Mob. I'll have pictures of those next week because I'm not very far along. They are going to be a pretty big challenge for me and require that I get better at painting skin in a hurry.

    The main thing I worked on was my new bases and they have been fun to paint. Drybrushing is a technique that I have some experience with and I tried my best to blend the paints on these bases. Considering I just jumped in and gave it my best effort, I'm fairly happy with the results. I don't know if I did the contrast and highlight levels that well but I think overall, these certainly look good enough that with a cultist on them they should really set the mood and look nice when I get back to playing Mansions of Madness. I'm going to tackle bases with wood on them this week which will be yet another good challenge for me. I never was very good at it and I’m shooting for realistic looking wood.

    If you have any feedback or suggestions, it always appreciated and I looking forward to another week of painting and following all of your work here on CMON!

  18. #18


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    Well I wasn’t sure how good the holiday break would be to me painting-wise but I would say I got more done than I expected and am happy to show off some new stuff. I have the final cultist done and on a base. I’m going to add a few more finishing touches to it before I take a final picture. I really look forward to showing you that in the near future.

    What I have worked on is a wooden base from Model Display Products. I don’t remember ever painting anything like this successfully before but I’m happy that after initially botching the paint job and starting over, the end results looks pretty decent. I don’t know if it has enough highlights or not but I think it will definitely fit in with the interior Mansions of Madness tiles which was my goal.

    The other thing I tackled is one member of the Innsmouth Mob (I don’t know if that is the real name but that is the scenario they appear in the game so I’m going with it). This guy is the first of three figures that all go on a base together. I will have to get a larger base because they won’t fit on a 30mm base. The sculpt on this guy is poor (there aren’t even any eyes!) but the clothes were pretty fun to paint and I think that I might have done a little better with the flesh shading and colors this time? I’ll be curious to hear what any of your think. I do think the axe is too shiny and my attempt to highlight the edges doesn’t work because sculpt is so flat. I may just make it all Leadbelcher and be done with that part of the mini.

    As always, I appreciate you taking a look at my thread and for offering any feedback you might have. I look forward to another week of painting and seeing all of your awesome projects!

  19. #19


    Looking good Kuribo. You've done a good job on what appears to be a slightly inferior model. Bases are looking cracking as well.

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    Thanks Foxtail for the kind words!

    Well it has been a very odd week for me. I got sick and stayed home from work for two days so I got a lot of painting done in many ways which was nice but things are also getting busier and busier with the holidays and I’m hoping to move soon (which will be a very positive change for me). That will surely impact my painting time negatively so I’m glad I got some extra work in.

    I finished another of the Innsmouth Mob and only have one more to go. I ordered a base that will hopefully fit all three but we’ll see once it gets here. I’ll hold off on pictures of them until they’re closer to being done.

    What I do want to show off is I finally finished two of the “Thriller“ cultists. One I really touched up a number of paint issues and feel a lot better about. The pictures of these look great though I could not seem to get my camera to focus on the miniature all that well or to make the image of the miniature itself bigger while having my camera focus on it instead of the Mansion of Madness tile or the background image. In that sense, I feel like some of the flaws of my painting is hidden in a way that I necessarily didn’t want. It didn’t help that I’m trying out Corel Paintshop for the first time on the second image and have no idea what I’m doing. With that said, the pictures do look great and are quite possible the best looking minis I have painted.

    I appreciate the kind words and encouragement you all have provided. I’m really enjoying painting and feeling like I’ll get better and better in the coming days.

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