Progressing on a hobby like miniature painting can be tough, but believe me when i say it’s even tougher in Brazil. Almost everything has to be imported here which leads to taxes and all… I don’t mean to bore you just give you a picture of what happens here so I’ll continue a little further.
Brazil is a country of continental proportions so the gaming community over here is pulverized amongst lots of states, so getting together with like minded people to exchange experiences and impressions on miniature painting, and getting some games underway, is quite a pain giving the afore mentioned country size.
The internet contributes a lot when it comes to exchanging experiences and all (our forum here is a central hub for that: Warhammer Brasil) and can help you improve a lot if you can find the right tutorials on the various miniature painting forums and artist websites out there (like Warseer and BOLTER AND CHAINSWORD to name a few).
But some people out there are like me who learn a great deal from watching other people paint, I surely improved more watching people like David Rodriguez and Bob paint, and listening to their instructions, then I did trying to mirror other people’s paint jobs.
Before I move on to the product review itself I find important to explain was I was so excited at buying the CD-ROM at first place.
Back in 2004 I stumbled on two awesome space marine models, a Salamander Captain and an Unnamed Captain, which blew my mind away, specially because they were similar in a way to the work of a French painter I admire called Cyril Abati (because of the painted scratches I guess) but also looked crisp with a neat paintjob. The models were of course painted by Kaple, whose site after that was promptly added to my favorites list.
It comes as no surprise I was eager to lay my hands on painting instructions from a guy capable of such masterpieces, so onwards with the review now.
The CD case describes it’s content as “The best way to start, if you wish to learn to paint showcase miniatures” in the words of the renowned and already mentioned painter Cyril Abati, but I beg to differ as I found the material wanting in some aspects, but I’ll elaborate further on it.
The contents are divided into three main areas BASIC TECHNIQUES; INFORMATION and PICTURE TUTORIALS which ill describe briefly.
The first of them BASIC TECHNIQUES compiles all the videos included in the CD, each of them dedicated to a given technique. There are 6 short videos, with simple and easy to follow instructions on how to achieve the explained effect/technique, and even tough the box advertises “more then 20 minutes of high quality subtitled video” I think it’s little more then that and therein lies the problem for me… I expected more.
The second section, INFORMATION, compiles theoretical and practical information related to the miniature painting hobby, but I found most of those of little value, with the exception of the Wet Palette instructions, and even that was already available on the web: Wet Palette 1; Wet Palette 2; Wet Palette 3 and Wet Palette 4.
The third and last section PICTURE TUTORIALS as the name implies compiles quite a few photo tutorials by the author and a couple by guest painter and UK Slayer Sword Winner Jakob Rune Nielsen, this is were the CD shines once more and at the same time disappoints me.
Inside PICTURE TUTORIALS we can find various techniques sorted into MEDIUM (blood, mud, metal and some other techniques fall in here) and ADVANCED (NMM, SE-NMM, Gold NMM and freehands are in here) some of which were already explained by Kaple in his old website like the Scratches Tutorial and the NMM one (for more Kaple tutorials check the following links: Brush Maintenance; Dirty Cloth and Metallic Gold).
As I said the CD shines here because Kaple share his views on how to achieve his results in portraying effectively different effects on small scale but it disappointed me because I wanted to see all this in videos, which would not only give us a more in depth view on them but would also be easier to understand, and I also believe that having access to painting videos is the hallmark of such a product.
In spite of my considerations so far I still find the “Miniature Painting CD” a great purchase, recommending it to all those out there interested in painting miniatures, even if it was below my expectations.
I feel obliged to mention some people, me included, experienced problems recently while trying to run the CD as a Microsoft security update (namely security update KB917422) started crashing with the copyright program which comes in the CD. That problem has already been hotfixed and if you experienced it you can get it sorted out following this link.
I should also mention Kaple’s interest in the problem and prompt and kind answers to it! Great tech support there mate.
That’s it for now and thanks for reading this far…