MamaGeek Minis > Hobby > Thief of Hearts WIP


Jeff Grace sculpted this beautiful winged archer for Dark Sword Miniatures


Step 1: Base Beginnings

First I took the wood block out to my garage and hacked at it with a saw and rasp for a while. Then I glued on pieces of cork and a small root from my garden. I will integrate the base of the mini into the cork at the top, so I left a hole for that.

I added sand to the base to represent dirt, then I used white primer on the upper areas and all the sand, which tends to soak up the paint if not primed. Finally, I painted the base, with many layers of gray, white, brown, and some violet



Step 2: Color Palette and Patterns

I finished the prep work on the mini. Now it is time to plan how I'll paint it.

I started with my color palette, trying out different combinations, until I found one that I liked.

Then I searched online for a wing pattern reference photo.  I couldn't find any real bird wings I like, but Google image search helped me locate this artwork created by a self-styled medicine woman who calls herself Morning Star.  I thought the pattern was perfect for this model!



Step 3: Beginning with the Skin

I began with the skin, using my new Da Vinci Maestro "Miniaturist" brush, size 2, that I had just ordered from

I base coated the skin with a layer of Reaper MSP Sandy Tan, mixed with white.

My second layer was a very, very thin teal that I mixed myself from Reaper MSP Clear Blue and some GW yellow paint I need to use up. I applied this in the shadow areas of the skin.

For the third step, I applied more shading using very thin Reaper MSP Sandy Brown, and went back and forth with that and white, to retouch any highlights that got pulled down too dark with the teal and brown.

Step 4: I applied more of the Sandy Brown, White, and Teal.
Step 5: Very thin blood red to bring the skin tone to life.
Step 6: GW Elf flesh to blend the tones together

I will return to work more on the skin later, but for now, let's move on to the cloak!



Step 4: Layering on the Cloak

Step 1: Base coat with violet mixed with white
Step 2: Shade with yellow mixed with black
Step 3: Shade with violet � it looks too pink! A wash of clear blue should fix it (see that started on the right side of the cloak)
Step 4: Finish the clear blue wash, then shade, highlight, shade, highlight with all of the above where they seem to go.

I spent two more hours applying the same colors as before, wherever they seemed like they should go (very imprecise description, I know, but that's how I work!)

Like the skin, I will return to the cloak later.



Step 5: A few "Painting Dates" later

I met up to paint with some local painters, and brought Thief of Hearts along. Since I wasn�t home with my camera and setup, I could only take photos after the fact.

What I did:
1. touched up the cloak
2. highlighted skin up to white, blended back into Dwarf Flesh
3. base coated the wings
4. base coat and first highlight of armor


Step 6: Fiddling, fiddling, fiddling

I spent several more hours fiddling with this and that. I have to apologize for the lack of a detailed description of the process. When I get close to the end of a project, I tend to paint with less deliberation and more "instinct."


Step 7: Finishing Touches

I finished up painting the figure, and glued her onto the base. I added sand in the gaps, as planned, and will paint them once it dries. I also thought the whole composition needed a little something, so I added a ferret. :-) I�ll prime and paint him up once the glue on him dries. I also plan to add foliage to the base.



All Done!

You can see more photos of the finished model in my Gallery.