This month, our Featured Creative is the incredibly talented Benjamin Porter who is a professional miniature painter. He really brings these gorgeous lumps of plastic to life (which if you’re me, makes you buy more of them). If you’re a board game publisher that features minis and you need them looking their best for promos, or you’re looking to commission your own personal army to be painted up, you can find Benjamin here on DoodleMeeple.
What gets you excited to get to your paint station in the morning, outside of a cup of coffee?
The desire to improve. I always strive to either improve upon the last thing I painted with a new project or to try something new. I think it’s good to always push your boundaries – to always strive to be better. There’s always something new to learn.
How did you take this from a hobby to become a professional miniature painter?
It was mainly precipitated by a change in circumstances, to be honest. This year has been crazy for everyone in different ways because of the pandemic. My son was born just last year, too, so I had to find work where I could still be around to look after my son so my wife could carry on with her job. The answer seemed to be staring me in the face with commission painting.
I set up a page and was fortunate enough to land a few clients very quickly. I already had a lot of pretty good images of pieces I’d done so it was really just collating them and getting the word out.
How would you describe your process?
Oh, man. My wife says I live in my head. I daydream a lot so sometimes an idea will just come to me, other times I’ll be watching a show or a film and an idea comes from there.
But I would say that I try to think about the story I want the miniature I’m painting to tell. We live in a golden age for miniature painting with all these incredible sculpts from many different companies available but I think of it a little bit like the miniatures are actors and I’m a director. Where is this model? Why is he there? I find asking myself these sorts of questions gives me clarity if I’m struggling with what I should do with a model. The answers to those questions give me a direction for how the model should, whether it should be all weather-beaten and dirty, or pristine and polished.
What is ‘batch painting’ and what’s the secret to batch painting well?
Batch painting is a method used for painting lots of models in a similar colour or style fairly quickly. It gets used a lot for painting Warhammer and historical armies, for example. You’re basically forming a wee assembly line to get things done a bit quicker. You’ll paint the skin on all of them, then the armour, then the leather, etc rather than painting them up individually as you would with characters or officers.
The key to batch painting well is to have a solid idea of how you want everything to look, map out how you’re going to do it, and stick to it. I think that discipline is very important to batch painting well. If you try to go into batch painting without a direction you’re going to have a bad time.
If you could fully paint up one existing board game that includes miniatures what would it be?
What’s your favourite colour meeple?
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Doodle Meeple Featured Artists
At DoodleMeeple we’re always looking for amazing new talent to show our growing list of creators.
We like to get to know our creatives personally to see what makes them tick. We know that when a creative finds a project they’re passionate about, they produce their best work.
That’s why we’re going to be interviewing the creatives that stand out to us, whether they are creating Kick-Ass work or just doing something really different, we want to know what creators can do to engage their brains and get them building out of this world projects with you.
With such a range of a diversity in our creatives, we can’t wait to see what we learn from them, that we can pass to you and spark some new exciting ideas.