The Patron PDF copy of this post includes a few bonus work-in-progress pictures.
I think most miniatures fans love Halloween, and I’m certainly no exception! Reaper Miniatures has some Halloween treats available, including some special edition Bonesylvanians. I painted many of these when they first came out, so I thought I would share photos with additional angles, and also share my notes on the paint colours that I used to paint them. If you enjoy video, I talked about the Reaper Halloween promotions and showed these figures on a recent Beyond the Kit stream.
The roster of special edition Bonesylvanians available in October 2021. I didn’t paint all of them, but I painted a lot of them!
If you decide to buy any of these from the Reaper store, keep the Halloween promotions in mind. Any purchase whose packaging allows will receive a free bottle of one of two variations of Breast Cancer Awareness Pink. Purchases over $20 will receive a free Graveyard Doorway. (All of the Halloween promotions are while supplies last, and one per order per day, Ghoulie Bag supplies have run out.) Each $40 of purchase also receives the usual monthly gift with purchase as well.
The Halloween 2021 promotions from Reaper Miniatures.
I have a confession. When Reaper first came out with these figures and asked if I wanted to paint some of them, I was pretty nervous about the idea. I hadn’t really painted many chibi or cartoony type characters, and I wasn’t sure if my painting style would fit with that type of character. I was especially nervous about painting the eyes. My friend and fantastic painter Elizabeth Beckley had painted a lot of them, so I asked her for advice. She shared several video tutorials that she had made. I’m linking to these here, but since interest in chibi and cartoon characters and painting styles has been growing over the years, I’m sure you can also find some additional videos on YouTube if you’d like to see how other people approach it. (Video 1, video 2, video 3, and video 4.) And if you like Elizabeth’s teaching style, she is one half of the Miniature Monthly team along with Aaron Lovejoy.
Is this spectral bride as friendly and harmless as she looks?
Betty the Bonesylvanian was sculpted by Bob Ridolfi.
Painting in a monochromatic colour scheme can be both quick and educational. Most of these paints are no longer available, but I’ve worked out some alternate colours that I plan to share in another post.
I was particularly intimidated by the idea of painting the eyes on this type of figure. I found it helpful to do a web search for chibi eyes and study the various styles people had used. I mulled over my options and came up with the above as a general style for the more human figures. I then worked on variations for the more monstrous ones, with rolling crazy eyes like Jake, or filmed over dead eyes like Elsa and Boris (below), as well as eyes based on reptilian or fantastic creatures, like these pictures of Mary the Mermaid.
I wouldn’t mess with Mary’s pearls if I were you!
Mary the Bonesylvanian was sculpted by Bob Ridolfi.
These are the paint colours I used to paint Mary.
Once I got over my initial qualms and sat down to paint some Bonesylvanians, I had a ton of fun! The larger, simpler surfaces were a great way to relax and get expressive with my painting. The eyes were particularly enjoyable! Lots of space to add a few details. If you’re feeling stuck in a rut painting the same old thing, I highly recommend taking a break with something completely different, like this style of figure. I think they’re also a great choice to introduce newcomers and children to the hobby. (For that situation you might prefer the sturdier and inexpensive Bones plastic options.)
The couple that scares together, cares together.
Boris and Elsa are sold individually, but Bob Ridolfi designed them to be posed as if holding hands. I had a lot of fun working on nuances of the skin tones with these two.
The colours I used to paint the figures are listed above.
These are also the kinds of figures that make great gifts for friends and family who aren’t in the hobby. They’re a little larger scale and thus easier to see when displayed on a curio shelf or mantlepiece. Some of the limited edition figures shown on this page, as well as many of the Bones plastic versions, can be painted to portray characters from classic films, books, and tales that are more recognizable to people at large than many of our hobby characters are.
Jake may remind you of someone you’ve seen before. He’s looking for someone who enjoys Halloween movies as much as he does.
Jake the Bonesylvanian was sculpted by Bob Ridolfi.
The paint colours I used to paint Jake.
Reaper first released some creepy-cute Bonesylvanians for October 2014, which was followed up by the Valentines pair and then more Halloween figures in 2015. Many of the Bonesylvanians were later released in Bones plastic, but not all of them were converted to that material. The figures I’m showing here today have not been available since 2014-2015.
Howie’s fish doesn’t seem to want to play anymore, so he’s looking for a new friend.
Howie the Bonesylvanian (and friend) were sculpted by Julie Guthrie.
The colours I used to paint Howie.
If you haven’t painted metal figures previously, these are a great place to start. They’re all single piece figures, so there’s no assembly required. If you want to remove mouldlines, you can use files or a hobby knife. Just as with plastic figures, I recommend washing them with dish soap and water. The one thing you will need to do is apply a coat of primer before you begin painting. Reaper makes brush-on primers in white, grey, and black. The colour is personal preference, but you need primer to help the paint adhere well to the metal surface. I have more tips for how to make your paint jobs sturdy on both metal and plastic figures. I demonstrated some metal mini prep on a recent Beyond the Kit stream video.
Maddie just wants to get a really good look at you.
Maddie the Bonesylvanian was sculpted by Julie Guthrie.
The colours I used to paint Maddie.
I hope you’re enjoying the Halloween season, and playing and painting some spooky themed stuff!