By Jef Rietsma
Collector? Bri Neddo.
Collection? Dungeons and Dragons miniature figures. Neddo said painting the pieces is as much a part of the collection as collecting the figures themselves.
How did your collection begin? “My husband, Jon, bought me a set of two Mimics in 2017, our first Christmas together. That night I painted my first miniature and I haven’t stopped since.”
What kind of paint do you use? “I use acrylic paints. I typically use Reaper brand or Citadel brand paints, which are available only at specialty places like Odyssey Games in Kalamazoo and Mark’s Game Corner in Portage. They have a wide variety of colors and the paint is higher quality.”
Why do you paint the pieces? “They are made with the intention of being painted. Beyond that, for me, it’s my go-to stress reliever. It’s therapeutic. You can buy them already machine-painted, but the quality of the paint job isn’t even close to what I do.”
How do you know what colors to paint the figures? “I typically Google search the creature I’m painting to get an idea of what other people have done but I also like to add my own touch.”
Neddo said it takes about a full day to paint a single miniature.
Do you have special tools to help you paint? “I have a magnifying lamp, but I work under special lighting and I have a variety of specialty brushes, some with as few as three bristles. The various brushes are used based on the level of detail required. I recently acquired an airbrush, too.”
You also work on commission, correct? “Yes, I have an Etsy shop (“Brunette With A Brush”) online where I sell miniatures already painted and I also offer commissions. They can tell me what miniature they want and how they want it painted, then I go to work to fulfill the request.”
Neddo said she has never had a figure returned because the customer was not satisfied with the paint job.
Do you have any idea the value of your collection? “The paint is considered high-pigment and comes in 2-ounce bottles and they cost about $7 a bottle, so we have quite an investment in paint alone. The figures are a separate cost and vary in price based on size and exclusivity.”
Do you have an opportunity to showcase your talent outside the Internet? “There are gaming conventions that we attend. The first one of the year, Marmalade Dog, happens to be at Western Michigan University. The national, Gen Con, is later in the year in Indianapolis but I can’t afford a vendor table at that one. It’s like $2,500.”
Footnotes: Neddo, 31, is a Vicksburg resident who has always had a love for art. She has recently extended her talent into creating detailed dioramas, which are used by her husband and his friends as a game board for their D&D activity. Her email address is: email@example.com. She is also on Facebook and Twitter.