Zenith:Unknown development diary 6: In which I decide to paint a couple of miniatures and show a hint of the things to come

Pornstache Productions
5 min readNov 11, 2019

Let’s start in reverse this time, eh? Let me first show you the now-mostly-complete version of the new ship board prototype.

For me this is huge. I mean getting it up to this level starting with the last concept took a good hundred hours. Or maybe two hundred. Or maybe even more. I lost the count long time ago, but I’d say there might as well be 2000+ hours in total invested into the game so far since the beginning. Or more.

The board will most certainly go through few more cosmetic iterations before I go out and print it, but the end result, at least at this time, shouldn’t be far from this. The “funny info” part will remain mostly untouched, in particular.

Having completed the ship board, few more things remain before I finally put the bloody thing on the table and play it. Painting the miniatures is one of them. Since this Saturday was quite a fine day and the weather was amazing, I decided to try and see what happens when I paint a couple of the bastards.

Thanks to my creative wife, there are tons of brushes and various types of paints lying around, so there is no shortage of tools I could use. I thought I’d go with white primer first, so I went out and bought a can, then constructed some sort of painting shed out of an old shoe box, sat it on top of the balcony table, hung the Suka and began applying the primer.

After applying the first coat, two things became visible. Fine details became much more sharp, which was amazing, but also support joints became so much more apparent. It could not have remained like this, so I grabbed a 380 grit sandpaper and gently worked them out, then applied another coat. Once it dried, I saw few uncovered spots left, so had to apply another one.

I could not see it before pictures got downloaded and displayed on the big screen, but there was already some bad distortion at the bottom, which became much more visible after the third coat. Actually, the entire bottom part looks like it melted. And it seems I also rushed it, as there were touch marks on the surface. But I did not notice that over my excitement, so I moved on to detailing.

Kometa corporation style has been defined in the beginning, so the Suka would be painted accordingly
I decided to go with acrylic paint. Not sure if there are actually any other options anyway.

Frankly, I know my skills and I know my limitations and while in my wild dreams I was expecting to get something in the lines of Rogue One figurine set I got for my then 7 year-old two years ago and that left me quite speechless, something inside me was skeptical about it.

I mean… Just how do you beat or even come close to such fucking level of detail if you are not a bloody robot?!

This is the way Z:U miniatures have to look like in the end. They must look amazing and that’s all about it as far as I’m concerned. I don’t care if people can play with solid color cast out plastic pieces of shit or badly painted over 3D-printed pieces of other shit. It’s their choice, it’s their money and that’s fine.

But as long as this is my game, it will never come out unless it looks great to me personally. Even if it takes a shitload of Chinese kids to paint miniatures day and night.

And hey, don’t point that finger you just pulled out of your ass at me.

This is how the world works, get used to it, oh-so-engaged-in-social-activity-but-otherwise-quite-comfy-living princess!

Took me well over an hour to painstakingly give the best of me. Not sure how many coats were applied, no less than 4 anyway (plus 3 coats of primer), but the result seemed all right to me at the end. At least for a first ever attempt.

Once more, until I saw the pictures later…

Most of the tiny details were lost and apparently going full retard with unthinned paint at the end just trying to cover certain spots where my not-so-steady hand left few stains was the stupidest idea I could have came up with.

Still, considering this was the first time I’m doing anything like that in my 43 years and aesthetically-wise being a lad who’s fascinated mostly by palette knife pieces of art, besides all the common sense I tried to put doing it, this shouldn’t be a wildly unexpected result.

I mean, it’s not that bad. It’s not really visible, until you decide to look at it in detail and once more, these miniatures are just the first ever prototypes and they are meant for my personal use only, but considering I’m typically spending unimaginable amounts of time putting single pixels at their respective places, it annoyed me a bit.

And to give you a much clearer example just how OCD’ed I am about this game, at some point I developed the idea of dropping some cigar ash over the fresh paint, so it looks like wear once it settles.

However after I gave it a second thought and with my disappointment of the results already present, I decided to just call it a day and have a cigar and beer in peace, for this was more than enough of an effort on an otherwise amazingly fine and calm Saturday afternoon.

So cheers until the next dev diary or the one after the next, in which the prototype should be finally shown in its full glory. Considering a shitton of finishing work in the lines of additional hundred hours is done first, that is.

a proper sci-fi board game



Pornstache Productions

Solo-dev-obscene-mothefucker-one-man-army. Creator of Deep Space Noir adventure game, Zenith:Unknown board game and a metric shitton of popular media.