Interview with A Miniature Painter

Any Analog gamer of Warhammer, Dreadfleet or Zombiecide will own an army of well intricate painted miniatures. It is their pride and joy to have it self painted (or commissioned) as each miniature can take weeks to complete from assembly to painting. Among this group of tabletop gamers is Mr Shaun Tay, a Game Design Lecturer by day and a veteran miniature painter by night.

In this issue of POPCulture Online, the dynamic duo of Ken Koh and Alex Tan invades Shaun’s humble abode to take a closer look at the many masterpieces painted by Shaun and also to find out more about the man himself.


When did you started this hobby ?

Shaun: I started this around 9 years ago. There was a stint of a year-ish that I went on a painting hiatus though. Life just got in the way and I had to shelve it for awhile.

What inspires you for your art, any fellow artist (dead or alive) contributes to it that led you become an artist?

Shaun: I am usually inspired by my surroundings and the people around me. On one hand, I’m very fortunate to be working in an environment where there are a lot of creative people. On the other, I’m always motivated to look out for other artists who are better, and study their techniques too. Levelling up is always fun!

You are the second educator I’ve interviewed, how do you cope with your work and your art?

Shaun: I try to strike a balance between both. Painting minis started as a hobby, and I’m happy that it has translated into small portion at work. I enjoy sharing with my students, and that blurs the line between work and play in a meaningful way.


What are your tools of the trade? (Ken: Stares lost at Shaun’s arson of tools)

Shaun: Honestly, it depends on what I am working on. Generally a few specific brushes (I go down to size 000) and a few pots of paint. There are many other tools used for more complex work such as drills, jewellery files and modelling putty – all of which I can’t work without.

(Ken: refer to attached picture…just refer thanks)

Is there a particular genre that you prefer working on?

Shaun: I grew up with Fantasy – Fell in love. From Knights & Swords to Mages & Magic – all have always appealed to me. However, it’s not that I’m not a sci-fi person, as I’m quite fond of my Blood Angels army. Pew Pew!

On the other hand, when it comes to commissioned works, I always find myself growing to love what I’ve painted, so that’s cool too.

(Ken: commissioned $_$ )


Does the looks of the miniature affect you when you paint them ?

Shaun: Yes, definitely. I visualise how the character would behave and move based on its design. The paint work needs to reflect these things about the character. Also, I often incorporate army colours or special designs (such as a sword oozing with electric energy into my models).

(Ken & Alex: No nice no paint ~!!!)

If you would to choose a character (Game or Fiction) which  represents you, which would it be and why?

Shaun: Wow, there’s so many to pick from! I’m old school so I’m going with Goku. He’s always trying to outdo himself and always picks himself back up, whatever the odds. I’m still learning how to do all these things tho!

(Ken: Yup Goku so you, blur blur… but you super saiyan when you paint…Kudos)


If you were trapped at the back of a lift with full load and you have to fart very badly. what you you do?

Shaun: Ironically it has happened to me before. Fortunately, I was alone then. Butttt…Nobody really has to find out, do they?

Lastly this is for Kenneth (also a Warhammer player), “Is the Emperor gonna come back and kick chaos butt?”

Shaun: Humph! The pathetic sons of Sigmar have no power here. Chaos – It marks us all.

Thank You Shaun for your time and allowing us to admire your works!

Do check out more of Shaun’s works in the photo gallery below and also at his Facebook page: Shaun’s Painted Minis.

© POPCulture Online 2013, All Rights Reserved.

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