A Girl Obsessed With Dragons – A Miniature Painting Story – Part I

I invite you to share in my journey painting the Legendary Dragon from Mythic Games!

Mary Crabtree


If you have read any of my reviews or bio, then you already know that I paint miniatures. This will not be a tutorial article series but more of a “this is what I did”. And, if you like the result, you can do it too! Before we get into all the details, I would like to share another little tidbit about myself and also how I got into the hobby.

First, I am obsessed with dragons! I will watch just about any movie or television show just because it has dragons in it. I started watching Game of Thrones only because of the dragons. I got hooked on that show because the dragons don’t show up until the end of season one! I only watched The Hobbit second movie because of Smaug. I couldn’t care less about the rest. 

So, when asked to paint the Legendary Dragon from Mythic Games, it was an easy decision. Throughout this article, you will see photos of the end result. Over the course of the series, I will go over what I did. So, stay tuned. Each article will publish every few days. This dragon was an add-on during the Time of Legends: Joan of Arc Kickstarter campaign and as I understand it, there will be another one coming up real soon for Joan of Arc 1.5.

I had always been afraid of the hobby of miniature painting because I never thought I would enjoy it or be talented enough to paint something so small. I, however, painted other things. I started doing paint parties years ago with friends and soon learned that I could just save the money, draw the picture at home and paint it. This became a small side hobby of mine I used to de-stress. I suppose you can call me an artist but I am by no means a professional one. But, there is one thing that I am. A perfectionist. If I take on a project of any kind, I will make sure it is perfect by my standards and see it to completion.

About two years ago, a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to paint miniatures with him. He had been painting miniatures long before I knew him but had put the hobby on the back burner for a bit and wanted to get back into it. I had not wanted to even try until I got the game, Tokaido. These miniatures just needed to be painted and looked fairly easy. So, he gave me a random miniature to practice with, taught me some techniques and away I went. I painted the one miniature and then jumped right into Tokaido.

Not long after, I bought Arcadia Quest because I always told myself that if I ever started painting, then I would definitely paint Arcadia Quest. Now, I am in the middle of painting several games. Tokaido, Arcadia Quest, Smog Riders, and Shadows over Camelot are all my current projects but I also plan to paint Black Rose Wars.

I am sure that there are some other games that I own that will be added to these projects. I love this hobby because for me; It is the merger of two hobbies: Gaming and Painting. I love gaming and I love to paint so now, when I paint, it is adding another level to gaming. And, I am in no hurry to paint them all. I use this as a method to de-stress from all the difficulties of life so I don’t put deadlines on these types of things.

Now, back to the dragon! This is the first time I have ever been asked to paint something miniature wise outside of my normal “de-stress personal time” so I felt a little pressure. This is my first large “miniature”. I have the Arcadia Quest dragons but I have yet to tackle them but they are still nowhere near the scale of this dragon. I have always had every intention of painting this dragon, but honestly, I lacked the vision for it.

My usual plan when painting a miniature is to paint it as they show it in the game. All of my Arcadia Quest miniatures are a direct representation of their character card. I can paint my miniatures using the exact colors. I have a direct eye for mixing paint and matching it. But, my artist skills lack creative visualization to start from scratch through drawing or painting.


For example, I can draw, but if you just told me to draw a horse, it will look like one of those round horses with sticks for legs and looking nothing like a horse. I cannot just freehand out of nowhere. That would be my brother, the cartoonist/character animator, who I will introduce a little later during this article series. If you show me a picture, I can, however, draw it decently.

I have painted some D&D miniatures with nothing to go on but they are not my favorites. I know that the dragon is part of the game and there are pictures on the box, etc. of the publisher’s intent on how it should look, but since I do not own the actual game, I wanted it to be a unique paint job.

Because of my lack of vision, I sought some guidance from my brother and another miniature hobbyist friend. Between the three of us, we came up with a plan. I ordered some things online, and it was all set to begin.

Be on the lookout for the rest of the series! It will publish every few days but for now, enjoy these photos of the end result. I would love to know your thoughts in the comments! This has been an enjoyable and interesting journey!

To be continued…..