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about me

I paint 20-30mm scale, fantasy and science fiction figures for use in role-playing and board games and offer a painting service to others. I started painting metal (lead) miniatures from the likes of Ral Partha, TSR and Citadel Figures back in the early 1980’s to use in my Dungeons and Dragons games. Back then I used Humbrol enamel paints and basic painting techniques, many of my figures from this time have unfortunately suffered from lead rot, and I am trying to preserve and restore them.

In the early 1990’s I purchased the Milton Bradley Boardgame Hero Quest and its expansions and painted the plastic figures with the new Citadel Miniatures Acrylic Paints. In the mid to late 1990’s I suffered a painting hiatus whilst I gained a Biochemistry degree and PhD.

My hobby resurged in 2004 when I became ill with CFS (ME); I began by trying to obtain another copy of Hero Quest to paint, which I soon realised was out of print. I purchased the Hasbro Dungeons and Dragons Boardgame instead (later followed by its expansions The Eternal Winter and The Forbidden Forest) and a starter set of Citadel Colours and set to work. It was at this time that I started to look at the hobby in more detail on the internet and was stunned by the quality of work being produced on sites like Cool Mini Or Not. This drove me to improve my own painting and to learn new techniques. As for boardgames, I managed to pick up Milton Bradleys HeroQuest and Space Crusade, TSRs Dragonstrike and Waddingtons Dark World, on Ebay and purchased Twilight Creations When Darkness Comes, and MBs Heroscape. When I discovered Fantasy Flight Games, I grabbed Doom the Boardgame and the expansion, Descent Journeys in the Dark and the Well of Darkness expansion, War of the Ring and Arkham Horror. I am still painting the miniatures from some of these games, you can see my progress in the gallery section of this website, along with my commission work.

I feel that my painting is improving all the time, I now use a mixture of acrylic paints - Vallejo Game Colour, Games Workshop Citadel Colors and Dervian Minis Paints; depending on the miniature requirements. I take great care in the preparation of the figures by removing mold lines and flash, washing to remove chemical residues, and ensuring the joints of multi-part figures are filled with modelling putty (green-stuff). I always prime my figures, with either white or black depending on the final colour scheme, apply base colours, use washes, blending and several stages of highlighting before finishing with a matt varnish. I am now exploring the many great miniature manufacturers for some cool looking figures to paint and sell, such as Reaper and Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40K and Lord of the Rings lines.

For those who want to put a face to me, here I am, alongside me is my faithful Tigger backpack. I've always wanted to watch the sunset from Glastonbury Tor with a nice bottle of red wine and a special person - so I added a picture to show that dreams can come true:

Photograph of Me Photograph of Tigger Backpack Photograph of Sunset at Glastonbury Tor

So this is the real me, the Tianna Starfall pseudonym evolved from the name of my character in the computer role playing game Baldur’s Gate. She was a sorceress, and extremely powerful by the end of the game :o) I got quite attached to her, so she was the obvious choice when I started joining forums and web-browsing, and the name has stuck.

I was suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS or ME) for many years and had to give up work as a Biochemist in 2004. The incredible support from my loved ones and the enjoyment of miniature painting, genealogy and computer gaming all helped me through those difficult times. It gave me time to reflect on my life and what is important to me and to learn how to put together a web site - although I still have much to learn about that!

I fully recovered from CFS in 2009 and re-built my life, which reduced my on-line presence for a while and put some of my hobbies on hold. I have now sorted the work-life balance and am painting and gaming again.

Last update 25 March 2018