Overview: The Tiny Furniture Medieval Bath Set consists of a wooden bathtub, a table to support it, a set of stairs, a half-barrel tub, a sprue of accessories, and a working set of drawers. The sprue contains a shave and shaving mug, two towels, two pitchers, a wooden bucket, and even a plug for the bathtub. The multipiece drawer set has two drawers that can slide in and out, two different "toppers" for the chest, and a wooden table to support it. Some pieces, like the chest, half-barrel, and pitcher designs are also available in other sets, such as the Medieval Tavern set.
The tub consists of two resin parts, the tub itself, and a "table" to support it. The table has a flat top, but creative sculptors can add a layer of greenstuff and carve in their own table surface. The tiny accessories on the sprue are indeed tiny, so be careful that you don't loose any of the pieces on a messy painting desk (like I did!).
The working chest of drawers consists of nine or so pieces that need to be put together. Like any assembled resin pieces, the pieces should be dry-fitted before assembly. Like the tub, the drawers have an optional small table that can support them. This table also has a flat surface, and could be made into a separate table. The chest has an optional "topper" with a carved tray-like surface. If not used, set of drawers itself has a wooden surface.
Painting Level: Beginner to Intermediate. Most of the pieces are represent wood, so painting them should not be a problem. The bathtub has a metal trim, so can be painted either black or metallic. Despite being such mundane objects, the pitchers and towels were the most difficult to paint, perhaps because most of us are familiar with them, that we unconsciously compare any painted artwork of them against the real thing. After the review, I'm including a painting guide to help paint this set. As I've said in a previous Tiny Furniture review, while most terrain miniatures let you get away with slapping on the paint, a wash, and a drybrush, Tiny Furniture's attention to detail means you will want to give them as much attention and work as any high-quality resin or metal figure.
Fantastic Price: Despite the number of pieces, the Medieval Bath miniature set comes at an affordable price, of $12 for ten or so miniatures (more than fifteen if you count all the parts for the working drawer chest!). You do have to pay for shipping, so I recommend buying several Tiny Furniture models at once, especially since you can paint many of the wooden terrain at the same time, assembly style.
Painted and Unpainted: As said, Tiny Furniture also has a painting service, in case you don't have the time (or skill) to paint these miniatures. However, check the site to see how long it will take to paint the miniature set. A picture of the painted version is at the end of the WIP pictures.
Conclusion: It's not easy to find a miniature of a wooden bathtub (hey, they're still a trope in westerns!), and I'm glad to see Tiny Furniture's attention to quality and detail for their tub. Tiny Furnture miniature sets aren't all that more expensive than other resin sets, yet have an incredible level of detail far exceeding them. Like any detailed set of miniatures, expect to spend much more time than simple terrain sets. I highly recommend these miniatures for your inns and homes, as well as practice for your miniature painting skills.
I'll be using this wooden bathtub for an upscale medieval inn (others won't even have a tub!), a western bathhouse, and a modern outside luxury bath (what's old is new, I suppose). Aside from the accessories, I think the only color decisions will be the metal band around the bathtub, and the optional "tray" on top of the chest of drawers. The metal band can be painted black or metallic. The "tray" can be painted ochre (to represent ivory), brown (to represent wood), metallic (to represent metal), etc.. Note that much of this painting guide is based on the one I wrote for the Tiny Furniture Tavern Set (which I actually painted at the same time as this one!).
To Sprue or Not to Sprue: As said, the accessory pieces come on a sprues. Painting off the sprue is probably a better idea, if you carefully superglue the piece to your painting grip. There's also a chance of scuffing the bottom of the piece after it's been removed from the sprue. There's also not much room between pieces to paint the "sides". However, being lazy, keeping the pieces on the sprue still had good results, in my opinion, and made them easier to paint assembly-style.
Prime and Pre-Wash: Not surprisingly, with everything brown, I started by brush-priming the pieces in a brown primer, followed by the Army Painter's brown Strong Tone Ink. This ink is a good general purpose brown for monsters and wood. (The brown brush primer I used was on the dark side, and I recommend a light color if you can find one.)
Wood: After the prime and pre-wash, I lightly painted the tables and chairs with INSTAR paint's Mud Brown wherever I felt this medium brown was necessary. I then highlighted the edges with Army Painter's pale brown Monster Brown. You can undercoat the edges with a lighter color, like Army Painter's ochre Skeleton Bone, before final highlight colors. Normally, I would highlight in a lighter color, but I've noticed that, with brown, manufacturers consider orange-brown to be a lighter brown. Personally, I find orange-brown better to contrast two different colors of wood (eg. tables vs. plates), while I preferred pale brown for highlighting. In any case, you can also drybrush the wood, emphasizing the space between the slats, then lightly drybrush the edges of the wood with the pale brown to add contrast. You may wish to emphasize the space between the boards with careful application of additional brown wash.
Black and Metal: The band around the bathtub has small studs, so I went with painting the band black, then the studs metallic. This, of course, means I have enough contrast so that I can see the small studs. If you choose to paint the band and studs metallic, you might want to use a dark wash around the studs to suggest shadows. The smallest accessories, namely the plug, shaver, and shaving mug, can be painted metallic. Paint with a black undercoat, metallic, wash with a dark wash, then highlight. The pieces might be too small to paint with reflection in mind.
Chest and Drawers: For the "tray" piece, I tried giving an ivory appearance with Army Painter's ochre paint and Army Painter's brown Soft Tone wash. Washes, however, don't work well on flat surfaces, and I ended up using it as a glaze. I don't think the effort was particularly worth it. As for assembling the chest, this wasn't at all difficult, and most of the pieces assembled fine with a dry fit and putty. The drawers have faces which you should orient in the correct direction (handles downwards) and superglue to the drawers so you can pull them out. In hindsight, I could have painted the faces ochre to balance out the ochre tray.
Pitchers: The pitchers and towels were the hardest parts to paint, because even non-metallic surfaces reflect light and cast shadows on themselves, through the curves of their shape. So, while you may not expect the pitches to reflect light like you would metal or glass, just painting the pitches a base color made the pitcher pieces appear "flat". Again, holding the piece to strong light, I blended darker color into the base color for the shaded side of the pitcher (and underneath the lip and belly of the pitcher), and paler highlight color for the lip of the pitcher, handle, etc. If you have Tamiya clears, you can try a coat of them on the pitchers to give them a vaguely glazed ceramic look. You may wish to use blue and green, since these colors are easier to work with than red and yellow.
Towels: Towels were the most difficult, because you need to see the folds, the "frayed" ends of the towels, and reflection of light. As with the pitchers, hold the miniature to a light source. Blend light and dark paints to transition for a shade. Washes may help thin the paint while keeping the color. Apply washes carefully to the fold and fray lines. Again, blue and green are easier colors to work with.
Conclusion: Hopefully, this painting tutorial will help you paint this set more quickly than I did. You can also use the Tiny Furniture painted version for ideas, as well.