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Otherworld's New Toys
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TOPIC: Otherworld's New Toys
#22849
Otherworld's New Toys 7 Years, 7 Months ago  
If you are new to painting, I would not necessarily recomment a $00 investment into paints. Instead start off by puchasing a couple of brushes and a small paint kit and see if you enjoy painting. You;ll learn pretty quick if you have a knack for it or not.

For paintes I would recommend a Reaper starter paint kit or Vallejo paints. GW's paints used to dry up real fast in their containers (they have redesigned them but I am still bitter over 200 wasted dried-up bottles!!!), and I've never had much luck with Testors paints....

-Aracon
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#22850
Otherworld's New Toys 7 Years, 7 Months ago  
Definitely start out cheap -- you'll almost certainly consider your first efforts "not worth keeping," unless you really don't care about how much better you are guaranteed to get. Or, of course, if you have tons of room and don't mind storing them for nostalgia's sake...!

Start with only 3 or 4 colors, and find some cheap minis. Heck, get a pack of DDM figures, $15 for seven minis, that's about as cheap as it gets. Practice on them.

Also, here is a short list of tips -- things it took me a long time, and many wasted minis, to figure out, if only I had listened to people!!! This stuff is all very easy, very basic stuff, can be done immediately, no skill or experience or talent requiered!

1. Pick your colors carefully. If you don't have a good idea of what you want, do something very basic. Too many colors, with no arrangement or structure, can easily look cluttered or messy. We know you want something eye-catching, but at first, just paint an all-brown robe or a red outfit with a black cape. Simple can be effective, and it's essential when you're starting out.

2. Learn to inkwash! It makes all the difference in the world, and IT IS NOT HARD. Just figure out the right ratio of water to paint, and just slap it on. (I call it "inkwashing," but I never use inks -- like many people, I just mix paint with water, usually 1 part paint to 3 parts water, if not more -- figuring out the exact ratio depends on the paint you use and the effect you want, so you have to do it yourself and see what you like)

You almost have to TRY to mess it up. Me, I use a brown inkwash over light tan for flesh, and for most basic detail work. For some colors, you can mix it up -- red, blue, and green are great if you want the final product really to zing. But a basic brown wash always works, though it does make things darker and gives a vague brown tint to everything -- makes 'em look dirty or at least less bright (doesn't make them look BROWN, though -- just gives shadows a darker edge). As you get better, you can exploit the translucence of most paints by mixing and matching -- green wash over blue base, red wash over white base, blue wash over green base, etc. But you will absolutely pick out some fantastic details and get a figure that looks remarkable if you do a wash of some kind. It will take a figure or two for you to figure out the chemistry of your paints -- which get gummy, which get watery, etc. But it's worth practicing, you'll be blown away by the results. Nothing makes a rotting zombie or nasty shambling mound like purple, green, and brown washes over a basic flesh base!

3. Remember you can FIX things. It took me AGES before I realized that if I slipped up and put paint where I didn't want it, I didn't have to leave it there! If you're painting a satchel and the brown accidentally goes onto the tunic, just go back to the tunic color and cover over that brown! If your belts and straps have sloppy paint, go back and erase the overspill when you're done! I don't know why, but I used to think mistakes could not be repaired, had to live with 'em. But whatever you mess up, remember you can always fix it. Knowing that will help you to relax and have fun with it, and also remind you to go the extra mile to polish up a mediocre figure into something much nicer.

4. Don't worry about drybrushing immediately -- it is harder than washing, and it takes a lot more practice and patience to get it just right. But -- eventually - you DO want to try it. It brings out a lot more detail, makes things pop, look crisper and cleaner and less sloppy. It also is absolutely essential for things like fur, hair, chainmail and so on -- really brings out patterned textures like that well, and without it they'll never look as good. But you will definitely need to practice.

Once you get good at inkwashing and drybrushing, you'll get used to the fact that your initial coat will never, and almost never SHOULD, look at all like what you have in mind for the final product. Drybrushing will change the color, so don't START with the final color if you want any detail or finesse with your drybrush. Inkwashing will change the color, so don't start with the final color if you want shadows and depth in wrinkles, folds, etc.

5. Speaking of which, last thing -- there is a good order to do things, though not ideal. Basically, start with the lowest layers and work up. Don't paint straps and cloaks first, and then try to get behind and beneath them. Give the whole thing the basic colors you want, and then as you get nearer to the surface, add in the details. Paint those straps and capes and quivers and shields at the end, anything that's on top of something else should be painted later. Sometimes you have to circle around and go back, of course -- after a basic coat, you'll eventually want to drybrush to bring out the buckles and straps, and that will leave a little stain on the tunic beneath, which you'll then have to fix. You'll find an order and a technique that feels comfortable to you eventually. But remember, when you're starting out, it's easier to paint the higher, more exterior items towards the end than at the start, or you'll just wind up painting over them and have to go re-paint them anyway.

Practice practice practice is the best teacher, of course, but if you remember these steps, even your first efforts will almost certainly impress you. Good luck!


L
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#22851
Otherworld's New Toys 7 Years, 7 Months ago  
One technique that I have been attempting to master is the following:

1. I primer my figures in black using a spray-on primer.
2. I drybrush base layers on with a fine tipped brush. I work my way out like I am dressing (flesh first, clothes, then equipment).
3. I detail shiney objects with a lighter color (sword blade edges, etc)
4. I go back and fix any mess ups because I am a sloppy painter :(.
5. I flock the miniature and drybrush the base.
6. I go back and fix any sloppy flocking or painting that bled onto the miniature's boots or feet.
7. When finished I spray on a gloss sealant
8. Finally I spray on two coats of a dull sealant.

Akk of my miniatures are based on round bases. For 25, 40, and 50mm bases I use Games Workshop bases that are available for about $5 a baggie. For larger bases I'm still ooking for a supplier or will go get some type of jigsaw to make 3-6 inch round bases. I personally prefer round bases to squares because they fit in DF spaces regardless of their facing.
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#22852
Otherworld's New Toys 7 Years, 7 Months ago  
Hey guys,
Many thanks for the tips. It's always great to hear how others started and learn from their experiences.

With regards to learning, I'm looking at picking up some of the cheap Megaminiatures minis.....the 99cent minis. Granted the detail isn't great, but would be a step to learning to deal with such small scale :)

Thanks again :)
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#22853
Otherworld's New Toys 7 Years, 7 Months ago  
Yes, thanks for the tips!

However, I am going to investigate getting a lot of Mega Miniature Dungeon Decor stuff painted on Commission before I take the plunge and spend money on paints and time on painting.

Anyone interested in taking this commission before I shop it around on the mini painting web-ring?
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#22854
Otherworld's New Toys 7 Years, 7 Months ago  
lupus, Harneloot;

GW recommends their Black Primer, I use white (and don't be afraid of RustOleum flat white aerosol as a primer; it works better than you'd think, especially on metal minis! BUT do it OUTDOORS!) because it gives better bright colors. Either way, ALWAYS PRIME FIRST!! And, WASH your model before priming; they often will have mold release and other chem crud on them.
L and Aracon have the rest of it right.
And never fear that your paintjob will be terrible; as I said in the bone bridge thread, my houses have terrible stucco, but everybody loves them! They all think they're great (I don't, but apparently MY opinion doesn't count). Even if you're WORSE than ME (doubtful, but stranger things have happened), you will improve.
And when Aracon said don't blow a bundle on a huge paint set, he was 100% right; unless you KNOW you're going to keep painting, save your dough until you know. Ya know?
And unless you plan to do other models (aircraft, armor, ships, cars, LARGE figures) forget about an airbrush; you'll never use it on minis! If it looks like you WILL continue in painting minis, find and invest in a GOOD set of brushes - either Red Sable natural, or the Golden nylon synthetics. In my experience (others may differ here, no problem for me!), anything else is junk. And for that matter, beware junk in the sable and nylon as well. Consider an artist's shop, as opposed to strictly a hobby shop. They usually understand brushes better, for some reason. You'd think that a good hobby shop would understand about brushing models, but many apparently look more toward airbrushes now; the old-tyme brush-painters are a dying breed in plastic models. It's a shame.

That's about all I can add to the conversation. Have fun!

Jim
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#22855
Otherworld's New Toys 7 Years, 7 Months ago  
Lupus

I can only agree with everything written. As I'm planning to go back into miniature painting (well - going back might be the wrong term - I never stoipped - but I didn't paint many lately and would like to aspire to better quality) here are my 2p of additional advice.

1) Have a look at the coolminiornot website. There was a great article about how to care for your brush. While I agree - you should buy a good one you also want to keep it being good quality. I know I ruined a lot brushes in the past and the article there was an eye opener for me.

2) While in Boston I bouight the GW guide to painting miniatures. I did read it cover to cover and I think it helps to have techniques like ink wash, dry brush and shading explained. It also gives a good background in regard to the question white or black undercoat. There is no 'better' or 'worse' - it solely depends what you want to do. Bright, vivid colours as JK mentions - go with white. A quick monster with some fur - more likely to go with black and have it done in no time.

Jens
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#22856
Otherworld's New Toys 7 Years, 7 Months ago  
Jim is absolutely correct.... wash the models first! I used to primer in whites but my world setting is a bit dark and dreary so everything I paint nowadays is primered black...
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#22857
Otherworld's New Toys 7 Years, 7 Months ago  
On primer -- I don't know, I've only primed about 1/4 of the models I have, and I've noticed no difference. Then again, I don't game that heavily with them, they are mostly display pieces -- perhaps with more heavy use, I'd see more of a difference. The experts warn against using paint as a primer, but perhaps the reason I don't see a difference is because I use so many layers of paint, so many coats, that it ends up not mattering.

In any case, when I do prime, I usually go with black. True, you don't get as bright a color with that, but you also get a much bigger window for cheating. ;) The fact is, with black as your prime color, you only have to do 1/2 the work now -- just paint the surfaces and highlights, and the shadows and recesses are already taken care of.

Some of my Reaper maidens in elaborate dresses with lots of folds and creases are just black primer with a drybrush of color for several coats. It took about 15 minutes, tops, and the general effect is pretty darn satisfying. In fact, it looks pretty impressive for something that takes very little time and nearly no talent or experience whatsoever. It's all thanks to the black primer.

One "trick" to compensate for the dark color is to drybrush a light coat first, before you start with the color you want. For example -- all the wood textures I've painted, shown in various pics I've posted here. (The MBS pics of mine frequently show ladders and railings that I painted myself, for example). I primed the pieces black, then drybrushed a light brown color over it. Then I dryrbrushed a rich, reddish brown color for a good earthy brown. If I try to go straight from black to the reddish brown, it's nearly invisible -- it looks like nothing. If I leave the light brown, it looks too light and not right. First one, then the other, however -- perfect.

L
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#22858
Otherworld's New Toys 7 Years, 7 Months ago  
I often follow the below 'routine' when painting:
1 Clean up and spray/ink black
2 Drybrush entire figure a lighter colour (usually white)
3 Paint base colour from the in - out as described by others above (flesh, then clothes etc)
4 Ink all folds/creases
5 Drybrush away

You can repeat stages 4 and 5 if you really want to 'go to town' on a figure and start blending.

Works for me, anyway.

Dave
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#22859
Otherworld's New Toys 7 Years, 7 Months ago  
I make sure to spend my time in the prep work for the mini first. That means going over every mold line and removing it with a microfile (my half-round is my hands-down favorite) for metal minis, or an X-acto blade for the plastics. I've recently tried supplementing that with a little liquid plastic cement to fully erase mold lines from plastic minis (it melts the lines, so be sparing with it).

These days, my primer is either white or black, depending on whether I need a darker or lighter tone to the figure. I know some people that prefer grey primer, but I tend to find that white gives bright colors, while black gives darker shadows.

I paint each section completely before moving on. I find that this helps the mini to come to life in stages.

I eagerly seek out good tutorials on the web for new tips, tricks, and techniques. There's always more to learn.

And if you botch the job, there's always PineSol!

:D
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#22860
Otherworld's New Toys 7 Years, 6 Months ago  
Here's the green for my new Frost Giant, again sculpted by Paul Muller. He should be available in a couple of weeks (the Frost Giant, not Paul).




The Frost Giant, with a Hasslefree 'strumpet' and my Hill Giant for size comparison......
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