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Advice for painting minis 
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Red Cap

Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 7:00 am
Posts: 324
Post Advice for painting minis
Hi there!

I'm a mini collector... well I 'was' a WOTC mini collector up till 2 years ago when I ran out of money - LOL! The one thing I never tried was to actually paint a metal figurine. So the other day I bought a kit and painted 3 figures I have from my old Crossbows and Catapults game from when I was a kid. You know... the one where you sling these discs across the room in hopes of destroying your opponents base. The figures are 1 Viking and 2 barbarians. For my first time out I did pretty good and it took me about 3 hours. Now I'm hooked!

I went out today and picked up 3 minis. They are Reaper minis so they're not plastic. I've got an Incubus, a rather rotund little guy with a top hat and cane and a duo of thieves carrying a chest. They cost me about 15$ so now I'm afraid to paint them! LOL! I don't know what to do to get all those little details done. The succubus alone has the tiniest mouth with fangs and her little boobies.... and then there are the eyes - on all characters. HOLY CRAP! I'm not an artist!

HELP! A bunch of questions...

- What kind of brush should I use for the smaller parts?

- Should I have multiple brushes or deal with cleaning it in between colors?

- Is a small glass dish a good choice to mix colors?

- Should I start with the small areas first or leave that for last?

- How do I get the paint to stick and not run and smudge thereby requiring multiple passes?

- Should I prime and if so what sort of primer and must it be from an art supply store?

Basically, any help would be appreciated! I'm by no means an artist of any kind so this is scary stuff. I wouldn't want my gamers to laugh at my Incubus and her fake looking boobies! LOL!


Thu May 21, 2009 4:46 pm
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Greater Lore Drake
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This is a great hobby that I used to love.

Here are some tips that used to work for me, gleaned from several sources, friends, Dragon mag, the Battlesystem book has a section on painting, if Im not mistaken. Also check the internet!

But these worked for me:

0: (added this after finishing the others) a glass plate is great for mixing paint. You can scrape it together with a razor blade, or let it dry, then scrape it off entirely and toss it. A sheet of glass, like a window pane taken out of the frame is ideal, and keeps your desk clean.

1st: wash the minis in a solution of dishwashing liquid, not too much. It should sud, but not so much as youd use on greasy dishes. Make the solution FIRST. Dont pour the liquid soap onto the mini. You may want to use an old toothbrush to scrub the mini (just a little). Rinse , rinse, and rinse again. Let them air dry. Or blow on them to shake off the water, then air dry.

2nd: stick the minis to something with fun-tak. Something like a 12 ruler or a block of wood or something. The idea is so you dont have to touch them and risk smudging and ruing your hard work. Also, handling the larger block or stick theyre on is SO much easier than trying to grip the tiny base, or the minis head or whatever. This also works great for painting several of the same fig in a row, like a phalanx of soldiers just go down the line, paint the helmet on one, then the next, then the next makes it faster too.

3rd: have lots of brushes. Get very small ones Never MIX colors with your brushes, use toothpicks or metal skewers. Keep your water clean too. You cant do clean work with dirty tools.
I forget exactly, but brush sizes something like 000, 00, 0 sized. Youll want one or two 1 sized also. Your brushes will only do good work if you keep them immaculate, so be really anal with your brushes. Dont dip the bristles more than way into the paint. This is hard with very small brushes, and it means they will have only the tiniest amount of paint on them. Therefore.

4th: Do try to use the largest brush you can for what youre doing. Use a 1 or even a 2 for large things like a cape or flank of a horse, save the 000 for eyeballs and belt buckles.

5th: Definitely prime the minis first! It helps promote even coverage, makes the paint stick, and keeps your use of the good colored paints down. They sell aerosol primers, but a half and half solution of paint and water is good too. Just slop it on there, but dont fill up the gaps too deep or you can loose details (especially w/ undiluted paints). Three schools of thought on primer color: 1) white makes the colors seem brighter and to pop better. 2) grey is a very neutral base, perhaps more realistic. 3) black is great for priming metal areas like armor (more on this later) or for minis you want to look dingy or dark, like undead or some monsters. YMMV. If you make your own primer by diluting it, keep extra white, black and or grey on hand for this purpose.

6th: start with the big areas and focus in on the smaller as you go. You may try a wash where you cut the paint w/ water (say, 3:1 water to paint... try a few mixes and see what works) so it flows into the deep areas. For example, a cape, wash it with red and the deep creases in the cape will draw in more of the liquid and make it seem darker while the high ridges will appear lighter (assuming you wash the entire thing, and not just the creases). Its a great trick to make it look more 3D with not much effort. Once the first pass dries, you may need another to make the coat thick enough so the primer doesnt show thru. More thin coats are usually better than one thick one, especially b/c thick paint can fill in the details and ruin the sculptural quality of the mini. Next, paint the lower parts only with a slightly darker wash. Let that dry, then highlight the higher spots (with undiluted paint) with a shade slightly lighter than the first coat. These three color gradients really make the dimensions and details of the mini POP.

7th: I know this is like, duh, but do make sure the last coat of paint you applied is totally 110% dry before doing the next. If youre daring, you can try to do other parts of a mini while the wet parts are drying. Use common sense.

8th: Worst case scenario: wet paint can be scrubbed off with hot water, a little soap and and old toothbrush!

9th: Dont forget to have FUN!!!! You dont have to be an artist, just a hobbiest who is interesting in trying it and having fun! Remember that youre new and dont let yourself get frustrated if its not super perfect right away.

A few tricks:

armor: prime it black and dry-brush silver over it. That usually makes it look great in only 2 coats! You can mix a little white with the silver to do highlights. (Sorry, thats 3)

Dry-brushing is where you take a brush (a larger one) and put just the tiniest bit of paint on it, then rub most of the paint off on a paper towel. Then feather the brush over the mini so that only the tiniest bit of contact is made, and youll see only this ephemeral amount of paint transferring to the mini its hard to describe, but it really brings out the details. Its SO easy to have too much paint on the brush when you do this and it takes practice. It also RUINS your brush, so designate 1 brush for drybrushing and drybrushing only. Do keep it immaculate so the dark colors dont contaminate any lighter ones (or keep a dark and a light drybrush)

Its worth it to seal or varnish your finished minis. There are spray-on or paint on flavors, and either is fine. A choice must be made for shiny or matte. Its a personal preference, but IMO matte is better since these are supposed to look like living things (usually). People arent shiny unless theyre really sweaty. If you want to get fancy, try this: finish the mini in matte, then paint on shiny finish only on armor, coins, or other things that ARE shiny in real life. This level of detail is really over the top, but can really make the details pop.

Put some thought into storage, as the minis can scrape paint off each other if they rub together. Like any hobby, its easy to spend way too much! But keeping them on a shelf (and dusting them periodically) or in a breakfront is fine. For transport, you may want one of those fancy transport cases, but egg containers can work, or get that egg crate bed liner you use in college and cut pieces of that to fit an old briefcase or shoebox, use a piece on top and underneath the minis.

Ill probably think of something else Hope this helps! Enjoy!

P.S. now Im wistful maybe Ill dig some minis out of the closest and post pix to put my money where my mouth is.

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Thu May 21, 2009 8:34 pm
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Mogrl

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I'm sure Egg of Coot will come here any moment and add a lot of useful tips.
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Thu May 21, 2009 8:47 pm
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Hlobane Orc
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Quote:
serleran wrote:
I'm sure Egg of Coot will come here any moment and add a lot of useful tips.



Speak of the Devil, and he will appear!

Hello Jynx,

I paint a bit, and am somewhat of a miniatures enthusiast (among other things). I'd be happy to give you a couple of pointers.

Quote:
Jynx wrote:
- What kind of brush should I use for the smaller parts?



As far as brushes go, you should buy the best brushes you can afford. It's OK to use cheapie nylon, etc. brushes for mixing, transferring paint, dry brushing, etc. - however, get some decent sable brushes for your main painting brushes. If you get a range for brushes from #2 down to a #2/0, you ought to have everything you need. If you treat these properly, they'll last you years. FYI, I use Windsor & Newton Series 7s on my work - these are the finest Kolinsky Sables on the market.

Quote:
Jynx wrote:
- Should I have multiple brushes or deal with cleaning it in between colors?



As I said above, you'll want a range of brushes for a range of jobs. However, you should get away with using one brush for one type of job (ie: base coating). You'll want to clean your brush regularly as you work, so have clean water on hand. A periodic quick rinse when paint starts to travel up the bristles toward the ferule of the brush will greatly lengthen it's life. This should also suffice between colors. And always remember to clean your brushes with a good brush soap when you finish a painting session.

Quote:
Jynx wrote:
- Is a small glass dish a good choice to mix colors?



It will be fine to use. A quick rinse with hot water should get it clean after a paint session. Some folks use artists palettes, tiles, etc. I use old CD-ROMs.

Quote:
Jynx wrote:
- Should I start with the small areas first or leave that for last?



I start with a base coat and build up shading and highlighting over the miniature's large surfaces from the 'inside' outwards. By that I mean on something like a wizard I start with the skin and work my way outwards through his layers of clothing. Fine fiddly bits like pouches, buttons, etc. are done last, as they'd be wiped out by subsequent layers of paint otherwise. Fine details should always wait until the base work is completed.

Quote:
Jynx wrote:
- How do I get the paint to stick and not run and smudge thereby requiring multiple passes?



The easiest way to limit smudging is to mount your miniatures onto a temporary base or handle. This prevents your dirty little fingers from mucking up your paintwork. I simply hot glue my miniatures to 1 inch plastic squares.

Still,no matter how hard you try, you will always have to correct mistakes - it's one of the foils of working with something on a small scale. You will probably want to start painting in passes, as it allows you to correct mistakes and enhance details. There are three basic passes, a base pass, a shading pass (a wash in many cases), and a highlighting pass. These are based on three shades of the same color and will greatly enhance the 'depth' of your work. You'll be surprised at how well a wash will camouflage mistakes in your work . . .

As far as getting paint to stick goes, you'll want to clean your miniatures with soap and water and then apply a light coat of primer. The idea behind primer is it will give the miniature some 'tooth' for the paint to adhere to. However, less is more as far as primer goes - you want a light coat that preserves detail, rather than blasting the stuff until your figs look like snowmen.

Another key is to thin your paint a bit (to about skim milk consistency) so that it has a balance of fluidity and drying time. You shouldn't have to slop paint on to get your coverage - thick layers of paint dry slowly. As a beginner, I recommend you use nothing more than water to thin acrylics. There are other additives you can use once you gain a bit of experience.

Quote:
Jynx wrote:
- Should I prime and if so what sort of primer and must it be from an art supply store?



Again, yes you need to prime as it helps your paint to stick to your figures. And, no, you needn't buy the stuff at the art store. I use Krylon auto primer all the time. The key thing here is to remember to use the stuff sparingly - enough to show an even coat of the color you're using, that's it. Don't hose the things down.

Hope that helps you a bit. Feel free to ask any other questions you may have, or if you need further clarification.

Again, do a bit of searching with Google or whatever to see what other people are doing. There are many ways to approach painting - and there are no right and wrong ways to get good results. Above all, keep working as it's the best way to build up your skills. And don't worry about your progress, the important thing is to enjoy what you're doing.

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Thu May 21, 2009 11:40 pm
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Unkbartig
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I get the Master brushes (the "store brand") from d**k Blick. These are Kolinsky sable brushes that I use for my detail work. I get sizes 0, 2/0 and 3/0 from Blick. The last time I bought brushes (about a year ago, I think), they ran somewhere around $10 apiece. I also keep a couple of Reaper brushes on hand as well. All of them keep nice points, which is critical for good detail work, as long as I take care of them.

For drybrushing, I know I'm going to annihilate my brushes. It's up there with death and taxes. When I do this, I actually use the cheap Loew-Cornell sable brushes from Michael's. These are the short, fat, red-handled brushes that are in the crafting acrylic paint section. They go for about $2-3 a pop. The 3/0 and 5/0 brushes work great for this.

I attach the fig to the lid of a small jar. Baby food jars, as well as the small jars of minced garlic, work great for this. They're just the right size to hold on to, and the jars allow you to easily hold and manipulate the mini. About the biggest jar I've used has been a cheese dip jar from Aldi (cheese dip...anybody remember Groo the Wanderer? ) The bigger jars like that are great for the bigger minis. I'll post pics of some of my stuff one of these days.

I also use 2-part epoxy for assembling multi-piece figs. Green stuff works also, depending on the piece. If you're attaching bigger parts, the epoxy works better. I haven't tried pinning yet.

Have fun! This is one of the few things I have anymore that I can totally immerse myself in and forget about the outside world. It's a lot of fun. It's even more fun when you see all your work on the game table in front of you.


Fri May 22, 2009 12:06 am
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Red Cap

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You guys are awesome!

I did some research but it's always nice to get some first hand experience.

Well... I started priming my minis and will wait till they're dry. I bought a paint on metal primer that was suggeted to me by an artist. Hopefully he didn't steer me wrong.

I'll let you know how it's coming along.

Thanks again!


Fri May 22, 2009 12:23 am
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Greater Lore Drake
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Waiting was always the hardest part for me, so I'd always have at least 5 figs in progress.

Do a pass, play a level of Zelda.. do the next pass... rinse ... repeat.

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Fri May 22, 2009 12:29 am
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Red Cap

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I've been doing alot of reading on line and have come across many people who paint all kinds of minis not just the D&D / REAPER / WARHAMMER stuff. People actually paint the Toys-R-Us brand soldiers and stuff and some of the tips I'm getting may apply here.

Basically, from what I see, the metal primer I have from the arts supply store is some sort of watered down milky substance that is somewhat sticky... like a varnish that's been watered down and made a little more milky in color. It seems to have done an amazing job because the first coat on my metal minis went on so smooth and perfect with little to no dripping, smudging or running.

Now for plastics that's another story. The metal primer probably won't work, so I have been looking high and low for that perfect solution. The thing is I don't want to spend the 15$ on a can of spray sold at hobby stores, since I'm not sure how much painting I'll end up doing - plus I hate sprays! The advice I've gotten from reading is that most people painting the plastic army guys tend to use a varnish as primer then paint the whole thing one main color, then paint details, then varnish once more. So my question to you is - what do you think of using the varnish as a primer on plastics? Would it work?

Since I can get platic stuff in bulk from my kids toys (or perhaps even my own... ) I think I'll experiment before I try anything on plastic minis that are more expensive or unique (such as board game minis). I'll let you know how it turns out.

FYI - The primer in cans sells from 12-20$ here where as I got a small bottle of varnish requiring no spraying for 2$ each! I'll post the brand names when I get home in case anyone is interested.


Fri May 22, 2009 5:52 pm
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Red Cap

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After a busy weekend filled with both my sons 1st dance show and my daugthers first professional photo shoot, I sat back and relaxed with my new minis all painted...
The plastic C&C (Crossbow and Catapults) guys all primed and ready to be painted...
4 of the C&C guys already painted, the second viking painted by my girlfriend - her first try, and she did better than me ....
A metal figurine - this one took time since it had so much detail...
My favourite and my first metal mini which took me 3 1/2 hours. Notice I tried to get a sort of dirty look on the guy on the back by using 2 shades of brown. Not sure how well that turned out.
My next project...

I realize now one big thing... PRIME IN BLACK! The mini with the two thieves carrying the chest has some imperfections which can only be seen with close examination. Bascially, the places where I couldn't get to with a brush show a bit of the bare metal. I didn't dare try to get in there with another brush since the color can't be perfectly recreated.

Also, I'm going to get the MATTE finsher. They look shiny in the pictures because of the flash, but the satin finish isn't too bad without flash. Still... for photos they would turn out better with Matte.

This was fun! Even better that my girlfreind decided to join in on it.


Mon May 25, 2009 12:05 am
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Greater Lore Drake
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COOL!

Great first minis!

Sounds like you're having fun, which is the point!

For those hard-to-reach spots you mentioned, try "washing" the mini in thinned paint. (not too thin)

Give that a try on your new hottie mini.
If I may be so bold, some tricks I figgered out for stones (Such as the pedestal that succubus is on) since you've primed it black, (I think) try painting only the surfaces grey (or whatever color you want the stone to be) and not get any in the cracks*. When it's dry, pick one corner, like the upper right for example, and highlight just the upper right corners with a slightly lighter shade, and low-light the opposite corner with a slightly darker shade, or a dark or black wash on the lower corner (occaisonally half of the stone to make the illusion of natural variation of color).

*nearly impossible, IMO better to prime grey, and wash black into the cracks, then highlight one corner, good results in two passes after the prime.

YMMV

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Mon May 25, 2009 12:25 am
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Red Cap

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Thanks for the tips for the stone. I'll try it.

However I have an other problem. I think I messed up the pretty lady.
The paint skin tone was fine but it looks slightly caked on after it dried, and not silky smooth as a womans leg should look. I've seen examples of similar minis on the net and the skin looks smooth as silk. What did I do wrong? Is it fixable?


Mon May 25, 2009 7:10 pm
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Red Cap

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Can you post a pic? What kind of paint did you use? Did you thin the paint? The good thing about metal miniatures is you can always strip them if you don't like the results.


Tue May 26, 2009 1:15 am
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Unkbartig
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Quote:
Jynx wrote:
Thanks for the tips for the stone. I'll try it.

However I have an other problem. I think I messed up the pretty lady.
The paint skin tone was fine but it looks slightly caked on after it dried, and not silky smooth as a womans leg should look. I've seen examples of similar minis on the net and the skin looks smooth as silk. What did I do wrong? Is it fixable?



Your first efforts look great! Well done.

Keep one thing in mind as you embark down this path. What do you plan on using your minis for? Are you looking to be a professional painter, to which you're willing to dedicate the rest of your days, or are you looking for something to add a unique touch to your gaming table? It took me a long time to get out of the habit of kicking myself because my work didn't look like that of the folks whose painted pieces are shown on the Reaper (as well as other manufacturers') web sites. Then it dawned on me that I'm not a professional. I haven't been doing it nearly as long as they have, and I am not painting these for contests or any other such thing. Your first minis are learning experiences, as is every subsequent one you paint. If anybody at your table gives you grief, tell them they can ante up and try to do better.

Bottom line, this is a fairly steep learning curve. You're trying to do something that requires some serious attention to detail, more than the average mortal will ever possess. The ability to realize that detail, however, takes time. I've painted dozens of minis over the last 3-4 years in particular, and I still don't think my work is that good. Granted, the pieces look cool on the battlemat, but I'm always striving to do better. I can at least realize, however, that most of the time, each mini I paint is a little better than the last. I figure out how to do something I didn't know before, etc. For the skin issue you were talking about, one of the biggest things I've found with skin is that you have to be very careful about not having too much paint on the brush when you put brush to mini. Fairly thin paint is good, as the extra moisture content gives you a little more wiggle room if you need to take something off before it dries and makes life all the more difficult. Just be consistent, and don't be afraid to experiment.

You're off to a fantastic start! Keep up the good work.


Tue May 26, 2009 1:31 am
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Red Cap

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Well... to anser the previous post...

I've always loved minis so this is just a step into the next level of mini collecting I suppose. I am not an artist but I've somhow aquired a remarkable amount of patience and have always wanted to paint my own, so I'm doing it basically for fun and perhaps one day I'll use my minis in a game. I don't expect to be an expert but to learn from my mistakes and from others as well.

Thanks for the compliments. I really enjoyed painting the figures.

As for stripping the metal figure, how should I go about that if I wanted to?

How much water to paint should I use when thinning it? I'm going to buy another mini of the same sucubus and start over. Then I'll post a 1st paint vs a 2nd paint. I'm too embarrased to post it just now... even my girlfriend laughed... well... me to! LOL! She (the mini...) doens't look at all menacing. In fact, her mouth looks like she's scared of whatever is starintg at her. And the sealant is way to glossy.

More to come...


Tue May 26, 2009 3:16 am
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Greater Lore Drake
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Again, give yourself permission to not be 10000% awesome.

Have you done this before? no? take it easy on yourself and have fun.

I'm guessing (GUESSING!) the paint may have been too thick, or if you left it out of the jar a while, it dried somewhat before you applied it?

(BTW: Good idea to pour out some paint and keep the jars closed so it doesn't dry out and thicken... should have mentioned that above).

also, stiring from bottom to top is better than shaking, as getting little bubbles in the paint can really wreak havoc on your paintjob.

removal can be a challenge, try scrubbing wiht a toothbrush? don't go too nuts.

thin paint in 2 coats always beats 1 thick coat. hard to say how much water to thin with... depends on the condition of the paint to begin with. not trying to be evasive, it really is hard to say.

Keep at it!

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Tue May 26, 2009 1:51 pm
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Unkbartig
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Quote:
Relaxo wrote:
thin paint in 2 coats always beats 1 thick coat. hard to say how much water to thin with... depends on the condition of the paint to begin with. not trying to be evasive, it really is hard to say.

Keep at it!



I've gotten to the point where I only thin with water if I'm looking to make a specific wash. If I'm going to do that, then I only use fresh water (fresh to the point that I scrub out my water dish before refilling it). If I'm just looking to thin paint out, I use an actual paint extender. Reaper sells one, but you can also get one that works just fine from Michael's. I actually use a bunch of paint from them, just because I'm a cheap bast*rd. It may take a little more to make it work well, but I think it's worth it. But I definitely recommend the use of paint extenders.


Tue May 26, 2009 2:43 pm
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Unkbartig
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Quote:
Sir Osis of Liver wrote:
But I definitely recommend the use of paint extenders.



Damn senility.... You know it's getting bad when you wind up quoting yourself. If you use an extender, I typically mix 1 part paint:1 part extender. If you want the pigment thinner than that, then 1:2 or even 1:3.


Tue May 26, 2009 2:45 pm
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Red Cap

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OK... I mentioned how silly / stupid my sucubus looked after I painted it. My girlfriend chuckled when she saw the finished product. So with out any more hisitation, and in full out embarassment, here she is....

Oh the shame....

However, look for the next post for a little something to make up for my, er.... mishap.


Fri May 29, 2009 9:11 pm
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Red Cap

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Here is my latest attempt at mini painting. I took all the advise I got on these forums, plus alot of reading and researching on the net and made my self a new JYNX miniature. Soon to be my new Avatar too!

I spent WAY too much time one this, but it mean much more to me than the rest so I tried to be carefull. I am quite happy with it and thank you to all who gave advice!

I am especially proud of the fact that I gave him a 5 o clock shadow.

I'm liking my new hobby!


Fri May 29, 2009 9:14 pm
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Greater Lore Drake
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That looks good!

and I loves the redheads!
It's all progress, don't sweat it.

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Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:08 am
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Greater Lore Drake
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Ok, so I finally dug my minis out of the closet and took some photos. This is the first I've seen them in about 10 years, so it was a nice trip down memory lane.... now I'm itching to get back into the swing of it!

We'll see....

anywho, first up, how NOT to store minis... there's a story here, which I won't get into, and after 10 years, I'm still pissed at my dad... but i digress.
[/img]

Here's the first one I ever painted back in 9th grade, Tanis HalfElvin who my friend James donated to me after I painted it in his 'workshop" and got hooked on mini painting....

Front
back
Here's an early one, I was exploring drybrushing, check out the hairy legs and arms:

on the back of this badass you see my first attempts with a "wash", but some synapse didn't fire and I did it in black instead of darker red... ugh

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Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:14 am
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Greater Lore Drake
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By the time I painted this one I was getting better, the cape is ok. I'm not sure this one is done, but it shows how using several shades of the same color lend depth to the cloth...

on the front, you see drybrushing silver over a black-primed metal to make the armor ....

More of the same with the multiple shades of blue for this mind-flayer's robe, though the highlights are a little clumsy:

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Bill D.
Author: Yarr! Rules-Light Pirate RPG
BD Games - www.playBDgames.com
http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/browse.ph ... rs_id=5781


Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:17 am
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Greater Lore Drake
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Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 7:00 am
Posts: 3350
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Here's a pretty good "Prismal Eye"
I think the stone floor might be better than the monster, though.

Not sure these are remarkable, but i've always liked the job I did on this set of elementals:

Eventually I learned a good shortcut for armor, just wash it in black. Poof! Done! Maybe some drybrushing with silver, but it passes in a hurry as is:

Ok, on this one, I might actually have gotten good: The cape looks pretty good and the hair does too. I think the Figure is a generic vampire but I wanted it to look like Elric, so that's why the blade is black.

On these two (stuck to a board like most recommend so they're easier to handle while you're painting them) you can see the robes are looking very good, If I do say so myself. This is subtle gradients of color in several passes and some drybrushed highlighting. i recall using the ever-so-tiniest amounts of paint that I wasn't sure I was even applying any.

And I really liked the Wizard's hair, i wanted to capture that brief time where you grow your hair out and it's brown when you start but grey by the time it get's long... (that's for you, Uncle Ted!)

And this one just might be the best one I ever did. I'm really proud of it in all the details. I think the stones look great (some drybrushed, some painted solid for variety) and I primed it in black, adding color to it, but leaving it looking very dead. and scary. I'm really proud of this one.

Okay... that was fun.

I hope I didn't sound like a d**k, and that it's clear that practice makes a big difference.

so my only real advice if youre still looking for any, is have fun and keep at it!

_________________
Bill D.
Author: Yarr! Rules-Light Pirate RPG
BD Games - www.playBDgames.com
http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/browse.ph ... rs_id=5781


Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:26 am
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Red Cap

Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 7:00 am
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That's great! I love the darker hair on the ends of the wizard.

I've gotten better so I'll post some more examples ...


Tue Jun 16, 2009 2:18 am
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Red Cap

Joined: Sat May 13, 2006 7:00 am
Posts: 324
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I was at my friends place a couple of weeks ago and they saw my JYNX mini and asked that I paint theirs...

Here is a pciture of RALPH, a Paladin played by one of my Greyhawk gamers...

Here is a pciture of KAMERA, a Druid played by another of my Greyhawk gamers...

And this one is Larana, Jynx's in character On again/Off again Girlfriend (we role play but that's as far as it goes ! LOL)

Aside from my Jynx mini, Ralph is my next best mini. I spent way to much time on him but I was pleased with the end result. You can't see it in the picture, but he has nice blue eyes and I used a shiny finish on the armor and wepaons but a matte finish on the rest of the mini. Also the shield is orange but the dragon is bronze/gold which doesn't show properly in the pic. It's more impressive in person.

The druid was a pain in the ass. I had to strip her after I found out she was actually a red head. I started her as a blonde and tried to change it but only made a mess. I ended up using my girlfriends nail polish remover and gently used a toothbrush and it all came off. The second time around it was so-so. I'm not pleased with it... but I'm not going to re-do her again.

Finally, Larana tha mage was a bitch (hmmmm... so is the character!) to work with. I don't know why but I have it difficult with the woman figurines. She was suppose to be slighlty dark skinned since the character is amazonian, but aftre the paint dried it was more grey than it was suppose to be.
I tend to have most difficulty with the skin tones and trying not to get the faces blotchy. Doing the hair is fun and I get to try different techniques but I either make a mess of a really nice face or leave the face for last and make a mess of really nice hair. The latter being a real problem because by the time I do the face, I've no longer got the same color mix used on the hair.

I've got a few more left to paint then I"m going to move onto painting the pieces in my Shadows over Camelot board game. It's a fun hobby, but time consuming so I think now that I'm back into DMing, my time will be less available for painting. Nonetheless, I will continue !


Tue Jun 16, 2009 2:52 am
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Greater Lore Drake
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Ralph the Paladin... I love it!

Those are looking sharp, man! You did great on teh faces. those tiny tiny faces are maddening to paint!

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Bill D.
Author: Yarr! Rules-Light Pirate RPG
BD Games - www.playBDgames.com
http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/browse.ph ... rs_id=5781


Tue Jun 16, 2009 11:01 am
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Red Cap
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Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:00 am
Posts: 239
Location: Neosho, MO
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Okay, my two cents:

Suggestion for your succubus: do a mix of copper & dark red, about 1:1, thin with enough water for a wash, and paint over her flesh-tones. BEFORE you do, try a bit on your palette since it might need a bit more copper. I did that to a balrog figure and the copper/red gives it a great demony tone as well as settling into the flesh base and creating muscle-shadows.

Gluing/Pinning figures:

a) Hold pieces together by hand, look them over and X-acto knife trim for best fit - do all pieces before continuing and BEFORE priming. (you've already detergent-washed & dried figure, right?) Also: use the X-acto knife to make score-marks on the faces that will be glued together (careful!) - that way the glue will have something to bite on and hold versus smooth surfaces.

b) Choose a stiff wire-size about 1/4 to 1/3rd of the smallest joint-size where the piece meets the main figure, then use that to pick a small-size drill just slightly larger than the wire.

c) Use either a pin-vise-held drill bit or the drill bit in a Dremel tool to drill a hole in both the figure and the piece to be attached - IMPORTANT: if you use a Dremel (motor tool), go slow and watch your angle, 'cause it'll bite that hole quickly!

d) Cut a wire piece longer-than-needed, drop the free end of the wire into the main figure hole you made, thread the attachment-piece hole onto the wire and see how far the gap is: you'll cut the wire just a little shorter than that gap.

e) Don't mix your 5-minute epoxy yet! Test some way of holding the figure in place before you glue! - I've found that a piece of lightly-crumpled-up aluminum foil is great: put it down crumpled, lay the figure-and-wired-together-piece on it and press down into the foil to create a custom-made cradle to hold the piece after you glue it. Try this at least twice before gluing so you have some practice. (After you've done this method numerous times, it'll be a snap)

f) Mix epoxy (I find round tooth-picks are best), put a drop into main-figure hole, put in the wire (sometimes having a pair of tweezers helps to handle the wire), dollop some epoxy on the wire and thread the attachment-piece hole onto it, lay it all down into your foil cradle making sure it is positioned right, and walk away - go have a smoke or something else that'll take you at least 10 minutes so you don't futz with it before the glue is set.

Modifications:

Figure body-elements = 5-minute epoxy can be used this way: let it set-up for a minute or two, then dollop on areas where you want horns or such-like; give it just another minute to gel, then dip the end of your toothpick into it and pull-up the now-sticky-epoxy into a horn, etc.

Bow-strings (yes, I do this, and it looks kewl!) = use X-acto knife to slit the ends of the bow; find the right-sized 'string' - thin nylon fishline works, human hair is good, one wire out of a small-braided plastic-covered wire is good, cat whiskers work also; epoxy top end of 'string' into top-slit of bow, leaving excess length which you'll trim later - let dry completely!; slightly bend bottom of bow towards the top, then glue 'string' into bottom slit making sure to hold a little tautness on it - let dry; with small pliers close up the bow slits and also trim 'string' excess; bend bow bottom back down until 'string' is straight/taut.

NOTE: nylon fishline hit with a lighter on the excess ends melts them down into really nice balls-at-the-bow-ends; be aware of what metal your wire is that you use 'cause it'll tarnish eventually - will it be the look you want?

Have fun - Riki


Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:28 pm
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Red Cap
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Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:00 am
Posts: 239
Location: Neosho, MO
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More on modifications -

Any zombies, etc, use your X-acto knife before priming to gouge, scar, slash wounds on them.

Shields: X-acto knife gouges, slashes, etc, onto them - same for helmets.

Eyes: when (like me) you paint one wonderful eye and the other one is just not-worth-it - paint an eyepatch there instead; it looks cool, doesn't give you mis-matched eyes, and will actually heighten the looks of the one good painted eye.

Swords: when a sword breaks off, it's an opportunity! Take some wire (experiment with different sizes) and smash it flat in a vise making sure to have some round-wire left on the end - then drill a hole in the fist, epoxy it in and voila! Note: you can even use a file before attaching and end up with a sharp (don't cut yourself) sword. Copper wire looks great!

Oh, and slivers of glass (broken wine glasses work well) make awesome glassteel swords and daggers. Just caution your players or real blood will get on your battlemat.

If, like me, you have more-than-one of the same figure, you can modify them like this:

a) put figure in a heat-proof Pyrex custard dish (or bowl if bigger),

b) pour boiling water over figure until covered (keep that water boiling, you'll need more)

c) after 3 minutes or so, drain quickly and again cover with boiling water (might have to repeat this step multiple times for heavier, larger figures)

d) take out of hot-water bath (careful! hot!) and slooowly, easy-does-it-carefully pull, twist, bend the figure to a different shape

e) let cool completely before painting or doing anything else to it.

For nun-chucks: take a figure holding a spear (or staff), chop off the spearhead on top and the shaft a bit below the fist, twist the figure's wrist so the shaft is at about a 45-degree angle, on the top-end epoxy the end-link of a 5-or-more-links small jewelry chain (I always pry open that last link and bend it around the end of the shaft and then epoxy it), then epoxy about a 3/8ths inch length of round toothpick to the free end of the chain. (Same procedure basically for creating a morningstar).

I've a two-weapon female figure that, when I tried re-positioning her dagger wrist, I broke the dagger-and-hand off. So, I just drilled a small hole in the stump, bent the pointy end of a sewing pin into a hook and glued it in there.

Those thin wooden coffee-stirring sticks can be X-acto'd into great wings also: I have a wizard figure with an iguana-sized lizard on his shoulder, so I just winged it into a pseudo-dragon this way.

- Riki


Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:30 pm
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