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Diary of a Newbie Painter


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#1 Loophole Master

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 03:36 AM

I've never ever touched a miniature before in my life. Was never into miniature games, but Dust has really grabbed my attention with its simple mechanics and gorgeous figures. And so I've decided to venture into painting my set, something I've never done before. I've decided to do this not only because they (hopefully) will look better, but also because I'm quite annoyed at how hard it is to separate each squadron before playing, and even quickly telling them apart during a match. With individual colour schemes, hopefully it will make it easier and more fun to identify each different unit.

Anyway, where do I start? Paints, gotta have those. Unfortunately there aren't hardly any hobby stores around where I live, so all I could get my hands on were a few enamel paints, along with some I borrowed from a friend. The guy guaranteed me they were no different from acrylic paints, other than being soluble in thinner:

DSCN6880.jpg

 

Since I'm no fool, I decided to start with the cover elements, leaving the figures for after I'd got some experience and learned from my first mistakes. VERY smart idea! I started with the tank traps, since the base color I wanted was the gray plastic itself. I quickly mixed a wash with black and some thinner and smeared across the tank traps. It flowed much less than I expected and it looked like the whole thing would turn black, so I quickly took a cloth and lightly wiped the wash away, which worked quite well since the wash remained in the recesses, but left the raised surfaces their original light gray. After that dried a bit I painted the base with a couple different browns for a muddy look, and finished off by doing some drybrushing with light gray. I was amazed at how effective the drybrushing was, all the cracks and jagged edges really popped out! Anyway, this was the final result, of which I was actually quite proud:

DSCN6891.jpg

 

Then I moved to the ammo crates, and there things started falling appart. It immediately became obvious those things were NOT pre-primed, and the paint had a hard time sticking. This required several hands, and the result was far from smooth. The allied crates turned out all right, with a light green colour which should look good once I add some weathering. The axis crates, however..... First of all I picked the wrong colour, a dark blue that just didn't work as expected. To make matters worse I actually mixed the wrong colour (a gloss blue) on the caps, so it really looked horrible. As the final nail on the coffin, I tried applying a black wash to it and it didn't flow at all. It just stained the whole thing.

DSCN6883.jpg

DSCN6884.jpg

 

I was so disatisfied with the axis crates that decided to take the "tabula rasa" approach and start over by wiping the whole thing with thinner. Since I didn't know how well that would work, I only did it to one crate as a test. I think I'll try a dark gray instead.

DSCN6894.jpg

 

Since I was clearly doing something wrong with the washes, I decided to take the flak cannon I wouldn't ever use from my Loth and do some tests with it. The wash dissolved in thinner clearly isn't working. I went back to the shop and bought an acrylic black, and later on I'll try to do a water-based wash.

DSCN6892.jpg

 

And so, I decided to tackle my soldiers. While the wash situation is still not resolved, I'm already confident enough to do the base colours (realizing that you actually have to stir the paint was a huge breakthrough, as it took me a while to notice half the thing was congealed on the bottom o fthe can!). I chose the Recon Boys, deciding to use the base primer's green for the coats, which should make the job a bit easier. Painting inside all those nooks and crannies was a huge pain, I'm sure my brush is way to big, cause I can't imagine how some of you guys get the sort of detail you do. I'll have to search for somethig thinner. Anyway, no real disasters occured, and I think this was a decent start. I'm not happy with the pants colour, I thought it was a light gray but it looks white, not sure which colour to use. Once I get a smaller brush I'll try adding a darker brown to the boots and some details to the coat and backpack.

DSCN6890.jpg

I'm just REALLy scared of when the time comes to dunk these in the dark wash....


Edited by Loophole Master, 03 July 2013 - 12:48 PM.


#2 Loophole Master

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 03:43 AM

- removed - 


Edited by Loophole Master, 03 July 2013 - 12:49 PM.


#3 Moiterei_1984

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 05:25 AM

If these are your first minis you´ve ever painted if got to say: Well done!

If you´re going to apply a wash or shade like the "Armypainter" (Strong tone works best in my opinion) than use a brush. B´cause you´ve got more control over the whole work... at least better as if you´re only dippin´ it.

Btw.: I don´t realy like working with the colours you use. I´d recommend the vallejo colours to you. Don´t care if VMC (valejo model color) or VGC (valejo game color), cause the only difference is that the VGC´s are better thinned. On the other side you get a bigger range from VMC.



#4 Loophole Master

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 05:45 AM

Yeah, first minis I've ever touched. So thanks!

I wasn't planning on literally dunking them in wash, just scrubbing them with a brush. I did some tests on the axis crates with an acrylic-water wash and it worked much better, though it still doesn't look like the sort of results I see on some youtube videos. Do washes even work properly on objects with relatively large flat surfaces like the crates or walkers? Cause the wash can't all flow to the crannies over a large flat area..

I'm afraid I don't have much choice in terms of paints. As I said, there's only one shop I know of around here, and this enamel line was the only one with a decent range of options... I'll just have to make do with what I've got....



#5 [So]Rice

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 06:16 AM

They look nice, I would avoid the Army Painter Dip stuff because they are expensive and a bit thick.

My advice is to buy the GW Washes Set.

On your soldiers wash:

Badab Black: Armor, Green Clothes

Ogryn Flesh: Skin

Devlan Mud: Fatigues (White Ones), Boots

 

This way, not all your washes are one color, and it makes the models look nicer with shading instead of dipped.

 

If you need any specific help, I'll be glad to help. For tanks, drybrushing a light grey is your best bet. The washes use thinned oil paints over a gloss coat. That way you can wipe away any mistakes before you seal with Matte Varnish.

 



#6 Loophole Master

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 06:23 AM

Thanks for the tips, but I really don't have access to all those nice paints. I have to make do with what I have...

 

Will it really look bad if I wash everything but the face with a simple black wash? The only acrylic paint I have is black, and I've given up on trying to make a wash with the enamel paints. Dilluting them in thinner just doesn't work.



#7 [So]Rice

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 07:09 AM

Where are you located? GW has stores all around the world.

 

Yes, the face would look bad with a black wash.  You can't use acrylics and enamels together or something like that. I think the acrylic can go over the enamel but not the other way around.  For now I'd say to stick to your basecoats and wait until you can get proper washes, even with acrylics, mixing conisistant washes can be complicated.



#8 [So]Rice

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 07:14 AM

Looking at the newspaper, you are in South America (Brazil?)? May be hard to get Citadel paints there...

 



#9 Loophole Master

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 07:23 AM

Yeah, Brazil. Pretty sure there are no GW around here... You guys in Europe and the USA don't know how good you have it. I can't even buy Dust figures around here. I have to have them mailed to me across the globe, which takes months and costs a lot.

 

Are you sure I can't paint higlights with enamel paints on top of an acrylic-based wash? If that's true, I'm in big trouble....



#10 Necross

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 07:58 AM

Those look great especially for never painting before.

If you have a game shop that sells Games Workshop products, look for their Citadel paints and get some of their washes. Like Badab Black and Devlan Mud. Washes are great for showing detail, you paint the solid color like the faces you did on the men, then you take the wash and just paint over it, and it fills in the cracks and details real quick and easy :)



#11 Loophole Master

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 08:02 AM

Guys... you're killing me. I know that if I got my hands on some Devlan Mud, everything would be peachy. I could just dab that over my figure and BAM, cool shadows all over it. However, I simply cannot find ready-made washes around here. Nothing by Citadel or anything like that.... I'll just have to try my luck with dilluting some acrylic paint in water and splashing my model with it.



#12 Necross

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 09:04 AM

oh sorry, misread that

Then if you want to make your own washes here's a good recipe..

you'll need acrylic paint and the stuff in tubes from an art supply store should work if you can't get model paints. Look for something called Matte Medium, they should sell it where they have the rest of the paints. Mix up something like 50% water, 50% paint and add a few drops of the medium. It helps the paint flow into the cracks and stay there.

You'll want to do a test first though, like paint it on the bottom of a base or something like that.. you might need to add a little more paint or a little more water, but adding the medium in there will help make it a lot like the GW washes. Without it, if you just did paint and water, it could bead up or form puddles that make it look bad when it dries.

You could also order the GW washes :) try places like The Warstore or even right from GW

 


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#13 Loophole Master

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 09:15 AM

It's looking like I'll just have to buckle up and import the Citadel washes from somewhere like Maelstrom Games or something. From what you're telling me, it seems I'll doubtlessly ruin my base paintwork if I go into this wash business on my own. If that's the case, however, I'll have to wait a couple of months for the stuff to arrive, so that sort of stops my painting project dead. If I do go ahead and order some Citadel paints, is there anything else I absolutely NEED to have? All I've got is what you see in that 1st picture.

Though, I guess I could go on doing the base colours for all my units until the washes arrive, then I can apply it and move on to the drybrushing...........



#14 Lotus

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 10:55 AM

So far it looks like you're off to a great start. FYI, I use cheap acrylics on just about everything and have no problem. Some are better than others and so may need to be thinned, but if you mix for different colors, then it's a moot point anyhow. I actually think it's less about the brand of paint and more about learning to work with what you have. Good technique has to be somewhat malleable to meet the circumstances. With the cheap acrylics, I painted lips, brows, eye-whites, and irises on the German hero. The paint can take fine detail if your eyes can see to do it. ;)

If you're not afraid to experiment, you can dress up the ammo boxes w/ bullet / laser holes and robot stomp-crushes. I'll probably post mine as background at some point. It's pretty fun once you lose the inhibition of ruining stuff. A bit of copper wash/drip/streak is good for rust, too.

Keep it up. Looking forward to seeing more.



#15 Loophole Master

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 11:03 AM

Damn, it seems I can't even import the stuff! The online stores I checked mention that these items have "restricted delivery" and will not ship to Brazil (it probably has something to do with toxic  liquids or whatever). So I'm REALLY on my own, and will just have to make what I have work. I doubt I'll even be able to find this "Matte Medium" around here, but I'll give it a try....   Anyway, I'm just gonna have to wing it and hope for the best.

I was already considering doing some battle damage on some of my ammo crates. Since I've already screwed up the axis crate quite a lot scraping off my horrible initial paint job, I have no qualms about screwing it up further. I'm thinking of drilling some bullet holes on it, with some strong metallic highlights added to the edges.



#16 Grand Inquisitor Fulminarex

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 02:55 PM

I have used a thinned out brown ink on flesh before as a wash, and gotten nice results. I did have to dry brush a little afterwards, but nothing severe, and once i had done 3 of the figures I had no problems.



#17 [So]Rice

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 06:36 PM

LoopholeMaster,

 

Maelstrom Games and the like are no longer allowed to send stuff to the Southern Hemisphere by order of Gamesworkshop....

 

What's the mail service over there like? If it's not too much of a hassle, you could PayPal me money and I could send it down there for you. If your ordering something, get the GW Washes set, and definately GW Boltgun Metal.



#18 arkangl

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 01:45 AM

Try Vallejo I looked online to see if there were any stores who sell it and there is one in Brazil don't know too much about Brazil to know if it's close to you but  heres the address.

HORIGINAL MODELISMO
Rua Canuto do Val, 54 -Sub solo-
Santa Cecília
Sao Paulo – CEP 01224 – 0408
BRASIL
E-mail: horiginal@horiginal.com.br
Tel. 00 55 11 3222-0429
Fax 00 55 11 3222-1007

 I just wouldn't use enamel paints. While they look clean they also look thick. Go with acrylics you dont even have to use GW or modeling acrylics. They aren't the greatest paints but stuff that they sell at the craft store in tubes will work. Also you can try Model Masters Acrylics, Tamiya Acrylics and Testors Acrylics. As for washes use colored indian ink and water it down a lot again at a craft store.



#19 Loophole Master

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 02:30 AM

Thanks a lot for the support guys. I'll try to check out the place arkangl mentioned, and if I have no luck I'll consider your offer, [So]Rice, thanks a lot.

Anyway, back to the diary. I went ahead and repainted my axis crates dark gray, and I think that turned out MUCH better. I'm glad I only removed the original blue from one of the crates, cause that procedure really damaged the surface, which will never be nice and smooth again. Oh well, I'll just have to add some texture to hide that. The other one I simply painted over the blue coat and it turned out fine.

And another breakthrough: a really small brush! Man, this completely changed everything. Now I realize the brush I was using was HUGE, it was such a struggle to avoid painting the wrong areas, now with this small brush it really made me want to go in and paint every little detail. SO much easier. These are my original brush and my new smaller brush:

With the new brush I started adding some detail to the Recon Boys. Some brown lining to the backpacks and coats, a darker tone to the boots, a little detail on the Victory MG... I think I need to darken and maybe add more red to this brown for the boots and rifle, though...



#20 [So]Rice

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 02:46 AM

Looking very good, can't wait to see what you are able to do when you get other paints.






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