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About ElJeffe313

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    WA, USA
  1. What I've found to be personally helpful and rather freeing is to give myself permission to be awful when starting something new. This is especially true when it comes to painting minis. I'd recommend, as others have, starting with the first Stormtroopers video Sorastro released. However, rather than batch paint, complete one Stormtrooper at a time so you get an idea of what the process is. Prep > Prime > Base > Wash > Highlight > Finishing Touches > Varnish. It'll also help you see where you need to focus for improvement, and you'll have 8 more identical minis that you can get more practice with. The best thing you can do to improve is just paint. You'll make progress, even if it's slow progress.
  2. Honestly, if you're determined to bring it along to show off, you should be okay with a light coating of matte varnish. As far as I know, a light coat of matte spray shouldn't prevent you from continuing the rest of the painting process. Applying a couple light layers later to seal the rest of your work should be fine. Just keep the layers light. I had a helluva time maintaining the base coat/highlights on the banthas, too. Especially the sharp ridges of the fur. I had to retouch those areas multiple times, so I feel your pain, man.
  3. Having looked over many, many reference shots of Wampa hands, I came to the decision that a Luke-warm flesh tone would work pretty well.
  4. Well done! I don't quite yet know how I feel about knowing Jabba has suckers on his belly... *shudder*
  5. I like Dr. Faust's channel for painting ideas and techniques. The rancor has pretty mottled skin, and it is difficult to get a clear look at it from shots in ROTJ. I'm looking to do something in between these two videos, while accenting the bumps all over the rancor's body. I'll probably incorporate some dark/mid-tone greens as well. Dark Skin Tone - Light Skin Tone I'm looking at this reference shot for ideas, too.
  6. That looks much better! I'm glad it worked out for you.
  7. The first thing I can think of is the base coat of Ceramite White wasn't thinned enough or mixed well enough with water to get a smooth coat. If you didn't notice the lumpy look until after the red coat was applied, then perhaps the red coat was a bit too thick. I've picked up three separate pots of Ceramite White, and it's extremely thick and clumpy compared to other Base paints. I make sure to mix it very well with water before applying. I asked a GW retailer why this paint was so different than the others from the Base line, and he told me it's because of the dense pigment. Mephiston Red, while not nearly as chunky as CW, is also a pretty thick Base paint that I need to make sure to mix well before applying. As far as fixing it, you could try a very gentle, light sanding with a high-grit sand paper or hobby equivalent. You could also try using a hobby knife to scrape off the lumpy paint, but that'd be the last resort, honestly. Best advice I can give you regardless of how you choose to tackle the fix is to be patient, take your time, and work on small sections to test out your method before working on the rest of the problem area. Good luck!
  8. Drying times can vary, but I typically don't have to wait more than 2-3 minutes for a highlight layer to dry. To help determine if my paint is too thin or too thick, I'll wipe the brush over the edge of one of my painting tray pods and see how quickly it runs down to the center after I've finished mixing the paint. If it runs down nearly instantaneously, it's too thin. If it tends to gather on the edge, it's too thick. I've used Vallejo and Citadel for all my painting, and I also appreciate the preciseness you can get from dropper bottles. To that end, while using Citadel paints, I use an older brush to transfer the paint onto my palette, and have a flow-improver/water mix stored in a dropper bottle. I have better control over how thick/thin my paint gets this way. I've tried to cut back on "extra" paint when using Citadel's pots by taking less than I think I need, and slowly adding small amounts if the color or consistency isn't right. It's a lot of trial and error that's gotten me to this point!
  9. I second KalEl's and Darksidenet's advice, FrogTrigger. When highlighting in multiple layers, it's easier to have your paint a bit too thin than to try and make layers that are too thick blend together. If you're having issues getting the look right, put a thin layer down and wait for it to completely dry before deciding if you need to add another. When dry, these acrylic paints (Vallejo and Citadel) are pretty translucent, so you'll see some of the underlying color come through. Until you get more comfortable with applying multiple highlight layers, especially in a gradient application, take your time with them. Thin washes and glazes can really help "tie the room together", so experiment with that as well. As an aside, Sorastro's mentioned in his videos that he'll take a damp, clean brush and "feather" the edges so as to better blend them together. Another technique, though a bit more technical and difficult to get right, is called "wet blending". This technique has you apply one color layer, then apply a second color layer along side it and, while both layers are still wet, gently feather the two together. This is a technique I don't use all that often because it is more time consuming and can be difficult to get the look right. It's worked better for me when I have a larger, flat surface area where I want a color gradient. With the small areas on these IA figures, I don't know how helpful wet blending would be. I only mention it in case you'd like to check out another method, and compare the results. Keep on truckin', dude. Practice and patience are the best teachers you can get.
  10. I've used Liquitex Matte in the past, and really like the end result. I've been using Testor's just because it's easy to apply. With the Liquitex, I'd use my airbrush to apply it (thinned with water first), so there was more cleanup involved.
  11. For those who like links, here's the Biv Bodrick vid!
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