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Painting Tips

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Black primer is not for everyone. I don't like it as the paints are opaque and there for takes many coats before you get to the point where the black stops making the base colour look muddy. For me a white prime allows me to apply the best of the colours over the top.

As for advise:

Water down the paint, about the consistency of milk is what you aiming for.
Get a good size 0 or 1 and learn how to use the brush. In essence load up the brush tip with the paint and then wipe away any paint from the edges of the brush. Now the brush tip should allow the paint to come out almost like a fountain pen, so you can paint nice thin lines.
Don't buy brushes online, go in to an art/hobby store and test them. Most good places have a jar of water, wet the brush and make sure it forms a point.
Never get paint on the metal part of the brush, paint will dry in there and as it does it shrinks a little and makes the brush fibers spread apart.
If there are GW shops near to you go in, they used to give you a model and teach some painting techniques.

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If you are going to do a lot of painting one of the best things to get is an airbrush. You don't need a really good one, but don't waste your money on a cheap one either. You'll want it for any custom priming and final sealing coats. Can also do some high lights. Sorastro on youtube is the very best. All his imperial assault videos will directly apply here. To start out, learn storm troopers. Unless you are going to make death troopers, don't prime in black, Prime in white and learn how to do washes and high lights. It is the seasons of sales, be on the look out for a good paint set on sale. Paints are actually not cheap and you may find more money going to the paints than the models, especially at first.

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1) Thin your paints. You’ll hear that a bunch, and for good reason. When you’re painting something that small, the texture of your paint can be a big deal. 

2) Buy the good stuff. I mucked around with cheap acrylics and brushes for a long time before realizing that paint made for minis is just soooooo much easier to paint with. 

3) Patience. It’s your best friend. 

4) Be realistic about your work. Don’t hold yourself to too high a standard; don’t get discouraged. But also don’t get complacent. Recognize that there’s always room to grow and things to improve on. 

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6 hours ago, Amanal said:

Black primer is not for everyone. I don't like it as the paints are opaque and there for takes many coats before you get to the point where the black stops making the base colour look muddy. For me a white prime allows me to apply the best of the colours over the top.

As for advise:

Water down the paint, about the consistency of milk is what you aiming for.
Get a good size 0 or 1 and learn how to use the brush. In essence load up the brush tip with the paint and then wipe away any paint from the edges of the brush. Now the brush tip should allow the paint to come out almost like a fountain pen, so you can paint nice thin lines.
Don't buy brushes online, go in to an art/hobby store and test them. Most good places have a jar of water, wet the brush and make sure it forms a point.
Never get paint on the metal part of the brush, paint will dry in there and as it does it shrinks a little and makes the brush fibers spread apart.
If there are GW shops near to you go in, they used to give you a model and teach some painting techniques.

Yeah, well where I live there is practicality no board game/miniatures community. So I cant do the last one. But thanks for the other tips.

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Be patient.

1. Break your painting up into easy to manage groups, say a squad of Stormtroopers

2. Take your time, a week for a squad is okay. You'll want to take your time.

3. Get plastic bottle tops and blue tack. Stick the tack on the lid and stick your trooper on that so you don't handle the model, oils from your fingers.

4. Reward yourself after a squad, do a leader or vehicle for a break

5. Take notes on what colors you use on the models for consistency.

6. And if you don't like the job soak in simple green 50 -50 with water overnight and a toothbrush to strip the paint.

7. If you want to practice go grab a bag of green army men.

8. Save yourself some time use a primer color that matches or close to you your armies color. White for Stormtroopers, Maybe grey for the Rebels.

 

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I wrote this in the Armada group a long time ago, applies here too:

Self criticism with painting is something you have to learn to unlearn. You hold the thing 2" off your eye and know every last shake, bump and missed dab of the brush. No one will ever take your work and hold it under such scrutiny, so learn that if it looks nice the rest of us will be impressed.

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17 hours ago, Sirdrasco said:

Be patient.

1. Break your painting up into easy to manage groups, say a squad of Stormtroopers

2. Take your time, a week for a squad is okay. You'll want to take your time.

3. Get plastic bottle tops and blue tack. Stick the tack on the lid and stick your trooper on that so you don't handle the model, oils from your fingers.

4. Reward yourself after a squad, do a leader or vehicle for a break

5. Take notes on what colors you use on the models for consistency.

6. And if you don't like the job soak in simple green 50 -50 with water overnight and a toothbrush to strip the paint.

7. If you want to practice go grab a bag of green army men.

8. Save yourself some time use a primer color that matches or close to you your armies color. White for Stormtroopers, Maybe grey for the Rebels.

 

I really agree with #5...

It really helps making a paint notebook for notes. Use it as reference later on if you need to paint similar miniatures in the future.

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I'd have to say thin your paints, absolutely look at videos online, don't get nuts being critical with your work, don't feel bad to walk away occasionally, and don't chase perfection (sometimes it's ok to let something just be ok instead of taking another week on one mini). Oh, and nicer brushes help (clean them afterwards)!

 

I have only painted Zombicide Black Plague figures. I started with zombies because they're just going to look dirty anyways. Once I got some confidence I started on the heroes. Once I got some of the simple heroes done, I've taken on some of the bigger pieces the game owner wanted to see finished. 

Just do one. And then another. Nothing trumps experience. 

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I am about the start painting and I have been studying, watching YouTube (Sorastro is awesome and a fellow forum member) and talking to a bunch of local guys. Grab the Reaper Learn to Paint kit, this has 3 minis, a dozen paints, a couple of brushes and step by step instructions to paint each of these and help you learn. Get good paint, brushes and LIGHT, my plan is the learn to paint kit, a couple more brushes, a few more pots of paint and a couple desk top lamp  - probably around $100-150 to start out. My biggest hold up has been every time I start to buy my supplies, I buy another game instead; I now have 9 games that need some form of paint (from IA to X-Wing) and I am still looking at more - I may have a problem. 

Edited by Cusm

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First off, realize that your major investment will likely be in paint. Don't go cheap on paint. I use Vallejo primarily, with citadel metallics and washes. But there are several great ranges out there. 

Purchase some cheap poster tack puddy or something like that, mount the miniature on something like and old pill bottle for painting. 

People underestimate the need for proper lighting, I did and quickly regretted it. Natural sunlight is always best but for night time I have two cheap office lamps (going to buy a third) with adjustable arms and light bulbs in the 5000 to 6000 in color. 

Green stuff, also known as kneadite. Go ahead and grab some for filling in gaps.

Grab some files for dealing with mold lines etc. You will be surprised how even small imperfections show up. Also need to pick up a tool (can't remember proper name) which are basically small clippers for removing parts from plastic sprues. 

Kolinskly sable brushes are a must in my opinion, especially if you get serious. Not everyone will agree but they make painting so much easier and more pleasant plus they last longer. I use Windsor Newtons now but there are others out there. A little pricey but trust me, you get what you pay for. I have sizes 00, 0, and 2 and am satisfied. 

I always prime in black, although I might do vehicles in white. Depends on if I invest in an airbrush or not. Black is so much more forgiving than white. 

Make your own wet palette, its cheap and keeps your paints going for longer, which is really helpful especially for beginners who are likely to make mistakes and need to go back. All you need is paper plates, wet paper towels, and parchment paper. 

Videos, watch them and take notes. Just don't be mad that yours do not turn out nearly as good as theirs. They have absurd sized paint collections, years of muscle memory and practice. Sorastro, Dr. Faust, etc.

Like others have said, take notes especially if you are mixing paints. 

Go ahead and start practicing. I haven't painted in over a decade so decided to pick up some Napoleonic British infantry in 28mm scale which has turned into a bad idea... as now 8th Army and Africa Korps with accompanying tanks are on the way. Love how Fantasy Flight can make me empty my wallet before even buying their products. There are some starter kits out there. 

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The best advice I can give you is find someone locally who paints - check out your FLGS, any GW stores, places that specialize in military modelling, local gaming conventions, etc... 

You can learn a ton from watching painters on Youtube, and Twitch but there is no substitute for sitting next to someone who knows how to paint even a little and is willing to help out. 

I know this is  a long shot but if you live anywhere near the Team Covenant retail store they have a core of solid painters who are very willing to teach, help, loan, and smile. 

Its a great place!

J--

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Painting questions of my own:

1: Stormtrooper white! - What is everyones thoughts on this. Having previously struggled to get a uniform white over a black primer, I am thinking of a white primer with a watered down black wash. or a grey primer and white brush?

2: Shiny helmets - Most model paints are all about the matt finish, however bucketheads and vader have elements of shiny armour. what do people use to get this effect. I see that Vallejo have gloss mediums and varnishes, are this good options?

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1 hour ago, Funk Fu master said:

Painting questions of my own:

1: Stormtrooper white! - What is everyones thoughts on this. Having previously struggled to get a uniform white over a black primer, I am thinking of a white primer with a watered down black wash. or a grey primer and white brush?

2: Shiny helmets - Most model paints are all about the matt finish, however bucketheads and vader have elements of shiny armour. what do people use to get this effect. I see that Vallejo have gloss mediums and varnishes, are this good options?

1: You want a slightly off white to very light grey so you can highlight (if you want to go that far). Otherwise as mentioned above check out soratro's youtube channel. He already has several different methods outlined in his Imperial assault series and in future releases he will be doing legion guides.

2: gloss 'ardcoat/varnish can fix it

Edited by Ralgon

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On 11/26/2017 at 7:44 PM, Amanal said:

I wrote this in the Armada group a long time ago, applies here too:

Self criticism with painting is something you have to learn to unlearn. You hold the thing 2" off your eye and know every last shake, bump and missed dab of the brush. No one will ever take your work and hold it under such scrutiny, so learn that if it looks nice the rest of us will be impressed.

Also this^^

 

If you ever have any doubt, put it on a background and upload a photo here.  I literally had to do this to a ghost model i and my GF did to prove to her it wasn't below standard rubbish ( and that was just using a phone cam and white paper, no specialist equipment) .

 

Edited by Ralgon

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1 hour ago, Ralgon said:

If you ever have any doubt, put it on a background and upload a photo here...

That blend is really very even and quite nice. Was that a brush job or airbush, colour me impressed if it was some sort of dry/wet blending as it has worked very well.

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13 minutes ago, Amanal said:

That blend is really very even and quite nice. Was that a brush job or airbush, colour me impressed if it was some sort of dry/wet blending as it has worked very well.

dry blend brush.

The missus and step kids have been doing it on paper and canvas in their general art work for a long time. It's not overly hard with the right brushes and time, although for me learning it to be repeatable (she mixed it down as she painted in 1-2 sessions) is a bit more problematic.

Dropper bottle paints or an eye dropper help when you're learning........ As i said above she was almost embarrassed (she hadn't done it in a while and was just "testing" it out with my citadel and vallejo's)  by it compared to the paint subs till i took that shot and showed her the comparisons.

Edited by Ralgon

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On 07/12/2017 at 6:12 PM, Megatronrex said:

To add to what @jsalyerssaid a lot of FLGSs host learn to paint nights. These are a great way to pick up helpful tips and/or meet someone whose willing to take a commission to paint your stuff.

Yeah, well. If only I lived somewhere that had these.

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2 resources for the beginner painter would be the citadel app (it's free!!) and the vallejo game color paint chart free download off their site.

 

Even if you never use their paints, these two items in combination work as both a color palette idea's primer (the app) and a conversion chart for many other brands ( the paint chart)

Edited by Ralgon

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