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Cuig

Learning to paint, looking for advice

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Looks like you are off to a great start.  I would go with the golden rule right now.  Just paint to have fun and to make sure that you enjoy the hobby.  If you find yourself enjoying it then chances are that you will start to naturally start to acquire tools, more paints, and other bits a bobs like most of us do.  Keep getting feedback from positive sources (this is a great place to get feedback and ask questions).  Above all, just have fun.  The more fun it is for you, the more you will paint.  The more you paint, the better you get....

 

thats my two cents worth...

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It looks like you've got some good brush control. That's a good starting point. For some, me included, the first real trouble area is getting that down. Now that you can get the paint more or less where you want it you can focus on shading, highlighting, etc.

 

If you're looking at painting up some of these GW LoTR figures I know there were some Cool Mini Or Not articles that were tailored specifically to them. You might give them a look. 

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Good work on your archer ::): 

 

I'll support what others have said and say go with working on shading and highlights next, since you've got good brush control.

 

Most of all, have fun! ^_^

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The next things that I'd work on are going back over any place where the paint has drifted out of where you want it (there are only a few that I can see) and start painting in highlights and shadows.

 

I'd focus on contrast on the next figure, and probably highlights & shading on the one after that.

 

That's a few people mentioning highlights, shading and contrast now - at present I only have the 6 colours (one blue, one grey, one flesh, one silver, one white and ... something else that I forget off-hand. Maybe a darker grey, or a green?), so I'm just wondering how I'd go about getting shading/highlights without any extra colours?

 

I guess highlights I can mix white into the colours, and I can also do some drybrushing (thanks Dr Faust!) if I get a larger brush, but is there any way to get darker colours? As a sub-question to that, is that the normal way to do shading, or would you typically have a few different shades of paint which you can use?

 

If I was going to get some different paints, I know Dr Faust mentions Vallejo paints - would something like the Game Color Intro Set be worth getting, or would something else be a better starting point?

 

Again, thanks for all the positive feedback :) I'm not going to get much time in the next couple of days to do any painting, but I'll hopefully get some done at the weekend and report back on my progress :-)

Edited by Cuig

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I think the Reaper BONES Learn to Paint Kit is a better value: http://www.reapermini.com/OnlineStore/kit/sku-down/08906

 

You can use the white to lighten almost any color for a highlight, its not always the best choice though. You can get shadows by mixing in black (which you don't have). You are starting to inadvertently go down the path of color theory, congratulations. Very quickly yellow is a good color to lighten greens and reds (although you have to be careful of which color of yellow you use for this, not all yellows are the same), white isn't bad for blues but greens can be used as well. The same is true of shadows, many times a dark blue or purple is going to provide you a more interesting shadow color and when we again venture into the world of color theory you will find that there are many ways to create that shadow.

 

The Reaper triads at least get you a basic start that can quickly get you into at least the concepts of base coat, shadow and highlight,

Edited by Heisler
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I guess highlights I can mix white into the colours, and I can also do some drybrushing (thanks Dr Faust!) if I get a larger brush, but is there any way to get darker colours? As a sub-question to that, is that the normal way to do shading, or would you typically have a few different shades of paint which you can use?

 

You can get highlights by mixing in white for some colors. (Works fairly well for blue, gray, and green; fails miserably for red, for example.) Start with just a little white and gradually add more for higher highlights.

 

Mixing in black to get shadows tends to result in very muddy colors. For your non-metallic colors, a very dark blue would probably work well. (For warmer colors like yellows and reds, a dark brown will usually work better.)

 

That's horribly over-simplified*, but probably good enough for a start.

 

* The question of how to mix effective highlights and shadows can (and has, here) consumed quite a lot of energy. It can be as complex as you want it to be.  ^_^

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The next things that I'd work on are going back over any place where the paint has drifted out of where you want it (there are only a few that I can see) and start painting in highlights and shadows.

 

I'd focus on contrast on the next figure, and probably highlights & shading on the one after that.

 

That's a few people mentioning highlights, shading and contrast now - at present I only have the 6 colours (one blue, one grey, one flesh, one silver, one white and ... something else that I forget off-hand. Maybe a darker grey, or a green?), so I'm just wondering how I'd go about getting shading/highlights without any extra colours?

 

I guess highlights I can mix white into the colours, and I can also do some drybrushing (thanks Dr Faust!) if I get a larger brush, but is there any way to get darker colours? As a sub-question to that, is that the normal way to do shading, or would you typically have a few different shades of paint which you can use?

 

If I was going to get some different paints, I know Dr Faust mentions Vallejo paints - would something like the Game Color Intro Set be worth getting, or would something else be a better starting point?

 

Again, thanks for all the positive feedback :) I'm not going to get much time in the next couple of days to do any painting, but I'll hopefully get some done at the weekend and report back on my progress :-)

 

 

Different painters do it different ways - some like to use very limited palettes and mix all their shades/highlights from a small pool of colors, others like to have separate bottled colors for each step, some do a mix of the two. Theoretically you could make any color you want from just having red, yellow, blue, black, and white, but in practice that wastes a lot of paint and the realities of paint production make it not work out like it does in your head. Plus some people are paint addicts - I enjoy mixing colors and yet I still have 200+ bottles of paint laying around. 

 

As for brands, Vallejo is good - I prefer the Model Color to Game Color but that is a personal preference. Reaper, P3, and Scale75 are all good brands as well, and I use some of the GW stuff (shades, mostly) while avoiding the rest. Its hard to suggest one over another because I have a couple go-to paints from every range. You'll discover your own preferences over time, but the Game Color starter set is not a bad starting point at all. To what you say you have, I would say its important to add a good red, a good yellow, black, a darkish brown, and a good off-white or bone color. 

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Wow they just started painting and they are already delving into color theory.  Looks like we have another miniature addict on board.  Welcome aboard cuig!  We always have room for one more.  You can now hand all your extra cash over to reaper now.  Don't worry, everything will be all right.  Sophie says so!   :;):

Edited by maxstyles

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Theoretically you could make any color you want from just having red, yellow, blue, black, and white, but in practice that wastes a lot of paint and the realities of paint production make it not work out like it does in your head.

This is actually not quite true. The "red/blue/yellow" primary colors thing we get taught in kindergarten doesn't match up with reality. To quote Wikipedia: "Using red, yellow, and blue as primaries yields a relatively small gamut, in which, among other problems, colorful greens, cyans, purples, and magentas are impossible to mix, because red, yellow, and blue do not correspond to the subtractive primaries dictated by human color vision." It is possible to mix all the colors you need from just a few "primaries," (such as forum member Pingo does) but in terms of paint, these will be specific pigments, rather than the colors of any "pure" primary color theory. I know that Reaper uses a relatively small number of pigments to mix all of their paints, so if you had access to all of those, you could theoretically mix any color in their line, but you could never do it with red, blue, and yellow, and probably not even with cyan, yellow, and magenta, due to the imperfect nature of pigments as physical substances.

 

If you do have any desire to get way into mixing paints, talk to Pingo, since she makes all her own paints from pure pigment. Most of us, however, find it easier to just buy at least most of the colors we need pre-mixed, and do a little bit of mixing here and there as needed.

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First of all, Welcome. It is always a pleasure to see someone new entering into the hobby. I am going to go with Heisler on the suggestion of Reapers Bones learn to paint kit. For two reasons, it comes with a good selection of minis and paints, AND it comes with a very good guide to help new painters get started. The nifty little case is just an added bonus. The fact that this is Reapers own forums actually has nothing to do with that suggestion. We are, oddly enough, not a very exclusive group, and tend to share tips and advice using all sorts of different companies stuff, as well as showing other peoples, like your own Games Workshop, figures. More than that, for whatever reason, this has become one of the most informal, open, and friendly places in the miniature painting community. Most of us are here because we love the hobby, and some of us really get a kick out of sharing and helping each other grow in the hobby. From the newest painter, to pros who actually paint minis for a living. 

 

Now, for advice, I strongly urge you to check out things like this sites 'inspiration gallery' (link at the top of the page) and elsewhere for high quality pieces. At this level, you won't be painting to that quality, many never do, but looking at some of those amazing pieces, and really looking at the colours used, along with other tips you pick up along the way can be a great help in finding out how some of the illusions of depth and shadow are created. If you have questions about something, ask. I can promise you, not only does someone have the answer, but they are willing to help you. There really are no stupid questions either. If you can't get something, don't understand something, or are struggling with something, I can promise you, some of us have as well, and more than a few of us might still be.

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Again thanks a lot for the replies - it's really nice to be able to ask a question and get a few ideas :-)

 

I actually have a set of 5 cavalry to paint (the 40k models I mentioned), Dragon Princes of Caledor. They seem a bit fiddly, but that's OK - if I ruin them it's no biggie, they're my first proper model to make sure I can actually manage a full set.

 

I think the order that I need to do things in is this, but could someone check over it and let me know if I've got something mixed up please? :)

  1. Cut the parts out of the mold
  2. Remove flash with a craft knife (I'll get files for a later project)
  3. Assemble the horses with superglue
  4. Attach the horses to the bases (using the long foot-bars through the slot in the base)
  5. Spray horses with primer
  6. Base-coat the horses with brown
  7. Start painting the horses from the inside-out: eyes, hooves, tail, skin, leather under-armour, scalemail barding
  8. Drybrush and then wash the horses to get highlights and shade
  9. (at this point, the horses are complete)
  10. Glue the arms etc. on to the people (again, I'll pin it for later projects)
  11. Prime the people
  12. Basecoat the people with a medium fleshy tone
  13. Paint from the inside-out: eyes, skin, armour
  14. Drybrush and wash the people
  15. Glue the people onto the horses (again, I'd pin for later projects)

The main thing I'm not sure on is whether it's feasible to glue two painted surfaces together, or would I need to glue everything together before priming anything, then paint it all in one go? I suspect that's the normal way of doing things, but for learning I think I'd like to try to do them separately and glue at the end if it's not going to make them fall apart.

 

If I'm completely wrong on anything, feel free to tell me :P

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I think the order that I need to do things in is this, but could someone check over it and let me know if I've got something mixed up please? :)

  1. Cut the parts out of the mold
  2. Remove flash with a craft knife (I'll get files for a later project)  You can use nail files to sand with as a knife may not get all the flash
  3. Assemble the horses with superglue
  4. Attach the horses to the bases (using the long foot-bars through the slot in the base) I would only do this if it is a small base.  you need to be able to reach all of the horse with the brush and bases usually get in the way.   use a binder clip to hold the horse by clipping it on to the tab instead.
  5. Spray horses with primer
  6. Base-coat the horses with brown
  7. Start painting the horses from the inside-out: eyes, hooves, tail, skin, leather under-armour, scalemail barding
  8. Drybrush and then wash the horses to get highlights and shade
  9. (at this point, the horses are complete)
  10. Glue the arms etc. on to the people (again, I'll pin it for later projects)  glue them together and fill anu joints with a puty if there is oo much of a gap!  Also dont glue together if they block your ability to paint the mini
  11. Prime the people
  12. Basecoat the people with a medium fleshy tone
  13. Paint from the inside-out: eyes, skin, armour
  14. Drybrush and wash the people
  15. Glue the people onto the horses (again, I'd pin for later projects)  If you are concerned with teh glue sticking you can always scrape off a small bit of paint from horse and rider where they actually connect and then apply the glue

The main thing I'm not sure on is whether it's feasible to glue two painted surfaces together, or would I need to glue everything together before priming anything, then paint it all in one go? I suspect that's the normal way of doing things, but for learning I think I'd like to try to do them separately and glue at the end if it's not going to make them fall apart.

 

If I'm completely wrong on anything, feel free to tell me :P

see my suggestions in red above... suggestions only of course, they are not gospel as there are 100's of ways to do this.  Always do what you are comfortable with as that will work best.

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The order looks good and robinh already has comments so you should be good. A word about glue though. Use the appropriate type of glue for the models. I'm not sure what those miniatures are made of but I suspect the are probably styrene plastic, the same stuff that model kits are made out of. In that case you want a plastic glue not super glue. I personally prefer liquid plastic glue as opposed to the tube versions, so either Model Master Liquid Cement from Testors or Plastic Weld from Plastruct. Super glue should be used on resin or metal minis. The other choice, usually only on metal minis, its overkill for resin in most cases, are the epoxy glues. Five minute epoxy is usually fine for most applications, epoxy with pins is one of the stronger joints you can create.

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The order looks good and robinh already has comments so you should be good. A word about glue though. Use the appropriate type of glue for the models. I'm not sure what those miniatures are made of but I suspect the are probably styrene plastic, the same stuff that model kits are made out of. In that case you want a plastic glue not super glue. I personally prefer liquid plastic glue as opposed to the tube versions, so either Model Master Liquid Cement from Testors or Plastic Weld from Plastruct. Super glue should be used on resin or metal minis. The other choice, usually only on metal minis, its overkill for resin in most cases, are the epoxy glues. Five minute epoxy is usually fine for most applications, epoxy with pins is one of the stronger joints you can create.

I respectfully disagree, you don't HAVE to use plastic glue on styrene models. I use super glue for every mini, metal, resin or styrene. I don't like my plastic models welded together for all time; I like to have the option to disassemble them by dissolving the super glue. I also think it is common courtesy if I sell my older models: the way I assembled/cleaned them might not be the way whoever buys them likes, and with super glue they have the option of starting over. Can't do that with plastic glue.

 

Some plastic glues can also have a steep learning curve; you might melt more plastic than intended if you are inexperienced.

 

Granted, I am also careful with my minis and don't drop them, so I don't need an indestructible bond. YMMV. Everything has it's pros and cons.

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No you don't have to use plastic glue on styrene, however, I don't like my models falling apart either. Super glue joints get brittle and will fail at some point. For whatever reason they seem to do it faster on plastic than anything else. If that doesn't bother you then all is good. I will stand by my statement to use the right glue for the material. You will never convince me that super glue is the right glue for styrene plastic.

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