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Sat down yesterday after watching several videos about NMM and then tried to do it myself. 

Failed. Badly.  Like... spectacularly badly.  I can't seem to make the blends smooth enough on the surfaces, and these surfaces are so small, that I can't even block out small enough spaces for each transition color.   I really really REALLY don't know how you guys do this.

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10 minutes ago, Styrofoam said:

Sat down yesterday after watching several videos about NMM and then tried to do it myself. 

Failed. Badly.  Like... spectacularly badly.  I can't seem to make the blends smooth enough on the surfaces, and these surfaces are so small, that I can't even block out small enough spaces for each transition color.   I really really REALLY don't know how you guys do this.

 

Honestly, Practice. 

 

Dont give up hope. I found a good way to practice over and over is find a large sword (metal) and paint it, clean it off and repaint it. Just keep trying. 

 

 

I would try this. Good practice

http://www.reapermini.com/OnlineStore/bits/sku-down/14261

 

 

This one is nice as well 

http://www.reapermini.com/OnlineStore/bits/sku-down/14293

 

As well as:

http://www.reapermini.com/OnlineStore/bits/sku-down/14262

 

 

Trust me when I tell you, there will be a break through moment for you. After trying, failing and trying again you will rest for a moment come back to try again and get it. And by get it I dont mean it will be masterwork level, but it will be the basic concept on it. From there you grow. We believe in you! Feel free to start a thread and show your attempts. A LOT of people will give you excellent points. 

Edited by Arc 724
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I haven't done tons of figures with it yet, but each time has gotten easier. I think the most important parts are to get the locations in intensities right for highlights and shadows, next goal is the smoothness. NMM really does require very thinned paint to look good. I'm finding it easy to goof up if I use a layer that's too thick. You'll also need to blot the thinned paint on a towel so it doesn't gush when you put it to the mini. 

 

Some painters are pretty good at doing NMM less smooth for table top. It gives a cartoonish but pleasing impression. I haven't really tried this style, but it would be worth giving a shot at some point. 

 

Make sure you have good brushes for this so you can target where you want to. I'm using Rosemary & Co brushes on a forumite's recommendation. My best is my #2. Sometimes I use my R&C filbert style, I really like it for blending. 

 

And... be patient. My first NMM attempt took 4 hours to paint two tiny axes to my liking. Each one is a little faster since. 

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Don't give up!  I know its easy to get frustrated and to just say forget it.  But that can easily result in resenting the hobby.

 

Remember the guys making the videos have been at this for awhile and went through many goof ups before they perfected it. 

 

Also keep in mind that this is a pretty advanced technique and as such will require many failures.  But that's ok.

 

I know this probably doesn't help a lot but just trying to be encouraging.  Plus I am still learning NMM so I can't give too many tips. 

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As someone also in the learning process I will add this: the process of practicing NMM has made me a lot better at blending in general, and effectively all aspects of my mini painting have improved because I tried this method. Not to say my NMM is great yet, but it really exercises the painting superbly! 

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My approach was to not focus on the "NMM" aspect.  Just think of it as blending.  Also, don't start with swords.  Start with shields, and move up to armor and then weapons.  Find a few practice models with a flat shield and work a blended color transition from black to white.  Once you have the blend down, then move of to shadow and highlight placement on armor..

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Hi Styrofoam!

 

First off, know that many of us were...  less than happy with our first attempt at NMM.  It takes some significant practice before it starts coming easily.

 

If I have any piece of advice to offer, though, it is this:  practice blending, not NMM, and the NMM will come with time.  There are two facets to good NMM, 1) Blending, and 2) Light Theory.  Blending is probably the more difficult thing to learn and is broadly applicable to all painting, so focusing there is definitely worth your while!  Just get a large, flat object (like a shield) and practice blending from very dark to very light (or the other way around).  Once that becomes easier, then go back and try NMM again!  ::):

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Get some plastic teaspoons.  

They come in big packs and are cheap, so you don't have to waste the Simple Green or the time to remove the evidence. 

Also, as they're supposed to be safe for use out of the package, they've already been cleaned so there's no mold release on them. 

The nicely curved surface is just a bonus...

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If it’s not sacrilegious, you might want to check these out to practice on: (a non-Reaper link, sorry!)the Secret Weapon practice sticks, which allow you to concentrate on just part of a figure at a time (and save your figures some repainting).

 

Edited by Lostbug
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Good recommendation, but forum rules say no posting to non-Reaper store links (but in text descriptions or private messages are okay). 

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46 minutes ago, Gadgetman! said:

Get some plastic teaspoons.  

They come in big packs and are cheap, so you don't have to waste the Simple Green or the time to remove the evidence. 

Also, as they're supposed to be safe for use out of the package, they've already been cleaned so there's no mold release on them. 

The nicely curved surface is just a bonus...

 

This is an awesome recommendation.  I used spoons to practice using my airbrush when I first got it.  If you want to double down, practice with the airbrush to prime the spoon, then practice blending. 

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Is smooth blending really the key with NMM?  I'm no expert, still learning myself, but  I've heard a lot of painters say not to go smooth as it takes away from the extreme contrast you need to make it look real... If you look at actual metalic objects around you there it is very sharp transitions where the there is reflection of light and other objects surrounding it (shadows) off the surface.

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4 minutes ago, anab0lic said:

Is smooth blending really the key with NMM?  I'm no expert, still learning myself, but  I've heard a lot of painters say not to go smooth as it takes away from the extreme contrast you need to make it look real... If you look at actual metalic objects around you there it is very sharp transitions where the there is reflection of light and other objects surrounding it (shadows) off the surface.

 

Well, it depends on how you look at it.

 

On one hand, you need sharp (or, rather, let's call them "crisp") transitions between extreme light and dark to make the object sell as shiny.  On the other hand, you need very smooth transitions though the midtones to make the object sell as smooth (which is typical of metal objects).  Thus, you need to judiciously use both techniques to do NMM well.  Does that make some sense?

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I literally cried the first time I tried large scale NMM. (Larger than jewelry and the like, small items like that do not require particularly smooth transitions to work well, and in fact need sharper contrast to be visible.) Eventually I found a tutorial where someone started near white and worked the shadows down with glaze consistency mixes. Took quite a while (like 2 hours for my first sword), but I was happier with the results, and eventually I got more control over my blending and didn't need to use super thin paint.

I'm not suggesting that's the best method for everyone, just to keep trying things. Try going up from nearly black or down from nearly white. Try different people's techniques. It sounds like you're struggling with the brush/painting as much as the specific technique? Make sure you have good light - some people use two lamps. And magnification if you need it. That would be binocular magnification. Drugstore reading glasses if you don't wear glasses, or some kind of magnifying visor like an OptiVisor or MagEyes if you do. And a good brush (as in the Kolinsky sable watercolour brushes mentioned in numerous other threads) is also more helpful than many people believe it might be until they try one. 

There is an alternative to smooth. Well, at least one. I've been using this method in my newly-developed NMM class so that people in the class can focus on principles of where to place the lights and shadows without getting too caught up in the blending during class.

http://www.necrotales.com/necroTutorials/tut_streak_painting_01.php

This is a good video to understand the light aspect of things a bit more.

 

 

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On 5/11/2018 at 4:05 PM, Gadgetman! said:

Get some plastic teaspoons.  

They come in big packs and are cheap, so you don't have to waste the Simple Green or the time to remove the evidence. 

Also, as they're supposed to be safe for use out of the package, they've already been cleaned so there's no mold release on them. 

The nicely curved surface is just a bonus...

 

So on this note I thought I would share something I just discovered. The restaurant Chipotle. They have plastic spoons that are matte black. I’ve not seen these before so I thought I would share. Picture below. 

image.jpg

Edited by Arc 724
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