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Teeny Tiny Empire Builder trains

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#1 ced1106



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Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:07 PM

Ugh. Black. :P

A friend loves the Mayfair train games, so I'm painting up some miniatures for her. The "problem" is that these minis are small, yet have quite a bit of detail on them, and they're black. The other challenge, of course, is that each train belongs to a different player, so I need to distinguish the trains by four colors (red, blue, green, and not yellow). The last pic, for example, is actually blue, but can be mistaken for black. Thankfully, one of the trains I found pic in green, so I'm good there.

I know traditional 28mm miniatures highlight black from black to blue to white. Do the same principles of painting black on 28mm apply to 15mm, and how to I not obscure the detail on these trains (which the first pic doesn't show)?

EDIT: Added a reference pic of the last train playing piece for anyone who also is painting these miniatures...

EDIT EDIT: Updated train scale.

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#2 MonkeySloth



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Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:33 PM

The easiest way to paint black is to paint something as if it was gray where black is the shade. So with those guys you can just drybrush up your grays till it where you want it as I don't think even I'm crazy enough to try and paint something that small detail by detail.
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#3 Adrift


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Posted 16 November 2012 - 04:44 PM

I think you should go all Thomas the Tank Engine on these and go crazy with the color. Painted faces on the front would also be great!
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#4 Matbar


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Posted 16 November 2012 - 06:01 PM

Thomas! Oh no, that thing is stalking me. Everywhere I go I hear the sounds of little British children. "They're two, they're four, they're six, they're eight, shunting trucks and hauling freight." The horror...................

Okay I'm kidding, at least it's not Yo Gabba Gabba, I didn't make a full episode of that one.

#5 Adrift


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Posted 16 November 2012 - 09:55 PM

My son loves Yo Gabba Gabba, Thomas, and Curious George. The music has supplanted the music I enjoy listeing to.

#6 ObsidianCrane



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Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:08 PM

Yeah paint the whole thing dark grey, paint thin ashen grey highlights on the upper edges only, then wash black retouch the highlights at corners.

To distinguish for different players details like the red stripe on the DCC& Sound or painting the driver's cabin roof different colours is the way to go (don't forget to highlight the corners of the cabin rooves).
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#7 Heisler


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Posted 17 November 2012 - 09:08 PM

So you have six sets of those? They aren't 15mm (I was rather curious there for a moment) they are closer to to 1/285th but they aren't necessarily in scale to each other either. The set is suppose to represent the four options of trains that a player has during the game so you can look at the board and tell what type of train each player is currently using.

Something to keep in mind with these is that they are going to get handled a lot, they are going to be in a box and get bounced around a lot. They could very well see far more use than your average RPG miniature even.

I would paint all the steam engines black and do a quick drybrush (and light handed at that) with a slight lighter grey , that will give the look of the weathered appearance of the black (which faded very quickly due to the constant exposure to the elements as well as the heat from the boiler). To identify which player the train belongs to paint the base in the appropriate color. Remember these need to stand out on the board and most of the players just aren't going to care that the base looks a little weird as long as they can tell that its their train. You could also get away with painting the top of the cab in the appropriate color and painting the base in a ground color of some sort.

I would paint all the diesels in a solid color, probably give them a black wash and then go back and re-apply the main color after the wash. There are plenty of railroads with solid color diesels now and in a wide variety of colors. Again paint the base in a ground color of some sort. You could actually handle the steam engines the same way. Paint Dark Grey, wash with black and come back and drybrush with a lighter grey to highlight.

Incidentally Empire Builder is a six player game, the colors are: Black, Blue, Yellow, Green, Red and Brown
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