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Mostly Harmless

Mostly Harmless (2/8)



  1. Attempt number 2. Start with Reaper 77015: Bugbear Warrior, poorly painted. Let it sit overnight to dry. Then apply a thin coat of Liquitex Gloss Varnish, and allow 12 or so hours to dry. Being careful to try to put it on very thin and carefully. Then apply a 2nd thin coat of the same, and 12 more hours. Again, carefully. Not much of a difference, other than the photography being worse. But it's there! Lastly, a very careful thin coat of Testors Dullcote Lacquer (1160), somewhat thinned with some Testors Lacquer Thinner & Brush Cleaner (1159). A little but of dulling, some spots I obviously missed, but overall, a vast improvement over the goblins. So I guess the lesson learned is despite being done painting and being all impatient and tired, don't just slather on the sealers. Vutpakdi's suggestion worked really well, loading the brush then blotting off some of the excess onto a paper towel (like for drybrushing, just not as extreme) seemed to really help prevent it from pooling up in all of the cracks. Overall, I like the Testors better than the Liquitex, but only because of working with it, not from end results (it dries so quick you can mostly see where you put it, and it's easier to apply without it bubbling up and stuff). I don't know how much of a difference the thinner made, honestly. Thank you everyone for your comments and suggestions!
  2. Start with three Goblins, painted (poorly) with MSP. (Reaper bones Goblins 20024) Then give two of them two coats each of Liquitex Gloss Varnish - Artist Acrylic 6208, with 3 hours between each coat. Shiny! They're dry, but don't look like it. The spearman is the Control (unvarnished). Next, the Matte sealers. The Spearman is still the control. The archer was given a coat of Liquitex Matte Varnish - Artist Acrylic 5216. The Liquitex Matte goes on just like the Liquitex Gloss, its milky and tranlucent, and prone to bubbling. I have to give it a good coating, then go back over it with the brush and basically pull a bunch off where it's pooled or turned into foamy wierdness. The Mace guy was given a coat of Testors Dullcote Lacquer 1160. The Testors goes on clear, and maybe a little thicker, but it starts to dry out and/or turn matte fairly quickly - you can see it starting to happen by the time you finish one mini. It's really easy to just slap on a coat and not worry too much. Three hours after the first coat of matte, the Liquitex looks kind of greasy. Still shiny, and thick. The Testors looks waxy. Like it's not wet, but there's a layer of something mostly translucent that you can see, dulling everything down. Both are still too shiny, so a second coat of matte is applied. Three hours later: Pretty darn similar. Both still waxy, and shinier than I'd like. Compare to our friend the Control: So a third coat of matte must be applied. This time I remembered to take pictures of what the Liquitex is like! slathered on: and with the excess brushed off: That's still wet, it's just really hard to get the stuff on the mini in a reasonable fashion, and I'm trying to avoid the nebulous 'over-brushing' which can cause fogging, or so the products tell me. Three hours later, here's coat number three: The testors looks shinier in the pic, but they're both about the same in person. Speaking of looks, see how terrible the sealed ones look next to control: What am I doing? I'm ruining them. One thing politics has taught me is to never admit you're wrong. Stay the course. Keep on keepin' on. So I put on a fourth coat. It's not getting any better. Furthermore, I don't really see a difference between the two matte sealers, all I can focus on his how much better the unsealed one looks, and how bad the other two do. Look at the bases! Same photo but zoom/crop: Unsealed (left), then Testors (middle), then Liquitex (right) My sloppy drybrushing, mostly undone by liquid evil. So what I was originally trying to find out was the difference between the matte sealers. Why? Because it's too cold/wet outside to use my spraycans. I originally used a couple coats of Krylon UV-Resistant Clear Acrylic Coating, then one coat of Testors Spray Lacquer Clear Coat (which is actually Dullcote, but just labeled incomprehensibly). This combo worked GREAT. But in winter (and for some reason, I find myself painting more when I'm trapped inside for months at a time) the sprays aren't so good, hence the brush-on sealers. I noticed my brush-on minis were not as nice as the spray ones. Maybe it's liquitex's fault, maybe their matte isn't good, etc. When I found out Testors made a brush-on dullcote, I had to give it a try. And I think what I've found out is that Liquitex doesn't suck, I do. I think my problem is the initial coat. Or all the coats. Too thick, too much. The reason it looks like it's covered in waxy stuff is because it actually is covered in waxy stuff. So what to do? I noticed the Testors bottle says to "ONLY" use Testors brand thinner to thin for brushing. Am I supposed to thin this stuff? How much? It just says "apply generous coats"! How thin? Doesn't thinning it mean it's not fully sealed? Argh! Also, I don't have gloss Testors. My only gloss is Liquitex, and it's VASTLY different (see: milky foaming bubble mayhem). Can I use the "Lacquer Thinner & Brush Cleaner" on the Liquitex? It says not to thin with water. Does that mean don't thin it, or do thin it, but with some thing else? It's "varnish" is that the same as Lacquer? Or are they different things? If so, what can I use to thin the Gloss Varnish, if anything? Would thinning it make things better? It's a "Acrylic Polymer Emulsion" but I don't know what the Testors is actually made of. It's too late for these poor mistreated goblins, but hopefully I can figure something else out. Maybe I just need to be (far) more careful, or maybe there's a different product I can use, but I've got a lot of bones, and very little Summer.
  3. My attempt at Q-tipping didn't work. I think the key is probably to get a small amount on the swab, then sort of blot at it. I soaked it then drug it across the surface, which just made a huge ugly smear which you can see on the skeleton base. So, skipping that part, I used a normal drybrush to get some 09087 Weathered Stone on the bases, and 09060 Polished Bone on the skeletons themselves. Next I used some 09294 Alien Goo to drybrush on the ghost ladies. It worked okish, didn't really look very green, just got kind of pale and hazy. Next some X-25 Clear Green with X-20A Thinner to try to blend in the drybrushing a bit, and a second coat on the green fire wall. A wash of 09136 Walnut Brown on the bases, generous on the skeletons, and sparingly on the ghosts. For the multi-color fire wall, I was going to put X-24 Clear Yellow on the high points. Opening it was tough, then all these tiny gummy spheres fell out of the cap. Also I found some stuck on the outside in a huge gummy strip. Tamiya is wierd. Anyway, there's sort of a yellowish tint, but it's mostly not noticable. Here it is next to one that was just coated in clear. Here's a smoked fireball. Tamiya X-19 Smoke. Here's blued fireball. Tamiya X-23 Clear Blue. Really slathered on, super thick at the top before I realized it was horrible. I went over the blue fireball with some Tamiya X-20A Thinner before it had a chance to dry. It helped pull off some of the excess, and moved the thick solid covered parts around more. Not so bad! For reference, here's what Clear Blue does on Green Bones.
  4. I tried knarthex's Pin-Wash, putting a wash of 09288 LED Blue and trying to just get it in the rune cracks, not everywhere. Worked ok! Later, I tried the reverse, putting a wash of 09136 Walnut Brown over the base, trying hard to not let it go into the rune cracks. Eventually, I'm going to try to dry-brush, or q-tip to break up the stone. I also slathered some wash on the skeletons base because I had extra, and why not. Wet: After it dried a bit: Time for a fire wall. The one on the right is coated with Tamiya X-22 Clear. The one on the left is stock. Wierdly, the camera shows the opposite of what happens, the painted one gets all shiny and translucent while stock is kind of matte and plasticy. Here's a fireball and wall of fire with thinned X-27 Clear Red. On the wall, I tried getting it mostly in the cracks, and tried to leave the 'high' parts unpainted. I'm going to try to hit the highs with a different color to see if I can get a flame effect similar to this torch: Lastly, I thought to myself: "You know what would be cool? A GREEN fire wall!" So I mixed up some X-25 Clear Green with X20A Thinner and slathered it generously all over a fire wall. The one on the right is one I painted a while back, just covered in unthinned Clear Red, then glosscoated. (This is one of the ones that turned sticky, which might explain all the dog hairs ugh) I was really expecting it to just cover the thing in green, particularly after seeing how the colors just overwrote each other before (blue on purple bones = just blue, blue on green bones = just blue). So this might be a neat effect, hard to tell right now. After the pictures I thought it looked gloopy, so I sort of stabbed at it with the brush to get rid of the super dark pools that were clogging up the cracks. I'll re-photo once it dries.
  5. I need to get my gloss sealer on there before I handle them too much, but here's the cube with base: Here's the seam where you can see a bit of the superglue in there. But overall, I think it's pretty cool!
  6. I found these guys I started last year. I think it's just a bunch of Tamiya Clear Green on them, with bases done in Reaper Brush-on Primer. I put a layer of 09086 Stone Grey over the primer. Thin layer, it didn't want to go on very well. Needs a bunch more coats, but I don't want to fill in the carved runes. I then put a bit of Walnut Brown wash on the skeleton base, which at the time looked like a cool stone effect, but under the harsh light of the next day just looked bad. The green ladies get some LED Blue on the runes in the base. Then the base gets 09085 Shadowed Stone. It needs more work, but not sure what to do. A wash will go in the cracks and darken the blue runes, which I don't want, and the lines are so shallow that drybrushing stone over the top will probably get in the cracks, too. I need the borders to get blended together or something, because it just looks badly painted right now. Maybe a drybrush of blue carefully applied to the runes would work, hiding the border between paints and maybe looking like an OSL thing. My last(/first) attempt at OSL looked bad, though.
  7. The pile of Stuff for the cube base got a base coat of Brown Liner. Lots of details on this mini! I love it. Then I painted anything that looked like it could be a bone with 09060 Polished Bone. A wild mold line appears! I painted the pouch, weapon handles, and insides of the round shields with 09031 Tanned Leather. I painted the kite shield, round shield borders, and weapon blades with 09207 True Silver. I painted the center guy's clothing/pants with 09217 Magma Red, the wizard's cloak and hat with 09016 Sapphire Blue, the hair with 09008 Sun Yellow, and some indeterminate other bits with 09228 Viper Green. I then hit it with The Mini Fixer: a wash of 09136 Walnut Brown. Mostly un-thinned lines on the round shields for the boards, then a thinner wash on everything. A drybrush of 09143 Yellowed Bone and I'm done with it. Hurray!
  8. I've been painting off and on, taking pictures but not posting or writing anything down, so some of this is kind of hazy now. I should try to post more, smaller, increments. At least something got done! Water Wave guy got some drybrushing of 09288 LED Blue I did... something to Crystal Guy, but didn't write down what it was. I think I probably did the LED BLue drybrushing on him, too, but it doesn't show up very well. Check out the blue base shining through the paint job, though, kinda neat. I wish I did that on purpose, to the whole thing. What I can only assume was a wash on the water wave. I think it might have toned down the peaks a bit too much, so I might go back and re-drybrush it. The G.Cube! Left half painted with Tamiya X-22 Clear, right half unpainted. The clear (or probably gloss sealer would be the same) makes it more translucent and nice looking. Painted it all in Clear, then glued it together using Gorilla Super Glue. It looks like standard Cyanoacrylate super glue. I put a fair bit on, and it seems to be holding fine. I haven't tried really prying it apart, but it's ok for normal handling so far. It doesn't really dry totally clear, but kind of foggy. If you look closely at the seam in person, you can see a bit of matte white crusty funk on there from the glue, but from a distance it's totally normal looking.
  9. The gem guy needs some highlights, so I did a bit of edging in 09063 Ghost White. I didn't do very well, it's really sloppy, but the effect has promise. I found it works MUCH better if you do it like drybrushing, don't get too much paint on the brush or it goes all over the place. After the edging, I put on some Tamiya X-23 Clear Blue to try to tone down the parts where I slopped the white all over. Then, disaster struck, and I tipped over the pot of clear blue. I managed to grab the biggest garbage-brush I had and mop a great deal of it up and back in the pot, and the table isn't stained too bad. Between needing pliers to get the cap off earlier, and my hands transferring the paintpocalypse all over it, the label isn't doing so hot. Anyway, here's the gem guy so far: I tried edging the rock dude in Ghost White also, without slopping it all over. It worked ok. It's not really showing up in the pictures very well, but it's a bit more obvious in person. Then I gave it a bit more clear blue to try to blend it in a bit. Next I used 09066 Blue Liner on his eyes and mouth. Then used Ghost White to make eyeballs and teeth. I was using leftover thinned stuff from earlier, and it was really kind of hard to work with (kept spreading all over) and I had to keep mopping up with a spare brush and some water. Which is really handy if you're prone to getting paint everywhere: Always keep a spare brush nearby to act as an eraser! Anyway, I was going to use some unthinned paint to help try to get it just on the eyes, and I grabbed 09288 LED Blue by mistake. So he's got partially blue eyes and teeth now. I also put a coat of Blue Liner on his base, so hopefully the stone colors go on easier. Assuming I do it rock color, and don't try for white snow or something. In any case, the base can't stay all ugly, so it's gotta have some kind of opaque paint on there eventually. Speaking of bases, I want to put the big water-wave elemental on a base, probably a 2" reaper base from B2KS. I'm undecided if I should just glue him on once he's done for stability and leave it black plastic, or if I should attempt painting the base, which could go horribly wrong and take up a bunch more time. Tempting to just get it done, but Thrym's cork trivet base is SO COOL. So maybe I'll paint it, or cover it with tiny rocks or something. Or not, undecided.
  10. Gem-edge and runes in 09049 Ancient Bronze Teeth and eyes with 09066 Blue Liner Teeth and eyes in 09063 Ghost White A little wash of thinned Blue Liner to try to tone down the white and cover some smudges Lastly, a bit of the wash over the bronze and in some cracks and stuff, and I think this one is done!
  11. Some work on the Water Wierd. Crests done in thinned Reaper 09288 LED Blue Tips in Reaper 09063 Ghost White Base in thinned Reaper 09066 Blue Liner Base in Reaper 09085 Shadowed Stone Kinda drybrushed in 09086 Stone Grey Edges drybrushed in 09087 Weathered Stone The edges around the gem things, and the script underneath in 09136 Walnut Brown Next is to put some kind of metallic over the Walnut Brown. Not sure which. Silver looks nice, as evidenced by Laoke's linked earlier. Bronze could be ok, but sometimes it doesn't look very good. I've got a metallic blue, but I think it might get lost with the other blue stuff as it's kind of dark. Maybe green? I think it might also be kind of dark, but maybe it would work as a kind of plant-theme or something. I imagine a water stone thing would have more green plant growth than a sarcophagus or something. Maybe it would be better to try bronze, then drybrush a tiny bit of green over the stone, to look like moss or something growing...
  12. Wolf teeth got some 09136 Walnut Brown (thinned to a wash, but applied carefully). Tentacle bases got a full wash from it, except for (most of) the stones. This is a blue mini, with a full coat of undiluted X-23 Clear Blue, well dried. I put some X-19 Smoke on the cracks and lowest areas. Not bad! Encouraged, I thinned down some Smoke with X-20A thinner, which looked real dark still, so I mixed in some Clear Blue to make a dark, thin, blue washy shadow sauce. It's so hard to work with this stuff, it's like it wants to pool up and then evaporate, leaving behind thick gummy stuff with all the color. What I ended up doing was loading the brush, smearing it all over and letting it pool up in the cracks and stuff, then just keep brushing it as it evaporates which ends up smearing the dregs along instead of letting it just sit in the cracks. If I did that a few times it sort of worked, the crevices got darker, and some of the spots I left a little to fully darken it. I wanted this guy to have more contrast, so I think that's not a bad way to do it. I'm waffling on whether I want to try painting opaque mostly-white foamy water bits on the crests. Could look cool, but I could also screw it up really badly, and I kind of want these to be done. I'll probably try it on the water wierd first, and if that turns out, then decide on the big elemental guy. Dental work on batman with 09039 Pure White. I just put back the teeth that I scraped off earlier. Next I took my leftover Walnut Brown wash and gave that a shot. It mostly worked, got some definition between the teeth, and it mostly covered up the spots that shouldn't be tooth (sides of his mouth, bit of tongue, etc.). Looks ok in person. Not happy with the eyes, but they're so tiny and sunken and pointed downward, so I'm not sure what I could do with it (again, without risking wrecking the rest).
  13. I attempted to mostly dry-brush the suckers with Reaper 09024 Amethyst Purple. I then put a little dot of 09023 Imperial Purple into the center bits (to mask where I screwed up and got Amethyst in there). I then went back with a stiffer brush and put a little water on then jabbed at the bits I painted in between suckers, the paint kind of broke up into tiny specks then got sucked up into the brush. It's not close to perfect (some of the close up pictures are brutal) but it looks good from a distance. I think I'm pretty close to done with these guys. There's the bumpy ridge seperating the sucker-part from the smooth back part, but I don't know if trying to paint that is a good idea. I'd also like the dirt to look a little less like plastic brown stuff, maybe another set of real thin dark washes will help the bumpy parts stand out (hopefully without screwing up the rocks). Wolfy got a set of new chompers courtesy of Reaper 09039 Pure White. Also his tongue and roof of mouth. Batman got the same thing, plus eyes. I got it all over his eyes and eye sockets, a mess, and had to use a tooth pick to break it out and try to salvage it. Next is some 090135 Carnage Red for the tongue, mouth parts, and eyes. I wish I had skipped the roof of the mouth on the wolf, as it shows through from the top of his nose a bit too much. I also made a really thinned wash out of X-19 Smoke and Tamiya Thinner, to try to wash it a bit. Huge mistake! I chipped batmans front teeth completely off! I'm not sure if the thinner ruins the reaper paint, or if I just didn't let the reaper paint dry enough and scraped it off with the brush. At least it's easy to add more tooth.
  14. Yeah, the pictures are kind of wierd, and in-person I get painting fatigue or something and they all end up looking kind of terrible. I need to just take them outside or something when I haven't been painting for an hour and give them a good look to figure out what to do next. Sleep on it, you know? In any case, it's better than just a coat of clear, and WAY better than unpainted. I think it would be nice if there was a bit more variation between the dark parts and the light parts, but not sure how best to do that. Maybe (in the future) coat the whole mini in a really thinned down coat, then after that fully dries, go back with the unthinned (or barely thinned) to darken in the dark parts. Or maybe use just clear for the everywhere coat, then very lightly thinned color for the dark parts. Not sure. Yeah, no problems with it at all. No beading, and maybe it's just in my head but it felt like the Tamiyas weren't coagulating as much. At least not as soon. So that's already well worth the like $2 for the pot of thinner. Here's a question for anyone using Tamiyas: Have you ever shaken them? Like really just shake the heck out of the whole pot, instead of stirring with a toothpick? The label says something about being gentle with it, I think, so I've been worried about it clouding or foaming up or something if I agitate too hard. But boy would it be easier if I could just shake it, or even transfer into a dropper bottle. Side notes: The oozes aren't available in the store yet, but the Gelatinous Cube is. The cube doesn't come with the oozes, just the two halves and the digested bottom part. So, having a 'spare' cube now, I'll get to work on one of them soon. This isn't a creative bit for me (it's going to be clear) but rather an engineering task on how to get it painted and glued and stuff. I think I'll try to paint the insides, let that dry, seal it, then glue the halves together, then paint and seal the outside. That means brush-on sealer, at least for the inside parts, which I'm not thrilled with, but not sure what else to do. Oh, one last thing, I noticed my fireball was sticky. I painted my red ones a while back, and finished the fireball and firewall, and I'm fairly confident I sealed them (glossy sealer, can't remember if brush on or spray). Used them for games, etc. They're great. But now, picking it up, it feels kind of tacky or sticky. My green ghost guy feels normal, it's just the red ones. Should I re-seal the fireball? Put more red on then seal? Simplegreen the whole thing? Does simplegreen even work with sealer? They were sitting out on a mantle above a fireplace, but the fireplace is just a little light-up electric thing, so there may be some temperature fluctuations going on (a little bit of heat that blows out, plus it's right by the chimmney which means plenty of cold will be transferring from the stone when it's not turned on). But the other ones I've got up there have been fine, so I assume it's got to be the red Tamiya.
  15. Next, I painted the base of the tentacles in Reaper 09109 Ruddy Leather. It was kind of wierd since it was still slightly transparent. Maybe because I thinned the paint? I did the wolf and ghost base, and the tentacle rocks in Reaper 09086 Stone Grey. I put a coat of Reaper 09037 Pure Black on the batguy's base. It didn't want to go on very well. Actually looks better in the pictures than in person. Then I put on some Reaper 09135 Carnage Red. It also didn't want to work well, I ended up blobbing it on, where it would scoot around and pool up (not beading, like the blue guy before, just forming pools instead of laying down in a layer). I'd dab some on, wait a few seconds, then kind of poke at it with the brush, which would suck the paint back off, leaving a watery semi-colored layer. I did this a bunch, hoping it would end up cool. Maybe like lava or fire or spooky stuff. I think it ended up just being kind of ugly brown. Next I put some Reaper 09085 Shadowed Stone down on the dog's base as a wash. I think that's how triads work, you base in the middle shade, wash dark, then do highlights light? Anyway, it didn't do much. So I went back to an old friend: 09135 Walnut Brown. Mixed together they made a nicer darker wash. I put some on all the bases, except for the rocks. Next I used Reaper 09087 Weathered Stone, and basically dry-brushed it onto the tops of the tentacle rocks. And it looked REALLY good (For me, at least): So I went wild and drybrushed the other two bases with it. Mad with drybrushing power, I tried to do the same to the tentacle dirt parts with 09031 Tanned Leather, which just looked yellow. So I mixed in 09110 Oiled Leather. Looks bad, man. Leather is hereby banished, and the Browns ride forth to save the kingdom. 09028 Muddy Brown and 09136 Walnut Brown. I put a bit right around where the ghost lady touches the base. And around the middle bits of the dogbase and where his feet touch: And then tried to fix up the tentacle dirt clumps.
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