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Hot Lead

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Everything posted by Hot Lead

  1. FWIW to add to the "translucent" Whites discussion I've been using Golden's Zinc White Liquid Acrylic lately to add some tinting without chalkiness. Seems to work well, though the mention of zinc causing problems with paint over time makes me a little leery now. :( I also swear by Vallejo's White Glaze. It's a premixed matte medium with white pigment in it. Thinned down it makes a nice mixing white, or can be glazed on in translucent layers to build up a nice subtle white highlight.
  2. I think the key here is the oxidation with the liquid in the paint. ZInc and copper both oxidize like crazy, as does steel/iron (even stainless will go eventually when kept in a liquid for long periods. Pewter can vary - never had a problem with MSP, but in my Vallejos it would break down, depending on the paint. Lead I suspect is one of those metals that "skins" over with a outer layer of oxide patina that doesn't continue to oxidize beyond the initial layer. This is why old lead minis turn grey, but in most cases *don't* turn to lead rot. The metal mix of the lead can make a difference - high bismuth content IIRC will promote lead rot. In any case I've always been super paranoid because paint binders, mediums and even pigments (if liquid) can have different chemical properties. SO I just use glass beads or preferably hematite (iron that's already been oxidized.) Never had either react in any bottle. (FWIW Reaper switched to hematite beads in their MSP also.)
  3. Surprisingly, these don't have much of an odor. I always thought they did (these are my first partha paints in some time). I'm aiming to stockpile a minimum of 4 of each partha if I can. Extras beyond that I might find it in my black goblin heart to break you off a piece. Gratis, even, 'cause you're a pretty cool guy. And also a green goblin. I've also discovered, to my extreme shock, that partha paints are hands-down the best layering paints EVER. They even beat the MSPs. I never used layering back when parthas were common, and the pictures you'd see in catalogs wouldn't indicate it, but holy macaroni today's layering - even with sleep deprivation and a severe case of the crankies (I snapped a kolinsky in half) - was the most sublime joy I've had in a while. ETA: I'm actively hunting partha paints now, that's why I suspect I may wind up with extras in the future. I'm calling in every favour, debt, and blood oath I've got to track down more of these. Yeah, it's funny I still have many old Partha paints in bottles and in many cases they're still usable. The "smell" can be pleasant but sometimes it means the paints are going bad - I've had bottles get mold in them! Seriously. Had to toss a few back in the day, Hmmm, when I painted with them, though, they were usually very grainy when layering. It's why I switched first to Vallejo, and then Reaper MSP. Also, Iron Wind Metals used to sell some of the old Partha paint colors, but I think they're dq'd now... You may still be able to find them at obscure stores, cons, etc. Whatever bottles you get smear some petroleum jelly on the threads on the bottle. This will help keep the bottles from leaking air past the threads and extend the life of your paints.
  4. I used Golden's gesso on some minis recently and it worked out rather well. I mixed enough water to get it to flow and added a drop of matte medium to the mix. The medium helped it stick the surface better. Took 2-3 coats to get a smooth, even white but it was worth it in the end.
  5. Interesting. I have the same sculpt, but it was a Hound of Tindalos from Grenadier's Call of Cthulhu Mythos Creatures boxed set. Grenadier would often rerelease figures under different names and sets over the years. The Cthulu minis esp. were rereleased under the "Nightmares" range of minis after they lost the official Cthulu license to RAFM. It was a way to circumvent the restriction and still sell the minis under the "new" names.... It actually worked out for me as I collected a lot of old minis I'd never been able to find before the rerelease. See this great site for info on the Nightmares line (and other old minis): http://www.miniature...%28Grenadier%29
  6. If you're going to try the stage-lighting effect, be sure to account for areas of the mini that will be shaded by ambient room light in the real world. In other words if the bard is wearing a hat, the brim will shade the painting underneath the hat, darkening the lighting effect from below. You can compensate for that by making the highlights brighter in those areas than ones not shaded from above.
  7. I wouldn't recommend Future. It's glossy and will act more like a varnish than a flow aid. I'm surprised neither place had it... You may need to look in the craft paint aisles if you can't get Liquitex or Golden Acrylic artists brands. (BTW I trust store employees to know about their stock about as far as I can throw them! Ask me about my hardware store experiences.) Look for any of these: http://www.decoart.com/cgi-bin/Products.cgi?Easy_Float http://www.plaidonline.com/folkart-outdoor-acrylic-colors-flow-medium/72/product.htm http://shop.hobbylobby.com/products/folkart-floating-medium-898858/
  8. The Rallidium discoloration has been covered in depth, but I wrote some comments about lead rot in this thread you may find helpful: http://www.reapermini.com/forum/index.php?/topic/41632-prepping-lead-mini-questions/ BTW, it's acetic acid (vinegar) out-gassing from the wood or other material around the minis that starts the rot. Unfinished wood is the worst, then it depends on the type (softwoods more so than hardwoods.) So yes, paper boxes are bad... BUT, not all lead rots. It depends on the metallurgy of the lead mixture. If you see rot starting (like the GW minis you posted) it's best to treat it if possible (see the thread I posted) and prime it all over to seal it completely (including the base.)
  9. I've had it go "bad" by turning orange and getting very watery, but it was useless for cleaning anymore by that point. But that was a singular case. That bottle was at least 5-6 years old IIRC. (I used to keep it in my travel paint kit.) Mostly it just dries up on me when the wife leaves the cap open for days... (She uses it for her watercolor brushes too.)
  10. Hmmm, haven't tried that but that it would work. Honestly I have an ultrasonic cleaner I've tried for stripping paint like this. However, I haven't really seen any big difference in stripping when I used it. The stripper I use seems to make the biggest difference of all. I did try to use the ultrasonic cleaner to mix paints when I first got it, but it was too much of a pain to put the bottles in something waterproof, fill with liquid, drain, etc. It's also why I decided to make something that works "dry".
  11. Nice work! I like the subtle color scheme. I always liked this old succubus too. One of the few good ones from back in the day. (Along with the Grenadier succubus from the Monster Manuscript series: http://s.ecrater.com/stores/88954/4d65f289c1ad3_88954b.jpg)
  12. Hey Vicky! I remember seeing this when you posted it to Reaper's Facebook page. I love it. Great work on the subtle red effect on the armor.
  13. Thanks Errex! I love Harley Quinn and had to do something apropos.
  14. Thanks! She was a lot of fun to paint up. If you decide to convert note the lead is really soft. I tried to move her hand to better position the bomb and broke it off. I pinned it back in the stock position.
  15. Here's some pics of my Harley Quinn model "Why so serious?" which won gold in Painters at Reapercon this year. She's a "free" give away from a UK magazine by Eaglemoss publishing. They publish titles for both Marvel and DC Comics superheroes - each magazine has a history of the character and includes a prepaint lead miniature. (Yes lead! These are heavy.) I'm guessing the scale is 75-90mm. The minis are a deal at ~$14-16 per magazine! For reference here's what the stock prepaint looks like: The cast-on base is a resin DC Comics logo I broke off on mine with my trusty Xuron cutters. The feet had lead tabs I sawed off and pinned instead. The base is a print out of the Joker card glued to a playing card and hand-painted. The pop-gun cork was real cork - cut and sanded to shape before inking. The "fuse" for the bomb is a braided electric wire unwound a little and dipped into super glue to thicken the tips of the wires. Bomb itself is just a wooden bead with plastic tube for the top.
  16. Just thought I'd post a home-made paint mixer I fabbed up. I did a commission recently that required a lot of shades of paint. Even though RMS paints are easy to shake, some of mine are getting long in the tooth (thickening) and shaking them was becoming tiresome... I was going to buy some kind of scientific lab shaker on ebay, but even the used, crappy ones were going for $40 and might come with an unexpected gift of anthrax or something... And I had a deadline to meet so shipping wasn't an option. So I made my own paint shaker out of parts I had lying around. I did some surfing and found other painters' ideas I combined into a working unit. I've made one before, but it was a cheesy thing with a weighted CD-ROM motor attached to a film canister, suspended by an o-ring. I wanted something more effective, easier to use, and able to hold multiple paints at once. I ran across someone who attached a motor to a plastic tray and hung it from rubber bands. It worked nice, but clattered the heck out of the paints in the tray. However, it gave me an idea - I figured the scientific shakers had some kind of rubber isolator to keep the shaker from transferring vibrations to the table. So here's what I came up with: All told this cost me $0, since I had all the parts on hand. But, it should cost under $20 to make depending on what parts you can scrounge or buy. WARNING - I provide this article as an example for entertainment purposes only, and take NO responsibility for anyone attempting to build a similar device. DO NOT attempt to do this unless you have a basic knowledge of mechanics or electronics. NO ONE under the age of 18 should attempt to build this. Parts list: 12v computer fan (80mm or larger and at least 200mA for max. vibration) plug-in 12v DC transformer - should match the mA rating of the fan. (I used a 14v @ 100mA, though, which worked fine - higher voltages can lessen motor life though...) protective screen or mesh for fan (don't use the chrome ones with big openings- you'll see why in the description) plastic tray ($1 for 2 @ drugstore) rubber non-slip shelf liner rubber weather-stripping insulation assorted screws 4 hollow rubber feet - sourced from a DVD player, but can be found in electronic supply houses wire crimp connectors wire cutting/crimping tool on-off switch (optional) - I didn't have one handy, so I just plug it in lead foil or similar flat weight super glue or E6000 double-sided tape rubber cement As you can see the tray was just screwed to the top part of the fan's screen with some small electronics screws. I drilled pilot holes with my pin-vise and screwed it down. I stuck the non-slip sheeting on the tray with double-sided tape. The weather-stripping foam is self-adhesive - I used enough thickness to be able to hold a bottle firmly on its side. This guarantees maximum shaking of the paint: I then prepped the fan by gluing pieces of lead foil on one blade with super glue. (The white residue is from zip-kicker.) Flat, thin pieces of lead worked best. I could shape them to the fan blade profile before gluing. I tried a flattened fishing weight first and it flew off as soon as I fired up the fan (you DID read my warning right?!?) Tiny sticker of Iron Man can be added to fan blade later if desired. A few pieces were enough to off-balance the fan so it shook when it turned - like a cell phone vibrator, but much stronger. (I used maybe a 1/4 oz worth of lead.) Next I screwed down the fan to the tray and attached the bottom screen. The screen is crucial so if lead does fly off the fan blade later it won't shoot across the room... However – the weighted side of the fan blade is pointing at the bottom of the tray, so chances are it won’t fly anywhere dangerous but into the bottom. You can add metal mesh if you feel totally paranoid but after several weeks of using this gizmo I've had no mishaps. I glued the rubber feet to the bottom screen with rubber cement. You can see here the hollow rubber will isolate the mixer from the surface it's on. Finally I cut the leads from the fan and crimped them onto the transformer's wires. (The blue wire shown in the fan close up wasn't "live" - I assume it's for speed control or something I didn't need, so I snipped it off.) Caveats – I don’t know how long the fan will last, since it wasn’t designed to spin unbalanced and push air against a solid plastic surface. Eventually the bearing will go, but it’s easy enough to get a new fan. The transformer doesn’t get hot after 5 minutes’ straight shaking so I assume I’ll never have to replace that… So how's it work? It doesn't vibrate my workbench - all the shaking goes into the paints. The tray slides over maybe a 1/2 inch when it first spins up, but then settles into a groove and won't move again. See the video for a sound level - it's much quieter than a computer fan when it's at max cooling. Quiet enough to be of no disturbance at night (my studio is next to my daughter's bedroom.) Here are some examples of paints I shook. The Vallejo red hasn’t been used for 5 years (I’m not lying! - ever since I switched to RMS paints.) 2 minutes shaking and it pours almost like new! The RMS paints were thinned perfectly in 1 minute or less, though some bottles thicken up with time (even a mixer won't fix that!) so a little distilled water may help with older bottles. As you see, the tray can hold up to 6 paints side by side, but I wouldn't add more than that or the rubber feet might compress too much from the weight. And it does a decent job of rolling dice too - though probably not fast enough for most gamers... Not bad for 30 minutes' work! ;)
  17. +1 for the Xuron cutter! I've used it to chop off broccoli bases with ease. However, for precise or finicky details I prefer a razor saw. The blade is usually ~1mm thin, but I find it gives me more control to make a straight cut than a normal hobby saw (with the wire-size blade.) The blade don't snap either... I can cut off feet easily without losing much metal. Also, if you go the saw route use some bee's wax on the teeth - pewter and lead are very soft metals and will clog the teeth eventually. The wax slows this as well as lubricating the saw for faster cutting.
  18. A little heat from boiling water won't make the metal melt, but it probably won't get it hot enough to help bending either. You can always try a judicious application of a hair dryer. Also, be careful when bending old minis. Some of the old alloys got brittle with time, depending on the specific mix of metals. Grenadier was pretty notorious for it - I've snapped a few 80's Grenadiers off at the shins with too much pressure!
  19. I use one of those white out pens: Shake, squeeze and white in the letters. When dry just scratch off the excess around the edges of the numbers.
  20. Crackling paint issues seem to pop up periodically here. The culprit is usually attributed to a few possibilities: primer that hasn't dried completely or dries too hard/slick (Krylon mentioned) or paint that is applied too thick or thin over said primer. There's a thread specifically for Bloodstain which seems to be too much thinning as the problem: http://www.reapermini.com/forum/index.php?/topic/33903-crackling-paint/page__hl__%20crackling%20%20paint
  21. That's a very good point - matte sealer will kill any metallic shine. Not the hot ticket unless you want a flat metal look. It would work for aluminum, but not shining steel. When I used to paint metallics I added brush-on gloss sealer to bring the shine back. This let me leave the shadows matte so as not to ruin the illusion if you turn the model and suddenly the shadows are shiny when the rest of the model is matte.
  22. "Lighten up, Francis..." - Sgt. Hulka, Stripes Sealer won't "blend" your models for you. The painting technique has to be present under the sealer. Blending, layering, etc. has to be solid. Sealer won't conceal poor blending or brushstrokes. It can smooth areas akin to using a glaze to smooth a chalkily-blended area. Lots of painters glaze to smooth their blends too.
  23. Hmmm, guess I should strip the sealer off my recent Best of Show winning entry then... Or this one: http://www.reapermini.com/ReaperCon2009PaintingContest/detail/185 I seal everything I've ever painted, with Testor's Dullcoat. Never had a lick of trouble. In fact, it's a handy trick to smooth out slightly-rough blended areas and remove shine. mudhead, I'm sorry to hear you lost some detail when you sealed. I can only think the sealer was super thick and/or matte. There is a difference in sealers. I would not use any hobby or hardware store brands, even something like Krylon's line marketed to artists. I use only Dullcoat or brands marketed in art stores for acrylic paintings, like Windsor & Newton or Grumbacher. Personally I've used Testor's for over 20 years. I prefer it because it's lacquer based - not acrylic, like some sprays. Much less susceptible to any kind of fogging, goes on in a smooth, thin coat, and doesn't build up, even after multiple layers. Now some competition painters don't seal because they feel it impacts the trueness of their colors. This is pretty prevalent in Europe, but personally I've not seen the sealer affect my colors to any great extent. In fact, I use it to seal areas between blendings. Say you finished an area you're happy with - spray with Dullcoat. Then if you get paint on it accidentally the sealer makes it much easier to pull off the smear quickly with a wet brush. Otherwise the paint bonds to the other paint without the sealer layer inhibiting it a little. I'm not the only one who does this - ask Jen Haley.
  24. Vallejo does bottle them in the regular dropper bottles now. I still prefer the older bottles - they seal like medicine bottles (with a foam seal and "child-proof" cap) and seem to keep them fluid longer. At least I've got bottles of it that are still fluid 10+ years later.... I loved Vallejo alcohol based metallics - when I still painted with metallics - because of that sheen. However, they don't play well with others. Don't intermix well with acrylic inks or paints, unless they're shellac-based inks. Also some of the colors you need to varnish to prevent the flakes from oxidizing. I used them as a basecoat and then washed with inks and drybrushed with pearlescent inks (like Daler-Rowney or FW: http://www.fineartstore.com/Catalog/tabid/365/List/1/CategoryID/1421/Level/a/Default.aspx?SortField=unitcost%2Cunitcost)
  25. Yeah, it was awesome! He had a local airbrusher do all the lighting bolts, even inside the engine compartment and up the metal dashboard. He also has a model of the same car the body shop guy shot with the same paint. I detailed it with freehand lighting bolts and metal-foil chrome work. However, I can't find any pics of it to save my life...
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