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Wren last won the day on December 2 2019

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About Wren

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  • Birthday 07/13/1967

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    Knoxville, TN (formerly Toronto, Canada)

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  1. The package I have is marked 410A Ultra Close Cutting Shear. I did purchase it at least 10 years ago, so it's possible that they no longer make that one or it's not got the same designation. The back describes a 'blade by-broccoli shear cutting action that is unique to all Xuron cutters. Shear cutting reduces cutting effort (as compared to traditional compression cutting) and extends blade life because the sharp edges are not meeting edge to edge." So I suspect that is the crucial element more than the exact model, and that any Xuron model that seems about the size and general conformation to do what you're looking to do will work in a similar way.
  2. Reaper uses safer pigments. They have avoided using some kinds of shinier metallic flake in the past to keep their paints safer than not. The bottles were once labeled non-toxic. The formulation hasn't changed, I think it's just due to them being more widely distributed that they are no longer labeled such. (The EU and various other countries may have different definitions so it's just easier to skip it if I had to guess.) However, it's important to note that non-toxic means non-toxic when put to intended normal use (painting on figures with possibly getting some on one's person now and then, not consuming.) That said, loads of people lick their brushes, or wipe paint off on to their fingers or nails to wick their brush and other habits that are bad but probably not super injurious. Lots of people have also reported finding cats drink their paint water (or have accidentally swigged some themselves.) Not desirable, but no dire effects I've ever heard of. There are toxic pigments in the world, though fewer and farther between than there used to be. Many of these are generally expensive and well labeled. You're not likely to buy a real cadmium or cobalt paint for hobby paint prices. (Seeing cadmium or cobalt in the name doesn't necessarily mean that it has any in the paint. Particularly if the name also includes the word 'hue'.) As mentioned, once acrylic paint is dry, it's dry. It's basically plastic at that point. There is a chance of paint chipping off, though I don't think it'd be very reactive or anything. I might put figures away or cover an active game board with a cloth or something to prevent the birds nibbling on things not only for their safety but to prevent damage to the figures. To add yet another caveat, birds are not people, and the data that Reaper or any one else has about toxicity of various pigments and paints is going to relate to people. It's my understanding that heating Teflon coating type pans releases vapours that can hurt birds but will do nothing to people, just as we can scarf up loads of chocolate and onions and dogs and cats should definitely not. So it may or may not help completely put your mind at ease to know there's nothing in the paints harmful to humans. Perhaps it would be helpful to also inquire on some forums of bird enthusiasts? Miniature hobby paints are acrylic paints roughly in the same category as acrylic house paint or general hobby paints or art paints (though some art paints do contain the heavy metal pigments I mentioned, I just mean more to the general point of acrylic paints.) So a bird keeper with general knowledge of acrylic paint safety and birds would be a helpful resource.
  3. Thinning a regular consistency metallic paint with water isn't a no-no for any technical reason. It can be less than ideal because the metallic flake is heavier and sinks to the bottom of your paint pool or separates a bit. So you end up having to stir a lot. If you're diluting a metallic paint to make it more translucent, then adding medium is more effective - you spread out the particles/pigments to reduce the intensity of the colour, but the medium is less watery so things stay in suspension better. I've used airbrush medium, which isn't necessarily matte. Reaper brush-on sealer would work fine, too, or matte medium if you have it, unless you find that that it dulls the metallic too much. (Probably wouldn't.) In terms of adding something to the bottle because paints are thinkening up - there I add water, just enough to get it back to original factory consistency. Sludgy is too thick, so a bit of water to bring it back to normal consistency should work without making it constantly separate like it might if you add a lot of water. I always kind of figure the thing that is evaporating out of a bottle is water, since water definitely evaporates. The polymers that are the acrylic part of acrylic paint (and medium) solidify into a dry paint film through evaporation. So I figure they're still in the bottle in the necessary quantity. Basically I don't like to add anything to a paint bottle other than water cause I'd be changing the ratios of the recipe. I miss with paint I have out on my palette, if I get it wrong I just affect that bit of paint not the whole bottle. Medium does seem safe, using a medium product from the same company that makes the paint seems safest, but if my bottle were gunked up so badly I was worried about it I'd honestly just go get another bottle. BUT BIG CAVEATS: I am not a chemist, or a paint mixer, or any of that. I also don't use metallic paints that extensively in my own day to day painting. I own a ton of 'em, just don't break them out that often since I'm usually painting for photographs or my clients prefer NMM. So I'm not claiming to be an expert or that this is a definitive answer or anything at all like that.
  4. Before I got the vortex mixer it was literally painful!
  5. A year or two ago one of the 'what classes would you like to see at ReaperCon' threads included the suggestion of a class on how to teach classes. I'm not sure that's feasible as a class, but it's definitely a topic of merit. So I thought I'd try my hand at some written information instead. (Apologies to the person who made the suggestion whose name I do not currently remember.) I've just posted part one, which focuses on the different kinds of classes, how to decide what to teach, writing class descriptions, working with the coordinator of classes at conventions, and similar administrative type issues. https://birdwithabrush.com/2020/04/15/how-to-teach-miniature-painting-classes-why-who-what-and-where/ I plan at least one other post with information on how to work up the content for a class, plan and prep for supplies, and actual teaching tips, and I'll come back and add links to those as they get finished.
  6. When I wrote this I went through all my stored paint and paints I use for classes. I still have to go through all my regular paints...
  7. Minor pitting is what I think of as little dimples or shallow pock marks on a surface. Successive coats of sealer can solve that, but since you have a flat surface, you have lots of options. (Often this happens on robes and skirts with undulating folds that are a pain to sand.) The water soluble putty slurry would work great on that, but coats of sealer work too. Actual divots and pits are most efficiently filled with putty. Again I'd go with a water soluble putty that dries hard. First cause I could water smooth it to the surface with a damp tool, and secondly cause it's easier to sand after. Then probably a coat of sealer. But I think you may also be magnifying or over-complicating your problem by expecting solutions that LOOK perfect on bare metal. As I mentioned previously, the sealer option is working with a transparent product. It may not look fixed. And in general even a sanded or event buffed metal surface is going to look like it has a lot of imperfections. The way light bounces around on metal exaggerates everything. Those imperfections are usually unnoticeable once you get a few coats of primer and/or paint on the surface. You need to fix your big divots, then prime and see where you are. If you see minor pitting or imperfections, apply coats of gloss sealer (or a few more coats of brush-on sealer). Then apply another coat of paint. When you said mirror smooth in your initial post and then continued to have issues, I was wondering whether you were trying to do an effect that would involve actually polishing the metal or some kind of product that has to be applied to something super smooth (I've seen 'liquid metal' type products, was thinking maybe something like this.) I recommend you throw a coat of brush on primer on the front side of your surfboard. I suspect you'll find it looks a lot smoother than you thought it was. And if it isn't a few rounds of sealer-primer-sealer-primer should get you there with very little trouble.
  8. I think the issue you had with the gloss is related to sanding. You should be able to get a great smooth coat with gloss sealer, it's just not one you can sand down. Grab something like an old margarine tub or a piece of blister pack and do some tests. You could even scratch the plastic up with sandpaper or etch some gouges in and then test a few different options that you have to hand for smoothing it out. It's not exactly the same as metal pitting, but it's in the ballpark. Then paint a coat of paint over your tests and see which one ends up giving you the smoothest result.
  9. I would start by trying to chip it off with an Exacto or similar. Superglue is usually pretty brittle.
  10. Unless Vallejo has changed the formula (I have a bottle not a tube), plastic putty is the same as liquid green stuff is the same as art store modelling paste. (Which cost per ounce is a LOT cheaper if you have friends you can go in with on a purchase.) I'm about 95% sure on that. It's flexible and probably pretty similar to the binder used for heavy body acrylic paints, if not pretty much just that exactly. It's great for filling gaps as it's water soluble/smoothable. It's thick like frosting, so it seems to me like it would be a pain to work with to smooth a surface, but maybe I haven't played around with it enough. I haven't tried sanding it. Next time I break some out I'll try to leave some globs set up on a piece of plastic to test sanding on. Since it's flexible and a lot like paint, my guess would be it's not going to sand down to a smooth finish like a hard putty will. A two part resin varnish that dries hard might, but that also sounds like a pain to deal with.
  11. I consider this an experiment that is still underway, but I'm trying something to reduce this. Well, my main concern is actually slightly different than yours, but I think it's related. I have noticed it's pretty common to get a glob of paint that sits trapped in the neck of the bottle. If that happens with a bottle that sits unused for a while the isolated glob starts to dry out quicker or have other issues. My theory is that the bottles that ooze are ones that have globs of paint stuck in the dropper cap and/or neck of the bottle. It may be that changes in climate conditions cause the air pocket sandwiched in between the isolated glob and the main body of paint to expand and that's why you get the oozing. I'm no physicist, so I don't really know causes. I'm not too stressed about the oozing itself, other than it's messy and a bit of a pain, but I want to keep the paint that stays in the bottle at top quality. What I have been doing is making sure that the hole in the dropper is clear AFTER I dispense paint. So before I cap it back up again I check if the hole is clear, and use my pokey tool on it if not. Hopefully this allows/causes any paint up in the dropper to fall back down into the main body of the bottle. Tapping the bottom of the bottle or rapping it on the table after closing might help with this too. You can also pull the dropper nipple out and check for paint stuck up in there. If you've had your paints a while you might have some where the paint has thickened up enough that you'll need to pull it out with an old brush or a cocktail stirrer or something and poke it back down into the main bottle area. If it seems kind of thick, add water and shake the bottle well. But on a side note, I recommend not getting too freaked out about 'wasting' paint. I forget the exact count, Anne has said it a few times and I'll see if I can rediscover, but there are hundreds of drops of paint in each bottle. Even if the glob of paint that comes out when this happens is equivalent to 5 or even 10 drops of paint, that's still less than 1% of the contents of the bottle. With liquids it will seem like a lot, but it's not really. I especially encourage people not to be too stressed out about wasting paint in use. If you use a little extra to learn how to mix colours you like, or practice techniques that will ultimately serve you better, that's not 'waste'. Being super careful with your paint use can require a lot of extra time or mental worry. I think my time and peace of mind is worth more than a few cents worth of paint, and I think yours is, too.
  12. Methods I'm aware of for smoothing surfaces: Just sanding and filing. For a very smooth finish you start with rougher tools and finish with higher value sandpapers. Feasibility affected by the shape of the surface. Relatively easy on a smooth flat surface, annoying on rounded cloak folds and the like, which are the very area most likely to end up pitted in my experience. Some putties are water soluble after you mix them. Milliput is one, I think Apoxie Sculpt and MagiSculp probably have this property too. You mix a chunk, then put it in a little dish (like the plastic cube from a blister pack). Add a bit of water, and agitate the water against the putty with a brush. You will create a sort of putty 'slurry'. Paint this over your surface. Once it cures, you should be able to sand with higher value sandpapers to get a nice finish. Again, can be more or less of a pain depending on the shape of your surface. Do as much surface prep as you can with the above methods and then apply sealer. For relatively minor issues, Reaper Brush-On Sealer works well though may require a few coats. For deeper pitting and scratches, you'll get farther faster with a gloss coat. 'Ardcoat or Reaper's Gloss sealer both work. Future is going to be pretty similar here too. You need to apply this in as smooth a coat as possible. The issue with this is that you can end up _adding_ texture if you have a ridge around the edge where you add it, or brushstrokes if your sealer is super thick. (Thin it down a little with water if it's that thick.) The sealer should be applied as the final step, I don't think it'd work well to sand it down. One thing to consider is that since all these products are transparent, you can't really SEE whether you've filled in all the texture. You may need to test by applying a thin coat of opaque paint or brush-on primer over the surface and then see what that looks like when it dries. If the surface still looks rough, do another coat or two of sealer, rinse and repeat. Since these sealers are largely the acrylic binder portion of paint, it's fine to do this as a really last step. Prep as you can, use a good primer, and then check your surface. Add some coats of sealer as necessary, a coat of opaque paint to check the surface, and so on until you're happy with it. Note that this surface is to some degree a little more fragile while painting than you might think about. What I mean is, if you get a piece of lint or hair while you're painting, a lot of us scratch or scrape that out with a sharp tool or exacto blade or something, and that usually works fine. You've got just a few microns or whatever of surface built up from the miniature with primer and paint. If you're building up a smoother surface with a bunch of sealer, it's thick enough that it's noticeable if you scratch down to the figure surface, or you can dent it with a fingernail while it's still curing. (Acrylic products take several days to fully cure.) It's generally not a big issue, just something to be aware of.
  13. I've posted up a blog article on how to care for and maintain your miniature paint supply. It can be a bit tedious to do, but if you can't get out and shake your dice (or your booty), that makes this a pretty good time to shake your paints! https://birdwithabrush.com/2020/03/27/miniature-paint-care-and-maintenance/
  14. So this is exactly where I got frustrated with washes when I was working on that paint kit many years ago. :-> Sometimes descriptions of washes can make it seem like the darker colour will go ONLY in the depressions and not on the rest of your surface. But that's not how paint works. If you hold her with the scroll face up, the wash will hopefully concentrate a bit in the depressions of the writing, but it'll tint the whole surface. It's kind of like a filter over a camera on a photo - everything in the photo will get affected by that filter. Faking little squiggle lines with paint over the sculpted runes is probably the best way to get a nice clean look for the scroll if that is your preference. You have the sculpted runes as a guideline, so it's not as terrifying as doing full-on freehand. You've tried the other way a bunch of times, it's worth it to try this way once?
  15. The description of the item says you get all paints from 09001 to 09270. If you go to this page and look, you can scroll down to 09270 and see the numbers and colours of the paints that have been released since that set was put together. So it includes all the triad paints listed on that page up to and including 09720. https://www.reapermini.com/paints/master-series-paints-core-colors So that set does not include these paints: * All numbers higher than 09270 (currently 09324 is the highest MSP core SKU number.) * Any of the Bones paints (SKUs 094**) * Any special edition paints. (SKUs 096**, there are a few currently available at the bottom of the page linked above.) These are paints created for a special event or in a limited batch or available seasonally which are not available all the time. * Any paints that have been discontinued in years past. (If you look through the number scheme for the MSP Core paints on that page, you'll see there are places where it skips numbers, those are paints that are sadly no longer with us. ;->)
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