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Over in the Show Off section, I made an offhand remark about winning my war with metallic paint. A couple of replies came in asking how I did it. I decided, instead of letting it get buried in Show Off, I would put my answer in Painting Tips & Advice. So a little background, in 2007 I took a true metals class with Jeramie Bonamont-Teboul. After that class I discovered more articles on CMoN about the technique. At first I was toddling along perfectly happy living with the RMS metallic paints, but my skills were improving and I was discovering that the RMS metallics had some problems. Now in the steel colors the problems aren’t as pronounced but the gold triads and bright silvers were a nightmare. The main problem I was having was with dilution. Thinner paints make for smoother coats, but when you thin RMS metallic paints with water the pigment falls out of solution in minutes. The effect makes the metallic look less shiny and clouded, and therefore defeats the purpose of using the metallic paint. It also makes the metallic look grittier and less like a solid piece of metal. I asked Anne, a year ago, about this and she verified this is a known effect of metallic paints in general. The fix is to just use the metallic paints straight from the bottle. However, the fix doesn’t fix the graininess issue of using undiluted paints. I thought this was an RMS issue so I started playing with metallic paints from other companies and discovered that Anne was correct. This is a general issue with metallic paints. This issue explains why many high end painters opt to paint Non Metallic Metal. I had just about given up on metallic paint when a month ago, while airbrushing, I discovered the fix. I was airbrushing Liquitex soft body Payne’s Grey on a model as the foundation color. Liquitex recommends using their Airbrush Medium to thin their soft body paints for airbrush use. I love their Airbrush Medium because everything stays in solution. That is when I had my “ah ha” moment. I wrapped up my project, and mixed the Liquitex Airbrush Medium with RMS New Gold on my palette. Success! I could even thin for thin glazing layers. Once the dilution problem was conquered the chalky metallic highlights quickly resolved because now I could mix RMS Pearl White in with the base color metallic in exact amounts or I could bump colors using other colors on the triad. The metallic paint even flows better from the brush so no more clumpiness or gritty paint layers. So now that it is too late I’ll say, “The long and the short of it is: use Liquitex Airbrush Medium to thin your metallic paints.”
I'm sure this is a question that many people (including myself) have asked themselves when getting into this craft (with Reaper paints at least). Part of this topic (and this post) is a question geared toward each and every painter (that uses Reaper paints) out there, as this question cannot truly be answered in terms of time, as each person paints a different way. The other part of this topic is actually an answer, in one way an answer to the question posted. TO SCIENCE! I recently received an order from Reaper in which I bought their pack of 3 empty bottles to use for custom paint mixes, and water-down mixes. The other reason I bought them was to test just how much you can get out of them. I saw posts and tutorials saying "Use x drops of this paint and Y drops of enough", and sometimes those where 3-5 drops. My first fear was that I'd be going through paints like water! After using them a bit I realize thats not the case, but wondered; Just how many drops are in a 1/2oz bottle? (approximately) So I decided to break out the science! And by that I mean a small measuring spoon. Lets get some constants going here: Being in Canada, the measurements I'm using are in milileters, or ml. 1/2 or 0.5oz = 14.7868ml The primary measuring instrument I am using is 2.5ml, which is approximately half a teaspoon (so others can replicate these tests). Now lets get started, to test this I filled one of the droppers with regular (Canadian) Tap water. I then proceeded to drop individual drops one by one into the cup until it was at the top, counting as I went. I repeated this several times and each time I got a nice round number of about 80 Drops per 2.5ml. This evens out to about 32 Drops per 1ml. If there are 32 Drops in a single ml, and 14.7868ml in a dropper that means you get about 473 Drops Per Bottle! Keep in mind for a number of reasons this is a rough estimate: -Not every bottle will have exactly 1/2oz, some may have a little more, or a little less -These are drops of water. Drops of paint are going to be different sizes, and thus more or less than 473 -You dont always have to use a full huge drop of paint if you only need a small amount (mixing) Still its a neat thing to know that you'll get at LEAST 400 drops on average, so if something calls for 4 drops, don't worry, you can do that over 100 times! One last thing on the drop subject, if we get about 473 drops per bottle, and each bottle costs about $3.29, that means you are paying about $0.007 per drop! Not a bad value if you ask me! Now we return to the first part of the topic, how long it takes painters to go through a bottle. That is where I turn to you, the community, the experts. How long does a bottle of paint (preferably Reaper, but can list others as long as you mention the brand) last you? What colors do you go through the most? Is there a specific color you find yourself constantly running low on? What color or colors do you find yourself using the least, not because you dont like them, but because you can never find a use for them? Also do you have any tips to keep your paint in good condition, to to make it last longer. Such as using painting mediums to increase volume? Dont forget to like this post, or others like it if you found them fun or useful!
So, just out of curiosity, because I actually know they don't sell RMS in big paint buckets where can I find similar quality paint in large quanties? Because, seriously, basing Kaladrax and Nethyrmaul is going to take a LOT of paint, and I'd prefer not to spend more on paint per gallon than gas in one month (at least not on the same colour). Once they get based I can thin the paints, so that will take some of the pain out, but really... at least pint sized maybe? And I'd rather not resort to craft paints either. Yick!
I'm doing some shading on my current mini with some MSP Burgundy Wine. I have it really thinned down to about 1:10 paint:water. After several passes I noticed it started to get a chalky appearance. I used the same color as a base coat on another part of the mini with about three coats and had no problem there. It was only when I thinned it out to glaze that it started to chalk up. What am I doing wrong and is there a way to correct it? Thanks!