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Hey everyone, Im just wondering..as Ive said before ive been away from the hoby for aobut 10 years, I just purchaced some great minis for my Step daughter, Step Son and new wife. I want to paint them but have not got access (due to limited funds) to the "proper" paint with which to paint them..any suggestions on what to use? I can get a good sized TESTORS kit for a decent price, but dont want the minis all shiny and stuff. Is the testors paint sufficient or is it garbage? It is all I used to use on my minis back in the day, and some were done well, but others...I shudder to think what they look like..lol well any suggestions would be great..I also have a vast collection of Arcillic poster and sign paint..but im not to sure if I should or could use acrillic on "Torin the Stealthy or my wifes silver dragon..."Help me Obi-Wan..your our only hope" (sorry bout the Star Wars quote...hehe)

 

ROGUE

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Hiya,

 

Testors paints are great....BUT it depends on what you use them for. Lots of people here will tell you they're crap, but that's because they're probably not using them as they were intended. Testors paints are primarily formulated to be used in an airbrush for hobby use...this includes the enamel line and the Acryl line. In this application I find them very good (though Polly Scale is better). I'd avoid these for your application because the paints are a little too thin for what you want, and take a bit more skill to brush on if you want to go that route.

 

If you can walk into a store to buy minis then more than likely you can access Citadel paints. In general I'm not a huge fan of these but they work and some get good results with them, and you can too. Just thin them a little before applying and you should be ok (remember: several thin coats is MUCH better than one thick coat, especially if you appreciate the details!). The advantage here is that they seem universally available.

 

Another option is to badger your supplier to get Reaper paints. I find these to be superior to Citadel in almost every aspect (except perhaps variety, but give them time...) and definitely worth the investment.

 

Finally, if none of these options are available, try using craft paints. I'm NOT talking about your poster paints (I'd shy away from those) but the kind of stuff you buy in the squeeze bottles in the craft isle. I personally reccommend Apple Barrel. I get mine at Wal-mart. This brand definitely encourages the wash technique to shading as its very "flat" or dull (thus picks up the wash better). Also Ceramcoat is a popular brand as well and many get excellent results with it. I personally use Apple Barrel with washes and drybrush using Ceramcoat. Biggest advantage here is that these paints are dirt cheap...$0.44 for Apple Barrel and $0.88 for Ceramcoat at Wal-mart.

 

Other lines include Vallejo (VERY good but very expensive paint), Color Party, and a few others.

 

Some will tell you that the only way you can get good results is with expensive hobby paints. Try them and make up your own mind. Personally, my skill and finishing techniques IMPROVED when I made the switch from Citadel to craft paints...

 

FYI all of the above paints are Acrylics and clean with water. This is also one of their biggest advantages.

 

Damon.

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I have used Vallejo, Reaper, Citadel, Testors & others.

 

For mini painting with brushes, I have found Vallejo to be by far the best paints. They go on smoothly, thin well & cover well even when thinned. They have dense, fine pigments making painting over black easier.

 

Bad news is: Vallejo is the least available of the paints. I buy mine from www.newwavegames.com now because i just can't find them in stores. This IS changing because Vallejo is still a new brand & it has made quite an impression on the professional mini painters out there, but buying on the net, at new wave games or elsewhere is probably your best bet for now.

 

If you don't want vallejo for one reason or another, go with reaper.

 

But, i can't recommend Vallejo strongly enough. Even the bottles are better designed to keep the paint from going dry. This is especially good if you're giving them to kids who might leave the caps off or people who might paint in spurts (a lot during vacations, not so much for a couple of months in a row when busy with school/ sports/ a play/ whatever for example)

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My limited thoughts: Reaper paints are reputed to be a bit like Partha Paints, which covered better than citadel and dried much flatter ie they were not at all glossy. Citadel tend to be a bit on the glossy side but the colours are pretty good, although the flesh tones are too dark and wayyyy too glossy. Note that the current citadel paints are 0.406 oz, smaller than anything else on the market, have good colour, but will obliterate detail if you don't thin them a bit, in my experience.

 

Now vallejo; I hear, and this is all hearsay: they cover really really well. They dry really really flat (ie no gloss at all). The colours are very intense. Downside: some say the colours are a tad too bright for miniatures and that you need to add a tiny bit of black.

 

Pots: partha were 3/4 oz with a screw-on lid that sealed well and only one lid of mine has ever split. The very old round-bottle citadel were 0.68 oz and had a flip-lid which many people prefer but which I found tended to be prone to having the grip-and-flip tab tear off, the hinges tear off, and the lids split over the rim of the pot. The next oldest, hex bottles were .62 oz and the flip-top was aleetle sturdier. The current hex-bottle is less than half an oz with a screw-on lid that looks good but tends to get paint under it and fail to seal without it being obvious that it's failed, and that means your paints dry out, so be careful to clean up the lids and threads when you use them.

 

Finally: acrylics are good, they wash and thin with water when wet and they dry permanent and they ain't too fumey. But you will need to get a decent sealer for instance a spray-on gloss or matte clear for hobbyists, as this dries much tougher and will protect the dried acrylics from chipping and rubbing. They WILL chip and rub, badly. ALSO! you must prime the miniature or acrylics tend to chip *even easier*. There's stacks of advice on all this elsewhere in the forum.

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Roguelion, to save you the time and trouble of scouring the threads and posts, here comes a definitive list:

 

1) Primer : either the $2/19oz can Rust Curb brand from Family Dollar stores or Krylon.

 

2) Paints: Ral Partha, Reaper, Polly S, and CeramCoat by Delta (have yet to be able to find some Vallejo paints, so no opinion yet).

 

3) Clear Coat: Krylon Clear Matte Finish #1311

 

Hope this helps! This is part of the knowledge accrued from over 14 1/2 years of painting, more than 13 of that professionally.

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Go to AC Moore or Michael's (or another craft store) and buy Apple Barrel Colors. They usually run from $0.25 (on sale) to $0.69 per bottle, 2oz per bottle. They are not in any way inferior to your "gamer" paints, unless a lower price is considered inferior.
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I've heard that, and I've also heard that they've got a larger particle size than the "Miniatures" paints. Any comments on this?

I've used Partha Paints, Polly-S, Citadel, and Apple Barrel. Actually, I use a couple Reaper Pro Paints I got somewhere along the line. I can detect no noticeable difference between the paints.

 

Granted, I am not an award winning painter or anything, but the paints are not junk. I think the problem is they are *so* cheap that people are convinced they must be crap. GW sets high premiums on anything they sell, and other companies set their paints to the same premium pretty much to match. GW sells cutting tools for 3-4x what they cost under the Exacto brand, but they are really the same knives.

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I can detect no noticeable difference between the paints.

 

I think the problem is they are *so* cheap that people are convinced they must be crap.

we noticed the craft paints tend to wear off faster than the mini paints, before and after a good varnish coat.

 

we use propaints, Reaper is now putting out a learn to paint kit.  again personal preference, do what works for you.

 

try a variety, it is the only way to make your own opinion.  check at your local game store, I know mine has paints the employees use at the store, you might be able to try things before buying, ask around.

 

glad to hear it is a family activity,

cbs

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we noticed the craft paints tend to wear off faster than the mini paints, before and after a good varnish coat.

I have heard that occurs, but my craft-painted minis have been handled by drunken gamers for years without showing appreciable wear. Some have needed actual repairs, but that is not the fault of the paints.

 

I have heard that some "gamer" brands of paint are just repackaged craft paints. It would not surprise me if this was the case, since relabling paints has to be simpler than operating a paint production facility. Certainly, most store brands of food and clothing are just re-labeled stuff from major brands like Lipton or Maidenform, so why not paint?

 

I am always in the minority in recommending craft paints, which I think goes to show you that putting a premium on something does give it some cache.

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Well, I have never had problems with my craft paints wearing off faster that the "gamer" paints. I use CeramCoat freely mingled with my Partha, Reaper, Armory, and Polly S paints with great effectiveness. In fact, CeramCoat has more colors available than any other brand I've seen, including the Royal Purple Metallic I was so desperately seeking.
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If the paint on your minis starts to chip or peel away, it has more to do with the primer you use, than with the paint itself.

 

The relevent thing about different brands of paint is not the particle size, but the medium in wich the pigments are suspended. Alcohol based medium tends to increase the overall quality of the paint.

 

A brand that I found to be fairly cheap, while still being a renowned hobby material, are Tamiya¥s acryllics. They come in a wide variety of colors, and here in MÈxico can be found at roughly 1.90 USD, (take into consideration that these are imported from the U.S., so you should have no problem finding them at lower prices). Just check that they are acryllics, because Tamiya's most known line are oil based enamels, similar to Testor's.

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