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whitepony

Newbie question

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I have recently started getting into using reaper minis for my rpg games. I also want to start painting them. I have been painting model cars for about 12 years. My question is that i have about 500 bottles of testors enamel model paint can i use this on the minis as this would save me loads of money and just pick up some flesh colors? I know i am good on brushes and ect but the paints i just don't know if it will work. Also any guides on where exactly to start with painting these would be helpful. Thanx for your time.

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You could use the Testor's, however they are not going to give you the smooth dull coats of paint you need to create decent looking minis. Even for just tabletop quality minis for play I still paint with acrylics and then do several coats of Testor's dullcote to seal and protect the paint job. If you are looking to paint on the cheap - go and get paint sets by Delta Ceramcoat or some of the other craft paint sets you would find at a local arts and crafts store. Often for about $9 you can get 24 colors to work with and they will work up nicer than the enamels will on your mini. If you don't mind dropping a few more $$, the next best thing is Liquitex has a 24 cell pack of acrylic paints. Don't forget to prime your mini first.

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Instead of immediately switching, I would suggest trying them first. Buy a cheaper mini where you don't need flesh - maybe an orc or gnoll or swamp shambler or something. I have seen some nice work done with enamel paint - not my choice, but it is how I learned to paint minis, and what my brother used.

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Most people prefer acrylic paints for minis, which are generally a lot easier to work with and lend themselves to smooth and subtle paint jobs. However, if you already have time and money invested in using enamels you may find that these are quite adequate for your gaming pieces. Here are a couple of examples of minis I painted with enamels many years ago:

 

stone-lurker-thumb.jpg snake-thumb.jpg

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I'll dig around to see if I can find something that talks about painting minis with enamels... it might take a while... while you wait

 

I'd like to talk about my transition from enamels to water-solubles: It was quite rough. I was very used to a very very long dry time and the cool blending things you could do with them. I also know that you could use a matting agent to make the enamels less shiny....

 

The first set of water solubles I used was GW (the round bottles now made by coat d'arms). My first thoughts were -> Wow that's really matte and "what the heck!!! this stuff dries before I get it on the mini!!!!" In other words, if you are a long time enamel user, be prepared for frequent frequent brush cleaning in comparison to what you used to do.

 

I also strongly recommend using a different set of brushes (but you probably already knew that)

 

What else; I think I've seen someone say that washes don't work with enamels. They do, it's just you are going to need to wait until you've got full drying accomplished on the prior layer. It also takes more effort to figure the right thinner to paint ratio. Possibly a light layer of sealer before the wash will buy time as the thinner tries to activate the layer below... Anyway, I know it's possible because when I saw the "new technique" described in Dragon magazine many many many moons ago (1988, 89 or 90 I can't remember) I tried it and it worked ok.... heh

 

Once I got used to the drying time and the difficulty of blending the paint compare with enamels... things started improving rapidly... You can also use several additives to get water-based to behave in a fashion much closer to enamels than the late eighties (when I first started using water based).... which closes the gap.

 

If you were in the Denton (Dallas/Ft.Worth) area I'd say drop by the Reaper Asylum for paint club. I say this because you can use the Reaper paints for free and they are quite quite a good experience; One of the brands that would most closely remind you of enamels, but with a much more convenient dry time (see, I finally realized that there was more painting, less waiting!)

 

Rgds,

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Thanks allot i actually painted a mini using the enamels yesterday it came out looking very nice just really shiny lol. So i have decided i am going to switch to using the master series paints. The brushes i have are actually very nice so i don't think i will be switching those what i will do tho is buy a much finer tipper brush then the detail brush i have. i had a hard time doing some detail on a rope style belt on the priest i was painting. Any suggestions on a nice fine tipped brush?

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Thanks allot i actually painted a mini using the enamels yesterday it came out looking very nice just really shiny lol. So i have decided i am going to switch to using the master series paints. The brushes i have are actually very nice so i don't think i will be switching those what i will do tho is buy a much finer tipper brush then the detail brush i have. i had a hard time doing some detail on a rope style belt on the priest i was painting. Any suggestions on a nice fine tipped brush?

If you like your enamels, you can spray over them with Testor's Dull Cote or other matte spray, or use a brush-on matte sealer. Note that I haven't tried this product over glossy enamel paint (I use acrylics), but I suspect that's why Testor's makes the stuff in the first place.

 

There are many sources for brushes with excellent points. Most people recommend Kolinsky sable which not only gives you a good point, but also lasts a lot longer than other brushes do. The tips on many synthetic brushes (nylon, taklon) tend to curl in a short time. Also, natural hair tends to be better for layering (applying layers of thin paint over previous dry layers) than synthetic. You do need to take care with nice brushes, however, keeping them clean.

 

You can find Kolinsky sable brushes a number of places. Reaper and Vallejo have their own lines which you may find at game stores. You can also get them at art stores. Most craft stores (Hobby Lobby, Michael's) do not carry them, or if they do, they won't be the ones you want. Winsor & Newton Series 7 is often recommended. I like them, but others prefer different brands (DaVinci, Raphael, and Escoda among them). Dick Blick is a good source for art brushes, including Kolinsky sable. You can find out all about people's brush preferences by searching for Kolinsky in these forums.

 

Here's one example:

Brush Recommendation Needed

 

Here's a good resource for finding out about other things you may need to buy:

A Beginning Mini Painter's Shopping List

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I painted with enamels for years, then gradually switched over, so I have a few figs with both enamel and acrylic paint on them. Just don't try to mix them wet.

 

I use Golden MSA spray matte varnish. It won't yellow as Testor's can, and smells much less nasty.

 

Whitepony, here is a link to a broad overview of the hobby for beginners: http://www.hacklopedia.com/Miniatures/tuto...ing_guide.shtml

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The link you gave me is very helpful. It has a few ideas i had never considered. Also I am almost one with the priest/cleric i was painting when i get some flesh colored paint and get it sealed and the dullcote on it i will post it on here for you guys to critique.

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