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diagnull

My First Mini (and questions)

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Quick intro: I grew up dreaming about the Ral Partha minis I saw in Dragon Magazine, but for one reason or another, never got into painting them. (Probably $ related)

 

After many years, I decided to try taking up a new hobby and purchased the Reaper Learn to Paint Kit #1. I have to say: the instructions are great and it's much easier than I thought it would be (except the eyes, which drive me crazy.)

 

Attached are my first attempts from the kit. My camera sucks so they look worse here than in real life, especially the guy. He looks blotchy due to my substandard sealing attempts.

 

Anyway, I have a few questions:

 

1). Right now I'm sticking with Reaper paints since I have some from the kit and have a store nearby where I can get more. Are there any recommended basic colors or triads? Or do most people just buy a bottle of this or that when they need some? I'm not sure I need the giganto-set yet, but I'm not sure what I need...

 

2). I see what NMM is...but what is the advantage\disadvantage over using a metallic paint?

 

3). About re-basing...do people somehow cut the figures off the bases? I see tutorials about decorating the bases, but wasn't sure how rebasing works.

 

Anyway, really having fun with my new hobby and want to say thanks to Reaper for the great kit and minis!

 

-D

post-7070-13077373897205_thumb.jpg

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Dang it pushed the wrong button and lost a long reply. It was basically:

 

Welcome!

Hope you had fun with your first minis!

There are as many answers to your questions as there are painters (confusing I know). Here are my answers. Someone else will surely be along later to either agree with me or completely disagree. :lol:

 

1)Some people just buy a bottle here and there and some will jump right in and buy a complete set. I personally like the RMS paints and have most of the range. I usually buy a whole triad at a time just to make it easy. Some painters prefer other paints and it is good to try out other paints just to see what you like. If you don't have a lot of selection locally that might be difficult for you to do. When I started painting, lo these many years ago, I used Testors enamels because that was what was available. The lack of color selection taught me to mix my own colors though. I started out with black, white, brown, tan, red, yellow, blue, green, purple, silver and gold. Basically you need colors for flesh, leather, metals, and clothes/accessories. Just what ever colors you want those things to be.

 

2)I personally have no use for NMM. I just don't like the look and I really like working with the metallic paints. Other painters disagree. Some of the reasons people use it is they think it looks better in photos and it gives the painter more control over how the "light" falls on a mini. This is just my opinion and someone will be along shortly to completely disagree and tell you why they disagree. "The NMM issue" is one of those things that divides painters into "camps". They are usually pretty friendly "camps" thou (at least around here). ^_^

 

3) There are lots of ways to handle bases. Some people really like the "brocali" bases and some prefer the slotted ones. The Craft article Bumble_B linked to is a good one if you want to remove a base. Other options are to glue it to a flat base of some kind (washers, pennies, etc are popular). The disadvantage is that the mini will look like it is standing on a small hill. Of course this is an advantage if you want your mini standing on a small hill. The other thing you can do us use a base that has a depression in the center examples here (some of these are flat and some have depressions) and flock, etc to fill in.

 

Hope that isn't overwhelming. Basically look around, ask questions, and play around with any techniques seem interesting to you and have fun.

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For your first minis they look really good! If you water down some black...to skim milk consistancy...and wash your silver you'll find it'll give you some more shadows and help bring out the details.

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I'm with Flit - I buy my paints in triads, initially, and then replace what I need when I run low. I too started with Testors Hobby Enamels in the same colors listed. I've tested out many brands of paints over the years, and I'm a happy camper with Reapers RMS line. The triads make it easy to work a base color, highlights and shades. I cannot recommend Brown Liner or Flow Improver enough. Brown Liner is the secret weapon in my paint arsenal.

 

NMM is also something painters do to push themselves to a new level of skills. I haven't mastered it, and in all honesty, my NMM comes out looking like concrete or chunky rocks. There are several threads on the Forums about NMM, and someone has a post about Thomas Hammerfist that has a good bit of advice on NMM. Since I'm not that good with it, I prefer metallic paint - but there have been some posts about how the mica in the paint ruins brushes. (Which is another reason people do NMM.)

 

Bumble_B linked a great tutorial on removing bases. I've done this a few times to push my skills, but just as often because I have a different idea for the mini. Some people use a standard base type in their collections, so attach the figures to something else. Others just paint and leave the sculpted base. There is no right or wrong here.

 

One thing about photographing minis.... Don't use the zoom feature on the camera! If your camera has a macro setting, use that. Also, it's difficult to get a good clear shot of multiple minis because the auto focus feature picks one out of the lot and focuses on that one, thus blurring the others. The rat is closer to the camera than the warrior, but the warrior is the one in focus. I'd try snapping individual pictures, or placing them at the same distance, using the macro setting, and holding the camera at least 10 inches away to get them both in focus.

 

They are looking good! Keep up the great work.

 

~M

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For paints, load up on a big variety of neutral colors. Lots of browns come in really handy for fantasy figures.

 

An extra bit of unsolicited advice- invest in real high quality brushes. A sable-hair brush will run $10-$15, but I absolutely swear it will be worth it when you see how great they manage.

 

Zach

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Thanks for the feedback and great answers.

 

I'm definitely enjoying my new hobby. I learned a lot on the first one and, though you can't tell in the pic, the rat turned out way better.

 

Now working on my 3rd and it's coming out even better, although I spent about 4 hours just trying to get the eyes right!.

 

Thanks!

 

-D

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One strategy I've heard used is to paint the whole eye black, then paint the corners white. Generally, the black part of the eye needs to be bigger than one would initially think it would need to be. Making the whites of the eyes too big makes it look like ones figure has a crazed glare. You also want the black part to touch the top of the eye.

 

Zach

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Another way to paint eyes, is to paint a line starting above the eye down through the eye and down onto the cheek. You should use the corners of the mouth to try to keep the eyes are aligned. DO NOT use white for the eyes, use an off white color, I use a light gray primer and leave that for the white of the eye. If you mess up one of the eyes, just mix some black and white until it matches the primer color, completely paint the eye, and paint the line again. The eyes are the first thing I paint. After you are satisfied with the eyes, paint the flesh color around the eye covering up the line above and below the eye.

 

Welcome to a great hobby. You should put your first miniature away and after you have painted a few more, get it out and you will be amazed by how much you have improved. You will find that you never stop learning new ways to paint.

 

I would be embarrassed to show my first one. Not near as good as yours.

 

Keep painting!

 

Randy

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Another way to paint eyes, is to paint a line starting above the eye down through the eye and down onto the cheek. You should use the corners of the mouth to try to keep the eyes are aligned. DO NOT use white for the eyes, use an off white color, I use a light gray primer and leave that for the white of the eye. If you mess up one of the eyes, just mix some black and white until it matches the primer color, completely paint the eye, and paint the line again. The eyes are the first thing I paint. After you are satisfied with the eyes, paint the flesh color around the eye covering up the line above and below the eye.

 

Welcome to a great hobby. You should put your first miniature away and after you have painted a few more, get it out and you will be amazed by how much you have improved. You will find that you never stop learning new ways to paint.

 

I would be embarrassed to show my first one. Not near as good as yours.

 

Keep painting!

 

Randy

 

 

Hey, that sounds like a new way to try. I'll see if that works. Thanks!

 

I know what you mean about improving. I'm on #3 and I already see things getting better.

 

I'd be more embarrassed but the photo is bad enough that it kind of hides how bad it is. :)

 

Thanks!

 

-D

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