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I've been painting a little while and have a few metallic paints, both Reaper and GW. Any way, I was blown away by the miniature pictured next to Julie Guthrie's shark greens. Specifically, the miniature's helmet looks so shiny you could shave in the reflection. These photos inspired me to experiment with media and varnish. I came up with a medium that is 2 parts Liquitex Gloss Medium, 1 part Winsor and Newton Flow Improver and 1 part water. This I mixed 1 for 1 with my metallic paints. Then I experimented with various varnishes and found Liquitex Hi-Gloss Varnish to be pretty nice. Still, I doubt I'll get anything as shiny as the mini in those photos. Any suggestions?

 

Also, does anyone know if that was that one of Julie's figs next to the sharks, or did somebody else paint the knight in question?

 

I've reposted the photo here for ease of reference.post-6992-0-28695900-1336015618.jpg

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The best way that I've found to get a truly metallic look with paint is to use metallics that are designed to be buffed to a final finish. The Mr. Metallizer paints from Gunze-Sangyo give an excellent surface. Their solvents (when I was using them, which has been a while) are extremely volatile, though. I had a bottle dry out completely in a matter of weeks after a single use when it was seemingly tightly closed.

 

That said, this looks like it might be burnished white metal rather than paint. Careful use of a burnishing tool on the bare metal can give you a surface that looks like that one.

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This figure is one of the Legendary Encounters pre-painted plastic knights sculpted by Bobby Jackson. The figure does have a rather shiny metallic paint on it.

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It might also be worth noting that photography could be influencing the appearance of the metallics. If that picture was taken with a flash or strong lighting (which most macro photography has to use), the metallics could look exceptionally bright due to the light reflecting off of them, just as with something of real metal.

 

The brightest metallic paint I've seen is Vallejo's alcohol based Silver. It is so bright, in fact, that I only use it to do the small, bright hot-spot on something metal. Being alcohol based means it dries out ridiculously quickly, and you need to rinse your brush with something like rubbing alcohol.

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On a side note, the dark spot on the helmet is a blemish in the paint it seems. It sure does make it look much shinier though, doesn't it?

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LOL, I thought the dark spot was a reflection. Thanks for the inside scoop. Somebody else I was talking to mentioned Valejo's metallic paints. Thanks, Wren.

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Vallejo has several different paint lines. They have water-based metallics in the Model, Air and Game Color lines. These are fine paints, but I don't know that they're significantly different than Reaper or GW metallics. I believe they changed the bottle of the alcohol metallics a few years back. The old part number of the super silver was 848. This is a company page about the product. It mentions 17ml bottles (which would be closer to the size you'll usually get miniature paints in), but I don't know if they have different part numbers now. http://www.acrylicosvallejo.com/gb/liquid-gold-gb.html

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I believe they changed the bottle of the alcohol metallics a few years back. The old part number of the super silver was 848. This is a company page about the product. It mentions 17ml bottles (which would be closer to the size you'll usually get miniature paints in), but I don't know if they have different part numbers now. http://www.acrylicos...id-gold-gb.html

 

Vallejo does bottle them in the regular dropper bottles now.

 

alcohol-based-metallics-vallejo.jpg

 

I still prefer the older bottles - they seal like medicine bottles (with a foam seal and "child-proof" cap) and seem to keep them fluid longer. At least I've got bottles of it that are still fluid 10+ years later....

 

I loved Vallejo alcohol based metallics - when I still painted with metallics - because of that sheen. However, they don't play well with others. Don't intermix well with acrylic inks or paints, unless they're shellac-based inks. Also some of the colors you need to varnish to prevent the flakes from oxidizing.

 

I used them as a basecoat and then washed with inks and drybrushed with pearlescent inks (like Daler-Rowney or FW: http://www.fineartstore.com/Catalog/tabid/365/List/1/CategoryID/1421/Level/a/Default.aspx?SortField=unitcost%2Cunitcost)

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