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Talae

The New Guy - Just Starting Out

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So, like many others, I pitched in for the amazing Kickstarter deal. I have spent the last week or so with a starter kit I bought from my FLGS plus some minis I have from when I was a kid. I have no experience whatsoever and have never painted anything until this week. Here are some pictures of what I have done so far. I am looking for any advice that you have for me and also to say thank you for having such wonderful guides and whatnot that I have begun pouring through.

 

Please forgive the image quality, as the lightning wasn't great and they were taken with my phone. Also, I did not resize/crop/edit them, so hopefully they acceptable.

 

Very first mini (came in the starter pack):

http://www.worldwork...file.php?id=438

http://www.worldwork...file.php?id=437

 

Minotaur from Warhammer Quest:

http://www.worldwork...file.php?id=436

http://www.worldwork...file.php?id=435

 

Goblins from Warhamer Quest:

http://www.worldwork...file.php?id=434

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I'd recommend posting these in the Show Off section of the Craft Corner with a request for critique if you are looking for comments or advice.

They may get missed here.

 

In terms of feedback.

I would look to invest in a set of needle files to help you remove the mold lines. It just helps clean up the mini and will make the finished product look nicer. You don't seem to be using primer, or are selectively using a brush on primer. If you are not using a primer, I highly recommend it. If you are painting on metal, and do not prime, the paint will easily be rubbed off with even casual table top use. There is not a lot of paint slopped all over, so that is a good thing, especially on some of the finer detail spots like the knight's shield. Your brush control is good.

 

For a first start you're on the right road. Once you're feeling comfortable with just a simple basecoat, you can start trying to add highlights/shadows to your colors to make the details stand out more.

 

The best advice is to keep painting and keep practicing. Don't be afraid to ask questions or seek out advice. Also, if you find a painted mini you really like, try to copy it as best as you can. Just trying to recreate a better painter's work will help your own skills improve. And there are certainly some awesome examples around here to draw from.

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Thanks for the tip about moving the thread. Should I repost it there or is a mod request the proper way to do that (if so can a mod move this?).

 

The needle files definitely need to be picked up, as well as some more brushes, some super glue and maybe the stuff to try dipping. I tried to use an exacto blade on these, but it had varying degrees of success. As for primer, I have been using the brush on black primer (Imperial Primer from the Citadel starter pack I bought). Of the posted minis, only one is metal. What should I be looking to accomplish when priming? Could the issues that you are seeing be me not doing multiple coats?

 

These have been: wash with warm water and dish soap, prime black, dry brush with grey, base coat of all the colors where I want them, drybrush with appropriate color, and finish with a wash (Nuln Oil from the starter pack).

 

Thanks for the compliment on brush control. The boost to my self esteem is a good feeling.

 

Any specific suggestions, or just "paint more minis" for the practice? Also, any suggestions on where to buy the files (my FLGS had them for like $15+)?

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Some of the figures looked like it was bare metal on my monitor (although apparently it was metallic paints, not shiny nekkid metal) so it was more of a general caution to make sure you use a primer coat for your minis. Primer helps your acrylic paints to stick better. It's probably the most common new painter mistake - skipping primer. Primer should be a uniform and even coat over the bare mini. Not so heavy that detail becomes obscured, but enough to ensure the paint is able to bond to the primer. When you get the Bones minis. If you are using Reaper paints, you can skip the primer and go right to a full strength base coat, then wash/dry brush/highlight from there.

 

I'd skip the initial dry brush after the primer to be honest. Not sure what you were wanting to accomplish with it, other than possibly make the higher areas a little lighter. You're probably better off just adding your base coat over the primer, and then dry brush and wash from there.

 

Although if you start highlighting, you're not going to need to dry brush as much (or much at all). Highlighting is most effective when you start thinning your paints and making multiple layers of progressively brighter color (highlight) or darker color (shadowing). Multiple thin, smooth coats/layers that get progressively smaller as you approach the highlight/shadow will give you a nice gradient so it won't seem striped.

 

As far as practice, yes. Nothing beats slapping the paint on minis. The more the better. If you can get your hands on cheap plastic for practice all the better. if there is a local painting group at your FLGS try to attend/participate. If you have the opportunity to attend any classes at a local Con try to attend. the more exposure and hands on you get of other people's work, and swapping stories, plus your own practice, the better your skill will develop.

 

A lot really depends on what level you want to accomplish. Are you looking for tabletop? Do you want to paint in competition? Do you want to mass paint armies? Etc. While they all use common techniques, how they are applied will vary greatly.

 

Where to get needle files: FLGS, MicroMark, model train store, hardware store (non-big box), jewelry supplier (Rio Grande) will all be sources to find them. If there are local painters, talk to them about where they find their stuff locally.

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Harbor Freight also has diamond coated needle files for a very good price if you have one near you.

 

If you want a spray primer, Duplicolor Sandable Primer from an auto parts store is a very good and cheap alternative to hobby primers.

 

Ron

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And I would be remiss if I didn't plug reaper's brush on white and black primers. Especially handy if you live in environments non-conducive to spray primers...high humidity, low temps, poor ventilation, etc.

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Not to make the folks here recoil in horror, but I prime all my minis with Krylon spray paint I get from WalMart and I'm very happy with the results. They have paint+primer now too and I like the primer color options it gives me. I have the standard grey, then black+primer, white+primer, & ivory+primer. Without realizing it (because I didn't read the label past the color) I got the ivory one in a gloss finish. I was concerned when I first noticed it (after it was dry on 20 Mouslings + a bunch of others) but have since discovered that the gloss finish isn't causing a problem for my finished piece.

 

I chose what color to prime it based on the colors I plan to use on the piece. The majority are either grey or ivory because I wanted them to be dark or light mid-tones. The ones I did in white I want the end result to be brighter colors with the exception of the penguin which I did in white thinking it will be easier to paint black over the white instead of white over the black. I only did 4 in the black primer because they will be black figures when I'm done with them.

 

I did http://www.reapermin...10/latest/30010 with the ivory primer. I have done a light black wash over the throne pieces and I have to say that I'm incredibly happy with how it looks with just that done. It looks like stone and the skeletons look real, even under the lighted magnifying glass & in close up pictures. I have some other bits to paint on it but if I had to leave it like it is I would be happy with it.

 

The other thing I do that seems to cause people around here to run screaming in horror is use acrylic craft paints, not miniature paints. I personally don't see a difference, even under the lighted magnifying glass. I thin them with a flow medium but even that process would add more gray hairs to the folks here. (rinse, dip into flow medium, dip into paint straight from the bottle, put on figure) I don't use a palette unless I'm mixing colors, but that's rare since I have over 200 paints. I just can't wrap my head around spending so much on half as much paint. I'm sure Reaper makes an excellent paint- but for nearly $200 to get 54 paints, half an ounce each... I can get 4 times the amount of paint (if not more) for half of that (if not less). If I don't get it on sale (which is never) I get mine for about $1.50 for 2 ounces vs. $3.30 for half an ounce. Even when I thin them to make a wash I still have an excellent color. It's not "tinted water", it's "thinned paint" if you can understand the difference. There was some discussion somewhere about the pigment vs. "whatever" ratio between craft paints and miniature paints but when it's on the figure and the color is the same, and they both look identical, that ratio doesn't justify the cost to my extremely limited hobby budget. I'd rather spend the money on more minis than on paint. But that's me... your mileage may vary.

 

I agree with Qwyksilver though- primer is a must (with the exception of Bones) and I would skip the first dry brush step unless you just really enjoy doing that. Try working the mid tones, then do the darker wash then the lighter highlights and see how you like the results. On the throne I did primer then wash because it has some cracks and pitting in the stone that I wanted to make sure were prominent. My plan was to then drybrush a mid grey over everything but the black wash over the ivory gave me the exact color and effect I was wanting. I'll dry brush some antique silver over the chain and some more ivory over the skeletons but it's essentially done. I like the way minis sometimes paint themselves without you realizing it.

 

Look around the boards for some of Bug lips' WIPs. He does black lining that give the mini a nice definition. Other people do black/brown lining too but his look, well... really sloppy mid-process which gives you the feeling that as a beginner you can do it too.... but they always end up looking great. I recommend following him and he's getting ready to do a group WIP in a few weeks which you still have time to get in on. We are all buying the same mini (in Bones it's $2.50) to work on together and we'll post our progress and help each other out along the way. Feel free to join in!!

 

Otherwise, just keep painting. Watch tutorial videos on youtube, look at everything here, read everything you can and you'll get it. The bottom line is though that YOU have to be happy with what you are doing. If you like the end result then don't listen to anyone that tells you it's not good. You know what you want the end result to look like. If it looks like what you picture in your head then stop, if it doesn't then get some help figuring out why and work on those skills. It's your hobby, your money, you should enjoy it and not try to live up to someone else's standards if they aren't your own to begin with.

 

 

 

*Edited to fix a spelling error...

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One other quick tip (this one will be short I promise!)

 

Put your mini on something to hold it especially if it is tiny! The familiars are super tiny!! I have a few small wooden blocks I stick mine too with sticky tac, but bottle caps work too. That way you don't accidentally touch something that is still wet on one side when you go to paint the other side. It was a light bulb moment when I saw that tip somewhere. Years of fighting to hold miniatures so I didn't mess up a drying side that could have been avoided by just sticking it to something to hold it. Talk about "a face palm moment".....

 

Bottle caps, blocks, cups, whatever... just remember your physics & that gravity isn't just a good idea- it's the law- so make sure that it's not top heavy on whatever you have stuck it to before you start to paint it. Last thing you want is for it to loose it's balance and dive head first into your water cup or paint palette.

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Thanks for all the advice! I am keeping at it. I think I am up to 8 or 9 minis at various stages of acceptability. Now to bounce back and forth through them to improve my skills.

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