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LTP Man At Arms 8901


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Okay, this is my first attempt at painting a metal mini. I don't think it looks quite as nice as my space marines, but I also experimented a lot more.




The eyes were done as one of the earlier parts of the job, and it shows. Eventually, I just got frustrated with trying to get the eyes to look somewhat eye-shaped, and said "good enough."




At some point, I may return and actually paint something on the shield. For now, simple blue will have to do. You can see where the wash meant for the metal rim intruded on the blue.




I tried going with some vertical striping on the shield to suggest woodgrain, but the brush wouldn't cooperate with me.




You can see where I tried a bit of highlighting on the edge of the sword and on the helmet here. It... didn't go as well as I'd hoped.

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2 things:


Add a little water to the paint, or at least keep your brush wet. This will let you make smoother colour transitions and avoid globs of paint forming. Washes also need to be thinned, not just the regular paints, I find at least 1:1 wash to water is required to really get them to work well.


On eyes read this: Bette Davis Eyes

The key is paint the eyes first then you can paint them to the right shape later.


Also painting familiar things like flesh and cloth is much harder than strange stuff like space marines, it is much easier to see the mistakes in familiar objects than in unfamiliar ones.

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I'll admit, I was expecting to see a He-Man character. You did great on it. Looks like you just need to keep practicing. You've got the colors in the right areas and you are getting shading an highlights in there. With practice you'll start figuring out how the paint works at different consistencies and you will be able to control it better. I look forward to seeing more from you.


You said this is your first metal mini, what have you been painting previously? I started with 700 scale plastic model warships.

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I did add water to the paint, but I had difficulty knowing how much. Early on in the paint job, I wasn't shaking the bottles well, so they came out of the bottle already pretty watery, and adding water brought them to more of a wash consistency. Towards the end, I was probably being overly conservative on adding water, which is why it ended up so thick. I need to get more used to the paint so I know how much water to add at any given time.


Thanks for the guide on eyes. The LTP guide had me paint the skin and then the eyes, but I can see where getting the eyes first would be better. I'll try that next time.


I did prime the mini. I just didn't bother with the base because I knew I wasn't planning on painting it, and since I was using the base to handle it. Of course, there are also points on the mini where the primer rubbed away. I covered most with paint, but you can see metal on the left shoe, for example. Next time, I'll probably try gluing it to a bottle cap or something for handling it.


My previous work was on some space marines I picked up and painted the night before: http://www.reapermini.com/forum/index.php?/topic/45585-citadel-paint-set-dark-angels-space-marines/

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When I did kit #2 and was trying to follow the instructions on layering it nearly broke my mind. Not because the instructions were bad, it's just that so much of the process of painting is "feel".


And then again, sometimes when you get frustrated and do it "wrong" you find something new. Tsuko in kit #2 was supposed to be done with a mixed wash*. I made 4 attempts, all horrible. Then I said heck with this I'll just mix a darker basecoat that resembles the picture and layer up from there.


And now that's how I do all my skin.


* My kit is the older one, the steps and instructions in the new version may be different.


Playing with the paint kits is a great way to try new stuff and learn the feel of painting. Even though you're following instructions, you're actually building your own style as you go. Your skill will likely develop rapidly as you learn how to tame the paint and train it to do tricks.

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What kind of brush are you using? You might need a smaller one for better control.


Use less wash on the brush if you're only doing selected areas. This will help prevent slop-over.


Putting the figure on a bottle or cork "handle" will help avoid "rub off".


The blue looks a little blotchy. It might have needed another layer to get the basecoat even before you started shading.


Good job for your "first" mini. I suggest more practice with the brush, try to work on developing a light, steady touch. One exercise you can do is to practice drawing lines with paint on paper. Draw thin lines, draw straight lines, draw curly-ques. Learn your brush.

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Thanks, BigLips. I am learning a lot with each mini, and with the advice I'm getting on the board.


Inarah, I'm using a 2 flat and a 5/0 from the Reaper LTP kit. I also have some manner of much less desirable brush from the Citadel paints kit and a 3/0 brush I bought from Michael's today (though I haven't tried that one yet).


I tried gluing the latest mini to a plastic bottle cap, and it worked pretty well. Much less "rub off" than on the Man-at-Arms.


I'll try more layers next time I try painting a large flat surface like the shield.

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The amount of water to paint depends on the particular thing you are doing with the paint, you will hear (read ;)) a lot about brush control, or what I like to call colouring between the lines, but I have learnt (or perhaps relearnt) recently that controling the consistency of your paint is critical to the high end finishes you will see achieved on many sites (including this one).


It is hard to describe what I do when handling paint, sometimes I mix water directly with the paint thining the paint down, sometimes I dip the brush into water and after wiping some (or most) of the water off and drag paint from the edge of the drops I have on the pallet, other times I put drops of water on the pallet near the paint and mix paint and water as I need them to keep the consistency right.


In short you need to experiment and find the right water:paint mix for what you are doing at the time the main thing is paint should flow easily off the brush onto the surface you are painting. This is the key and as you experiment you will figure out what consistency you like for achieving different things.


Also: Remember to shake your paint :) (I still forget because I'm new to using Reaper paints)

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Another thing (I'm not sure if this is covered in that paint kit) is that when you put thinned paint on your brush you only want to load it a little, not all the way full. Then have a piece of paper towel or something handy and use that to wick the excess flow from the brush before you try to paint your basecoat. That'll keep it from running everywhere.

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One tiny tip: Especially with thinned paints, more pigment will drop where you lift the brush off the mini. For me, this allows me to look neater than I am and can save a couple of layers for OK shading on a tabletop quality job. For you, at this early stage, it might just save you some frustration! With practice you'll start to see it's not just where the brush is, but when. (Maybe the LTP mentioned this, and if so, sorry for the repetition).


Drybrushing a highlight onto metal can be much easier than painting it on, but if you do paint it on, thin your paint and do it in a couple of transparent coats.


I rate this better than your Space Marines. Neater, and better technique.


Also: how good you are is in part measured by how well you see the flaws; the more you see, the better your eye is getting.

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