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We have paint!


So I've been working on both of them together and going a little bit out of order from the instructions, mainly because I did not want to have to keep making up the same wash and then losing some if I did not finish everything. I had hoped to get a little further last night but the Bears surprised me, so I was forced to actually watch. :)


Anyway, here's our poor guard.




Face and hands base coated. I had started by trying the Bette Davis Eyes method and wow, are this guy's eyes small! Oh well, that's what retouching and first time minis are for.


And a couple of shots of our rat:






Not surprisingly, the rat seems to be going a little better, though I did notice a number of "holes" in my paint job, so I'll have to go back over those before adding in the wash. Got the skin and fur done for now but will touch it up before doing the wash. Also noticed a bit of flash on the tail that eluded me on my initial inspection somehow, so will go back and touch that up.


As always, any tips, critiques, etc. are more than welcome. So far I am feeling pretty good given that these are my first attempts. Definitely realized I need to get better lighting though, and likely will need to pick up some reading glasses if I want to keep doing faces! (Fortunately I mostly GM though, so might be able to get away from that for a bit lol).

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More progress!


First our guard, now with a face and some clothes:




The eyes are still really bad, but to be honest, not so bad when viewed from the tabletop. I consider them good enough for now as my current goal is to get to tabletop quality anyway. Not saying that this will really get there on this fig, but its important I feel some semblance of accomplishment.


And now, a couple shots of our favorite rat:






I am still trying to figure out the proper consistency for my paints, but I realize that this is no doubt something that I'll just have to get a feel for. Quite frankly, I think my wash on my rat was too thick and its made for a very dark, and dirty looking rat. That being said, I am actually fine with that, even if its not giving me quite as much contrast as I would like.


The biggest problem though, is that clearly my dry brushing skills are not up to snuff. I don't know if I just need to be more forceful with my brush (a.k.a. sorta like Buglips' scrub technique) or if I am wiping too much off and as such not enough is being transferred, or if its all a symptom of my overly dark wash.


That being said, I am happy with how the warts came out. The only problem is the wart by the right eye pretty much obscures said eye. I did notice a bit of paint transfer there too from the eye, so I will touch that up before tackling the base. I was also a bit disappointed with the results on the teeth. Again, not sure if it was just not getting enough pure white to make them stand out enough, or what. Despite the flaws I'm seeing though, I am overall pretty happy with the rat. I can certainly live with an over-dark rat and the teeth not quite popping. Still debating whether or not to redo the skin to give it more contrast. My main concern with doing that is I am not convinced my brush control is good enough to keep me from having to redo even more. lol


All that being said, pretty sure I will finish the rat tomorrow barring any unexpected set backs. I hope to get the Anhurian done as well, but I am already learning the need to be patient. I admittedly got a bit impatient last night and started doing the wash on the cloth too soon, causing some paint lift in the back. I was also having issues with the shield and getting a consistent coat, not entirely sure why, but I think it might be something that can be alleviated in the future by simply taking more time. I will confess that after spending so much time on the face (this was my third attempt at the eyes) I was anxious to see some of the color start to pop out. Silly newb.


Anyhoo, as always, comments, critiques, suggestions, etc. are always welcome.


Edit to add: Does anyone have any good suggestions for taking photos to get better results? I've been using my cell phone, which obviously is not the best solution, but it does have a higher megapixel rate than my actual camera (to say nothing of being easier to upload thanks to Dropbox).

Edited by Gargs
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Edit to add: Does anyone have any good suggestions for taking photos to get better results? I've been using my cell phone, which obviously is not the best solution, but it does have a higher megapixel rate than my actual camera (to say nothing of being easier to upload thanks to Dropbox).


1) Don't worry about pixel count when shooting for web use. The largest image you uploaded was just over 66K, far under one MPx.


2) If you don't have positive exposure control, don't use white or black backgrounds. In an automatic exposure mode, the camera will change its exposure so the average is a lightish gray. So if most of the image field is white, the camera will reduce exposure until that white turns gray. The result for much darker miniatures will be very dark indeed. And the reverse if most of the field is black. Using a lightish gray background will make it easiest for the camera to choose the right exposure.


3) Similarly, don't use colored backgrounds unless you can pick your white balance yourself. In an auto white balance mode, the camera will try to guess the light color and adjust the image accordingly. If you have a blue background, the camera will make the whole image more orange to compensate, which will give you a nasty color shift in the painted figure.


4) Try not to use a heavily patterned or cluttered background or to run background color or brightness shift lines through your subject (as in the first rat image). It's distracting.


5) Don't worry about a light box. They're largely designed to take nice photos of shiny things. Most minis are not shiny. Instead, just make sure you have light pointed directly at the part of the figure facing the camera, ideally from 30-45 degrees off to either side.


6) Fill the frame with your figure, either in camera or by cropping in post.


7) If you can control the ISO, set it to the bottom end of its normal range. This reduces digital noise.


8) Stabilize your camera. Interior lights are not especially bright, so you'll probably end up with long exposure, especially since you've lowered your ISO.



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Thanks for the tips! I had noticed the general lack of patterned backgrounds on other posts on the forums and was trying to do the same when I was thinking about it. Good to know to make sure for the future though. Now to find a good solid grey background. :)

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I agree Cash. While my posts likely come off as negative, I am actually fairly pleased so far, since I never expected the minis to come out great on the first pass. Very few are that talented to be able to just pick it up and hit the ground sprinting. Its as much an exercise in reminding myself a) what I am learning and b) what I have to learn/work on. The simple truth is that the Kit is awesome because I never would have known what colors to use for washes, mouth, tongues, etc. Sure, I could have made a decent stab at some of it, and learned through trial and error, but the kit provides an excellent starting point . . . not to mention a healthy selection of paints, etc.


So, we'll see where the next session takes me. :)

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I didn't read it as negative, I often make similar posts when I'm struggling to learn a concept or technique. And lately a few people have been saying how quickly I've improved in skill, but it was only after building a solid foundation and learning all those basics that started to happen. My first "WIP" from 2011 wasn't really documented (if you go back to the start of my blog there is a bit about it, but not a full on WIP). It was also something of a mess, I had a half-remembered technique set from 13 years prior that was basically the contents of Kit 1, and not even as I only thinned paints for washes, not for normal painting.


There's a definite learning curve that doesn't really have an end, but does widen out once you have the basic skills down. But if you put in the time and effort, study and practice, you will see improvement and move closer to your goals as a painter, whether that is display painting or army painting, both, etc.

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And . . . pretty much done!


First, our rat, since frankly, he came out better lol:





and other side:





Then our favorite budding swordsman. I can't decide whether to call that a bit of mud on his shield or to go back and touch it up :)




He's got the look of "Egads! I thought RUS's were just a myth!"


And from behind:




Naturally, it looks better on the table than the camera, but overall really happy for my first time out. I experimented a bit with the scabbard. Thought he needed a bit more color and so decided on a little red. Didn't come out quite like I hoped, but then, that's what these kits are for.


All in all, it was a great experience working with the kit, and I definitely am looking forward to moving on to more minis. I had some rough spots along the way of course, but that was to be expected. I definitely need to work on brush control, and I will certainly need to get some magnification of some sort in order to hit the fine details. I tried to line the buckle in silver for instance and just could not see it well enough to avoid getting a huge gloppy mess. The other main thing I learned was to control the amount of paint on my brush better. That was my main source of trouble early on and it did lead to some pooling.


Now, if only LTPK2 were in stock!

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Just ordered my first kit cant wait for it to arrive! Hope the paints are not too old.


FWIW, I ordered my kit recently from the Reaper site and I don't have any problems with the paints. The problems I did encounter were no doubt simply me getting used to the paint, thinning, etc.

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