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So the bones kickstarter came with 12 giant rats and 2 swarms.

some of its not going so well. My young daughter did the brown basecoats, then I tried to clean them up, using some drybrushing. Bleh. advice might be helpful.



then I did a swarm, black rats, pink faces, and some gray highlights. it looks okay from a distance, but a hot mess up close.




Then I found a WIP thread where someone painted them white. with some pink.

This turned out adorable Gaint rats, but my attept to add black shadows did not go perfectly. I think I may stay with the minimalist approach. Just unpainted bones with pink details and painted bases. The bases will need color stripes so I can track them in play.



Im also considering painting 3 of remaining 6 large rats black/gray with pink faces.

Edited by Evilhalfling
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Daw, those white rats are adorable. Strange how much a paintjob does. Looks like a bunch of escaped labrats now.

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I'm not certain, but I think part of your difficulties may be that the first coat of paint is going on too thick, which covers up the natural texture of the fur. A small amount of paint goes a looooooong way on these things, so try using just barely enough to cover the base white color.


Have you tried Learn To Paint Kit #1 from Reaper? One of the models in that set is a giant rat, and the instructions do a pretty good job of showing how to use a base coat, wash, and drybrushing to get a great textured fur color.


EDIT: Oh, and one more thing - did you add any water at all to your paint for the base coats? Bones work best with a completely undiluted base coat.

Edited by EdgeOfDreams

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The rats have limited texture anyways. Drybrushing won't shade them as much as you'd need, but you can put shadows in around the leg creases in gray (white rats) and dark brown (brown rats) if you want something quick to do the job.


White rats are the new tangerine goblins!

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If your just getting started, bigger is easier. Less fine control is needed. But there is something to be said for simple too. The rats only need 3 to 6 colors. Your off to what looks like a great start. I dont know how much of the blotchy paint coverage is exaggerated by the photos. These guys are so tiny that enlarged photos make them look worse than they really are. I am going to start painting the details on my rats today. I will be using a 000 brush with watered down paint for a base coat, then going back in with an ink wash to really saturate the color. But if you stick with just one color i would use a light value hue like a light grey or light brown so the shadows that are naturally cast have a bigger impact creating depth. If you paint them dark, the natural shadows will get washed out and you will lose the 3d nature of the figure. As an art student i learned that creating the illusion of depth is all about placing shadows well.

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I really dig the white rats, which means that I'll be doing the Kickstarter ones with one set in white, and the other set in black. You're bang on about the texture not lending itself to drybrushing. One thing I was considering was a stipled effect by making short, light horizontal strokes with a slightly darker & a slightly lighter shade of the base coat over the figure, but I haven't tried it yet and I'm unsure that it'll work.


Doing a wash definitely picked up what texture there is on the figure. When I do them next time I'll

  • Basecoat the body the primary color (blackblue / white / brown)
  • Wash in appropriate color to add constrast (black - a darker shade of black ink, white - a dark grey, brown - walnut brown)
  • Stiple them for highlights, and add extra highlights down the spine, on the top of the haunches, and the top of the head

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The limited texture of the fur is pain. A wash didn't work, and I ended up with learning the two-brush technique to add shade.


1. Sorta load the first brush with thin black or dark grey.


2. Stroke the brush along the "muscle" of the rat.


3. Use the other brush to "massage" the paint you added into something that looks less like a painting error and more like a realistic shadow.


I found learning two-brush *this way* to be pretty intuitive. Of course, the result is a realistic shadow, which means no one's going to notice the work you did. Grr.



To cut off the sprue:


1. Cut the sprue between the rats, leaving each rat on a piece of sprue.


2. The middle rat's sprue can be twisted off by hand. Try using pliers or whatnot to twist off the sprue for the end rats.


3. If there's still sprue on the base, toss the rats into hot water (not boiling). Add a little dish soap, since you might as well clean off the mold release at the same time.


4. The hot water will soften the Bones plastic, making the sprue easier to cut off with a blade.

Edited by ced1106
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Yeah my experience with these guys was that a transparent wash (Army Painter Ink) was really good for putting shadows around the base of the rat, but didn't do much for the fur. I painted them a lighter grey, then soft tone wash (it's very subtle) then touched up the grey with some quick strokes of slightly thinned paint.


Then I got some very thin darker grey and painted along their backs to darken that bit (looks more natural to me). This was pretty subtle.

I gave them some lighter grey, just a quick stroke, along the nose, then Entrail Pink paws tails and nose tip.

Then I put thinned Strong Tone wash around their feet and where they meet the base, and to help delineate the tail.


In short, don't try to work much with the texture on these, it's too shallow to work well.

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My contribution:


Stone Grey, Black Wash and a dry brush of Aircraft Grey for the floor.
The Rats were done with Muddy Brown up top, Tanned Leather underneath, Tanned Skin for the mouth, ears, feet and tails. Then a dilute Brown Wash, a bit of Minwax Polyshade to deepen the colors, and highlights of very dilute Punk Rock Pink and a very light dry brush of Aircraft Grey to catch some of the fur texture. Very challenging for such small figures.
I will try to pick out the teeth and eyes once I get my detail brushes and the wet palette.
Edited by papadage
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