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theleast's thread of total noobary

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I grew tired waiting for news of my kickstarter shipment, so I went a bought some Bones from a third party to practice on. I don't have many colours to choose from (since my Reaper paints haven't arrived) and most of what I do have is cheap artist's acrylic, so I decided to start with a fairly simple figure.


I present Barnabas, the rusty warrior:




Just by looking at the photos I'm seeing details I missed or screwed up, but I need broader feedback than just "You suck, give up now!". Please, critique away!

Edited by theleast
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No, that's actually looking pretty good. I'd get some thinned black and paint-in the shadows between plates in his armour, or experiment with a black wash.


Ideally a black wash would use some Flow Improver to make it "sit" down into the details better, getting the consistency JUST right is a bit of an art.


Do you have a brown you could use to pick out leather fittings? It might be tough to make it cover well, so maybe mix in a bit of white for a basecoat - white is meant to be opaque, but I really know very little about artist's acrylics.


You might find that with the greater transparency of artist's acrylics, you need to undercoat everything and do a couple of thinned coats. An airbrush medium might help with that, or google "LES airbrush medium recipe". Airbrush medium can also be used to change the way washes act, but I don't have much experience with that.


You might want to paint in some details gold. That will be tricky, I think. You might want to put a bit of careful, controlled black wash to outline the detail for you, then undercoat the gold with a light or bright brown or yellow-brown. Then carefully wipe or dab the gold onto the highest parts of the detail. THEORETICALLY you should get a nice bit of depth and warmth to it, and it will show you some of the tricks you'll want to refine in later work. To shade gold, I prefer to use an intense brown wash rather than black, although both can work depending on the look you want.

Edited by smokingwreckage
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Without knowing what paints you currently have access to, I won't give specifics. First of all, you have a good solid base starting out. Metallics can be problematic in the beginning (or the middle, or later). One trick I've found that helps with metallic paints is to lay down a base coat of a non-metallic. I like to use a dark grey (or walnut brown). I think if you go in and add some deeper shadows in the joints of the armor it would go a long way to making this mini "pop." Also, some darklining where the different materials meet, like the shield handles, etc. If you use a wash it effectively does your lining for you, but if you're layering it always helps to add it in yourself. Some even add in the darklining as an initial step. A couple more angles would be nice so we can see your work on the shield. Thanks for posting. I look forward to seeing more of your work. You don't suck, don't give up :).

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Do NOT cuddle Buglips. He won't hurt you, but any of his various parasites, fungi or sentient odors might.


The mini looks nice. The ideas floated so far (a wash to pull out details, a non-metallic undercoat) will help a bunch for a heavily armored guy such as this. Once you get more comfortable with such things, really start pushing the shadows and highlights (for definition and "pop," respectively).


Ask questions whenever you see something you want to do, either in a show off thread or via pm. Most folk on this board will be happy to give some pointers.


Welcome to the hobby!

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Never quit.

Painting well is 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration.

Learn the technics and train and train and train.

I have found that perspiration has a tenancy to wash the paint off the minis I'm working on.


As for the mini... Ive seen a lot worse... including ones I have done. Considering the limited paint pool you have to work from, I think you did fine :)

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Not a bad looking basic metal. A wash of some kind is the most simple way to add depth and make details pop. Decide what tone would like and pick a color. Black is one option so is a nice dark blue, or even a thin dark brown. Experiment and try different things. Happy painting.

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Bollocks, I thought I had turned on reply notifications and everybody simply ignored this thread. Instead I check in to see lots of helpful feedback and me being a total snob and not replying. Sorry all!


Thanks for the tips everyone. I think I'll come back to Barnabas once I've had more practice. I'm using a mixture of acrylic paints - some vallejo, some artist brands (Matisse, Reeves, Chromacryl). The metallics are Reeves because they're fairly cheap. I'm giving everything a black base coat and building colour over that.


I expect to be posting a lot of stuff over the next few months, so I'm turning this into an ongoing thread of finished work.


Next up is 77026 - Young Fire Dragon:




Black base coat, followed by a dark red-brown. I then mixed some red and orange on the figure to give a mild gradient effect. I then drybrushed detail with a yellow ochre, used a "vanilla cream" for the horns and teeth, and finished with a dark red/brown wash.

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The biggest thing is to make sure you're thinning your paints, even with the metallics. In the Barnabas figure you've lost some detail because the unthinned paint has filled in that detail. You either thinned your paints on the dragon, or the paint was already thinner than the metallic paint, and it shows though some of the drybrushing seems a bit heavy. Otherwise the dragon looks good and will look even better in play.

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