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So it begins. Walk the newbface through her first metal mini?


Ellyria
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I find that it's easier to get a nice thin coat of primer with brush-on primer than spray-on primer. I tend to get a little overly enthusiastic with the spray on products and that causes detail to disappear.

 

Also, washing metal minis with an old toothbrush and some dish soap helps to make the mold lines a little more visible. This is especially true with a metal mini that's been sitting around for a few years. (Yeah, I've got a few of those...)

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When it comes to putting together metal minis that have gaps, I'm a big fan of JB Weld and pinning the sucker together. If the thing looks like it'll fit together okay, I take a hobby knife and scratch grooves into both sides of the part then hit it with an epoxy or the JB; depends on how often the mini is going to be touched, moved and/or dropped. Pinning is a pain and I usually do to get minis on to resin bases. Anything besides glue/epoxy/cold weld is a terrible idea for minis.

 

For priming, I use Gesso. However, I live an apartment and don't feel like doing some MacGuyver-equse things with tubes, boxes, tape and etc. Things like that tend to blow up in my face in a way that results in comedy (for those watching) and monetary loss (for me). As much as I like Gesso, I find it doesn't hold on to metal minis very well and starts to rub off and/or chip after time. If you can spray prime, I strongly suggest it.

 

That's all I've got to say.

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I did multiple thin coats of spray primer and seem to have gotten very lucky on the first clean up round. :)

 

Colors I plan on mixing tomorrow:

Light, medium and dark flesh tones
Light, medium and dark brown (for the wings)

Matte black (belts, boots, wing details, gun base, under gloves, whip lines, details in mouth, eye liner)
Metallic silver (buckles, gun details, sword handle, base, wing and whip highlights)
Metallic rust (pouches, knee pads, whip handle)
Light and medium red (hair base)
Dark red (mouth and eyebrows)
Glitter teal (vest, gloves, boot wraps)
White (teeth, eyes)

Glitter violet (eyes)
Glitter red (finger nails)

Metallic red (hair highlights)
Metallic gold (vest buttons)

 

Thanks for all the help, everyone! This is going to be fun!!! :D

Edited by Ellyria
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I did multiple thin coats of spray primer and seem to have gotten very lucky on the first clean up round. :)

 

Colors I plan on mixing tomorrow:

Light, medium and dark flesh tones

Light, medium and dark brown (for the wings)

Matte black (belts, boots, wing details, gun base, under gloves, whip lines, details in mouth, eye liner)

Metallic silver (buckles, gun details, sword handle, base, wing and whip highlights)

Metallic rust (pouches, knee pads, whip handle)

Light and medium red (hair base)

Dark red (mouth and eyebrows)

Glitter teal (vest, gloves, boot wraps)

White (teeth, eyes)

Glitter violet (eyes)

Glitter red (finger nails)

Metallic red (hair highlights)

Metallic gold (vest buttons)

 

Thanks for all the help, everyone! This is going to be fun!!! :D

Before you pick up those brushes, I want to ask what kind of paint you plan on using. Want to make sure you don't accidentally use some poor paint and then have to tell you have to strip the paint so you can start over. ::P:

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We've got some crummy paints but we got lots of it and can't really afford to upgrade at the moment.

 

They worked pretty well for our cheap plastic minis, though; just took a double coat of everything.

Sounds good. Just thought I'd ask. If you do need to strip the paint, it comes off real easy from metal minis.

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I thought I'd pollute your thread with a bit of old metal mini trivia that may help in a future endeavor...

 

 

This is in regards primarily to older minis that are made of lead...

For years I was told that you should soak metal minis in vinegar to remove any surface oxide. DON'T DO THIS. I learned just last night that this is not a good idea. Apparently lead is less susceptible to water when oxidizing but more susceptible to acids... like vinegar. So, after soaking some 25 year old minis in vinegar yesterday evening I learn this. So I was up until almost 1AM undoing that disastrophy. For the record it turns out that baking soda in water will cancel out the vinegar, so I was up rinsing, scrubbing with baking soda and a toothbrush, then rinsing and drying again till way past my bed time.

 

That is my public service announcement for the day. Thank you.

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Waiting for paint, primer, glue, etc to dry is frustrating! I always want to skip straight to the fun stuff. When you get to the point of working on several miniatures at once, it gets a bit easier, because you can always have 1 drying while working on something else. I tend to do a lot of my prep in batches to get it out of the way, usually on a day when I'm not feeling the painting groove. I also like to paint prior to assembly because I think it's easier to reach some surfaces when they're free. Have fun!!

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We've got some crummy paints but we got lots of it and can't really afford to upgrade at the moment.

 

They worked pretty well for our cheap plastic minis, though; just took a double coat of everything.

I use a mixture of Liquitex flow aid and fluid retarder when painting with craft paint -- this will thin the paint and make is easily to paint with, without making the paint runny and watery (unless you use too much of it). A couple of drops bring great results. It is worth experimenting with when painting a finely detailed miniature like this, where too much paint will obscure details quickly.

 

Lots of great advice on this thread!

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Just adding a +1 to the following:

 

Yeah, do NOT use vinegar to clean lead. NO NO NO. Do not store lead in sealed wooden boxes, either. The best place for antique lead is a well-ventilated display cabinet.

 

Do get some flow medium, it works wonders with paints that don't play nicely. Never used it with craft paints myself, but it is an essential. I'd also suggest matte medium so you can make super duper pro washes (again, no idea how that'll work with craft paints.) Google "les wash recipe". A tiny bit of matte medium should also slow down any paints that like to settle out really fast when thinned.

 

Personally I find it easier to get a smooth coat with spray primer. But usually once you open a can you need to use it up in a few weeks. So, I tend to clean and trim and file and glue a large batch of minis, then prime a large batch, then paint at leisure. Often I find assembly more satisfying than painting... but only with metals! Assembling plastic just doesn't give me the same kick.

Edited by smokingwreckage
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Personally I find it easier to get a smooth coat with spray primer. But usually once you open a can you need to use it up in a few weeks. So, I tend to clean and trim and file and glue a large batch of minis, then prime a large batch, then paint at leisure. Often I find assembly more satisfying than painting... but only with metals! Assembling plastic just doesn't give me the same kick.

My experience with spray primers is limited, but that is not something I've noticed with Tamiya fine white surface primer (spray). My can is many years old and shows no signs of failure. I shake it up once in a while since it doesn't get used very often. I like the way spray primer adheres in a fairly uniform manner, but I almost always have to touch up with brush-on after I find more things to file or otherwise fix during a paint job.
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