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Ravenscroft the Newbie's Reaper Bones

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I'm Ravenscroft! I've been sitting on these Bones minis for quite a while now and finally got a round toit, so I gotta paint 'em, right? It's kinda relaxing, being able to focus and see as colour fills gaps... Even if apparently I need to go back to kindergarden since I can't paint in the lines sometimes.


Either way! WIP!


My first mini painting attempt! I've watched a lot of tutorials and read a bunch of stuff on how I should set up my workstation and whatnot. I use a wet palette made from a blister pack, water, a kitchen sponge, and parchment paper on top. I have gater clips to hold the mini so it won't smudge.


Most tutorials suggest starting with a big mini, so details aren't as much a worry. Well, I've got Kaladrax! ...But he's too big, methinks, so I went with a golem of fairly big Medium size instead. Lots of the same colour, fairly simple pose, no weird crevasses and corners... Ideal as a starting point, I think.


My aim was to make it a smaller Iron Golem, so I went with a silver-ish paint I had (I'm not going to be mixing weird colours on my first attempt, I'm well-read, but a lot of theory is only good when you've got the practical backing it up, my hands are newbie-shakey doing this as is).

...It looks a lot nicer in-person than on cell-phone-cam... Even with the whole newbie element involved.


So... Basecoat:



And because that looks really plain, we've got two more colours:




Ongoing advice, tips, suggestions, supportive words appreciated.


...He looks kinda like a Pro-Wrestler Golem... Kinda want to paint the bracers and hands red now, but it would be silly...

...And after typing that... You know what? It's my first mini, it's allowed to look silly.




So here it is after the first base coatings, before touching up and fixing and tapping on the bits that bled paint to other bits and bits my hand smudged... Not that bad from the back for the lines, shame most folks will see the front.


(Things used: 09053 Honed Steel, 09051 New Gold, 09016 Sapphire Blue, 09003 Blood Red. Start simple, right?)



Things I ask for learning so far:


1) I keep hearing about colour wheels, and I know the wheel itself, but they talk about using it with some sort of triangulation to find ideal colour matches, is there a place I can find a tutorial on that, by the by?


2) Also, is there some sort of convention for the bases' colours? Leaving it blank seems unprofessional (not to mention smudgey for this one), but green may add an unnecessary colour. White? Black?


3) The kilt's blue is really matte and dark, which kind of eats the details (even if the only detail is the kilt's folds). Any tips on how to make that "pop" a bit better while still being a relatively similar/the same colour?


4) One of the paints I got in my variety pack is labelled "Brush-on Sealer"... I assume I use that on the whole thing once it's "done"?


Things learned so far:

Gold is really hard to overpower either silver or blue. It probably should have gone on before those colours.

My red paint is a bit more liquidy than my other paints... Should keep this in mind.

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Welcome to the forums! You are off to a good start and have come to the right place to get tons of great advice from friendly people.


I'll answer the questions that I can so here it goes:


1) Color theory and design you can find some really great stuff here, you are talking about the "triad" with the triangle. If you are looking for a color scheme designer, check this out.


2) Base colors - while reaper bones don't really need a base color, there are people who still put one on because of personal preference. Some people will prime in white, black, or even grey. The darker the color the darker the shade of the next coat will be so it'd take more of that color to cover it up completely. The same is true with a lighter colored base. Example: Red would be a darker red w/ black base color or a lighter red with a white base color.


3) What you are talking about here are the base coats, mid tones and highlights. Basically you want to have the darker colors in the crevices and places where light wouldn't get to, you'd have the mid tones in the areas seeing more light and the highlights in the raised areas and places they'd see the most light. You are emulating light and shadows. You'll read suggestions on the boards about taking the base color you want and adding a little bit of a darker color to it to darken it for the shading and adding a little bit of a lighter color to lighten it for the highlights. Example would be to add a little bit of orange to red to make a highlight or very very little bit of black to red to darken it up. You'll also probably want to learn how to thin your paints a little bit, I use distilled water (but I have hard water), so a "brush load" or drop of paint equivalent is what you'll see when people talk about 3:1 ratio where it'd be something like 3 drops of paint to 1 drop of water, especially if you are using the Reaper paints, they give really good coverage.


4) Yes, Brush-on Sealer is meant to be used to seal the paint on the figure to prevent scratching or chipping when handling the figure.


A few more tips:


  • Make sure to rinse your brushes in a different pot/cup when using the metallic paints like gold and/or silver. If you want a tarnished gold you can thin down some brown paint with a lot of water to create a wash and give it that more antique look, this will flow into the crevices and darken them more as well. If you want a more weathered silver, you can do the same thing with a black wash.
  • Make sure to always shake your paint vigorously, for like a minute or two to get it mixed up really nice, that could be why your red is a little bit more liquid-y.
  • I'd highly highly suggest you try to get a hold of a learn to paint kit or two. They come with 2 metal figures, 2 brushes, 10 full paints, and instructions. Their actual order is 1, 2, 4, 5, 3 in case you do invest in them. A great price for around $25 to get all that stuff.
  • Eventually you'll also want to invest in the good brushes. Here's a run-down on how they all stack up to each other. The best ones are the Kolinsky Sable, you'll see varying opinions on Winsor & Newton, Raphael, Da Vinci, Rosemary & Company, etc.
Edited by ub3r_n3rd
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woo hoo. I get to be helpful.


1 as I understand colour wheels. the triangle is essentially the two colours next to the colour you are using as two points and then the third point is the colour directly opposite it on the wheel. I don't know where you will find a tutorial on it, but if you have access to a wheel it should be easy enough to figure.


2 no real convention. Black is fine, as you get into it you way want to look at painting up the bases, as dirt or grass, or sticking it to a larger base and adding bits of terrain detail. The convention is 'whatever you like' really. Same with painting your golems hands red, because you want to. For a basic, black is nice because it doesn't really detract from the figure's colour in any way.


3 one of the chief ways of making colours 'pop' is by using a darker colour in shadows and recesses, and a lighter colour on the high points. shadows and highlights if you will. I could write a page of text on the numerous ways this is done, through various forms such as washes, dry brushing, layering and such, but I am not the best to be trying toteach anything through typing it



and Ub3r beat me to the punch. So I will close with a warm welcome, and hopes that you find joy in this hobby as somany here do. If you have any uestions, feel free to ask them in thetips and tricks section. The people here are so lovely and willing to share knowledge and give help as best they can.

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Thank you for the ongoing tips. I guess that means I'll need to figure out how to mix a bit to get a different blue for contrast. I did notice I needed far less paint than I thought, even without fancy thinning methods. And thanks as well for the links there Ub3r, bookmarked.


Noted on the separate metals thing too. Didn't seem to come up here, but the blue and red are really strong, something milder might make it much more noticible, I shall try to be careful. My end goal is tabletop quality stuff (yeah, aim high, I know) so that my D&D group can eventually stop using badgers to represent everything from bears to dragons.


I'm going to take the stuff slow, one paint session a day, so I won't burn out. I'll see if I can apply those tips in this one for tomorrow.

Edited by Ravenscroft
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No problem, happy to help. I've only been painting for a short time especially compared to quite a few of the other people around here.


You may see a lot of advice and talk in other threads about applying numerous thin layers of paint, this can help with contrast and with blending of your colors. As far as your blue goes, I might do like 3 drops blue, 1 drop black, 3-4 drops water, then apply it as a wash in the crevices to darken those areas. With the highlights I'd do like 2-3 drops of blue with a drop of white and a drop of water and lightly coat them to show a contrast. I'm not sure what paints you have on hand so it's just about working with what you have.


Another thing you might want to look into is "lining" you can use a really dark brown like walnut brown or black along those areas of transition. Then paint up to the line but not cover it up, it takes practice and brush control so don't get discouraged if you try and it doesn't work right away. I highly suggest you check out Buglips' WIP thread, it's quite long, but VERY informative for the newbie painter. He covers the lining stuff in depth.


Edit to add:

One last thing is that we are our own worst critics. Ultimately you are painting for yourself and just like with everything else the more you do it, the better you'll get. Personally I am doing table-top quality work now and really getting into bases, but eventually I want to get close to the level that some others on the forums are at. Don't be afraid to post pics or ask questions, you'll find that you can get some really constructive feedback here.

Edited by ub3r_n3rd
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Ahha - I threw out my round toit years ago. Now I enjoy a far more relaxed pace of life without that ogrish device forcing me into things.


Welcome to the forums, there's nothing I can add to the above posts, so have fun, enjoy and embrace the improvements you'll make from one mini to the next!

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Okay! Well... I think I got a good darker blue colour. At least. Shame I can't transition so I outlined instead. Doesn't look too catastrophic from a "myspace angle" of top-down view that would be seen while gaming, at least... Though face-on is... iffy.




Don't suppose there's any way to spoiler tag these with a button drop-down so I don't eat the bandwidth of phone viewers, eh? like a [spoiler=art click here] kind of thing you see on some forums?


Either way, front-and-back from a second coat of gold (separate water bowl to avoid gold flecks), lining the inner edge of each kilt pleat in the darker blue (I'm using so little that exact measurements like 3:1 drops would be wasteful with leftovers, it's close to a 2:1 ish, but is really a dab with a tap's worth.). Gave another coat of red as well since the gloves dried weird. I tried the black wash on the silver thing, mostly since it is really shiny silvery and I wanted iron, which is a bit more dull in my mind even if both are really shiny in reality (but I'm pointlessly pontificating).





I apologize if the pictures are painful to look at. My main hope is letting other complete newbies see it and going "oh, I can do better than that" and getting more mini painters out there so if I ever join their groups they'll have good minis. My hands are really shakey, much better suited to the mixing paints part of the job than the putting them on things part. :)




Dontfear: Nah, as you may note from the colourful spelling of colour, I'm Canadian, though I've been to NC... twice? I think? Mostly to drive through to warmer vacation climates, though I'm sure its a nice state. Ravens have crofts all over, it seems.


Also, question! To anyone, really:


The tutorials I've read on sealing seem to use spray-sealers, or their dip-and-flick quickshade doubles as a sealer. So brushing one on is something new to me. Should I use a different brush/water bowl/extra particular caution while using it, since its different than the paint stuff?

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Raleigh is a great place to be born. All the cool people were born there. Of course the last time I was in Raleigh was 11 years ago and about 90% of the state lost power! but I digress.


@Ravenscroft. Welcome to the forums, and great attitude to have when starting. The important thing is to have fun and learn as you go. Myself, I too am just starting and going through my own learning curve that will require a certain spider to take a simple green bath. But, stil having fun and learning each time I add paint.


As for your golem, great start. May not have the traditional look but who cares? Some of the best concepts come from thinking outside the box. Personally, I think it's a fine mini.

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One Canadian to another, don't appologize for your minis. We all start off as beginers, and only through practice do we grow. There is not a person here that is offended by a basic paint job, (the ones that do show up don't long survive in face of the overwhelming goodness)


I think the ["spoiler"] minus the quotes ["/spoiler"] tags around your picture should be what you are after


can't help you on the brush on sealer, I've never used it

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I have used the reaper brush on sealer and you do just that! Brush it on generously trying to avoid any bubbles and let it dry for at least 24 hours. Then hit the mini with a coat of Matt spray (Krylon brand works) to cut down the shine. This will also have the bonus affect of backing down the shine on the golem and making it more iron like. I would look at possibly running a thin line of dark blue under the belt just to give it a crisp line between it and the kilt. Other than that your mini is ready to smash a few PC's and is very much in the table top qulaity that most of us on this forum strive to achieve. You are doing better that you think... keep at it and you will most definitly improve.

Edited by robinh
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