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wdmartin - not so much "show off" as "stuff done"

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Okay, after spending the holidays traveling -- and hence away from my paints etc -- here's a new one: the town strumpet.








I've taken to using a wet palette and some pretty thin paints, and noticed that the Bones material repels the pigment if there's an awful lot of water in the mix. So for this one, I started by covering the whole thing with a coat of solid white, not thinned at all. I figure unthinned acrylic paint will adhere well to the Bones material, and thinned acrylic paint will adhere well to dry acrylic paint.


The dress turned out nicely. Three or four layers went into it, starting with a darkened red and working up to lighter reds. Currently my only red paint is Reaper's "Carnage Red", so it doesn't get SUPER bright, but it worked out well enough here. The corset and shoes are Walnut Brown; the petticoats and front-and-back of her corset I left the plain white I'd painted the whole model, with a few touchups to clean up spillover from surrounding colors. It might have been nice to add something to increase the contrast in those areas, but I wasn't sure exactly what to do with them. I thought of drybrushing them with a pale gray, but decided that would probably just make the areas look dirty. A wash in the recesses of the petticoats might add depth, but then it would look a bit odd next to the corset, which wasn't really suited to a wash. So in the end I just left them as they were.


The skin went on in three layers. A tutorial I read -- sadly, I've lost the link for it, or I'd link it -- suggested starting skin with a layer of pale purple, since most flesh runs to orange tones. The idea was that the purple would help define shadowy areas. So for the first layer, I mixed some GW Genestealer Purple with Reaper Pure White in roughly a 1:1 ratio to get a very pale purple. Then I layered heavily thinned Tan Skin followed by thinned Fair Skin. I think it turned out okay for the most part, but I don't really know if the purple layer helped at all.


The face ... was a problem. Here's a detail view of it, at a better angle:





The eye is pretty good. It looks like an eye. I didn't bother with an eyebrow, partly because I was terrified of ruining it after getting the iris just right, but also because the angle of the head renders most of her face totally invisible unless you're actually tilting the mini at a 45 degree angle to look at the face. So it didn't seem too important.


The lips turned out well, too. I took trystangst's suggestion, and mixed a little bit of red with Fair Skin for the lip color. That looks a lot more natural and less like lipstick. Thanks!


The problem was that at one point I applied a layer of heavily thinned Fair Skin which promptly flowed all over the place, including places I didn't want it. The brush had too much in it. Thinking quickly -- but not WELL -- I pressed a tissue against the face to absorb the runny paint. Which it did! But it also left behind some fuzz, which of course proved totally impossible to remove. It's still there. See the kind of diagonal slash under the eye that looks kind of like a scar? Yeah. That's Kleenex fuzz.


Looking at this shot, I think I may also have painted the underside of some of her hair skin-colored. Whoops. Fortunately that's another thing concealed by the angle of the head most of the time.


Speaking of the hair, I painted it solid black, then tried dry brushing with intense brown. It didn't turn out very well, so I covered it over again with solid black. I'm pleased with the witch-lock at the front.


Lastly, her bracelet and necklace I hit with gold metallic paint, her girdle with silver metallic, and carefully painted the ribbon at the top of her corset with pure red.


Overall, I'm reasonably pleased. This is mini #7, and I feel like I'm making progress. Though obviously with lots yet to learn.




1) What do you do if you slop runny paint where it's not wanted? Kleenex was the wrong response. What are some better ones?


2) Any good tutorials on hair? I still think a dry brushing might add some visual definition to her head, but I'm not sure what color to use, or if there might be a better technique.


3) What do you do to pick out ultra-tiny details, like the strings of her corset-front?

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Very quick progress you're making if this is mini #7, that looks quite nice!


I'm by no means an expert, having also just started using a wet palette, but I've found quickly cleaning my brush, drying it on a piece of tissue and using it to soak up excess paint works fairly well. I haven't figured out hair, but for question 3 I've found a brush held sideways can pick out those little bits, or you could just wash the area with some darker colour. For me, using a good brush was crucial to getting the tiny details right. I did not like thinned paint at all while I was using my old brushes, but watching one of Jen Haleys DVDs convinced me to get a better brush. She also shows what she calls "wet brushing" which gave nice hair highlights, but I haven't been able to reproduce that yet...

Edited by jonishi
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I already posted one thread, Denizen of the deep, before figuring out that most people just create a single thread for themselves and post anything they finish there. So apologies for flouting forum convention! I'll post any future pics I put up in this thread.

The preference, for search-ability, is to post individual items in separate threads as suggested in the Forum Guidelines.

The trend to use one thread is rather new and less desirable for model searches.

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I like the shove everything in one thread when it's more of a "Hey look at what I got done recently! It's not my best of show, but I'm still proud of it." kinda thing. That way I can get the feedback and pats on the back that help keep me going, without feeling like I'm spamming the show off thread with my crappy speed painted minis.

Which is why I post all my photos (once they are taken with a real camera) to the inspiration gallery, so people who want to see the range of interpretations of single figure can do so, even if an individual mini is not my best. That is just my perspective, and I will do whatever the community thinks best.




WDmartin - I love the details you are working into your minis, like the white hair strip on your beckoning lady, the white edge to the cap on the maid, and your eyes. You are showing great improvement in your minis with each one. Keep up the good work.

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I am personally a fan of one WIP thread per person (and recently reorganized mine to prove just that) because it lets you see progression in ability level of the person. Show Off minis are nice to be able to search for and that becomes easier when the name is in the thread title in some way.


The Inspiration Gallery is one place I have not posted to yet. I am reserving that for a little more skill. Maybe once I complete another LTPK or two.




As for the minis in this thread, you are already showing improvement. It seems to me like you could benefit from thinning the paint slightly and then continuing to work on brush control. Keep up the good work and make sure to ask the forums if you have any questions to help you along.

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Here we are again, with minis #8 and #9: a barbarian, and a harpy.







The harpie pics contain partial nudity.  If you prefer not to gaze upon female chest anatomy sans shirt, don't click the following links!

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Interference Color Detail


The barbarian turned out tolerably well.  This was my first mini with large areas of exposed skin, and also my first male figure.


The skin base coat used a mixture of Tanned Skin and GW's Genestealer Purple (1:1, about).  Then I moved up to Tanned Skin plus Carnage Red (about 2:1) for mid tones, and plain Tanned Skin for highlights.  I wanted him to have a comparatively dark, raw skin color, suggesting hours of baking in hot sun on the endless steppe.  You can still see some of the purple in the deeper areas, notably on top of his shoulder.


The eyes came out lousy.  And I really should have done something more with the base.  But oh well, it's not too bad.


The harpy is probably my best mini to date, and took absolutely ages, mostly because I had to wait for a pot of Liquitex Interference Blue to show up so I could make her feathers nice and glossy.  If you're interested in more, I did a WIP thread for the harpy with pics at each stage and such.

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You're making great progress! Be careful not to go back over painted areas until they're completely dry. Also, try some Army Painter or Secret Weapon washes, or make your own using Les' wash recipe: http://www.awesomepaintjob.com/index.cfm/resources.recipes Don't worry about using the super duper ink, just mix up some of the base and use it to thin paint for a wash.


EDIT: in case you didn't figure this out, going too light or dark and then coming back in with another layer to correct it is actually a very useful technique! Colours can be strongly influenced by the layers beneath, and getting comfortable with how and when they do this to your advantage is a good skill to develop.

Edited by smokingwreckage
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I have thought about doing something with the harpy's base -- not so much because I object to the look, but because she has an unfortunate habit of tipping over backwards.  The balance isn't the best.  I could maybe have corrected that before painting if I'd thought to check for it -- boil the mini and bend it slightly forward to compensate -- but not at this point.


I'm not going to go crazy on basing, but I thought maybe I could superglue her existing base to a quarter and then paint the quarter.

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Been a little while.  But I have new stuff done!


First up, #77094.








Looots of fiddly detail on this one.  I tried adding some visual definition to the armor by just painting some heavily thinned black paint directly into the cracks.  It works okay as long as you're at least a foot away -- up close, and in the pics above, it just looks dirty.


I had to order the red hair triad and wait for it to arrive, so this sat partiall painted and unfinished for about a week.  It was worth it, though -- I very much like how the hair turned out, and of course the same colors made sense for the fox decoration on her shield and the fox head on her shoulder.


The face turned out okay.  In retrospect I wish I'd made her lips a teeny bit darker.  Oh, well.


Next up, a bunch of rats:



Mmm, yeah.  The two at bottom left are different than all the others because they were painted separately.  Those two are the first and second minis I ever painted -- the other rats are 11-20.  I've taken to painting the number on the bottom of the base.


Aaaand that numbering scheme is now messed up, because here is a mini from a totally different company!  This is the Chemist from On The Lamb Games for their tactical minis game Endless:










I got it via their Kickstarter from last year.  The figure was molded out of gray resin.  Pros:


1) The details of the sculpt are held crisp and sharp.

2) It's fairly easy to sand down.




1) There was a LOT of flash that needed to be removed, and areas that needed to be sanded down.

2) There were a couple of gaps in the figure that I lacked any way to fill.  Fortunately they're not obtrusive.

3) No base.


Rather, a base was included, but it was a very thin piece of black plastic with no built-in mounting method.  I used a round wooden blank from Michaels instead, free-handed some black-and-white tiles on, and glued her to it.  After removing a large chunk of resin under the bottoms of her feet, I found she was off-kilter and going to lean forward at a 10 degree angle. To fix that, there's a shim under her left foot which you can see in the second side picture.  It's made out of cast-off flash.  The beaker on the base I made out of a bit of sprue and made an attempt to paint vaguely like an empty piece of glass.


This was the first mini I ever had to prime.  Reaper's Brush On Primer seems quite thick -- I didn't thin it at all, and some of the finer details were lost, notably a bit of lace in her collar.  In future I'll thin my primer just a bit.  Unless that will mess it up somehow?


Painting her eyes was a trial.  Her left eye is directly behind her hand, making it very hard to get the brush in there at a good angle.  Her right eye had a large round bulge of resin to represent the eyeball -- every time I tried to dot an iris onto it, the paint just slid over that surface and globbed all over.  After the fourth attempt, I decided that since the paint was intent on pooling over the area, I'd just give her a monocle by putting in a blob of metallic silver, free-handing a couple of straps, and then later dotting the paint for a magic emerald monocle.


Overall I think it turned out okay.  Not my favorite lately.  The fox paladin was way cooler.


And so is this guy, #77030.  Behold -- the Ruby Avenger!




The mini was so obviously intended to skulk in the shadows, that I couldn't resist making him as flamboyant as possible.  Bright red cloak, lots of gold trim, and all of the studs in his armor are dotted with Ruby Red (metallic).


This was also my first serious experiment with glazing.  I think I like it.  There's a good bit of texture in his armor and boots from glazing.  His cloak started at Carnage Red and got I think five or six layers of glaze up to Clear Red.


It's not clear in the photos, but I'm very pleased with the shading of his sleeves.  They started pale grey and got glazed repeatedly with Linen White and then a few bits of Pure White.


The other thing I really learned from this figure has to do with brush control.  When I started, I was thinking of the brush as a way to push paint onto the mini, which works but lacks finesse.  Now I'm starting to think of the brush as a transport mechanism -- just bringing the paint to the mini, where it will flow onto the area more due to surface tension and capillary action than due to pressure from the bristles. 

Edited by wdmartin
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Been a while.  I've painted a bunch since the last post, but got tired of photographing them.


This one I'm very pleased with, though -- #02751.




It's supposed to be a stone golem, but I needed a flesh golem.  I'm particularly pleased with the free-hand on the belt buckle.

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I see a lot of improvement in your work, clean paint jobs and the freehand on the golem's belt is fantastic.


As far as advice goes, I'd focus on highlighting and the thinning of your paints as they seem to be laid on pretty thick. Multiple multiple thin coats of paints will result in better looking figures with more depth.

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Time for another one.  I've painted 24 minis after the flesh golem, but haven't photographed any of them because it's the last thing I want to do after a long painting session.


THIS one, however, I am quite pleased with, and since it's a gift for somebody, I can't keep it.  So ... here's 03166, Alistrilee, Elf Archer.




The glossy bit on her cloak is annoying.  I think I used a bit too much glazing there.



It's difficult to see, but the border between the right edge of her hood and her face is decidedly ragged.  This was a metal mini, and the primer formed bubbles down in the crevice there.  I haven't used primer very much -- most of my figures are Bones plastic, which doesn't require priming.  So I'm not sure how to avoid that problem.


I thought about adding some wood grain to the bow, but decided the plain look was nice.



The border between the highlight and the surrounding area is much too sharp on the first fold.  Too much white in the mix.  I tried to tone it down with ... seven? eight? ... layers of glazing, but eventually conceded defeat.



I still don't feel that I've got the hang of shading metallic paints.  They usually wind up looking dirty.  Sigh.


But despite its flaws, I like this one a lot.  it turned out very nicely.

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you have a good control but here you need an advice....

shade the face!

especially the eyes!

it is simply a "rule" when painting eyes... if you don't paint the eye's contour with a darker colour it seems someone is STARING at you in AWE!

also don't make them round or it really seems someone who has just saw a ghost and he's about to stuff the pants!^^

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