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Question: Did you wash the mini with soap and water prior to painting? If not, that might attribute to the paint chipping easily (mold release agent doesn't mingle well with paint)...if so: Sealing coat, but beyond that I wouldn't know.  However, I think that the shield design is very well done. Especially if it's free-hand.  Nice patina-copper color on the sword as well. I would also encourage you to spend a little more time with the basing as well. Not to nit-pick, but it looks like you got some of the green on the skeleton's left ankle.

 

Hope that helps ya a little

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Yeah, he'll need a little touching up before I seal him (the shield arm is a mess). Actually I did wash it with dish soap beforehand, and made sure to do a base coat without using any water (though I might've been a bit afraid to lay it on too thick). I used my tiniest little Reaper brush to do the freehand, but I'm thinking maybe a razor or a pin would be better? Or does that not work?

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Woah, that's pretty great freehand for your first mini! The rest of the mini is pretty decent too. I'd say work on getting paint where you want it (see the grass-stained ankles, bits of silver on the fingers, white rim on the base) and then increasing your contrast. The highlights need to be brighter and the shadows darker than you think they do. Way, way more contrast than you'll think is appropriate. You'll look at it and say "that's perfect! If I put down one more layer of highlight, I'll ruin it!" Then put down three more layers of highlights and two more layers of shadow, because on the table or under the camera, it'll flatten out and look boring. It's the single-most given piece of advice on this forum, and it's really true.

 

As for paint rubbing off, is this Bones or metal? Either way, a good wash and scrub (I use an old toothbrush and handsoap) may help. On metal, put down a thin coat of primer before you start. On Bones, no primer is needed, but you need to be sure not to thin your basecoat with water, or it'll bead and be terrible. Brown Liner is a very popular choice for Bones basecoats, since it's a really nice natural shadow color and it's thinner than regular paints, so it obscures less detail unthinned. (Make sure you do thin your other coats though!)

 

Otherwise, great start! That knot makes me think you probably have some sort of fine arts background?

 

EDIT: Whoops, you ninja'd me. So, I take it this is Bones. See tip about Brown Liner.

 

As for freehand, a pin/razor will not work. The thing is, the size of the implement doesn't really limit this sort of thing, and a good brush will have a sharper point than a pin anyway. Brushes hold wet paint in the belly, which is wicked up to the tip, providing a constant flow of paint. A pin just has a single layer of paint, which will dry almost instantly. For the same reason, it is actually often easier to freehand with a larger brush. The little tiny detail brushes dry out so quickly that it's hard to do a nice consistent job. The very best investment you can make as a mini painter is a good Kolinsky sable brush. My personal favorite (and a popular suggestion) is a Windsor & Newton Series 7 size 1. I use it for everything, from basecoating to freehand. The tip is razor-sharp, but the belly holds enough paint to get a whole lot of painting done before I need to refill it. Other popular brands include Raphael (which I've had bad experiences with, but most reviews are positive) and Da Vinci. It's a bit of cash (but really just a couple of packs of Bones skeletons or so), but it's so worth it. No single thing besides practice will improve your painting so much.

 

EDIT 2: Oh, one last thing. Issues with paint rubbing off are often due to handling during painting. You rub off layers of paint while holding the mini, and your fingers deposit oils that make it hard for later coats to stick properly. You can solve this by sticking the mini to a handle of some sort. Lots of people use blue poster tack (or similar) to stick the mini to a dice box, paint pot, cork, or other handle, so they don't actually have to touch it while painting it. I confess I'm really bad about handling minis while painting, but if you're having trouble with paint rubbing off, that's my suggestion.

Edited by Slendertroll
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*point*

 

Well, I can't laugh, because you did a great job. The rusty sword looks great, the knotwork looks great, everything looks quite old, like it's been sitting around in a dungeon waiting for some idiot adventurer to come wake him up.  

 

*thinks of creaking skeletons from skyrim*

 

Yeah, looks great :blink:

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I'm a perfectionist, so I wished my freehand shield was better, but at the same time I was fairly proud of it... until I came here and looked around a bit and saw some of the awesome work other people are doing.

 

First, what Slendertroll said, almost verbatim. Especially "good brush, not small brush".

 

The only difference for me is that I've had better luck with both Raphael and da Vinci than I have with Winsor & Newton. That seems to be sample difference rather than something systematic.

 

Second, I'll reiterate that your freehand is actually quite good, and the fact that you're pushing yourself to do it is even better. You might want to go back over the freehanded design with another coat to make it pop just a bit more. It might also help you to know that nearly everyone who does freehand does lots of edge touch-up, because at that scale, the smallest twitch will dirty up your edge.

 

As an aside, I will recommend that you not use metallics for freehand, especially freehanding narrow lines. (I don't think you did here, but it's a fairly common step to try to pop the contrast.) The mica flakes in metallics start to show up pretty badly under those conditions. Non-metallics will go on more smoothly, especially if you use properly thinned paint in a larger brush.

 

Nice work, especially for a first figure.

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Thanks for all the kind words and advice. I'll definitely pay a little more attention to my brushes and start sticking the mini on something.

 

As for the base, I was going for moss? which was my wife's idea. I was going to just go with brown and a cooler tone of grey. I don't have basing stuff (well, I do have some lovely stamps and bases and all sorts of things, but they're in the U.S. and I'm in Argentina with an import restriction in the way... which also means I have a limited number of paints and no metallics).

 

No fine arts background... the last time I did any art was in high school over a decade ago.

 

I was going for rust, I'm glad you can tell it's meant to be rusty.

first mini and he's doing knotwork freehand.

Go big or go home, right?

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Thanks for all the kind words and advice. I'll definitely pay a little more attention to my brushes and start sticking the mini on something.

 

As for the base, I was going for moss? which was my wife's idea. I was going to just go with brown and a cooler tone of grey. I don't have basing stuff (well, I do have some lovely stamps and bases and all sorts of things, but they're in the U.S. and I'm in Argentina with an import restriction in the way... which also means I have a limited number of paints and no metallics).

 

No fine arts background... the last time I did any art was in high school over a decade ago.

 

Great job for a first mini!  As far as basing material goes you should still be able to find something to use if you are willing to improvise.  Checkers (or just small wooden craft discs) can often be found in the 25-30mm range, sand is usually available, cork sheets are handy, and I've tried spackle a few times with decent luck.

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 One thing to point out is that a fair amount of the time spent painting a mini is actually spent touching up the little errors that we make as we go along... Coincidentally, learning to cover up your mistakes well will also teach you a great deal about how to get better at not making them.

 

 Also, I've been painting for almost thirty years and my freehand still doesn't look like that - I hate you. ::D:

Edited by Mad Jack
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Hi, as the other guys already said the freehand is very cool. Those celtic knots really add something to any mini. The rist effect is also very convincing. I guess the bones would look better with more contrast, but I have to be honest that I am not a big fan of the Reaper Skeletons, so I might be biased. However, very nice for your first mini (my old lizardmen back in the day had no shading, nor highlights and no thinned paint ;) ) For basing your minis styrene sheet is also a solution (assuming you want to go for squares) You should get sheets from the local plastic manufacturer.

 

If you want to make the moss a bit more realistic I recommend a mixture of fine turf (if you can get Woodland Scenics just go for a dark green one, if not, get yourself some foam and a coffee mill, colour the foam using a mixer (instructions can be found online) and grind it to a very small particle size), green paint and PVA. This paste you apply to the base and let it dry. Now it is rock hard, but still has the mossy texture of the turf. Drybrush up to almost yellow.

 

For an example base I made lately with the moss effect open the spoiler box, it is your thread after all. I am looking forward for more stuff.

 

 

img_5470.jpg

 

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Dang !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay.. natural talent is rampant here!

What a beautiful piece of work this is.

Going to mark a spot to watch this talent bloom !

Great Going!

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