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I believe it.  Thanks.  I know I made mistakes tonight that I won't make again, so I'm already better than I was earlier in the day.  I'm just impatient to produce high quality minis.  The knowledge base bit can't be overstated I'm sure.  I painted a few minis twenty years ago and they all looked terrible. Of course, I'd never heard of dry-brushing, and I couldn't understand why the paint wouldn't stick.

 

Another hurdle I have to overcome is lack of vision.  I look at some of Pingo's works in progress.  I think his stuff looks like crap most of the way through.  If my stuff looked like his did at each step of the way, I might think it was hopeless.  And then gradually, they start to take shape and end up masterpieces.  I just don't have the knowledge yet to see the end product.  He clearly has it in mind each step of the way and knows where he's going.  I fear how long it will take me to acquire that skill, presuming I ever will.  Well, we all can't be him.  Back at it tomorrow...

My entire painting style is built on the easiest, laziest, sloppiest way to get decent results that I can manage.  If you want to see something go from hideous to not-so-bad, this thread of mine has many examples:  http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/47928-buglipss-bones-wip-request-thread/

 

I tend to use Brown Liner unthinned because it works with this style (some of the examples are actually done using black paint, so even darker than Brown Liner).  There isn't really a "correct" way to paint miniatures, because there's lots of stuff you can do (and even invent) along the way.  So if I say it's good to use Brown Liner unthinned, it doesn't mean using it thinned is therefore bad.  They're both equally valid, it just depends on what you're going for. 

 

With some practice and narrowing down your own painting objectives, you'll adopt some techniques and discard others as you work to refine your style and the peculiar end result you want out of it.  Overall it's not an especially difficult hobby to learn, though mastery will take work and time like anything else.  That thread I linked was one I made specifically so that anybody who read it could, with some practice, easily produce better results than I did.  So if you like the results you see in there and think they're not too terrible, I guarantee 100% that you can do better than that if you want to with some time and practice. 

 

 

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I'd like to just chime in again and thank everyone for their input, it has all been immensely helpful. And thanks Genghis_Sean for asking key questions, there wouldn't have been nearly as much helpful information with out them.

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smokingwreckage, how do you get a wash out of brown liner???  I tried once but the coverage was *too* good and it obliterated everything underneath.  It does make a good undercoat for metallics, especially on Bones where metallics don't like to stick or cover well. 

 

I don't know what smokingwreckage uses, but I make washes out of the liner colors by adding them to a roughly 50/50 mix of distilled water and matte medium with a bit of flow improver tossed in. To me the liners are too valuable to slather over a whole mini as a primer.

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Painting Bones:

 

Step 0 (optional): Boil and then toss in an ice bath to fix any bent weapons and whatnot

Step 1: Wash with soap and water (I use a toothbrush with dish soap)

Step 2: Dry off mini

Step 3: Apply Brown Liner - thinning it with water slightly can be a good idea

Step 4: Begin painting mini as you desire

Okay, I primed two figures.  The first I added barely any water.  When done, the figure was mostly black.  I added several drops of water and primed another.  It's mostly white with black filling in along the lines.  Which is correct?

 

Note that Bonesium is quite hydrophobic, which is why the usual suggestion is that the first coat of paint be unthinned. Now, Brown Liner is such magic stuff that you actually can thin it with quite a bit of water before you get problems, but do be aware that it is possible to thin it too much, and you'll get pretty frustrating results if you do so. You can always use a mix of BL, water, and Brush-On Sealer if you want a lighter undercoat but the Bonesium is reacting poorly to the water.

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Brush on Sealer is also another magic-in-a-bottle that Reaper makes. I mix 2:1 or 1:1 Liner with Sealer to wash my Bones for the first coat. For me it works better because it outlines the detail, and provides a sufficient coverage that I can thin the rest of my paints as much or little as I want then. It does tend to make the model look a bit "dirty" but for what I'm doing I'm really ok with that.

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I don't know who originally suggested that to me, but it also works fantastically for washes. I always put a drop in with the water when I'm thinning something to a wash; it really helps the pigment settle into the cracks nicely. Some paints break apart when thinned too far, and Sealer works wonders there, too, since it's the same consistency as paint, just without the pigment.

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Brush on Sealer is also another magic-in-a-bottle that Reaper makes. I mix 2:1 or 1:1 Liner with Sealer to wash my Bones for the first coat. For me it works better because it outlines the detail, and provides a sufficient coverage that I can thin the rest of my paints as much or little as I want then. It does tend to make the model look a bit "dirty" but for what I'm doing I'm really ok with that.

Could you please elaborate on the Brush-on Sealer. I understand what you are saying about mixing it with Brown Liner (or whatever color liner). But in and of itself what it is used for? And why?

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By itself, sealer of any kind is a transparent medium that is typically used to put a protective layer over a paint job. Brush-on sealer is labeled as such to differentiate it from spray sealer.

 

Because it's possible to control brush-on sealer to a far greater extent than spray, it has also gained a lot of utility throughout the painting process, rather than simply as a final step.

 

As a top-coat/clear coat/final layer, brush-on is also less likely to fog or frost than spray, which is very susceptible to vagaries of climate.

 

Both brush-on and spray are typically available in matte (flat/dull), satin (slightly shiny) and gloss (wet-look shiny), each of which has its followers amongst miniaturists. I believe Reaper's brush-on is on the matte end of satin.

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I was doing a search for Brown Liner, and this thread came up. I'm new to it, but it was pushed so much in the comments of the latest Kickstarter that I just ordered some, and it arrived today.

 

I see people are saying you can thin it with some water to sort of 'prime' a bones figure, but too much water might make the hydrophobic qualities mess with it. Has anyone tried thinning it with Future? I use that along with some water and acrylic to make washes, so I figured it could thin this brown liner as well, without the chance of hydrophobic pull away from the figure.

 

I'll try it later tonight, and post how it worked.

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I was doing a search for Brown Liner, and this thread came up. I'm new to it, but it was pushed so much in the comments of the latest Kickstarter that I just ordered some, and it arrived today.

 

I see people are saying you can thin it with some water to sort of 'prime' a bones figure, but too much water might make the hydrophobic qualities mess with it. Has anyone tried thinning it with Future? I use that along with some water and acrylic to make washes, so I figured it could thin this brown liner as well, without the chance of hydrophobic pull away from the figure.

 

I'll try it later tonight, and post how it worked.

You don't really need to thin it at all. It's thin enough it will not obscure details. For bones, I prime with brown liner, then dry brush a bit of white to make the details easier for me to see.

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Future, from what I I understand, is pretty much pure acrylic medium, right?

 

Then yes, you can thin it with that no problems.

 

Personally I find unthinned liner to be way too dark - I primed a set of gobbos like that and I'm finding it hard work to get the colors I want. The control gobbo that I primed with brown liner+brush on sealer (about 1 part liner to 4 parts sealer) started off a lot lighter and easier both to see the details of the figure and to get bright colors working on.

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