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My first mini (finished?) - please critique and suggest


Genghis_Sean
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Boris Vallejo is probably *THE GUY* for the deliberate mis-use of lighting on skin for drama and liveliness, in a fantasy context.

BY mis-use I mean ... probably hyper-realism, the exaggeration that makes certain art pop and crackle with life and dimension, far more so than if it actually depicted straight realism.

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Good start. Your painting is clean, which is a necessary foundation for everywhere you want to go from here. And it looks like you got a nice, smooth layer of paint down. Those two steps put you far ahead of most new painters.

 

Recommendations for next steps:

  • Push the highlights higher and the shadows lower. When you think you've gone far enough, go twice that far. Only when you look at a figure on the table 3' away and say, "Hmm, that might be a bit much" should you start to back off.
  • Paint the eyebrows. They're more important to expression, especially for gaming use, than are the eyes.
Unsure what you mean when you say push higher and lower.  Use brighter highlights and darker shadows?

 

Precisely that.

 

I'm still struggling with the shading.  Here's an earlier pic of the same mini.  The shadows seemed misplaced and looked distracting so I tried to round out the muscles with more highlights and killed a lot of the shadows.  Proper shading is certainly a target of mine, but I'm unsure how to get there.  I might need to watch Dr. Faust's vid on painting flesh on miniatures a fourth time.

 

attachicon.gifshade.JPG

 

You see the patch under the armpit?  And over his heart and his shoulder?  That was what concerned me and I ended up eliminating them.  What should I have done?

The shading in that picture is better, IMO. I suspect the biggest reason it looks a bit hinky to you is that your lighting in that photo is both very hard and directional. Typically, for general use, you want to paint to reproduce "zenithal lighting", which is the kind of lighting you might get from a ring light source above the figure. And you have to paint in the shadows to show the details of the figure from a distance. As others have noted, you're looking for some combination of realistic and artistic. And generally that works best with exaggerated highlights and shadows.

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Good start. Your painting is clean, which is a necessary foundation for everywhere you want to go from here. And it looks like you got a nice, smooth layer of paint down. Those two steps put you far ahead of most new painters.

 

Recommendations for next steps:

  • Push the highlights higher and the shadows lower. When you think you've gone far enough, go twice that far. Only when you look at a figure on the table 3' away and say, "Hmm, that might be a bit much" should you start to back off.
  • Paint the eyebrows. They're more important to expression, especially for gaming use, than are the eyes.
Unsure what you mean when you say push higher and lower.  Use brighter highlights and darker shadows?

 

Precisely that.

 

I was using the Reaper Tanned Skin triad or whatever it's called.  I guess I need to mix some brown into the shadow layer, then.

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 I usually paint by unit. Currently I have units of 15 marines and those will take about 10 hours to get to tabletop quality. I gain efficiencies because they are all alike and I can assembly line paint them.

 

You can do this to a limited extent with characters by painting all the flesh on five figures. After that you can paint them as individuals but you will have saved time by already having all tge skin done.

I was actually thinking already of doing something like this.  I got out a bunch of figures that were mostly armor and figured I could hit several figures at once.  Great idea.  I probably better wait to mass paint until I've actually painted an armor figure first though. I need to know I can pull it off, first.

 

Heavily armored figures are a great opportunity to try out washes, especially if you're planning on painting several at once.

 

Silvery armor loves a black wash and gold/bronze armor loves a brown wash.

 

Paint a solid silvery color, then wash it with a thinned black ink or store-bought black wash. 

 

I've been watching vids on washing today and I'm ready to give this a try on my next figure, an armored knight. Watching the vids, they seemed to indicate that after priming a figure, you put on the base coat, and then apply a wash.  Well, I primed these figures already in Army Painter Platemail Metal precisely because most of the figure is going to look that shade and I was told that would save me time, so do I need to apply a base coat or can I skip that step and just go right to the black wash?  If not, what should I do?

 

If can go to the wash, my paints are 95% Reaper, but I did buy four Citadel paints to try on armor including Nuln Oil shade and Ironbreaker layer. Could I think the Nuln Oil and use that as my wash or would my Reaper pure black thinned be better?

 

Lastly, there's just the tiniest bits of chainmail peeking out from under the plate.  Is there a preferred color people use for chain? I might see if I can mix something, but it would be easier in the future if I knew I had it ready to go.

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I've been watching vids on washing today and I'm ready to give this a try on my next figure, an armored knight. Watching the vids, they seemed to indicate that after priming a figure, you put on the base coat, and then apply a wash.  Well, I primed these figures already in Army Painter Platemail Metal precisely because most of the figure is going to look that shade and I was told that would save me time, so do I need to apply a base coat or can I skip that step and just go right to the black wash?  If not, what should I do?

 

If can go to the wash, my paints are 95% Reaper, but I did buy four Citadel paints to try on armor including Nuln Oil shade and Ironbreaker layer. Could I think the Nuln Oil and use that as my wash or would my Reaper pure black thinned be better?

 

Lastly, there's just the tiniest bits of chainmail peeking out from under the plate.  Is there a preferred color people use for chain? I might see if I can mix something, but it would be easier in the future if I knew I had it ready to go.

 

 

You can skip the basecoat step and go right to the black wash.

 

Either method will work, if you primed more than one figure in the Plaatemail Metal color why not try both and see which you like best?  A bug postion of this hobby is finding out what you like and experimentation is the best way to do this :)

 

So the chainmail will behave differently with the wash than the flatter portions of the figure covered i plate.  Try the wash there as well and see how you like it.  You can even paint back over the high points to emphasize the contrast with an even brighter metallic color than the one you started with.  That sort of thing really makes your miniatures pop.

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I've been watching vids on washing today and I'm ready to give this a try on my next figure, an armored knight. Watching the vids, they seemed to indicate that after priming a figure, you put on the base coat, and then apply a wash.  Well, I primed these figures already in Army Painter Platemail Metal precisely because most of the figure is going to look that shade and I was told that would save me time, so do I need to apply a base coat or can I skip that step and just go right to the black wash?  If not, what should I do?

 

If can go to the wash, my paints are 95% Reaper, but I did buy four Citadel paints to try on armor including Nuln Oil shade and Ironbreaker layer. Could I think the Nuln Oil and use that as my wash or would my Reaper pure black thinned be better?

 

Lastly, there's just the tiniest bits of chainmail peeking out from under the plate.  Is there a preferred color people use for chain? I might see if I can mix something, but it would be easier in the future if I knew I had it ready to go.

 

 

You can skip the basecoat step and go right to the black wash.

 

Either method will work, if you primed more than one figure in the Plaatemail Metal color why not try both and see which you like best?  A bug postion of this hobby is finding out what you like and experimentation is the best way to do this :)

 

So the chainmail will behave differently with the wash than the flatter portions of the figure covered i plate.  Try the wash there as well and see how you like it.  You can even paint back over the high points to emphasize the contrast with an even brighter metallic color than the one you started with.  That sort of thing really makes your miniatures pop.

 

Thanks.  I think I'll do that.  I presume I don't put the wash over the face and hair, correct?  I would do those first and then wash the rest of the figure?

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It depends on what you want to do, but yes I would not put the wash over the fact and hair as much as possible (washes can sometimes get a little messy so you might hit it a little) and then paint the hair and face once that dries.  That way you don't have to worry about the wash getting on the face or hair if you had already painted them.

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The Nuln Oil should be very versatile, try painting up a flash tone miniature real fast and simple, then hitting it with the wash.

 

I personally love, love, love the Army Painter Ink (little red-cap bottles) for adding washes to almost everything; but do NOT apply your first wash over painstaking layers of paint. More than some other things, washes need a few run-throughs to get used to how they act.

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The Nuln Oil should be very versatile, try painting up a flash tone miniature real fast and simple, then hitting it with the wash.

 

I personally love, love, love the Army Painter Ink (little red-cap bottles) for adding washes to almost everything; but do NOT apply your first wash over painstaking layers of paint. More than some other things, washes need a few run-throughs to get used to how they act.

Good call.  Here, I'll be applying it directly over the primer, so if I screw it up, it won't be a big loss.

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