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Getting ready to get into painting.


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So I got in on the new Bones Kickstarter and decided that I need to learn how to paint these things before they get here. I've never painted a mini before, but I plan on watching plenty of tutorials before I start. Right now my plan is to grab the Bones Learn to Paint Kit and possibly a few other paints to round out my color options. I also read on some other posts that people recommend getting higher end brushes than what comes in the set, so I might look into getting some of those as well.

 

My question is what would you guys recommend? Looking at the L2PK I'm going to need some flesh tones, and probably some reds and yellows as well. Are there any particular paints that you would recommend I add to my starting collection? As I'm just beginning I don't really have a style yet, but I do generally prefer dark, more gritty looking minis to the more brightly colored, fantastical looking ones, so I'm assuming that would change my selection of paints?

 

Also what brushes, other than the ones in the L2PK, so I get? And is there anything else I should look into? Like brush cleaners, or a pallet for mixing paints? Like I said, I'm completely new to this hobby.

 

I'm getting all the paint sets offered in the Kickstarter, so I'd like to stick with Reaper paints for the most part. I think having mix and match brands would get on my nerves, since I like things being particularly organized. But I've also been told I should stay away from Reaper washes because they are overly glossy. What are your opinions on that?

 

Any advice offered will be greatly appreciated.

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People have lots of advice for what paints to start off with. My collection is mainly built from Bones I and II, so I'm not much help there for sets to buy ;).

 

As for brushes, there are quite a few out there, but a good Kolinsky sable brush is what most people around here swear by. But do read up on brush care and get a brush soap of some kind before getting one! Properly taken care of, they'll last years. Improperly, a few months at best. Get a few cheap synthetic brushes as "beater" brushes, just to learn brush technique and for tasks that need a brush, but will wreck a brush in the process. Excessive dry brushing, base coating, caustic / glitter / metallic paints.

 

Reaper washes are fairly glossy I think. You can learn to make your own from paint, or some people like using diluted ink instead. Or just deal with it by applying matte sealer after all is done.

 

Good reading:

 

http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/61669-lets-talk-about-paint-brushes/

http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/62730-what-colour-paints-and-resources-do-i-need-to-start-painting/

 

edit: Oh yes, get a palette of some kind, since reaper paints come in (in my opinion superior) dropper bottles. Lots of people around here swear by wet palettes, I use a cheapy acrylic palette from the craft store.

Edited by djizomdjinn
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Honestly on my part I buy cheap brushes for the most part.

 

I personally tend towards bright colors, but those can be muted down with washes fairly easily. I do it frequently and then have to brighten it back up if I want it bright.

 

Washes seem to vary based on the person, but as mentioned above using a matte sealer will solve any issues with things being too shiny. 

 

Oh and post your work here. You can ask for advice and people will happily give you pointers on how to improve things. You can even post a WIP (Work In Progress) to ask advice as you work. You can also ask in he show-off and Wip threads how people did certain things and they will tell you what  or how they did certain things.

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The brushes in the LTPK will be fine for getting you started. 

 

You don't need anything fancy for a pallette.  A lot of us use a cheap plastic sandwich container like you can find at the grocery store, with a dollar store sponge at the bottom and a piece of baking parchment. 

 

As for colors, that's entirely personal preference and will be tailored to what you're painting. 

 

As others have said, Dullcote (sold in big box craft stores) will take care of any glossy spots. 

 

You'll also want a hobby knife, and for Bones some of those plastic sanding needles. 

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Bones III KS Paint Set B has Rosy Skin, although I'd recommend the Tanned Triad as well. I use Rosy Skin for females with fair skin, and Tanned Skin for adventurers (including females).

 

With LTPK1, you will have a tutorial for a skeleton and orc, but you will will want more figures to practice with. Pick up more orc, goblin, and skeleton figures. Mantic has a two-player battle set, orcs vs. undead, which should be good.

 

Reaper also has promotions in October and Christmas, so you can pick up more paint and figures then.

 

Army Painter has a "revised" Quickshade Ink set. Highly recommended, especially for tabletop!

Edited by ced1106
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Thank you all for the advice.

 

Right now I'm looking at adding these colors in addition to the L2PK.

 

09064 Brown Liner

09046-09048 Fair Skin Triad

09133 Bloodstain Red

09134 Clotted Red

09050 Antique Gold

 

I'll probably expand a bit in October when Reaper has its sales (thank you for letting me know about that).

 

I'll pick up a knife, some brushes, brush soap, a palette, varnish, and safety pins from a craft store as well. Those links were very helpful.

 

@Inarah, what plastic sanding needles are you talking about? One of the links djizomdjinn posted suggested metal files. I'm guessing those fit the same purpose, but better suited for bones?

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 Sanding needles are basically just a thin plastic toothpick with grit glued on them - sort of like a really tiny emery board. While files work well with metal, the softer nature of the plastic means that they tend to just chew up the surface more than they remove material. The very fine grit on the sanding needles does a better job on plastic. You can use files on plastic, so the needles aren't strictly necessary, but they do work better. You can find them online fairly cheaply.

 

As for paints, between the Learn-To-Paint kit and the stuff you mentioned above (especially if you're getting the paint add-ons from the kickstarter - which are a really good deal for somebody just starting out, btw), you should be all set for colors for quite some time. Anything you don't have in a bottle can easily be mixed from what you do have. Almost everything you need to know to start mixing your own colors you learned in kindergarten.

 

As far as more general advice goes...

 

Take your time. Take time to truly master the basics before you rush off to try anything fancy. (A lot of new painters forget that, and then wonder why their minis don't look as good as they wanted them to despite all the fancy techniques they used...) You can always go back and make changes to a mini or add things later on when your skill has improved, even after you've sealed it. And remember that any mistake you make can just be painted over and covered up, or at worst you can clean all the paint off and start over. So never stress over your level of ability or whether or not you're going to get it right.

 

 Welcome to the hobby.

Edited by Mad Jack
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So I see a lot of people are really into wet palettes. Do you guys think that is something I need to get right off, or will I be alright if I just start out with a simple dry palette?

 

Also, how do you feel about magnifying glasses? It's been suggested to me to make it easier to see small details, but I'm unsure if I'll need such a thing. Thoughts?

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I still don't use a wet palette, so unless you live in a very dry climate you could probably wait before getting one.  Alternately, you could improvise one with a plate, some damp paper towel and some cooking parchment. 

 

You won't really know if you need magnification until you've tried some painting.  That said, my hubby (who has 20-10 vision and is obnoxious about being able to see *everything*) regularly steals my magnifying visor to paint eyes and other tiny details.  So I guess you could argue that magnification is only needed if lack of vision is a bigger problem than brush control. 

 

Hope that helps. 

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You can start with a standard palette, or a piece of plastic, a lid, a tile, etc.  Wells help keep the paint from drying out as fast.

 

Have you come across the instructions to make your own wet palette?  The most basic is a plate with a wet sponge or paper towels on it, then put a piece of parchment baking paper on top.  The paper will curl up as it gets wet, then flip it over to flatten it. 

 

You can also use a plastic box with a lid instead of a plate, or put a second plate on top of the first one.  This extends the life of the paint even more.   Or you can buy one for not much money.  Masterson's Handy Palette is one I've used and it works very well.  

 

Magnifiers are optional.  Some people use them or actually need them, others don't.  It depends on your vision and how well you want to see details.  The most basic would be using cheap reading glasses from the drug store, dollar store, etc.  If you wear glasses for nearsightedness, often taking them off will give you better near vision. 

 

Adding a magnifying visor on top of glasses is possible, too.  There are different kinds, but I've found a low-cost visor works pretty well compared to the Optivisor brand.  For painting, I think visors work better than desktop magnifiers, allowing more freedom of movement.  However, I've used both successfully.  The desktop style can get in the way of your brushes, but I've been able to adapt to it.

 

 

 

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My first suggestion to a new painter is to thin your paints with a bit of water.  Painting straight out of the bottle is generally not a good idea.  The paint blobs, dries faster, etc if you don't thin it.  It's better to have to apply 2-3 thin coats than 1 coat of a blobbed mess.  I'm not familiar with the brushes in the LTPK, but I'm sure they're plenty fine to get you started.  If you decide to get serious, I would look into a Winsor & Newton Series 7 or a Raphael Kolinsky.  If you aren't getting a very fine point with your brush, then it's fired.  The last few months I've been using the same Raphael Kolinsky brush, size 0, and I literally use it for everything on the model except base coating.  It has a fine enough point to do the tiny detail but also enough coverage to do things like cloaks, etc.  

 

I prefer using a wet palette.  One of the reasons for this is because I live in Fresno, California where it can reach 110 degrees, so I often have the ceiling fan going. It dries the paint faster.  Don't panic about forming a wet palette--I use a plastic plate, put down a paper towel, wet the paper towel and then put a piece of wax paper of it.  That's it.  Total cost is about 61 cents.  You only have to replace the wax paper as it gets filled with paint and what not and wet the paper towel when you get started.  It works very well.  I've been using the same plastic plate for about 2 years.

 

Behold, my wet palette in all it's glory (also making use of a USPS priory flat rate box, because, you know, someone has to)!

 

post-13860-0-49399800-1437111482_thumb.jpg

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I'll be heading to AC Moore tomorrow to pick up supplies, so I appreciate the advice. I think starting off I'll just stick to a dry palette and see how that goes. I'll also skip the magnifier for now, as I am nearsighted and do have very good near vision without my glasses.

 

Now just to convince myself I don't need to buy a 54 color paint set until I'm already comfortable with painting...

Edited by CGNefarious
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You can also clean up Bones very well (in my opinion) with sand paper. Not to say that the sanding needles don't work very well, they do, but I find I can get into some areas better with a very small pieces of folded sand paper.

 

I've often used old cds as palettes, and you can make a very good wet palette much cheaper than you can buy one. The only reason I have a store bought wet palette is because I got mine at a stupid discount on sale.

 

One of the best resources you have is this board. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Everyone here is super helpful, and friendly. There are a ton of free tutorials on YouTube, some are made by forumites. There are even some dealing specifically with Bones.

 

There is always a huge desire (or at least for me) to have all the tools, and tons of paints, and very nice brushes. These things are all helpful, but all you really need is the desire to paint. Lot of people here produce amazing work with very minimal material. I got a large chunk of my paints from LTPK (the originals), and I still have a lot of the brushes I got in those kits. They are not the best brushes, but they work really well, particularly if you take good care of them. In fact when a friend of mine got interested in painting a year or so ago I gave her a bunch of bones, and some of the LTPK brushes I still had. One bit of handy advice I learned; no matter how cheap your brushes are always treat them like they are really expensive.

 

I look forward to seeing your work. Cheers.

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Yeah, I'm the kind of person who always wants to have everything. What? Reaper has 1322 paints available? Well I guess I need them all. And of course I'll need 30 different types of brushes. Got to be prepared for anything.

 

I just have to remember that starting small is preferable and I can always expand later.

 

So one last question (for now). Bones aren't supposed to need to be primed, right? So why do people use brown liner as a primer?

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Bones do not require primer. You can use paint straight from the bottle. However, they are somewhat hydrophobic on the first coat, meaning if you use thinned paints they have a tendency to bead up and not cover well. RMS paints straight from the bottle work well on Bones. The liner is very thin, and it covers bones well. It works really well as a base coat, and then you can put your thinned colors over it. I use Brown Liner thinned with brush-on sealer to "wash" my Bones. This makes the details pop out, and lets me apply thinned base coats.

 

Buglips and a few others have WIP threads that are good references on Bones.

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