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Question about Painting Pieces...

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So I started a dragon a couple of days ago, and I have been having a little bit of difficulty with it.  After reviewing some of the other works in progress posts I noticed that, in some cases, people don't assemble the pieces until after it is painted.  Is this a common practice?  For example, if I am painting a dragon with wings that are not sculpted on, is it better to paint them before putting them on?  Does it really matter? 

 

Thanks!

 

CAH

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The answer is, it depends.

 

If you assemble the mini, can your brush still reach everything?  If so then go ahead and assemble away.  If not, you then have a choice - you can fully assemble the mini and paint all the hard to reach areas a dark color.  This works fine for tabletop pieces.  Otherwise assemble as much as possible, paint everything, and then fully assemble. I the latter case you will likely have some areas to touch up when you join everything together.

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I would say that it's always best to always assemble your figure completely as you may need to pin certain pieces (like wings) & "green stuff" any gaps for a seamless join (which can be messy) - it's much more efficient & neater to do this before you start painting.

However, it can sometimes be very difficult to get your brush into some areas on a mini (I'm looking at you pre-assembled "Bones" Ghoul Queen :rolleyes:) so, I suppose it depends on the circumstances.

 

Hope this helps!

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Do at least a dry fit. You don't want to paint the pieces only to find gaps you need to fill. You can also incompletely paint the partially assembled miniature, then continue after fitting. Also, don't accidentally glue paint to paint.

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I've been debating this myself as I approach moving to assembling and painting my dragons. I fear my hands won't be able to support the full weight as I try to paint difficult to reach areas, but I have already dry-fitted many pieces and know I need to use greenstuff to fill gaps and will be sculpting those areas for a seamless joint. That's going to have to be prior to priming.

 

Since I use brush-on primer, I may do them in sections... neck/head/horns, torso/legs/tail, neck assembly/torso assembly, wings/body.

 

This way I can get fiddly areas like under the body more easily without putting too much strain on my hands. Wings will be the last bit, but I'll have to see how much I have to do to hide the seams.

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I almost always paint everything unassembled. Mostly because this makes it easier for me to reach everything. As stated above, I do make sure to check the fits first.  It is in the dry fit stage that I determine if I should put anything together first. Since most of my painting has been GW products it is usually vehicles that end up with the most assemble before paint.

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 Before you start painting, eyeball each model while dry-fitting the pieces to figure out how much of it you can pre-assemble before painting. Miniatures are divided up into separate parts based on ease of casting, not painting, so there's generally quite a few pieces you can pre-assemble before you paint.

For a dragon, you can usually manage to get it assembled into two or three big pre-assembled sections and paint those before attaching the sections together and blending the paint over the seams.

 

Wings are usually tricky. Whether or not you can attach them before painting is largely dependent on the position of the wings in relation to the body, how (and how well) they attach to the rest of it, and the general pose of the dragon.

 

You kind of need to think outside the box on this as well - a dragon that has one solid piece for the neck, main body and most of the arms/legs is going to be different from a dragon like Takhisis that has a separate belly plate and separate necks... For example, if the wings each attach to a separate body section (say, if the dragon's body is in left and right halves), you may well be able to attach them to their particular sections and paint them as part of that section before adding it to the rest of the body.

Edited by Mad Jack
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Yep, it really depends on the figure. For me, I try to put together as much as possible that won't hinder my paint brush while painting. So if an arm is across the chest at a weird angle, I'll leave the arm off, paint it separately and then go back in and pin/glue/fill gap and touch-up as needed. Gives a cleaner paint job and much less frustrating if you don't have to worry about slathering paint all over the place in areas that you already painted nicely.

 

Same thing goes for wings and other parts that will get in the way.

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Yep, it really depends on the figure. For me, I try to put together as much as possible that won't hinder my paint brush while painting. So if an arm is across the chest at a weird angle, I'll leave the arm off, paint it separately and then go back in and pin/glue/fill gap and touch-up as needed.

 

 I often do part of the painting before putting it on - base coat, and then sometimes the shadows and maybe the first coat of highlights (as necessary) if they'll be hard to reach when attached - and then do the rest afterward so I have a better idea of where to place the highlights.

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It also doesn't hurt to set up the pins before you paint the unassembled pieces. This way, all of the holding on to the pieces will not rub off the paint when you are doing your drilling. I tend to glue them into the limbs / smaller pieces. They wont be seen in the end anyway, but make sure to either not get paint on them, or remove the paint before you glue them together. Paint is a lousy substance to glue something to.

 

8)

George

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