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I did most of this five months ago, then didn't quite finish it, then forgot all about it. So picture descriptions are from (hazy) memory. Hopefully it's still interesting to someone.

 

 

I've got 3 Transparent Bones, purple spectre lady (Reaper 92856 Shadow), clear slime guy (Reaper 92766 Gelatinous Cube), and blue crystal thing (Reaper 92773 Water Elemental).

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First, I put a little dab of Tamiya X-23 Clear Blue on the purple spectre, just to see what happens. And what happens is it basically covers it all up and doesn't look good. Unless you really want a barely-translucent off-blue spectre.

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Back to the real plan then: Tamiya X-19 Smoke on the spectre and slime, and X-23 Clear Blue on the crystal.

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Smoked Slime is still transparent, and picks up whatever's behind/under him, including...

Purple sticky-note:

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brown/grey table:
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white paper towel:
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blue plastic container:
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badly photographed standard yellow sticky-note:
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Here's purple spectre with Smoke on table, off-white (or cream?) lamp, half paper-towel/half table, and blue container.

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I think at this point I had an idea I wanted to try, which required going back to the store, which caused a delay in the project, which is how I forgot about it for months. Do do this, I needed a purple bone, and this is easier than digging another one out of the kickstarter bag of doom, filing it, boiling it, washing it, and prepping it.

 

Into the soup it goes!

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Result: Pristine new mini! Which I didn't take a picture of. But it looks just like it did in the first one.

 

(Time Passes)


To comply with posting rules, the rest of the translucents:
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Today I found all this, and in an effort to clear off some desk space for the project I was intending to work on, my attempt at finishing it.

So here's that purple spectre, after being reset by SimpleGreen, with a fresh coat of my brand-new Tamiya X-22 Clear:

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It's much lighter than before, but still has that glossy candy shine to it, which just looks shiny in the photos, but I think looks pretty nice in person. What I love about the Tamiya clears and translucent bones is how easy it is to slap a coat on and have the mini transformed from plastic to shiny liquid coolness, how extra-translucent they become.

Anyway, here's spectre on a variety of backgrounds. Cardboard, white cardboard, desk, desk/papertowel, blue cutting mat, and yellow sticky-note.

 

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I wish I could directly compare the purple with smoke and just clear. Side-by-side. Hrm... Also, I've still got 2 more Tamiya Clears I haven't used.

 

OK then. I'm inspired. (No really, inspired, not intimidated by my other project I should be doing) I'm going to dig out my other translucents, fix em up, and see how they look. I want to see how clear looks on a blue mini, and I want to try clear, orange, and yellow on a clear one also. I'm hoping my slimes will look like candy.

Off to the boily, soapy, coalmine.

 

 

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Very nice!  I still haven't got around to stripping my, uh, 'test cases' that I used, so I'm glad to see confirmation that Simple Greenâ„¢ takes them back to original spec.  Couple of things I've learned about the Tamiya Clears that might be useful to you:

 

  • Thinning them down (I use Tamiya thinner for this, others have used dihydrogen monoxide) gives the ability to control color graduations.  For example, on my water weird, I hit the crevices on the figure with pure Tamiya Clear Blue, and then worked it up with the highlights being done in a 2:1 dilution (and RMS LED Blue to Pure White for the breaking waves, but I digress).  It's a simple trick, but it helps prevent the 'solid gummy bear of a figure' look that you get sometimes with the Tamiya Clears on translucent figures.
  • Ink washes work pretty well to help definition without 'clouding' the figure.  Normal paint washes have a tendancy to pool and cause patches of opacity randomly over the figure, which results in a mottled look that's very hard to do anything with

 

  Also, the slimes will look like candy.  Just in case you hadn't seen them:  http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/60048-gelatinous-cube-77305-translucent-slimes-77306-shadow-77369-crystal-golem-77309-ice-wall-77312-bones-ii/ has the stuff relevant to what you're doing,http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/60914-77310-water-weird/ has the more subtle work on the water weird.

Edited by Laoke
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I've got the rest all prepped. But it turns out I don't have nearly as many clear transparent bones as I thought. In fact, I've only got one more. (Plus the cube, which I don't plan to experiment on). AND they're not available in the reaper store. Argh. Come on, Reaper, it's not like you're swamped with dealing with multiple kickstarters or anthing ;)

 

 

Thinning them down (I use Tamiya thinner for this, others have used dihydrogen monoxide) gives the ability to control color graduations.  For example, on my water weird, I hit the crevices on the figure with pure Tamiya Clear Blue, and then worked it up with the highlights being done in a 2:1 dilution (and RMS LED Blue to Pure White for the breaking waves, but I digress).  It's a simple trick, but it helps prevent the 'solid gummy bear of a figure' look that you get sometimes with the Tamiya Clears on translucent figures.

I hadn't thought of thinning, that's a great idea. Was 2:1 with two parts water and one paint, or the other way around?

 

Also, I JUST picked up a bottle of LED blue two days ago! Someone had hidden it down on a mystery shelf with some other old paints that were all seperating and stuff. Paint Squirrels.

 

 

Oh, that's exactly what I was hoping for!

 

So, I guess until Reaper decides to take all my money stock the slimes, I'm going to try to have an unpainted, clearpainted, and smokepainted purple and clear set, to see how they look in person. After that I'll probably try some of the fancy thinning and stuff to make them look a bit less uniform. I wonder if adding a touch of smoke to the orange would darken it more towards umber, while staying unclouded.

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Thinning them down (I use Tamiya thinner for this, others have used dihydrogen monoxide) gives the ability to control color graduations.  For example, on my water weird, I hit the crevices on the figure with pure Tamiya Clear Blue, and then worked it up with the highlights being done in a 2:1 dilution (and RMS LED Blue to Pure White for the breaking waves, but I digress).  It's a simple trick, but it helps prevent the 'solid gummy bear of a figure' look that you get sometimes with the Tamiya Clears on translucent figures.

I hadn't thought of thinning, that's a great idea. Was 2:1 with two parts water and one paint, or the other way around?

 

 

  I actually had the following dilutions:

 

Undiluted Tamiya Clear Blue (1)

1 part thinner, 1 part Tamiya Clear Blue (1:1)

2 parts thinner, 1 part Tamiya Clear Blue, (2:1)

 

  I've only done this on the Water Weird to date, that was the one I did properly after testing with the others.  I put the undiluted Clear Blue down in the shadows of the figure, paying special attention to the eyes and teeth.  I used the 1:1 dilution on the midtones, and then I glazed the 2:1 dilution not just over the highlights, but the entire figure.  It turned out rather well:  the camera doesn't pay it justice, but it's a lovely graduated blue shading that really looks nice.  I then worked up the breaking foam from LED Blue to Pure White - it's not the best attempt at sea foam I've ever seen if I'm being honest, but it suffices for my meager talents : )

 

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More testing stuff.

'Wave' Slime, half untreated, half with Tamiya X-22 Clear. (Clear is the back half, on the right)

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Against blue background. (X-22 Clear is on the left side, now.)
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Purple Shadow Bat Guy with X-19 Smoke on the left side, untreated middle bits, and X-22 Clear on the right. (Smoke is HIS right wing, Clear is HIS left wing)

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Boy it really looks bad. I think that's my fault, it was all sludgey and not applied well.
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Group shot: Untreated wolf, Neapolitan bat guy center, and fully clear-coated spectre lady on the right.

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Water Wierd (Just the stone base, not the eel-spout part on top): On the far left is Clear. Then there's a spot of untreated (where the gem is), and on the right is X-19 Smoke.

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I then mixed some blue together with some smoke, to make smoked blue. I was trying pure blue, a little bit of smoke, and a lot of smoke. It didn't go that well, either. It's hard to measure this stuff without droppers, and it's all gloopy, and I was impatient.

Here's the lightly-smoked blue, it ran into the cracks like a wash, but it's still very blue, just kinda cloudy and darker. (Again, just a vertical stripe on the base, nothing else)

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For Blue Stone Man, I tried using some water to thin some blue, but it all went wrong. The blue was starting to congeal in my pallet, and when I tried to put it on, it kind of ... evaporated? The moisture I smeared on pulled itself back together like the second terminator, or like water on a waxed car, then it just sort of beaded up. Blargh.

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So what I'm taking from this is that clear is amazing on the clear ones, and it helps the blue ones. It's fairly minor on the purple ones, better than nothing, but doesn't really make them extra cool.

 

Smoke makes clear ones cool, too, but makes the purple ones fairly dark. Good when used sparingly, and not just slopped on.

 

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Here's some slimes. On the Left is untreated (the Cube's dinner), Center is Clear (the 'wave'), and right is Smoke (the puddle). This time the 'wave' was entirely coated in Clear, not just half of it.

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and on blue:

 

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For the wolf, I tried to get fancy. I mixed clear and Smoke on the furry parts, clear on the skin parts, and a tiny dab of blue on the eyes. I couldn't see much of a difference, so I kept adding more smoke. In the pictures it looks much more distinct. I think as it dries, it shows up more? Or congeals or whatever. We'll see if it looks terrible in the morning.

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On the tentacles, I did clear on the tentacle, and pure smoke on the broccoli base area. For the demon guy, I smoked his wings and base and horns, and cleared the rest of him.

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I also put a tiny dab of smoke in the eyes and mouth, which amazingly turned out ok. Not good, mind you, but ok.
 

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So now it's been a few days (I took the pictures and wrote most of that, but didn't get it posted) and I don't like the purple ones. The bat guy looks kind of ok, with his dark wings, but his middle looks like plastic. Somehow, instead of the clear making it look cool, it looks like ... one of those cheap hard plastic animals from the 70's. And the smoked bases look terrible. I don't know what to do with them. Maybe just Green them and start over.

 

The clear on clear is great, though. I love that. I want to do the whole G.Cube that way, but not sure how to go about it, as far as mounting it on something so I can paint/dry/seal. I guess do half, seal it, then re-mount it and do the other side.

 

The purple wolf looks somewhat ok, I guess, except his paws are too dark, and his right hip area is too glossy and plain. Maybe I can salvage him.

 

I wonder if I just smoked the tentacle bases a bunch more if it would work out, or use an ink. Maybe I just need more contrast? And it's tempting to try painting a tiny bit on the suckers.

 

 

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Very little work, even less progress.

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I tried mixing up some Smoke, with a bit of water, thinning agent, and Clear. I was hoping to end up with something like a wash I could get in the cracks to darken some things up and provide definition.

Here's the wolf, mostly looking at his ribs and arm muscles.

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and his impressive six-pack.
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Spectre lady thing got some of her dress darkened, mostly the big folds at the bottom, and a bit on the dangly arm bits.

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Bat Guy got some attempts at smoothing out the wing mess, and a little bit along most of the lines on his body (down the tail, chest, elbows, and feet). My camera also started going crazy and couldn't be convinced that this guy was not a face.

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For the tentacles, I tried dabbing a bit on each sucker, letting it sit a minute, then dabbing it back off. Still looks bad. Even worse.

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Lastly, I put a bit on the blue guy's base, just to see what smoke and blue do together.
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result: nothing good.

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Interesting.  You might want to try thinning the Tamiya Clears with Tamiya Thinner rather than water:  it seems to work quite well for me where it wigged out a little for you using water.  I've also found that picking out specific parts of the figure using opaque paint can provide definition and a focal point to the figure, where just leaving it as a translucent figure results in something that looks like a gummy candy.  For example - where you used Smoke to darken the eyes and mouth of the Shadow Demon, I'd take it a step further:  I'd define the eyes, teeth, and probably tongue using a strongly contrasting color scheme (possibly LED Blue running up to Pure White highlights) so that the details 'pop'.  For the shadow wolf, I'd define the head and fade definition back along his mane till it's translucent at the back of the figure, and also paint the base up with an opaque paint.  The tentacles would probably look much better with an opaque base as well, and maybe with opaque suckers.

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This is fascinating, thanks for recording your experimentation!  

Also, I didn't even realize Tamiya made a smoke clear paint, and I hadn't thought of picking up a regular clear paint for better dilution.  Genius!

 

Edit: I'll also chime in to say that I've found that painting the underside of a mini in white primer helps brighten the whole thing up a bit, so you basically always have the effect you get with it sitting on the paper towel or post-it.

Edited by breegull
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I have returned with Tamiya X-20A Thinner, which I will use as an excuse for not getting anything done.

Attempting the Laoke Method I put down some X-23 Clear Blue in the spots I wanted darker, the cracks and crevices and such.

Wave Elemental: mostly on the bottom, underside of the chin, armpits, and some of the deeper nooks.

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Humanoid Elemental: the cracks between arm plates, the ... belly? Lower back? The part just above his thighs, I guess. Also his feet, and a few spikes up behind his head.

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Water Wierd: The underside of the eel, the bendy-parts, and the pool he's rising up out of on the base. Also the gems on the base. (The rest of the base will get turned opaque, so ignore the testing mess left behind).

 

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Next, I mixed some Clear Blue with Thinner, to make a lighter version. It wasn't much lighter, so I kept mixing in more. I think I mostly went with full blue and at least 2:1 thinner/blue, instead of the 3 variants Pingo used. I put the thinned blue everywhere. Or at least everywhere I could see.

 

Which... Apparently I didn't take pictures of. Or maybe they got mixed in above? Anyway, not much to see.

 

 

 

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Next, I painted the base of the tentacles in Reaper 09109 Ruddy Leather. It was kind of wierd since it was still slightly transparent. Maybe because I thinned the paint?
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I did the wolf and ghost base, and the tentacle rocks in Reaper 09086 Stone Grey.

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I put a coat of Reaper 09037 Pure Black on the batguy's base. It didn't want to go on very well. Actually looks better in the pictures than in person.
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Then I put on some Reaper 09135 Carnage Red. It also didn't want to work well, I ended up blobbing it on, where it would scoot around and pool up (not beading, like the blue guy before, just forming pools instead of laying down in a layer). I'd dab some on, wait a few seconds, then kind of poke at it with the brush, which would suck the paint back off, leaving a watery semi-colored layer. I did this a bunch, hoping it would end up cool. Maybe like lava or fire or spooky stuff. I think it ended up just being kind of ugly brown.

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Next I put some Reaper 09085 Shadowed Stone down on the dog's base as a wash. I think that's how triads work, you base in the middle shade, wash dark, then do highlights light? Anyway, it didn't do much.

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So I went back to an old friend: 09135 Walnut Brown. Mixed together they made a nicer darker wash. I put some on all the bases, except for the rocks.

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Next I used Reaper 09087 Weathered Stone, and basically dry-brushed it onto the tops of the tentacle rocks. And it looked REALLY good (For me, at least):

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So I went wild and drybrushed the other two bases with it.

 

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Mad with drybrushing power, I tried to do the same to the tentacle dirt parts with 09031 Tanned Leather, which just looked yellow. So I mixed in 09110 Oiled Leather.

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Looks bad, man.

Leather is hereby banished, and the Browns ride forth to save the kingdom. 09028 Muddy Brown and 09136 Walnut Brown.

I put a bit right around where the ghost lady touches the base.
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And around the middle bits of the dogbase and where his feet touch:

 

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And then tried to fix up the tentacle dirt clumps.

 

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Which... Apparently I didn't take pictures of. Or maybe they got mixed in above? Anyway, not much to see.

Yeah, I can see at least one shot of the water elemental where you've got the lighter dilution on (look at the "hands" - one shot has them notably more defined than the other).

 

So, how did the Laoke Method work out for you? Good results? I mean I think they look great, but the translucents are notoriously hard to judge from photos : )

 

Also, did the thinner work better than water for the Tamiya Clears?

Edited by Laoke
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