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Your "Essential" Paints?


Aristo
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I'm sort of piggybacking off the recent paint set-building thread here, though I have a slightly different question. I used to be very into Games Workshop's Warhammer product lines and I'm familiar with their older paint ranges. I didn't actually play the games much, but I liked the models for the visual appeal. Nowadays, my main focus is roleplaying, whether it's Pathfinder, D&D 3.5 or 5e. As such, I'm not painting very many armies, but I'm instead looking at singles or small handfuls of minis to represent characters and players. I still have quite a few of GW's Citadel paints in my collection, but most have gotten mucked up or dry. That said, I'm aiming to take up painting again as a more regular hobby. I consider myself a pretty adequate painter, although I can't say I'm crazy about high-end techniques, like painstakingly mixing to get that "perfect" shade. My method tends to be pretty simple, like those in GW's Citadel painting guides: minis painted to eye-pleasing quality with the intent of being handled often.

 

I've been looking at the sets for sale in Reaper's online store. For someone like me, who isn't going to focus on painstaking detail for competition, do you suppose a smaller set like the Master Series Starter Set 2 would suit my needs? I'm shooting for good quality paintjobs, but I don't plan on going for gold anytime soon (maybe someday!) and want to whip up minis for fun and for use in roleplaying scenarios. Or, rather than a prebuilt set, what colors might you suggest for a build-your-own that you find essential when you sit down at your table? Or better yet, what do you find to be a good set of 'core colors' that you can easily work with and build from?

Edited by Aristo
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I think it's a great place to start. The first 50 contain all your basic colors. After that it is just more variations on blue, brown, skin tones, etc. That is pretty much how I started, but I bought them one triad at a time, or individually when one of the local stores dumped them in the clearance bin. There might be other triads you also want, but for "all at once" buying you can't go too wrong.

Edited by Inarah
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Actually I would probably go with the two HD sets and add black and white. You will be dealing with paints designed for better coverage and will hold up better for gaming purposes. While it lacks the triad system, its easy enough to recreate it with the paints in that line if you feel the need.

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If you ever get comfortable with the idea of mixing your paints and want to delve into the world of artists paints, there are hundreds of books on the subject of what colors to choose for a basic palette. 2 oz. tubes of artists acrylics start at about $8 and go up from there depending on the pigment. The colors are very concentrated, usually pure single pigments or a simple mixture noted on the tube. You'll have to thin them down and mix them to use for miniatures.

 

That all said, I suggest starting with:

 

Titanium White

Carbon Black

 

Burnt Umber

Raw Umber

Burnt Sienna

Raw Sienna

Red Oxide

Yellow Ochre

 

Ultramarine Blue

Phthalocyanine Green

Yellow Medium Azo

Naphthol Crimson

Dioxazine Purple

 

There are starter sets available at art stores that have most of these colors or close equivalents, usually in mini-tubes or jars of about 1 oz each. If you can find a good deal on such a set, go for it, as these paints will last you for a very long time even in those small amounts.

 

I also highly recommend a bottle of Airbrush Medium. Even if you don't have an airbrush, you can use it to thin down your mixtures of the concentrated paints without weakening the binder, as you would by thinning with just water.

 

If you intend to do NMM these will mix to just about any color you will need. Otherwise you'll need a few metallics.

Edited by ultrasquid
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... although I can't say I'm crazy about high-end techniques, like painstakingly mixing to get that "perfect" shade. My method tends to be pretty simple, like those in GW's Citadel painting guides: minis painted to eye-pleasing quality with the intent of being handled often...

 

... someone like me, who isn't going to focus on painstaking detail for competition...

 

This set has a very good selection of the colors you will use for RPG/gaming minis. You can supplement it with more triads later as you need them.

 

I hate to go against popular opinion, but for tabletop minis I would advise against mixing colors. As you scratch and bang your figures from play, it is much easier to make paint repairs from a known color rather than difficult-to-match blends.

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I think it's a great place to start. The first 50 contain all your basic colors. After that it is just more variations on blue, brown, skin tones, etc. That is pretty much how I started, but I bought them one triad at a time, or individually when one of the local stores dumped them in the clearance bin. There might be other triads you also want, but for "all at once" buying you can't go too wrong.

This^^ That set right there should have everything you need to start. The HD sets are nice but don't include metallics or enough flesh tones. If your painting bones, pick up the liner triad (09722) as well. Nothing beats liner for priming bones. Liner is magic even if your not painting bones I'd pick them up anyway.

 

Welcome to the forums!

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I've, over the last couple of months, built up a collection of Citadel paints, and I've done it in £20 increments, grabbing more paints as I need them. It's not been the cheapest way of doing it, perhaps, but I've found I've ended up with a nice little bundle which suit most of my needs at the moment. 

 

All my stuff is painted with the intention of using it at some point in tabletop, so I don't mix my own colours if I can help it, I just layer them on the mini. So far, it's worked pretty well for me. 

 

I planned my paints, initially, on paintjobs I knew I had upcoming - but one of the first things I wanted to get when I started building my set was Nuln Oil and Seraphim Sepia, as I'd done a little painting using Drifter's paints, and I'd found both of those extremely useful and versatile. Beyond those two? I dunno what my essentials are, really, other than perhaps my fleshtones (I have Kislev and Flayed One, though the former mixed with a Bone colour is also good), my Bone (I have two, started out with Menoth White Highlight, which is a P3 paint. I find Ubshati Bone is a bit too dark for off-white stuff, but Menoth washed in Sepia achieves a very similar colour for more brownish bone tones), and then Khorne Red, a nice mid-silver (Ironbreaker I think is Citadel's... Out of stock when I bought mine, so I picked up Cold Steel, which is by P3), a mid brown (Steel Legion Drab would be fine for this, I think), and then blue (ie, Caledor Sky). 

 

It all depends what you have lined up to paint though. I'm not familiar enough with Reaper's sets to advise on them directly. 

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I paint all of my figures with about 15 artists paints plus some metallics and iridescents. I mix my colors, but I wouldn't call it "painstaking".

 

I don't use Dioxazine Purple because there are some serious questions about its permanence. This is because I use paints professionally and am concerned about their durability on a very long term scale.

 

Aside from that I find Ultrasquid's palette a good one. I would add a Phthalocyanine Blue, and instead of Naphthol Crimson I would add one or both of Quinacridone Magenta or Quinacridone Crimson.

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Things I pick up every single time I paint a mini.

 

Brown liner

Black

White

Yellowed bone

 

The other colors vary, so any reasonable spread covering the basics is good, but these four wind up being on the mini somewhere, if only as a good base to begin shading up or down.

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I think that, yes, that starter set is going to give you a very good mix of what you need to get going. I think you really need to just get into it to discover for yourself what you need to supplement that set with.

I could sit here and list out my go to paints, but my aesthetic might be completely different from yours. For instance, if it's any shade of blue or turquoise, I'm buying it, no questions asked. So I think that's something that you need to feel out for yourself.

 

Since you don't like mixing paints, I think that Reaper's triad system is perfect for you, as it's made to coordinate without having to mix.

 

I say take the plunge for the starter set, add on brown liner if you plan on painting Bones, and then add on as needed.

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Welcome to our

Asylum

away from home!

 

Not directly related to paints per say, But get some GOOD brushes and a wet palette. These 2 things will help your painting immensely!

 

The Blue and Grey liners are great, they look almost black, needed for priming the Bones figures. Have the Brown liner as well, just haven't used it yet..

 

Don't be afraid to post your work in 'Show Off" and "Works in Progress", people will NICELY offer advice, and answer questions....

 

And do ask questions! For every question you ask, someone here will have an answer for you, or a link where you can find the answer...

 

The Craft section of the website is very helpful for tutorials as well! I learned how to paint wolves fur and eyes there....

 

Again welcome and Have FUN!

 

8)

George

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Thanks for all the suggestions and welcomes! I think that 54-color set and some liners will put me in a good place to bounce back into painting. I don't mind mixing a bit of black and white here and there for shadows and highlights, but that's about the extent of my mixing. I haven't tried a wet palette before, but it seems like a great investment to whip one up. 

Are there any miniatures in particular that you'd recommend to practice on? Maybe those with a mixture of textures or a couple that focus on individual skills. Nothing fancy, of course, but good starters to warm up with.

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One thing that i didn't see mentioned was brushes (sorry if I missed it).  I would spend some money on brushes and take care of them.  They will last a long time and making painting fun for you.  Sounds like you have the bug already so welcome to the club...

 

Thats my 2 cents worth and happy painting!

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