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In the house Figmentius Common Room Thread, I started a daily posting called the Daily Mini, where I would find a mini posted for display on the web, post it, and we would discuss how it was painted/sculpted.  It was a well received set of posts but too hidden in that thread.  After much discussion, we decided that it is something that people valued, and we should move it to Tips & Advice.  We are also changing it from a daily post to a weekly post, to allow us more time to discuss techniques and for more people to join in on each mini shown.

 

The point of this post is NOT as another Show-off thread, instead it is intended as a learning tool, where-in we look at good work that we find (I'm going to be trying to stick to Bronze level and above) and discuss how one might replicate such work on your own minis.  I will be posting a mini (or two), each Monday.  If you know of a mini that you would really like me to use, please PM me and I'll get it into the queue.  Please try to keep the discussions based around the posted minis and the merits and techniques.  If you don't know how something was done and are wondering, ask; that is the whole point.  ::):

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06115, Shield Maidens, Dwarf Adept   Painted by Derek Schubert Sculpted by Derek Schubert           I chose these beautiful dwarven ladies, specifically to open a discussion on NMM (Non-metal metall

The Monday Miniature: 30011 Finari, Female Crusader-Through the Looking Glass       Painted by Erin (Corporea) Sculpted by Werner Klocke   It seems I am developing a bit of a fan-attitude towar

02967 Alastriel, the Forest's Wrath       Painted by Derek Schubert Sculpted by Werner Klocke       I've heard is said by some that miniature painting isn't art; it's more paint-by-numbers on some

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06115, Shield Maidens, Dwarf Adept
 
Painted by Derek Schubert
Sculpted by Derek Schubert
 
 
14175_shieldmaidena_ds.jpg 14175_shieldmaidenc_ds.jpg
 
 
I chose these beautiful dwarven ladies, specifically to open a discussion on NMM (Non-metal metallics), a technique where you mimic the look of metal with standard, non-metallic paint.  I'm not normally a huge fan of NMM; more often than not I think it fails to actually look metallic.  I typically use TMM, but that is a discussion for another day.  These two minis are cases of NMM done well, particularly on the pauldrons, breasts, and axe blade.
 
You need three things to really paint NMM well:
 
  1. An understanding of how the light should reflect off of metal (I'll give some pointers on that later in the week).
  2. Very smooth blends.
  3. High contrast

In my opinion, it is in the last requirement that most people fail when trying to replicate the look of metal.  Typically, people get the highlights correct, yet fail to have the stark contrasting dark tones right next to the light.  I think part of this is that with a dark and light area so close together it is very difficult to maintain a nice smooth blend between the two.

 

Looking at the metal parts of the minis above, you'll note that the darkest tones are right next to the lightest tone. Without that strong contrast, it fails to look metallic.

 

That's all for today.  Discuss, question, and lets dig in.  :B):

 

Andy

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Great figures to start out the new week with, painted by a master of the art!

 

NMM is the bane of many of us, which is why I also like Shaded Metallics better to paint for myself. The few times that I have tried to do NMM, it has failed me miserably. I think that the reason is because I don't do the high contrasts of the darkest shades next to the lightest shades to show off the shadows/highlights. The explanation you had above about this really makes sense and I may have to give it another shot very soon. 

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Great figures to start out the new week with, painted by a master of the art!

 

NMM is the bane of many of us, which is why I also like Shaded Metallics better to paint for myself. The few times that I have tried to do NMM, it has failed me miserably. I think that the reason is because I don't do the high contrasts of the darkest shades next to the lightest shades to show off the shadows/highlights. The explanation you had above about this really makes sense and I may have to give it another shot very soon. 

 

I have a photo at home that I'll post a bit later that may really help.  I'll remain mysterious on that for now. 

 

To be honest, I think that TMM is also an art in and of itself.  Maybe we'll discuss it next week, but for sure some time in the future, it will be a topic.

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Thanks for splitting this thread out; it'll be fun following it!

These dwarves are really a great example of high-contrast painting throughout, not just in the NMM. Even the skintones go all the way from a mid-dark-brown to near-white. A really gorgeous style that I ought to push myself more towards. Contrast contrast contrast!

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As someone who has been working on improving NMM for the past year, these are great examples.  Though on spherical or rounded surfaces, I've noted that the abrupt dark to light transition need on areas such as the sword don't look right to me.  You still need to go dark or is doesn't look right either, just you need a transition.  If that makes sense?

 

Edit:

Using the examples to explain (i hope).  Notice how on the breast plate the transition is not abrupt.  While on the sword and axe their is a Dark/Light abrupt transition.  And as Talespinner mentions both areas have a high contrast.

Edited by Silvervane
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So one thing you can do to determine/learn how light should look on a mini (especially if it is a metal mini; if Bones you'd have to paint it metallic first) is to put a light over it before priming and take a photo of it in black and white from several angles.  You can then use the photos to determine where to put highlights and shadows.

 

The following pictures were taken after I have basecoated the armor (not the blade) in metallic paint.  I used these when placing my TMM shadows and bright spots, but the theory and technique works equally well when doing NMM.

 

post-140-0-87470800-1444687981.jpg post-140-0-01654300-1444688284.jpg

 

post-140-0-51867200-1444688284.jpg post-140-0-05101500-1444688285.jpg

 

Andy

 

 

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I usually look up photos online of the mini I'm painting done by other painters and use those as reference to where I should place the highlights.

 

In the absence of reference material or as a quick reminder I sometimes brush on water on the section I'm painting to see where the specular highlights are.

 

Derek Schubert's dwarves are amazing but I ended up studying TaleSpinner's photos more.

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Love the idea of painting in silver or when it's bare metal, converting to black and white, to see the hilight and shadows. Definately going to use on the model I'm doing right now. Wasn't sure what kinda metals I was going to do, but guess it's a good opportunity to try out nmm techniques again. Thanks!

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I think that TMM is also an art in and of itself.

I found that learning to paint NMM competently made my metallics vastly better. I have a loooong way to go before I get good, but the contrast of NMM, paired with understanding how light strikes metal, can make for some tasty TMM (see my Rollo the Barbarian project).

 

If you want next-level NMM, check out what Bohun is doing. I swear it looks like metallics (most recently on the KDM King's Hand).

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The Monday Miniature: 77025 Giant Spider

 

IG_2539_1.jpg IG_2539_2.jpg

 

Painted by Erin (Corporea)
Sculpted by Gene Van Horne
 
 
 
Very cool spider by Erin.  ( love all the blues.  I think this would be a good conversation mini as we can discuss Blue, the base, gem concepts (eyes).  I'll let you all direct the conversation from here. :)
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