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MrNutt

WIP Mousling Assassin, Thief, Druid, Beekeeper 77287 77290; Valkyrie 77052

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Hello,

 

I used to paint Games Workshop miniatures when I was a kid, but was put off for many years by the price. Having found out about Reaper recently I decided to get back into it. I picked up the Learn to Paint Kit, a few extra Reaper miniatures and some extra paints/brushes. The valkyrie I have attached was my first attempt after a long break, and now I am getting onto the mouslings. I am having some difficulties though. I would love to hear any feedback on these difficulties I list or any other criticism or advice.

 

With the valkyrie there are some parts I am quite happy with. Her right eye was never great, and has got messed up a bit somehow (I am dreading fixing it, maybe I should get some greenstuff and fashion an eyepatch?). Also her face has a kind of chalky look to it that I don't know how to avoid. I didn't have any gold paint, so I tried to do her armor as leather with metal features. On the chest that seems to have gone quite badly. For the hair I think it could do with more "depth" but I am having trouble working out how to achieve that. Her base I am actually quite happy with (in contrast to the other miniatures).

 

As cliched as it is, I was going for an "evil albino" look with the mousling assassin. Having looked again at the stock photo in the store I may try to put some of the caucasian flesh colour I have on his nose. I had tried mixing up a pink before but it looked way too "valentines day". His eyes are also looking pretty flat, and I'm also having some trouble making his fur look "furry". The bases on these mouslings (and some other miniatures I have) have been a real challenge to get looking right. Recently I have been trying basecoating with shadowed stone, washing with brown liner, and highlighting with leather brown, but whatever I do I can't get it where I'm happy with it.

 

I decided to do the druid more as a wizard (I bought a trio of reds for a dragon I am holding off on painting so I want to use those). I have had issues painting the orb in his staff (I want it to have some sort of blue mystical look). I was having problems with the colour of the staff or the orb flowing into the crevice between them and looking bad, so I did a sort of outline with diluted brown liner and now plan to paint the orb "up to" the edge without the paint flowing into it. I am happy with his eyes, but his fur is also a struggle. I was going for "black mouse" though I then switched to "dark grey mouse" so I could try to get some shading in.

 

The thief and beekeeper I am really just basecoating for now (I include them here so I can follow up with them later). I had some trouble with the pale saffron yellow being weird, but I think it just required far more shaking than I was giving it.

 

Thank you for reading.

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Good start.

 

Welcome to the forums.

 

Look around in Painting and Advice. Lots op useful stuff there,

 

You could use some thinned paint as washes, for instance a light brown wash in the Valkyries hair will make great shadows,

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I like your color choices, and you exhibit smooth brush work too.  Might be cool if you bas....  Do you have black blinds?!  Rad!

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I like your color choices, and you exhibit smooth brush work too. Might be cool if you bas.... Do you have black blinds?! Rad!

Squirrel?!

 

Anyway :lol: wonderful start! I thouorghly approve of your choice of minis ^_^

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Good start.

 

Welcome to the forums.

 

Look around in Painting and Advice. Lots op useful stuff there,

 

You could use some thinned paint as washes, for instance a light brown wash in the Valkyries hair will make great shadows,

 

Thank you. I have done a couple of rounds of brown wash already, followed by a re-highlighting with the pale saffron colour (because the wash dulls them). It may be that my highlights are going on too thick. 

 

I like your color choices, and you exhibit smooth brush work too.  Might be cool if you bas....  Do you have black blinds?!  Rad!

 

I had to go check. They are in fact a dark chocolate brown colour.

 

Welcome to the circus. You gots talent!

 

That's encouraging! I feel like I was better when I was younger, though now I am not sure whether I have forgotten what I knew then or if I just had lower standards.

 

 

I like your color choices, and you exhibit smooth brush work too. Might be cool if you bas.... Do you have black blinds?! Rad!

Squirrel?!

 

Anyway :lol: wonderful start! I thouorghly approve of your choice of minis ^_^

 

 

Thanks, I have a few more that I am excited to get onto but I really want to get at least some of these "finished" rather than have 10 miniatures in progress at a time. I generally have trouble accepting that perfection is impossible and that getting things done is preferable to working on them forever. The valkyrie I plan to keep as my (rebooted as an adult) "first attempt" so I can judge any improvements I might make.

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nice job! love the mouslings!!! <3

 

As someone who got back into painting after not doing it for like 20 years, I understand where you're coming from! I can say, in my experience, that you will pick it up a LOT faster, now that you're older - you have the dexterity, patience and ability to look stuff up now that you likely didn't have when you were younger (ok, well I didn't have...) So, anyway, meant to be encouraging lol

 

You obviously have a good eye and great brush control can't wait to see more!

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I do like your approach.

 

If it would help at all, I kept a notes thread going when I was painting these Mouslings.

 

That is really helpful, thanks! I had no idea that was supposed to be a little frog on top of the staff. I am also going to steal your strategy for painting the orb. You did a great job making it look glassy.

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I do like your approach.

 

If it would help at all, I kept a notes thread going when I was painting these Mouslings.

 

That is really helpful, thanks! I had no idea that was supposed to be a little frog on top of the staff. I am also going to steal your strategy for painting the orb. You did a great job making it look glassy.

 

Steal away!  The more techniques are shared the more people can play with them. 

 

As for the frog, I honestly don't think I would have figured out what it was if that figure in the store was not tagged "Frog": http://www.reapermini.com/OnlineStore/mousling%20frog/sku-down/77290

 

Once I saw that the light bulb went off.  It's a blobby little chibi frog, of course ...

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I will echo that there's some excellent work in these minis!

 

My big question for you: to what extent are you thinning your paints when applying subsequent coats (i.e., not basecoats, and not washes)? The reason I ask is that you have very solid blocks of color with little internal contrast, so it looks like you're using a wash but when you reclaim the midtone it's so opaque it negates a lot of the wash.

 

You'll often hear "higher highlights, deeper shadows" or "more contrast" as frequent mantras on this forum...thin paints are one way to achieve that; most of my paint (Reaper Master Series, anyway) gets about a 1:1 water mix before I put it on the mini. YMMV, as some folks find that too thin, and some find it too thick.

 

The main thing is to keep painting. Watch Show Off, and don't be afraid to ask people how they did something; most of the painters here are happy to help.

 

BTW, I really like your Valkyrie. I think the leather works pretty well, and I don't miss any gold or brass fittings.

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I had read about the importance of thinning my paints, I am trying to do so however I don't think I have a good method for it yet. If I try to use my brush to introduce water from the mixing pot it's not enough unless I do it over and over again. I have a homemade wet palette (sandwich Tupperware with damp paper towel covered in a layer of parchment paper) and at the beginning of a "fresh sheet" of parchment paper I will splash some water on there so I get some droplets to use for thinning, however if I want to return to the same palette later this doesn't help much (droplets are all usually used up, and adding more water will make a mess). I may have to invest in a dropper bottle simply for water. I did just order a bottle of retardant (I want to have more time to work with the paint before it dries) so I may mix up some water/retardant solution.

 

I think one of the problems is that even though I have been putting down shadows I have then been overdoing it with the shading layers and eliminating them (except on the valkyrie). I have worked towards fixing this and will upload new pictures soon.

 

Thanks =)

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Thank you all for your comments. I have taken your advice (along with some tips from my fiancee who is an artist/designer) and I think I have two miniatures now finished to my (tentative) satisfaction. I eventually decided against painting the frog on top of the wizard's staff green as it introduced too much colour confusion. I attempted a sort of "glow" effect from the orb (after I repainted it in a manner similar to Pingo's)... though I may decide to tell people I was going for a "frosty ice magic" effect instead. I am not sure how well it worked. For the valkyrie I tinted her leathers with a bit of red, and added some brown wash to her hair.

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These came out well. The details are clear, and they should look distinct on the table.

 

I'm more of a seat-of-the-pantser than an expert on lighting effects. When doing them I have found that they appear to work best when they are the same color as but never quite as light as the light source, and a little bit translucent.

 

The first time I managed it was here, Ingrid the Gnome, which was something of a learning experience.

 

I found it helped to paint the figure fully first, then glaze the light on thinly, starting with the least light, most colorful lights and working up to the palest, most opaque highlights in only a few spots very near the light source and directly facing it. For a less overwhelming effect one would only need a few brush strokes, from a soft translucent colorful light to a small, pale highlight.

 

The way you have the light on the Mousling looks good, but as you note, a little frosty. This is because it's a fairly intense white and it is kind of linear where it should be a touch less white than the whitest bits of the orb and just a bit softened at the edge. This is for future reference, since these figures look just fine.

Edited by Pingo

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These came out well. The details are clear, and they should look distinct on the table.

 

I'm more of a seat-of-the-pantser than an expert on lighting effects. When doing them I have found that they appear to work best when they are the same color as but never quite as light as the light source, and a little bit translucent.

 

The first time I managed it was here, Ingrid the Gnome, which was something of a learning experience.

 

I found it helped to paint the figure fully first, then glaze the light on thinly, starting with the least light, most colorful lights and working up to the palest, most opaque highlights in only a few spots very near the light source and directly facing it. For a less overwhelming effect one would only need a few brush strokes, from a soft translucent colorful light to a small, pale highlight.

 

The way you have the light on the Mousling looks good, but as you note, a little frosty. This is because it's a fairly intense white and it is kind of linear where it should be a touch less white than the whitest bits of the orb and just a bit softened at the edge. This is for future reference, since these figures look just fine.

 

I recently picked up one of the Clear Brights triads, so I was blending the clear bright blue into ghost white. From what you are saying (and from my own impression) it seems like there is too much of the pure ghost white on there. Some of it did look better in my first attempt for that reason (I managed to put on thinner lines), but I had to re-do it after I altered the colour on the staff (not good to drybrush near something you really like!).

 

Edit: I do really like how the OSL on your gnome looks so clearly like a lighting effect. A lot of the OSL I see (even in tutorials from skilled painters) has a dribbly look that makes me think the paint has run off their brighter sections (e.g. the eyes here). I think one big difference is whether the light-producing object has a clearly defined "edge". I reckon the eyes on that tutorial example would look much better if they had some sort of dark outline in the socket. I have found another beautiful example of OSL done how I like it here.

Edited by MrNutt

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