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Gargs' Newbie WIP Journey

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So after having a brief start a few years ago in the painting journey that got interrupted by various life events, I have finally gotten the painting bug back and am starting in on some tabletop figures while I try to wrap my head around how I want to paint some of my various Bones and old assorted RPG figures.  The tabletop figures have an obvious advantage in that once I settle on a scheme, they all kind of just flow from there so its a bit easier to figure out how I want to paint them.

 

That said, I am still operating at a bit of a disadvantage while I slowly gather proper supplies/tools, to say nothing of actual skill.  Currently, I am waiting on a new bulb for my project lamp since the lamp came with a shattered bulb (awesome).  I also don't have the best of brushes yet but that's mainly because I want to make sure I actually stick with this before I invest too much money into it.  Ultimately though, I can hopefully gain some steady improvement and hopefully show other fellow newbies like myself that its not as daunting as it may seem, even if the quality won't come anywhere near many of the awesome painters on here.  Naturally, any and all feedback is much appreciated and I am sure I will be asking plenty of questions as I go.

 

So without further ado, our first entrant, the mighty Vanquisher:

 

post-12714-0-64889000-1466166407_thumb.jpg

 

 

Obviously only got a small bit done last night, but the plan is to keep the armor mostly in the dark red, with Honed Steel for the gears, pistons, etc. for the Vanq.  The gun is going to be mostly a gold tone as will some of the details and edges.  What I am not certain of yet are what color to paint the little doors on top there.  I want them to stand out a bit and am having trouble coming up with a good color choice.  I don't want to just keep that sanguine color (P3 Sanguine Base) but can't quite pin down if I should just use the Honed Steel or something else.  Any suggestions would be much appreciated.  And yes, I realize I need to go over it with at least a couple more base coats on the parts partially painted, just ran out of energy last night.  :) 

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If you find popcorn (or bacon in Xherman's case); we've been watching.

Best advice at this stage I can give is "Just Paint, and Enjoy".

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If you find popcorn (or bacon in Xherman's case); we've been watching.

Best advice at this stage I can give is "Just Paint, and Enjoy".

 

Indeed.  I won't be able to improve without actually painting, especially since I am far more a "learn by doing" than a "learn by watching/listening/reading" kind of guy.

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Gargs, I have been painting minis since 1978, and consider myself reasonably competent. Nevertheless, there are painters here that make my work look like that of a brain damaged orangutan wielding gel pens with its feet while wearing goggles smeared with vaseline.* 

Don't get discouraged. Instead, steal every trick and technique that isn't nailed down, add it to your repertoire, and gloat in the leaps of quality you will find yourself making. In short, suit yourself.

*Yes, I like that analogy. Built it in the garage myself over a period of two weeks, and I'm going to get all of the mileage out of it that I can.

Edited by Dr.Bedlam
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I think something really important to remember is to have fun. It's really easy to lose the fun while getting bogged down in solely trying to improve your skillset and worrying about whether you're improving quickly enough or not. I stressed myself out for a long time and it completely made me freeze up and stop painting because I was too concerned about being good enough by someone else's standards. In the end, having fun is what I was missing from my painting. So don't let that happen to you. You'll progress as you progress. If some technique is driving you crazy, try something else instead. If there's a technique you want to try but you don't think you have the skillset for it, do it anyway. Don't like the results? You've got 20 more miniatures to try again on.

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Looking good so far, I like your color choices. :) For the doors, perhaps you could do them the same gold color you plan to use on the gun/detailing. That would make them really stand out, but because you also used the gold in other places on the figure, they wouldn't look out of place.

 

If it turns out to be too bright, you could tone it down with a wash. If you're unfamiliar with/have forgotten that technique, I'll see if I can find a good tutorial video explaining it (It's something I find easy to explain in person, but difficult to explain online). ::):

 

Keep at it! EDIT: And as Guindyloo said, have fun and don't stress out over it! ^_^

 

Huzzah!

--OneBoot :D

Edited by OneBoot
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The two panels on the chest are doors?

 

I feel that doors on armored vehicles should blend in as much as possible. No need to give enemy soldiers ideas and all that.

But whatever rocks your boat. We're doing this for fun, after all. ;-)

 

I did a Vigilant (Protectorate of Menoth) Warjack once...

It's in my 'Messing about with paint' thread:

http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/67006-gadgetman-is-messing-about-with-paints/

 

Are you using any magnifiers? 

(I almost always use a Donegan Optivisor with 2.75x magnification)

 

For metals, it really helps to use a normal colour as a base. Deep orange or red for Brass/Gold/Copper, some sort of grey for Steel/Silver and similar metallics. 

Which one you pick depends on the effect you want to achieve. 

 

 

One thing you should invest in as soon as possible if you decide to stick with it is some sort of brush soap and restorer.

(I use The Masters)

Use it even on the crappiest of the brushes you have now, to get into the habit. 

 

Wen photographing, consider using something else than a bright white background. It tends to elf up the camera automatics.

(I usually use a piece of carboard painted with Liquitex Grey no. 5. About the same as Reaper MSP Concrete Grey, really. )

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Gargs, I have been painting minis since 1978, and consider myself reasonably competent. Nevertheless, there are painters here that make my work look like that of a brain damaged orangutan wielding gel pens with its feet while wearing goggles smeared with vaseline.* 

 

Don't get discouraged. Instead, steal every trick and technique that isn't nailed down, add it to your repertoire, and gloat in the leaps of quality you will find yourself making. In short, suit yourself.

 

*Yes, I like that analogy. Built it in the garage myself over a period of two weeks, and I'm going to get all of the mileage out of it that I can.

 

Excellent point.  Fortunately, I am keeping my expectations a bit low.  My main goal right now is to get to a decent table top quality (realizing of course that is in the eye of the beholder) but the point being it would be my table top quality.  I don't have expectations at this point that I will get to competition level because frankly, I know hard freakin hard those painters have worked over the years to get to that level of quality.  Its the same with any skill really.  For better or worse, I have plenty of other things that I like to do that I don't want to spend that much time on just one activity.  And that analogy is awesome.  You should use it as often as possible.  :)

 

I think something really important to remember is to have fun. It's really easy to lose the fun while getting bogged down in solely trying to improve your skillset and worrying about whether you're improving quickly enough or not. I stressed myself out for a long time and it completely made me freeze up and stop painting because I was too concerned about being good enough by someone else's standards. In the end, having fun is what I was missing from my painting. So don't let that happen to you. You'll progress as you progress. If some technique is driving you crazy, try something else instead. If there's a technique you want to try but you don't think you have the skillset for it, do it anyway. Don't like the results? You've got 20 more miniatures to try again on.

 

Absolutely.  If it isn't fun then you're doing it wrong.  There is nothing that requires me to paint.  Even Warmahordes doesn't require that the minis be painted, its just more fun when they are.  To that end, while the pic doesn't really show the models in the background that I had finished earlier this week, there is a clear example of this sentiment in one of the models.  The human figure with clearly defined eyes.  Eyes are hard.  (I know this isn't news).  The eyes on him are terrible, but they're good enough for me as opposed to spending countless attempts and hours of frustration trying to get them better.  I hope to eventually get decent at eyes, but like all things, it will take time and its not currently worth the frustration to try to get them really good out of the gate.

 

Looking good so far, I like your color choices. :) For the doors, perhaps you could do them the same gold color you plan to use on the gun/detailing. That would make them really stand out, but because you also used the gold in other places on the figure, they wouldn't look out of place.

 

If it turns out to be too bright, you could tone it down with a wash. If you're unfamiliar with/have forgotten that technique, I'll see if I can find a good tutorial video explaining it (It's something I find easy to explain in person, but difficult to explain online). ::):

 

Keep at it! EDIT: And as Guindyloo said, have fun and don't stress out over it! ^_^

 

Huzzah!

--OneBoot :D

 

Thanks Boot!  I was actually considering using the gold too.  I just wasn't sure if it would end up as too much gold.  Only one way to find out though!  I think one of the things for me to keep in mind is that especially when starting out, there just has to be a lot of experimentation and "let's see what happens when I do this!"  I think the thing that was giving me fits was that I have a three color scheme going with the Sanguine Base, Honed Steel, and Antique Gold, but wasn't sure if either of those three would feel right.  The problem is though not sure adding a fourth color really helps either.  :)

 

ETA:

 

Thanks for the suggestions Gadget (ninja'd me :P)  Yeah I knew the pic was pretty bad, but wanted to get it done and get the thread started before I chickened out.  I figure this will give me some bit of accountability.  

Edited by Gargs
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You're off to a great (re) start! You've definitely got the right attitude about fun!

 

If you have questions/get stuck working on something, don't be afraid to ask for help; people here are very friendly and always happy to offer advice.

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Was out of town this weekend so unfortunately didn't get much time to do much, especially since I was called into work early this morning (yay Monday!).  Just got a little more base coating done.  Still more than a bit sloppy, but I can clean that up as I go back over it.  I did realize that my paint was probably a bit too thin (especially the gold) and fortunately saw Ghool's video this morning on that (which was unfortunately after I had worked on it last night).  Good news though is that should make the rest of the base coating a bit easier.  At least I am learning as I go, which is a step in the right direction.  Anyway, I'm liking the gold so far, but I think I am going to change the color of the loin cloth, thinking a blue will give it a bit more pop without detracting too much from the overall scheme.  Anyway, hope to be able to finish up most of the base coat tonight if time and work allow.

 

 

post-12714-0-37711100-1466453966_thumb.jpg

 

Sorry the pic is still fairly bad, I am working on getting a better set up for taking photos, so hopefully that will help soon enough, but still wanted to force accountability on myself.  

 

Oh and Gadget:  I do have a magnifier I can use on my lamp (albeit the bulb was broken so the lighting is still a bit bad.  Hopefully new bulb will be here soon.  Also thanks for the tip on the metals, sadly in my haste last night I forgot about it, but I will be keeping it in mind.  I have a number of Warmachine models to paint up so plenty in this scheme to do still.  To say nothing of all the Bones and other figs to do.  :)

 

ETA:  Hopefully next post I'll remember to take pics all around so you can get a better view of everything as opposed to just the front.

Edited by Gargs
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More progress.  Starting to look a little better, especially with the naked eye, noticing the camera really brings out the flaws, but that's also a good thing.  So two main questions I have at the moment:

 

1.  I'm noticing that some brush strokes are showing.  What is a good way to avoid strokes?  Is it just more coats?  Is it a technique thing?  Thinness of paint?  Obviously I realize some of this will just come with time but figured it couldn't hurt to ask.

 

2.  On the end of the gun, I'm going for a fire effect.  I started with a yellowish white base (P3 Menoth White base) and followed with an orange.  In theory I should build up to a darker orange/red but I'm struggling a bit with the flat surface of the business end of the gun (i.e. its easier to visualize the flame effect when you have actual 3D flames to paint).  Any tips?  Should I just slowly start narrowing the circle so to speak?  I know the lighter colors should be the hottest, so in theory in the center?

 

Anyway, thanks again for all the great tips and the warm welcome!  Now, some pics that actually show all the sides!

 

post-12714-0-72029400-1466512550_thumb.jpg

 

post-12714-0-90034900-1466512571_thumb.jpg

 

post-12714-0-87186400-1466512589_thumb.jpg

 

post-12714-0-53592100-1466512608_thumb.jpg

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There's several things that can cause issues on basecoats...

 

Paint thickness is the obvious place to start.

 

There's some good advice in this thread:

http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/67324-video-quick-tips/

(video #20 is about thinning paint)

 

But how you add the paint to the mini can also affect it.

 

Take a look at this clip.

https://youtu.be/D0k84z_QLfs?t=55s

(Anne and Jen, from their Dark Sword painting DVD set. Definitely worth the money)

 

I trust you're only using Reaper/Army Painter/Citadel/Scale75/Vallejo/(did I forget anyone important?) miniature paints.

(This is important. Other paints aren't formulated for this job, and the pigments are way too big)

 

Which size brush are you using?

 

Do you have any idea of how high/low the himidity is at your place?

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There's several things that can cause issues on basecoats...

 

Paint thickness is the obvious place to start.

 

There's some good advice in this thread:

http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/67324-video-quick-tips/

(video #20 is about thinning paint)

 

But how you add the paint to the mini can also affect it.

 

Take a look at this clip.

https://youtu.be/D0k84z_QLfs?t=55s

(Anne and Jen, from their Dark Sword painting DVD set. Definitely worth the money)

 

I trust you're only using Reaper/Army Painter/Citadel/Scale75/Vallejo/(did I forget anyone important?) miniature paints.

(This is important. Other paints aren't formulated for this job, and the pigments are way too big)

 

Which size brush are you using?

 

Do you have any idea of how high/low the himidity is at your place?

 

Thanks for the links.  I did watch Ghool's video on thinning, though not until after I had started base coating the Vanquisher, so I do think some of the issues were that I had too thin a paint initially, though I think last night's work had better paint thickness (for lack of a better term).  I'm using a combination of Reaper MSP and P3 paints, but both are obviously designed for minis.

 

For the most part, I have been using a Size 2 round brush, which does cause some slop over from time to time as I get adjusted to it, but I have a couple of smaller ones for the tight places.  I'm trying to work on my brush control and have heard that its good to use a larger brush (i.e. size 2) if you can just because it will hold paint better, etc.  The humidity could be an issue though, its been pretty humid lately.  In fact, the humidity in general is one of the reasons I initially decided against any spray primers or sealers (in addition to not having any particularly good places to spray available other than outside where we get a lot of wind, etc.).  

 

Again, thanks for all the help, I really appreciate the community here and it makes it so much easier, and more comfortable, to get into this side of the hobby.  I will have to definitely check out that second vid ASAP! 

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That Anne & Jen video is 'watch asap' material.

And if you decide that you like their stuff, you can buy the DVDs here, on DSM and many other places. There's even a Download version over on CMON if you're feeling impatient.

 

Humidity...

High humidity is less of a problem than low humidity, actually. Low humidity will cause paint to dry much more quickly.

I've been doing some work with a 10/0 brush(painting lines in 'marble') and Ive had to add both drying retarder and thinner to the paint or it'll dry on the brush.

(The humidity is generally around 55 - 65% in the summer, and may drop as low as 20% during the winter... I'm looking for a mini-sized humidifier for my hobby room)

 

And yes, a #2 is a good brush for priming and basing. I do most of my work with a #1 (I don't have a good #2 right now), and switch down to #0 when I start on the detail work.

Consider getting a 5/0 or something like that, and possibly a 10/0 or smaller if you plan to paint anything with eyes.

(My smallest is the 30/0 from Reaper. They have a set of Taklon brushes 10/0, 20/0 and 30/0. Good stuff for 'too small' work)

Edited by Gadgetman!
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Contra Gadgetman, I use a #1 or #2 for nearly everything, including freehand and eyes. The only time I'll look for something smaller is when the barrel of the brush would contact things before I can reach the thing I'm painting.

 

High humidity can be a serious problem for spraying but a serious advantage in working time when brush painting. Though you might want a small fan/hair dryer if you're going to be working multiple coats in a shortish amount of time.

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