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Looking for some advice on using inks in painting.
So I've seen people using inks and spouting praise about their uses with mini painting. Especially for glazing purposes. I got a set of cheaper inks last christmas, but they really didn't play nice. They were constantly rehydrating. Even with a protective layer of spray varnish. As soon as I painted over top of it, the color would bleed back up.
Anyone know what I was doing wrong? Or if I was using a kind of ink that wasn't compatible? I bought a set of 10 colors from amazon - ZZKOKO caligraphy pen ink.
I got an airbrush recently and have heard that white ink results in smoother zenithal than traditional white paint. Any words of warning?
Presenting Ironbelly Klegg, a member of the Fortune Hunters faction from the game Deep Wars, and my first ever mini (that I've finished) from Antimatter Games.
I'm still quite bad at painting crystals, lenses etc. so he made a pretty terrible choice for my first mini to paint, but I had fun.
As always, any comments or criticisms are warmly received.
By Gary Pryor
In a post Bones IV world there are lot more translucent miniatures in circulation. You may have had the same reaction I had, where I thought they were neat, but had no idea what to do with these things. Well, today was the day I decided I was going to try a few different experiments with painting these things to see what would happen. I did try an experiment once before with some purple translucent modes from bones 3, where I put a black wash over them. I was not happy with those results. They turned out looking opaque black with purple highlights from a distance, and translucent against a light or if you looked real close. Not a strong enough effect for table play. So this time, I did a bunch of research (mostly on this forum) and was told about using a clear coat and ink to add definition and maintain translucency. Looked good in the pictures, so I thought I would try some variations on that.
First thing I wanted to experiment with was testing something I read here that said something to the effect of "the clear coat actually makes them more translucent, because it changes how they reflect light" so I thought I would try a matte clear coat and a gloss clear coat and see how they compared. The following are a very light black ink wash (from the Reaper Ink triad) and then Tamiya X-22 gloss clear (on the left) and Tamiya XF86 gloss matte (on the right).
These models were not very translucent to begin with, but both coats did really make them appear more clear. The gloss was very shiny, had a distinctive wet look, and makes the model look like a clear piece of hard candy. The matte coated model appears to let about the same amount of light through, but is less reflective than it was before I coated with anything. With less reflection the model looks a little less ethereal, but also less like a plastic toy.
I decided that I didn't want wet looking spirits, so I decided to go with a black ink wash and the matte coat. Here are those results:
Much better than my last attempt, which were only transparent when held against a light. They are still reflective, but less than out of the box. I also tried a red ink instead and it had a very striking effect of red against the blue (the colors didn't blend at all like I thought they would) but it wasn't what I was looking for, so I washed it off.
Here is a comparison of a painted and unpainted model:
So really, I would say not painting them at all is totally viable. I like having the details show, but if they are ghosts, maybe it is okay that it is hard to see without taking a very close look.
I also did a matte coat on some crystals (no ink) and it improved the translucency greatly, though it is hard to capture in a photograph.
I learned I prefer that matte coat to clear, (but both are cool). Inks work well, where standard acrylics did not last time. Clear coats do make them more clear. and they transparent models look ghostly and cool already, so painting them isn't giving you that much really, if they are only intended for table play. maybe this information will be useful to someone. I wish I could have found it all in one place when I was puzzling over what to do and what to purchase.
So these are a couple of "mantis warriors" which I'm painting up as thri-kreen, the insectoid race from the Dark Sun and Spelljammer D&D settings. They are Reaper's 03552: Klichik, Mantis Warrior (the taller one), sculpted by John Winter, and 03142: Zizzix, Mantis Warrior (the squatter one), sculpted by Michael Brower.
Here they are for scale (and unassembled) with Reaper's 03155: Vandora Waverunner, Pirate, sculpted by Bob Ridolfi.
Straight out of the package they have a very flat silhouette.
Here they are assembled, primed, and washed with thinned-down Burnt Umber. I gently bent some of their limbs forward to ease the flatness a tad.
One source said all thri-kreen were golden brown; another said they were earthy shades of red, yellow, and sometimes green. I decided to paint the taller one red and the shorter one yellow.
I mixed some dull, opaque colors using Iron Oxide Red and Yellow, each mixed with a greying-down blend of browns and white, and brushed them on thinly.
As god is my witness, this thing is not so pink in real life.
I painted this same yellow on both of the creatures' bases.
Then I washed over them with some thinned-down Burnt Umber.
To be continued!
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