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Kalibak

Birth of a Painter

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So, after months of floating around this forum, watching YouTube videos and collecting miniatures, I have finally taken the first step of joining you all in this great hobby by buying some paint and brushes! And now I’m excited... but scared. And I have questions!

 

Paints

 

1.      I bought all 6 Reaper MSP Bones Paint Sets (the first and only paints I own) and it’s too late to second-guess that decision now, but I’m still wondering if I made a mistake by not starting with the Triads.  Will a first-time painter (of literally anything) be OK with these paints instead? Any tips for using them?

2.      I thought the Reaper MSP Bones paints were new and different to the old Reaper MSP HD line (which I had hoped to avoid after watching this YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrJ1Yb2QI1g) but after reading some stuff recently, I’m not so sure. Can anyone confirm/deny?

3.      I bought the paints from a company in California and they were transported to me in Texas. I have read that some paints can go “bad” in too cold (and too hot?) conditions. What should I be checking for to ensure I haven’t bought paints that might have frozen in a California winter?

 

Miniatures

 

4.      At the moment, I have a mixture of Reaper Bones Black and WizKids Nolzur’s miniatures. Do I need to use different techniques on them or will those materials react the same way to the paint?

5.      One of my Bones Black figures (Anthanelle, Female Elf Wizard) is a much darker shade of grey than the other Bones Black figures. Is there a reason for this?

6.      Another figure (Shadoweyes, Catfolk Rogue) is bent quite far forward, almost to the point of falling over. Is she meant to be in that position? Will the Bones Black material respond well if I try to bend her back the other way? Her ankles seem quite thin so I’m worried about snapping her.

 

Supplies

 

7.      Other than the above-mentioned paints and miniatures, the only other hobby supply I own is the Army Painter Wargames Mega Brush Set. I have an X-Acto knife and a wet palette on the way and I have my eye on the Army Painter Warpaints Quickshade Wash Set. What else are must-have supplies for this hobby?

8.      The YouTube videos have been great but I prefer to follow instructions I can hold in my hand. Are there any written tutorials anywhere?

 

Thanks for any help! I’ll be sure to post photos of my progress.

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First, everything you mentioned is fine. 

 

1. & 2. all of Reaper's paints are more or less the same and you'll be fine using any of them as a first time painter. The triads are helpful for finding highlight and shading colors, but not required. 

 

3. if your paint is clumpy like cottage cheese or won't blend when you shake it, you have a problem. But you're probably fine as most mail doesn't get frozen unless it is left on your porch for a long time. 

 

4. you're fine. You want to wash the bones black, all of the bones actually, before priming or painting. The Nolzurs are pre-primed and ready to go. 

 

5. she's fine. Different batch of plastic. 

 

6. it will be fine. Follow the instructions online for placing figures in hot water and re-shaping. 

 

7. that's a good starter set. You'll probably want some cyanoacrylic glue, too.  And lots of other stuff eventually, but you're good to start. 

 

8. the Reaper Learn to Paint kits have written instructions. 

 

Welcome to the hobby. 

 

 

 

 

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44 minutes ago, Inarah said:

3. if your paint is clumpy like cottage cheese or won't blend when you shake it, you have a problem. But you're probably fine as most mail doesn't get frozen unless it is left on your porch for a long time.

 

If the case your paint came in was zip tied and contained a card with batch codes, Reaper will replace any bad paint.

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The Bones paints are probably a better starting point than the core paints(triads) because of their higher pigment contents. 

It's easier to get an even coat with them than it is with core, particularly in some colours such as white. 

Sure, it's a bit more difficult to do highlights and shading without well-defined triads, but if you ask here someone is bound to have a good suggestion or two...   

 

Don't worry about that video.

Yes, the HD paint is thicker, and the Bones paints are just as thick, but if they don't cover it's entirely his own fault. He's demonstrating with YELLOW, which is a very 'uncooperative' colour anyways. We use a undercoat of a different colour, such as Palomino Gold to minimise issues there. 

Yes, it's possible to thin HD and Bones paints. But if you're using water, don't overdo it. There's a lot of 'thinners' out there that works just fine.

(They're 'acrylic medium' mostly, that's the stuff the pigments are suspended in)  

Overdo it with water and the pigments 'drops' out of the suspension.   

And no, the HD doesn't use a 'gel like' medium as he claims, it's pretty much the same as in every other Reaper paint. (some small differences because they've improved the formula over the years, of course), but mostly the thickness is because of the higher amount of pigments.   

It's possible that he got hold of a set of older paints...   

 

What I would recoommend that you add is a bottle of Reaper Brown Liner. Nothing sticks to Bonesium like that. 

And varnishes. (I use Vallejo's. But mostly because they can be bought in 60ml bottles... They also have thinners in larger bottles) 

Possibly also Reaper's Wash Medium.   

 

Get yourself some Brush soap. 

Some of us use The Masters Brush Soap, others use 'Pink soap' or the Vallejo stuff or... 

The brushes you have may not be the world's best(That would be Rosemary & Co Series 33, in my opinion. Some others may tell you that it's Raphael 8404, Winsor & Newton Series 7 or some other humbug, but don't listen to them... ), but they were an investment, and taking good care of them will make them last a lot longer.   

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Most have been said.

 

After washing the minis, I use Reaper Liner as a primer for all things Bones, Resin or Plastic.

Metals get Vallejo Brush on Primer.

 

After painting I seal with Reaper Brush on Sealer or Army Painter Antishine Spray.

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11 hours ago, Kalibak said:

1.      I bought all 6 Reaper MSP Bones Paint Sets

 

Do they overlap with the Reaper Learn to Paint Kits? Duplicates may be irritating, but ask yourself if you'd rather have better paint jobs, or not spend $3.50 on paint.

 

I still think de-emphasizing triads weakened Reaper's best selling point to new painters. The Tanned Skin triad is a must for generic fantasy heroes, although females, elves, and halflings I paint with the lighter Rosy Skin triad.

 

While I've tried a variety of hobby paints, none of the for a new painter's skill level are particularly bad or good. Paint consistency vary between manufacturers, but I sometimes you will want a thicker or thinner paint depending on how or what you're painting (and I use craft paints for terrain and bases).

 

Nowadays, I primarily use a colored primer, wash, then whatever hobby paint's nearby, and paint to advanced tabletop. Army Painter has a Quickshade Ink set I use more than hobby paints. Secret Weapon Miniatures has a Stone wash that's great for underground dungeon stone.

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Since everyone has already answered your questions, it is just left to me to say "Welcome".  I really hope you love the hobby and can't wait to see what you produce in Show Off.  

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Thanks for the wonderful advice everyone!

 

21 hours ago, Clearman said:

If the case your paint came in was zip tied and contained a card with batch codes, Reaper will replace any bad paint.

 

They all did. Great to know, thanks!

 

21 hours ago, Inarah said:

First, everything you mentioned is fine. 

[...]

Welcome to the hobby. 

 

Thanks for putting my mind at ease and the glue recommendation.

 

13 hours ago, Gadgetman! said:

[...]

 

What I would recoommend that you add is a bottle of Reaper Brown Liner. Nothing sticks to Bonesium like that. 

And varnishes. (I use Vallejo's. But mostly because they can be bought in 60ml bottles... They also have thinners in larger bottles) 

Possibly also Reaper's Wash Medium.   

 

Get yourself some Brush soap. 

Some of us use The Masters Brush Soap, others use 'Pink soap' or the Vallejo stuff or... 

The brushes you have may not be the world's best(That would be Rosemary & Co Series 33, in my opinion. Some others may tell you that it's Raphael 8404, Winsor & Newton Series 7 or some other humbug, but don't listen to them... ), but they were an investment, and taking good care of them will make them last a lot longer.   

 

13 hours ago, Glitterwolf said:

[...]

 

After washing the minis, I use Reaper Liner as a primer for all things Bones, Resin or Plastic.

Metals get Vallejo Brush on Primer.

 

After painting I seal with Reaper Brush on Sealer or Army Painter Antishine Spray.

 

Thanks also for all the great information.

 

Hmmm liners, varnishes, thinners, washes, primers, sealers... I think I need to read up some more to learn what these all do. Haha And I saw brush soap recommended somewhere else so that's definitely something else to put on my list.

 

10 hours ago, ced1106 said:

Do they overlap with the Reaper Learn to Paint Kits? Duplicates may be irritating, but ask yourself if you'd rather have better paint jobs, or not spend $3.50 on paint.

 

[...]

 

I don't think they do so that's definitely an option, thanks.

 

7 hours ago, TaleSpinner said:

Since everyone has already answered your questions, it is just left to me to say "Welcome".  I really hope you love the hobby and can't wait to see what you produce in Show Off.  

 

And thanks again. Look for my first faltering attempts at painting soon! One thing I've already realized - this hobby is not going to be as easy as I expected! Haha I'm amazed at the level of detail people are able to add to something that's no bigger than my thumbnail!

 

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2 minutes ago, Kalibak said:

 

Hmmm liners, varnishes, thinners, washes, primers, sealers... I think I need to read up some more to learn what these all do. Haha And I saw brush soap recommended somewhere else so that's definitely something else to put on my list.

 

 

I don't think they do so that's definitely an option, thanks.

 

 

Liners are used to draw lines between different areas on a mini, where you change from one colour to another. Like the black lines in a cartoon, really. But @buglips*the*goblin found that the Brown(in particular. The gray is also good. Sepia is not) works well as a primer.

 

Varnish or Sealer is a clear coat you often use to coat the finished paintjob. The glossy varnish in particular is much more robust than paint. Some use a glossy varnish first, then a matte on top of that again, to cut down the shine.  

(It's not always used on minis painte for display or competition, but if it' a mini that's to be used in gaming, then it's a necessity)

 

Primers are special paints used as the first coat. It usually doesn't have to be an even coat. It's just there so that regular paints has something to adhere to. But somethings picking a specific primer can help. A black primer seems to work better for metallic paints. 

Army Painter has a lot of differently coloured primers, so that it can also double as the basecoat. Cuts down on the work...   

Their rattle-can primers are safe to use as they only use pressurized air, but some brands not meant for minis contains solvents and gasses that may react badly with plastic minis.   

Washes is... something else entirely, and I'll let someone else explain.

 

There IS an overlap between the Bones paint sets and the LPKs. 

These kits only contain paints in regular sale(a mix of Core and Bones. Some may be listed as HD, but those will end up in Bones if they haven't already)

But the two LTPKs were designed so that someone who buys them will end up with a good mix of colours that will work as a starting point for the hobby. In other words, it contains often used paints, so getting spares isn't all that bad.   

 

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I'd like to pass on some useful advice not related to your kit, that I learned on this forum: Paint for your own enjoyment first and foremost, look at other people's painting, compare your work to theirs but don't judge yourself based on that, and read and ask for advice whenever you feel the need. This hobby is amazing and the folks that you can get to know on this forum are as well. Welcome to the forum.

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9 hours ago, Fnordlover said:

I'd like to pass on some useful advice not related to your kit, that I learned on this forum: Paint for your own enjoyment first and foremost, look at other people's painting, compare your work to theirs but don't judge yourself based on that, and read and ask for advice whenever you feel the need. This hobby is amazing and the folks that you can get to know on this forum are as well. Welcome to the forum.

 

100% Agree!

 

HAVE FUN!

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On 5/17/2020 at 10:15 PM, Kalibak said:

1.      I bought all 6 Reaper MSP Bones Paint Sets (the first and only paints I own) and it’s too late to second-guess that decision now, but I’m still wondering if I made a mistake by not starting with the Triads.  Will a first-time painter (of literally anything) be OK with these paints instead? Any tips for using them?

Triads are a neat shortcut so you dont't have to mix shadow and highlight colors yourself. Don't stress about it. Learn to mix paint, that is a useful skill all by itself. Shadows can usually be made by adding the opposing color or simply darken them with black. For highlights add white, for some colors like, red where adding white pushes it into pink, you might want to consider a brighter color you have which is similar in hue, add yellow to red for hightlights for example.

 

On 5/17/2020 at 10:15 PM, Kalibak said:

2.      I thought the Reaper MSP Bones paints were new and different to the old Reaper MSP HD line (which I had hoped to avoid after watching this YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrJ1Yb2QI1g) but after reading some stuff recently, I’m not so sure. Can anyone confirm/deny?

I think some were folded back into the base line but not all of them? It's a bit of a mess but does not change much. Can't exactly rember what was in the video, but I think thinning and coverage were points? In my experience paints are almost never of the same consistency (although I have to admit reaper (per line) and vallejo come close). When thinning  don't learn ratios learn how the end product should look like, i.e., final consistency of the paint. Experiment a bit, if you thin too much just add more paint (or start again). If you thin too little, well bones paints are not that thick to begin with so you should still be fine.

Coverage is different depending on purity of color and pigmentation. Yellows and reds tend to cover poorly, mix a bit of white or black in to add opacity. This will of course change the color a bit so don't overdo it to begin with and just put on a second coat. Also building bright colors which are translucent over black is a recipe for paint, underpaint them with white first. You'll quickly see which colors need this treatment when you painted a bit.

 

On 5/17/2020 at 10:15 PM, Kalibak said:

3.      I bought the paints from a company in California and they were transported to me in Texas. I have read that some paints can go “bad” in too cold (and too hot?) conditions. What should I be checking for to ensure I haven’t bought paints that might have frozen in a California winter?

If they are liquid they are find, they will get a crumbly texture when the became too cold. It should be quite apparent.

 

 

On 5/17/2020 at 10:15 PM, Kalibak said:

4.      At the moment, I have a mixture of Reaper Bones Black and WizKids Nolzur’s miniatures. Do I need to use different techniques on them or will those materials react the same way to the paint?

Mostly the same. Nolzurs are supposed to be preprimed, but never painted one I think. But basically the steps should alwasys be:

1. Wash mini (give em a bath in warm soapy water, and have a quick light scrub with an old toothbrush). Some minis have a mold release agent on them, or natural grease from handling them etc. which might prevent paint from sticking properly. Does not take long and better safe than sorry.

2. Prime the mini. This is an undercoat which is supposed to cling well to the underground and has a texture to which paint adheres well. This can also influence some forms of painting (look up: painting with washes or contrast, zenithal highlighting, value maps). Most bones colors do this pretty well, some better than others (brown liner seems to work really well). However, paints are more expensive then regular primers, so maybe get a bollte of vallejo primer (or just use the bones colors for a base coat, that should work fine).

3. Paint the mini in your preferred way.

4. Protect the mini if necessary, e.g. if it is a playing piece, by applying varnish. Varnish is basically a protective coat that can be glossy, stain or matte. It will change the color and sheen of the underlying colors. Not really necessary for for display pieces, but good idea for pieces which might get knocked around.

 

On 5/17/2020 at 10:15 PM, Kalibak said:

5.      One of my Bones Black figures (Anthanelle, Female Elf Wizard) is a much darker shade of grey than the other Bones Black figures. Is there a reason for this?

IIRC they changed the color at some point because the white material was ever so slightly translucent and could potentially affect the appearance of paint (negligible in practice). Also seeing details in the white was hard ;)

 

On 5/17/2020 at 10:15 PM, Kalibak said:

6.      Another figure (Shadoweyes, Catfolk Rogue) is bent quite far forward, almost to the point of falling over. Is she meant to be in that position? Will the Bones Black material respond well if I try to bend her back the other way? Her ankles seem quite thin so I’m worried about snapping her.

The can be smushed together and bent, nothing abnormal. If metal, bend it back carefully, the metal is pliable so should not snap. If the material is bones or other formes of soft plastic put it into very hot, but not boiling water. You will see the bones material soften, often it will return to it's original form but you can also shape it while it is maleable, then let it cool and or put it in cold water. After that it should retain it's form.

 

On 5/17/2020 at 10:15 PM, Kalibak said:

7.      Other than the above-mentioned paints and miniatures, the only other hobby supply I own is the Army Painter Wargames Mega Brush Set. I have an X-Acto knife and a wet palette on the way and I have my eye on the Army Painter Warpaints Quickshade Wash Set. What else are must-have supplies for this hobby?

Watercup, some newspaper to protect the desk. A bit of a neutral soap for cleaning brushes might be useful. Also a paint handle, most use a cork or old pill bottle or other small container with poster putty to adhere the mini. Citadel makes paint handles that are supposed to be good (don't have one). Also superglue as some miniatures have to be assembled and maybe greenstuff or miliput to hide gaps on those (mostly for larger minis). Appart from superflue I would not worry too much for now but if interested search for "gap filling" and "pinning".

 

On 5/17/2020 at 10:15 PM, Kalibak said:

8.      The YouTube videos have been great but I prefer to follow instructions I can hold in my hand. Are there any written tutorials anywhere?

Yes there are some, hope linking is allowed:

https://www.reapermini.com/dungeondwellers 

https://allbonesabout.blogspot.com

http://nstarmagazine.com

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Thanks again for all that great information everyone. Especially to Gadgetman! and MoebiusStrip for taking the time to write out such detailed and instructive posts! Sometimes the simplest guidance like "Wash. Prime. Paint. Protect." is exactly the sort of help a beginner like me needs. 

 

I've attached a photo of my first ever Reaper Miniatures. The next time you see them they'll be painted (hopefully well, but no guarantees haha).

Reaper Bones Black 1.jpg

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On 5/18/2020 at 3:45 PM, Kalibak said:

 

And thanks again. Look for my first faltering attempts at painting soon! One thing I've already realized - this hobby is not going to be as easy as I expected! Haha I'm amazed at the level of detail people are able to add to something that's no bigger than my thumbnail!

 

 

It's as easy as you want to make it.  If a couple of days painting to put a figure on the table for a game makes you happy, great.  If spending a year on a competition piece is what you like to do, that's great, too.  Put as much or as little effort in as you feel is necessary. 

 

57 minutes ago, Kalibak said:

 

I've attached a photo of my first ever Reaper Miniatures. The next time you see them they'll be painted (hopefully well, but no guarantees haha).

 

 

Nice selection.  I finished the little guy on the left earlier this year and have the other 3 primed and waiting.  I will be interested to see what you do with them.

 

 

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That Catfolk Rogue is on my list to paint soon, but the metal edition, not the Bones version. 

 

Anyway, the first mini you paint, no matter how it ends up, don't strip it of paint and redo it. Not because a new one is so cheap, but becaue in a year you can see the difference between it and the more recent minis, and see how much you have improved. 

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