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Is there a way to dilute acrylic miniatures paint to make it translucent?


There are a lot of very cool clear minis in  Bones V and I’d like to paint them with translucent paint to keep the effect. 
 

Someone suggested purchasing acrylic paint medium with no pigment to dilute regular paint. Would this work? Has anyone tried it?

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On the few translucent figures I have painted, I've used mainly the Reaper Clear paints and then follow up with something more opaque for highlighting edges. 

 

Later this morning I'm going to try using some inks on the Disapproving Hand to see if that will work and maintain it being see through.

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My  favorite go-to paints for painting translucens is Tamiya Clear Acrylics, and Citadel Contrast paint.  Also useful are inks.

 

The Tamiya is great for bright candy colors, and the Contrast is for more subtle ones.  

 

Whenever painting your translucent, it's best to paint the miniature first with a clear matte coat to give the paint or ink something to adhere to.

 

 

HOBBIESBEYOND-TAMIYA-CLEAR-PAINT-X-19-X-23-X-24-X-25-X-26-X-27.jpg.de006f2a2dc997101188c4b2d429db33.jpg

Citadel-Contrast-Paint-Set-1024x465.jpg

 

These were done with the Tamiya Clears

fullsizeoutput_4522.jpeg

 

These were done with the Contrast paint.

IMG_1655.jpeg

Edited by Chris Palmer
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Oho! These things already exist! I had no idea. 
 

Thanks for the quick and very helpful replies! The game store near me isn’t as big on mini painting so they don’t have a huge selection of paints. I’ll have to take a trip out to the bigger but further away one to see if they carry any. 

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@Chris Palmer already mentioned the Tamiya Clears, which are my go to for translucents.  If you want more examples, just search the forum with my name and Tamiya Clears - I've done several experiment threads with them and various translucent Bones.  Here's my favorite:

https://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/77649-77368-shadow-demon-and-tamiya-clears/

 

 

ETA: Tamiya paints are easier to find at Hobby stores that cater to RS Cars, Models and Model railroads. 

Edited by kristof65
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Badger makes transparent tints in at least 2 lines:  Freak Flex (translucent) and Minitaire Ghost tints.

You can also use acrylic artist inks (I use (liquitex) these are pricey but go a long way. Liquid pigment minus the medium. They will run and are really strong so you need to use them with medium or you risk overpowering your paint job.  Also really useful for getting really bright colors.

I have a few threads from several  years ago showing stuff and my bones 5 wip thread has non translucent uses for now (I have a plan for my brinewind ghosts and dwarf king's crypt translucents).

 

Some old links (a few more are lost to pic storing, time, and forum movement)

 

https://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/59416-clears-translucents-inks-comparison/

https://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/72664-77369-bones-translucent-shadow-03027-spectre-wip/&tab=comments#comment-1506688

https://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/76103-bones-large-elementals-earth-water-and-fire/&do=findComment&comment=1594842

https://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/73276-lime-green-slime-77306-bones-translucent-slimes

https://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/73688-translucent-bones-undead-grave-wraith-and-nightspectre/

Edited by lexomatic
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While not quite as good, one option you do have that works rather well for small numbers of things is to look in the kids crafts area at places like walmart or dollar tree and taking the paints from the plastic stained "glass" kits that are sold.

 

They don't thin at all and can have some issues with getting a flat result from it without some work, but they are cheap and work well enough if you just want to do a small project...or if you want to do things like a stained glass effect for terrain.

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9 hours ago, Chris Palmer said:

Whenever painting your translucent, it's best to paint the miniature first with a clear matte coat to give the paint or ink something to adhere to.

 

Second this. My attempts at using the Scale Color Inks had some minor issues as I failed to do this and the paint started rubbing off.

 

20 minutes ago, SirShanty said:

How do you cover mistake?  Or do you have one shot

 

You can either put another thin layer on, or strip and start over.

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In some posts about painting clear bones/ghosts...One step was to use a clear varnish/sealer/matte medium and let dry and then use an ink or wash for that translucent look. (I see Chris P mentioned that..)

 

https://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/87909-invisible-humans-and-ghosts/&tab=comments#comment-1864744

https://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/87575-experiments-with-translucent-bones-models/

 

Edited by golldan
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Tamiya Clears with optional colored washes.

 

However, start with only doing the front of the figure first. Painting the back results in your seeing the back and front at the same time, making it difficult to distinguish the front of the figure! If you look at 2d art of "transparent" ghosts and whatnot, they're cheating, since you're only seeing the front of the figure! 

 

 

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