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Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game» Forums » General

Subject: [Last Night on Earth] Zombies painted in a day! rss

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David Bezio
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Once I was sold on the board game Last Night on Earth from Flying Frog Productions, the first thing I did was start reading as many threads on the game as I could find.

Since it was a given that I’d paint the miniatures, I was particularly interested in comments about them. Probably the most common comment I heard was something along the line of, “The miniatures are cool…too bad they aren’t painted.”

Of course, I specifically buy games to paint the miniatures, so I like them unpainted. On a certain level I can’t understand why more gamers don’t paint their board game miniatures if it is a game they really dig.

Of course, such questions lead to a slew of, “I don’t have time!” or “I suck at painting!”, or “My eyes are bad!” ect ect. Fortunately you all have a guy like me to show you a technique that even the paint challenged can handle.

Now, I paint miniatures for fun…some people don’t think its fun at all, but they still want painted miniatures. That is where this thread comes in. I painted all the zombies from the core set, and Growing Hunger in a day (today, to be specific). Most of that was dry time, so we are actually only talking about a couple hours of actual painting here. Almost anyone has that kind of time and skill.

Further, the technique I’m going to show you could be done by a 5 year old. It’s quick, it’s sloppy, and it’s very easy.

Finally, this is all pretty cheap. Most of the material I use comes from Wal-mart, and is the cheapest crap I can get. Granted, if you have to buy it all at one time its a little “expensive” (most miniature hobbyists buy this stuff a little at a time), but you’ll get a lot of future mileage out of the $30 or so you spend.

But enough blabbering, lets get on with it.

PRIME

The first step is to prime the miniatures. I use this cheap old machine tool grey stuff that costs $.99 a can. You can buy Games Workshop primer for $8 a can…if you like wasting your money…I’m not going to stop you.



Many painters will preach that you have to wash plastic miniatures (because of the mold lubrication) before priming…I’m not sure who started this gospel, but I’ve never done it, and I’ve never had any problems at all. Wash them if you like, I don’t. Here is what the primed miniatures look like.



PAINT

Next up we have to paint up the little buggers. I use very cheap paints you can get at Wal-mart or any craft store. These run me about $.50-$2 depending on the name brand and store. The bottles last forever (seriously, I’ve had some of these for 20 years now. No lie!), rarely dry out, and are easy to use. Here are the ones I used for this project.



IMHO, paints specifically made for painting miniatures are one of the hobbies biggest rip offs. Some are a bit thicker, and give more complete coverage, BUT they also cost about 10-20 time as much. They also tend to come in little “pots” and having those open while you paint tends to cause them to thicken and dry out, so you generally only get to use about half of the paint before the rest is thick and bothersome.

Some people are advised that they have to thin their paints. Usually another waste of time. The cheaper craft paints are thin enough (because they are cheap, remember) that they can be used for years without thinning.

Use whatever brushes you like. I only used 2 for this tutorial. I usually buy some kind of value pack and use them until they get trashed. Fine tip ones are great for works of art, but in this quick-paint tutorial I used pretty big brushes.

The joy of this tutorial is that you don’t have to be good at painting miniatures, have good eyes, or a steady hand. As you can see in the following pictures (painting one color on at a time in assembly line fashion) I’m very sloppy and quick. Don’t worry, you’ll see how this all works out. In fact, you don’t even have to be as neat as I am…these are little figures that sit on the table. This isn’t art; this is creating functional cool looking game playing pieces as quick and easy as possible.

Create whatever color scheme you like. I chose pretty basic dirty looking colors. Mustard and olive drab shirts for the zombies from the core set, red shirts for the red zombies from Growing Hunger.



I like this bright green for the flesh…don’t worry, it’ll look better later. The one guy looks like he might be wearing a shirt, but I like the muscular shirtless look for him, and it looks like you could paint it either way.



Only a few miniatures have T-shirts, so I paint those up real fast.



Blue jeans, because they are hip[, and brown because they look dirty.



Shirts painted to match the core and red color schemes so you can tell the zombies apart when you have to. If you’re a beginner, you might want to take note that you paint up. In other words, you paint things in layers painting things that go over other things. For instance, the pants cover the skin, the shirt covers the skin and the pants, ect.



I painted the hair of the core zombies black, because it looks dirtier, but I painted the red zombies hair brown to make them stick out just a bit more for ease of use during play.



And the bases brown, because the game takes place at night and brown just looks dingier and dirtier than green.

That’s it!

DIP

So we’re done with the base colors…look like shit, don’t they. Anyone who can’t paint up shitty looking miniatures like the ones above, raise your hand…nobody? That’s what I thought. So what do we do with these shitty looking miniatures to make them look cool? We dip them.

Yes, we are going to dip the entire miniature in a can of Minwax Polyshade stain and polyurethane (about $5 a can) using a needle nosed pliers. Shake the miniature off, and let them dry for about 8 hours.



Really it’s that simple! How simple…well let’s see just how long it takes to do a single miniature (if the video below works)…

[URL=http://s152.photobucket.com/albums/s182/grubman/?action=view¤t=P1010792.flv]
[/URL]

Hey, that is simple! Here is what they look like.



BASE

You can base up your miniatures however you like. You can simply paint them a color you like, glue sand on them, or do nothing at all. I’m going to put flock on them using plain old Elmer’s glue. The flock is Woodland Scenic Burt Grass, which you can find in almost any train store or at the Hobby Lobby for $3-$10 depending on how big a bag you want. Burnt grass looks dirty…and this is a horror movie! Choose whatever works best for you.



So paint on some glue (rinse you brush out sell after you are done), dip it in the flock, tap off the extra, and let it dry for a half hour. That’s it.



SEAL

Finally you might want to seal your miniatures. If you were just painting, without the “dip” you would have to seal them, but, since the dip has polyurethane in it, your miniatures could already be run over by a car without getting scratched.

The main reason you might want to seal these is #1 it’ll keep your flock from shedding of little bits, and #2 if you don’t like the shiny look from the polyurethane, you can use a matte sealer to take the shine away.

Normally, I use a cheap glossy sealer that also costs $.99. For matte, though, I use the more expensive Krylon, which breaks the bank at about $4 a can.

DON'T USE THIS...EVENTUALLY YOUR MINIS GET TACKY! USE TESTORS DULLCOAT!



PLAY

And there you have it, a zombie horde that I got finished in a 24 hour period (more or less). Priming before going to bed, painting in the morning then dipping, letting it dry most of the day, basing and spraying at night. By the next morning everything is dry and ready to go.

Now I have to paint up the heroes! That’ll be a bit more time consuming, since every one of those is unique (no assembly line painting), but I’m going to use the same technique, so it’ll still be pretty darn fast. Hope this was entertaining…and useful to a few people.

A very small investment of time, money, and effort, and you can really improve the quality of your board game. No more complaining about those unpainted miniatures!




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Tiago Nunes
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Awesome, thanks for encouraging people like me to paint I have so many stuff to paint: LNOE, the ships from battlestar, the 300 minis from war of the ring ;_; , the minis from descent... I guess I can see myself painting the small sets (LNOE, BSG), but the work for the other ones seems a bit daunting. At least now I can be cheap and get great results, so the issue is just the work it'll give me.

Could you just clarify how much time you gave the paint to dry between layers?

Also if you don't want a brown dip is there transparent polyurethane? I was thinking I could mix a bit of paint in there and have different colored dips.

thanks for the great walkthrough
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David Bezio
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I always try to paint many miniatures at a time, so by the time I'm done with a color onthe last one, the first one is already dry and ready for the next color.

Sometimes I use a hair dryer (on cool, especially with plastic minis) when I'm impatient. The dip takes a good 8 hours+ to dry.

With htese dipped miniatures I sometimes paint a color right over a wet color (I did that a lot with Descent). Since being neat and clean isn;t that important with the dip.
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David Bezio
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ghosthack wrote:
Also if you don't want a brown dip is there transparent polyurethane? I was thinking I could mix a bit of paint in there and have different colored dips.


Yes there is clear...but I'm not sure if that will work. The way the dip works has something to do with the tension of the stain/polyurethane. But there are lots of colors of stains, and you can alway use a traditional paint or inkwash...or those crazy expensive GW magic washes.
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Rob Bell
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Dice Brewing! Check out this new game by Board&Dice! B-)
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Hey. Great post! It actually makes me consider painting my miniatures.


However, Last Night on Earth is not from Fantasy Flight - it is from Flying Frog Productions.


Dr.Crow
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Spencer Myers
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Thanks for a great tutorial!

I was actually thinking about this very thing last night as I played LNoE... wished I had painted minis, etc, but haven't painted anythign since 1987 and have forgotten the basics.

Might have to give it a shot now. zombie

Cheers!
 
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David Bezio
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DrCrow wrote:
However, Last Night on Earth is not from Fantasy Flight - it is from Flying Frog Productions.


DOH!

You are right of course. I'm just so used to playing games from Fantasy Flight, it became a sort of habit. Thanks for the correction.
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Swood
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I totally appreciate your blunt, unflinching approach. I still won't be painting my figs any time soon, but if I ever do I will certainly use your technique.

Thanks for taking the time to put this together.
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Nathan McCullough
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Very cool, I just got done painting my AToE a few days ago, and having all those zombies plus heroes seemed very daunting, but it's nice to see how you did them all in one day. Thanks for the post!
 
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The figures themselves are pretty bendable... does the paint crack if you're not too careful with these?
 
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Wulf Corbett
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AmoebaDregKeg wrote:
The figures themselves are pretty bendable... does the paint crack if you're not too careful with these?
A few layers of paint - and especially the stain - gives them a pretty hard shell. You could bend them, and the paint would crack (although a good primer will minimise that), but it's unlikely to happen with normal use.
 
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David Bezio
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Wulf Corbett wrote:
but it's unlikely to happen with normal use.


I would agree...

although this (frequent) question about painting bendy plastic always makes me wonder what people are doing with thier miniatures? They must be having some level of fun I'm not!
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William W
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ghosthack wrote:
Awesome, thanks for encouraging people like me to paint :p I have so many stuff to paint: LNOE, the ships from battlestar, the 300 minis from war of the ring ;_; , the minis from descent... I guess I can see myself painting the small sets (LNOE, BSG), but the work for the other ones seems a bit daunting. At least now I can be cheap and get great results, so the issue is just the work it'll give me.

Could you just clarify how much time you gave the paint to dry between layers?

Also if you don't want a brown dip is there transparent polyurethane? I was thinking I could mix a bit of paint in there and have different colored dips.

thanks for the great walkthrough :)


The dip's color is what brings out the detail of the figures. You'd need some degree of color.
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James Turner
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Please keep this going. I would love to see your heroes.

I enjoy painting up Warmachine and Hordes figures, but I don't want to put that kind of time into Last Night on Earth! These threads are really helping me get motivated for some zombie-dipping!
 
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Kevin Purring
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grubman wrote:
Many painters will preach that you have to wash plastic miniatures (because of the mold lubrication) before priming. I’m not sure who started this gospel, but I’ve never done it, and I’ve never had any problems at all.


Just FYI, I've been hanging out on the CoolMiniOrNot forums lately, and washing the sprues only seems to be a necessity if you're painting resin-cast models.
 
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David Bezio
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divaboy99 wrote:
Mine are already primed
 
- and waiting for me to start!


Let us see pics and hear about your results when you are finsihed I warms my heart to know that I helped to motivate someone to give it a try. I hope you have fun.
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Jason Kendelhardt
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I started my mini painting with the zombies as well :P

bought the wrong kind of minwax "dip" (got wood stain instead of the polyurethane stuff) so I have to run back to the hardware store. Primed my guys black and I see what they mean when they say bright colors (like yellow) take a couple of coats. Still, for these guys it won't really matter, they should be all grubby :P

I have this game and runebound to prep for Space Hulk, though I might pick up Descent as well just to get the extra practice (ok, not the ONLY reason :P. Those terminators have a absolutely terrifying level of detail!
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David Bezio
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Painted up my heroes last night. It averaged out to about 15 minutes a fig for the base colors. Nothing fancy, I just tried to stick to the best pictures in the book or on the card.

The “fanciest” thing I did was dab a little “blood” on the smock. I also thought it was important that I recognize what cans the bagboy was throwing for a proper color scheme…it’s Hormel Chili.

They get dipped this morning, and if I have time I’ll finish them up after work tonight.







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Mark Thomas
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Great pics! I have done half of my zombies, and some Descent figures using these exact same techniques. I brush on the minwax as opposed to actually dipping the miniature however; it provides a bit more control and is less messy. Use a cheap brush and throw it away afterward.

The assembly line style of painting does save time, but it can be monotonous.
 
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David Bezio
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Here are the heroes! I’m very pleased with the result, and can’t wait to have them hit the table in all their painted glory!

I would have posted last night, but I ended up working a 10 hour day and got home just in time to shower, eat, and watch a football game where a beloved team got beaten by a self centered, arrogant, traitor…but I’ll keep my feelings to myself .




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Brian Heckathorn
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Thanks for posting. For such a simple painting technique, the results are astoundingly good. For my metal gaming minis I tend to be a very detail oriented, but for the plastic gaming pieces that come in boardgames I have got to try this out....
 
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J Moeller
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I just did this technique with my Space Hulk figs. I didn't even think about trying it with these figs! Thanks!

Instead of needle nosed pliers, I glued a flat head nail to the bottom of each, popped them in a drill chuck, and spun them in a closed box. Saved my elbow!

Great job - BTW, I can only guess you are from Wisconsin (Sheboygan here)
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jeff
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Awsome candid walkthrough!!

Have you or anyone ever done this well of a tutorial with Battlelore?

I've always wanted to paint my Battlelore minis but I'm paranoid I'll screw them/it up.

 
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David Bezio
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musashi77777 wrote:
BTW, I can only guess you are from Wisconsin (Sheboygan here)


Yeah, a small town outside of Green Bay, Bonduel.

AvidHunter wrote:
Awsome candid walkthrough!!

Have you or anyone ever done this well of a tutorial with Battlelore?

I've always wanted to paint my Battlelore minis but I'm paranoid I'll screw them/it up.



I didn't do a tutorial, but I did do a lengthy thread on painting my battlelore figs on RPGnet. I used more traditional (drybrushing and washes) techniques for that.

I did show (step by step) how I built my 3-D Battlelore board on this site on the Battlelore forums.
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Dylan Craig
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Thanks for making this thread. I've often thought about painting up some of my miniatures, but I just figured it would be too hard and that the end result would look crap. But after seeing your results I've been inspired to finally have a go.

I don't have Last Night on Earth, unfortunately, but I've painted up a couple of Zombies!!! figures with some left over wood stain to test out the technique. They turned out pretty well considering how roughly I painted them, so I'm planning to paint up the rest this weekend.
 
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