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Introduction: This painting tutorial is written for boardgamers who want their playing pieces painted fast, don't want to spend much money, and are new to painting. It emphasizes "quick and dirty" techniques, so don't expect display-level results. I also did some experimenting, only sometimes with good results. So don't always follow what I did, and learn from my mistakes. If you read my previous painting tutorials, the mold lines and priming steps are (almost) the same.

Zombie painting tutorial: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1148047/painting-tutorial-zo...
Goblin painting tutorial: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1144852/painting-tutorial-go...
Ettin painting tutorial: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1140289/painting-tutorial-et...
Secret Wash appearance directly on primed figures:
http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1129305/how-to-select-a-wash...

Colors used:
* Secret Weapon Washes: Brown (brown spiders)
* Secret Weapon Washes: Soft Body Black (black spider)

Un-assembly: Boardgame miniatures typically come "pre-assembled". The miniatures that have been molded in multiple parts are superglued together. However, this sometimes makes removal of mold lines from the miniature difficult, and often makes them hard to paint. The spiders are attached only by the abdomens to the base, and I recommend cutting them off from their bases, especially if you wish to paint the bases a separate color or glue sand to them. I didn't do this in the tutorial, but you should! If you want to save time, you can paint the spider and not use it with the base. Or, if you have some painting experience, you can decorate the base and put the spiders back on them at interesting poses!

Mold Lines: Mold lines are the "lines" of excess plastic on the miniature that should be cut off with a hobby knife, and filed off with small files. An engraving pen (under $10 at some craft stores) is a small handheld battery-operated "drill" with an industrial diamond-tipped head that will remove mold lines *much* faster. After removing mold lines, clean the figures in hot soapy water to remove the mold release agent, an oil. If you find mold lines after priming, you can still remove them. You can either spray white primer again, or use clear gesss (about $8 at craft stores) to paint over the plastic to "prime" the model for painting.

Priming and Pre-Shading: To get the paint to stick to the plastic, spray the miniature with primer. Hardware stores sell spray primer, and make sure to purchase primer that says it will bond to plastic. When spraying primer, first clear the nozzle with a quick burst not aimed towards the miniature, then spray in sweeps starting a few inches to the side of the miniature. With pre-shading, first completely prime the miniature black. Then lightly coat it in grey, then white, inspecting the miniature between sprays. You want the raised surfaces to be white, and recesses to be black. The black will give you a head start with shadows on the miniature, and the white areas will make highlights easier. Search on "zenithal priming" for additional techniques.



Forgot to take a picture of the pre-shaded miniatures, so here's a preview picture of a wash directly applied to the primed miniature.


Next: Pre-washing!
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Pre-Washing: Pre-washing or pre-inking is an easy technique in which you slap on the wash after the primer and before painting. It lets you see the details better, and gives a head start on shading the figure. For these spiders, pre-washing didn't do much, but see the other tutorials for more effective results with pre-washing.

Basecoat: The basecoat is your initial color of paint. I didn't basecoat the claws and fangs of the spiders, letting the pre-washing give them a brownish white look. If you use thin coats, you can let some of the shading show through, but can just use another wash to shade the figure. With black, thin coats are more important, to let the primer underneath give the highlighted areas a grey appearance.



Washed with various Secret Weapon brown washes.



Basecoat in brown hobby paint.




Next: More washes!
 
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Washes: Washes are typically done after basecoat to show the detail. The brown spiders were given a brown wash of Secret Weapon Sewer Water.

Bases: Meanwhile, glue was spread on the base, and the miniatures dipped in playground sand. This gives a variety of sand textures. However, the "low clearance" of the miniature makes spreading and gluing the sand trickier than typical humanoid miniatures. Make sure you do not spread the glue to closely to the miniature.



Next: More basing!



 
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Basing: Runny black or brown craft paint will be "sucked in" by the sand through capillary action, making the sand easier to paint. If you cut off the miniature from the base, you can then drybrush the sand with gray or tan to highlight it. You can also use cotton as webs for the spiders!



Next: Details!
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Amanda Kopet
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The web looks sweet, awesome idea!
 
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Eyes: Spiders have eight eyes, but two beady red eyes will work fine. Red and yellow are notorious for being transparent, so first paint pink or white for red, or brown or white for yellow first. And, for red, instead of red paint, use a red brush-tipped pen to ink the eye, instead of a regular brush.



Next: The obligatory red mark!
 
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Details: The black spider is a red master, so add some sort of red mark. Black Widow spiders actually have their red mark (which isn't always an hourglass) underneath their abdomen, not their top. First paint the mark in flesh or pink as an undercoat, then paint or ink in red. The rough texture of the figure makes an elaborate mark difficult to paint, so perhaps stick to something simple.



Close enough for tabletop!
 
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David Hladky
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I would like to ask how do you usually reattach the base back to the monster. The cave spiders is my first monster where I dared to do it, but I am struggling with what to do after the painting is done.

I drilled two holes to a spider and glued a metal stick to it hoping it would stabilize the spider on the base. However only three out of four the sticks hold in the spider. And the glueing area in the spider is 0,5 cm. The base is only 0,1 cm thick so I guess it is too few to hold the spider.
 
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Quote:
I would like to ask how do you usually reattach the base back to the monster. The cave spiders is my first monster where I dared to do it, but I am struggling with what to do after the painting is done.

I drilled two holes to a spider and glued a metal stick to it hoping it would stabilize the spider on the base. However only three out of four the sticks hold in the spider. And the glueing area in the spider is 0,5 cm. The base is only 0,1 cm thick so I guess it is too few to hold the spider.


Superglue is surprisingly strong, I use loctite and it holds really well, without even using paperclips to brace it, I once tried to remove a mini from its base by breaking the glue, the plastic joints gave way first.
 
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OK, I will give it a try. I am getting close to finishing the painting of my two "test spiders".
 
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