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Subject: First time painter, very nervous. rss

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Michael Penny
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Hi guys.

First of all my apologies if this is the wrong place to post this particular subject matter, very new user to BGG since becoming addicted to board games.

I now find that I've aquired a fair few games with unpainted miniatures. The big one in question is runewars. I would like to paint all of them up.

I've never painted anything before, I'm going with the dip method, I've got my paints, brushes, primer, varnish, stain and palette.

I know we're supposed to thin our paints. But I can't seem to find out if it's ok to just pain and forgo the thinning.
I can't find any pictures of the results of doing it this way.
I feel as though I would have a hard time controlling the paint if it were thinned.

Is it ok to paint this way? Any suggestions on where I can find some pictures of mini's using unthinned paint so I can get an idea of what mine may look like?

Thanks so much in advance for any help.
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Robert Beachler
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Well first off good luck in painting your miniatures to your liking, I think that is the hardest part. cool

Thinning paint just helps apply it in a coat that fills areas without clumping up. Miniatures are small so thicker paint will just cover up too many fine details. Most paints you buy should be relatively thin enough but a tiny bit of water never hurts. The trick I typically use is to just dip the brush into water before dipping it into the paint. Gives a nice thinned out supply for wherever you are applying it. I do suggest practicing on some surplus minis first so you can get the hang of what works for you though. Perhaps buy a few cheap minis to play with to start.
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Plei Forejoy
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Ref: this dakkadakka thread

At worst, it will end up like this.

If you learned to thin your paints and improve your brush skills, your figures will evolve like this guy's.
 
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TTorres
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Hi Michael,

I am actually in the midst of painting Runewars, but have passed on painting the armies at this time. Instead I am focusing solely on the heroes for now. And these are being painted to "tabletop standard", which often means that if you were to pick it up and get at all close to it, you might wonder whether I had my eyes open while painting.

For the units, I purchased 4 colors of spray paint (bet you can guess): blue, green, purple, red.

After the heroes are done I will mass spray each army in its basic color. Then I plan to pick out a SINGLE detail and color for each unit type. For example, for the Uthuk Warlock, I will paint the two fireballs in his hands a bright orange. The Daqan Bowman will have a light brown bow, arrow, and quiver.

Etc. etc.

After everything is painted in this manner, I expect the pieces will be immediately recognizable in play, which is my goal. I will finally use a wash, which accomplishes almost exactly what dip will do. This should be more than enough.

If I'm inspired after the first-go-round of single detail color, I could possible go for a second, contrasting minor detail color before dipping.

Either way, I expect they'll look worlds cooler than they do now.

Good luck!
 
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Michael Penny
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thankyou for your responses.

@Ttorres, if you prime in red. blue, etc will the colours you paint over the primer cover it? Or would it require multiple coats to not show the red anymore?

 
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Darren Belcher
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I recently painted Zombicide (link below if you want to have a look) as my first ever minis painting project so I'm not sure if this is advice or just anecdote...but anyway here's my 2c.

Finally painted it!

I brush primed everything white after watching in warm soapy water (and drying of course). This apparently makes it easier with most colours. If your model is going to have a lot of the basic colour showing you can certainly prime in that colour but light colours over it may need multiple coats. Black is probably easier if your model is going to be predominantly dark or have a lot of black showing anyway

I used washes as paint on some figures - this was definitely quicker and the results were OK but I couldn't get it to not look patchy. Main figures I did in flat colours then washed and VERY lightly drybrushed to highlight - took a little longer but much better result.

I didn't thin unless I was getting serious 'gluts' of paint - but my paint is all brand new Vallejo Game Color. ymmv. According to Citadel books I've read it's as simple as adding literally a drop or two of water to the pot.

Don't get too hung up on tiny details. You can't paint every tiny mould line separately without being an expert with LOTS of hours to spend.

I'd recommend doing one or two to completion so you get used to seeing what they look like after washing - it makes a HUGE difference to their appearance and sometimes you can't quite tell how it's going to turn out until you do it AND LET IT DRY.

Get a few different colour washes - black, brown. It's an easy way to get different overall effects (bright, muddy, just shaded etc).

It will take you some time to figure out how to use the brush and paint to get what you're after - you will make mistakes - they will not be as bad as you think

Gloss is also something to avoid - satin at most - matte is better IMHO. Flat paint is pretty matte but I also used a matt clear varnish for protection and effect.

Don't squeeze out too much paint at a time - it goes a long way. 1 millilitre of primer would cover several models for example so you can see if you'r only doing the faces on models you'll not need much at all to do several.

DON'T RUSH - if you get stuck or can't think what to do leave them until you figure it out. Also it's better to leave them overnight between coats than rush and potentially ruin the existing layer because you tried to paint while it was still wet (esp washes - because they are so wet they will 'reactivate' paint that is not properly dry).

It's overly scary for some reason - I was terrified. But once you've done a few you'll be mixing colours, layering, and highlighting away like a madman. In the words of Nike..."just do it"

Google mixing colours - as I found out it's not just a matter of adding black or white to lighten - while that works most of the time sometimes you;ll waste a lot of paint trying to mix and not getting the right result.

Make sure you have a flat brush at least 5mm for large flat areas, a small pointed brush and a very fine one minimum. Don't try and paint large areas with a small brush - you'll just ruin it. And use a spare or extra one for dry brushing - it's hard on brushes.

I'm doing Gears of War now. Now I'm confident enough to try different techniques, layers etc. Some work - some don't. You paint over the ones that don't and move on. It's not life or death.



 
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Plei Forejoy
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CowStriker wrote:
if you prime in red. blue, etc will the colours you paint over the primer cover it? Or would it require multiple coats to not show the red anymore?
Typically, it depends on the colour you will be applying on the primer. For most brands, Yellow, Red, and White are quite translucent and requires several layers to completely cover the underlying layer.
 
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Sean Boyll
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Wash the minis with soap, water and a toothbrush before priming!!
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Clay Hales
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The best advice I could give is find some cheap minis and learn on those. You will learn a lot more by actually painting, and cheap, throw-away minis are better to ruin if you make some mistakes along the way.
 
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Cody Baker
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Yeah don't start with the game you like most. As Clay says, find cheap minis or paint a game that you're not quite as attached to. I had never painted before and my first attempt was painting DreadBall: The Futuristic Sports Game. I'm not OBSESSED with the game, but it was one that I wanted painted no matter how good a job I did. I just did a primer gray, then base color, then silver on top follow by black-ink wash. Very quick and it was very educational. Had I painted Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game first thing, I'd have been disappointed no matter how good a job I did.
 
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Chad Steward
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The main reason you want to thin paint is to keep the paint from going on too thick which makes it uneven and cover detail. You can get away with water, but because of waters surface tension it also doesn't spread very well. You can get "flow aid" (Liquitex sells it on Amazon for like 5 bucks in concentrate which lasts a looooooong time) which when added to water, breaks that surface tension to ensure even thin layers. Whites, yellows and reds tend to benefit most from flow aid as they require a lot of thin layers to keep from losing detail but to get full coverage. Honestly though, the dip method is going to cover most of your sins. Remember to choose colors about 50% brighter than what you want and use strong contrasts, the dip method will really dull colors. I would advise getting a matte varnish to add over your minis when you are done to get rid of the shiny glossy look. Practice over some free minis (the thrift store often has some forgotten minis you can practice on) before you hit your favorite game though.
 
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Alyn Roddis
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You can try practicing on those little plastic army men too. They are really cheap, and you can play around with different techniques as much as you want without worrying you'll mess up your precious minis.
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Michael Penny
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thanks for the tips guys.

Hanging out for the weekend, but also freaking out too haha.

If you dip your brush in water then into the colour, do you need to paint it off a bit first on some paper or something? Or does it just go straight onto the mini?

 
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Plei Forejoy
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CowStriker wrote:
If you dip your brush in water then into the colour, do you need to paint it off a bit first on some paper or something? Or does it just go straight onto the mini?
Best to dab it off the lip of the palette, a paper or a towel first so that the brush would not be overloaded with paint (and thus preventing the first touch on the mini being a blob).
 
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Robert Beachler
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CowStriker wrote:
thanks for the tips guys.

Hanging out for the weekend, but also freaking out too haha.

If you dip your brush in water then into the colour, do you need to paint it off a bit first on some paper or something? Or does it just go straight onto the mini?



Just depends on how much you feel you need to thin it. Sometimes I'll dip it in water and wipe some off on the edge of the cup and other times I'll just get as much water into the brush that I can. It all varies with size of brush as well as type of paint and all. Just play around with it and see what you think.
 
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Jake Staines
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I would say that the tips which will make the most difference are:

- never paint directly from the pot, always dab a brushload a couple of times onto a palette first so your brush isn't overloaded, then paint from the palette. Anything non-porous will do: I used to use a ceramic tile, others use cleaned-up lids from food tubs or the inside of the lid of the jam jar that they're keeping their water in.

- always seal with gloss varnish first, then if you want a satin or matt finish, use that over the top of the gloss. Matt varnishes give next to no protection, while gloss is pretty solid.

- Find a paint range with a good opaque white, such as Citadel or Vallejo, and when you want to paint bright, light areas like the afore-mentioned orange fireballs over a blue base, paint those areas white first. It'll give the orange much more brightness, yellows, oranges and reds are nearly always thin and translucent

- don't worry too much about the details or even staying "within the lines" too much for your first minis. I mean, be as tidy as you can, but don't get stressed about perfection until you've seen what the wash/dip/quickshade you're using does first. Washes in general work wonders for picking out details and covering up small mistakes!
 
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Aaron Edwards
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I'm a little late responding here, but my advice is not to shy away from thinning. You don't need to go all high-science and try to get exact measurements and consistencies. Just put a little paint on a palette and add a couple drops of water. Stir it around a bit, and off you go. You can paint directly out of the bottle--ninjas probably won't drop from the ceiling and assassinate you if you do (though I make no guarantees ninja). But what you'll find if you don't thin the paint is that when it dries it will have a streaky or sometime chalky look to it. That's from the brush leaving noticeably varying thickness of paint. Thinning it out reduces that problem and makes the paint go on thinnner and smoother. It also makes your paint last longer. But it's up to you. Go with whatever feels right, you'll develop your own techniques and preferences as you get more experienced.
 
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Marcel
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Hi,

so my experiences after now 5 years of painting minis:

1. Start (and try) on a "it-doesn't-matter"-object
Buy yourself a set of cheap (yes) plastic miniatures (Bag O Zombies f.e.), prime them as you like and just start. Test out _everything_. Primer, Brushes, Paints, Inks, Lights(!)... But wash them first to get rid of oily substances.

2. Never go for the whole shebang at first
Because you're getting better with every mini - and the least you want to have on the field are minis from "Itching-my-eyes" to "Epic". When you're feeling ready, try the batch method.

3. If it's getting annoying - STOP
Put them away and wait 'til you are really eager for starting painting again.

My mistakes:
1) Some really expensive Ork Boyz. Primed with (Baumarkt) DIY-market primer. White. Painted the minis with acrylic paint from an art supply store and coated them with super-gloss. Took me two weeks with an automatic toothbrush to strip the paint. THAT nearly broke my heart...
2) Last Night on Earth: My first batch-project. Used DIY-market primer. Again. White. Painted the minis with Valejo and Citadel Paints. Coated with Citadel spray. I just wanted to do everything right, because I loved (yes) these minis. After three weeks, the minis began to melt... Paint pops off, they're sticky as hell, softening...

All the best and take your time.
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Just wanted to add that an excellent source for inexpensive (cheap, even) practice minis are Reaper's Bones line. http://www.reapermini.com/Miniatures/Bones/price

These are 28mm, which I believe is a little bit bigger than the hero minis in Runewars (can't remember for sure, it's been too long since I played cry.)

The Bones minis are made of a more flexible plastic than the Runewars minis, but they will still enable you to learn and practice the techniques you'll need for painting the Runewars figures. NB: if you do get some Bones, unlike most minis, you can actually paint them without priming first. But if you do prime them, use a brush-on, as a spray primer will react strangely with the plastic and stay tacky for several weeks or longer after spraying. More helpful info here if you decide to go this route: http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/48669-bones-the...

By the way, I don't work for Reaper, but I am a fan who is also a boardgamer/miniature wargamer/miniature painter.
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Peter O'Hanraha-Hanrahan
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BlarneyStone wrote:
Hi,

so my experiences after now 5 years of painting minis:

1. Start (and try) on a "it-doesn't-matter"-object
Buy yourself a set of cheap (yes) plastic miniatures (Bag O Zombies f.e.), prime them as you like and just start. Test out _everything_. Primer, Brushes, Paints, Inks, Lights(!)... But wash them first to get rid of oily substances.

2. Never go for the whole shebang at first
Because you're getting better with every mini - and the least you want to have on the field are minis from "Itching-my-eyes" to "Epic". When you're feeling ready, try the batch method.

3. If it's getting annoying - STOP
Put them away and wait 'til you are really eager for starting painting again.

My mistakes:
1) Some really expensive Ork Boyz. Primed with (Baumarkt) DIY-market primer. White. Painted the minis with acrylic paint from an art supply store and coated them with super-gloss. Took me two weeks with an automatic toothbrush to strip the paint. THAT nearly broke my heart...
2) Last Night on Earth: My first batch-project. Used DIY-market primer. Again. White. Painted the minis with Valejo and Citadel Paints. Coated with Citadel spray. I just wanted to do everything right, because I loved (yes) these minis. After three weeks, the minis began to melt... Paint pops off, they're sticky as hell, softening...

All the best and take your time.


Marcel, why did they melt? Was it the primer? I'm thinking of painting my LNoE characters but, just like the OP, I'mam terrified of getting it wrong. All these tips, plus youtube videos, are helping.
 
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Marcel
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Fruit Eating Bear wrote:
[q=Marcel, why did they melt? Was it the primer? I'm thinking of painting my LNoE characters but, just like the OP, I'mam terrified of getting it wrong. All these tips, plus youtube videos, are helping.


In my opinion it was the cheap primer. Maybe that went into an unlucky combination with the used plastic-material. I don't know for sure. But since then I'm only using Chaos Black and Army Painter for priming plastic and metal. No more experiments. And all is fine.

So for that, I always give the tip to simply try on minis / objects that you can easily spare if it goes wrong. Also to get a feeling for spray-priming - so that you don't end up with a paint-glued blob without any details. And the basics, too (how many paint, thinned yes or no etc.). This is something, you'll just have to practice.
 
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Ze Masqued Cucumber
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MrTetsuo wrote:
Quick question to avoid creating a new thread: is there any recommendation of a good start-up set of paints and washes? Not brands, but colors. I'm getting this urge to start painting some of my minis and don't really know where to start in terms of a basic color set. Thanks!

Again :
BGG mini painters' guild -> Forums -> Search -> "starter"
 
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Michael Penny
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So I thought I'd post a picture of how I'm going.
I realize the quality is terrible, but I dunno, I'm kind of proud of how they're turning out. Not bad for a first timer with eyesight like a 90 year old.
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Aaron Edwards
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Doesn't look terrible to me. And if you're happy with it and enjoyed doing it, that's all that really matters.
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