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Subject: If I'm painting a plastic mini just one color... rss

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John Van Wagoner
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what's the best procedure? I actually have several (5-6) plastic mini's that will be replacing cardboard tokens for a game we play...they are fairly well detailed and i'd like to not cover-up all that detail when painting, so...

step by step, what's the procedure? i'll assume wash first, then what's next? and what type of coating and/or paint should I be using?

thanks!
 
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What kind of minis are these?
Are they all going to be the same colour or different colours?
I assume the best way would be using spray paint, because that is a quick way to do it and it will give you a thin and even coat of paint. There are spray paints sold for miniatures from Games Workshop or Army Painter.
 
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Skippy668 wrote:
What kind of minis are these?
Are they all going to be the same colour or different colours?
I assume the best way would be using spray paint, because that is a quick way to do it and it will give you a thin and even coat of paint. There are spray paints sold for miniatures from Games Workshop or Army Painter.
- dark heaven legends plastic mini's
- diff colors
- spray paint tends to "over-paint" and "fill-in" too much

I believe there's a procedure that involves using "a wash"?
 
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John_VW wrote:
- spray paint tends to "over-paint" and "fill-in" too much
You probably need more shaking and shorter bursts, thin coats that dry between sprayings.

But what do I know, I paint by brush...
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Ian Bennetts
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Personally, just because the each figure is going to be in a single colour it won't change how I'd approach painting them.

1. Wash figures with soapy water and rinse with clean water and allow to dry thoroughly. Maybe also check for mould lines and shave them off. Maybe fill any gaps in the models (using green stuff) if necessary.
2. Spray with a good primer (Army Painter or GW or suchlike) in White (if you're looking for vivid colours), Black (if you're planning on using dark colours) or Grey (somewhere between). Allow to dry thoroughly.
3. Base coat, obviously that'll be with the colours you intend to use. Again I'd go with Army Painter, Vallejo Game Colour or GW paints if possible but you might get away with craft acrylics if you're patient. Always thin your paints (with water or medium for acrylics). Allow to dry thoroughly.
4. I'd be tempted then to use a colour wash (a shade or so darker than the base colour) to make the detail come out. Allow to dry thoroughly.
5. OPTIONAL : Dry brush figure with base colour or a shade lighter to bring out the detail further. Allow to dry thoroughly.
6. Varnish with a good quality Matte acrylic varnish. Allow to dry thoroughly.
7. Play.
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John_VW wrote:
- spray paint tends to "over-paint" and "fill-in" too much
Only when you are doing it wrong. But buying a different spray paint for each mini is not a good option anyway.
And if I am not mistaken you are talking about miniatures from Reaper's Bones line. Those don't work well with spray paint, you are better off getting some acryllic paints (from GW, Army Painter, Reaper, Vallejo, P3, what have you) and putting them on with a brush. The nice thing about Reaper Bones is that you can paint them without putting an undercoat on them. You will need two or three layers to cover them fully, though, and you'll have to be careful not to put on the paint too thick. You can't really thin down the paint too much either, because otherwise it won't stick.

A wash is something you can use after you have put the basecoat on them to give them a little more depth.

If you are getting these minis from a local store, maybe ask around if there is somebody willing to paint them for you. Paying somebody a few bucks to do it is probably cheaper than buying the paints necessary, which you'll only need a tiny amount of, and an experienced painter will be able to do this in about ten minutes.
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Ian and NPP: would a local Michaels (for example) carry the acrylic paints? and what exactly is "the wash"? do I simply ask at the counter for "a wash", or are there containers of "wash" in the paint sections (or online)? thanks...
 
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Wash is basically diluted paint of certain/various color. Surface tension lets it pool into recesses and corners, leaving a bit or color behind those areas when the medium (water for acrylics) dry.

You can buy washes or make your own. If you don't have the colors, then maybe better to buy.
 
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If you're not going to fully paint the minis and instead go for a single color, the easiest method would be the Dip and Done technique:

1) Wash the figures with warm soapy water to clean off the release agent from the figure.
2) Purchase a spray primer in the color(s) that you want.
3) Dip the miniature into a lightly colored floor wax (generally Brown or Black). Army Painter has a series of cans designed specifically for this purpose.
4) You're done. This will pick out the details enough to make them stand out, but it won't be as good as fully painting the miniature.

For a single color, it's really that easy. It won't get you the highest quality, but it's probably the best balance of quality to effort.

[Edit] As mentioned above, it sounds like you have some of the Reaper Bones line of miniatures, which typically don't react well to spray paints. Most spray primers will become sticky and remain that way for months on. However, Krylon Fusion tends to dry properly (though not always).
 
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John_VW wrote:
Ian and NPP: would a local Michaels (for example) carry the acrylic paints? and what exactly is "the wash"? do I simply ask at the counter for "a wash", or are there containers of "wash" in the paint sections (or online)? thanks...
The acrylic paints sold by Michaels look like they'd do you fine. Paints made specifically for miniature painting such as the ones produced by Games Workshop or Army Painter tend to have a higher pigment density so that they work better in very small quantities, but any acrylic paint should be suitable.

You can buy specifically formulated washes, but you can also make them yourself by thinning the paint you used as a base coat. The idea of a wash is for it to run into the crevices on your figure and deepen the shadows.

After the wash, you can drybrush (essentially taking a very small amount of paint on a brush) in a slightly lighter colour to highlight the raised areas of your miniature.
 
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I usually cheat when it comes to washes (certainly for "natural" colours) by adding 1 part brown ink to 3 parts base colour and then thin a little.

You definitely get better results buying specific washes but it can work out expensive if you're only planning on doing one paint run.
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nartie wrote:
John_VW wrote:
Ian and NPP: would a local Michaels (for example) carry the acrylic paints? and what exactly is "the wash"? do I simply ask at the counter for "a wash", or are there containers of "wash" in the paint sections (or online)? thanks...
The acrylic paints sold by Michaels look like they'd do you fine. Paints made specifically for miniature painting such as the ones produced by Games Workshop or Army Painter tend to have a higher pigment density so that they work better in very small quantities, but any acrylic paint should be suitable.

You can buy specifically formulated washes, but you can also make them yourself by thinning the paint you used as a base coat. The idea of a wash is for it to run into the crevices on your figure and deepen the shadows.

After the wash, you can drybrush (essentially taking a very small amount of paint on a brush) in a slightly lighter colour to highlight the raised areas of your miniature.
Something to keep in mind is how Color and Light Fast the paints are. What this means is how long the paint will retain its color either exposed to bright light (Light Fastness) or just keep its color in general (color fastness). The Craft Paints that you get from Michals et al tend to be poorly rated in all these categories. However, the artist's paints they carry tend to be pretty well rated - but you will need to thin them down before painting with them.
 
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Magius wrote:
nartie wrote:
John_VW wrote:
Ian and NPP: would a local Michaels (for example) carry the acrylic paints? and what exactly is "the wash"? do I simply ask at the counter for "a wash", or are there containers of "wash" in the paint sections (or online)? thanks...
The acrylic paints sold by Michaels look like they'd do you fine. Paints made specifically for miniature painting such as the ones produced by Games Workshop or Army Painter tend to have a higher pigment density so that they work better in very small quantities, but any acrylic paint should be suitable.

You can buy specifically formulated washes, but you can also make them yourself by thinning the paint you used as a base coat. The idea of a wash is for it to run into the crevices on your figure and deepen the shadows.

After the wash, you can drybrush (essentially taking a very small amount of paint on a brush) in a slightly lighter colour to highlight the raised areas of your miniature.
Something to keep in mind is how Color and Light Fast the paints are. What this means is how long the paint will retain its color either exposed to bright light (Light Fastness) or just keep its color in general (color fastness). The Craft Paints that you get from Michals et al tend to be poorly rated in all these categories. However, the artist's paints they carry tend to be pretty well rated - but you will need to thin them down before painting with them.
But wouldn't that just lessen the Color and Light Fast anyway?
 
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No. The color and light fastness are a measure of how quickly the pigments themselves become bleached, either through being bombarded by photons (Light Fastness) or by generally degrading (Color Fastness). Adding water to the mix will decrease the pigment density (meaning you'll need more layers to get the same coverage as the undiluted paint), but that will be balanced out by not obscuring the miniature's details.
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Magius wrote:
Adding water to the mix will decrease the pigment density (meaning you'll need more layers to get the same coverage as the undiluted paint), but that will be balanced out by not obscuring the miniature's details.
I don't paint, but good to know!
 
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I think instead of getting a bunch of answers piecemeal on here, it sounds to me like you really need to do some research first. I would suggest reading these two primers (no pun intended, I'll refrain from plugging my own again):

How to Paint Miniatures

Tutorial: the basics form handcannon

There are lots of others if you look around. Then come back if/when you still have questions. You very well might, that's okay, we all did at one point (still do).
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