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Subject: The 1 Player Guild Miniature Painting Thread rss

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Stu Garside
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One thing about craft paints - I picked up a bunch with the intent of saving some money but quickly came to the conclusion that I'm waaaaay to lazy/stupid to be mixing paints together to get the colour I want. I realise that it's not an insignificant saving but for me being able to grab the colour I need without having to mix things (save for a bit of water when needed) is worth the extra cost. I guess paint mixing is just another thing to learn. :)
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Ryan Mayes
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Those are great tips, Stu. Thanks!

I have made a couple of terrible mistakes, but starting over is easy. Just soak the mini in Mr. Clean for a few hours, then scrub the paint off with a toothbrush. You won't get everything off, but I'd say 95%. That's plenty good to re-primer and start over. Piece of cake.
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Kevin L. Kitchens
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Fumanstu wrote:
One thing about craft paints - I picked up a bunch with the intent of saving some money but quickly came to the conclusion that I'm waaaaay to lazy/stupid to be mixing paints together to get the colour I want. I realise that it's not an insignificant saving but for me being able to grab the colour I need without having to mix things (save for a bit of water when needed) is worth the extra cost. I guess paint mixing is just another thing to learn.

There are MANY colors available in craft paints too. And at about $1 per bottle for probably 4x the amount, it's not only a better value, it just makes more sense as you can buy more colors and not have to mix.
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Antonia
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klkitchens wrote:
Fumanstu wrote:
One thing about craft paints - I picked up a bunch with the intent of saving some money but quickly came to the conclusion that I'm waaaaay to lazy/stupid to be mixing paints together to get the colour I want. I realise that it's not an insignificant saving but for me being able to grab the colour I need without having to mix things (save for a bit of water when needed) is worth the extra cost. I guess paint mixing is just another thing to learn.

There are MANY colors available in craft paints too. And at about $1 per bottle for probably 4x the amount, it's not only a better value, it just makes more sense as you can buy more colors and not have to mix.
I am not sure what exactly the definition of a 'craft paint' is.
But the reason why I use Vallejo/Citadel is that they are water based. That means that they can be easily thinned and additionally can be removed by water.
For example Revel paints do not fulfill this.
Additionally the paints from the craft store never had the range in colors and did not stick as good on metal figures.
This being said, there is no reason for 4x the amount of a Vallejo bottle anyhow.
Unless you are painting huge action figures or something comparable it is more likely that the paint gets old than that you use it completely (maybe with the exception of the very usual colors).
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Kevin L. Kitchens
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Muad Dib wrote:
klkitchens wrote:
Fumanstu wrote:
One thing about craft paints - I picked up a bunch with the intent of saving some money but quickly came to the conclusion that I'm waaaaay to lazy/stupid to be mixing paints together to get the colour I want. I realise that it's not an insignificant saving but for me being able to grab the colour I need without having to mix things (save for a bit of water when needed) is worth the extra cost. I guess paint mixing is just another thing to learn.

There are MANY colors available in craft paints too. And at about $1 per bottle for probably 4x the amount, it's not only a better value, it just makes more sense as you can buy more colors and not have to mix.
I am not sure what exactly the definition of a 'craft paint' is.
But the reason why I use Vallejo/Citadel is that they are water based. That means that they can be easily thinned and additionally can be removed by water.
For example Revel paints do not fulfill this.
Additionally the paints from the craft store never had the range in colors and did not stick as good on metal figures.
This being said, there is no reason for 4x the amount of a Vallejo bottle anyhow.
Unless you are painting huge action figures or something comparable it is more likely that the paint gets old than that you use it completely (maybe with the exception of the very usual colors).

Craft paints are acrylic paints, same as most expensive modelling paints. As for metal figures, I think you normally use enamel for that, correct (not that there are many metal figures in boardgaming). You'd be surprised at the range of colors available in the craft section. No, if you must have that exact color of blue for the space marine, then you'll have to pay through the nose. But there are plenty of blues to choose from and a close match to be sure.

As for having 4x the amount, that was just to stress the economy of it.
If $1 gets you 4x the amount of a special mini paint, then you're paying $0.25 for the same amount you'd get for $3-4 bottle. Value! If the rest is tossed, then fine. You still have saved.

I don't ever think a pro or competitive painter would use them... but for most of us, we're hobbyist painters at best. Might as well start reasonably. The biggest hurdle isn't the paint. It's time and talent.
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Michael Gerstbrein
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I long for the days that Citadel paints came with snap top lids. They didn't dry out like the smaller screw top ones. I still have some of the old ones going.

If they dry out a little you can add some water and BB-gun pellets and shake well. Works well to mix it up again. Just don't add too much water.
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Antonia
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klkitchens wrote:
The biggest hurdle isn't the paint. It's time and talent.
Well, not sure about the talent. I would say for most of us 'practice' is the thing missing.
My first tries were quite horrible and I got better and better over time with practice. Sometimes my painting idol Angel Giraldez uploads pictures comparing his work today and 10 years ago. Such a difference!

One thing to keep everyone motivated:
Keep a miniature you painted at the beginning of the year or maybe even at the beginning of your career as a miniature painter close by.
When you feel frustrated look at it. And see how much you improved. You will see the difference (given some practice in between). I promise.

Edit:
Additionally, everybody should look at the basic techniques that you can see in the videos I posted above.
Dry-brushing and layering techniques are very easy and make such a big difference compared to only applying a single thick layer of paint. The pictures I posted above are simply dry-brushed with some layering in between. Nothing fancy. No airbrush used since I still do not know to handle our airbrush.
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Kevin Erskine
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deeth82 wrote:
Do any of you fine folks use the magnifying glass-based "Helping Hand" tool when painting details?

Are you kidding? That's an absolute necessity for me. I have a magnifying glass on a stand. I might consider one of those helmet versions.
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Hal Martin
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To touch on a couple of points that he come up since my last post:

Primer: whether you are beginner, casual, or a long time painter, using a good primer is essential. Army Painter, Citadel, P3... all are made specifically for painting figs. Not that those are the only options, but I would VERY cautious about buy any old primer. Fig primers have consistency so that a nice light coat covers the entire fig yet leaves all the details, this will rarely be the case for hardware store bought primers. Those are thicker and have more bonding agents as they are often universal and meant to hold to many surfaces such as steel, plastic, wood, plaster etc...

The problem with anything specific for figs, is cost. As Kevin mentioned, they can be VERY expensive. But with that being said, you often get what you pay for. Craft paints should work just fine for most folks, especially when beginning to paint, I've known many folks that blew $100 on paints and brushes only to quickly lose interest, hence a bit of a waste of money. There is a difference between fig paints (and by fig paints, I am meaning paints meant specifically for painting minis or figs) and craft paints, and that's the overall quality. The level of constancy, bonding agents, other factors are in play. When you paint, you should be watering down your paints, not using them right from the bottle. Thinning them down some allows them to flow through the details, keeping those beautiful details alive. Plastic figs now are so incredibly detailed you do not want to lose that because you just slop on thick paint - and doing so will absolutely cover those details up. You may have to add multiple layers of the thinned paint (depending on how thin it is, and the color used for primer and the base), but it's worth it to keep the detail. SOME less expensive or craft paints don't hold up well to thinning. Their bonding agents can deteriorate and the paint may have trouble holding, as well as the color may not keep it's consistency as well. This will not happen with fig paints. If you can find a craft store paint that can be thinned well, and has great consistency, that is excellent, and I'm sure they are out there, but I have found most do not hold well.

I have been painting for well over 20 years and was heavily into it about a decade ago. My skills have faded over the years because I simply don't have the patience or passion I once did. I only use Vallejo, Citadel(GW), P3, and Army Painter brands, all of those are specific for painting figs. All that being said, use what works for you and what you can afford. Our hobby is expensive enough ESPECIALLY when figs are involved, that forking out more money for an expensive set of paints may not be feasible.

For brushes, I own 3 high quality brushes. 2 fine detail ones and a #2. That's it. Everything else is cheaper, especially for dry brushing. Craft stores often have high quality brushes as well as inexpensive ones. And the high quality ones are often much cheaper than if buying as your hobby store or FLGS. These are all just my opinions of course, but they come from many years of painting many figs. You most often get what you pay for.

*Edited for the many spelling and grammatical errors.*
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Michael Barlow
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kerskine wrote:
Great idea for a thread. I just hold them. I feel so barbaric.

I'm with him. I just hold them. Which is fine at 42mm or 54mm, but a bit crampy at 6mm or 2mm.
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Michael Barlow
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I've got a bunch of 6mm figure blocks with enamel on them, and I want to redo them in acrlyic. Should I just use that enamel coat as my primer, or should I soak the things in thinner and scrub of the enamel and start again with my acrlyics?
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Kevin Erskine
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Hal, I just read that and got to the bottom and my jaw dropped. It would have taken me all day to type that on my phone! I'm impressed
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Michael Barlow
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Oh, and my advice for the newbie or the born-again mini painter:


1: just buy the basics: white, black, (primer), green, blue, yellow, red

Yes, you can make green with blue and yellow, but it's such a well used colour.

2: I learned this great motto through a lot of reading the many back issues of "The Nugget" newsletter, part of the COW site:

Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.

I just slather on the paint and go over bits, again and again if necessary, remembering that it only needs to look good from 3 feet away.

It's really great advice.
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Hal Martin
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kerskine wrote:
Hal, I just read that and got to the bottom and my jaw dropped. It would have taken me all day to type that on my phone! I'm impressed

Yeah, I've edited it on my PC. I rolled out of bed and knew it would be a mess. Should be much easier to read, though I'm sure there are still errors!
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Hal Martin
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Reprint wrote:

I've got a bunch of 6mm figure blocks with enamel on them, and I want to redo them in acrlyic. Should I just use that enamel coat as my primer, or should I soak the things in thinner and scrub of the enamel and start again with my acrlyics?

Depends on what detail is left. The paint should stick fine, but that's a lot fo layers being added. If I ever repaint anything, which doesn't happen much now, I always stripped to the bone. Depends on how abrasive of a stripper you use. Plastics can be ruined and some metal can be as well. Soak, rinse, soak then scrub with an old tooth brush then rinse usually does it.
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Colin Taylor
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Agen7_0range wrote:


What beginners paint set would you guys recommend?

Starting with a disclaimer, I have not painted any minis for board games, so am not sure of the materials used to make them, and if that affects the paints/primers that should be used. My experience is painting metal and plastics minis from GW:

1. Started waaaaay back when with Citadel paints back in the 80s. They were certainly good for what level I was at at that point, even though the range of colors was not that broad

2. During university time and just after, money was tight, and so I built up quite a collection of cheap acrylics, mainly Ceramcoat. And if I do say so myself, had great results with them. Certain colors are to be avoided, but there are certainly some very useful colors in that range. I tended to find that the white/tan/flesh sort of colors were poor, and the pigment level was not good and tended to leave a chalky effect. The thinner paints, such as reds/greens/blues were great.

3. After everyone started raving about Vallejo, I picked up a load of them. I'm sure the paint is good, but I hated the dropper bottles. I know, most people love them, and if you do, I'm sure Vallejo are a great choice, just not for me. Gave all my paints away recently to a friend who will make good use of them.

4. Moving up to today, I use Foundry paints exclusively. The Foundry Triads are fantastic, IMO. High pigment level, good coverage, and the triads take much of the work out of color blending. However, getting them in the US is not easy. I think you may have to order directly from them now. This guy uses Foundry and I think his work is excellent, and was the inspiration for my switch of brands. I can stare at those minis for ages in awe:

http://www.warhammer.org.uk/phpBB/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=61915&...

So, if I were just starting out, I would probably take a trip to Michaels etc... and select some paints from the craft aisle. Lots to choose from and cheap, so relatively low risk. If you enjoy painting, then moving up to Foundry is well worth it.

Thanks,

Colin
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Dean
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jbrecken wrote:
I've painted scores of metal RPG miniatures, but I want to get started on doing plastic boardgame minis. I'm going to begin with Shadows of Brimstone, because figures you have to assembly just makes it more fun. Maybe I'll eventually get confident enough that I'll be able to do games with prettier figures.

My only problem is that I probably picked the wrong time of year to use spray primer. I think maybe I'll run a space heater in the garage for a while to heat it up, then turn off the heater before spraying the figures, and then bring them into the house to dry, setting them on a dropcloth or newspaper. Does this plan sound feasible?

The primer may give off some smelly fumes as it dries, may stink up the house a little. I'd let them dry for a few hours in the garage first, no need to keep the heat running. Just my two cents :)
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Dave B
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Some tips:
1. Don't worry about doing a great job right off the bat. Have fun!
2. Really good brushes that keep a good point are worth the price! I like Kolinsky sable brushes. If the brushes keep a good point you don't need really small brushes, like 10/0; and the larger sizes, like size 2 (which I use for practically everything except basecoating, drybrushing, and the rare finest detail) can hold more paint so it doesn't dry out quickly.
3. craft paints are okay. Miniatures paints, from what I have read, have finer denser pigment, which may account for much of the difference in cost, and therefore tend to cover better without obscuring fine detail. That said, it may not make that much difference. I do use craft paints for terrain items and large scratchbuilt vehicles.
4. For tabletop games I often don't bother with trying to paint eyes on humans, dwarves and the like. I will often do them on larger beasts. It all depends on how much I want the eyes to stand out. A suggestion of eyes with just a bit of shadow (such as you get with a good wash) is better than poorly painted eyes. At tabletop distances you're hardly likely to notice eyes anyway (or maybe it's just me and my eyesight).
5. A wet palette is a very useful tool. You can easily make one by putting a piece of moistened paper towel or sponge in a plastic container with an airtight lid, with a piece of baking parchment (or parchment cucpake cup) to put the paint on.
6. There are many ways to paint that work just fine. There is no One True/Right Way.

My usual process is to clean up the miniature, removing flash and mold lines where possible by scraping with the edge of an exacto knife and/or using fine diamond files. Washing the miniature in soap and water and then rinsing clean and drying is a good idea (that I don't always remember to do), and can be critical with plastic minis in particular, to remove any residue from the casting process. Then I usually basecoat with black gesso (but you can use white or even gray, especially if most of the miniature will be in lighter/brighter colors). A black basecoat can provide a bit of "natural shadow", but also dull overlying colors a bit, and can hide spots where you missed the overlying color.
Then I block in the colors, usually trying to paint from the skin outward. Add washes and/or drybrushes as desired. Clean up any glaring errors as I go. Once all the paint is where I want it I do 2 coats of spray varnish - one of Testor's Glosscote to give a good layer of protection, followed by one of Testor's Dullcote to get rid of the shine. And then maybe a little bit of brushed on gloss varnish if there are any bits that should be shiny, like gems.
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Ryan Mayes
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agramore wrote:
2. Really good brushes that keep a good point are worth the price! I like Kolinsky sable brushes. If the brushes keep a good point you don't need really small brushes, like 10/0; and the larger sizes, like size 2 (which I use for practically everything except basecoating, drybrushing, and the rare finest detail) can hold more paint so it doesn't dry out quickly.
Dave, can you help me narrow down a brush? I checked em out on dickblick.com and there were a ton that fit under the "Kolinsky Sable" category. Thanks!
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Dave B
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Ryan, those are probably for painting canvases, usually they have much longer handles (which can get in the way, but could be cut down if need be, too). I usually get my brushes from Reaper - like this one https://www.reapermini.com/OnlineStore/Brushes/latest/08601.
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Ryan Mayes
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agramore wrote:
Ryan, those are probably for painting canvases, usually they have much longer handles (which can get in the way, but could be cut down if need be, too). I usually get my brushes from Reaper - like this one https://www.reapermini.com/OnlineStore/Brushes/latest/08601.
Thanks!
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David Rice
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Hey guys...a quick question from a *relative* newbie....

What is the best brand (or most effective) primer for old-school metal miniatures?

I have been painting for a while but only the plastic minis from the D&D games (Castle Ravenloft, Wrath of Ashardalon, and Legend of Drizzt). I came into a big batch of old-school metal minis and want to tackle the project, but I am guessing that it will be a bit different then the plastic figures I am used to. The last thing I want is for a good paint job to flake off a few days later from bad primer on the wrong surface.

Thanks for looking, and thank you OP for the very cool subject thread!

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I have only painted a couple games - I get a weird hankering to paint some minis but about halfway through the lot I tend to feel i've made a huge mistake and vow to never paint minis again!

I've done Talisman, Race! Formula 90 (this one absolutely needed the new minis, though, so that was my motivation) and Mice and Mystics so far

Talisman
(These pics were pre-wash, and i've gotten a few more expansions and painted them up since this pic)

Race! Formula 90



Mice and Mystics (dont have a lot of pictures of these ones yet)
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John Breckenridge
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UofLHoops wrote:
Hey guys...a quick question from a *relative* newbie....
What is the best brand (or most effective) primer for old-school metal miniatures?

I used the brush-on white primer that came in a jar just like the other paints. It went on a little thicker than a wash but not quite as thick as paint.
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Nick Wade
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UofLHoops wrote:
Hey guys...a quick question from a *relative* newbie....

What is the best brand (or most effective) primer for old-school metal miniatures?

I have been painting for a while but only the plastic minis from the D&D games (Castle Ravenloft, Wrath of Ashardalon, and Legend of Drizzt). I came into a big batch of old-school metal minis and want to tackle the project, but I am guessing that it will be a bit different then the plastic figures I am used to. The last thing I want is for a good paint job to flake off a few days later from bad primer on the wrong surface.

Thanks for looking, and thank you OP for the very cool subject thread!

Go to a paint shop or a car accessories shop and find something like metal shield primer. It provides a great protective surface and clings to the metal so you keep the fine finish. Also, a LOT cheaper than most hobby primers.
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