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Robb Williams
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I am new to painting miniatures. I would like to post my experiences and a few questions based on those experiences.

The miniatures that have been used in these endeavors are from: Mice and Mystics, a few Reaper Bones, RoboRally and a few good old Space Marines.

I will keep this in three parts…

PART 1 PRE PAINTING - For primers I have used the following:

Rust-Oleum 2x Ultra Cover Primer (Flat) – This has stayed tacky after applied.

Krylon ColorMaster Paint + Primer Cover Max (Flat) – This has worked well for me. It covers well and dries quickly.

I do wash my miniatures with soap and water before priming.

QUESTIONS:
Are there any other primers that have work consistently well?

Can I use a Satin or Gloss primer?

PART 2 PAINTING – For paints and washes I have used the following:

FolkArt Acrylics – I feel like have gotten good results from these. I have thinned them down with Vallejo Thinner Medium, Vallejo Airbrush Thinner and water. My favorite results are from the Thinner medium.

FolkArt Acrylics Metallic – I really like the colors and coverage of these. I usually do not thin them down.

Vallejo Model Colors – I have about seven different colors and I do like the way they cover.

Citadel Paints – These work well but I am not unhappy with my other paints to commit to them 100%.

Testor’s Acrylic Washes (Black and Driftwood) – They are okay but I find that they leave the miniature looking “dirty”, but if that is the look I want then it works out.

Citadel Shades – By far the best and well worth the money. I just don’t want to spend a lot on colors other than black or brown.

I have tried making washes using Vallejo and water. It worked okay but I need to tweak the formula a little.

I am in the process of trying the floor polish formula and will update with how that goes when I have tested it.

I have found no matter what paints I have used I have had to apply several coats.

I have tried a bunch of brushes and definitely take note of the ones that I feel comfortable with so I can get replacements when needed. I do keep one separate for washing and dry brushing. I have a Citadel starter brush and a detail brush that I use regularly.

QUESTIONS:
Are there any other paints worth trying?

Has anyone made their own washes and what were the results?

Does anyone have another thinning medium that they use?

PART 3 POST PAINTING – For sealing I have used the following:

This is my most frustrating part of the process.

Krylon Maxx Crystal Clear Acrylic Flat – It worked great the first time I used it but now I am getting “frost”.

Rust-Oleum Matte Clear Enamel – Works a little better but I still see a little “frost”. I used it to coat some meeples I painted and it seemed okay. I used the same acrylic base paints on both.

I have made sure the weather is good and I shake the cans a lot.

My army of unsealed miniatures is growing do to my fear of the coming “frost”!

QUESTIONS:
What is the most reliable spray sealer?

Is there another way to seal miniatures?

Can you recover from the “frosting”?


Well that is about it for now. I will try to post a few pics of ones I have completed. Thanks to anyone who provides feedback. It is greatly appreciated.
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Mike Jones
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I use to paint a lot. While I believe Folkart and other craft paints work great (except true red and true yellow for some reason), I think for primer, you would be better served with hobby primers. But, otherwise, don't use gloss.

For sealan, the cloudy finish is about moisture in the air when you used it. You need to make sure to do it outside in sun on a very dry day.
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Pete Belli
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Vallejo dominates my paint shelf. Recommended!

I have some older Citadel paint I still use because I'm already committed to those colors on other projects but don't plan to replace that stuff.
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Jae
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I use brush on primer and brush on sealer. I find you get a much more even coat and you access crevasses much better. With brush on sealer, I have never gotten "frosty". Spray sealer has gotten frosty 75% of the time. As gitmo said though, this is most likely due to moisture. I live somewhere that has >90% humidity on average so I have difficulty working with spray sealant.
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Robb Williams
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Bagherra wrote:
I use brush on primer and brush on sealer. I find you get a much more even coat and you access crevasses much better. With brush on sealer, I have never gotten "frosty". Spray sealer has gotten frosty 75% of the time. As gitmo said though, this is most likely due to moisture. I live somewhere that has >90% humidity on average so I have difficulty working with spray sealant.


I would have no problem brushing on a sealant if I can get consistent results.

What type of sealant do you use?

Thanks.
 
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Robb Williams
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Guantanamo wrote:

For sealan, the cloudy finish is about moisture in the air when you used it. You need to make sure to do it outside in sun on a very dry day.


I may be able to use the paint shop at work to control the environment. I will give that a test. Thanks.
 
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Jae
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girman39 wrote:
Bagherra wrote:
I use brush on primer and brush on sealer. I find you get a much more even coat and you access crevasses much better. With brush on sealer, I have never gotten "frosty". Spray sealer has gotten frosty 75% of the time. As gitmo said though, this is most likely due to moisture. I live somewhere that has >90% humidity on average so I have difficulty working with spray sealant.


I would have no problem brushing on a sealant if I can get consistent results.

What type of sealant do you use?

Thanks.


I use the older Citadel varnish, it is now sold as 'ardcoat.
They have it in a matte finish as well. If you want matte, I would still use the glossy varnish first then finish it with the matte. I prefer shiny mini's though, so it is what I primarily go with.
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MGAC California
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I think you are on the right path with pre, and painting. If you'd like to try them out, I use two products exclusively for sealing miniatures.

Testors Dullcote

Rustoleum Frosted Glass

Both produce an absolutely flat finish for miniatures, and are durable.
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Chris Robbins
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For times when you don't have the best conditions for spray painting ...

Worth experimenting with ...

Priming.

http://www.liquitex.com/us/Shop/Medium/Surface_Prep/White_Ge...

Can be had in black or custom tinted, thinned but it shrinks surprisingly well.

Sealer.

http://www.swannysmodels.com/TheCompleteFuture.html

It's not wax, it's clear acrylic, made to be walked on and scrubbed. When dry, most anything you like can be used to give some or all of the mini a matte finish.
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Jason Gardner
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Priming: Wash your minis in warm water with a bit of dish soap.

For me, the best primer with consistent results on all plastics EXCEPT the white bones, is krylon camo flat. Comes in lots of colors, but no white. The Khaki can substitute for gray. DO NOT use the Rustoleum camo, because it is crap compared to the krylon.


For the white bones plastic, the best that I've found is the gray primer from Micheal's (Design Master is the brand). The sprayer sucks, and it can go on splotchy, but painting over it leaves a smooth surface. This stuff dries insanely fast and is the only spray-on brand that has never remained tacky on the bones plastic. You could try a light coat of the krylon camo for the bones, but it can be hit or miss for bones. Another option are the "sandable automotive primers". These tend to dry pretty fast and the only plastic they remained tacky on was that brown plastic used for the furniture in Dungeon Saga. The problem with the automotive primers is that they smell TERRIBLE! The smell lasts for a couple days and is not noticeable once painted over. I figure if the smell is strong, then the primer is still curing, so I give it time.

Do not use the Primer+Paint sprays. They often remain tacky on a variety of plastics.

Paints: Try the reaper HD paints. Good stuff if you are trying to reduce the # of coats that you need to apply. Not great for layering unless you thin them. Delta Ceramcoat craft paints are quite good. I also use folkart and americana. Avoid Craftsmart.

Washes: Citadel is quite good. There are a lot of options for washes and it really is going to come down to your preference. Some are better thinned and some are better spot applied instead of putting it all over the mini. Do not thin the citadel washes with water, but use acrylic extender or something similar. If you thin them with water, they may dry with a white haze.

Thinning: I use all kinds of stuff: water, matte medium, acrylic extender, future floor wax, and combinations of these. Usually, the results are best when I thin with medium, acrylic extender, or water+future (roughly 1/3 future to 2/3 water).

Clear coat: Always a struggle. I tend to spray gloss first and then take the shine off with Testors dullcote. Supposedly, the Army Painter Anti-Shine Matte Varnish gives similar results at a cheaper price (by volume). Sometimes I'll just use a couple coats of dullcote. Always do light coats and let them dry between coats. If the air is humid, it can take hours to fully dry. Brush on sealers are surprisingly good, but they take a lot more time than spray.


I have resolved both frosting and tackiness with a coat (or 2) of Testor's Dullcote.


edit: typos...I'm sure that there are more.
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Robb Williams
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brewgeek wrote:

DO NOT use the Rustoleum camo, because it is crap compared to the krylon.


I have tried these and the ARE crap.

brewgeek wrote:

Do not use the Primer+Paint sprays. They often remain tacky on a variety of plastics.


The black in this has worked the best for me on the Mice and Mystics and RoboRally plastics.

brewgeek wrote:

Avoid Craftsmart.


Agreed.

Thanks for all the input.
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Robb Williams
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MGAC wrote:
I think you are on the right path with pre, and painting. If you'd like to try them out, I use two products exclusively for sealing miniatures.

Testors Dullcote

Rustoleum Frosted Glass

Both produce an absolutely flat finish for miniatures, and are durable.


I will give these a shot. Thanks
 
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Robb Williams
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bltzlfsk wrote:
For times when you don't have the best conditions for spray painting ...


I always see the liquitex stuff but get lost in all their products.
Thanks for the info.
 
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Kasper Lauest
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You can't really go wrong with Testors Dullcote for a matte seal.

Feel free to do your own washes, but the Army Painter quickshade ink line isn't that expensive and works really well.
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Freelance Police
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> Are there any other primers that have work consistently well?

Whatever works, stick with it. I would get at least a black brush-on primer, if you miss anything with the spray-on, or just have one miniature to paint.

> Can I use a Satin or Gloss primer?

You can, but you rarely want your miniatures to have gloss. An exception might be robots or cars.

> Testor’s Acrylic Washes (Black and Driftwood) – They are okay but I find that they leave the miniature looking “dirty”, but if that is the look I want then it works out.

Secret Weapon Miniatures and Army Painter make a variety of washes in other colors. Don't just "slop and glop". Particularly with black, treat the wash like paint and only paint to blackline a figure.

> I have found no matter what paints I have used I have had to apply several coats.

Assuming you're thinning the paints, this gets you the best results.

> Are there any other paints worth trying?

Reaper. Get their second Learn to Paint Kit, so you can learn fleshtones.

> Has anyone made their own washes and what were the results?

I don't like to spend time experimenting, so I use the pre-mixed stuff. Army Painter has a Quickshade Ink set. I also use washes to thin paints.

> This is my most frustrating part of the process.

I don't bother sealing my miniatures. You get frost when the upper layer of the sealant dries, trapping moisture below. I read olive oil or another coat of sealant will remove frost, but I've also just painted on top of it. Essentially, the fixes dissolve the upper layer, letting the trapped moisture escape.
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Chris
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Sam and Max wrote:

>

> Testor’s Acrylic Washes (Black and Driftwood) – They are okay but I find that they leave the miniature looking “dirty”, but if that is the look I want then it works out.




You will get far better results from washes when you apply them over a gloss coat. The typical flat coat of paint absorbs the wash, giving it that dirty look.

Chris
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I had never thought of this, but it makes perfect sense.
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Geoffrey Burrell
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A member of my former gaming group was painting miniatures for D & D when he discovered that his orc mini that he was painting had sex organs. "This thing has balls!" I forget which company made the mini.
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Brian Franzman
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I have used all kinds of paints, and have learned to stay away from the craft paints because the pigments are not ground very finely. As in, you might get some pretty big chunks even in well-mixed paint, especially when drybrushing. The better paints are quite good, though it took a long time to grudgingly adapt to the dropper-style bottles. Vallejo, GW, Army Painter, they are all good. Get what you can afford, though. I would be hard-pressed to paint minis with fewer than 30 or so colors, but even with 100+ I'll still find myself mixing them.

I recall Armory had a pretty good spray primer back in the day, but now I use Krylon (the matte stuff) which has been great. I don't worry about missing the deepest nooks & crannies when priming, since those will be hit with enough paint & washes to cover, and they won't get any handling to wear off (unlike the highest points of the mini). I prefer white primer, although Army Painter has made me consider colored primer.

Testor's Dullcote is one of the best top coats. Fortunately, I live on the less-humid west coast, so I haven't had any issues with fogginess. However, I can unequivocally say, let your miniature dry FULLY (24 hours or more) before using the sealant, or you may end up ruining the paint job that took you so many hours to put on there. By ruining, I mean it might just peel off like rubber cement. That was a very disappointing discovery to say the least.

I like doing my own washes & stains, though I haven't really tried inks too much. To me, the right wash is watered down to where the pigment consistency reminds you of milk or orange juice. A little trick I learned was to add a tiny bit of soap to keep the wash from leaving rings as it dries.
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Chip Crawford
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girman39 wrote:
I am new to painting miniatures.


Welcome to the wonderful world of miniature painting.

girman39 wrote:


QUESTIONS:
Are there any other primers that have work consistently well?

Can I use a Satin or Gloss primer?

I have found no matter what paints I have used I have had to apply several coats.


If you can find it use Tamaya Fine White Surface Primer.
Don't over do it. A light dust from two can lengths away to both sides will suffice. The goal is an even coat, not a SHELL.

girman39 wrote:


QUESTIONS:
Are there any other paints worth trying?

Has anyone made their own washes and what were the results?

Does anyone have another thinning medium that they use?


Reaper Master Series paints are fantastic.
I thin with water only. On average I do 5 drops of paint to 3 drops of water.

girman39 wrote:


QUESTIONS:
What is the most reliable spray sealer?

Is there another way to seal miniatures?

Can you recover from the “frosting”?


I use Testor's Dullcoat spray sealer.
Again, even coats from a distance, don't saturate the model just mist it.
Frosting is the bane of all painters.


Like all art, this is a developmental endeavor. You don't have to be perfect out the gate, and you're not going to win Crystal Brushes and Golden Demons just starting out. But you will get better with practice. Try to find a paint club at a local games store, or see if there's interest in starting one. Look for workshops at cons. I know ReaperCon hosts A TON of artists that offer classes. I've taken a number of them, and they were well worth the 20-30 bucks for tickets. And at the end of the day...paint. Paint as much as you want to improve.

Good luck.
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Robb Williams
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ChipChuck wrote:
...

Like all art, this is a developmental endeavor. You don't have to be perfect out the gate, and you're not going to win Crystal Brushes and Golden Demons just starting out. But you will get better with practice. Try to find a paint club at a local games store, or see if there's interest in starting one. Look for workshops at cons. I know ReaperCon hosts A TON of artists that offer classes. I've taken a number of them, and they were well worth the 20-30 bucks for tickets. And at the end of the day...paint. Paint as much as you want to improve.

Good luck.


Thanks for the feedback. I just got the basics at Dice Tower Con from Sam Healey and Rob Oren. We got to paint some Space Marines. Slowly but surely I an figuring out what works and what doesn't, at least for me. I have not tried the Reaper paints, yet, but I have not seen them anywhere locally. All of the Testor's Dullcoat I come across has been sold out so I assume it is very popular. My main goal is to have something that looks better than a single colored piece of plastic.
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Brent Bryan
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Hi Robb,

I'm a little late to the party, but I'd like to share my experience with you. Hopefully it helps..

I've been painting miniatures/ creating miniature terrain for 30 years and here is what I use, based on my experience:

For plastic minis (Bones, etc). I use a plastic primer from Krylon. The colors come in white/black, but I prefer tan for most minis. I wouldn't recommend painting plastics without it.

For metals I use a quality primer (citadel/ P3) and I use reaper (MSP) and P3 (Privateer press) acrylic paints. I can get them at a discount, so thats what I'm comfortable with, but there are many good ones out there.

Look over the manufacturer's catalog and pick the palette that works for you. Reaper has a quality product that I trust and they have a full line of washes and inks. But, again there are many good ones out there. A lot of pros swear by warhammer/vallejo, etc.

Don't bother with the cheap craft paints out there; the pigment density is very low and doesn't give a good result.

I always use a matte finish to seal my minis.

The biggest thing with painting is practice, practice, practice. Look at examples of well painted finished minis and watch tutorials..Look for cheap lots of miniatures and practice your technique before you move on to those special minis..

Good luck and have fun
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