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Subject: A "non-artist attempt at painting" rss

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Rob Judy
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So, if you are like me and admire all the painting pictures that everyone posts, but you know if you tried it your might ruin the figures. That's where I was when I decided to give it a try. I have absolutely NO artistic abilities, and I started with some of the easier models, but I am pretty happy with my first completed minis.

In your comments, please be kind...

These are my first attempts...





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Dan Buman
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Really nice start! The more you paint, the more your skills will improve. You definitely have some natural ability. Have fun!!
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Silver Bowen
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Woo! Gonna get some
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Your stuff looks better than my stuff.
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Justin Parker
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Those are great! Add some wash/shade to them and they will be even better.
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Rob Judy
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😊

I do have a couple of questions.

1) on the basing, I used the army painter basing glue and basing materials. Is there something you put on afterwards to hold the gravel bits together? I did hit the models with Testor flat clear coat spray before starting basing because I read somewhere that the spray damages the grass.

2) I primered my slashers with flat black, and I cannot get the red to cover. Do I need to just keep adding coats? Put it on thicker?

3) 2 of my most important paints came out of the box (new) chunky (white & black). Do I just add water and stir like crazy until I reach consistency, or should I toss them and just get new paints?

Thanks in advance for your answers, I'm sure I'll have many more to ask as I go. It's nice having everyone here as a resource.
 
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William Lewis
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Looks like solid base work. I second the recommendation to pick up some washes. Also, go check out some videos on drybrushing; just don't fall into the trap of drybrushing everything.

1) Use some white Elmer's glue that has been thinned with water. It dries clear and will help hold things together. And yes, spray lacquer damages static grass; it makes it look wet and clumpy. That's why I use paint on lacquer.

2) Red and yellow are both extremely "soft" pigments. If you want a vibrant tone, then you'd be better off primering in white. It's not as forgiving of mistakes, but makes all the difference. If you do stick with a base of black, then you want more coats, not thicker.

3) Yep. Most paints, especially Citadel and other "pot" paints, are shipped with a minimum of water. This is to save on shipping weight and to make the paint thicker for newer/young painters that don't know better or care. Dropper type paints are usually pre-thinned. Just be careful as a little bit can go a long way. When you add the water, also throw in a small screw, a couple BBs (stainless, not copper), or other chunk of metal. That will help stir the paint and break up chunks when you shake it.
 
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Rob Judy
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jparkerweb wrote:
Those are great! Add some wash/shade to them and they will be even better.


I did, maybe I did it wrong, or not enough to notice.
 
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Mark T
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My first reaction is, "there's no way this is your first attempt at this. Those look way too nice."

If it really is your first try at painting minis, then well done, sir! You have some serious natural talent. SoB was also my first stab at painting minis. I got started but lost steam a while back and have not finished my 2 core sets yet. I also have not made any attempts at fancy basing like you've got there. Maybe I just need some more inspiration from posts like these. Good job!
 
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Rob Judy
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Snardo wrote:
My first reaction is, "there's no way this is your first attempt at this. Those look way too nice."


I assure you this is my first attempt. There are many mistakes that show up under magnification, but I find that it doesn't show when quickly looking from a distance.

I have found my most valuable tools are the lighted magnifying lens and the very fine brushes. My eyes are not so good, but under magnification, it is easier to hit the details.

I am also learning when to thin the paints and when to leave them thick, and how much paint to have on the brush is important. I am sure I am wasting way too much paint when I have to go back and touch up mistakes (adding a drop of paint to the palate for every mistake).

I feel like I did start with the easiest figures, I am having a very difficult time with the slashers and I have no idea how to cover my black primer (with red) that I started with.
 
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Rhydderch
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Your figures look great! =)

Bassfisher44 wrote:
I have no idea how to cover my black primer (with red) that I started with.


A few approaches might work here.

1. Re-prime the figure. With a lighter base color, the red should go on more easily. For your Slashers that are already primed black, you can spray prime the figure again with a white coat. You want to spray the primer on lightly since there's more risk of losing detail when you add more primer and/or paint on the figure. You can spray the figure from above for a technique called "zenithal lightning" which can help bring out details and lighting/shading:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqTBXIm92iI

2. Strip and Prime. If you think there is already too much primer and paint on a figure, you could strip the figure of paint with Simple Green, then prime it anew.

3. Painting multiple coats. If you apply multiple coats, you can eventually achieve a solid base coat. Part of the challenge here is using thin coats because multiple thick coats can obscure your detail. Applying a lighter brown base coat before you lay down your red may also help.

If you have access to them, you could also try different paints.

For future projects, if you expect a figure to include a lot of light colors, you might consider using white, grey, or even colored primers.
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Fluid Karma
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As a fellow beginner mini painter (started about a year ago), I would like to encourage you by letting you know that the quality of the character minis in the SoB base sets is kind of, hmmmm... below average.
That means, that they are much harder to paint accurately, and that means that your work on them is even more outstanding!

Try painting minis from, say, Gloomhaven, Perditions Mouth or Kingdom Death, and you will cheer how much more fun it is painting good sculpts that react better to every technique (like washing, drybrushing etc).

I experienced it the other way round, coming from Kingdom Death to SoB, and realised how much difference the quality of a mini makes when it comes to painting. I found it really hard to paint the SoB character minis, because they provide less details a beginner can work with. You literally have to do all the work by yourself, which is much harder.

So: get into another mini game with great quality sculpts soon and have even more fun with the hobby! Or, another way would be looking into the Tombstone minis by Black Scorpion to replace the default SoB character minis. They are not expensive, very detailed and super high quality. We replaced all base game characters by ordering 3 sets of minis, each about 15$.
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Rob Judy
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Rhydderch wrote:
Your figures look great! =)

Bassfisher44 wrote:
I have no idea how to cover my black primer (with red) that I started with.


A few approaches might work here.

1. Re-prime the figure. With a lighter base color, the red should go on more easily. For your Slashers that are already primed black, you can spray prime the figure again with a white coat. You want to spray the primer on lightly since there's more risk of losing detail when you add more primer and/or paint on the figure. You can spray the figure from above for a technique called "zenithal lightning" which can help bring out details and lighting/shading:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqTBXIm92iI

2. Strip and Prime. If you think there is already too much primer and paint on a figure, you could strip the figure of paint with Simple Green, then prime it anew.

3. Painting multiple coats. If you apply multiple coats, you can eventually achieve a solid base coat. Part of the challenge here is using thin coats because multiple thick coats can obscure your detail. Applying a lighter brown base coat before you lay down your red may also help.

If you have access to them, you could also try different paints.

For future projects, if you expect a figure to include a lot of light colors, you might consider using white, grey, or even colored primers.


Thanks for the tips and the video. WOW, that guy is amazing, and he does it so fast! I'll try to add some of those techniques as I progress.
I ended up just using multiple coats, the red eventually covered well, but my yellow never did. I ended with a wash of dark to help blend and cover mistakes, I'll upload a picture later this morning.
I have never stripped a mini before, is there a good video on that?
 
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Rob Judy
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Fluidkarma wrote:
As a fellow beginner mini painter (started about a year ago), I would like to encourage you by letting you know that the quality of the character minis in the SoB base sets is kind of, hmmmm... below average.
That means, that they are much harder to paint accurately, and that means that your work on them is even more outstanding!

Try painting minis from, say, Gloomhaven, Perditions Mouth or Kingdom Death, and you will cheer how much more fun it is painting good sculpts that react better to every technique (like washing, drybrushing etc).

I experienced it the other way round, coming from Kingdom Death to SoB, and realised how much difference the quality of a mini makes when it comes to painting. I found it really hard to paint the SoB character minis, because they provide less details a beginner can work with. You literally have to do all the work by yourself, which is much harder.

So: get into another mini game with great quality sculpts soon and have even more fun with the hobby! Or, another way would be looking into the Tombstone minis by Black Scorpion to replace the default SoB character minis. They are not expensive, very detailed and super high quality. We replaced all base game characters by ordering 3 sets of minis, each about 15$.


I have been avoiding the characters until I get more experience. I'll look into the proxies. I haven't opened my Gloomhaven yet, and I don't own the others you mentioned. Maybe when my kickstarter Mythic Battles Pantheon shows up, I can have fun with those. Im not sure i would say painting is "fun" for me yet, but it is rewarding when they come out nice. It is also a very time consuming hobby for me now. I have been spending 3-4 hours a day with a brush in hand.
 
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Rob Judy
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Here is what I did yesterday, and this morning the wash has dried. I am considering leaving the slashers glossy. What do you think? Should I matt them all?

You can see the problems I had with my yellow. I am just going to keep the non-cover as an effect.




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William Lewis
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1. You might look into a sepia ink wash for the yellow and red. It will help cover up where the coverage wasn't optimal and blend things together.
Example:

Obviously, I prefer the glossy look for them! (Always put on gloss lacquer first and then flat over that. Gloss is stronger and will prevent flaking, which just flat is prone to do.)

Also, I've become a big fan of the Tamiya clear acrylics for blending yellow/orange/red.
Example:


2. With your washes, I think you may be going too subtle with them. They're for adding a lot of gradiation and blending without having to do 20 coats of paint. You can then add a coat or two of your main color on top to clean things up.

3. Stripping miniatures is super easy. Just throw them in a ziploc with some simple green overnight. Then use an old toothbrush and warm water to wipe away the old paint. It will make superglue brittle and pop off too, so expect to have to re-assemble the figure.
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Rob Judy
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Thanks for the tips William, I'll look into those products.

Your mini's are fantastic!

Any tips on getting the basing to stay? The gravel seems to be coming off as I move the figures around. Is there a product I should put on the gravel after the glue dries, or should I just use more glue?

I'm working on the Serpentmen today.
 
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William Lewis
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Bassfisher44 wrote:
Thanks for the tips William, I'll look into those products.

Your mini's are fantastic!

Any tips on getting the basing to stay? The gravel seems to be coming off as I move the figures around. Is there a product I should put on the gravel after the glue dries, or should I just use more glue?

I'm working on the Serpentmen today.


Thanks! I've been doing miniatures for a REALLY long time and have gotten decent. You should see my Darkstone Hydra. (https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1677233/dvernings-sob-paint...) I haven't updated in WAY too long because I've been painting all my Mansions of Madness figs. Still, I need to get back at SoB before my MineCart shows up...

For the basing: Elmer's white glue is all you need. It does help to have a bit of water in it to thin and apply evenly. It's childish, but the best example I've found is "the consistency of a sneeze when you have a head cold". Use a toothpick or sculpting tool to spread the glue around evenly. Then add your basing material and let it dry. It's okay to smoosh the basing into the glue with the end of a brush or a sculpting too; just make sure not to get glue on it. Once dry, tip the fig sideways and tap off any loose basing. If you still have bare/loose spots, you can spot hit with more glue and/or add a second coat of basing.
 
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Rhydderch
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Bassfisher44 wrote:
Any tips on getting the basing to stay?


I don't usually add texture to my bases, so I'm not the best authority on basing. However, I seem to recall some success with Future floor polish, so that might be another option. You could also try pre-mixed concrete patch as an alternative to gravel. It's an uncommon basing material, but is simple to apply (you don't need glue) and has a fine texture that is good for stone, road, or (when painted the right colors) sand. You may need to experiment with it to get an effect you like.

Dverning wrote:
You should see my Darkstone Hydra.


I've long admired your Hydra. After I got the figure, I realized the sculpted scales were far too large, and freehand painting would be necessary to achieve a more realistic effect on the figure. That is unfortunately beyond my ability, but it was great to see someone else achieve that look!
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Rob Judy
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Here are some more pictures as I continue along with my learning process. I am getting better at dry brushing and knowing when to do it. Also, my washing is getting better. I haven't done too much with highlighting yet, but I can always go back and do that later. My focus now is to get the mini's in "game ready" shape first.

I just finished painting the hungry dead and flesh stalker and I need to base them tonight.










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John Belcher
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SoB is the first game I've ever (really) painted as well, and I'm kind of glad for the really simple figures from the base games. They're... not my favorite, but I feel like I can blame those figures themselves for how mediocre they look.

My stuff isn't great, but it has improved a lot from the start.

One thing I started doing is a two-layer primer coat. A kind of "super lazy" zenithal priming, using black spraypaint primer, and then a second layer of white spraypaint primer from (mostly) above the figures. It does a lot of shading for me, or at least lets me see where shading should naturally go.



The idea that better miniatures with more detail are easier to do well... I completely agree with.
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Rob Judy
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OK, here is my next batch. I am getting better at shading and dry-brushing. I even put some wear on the knees of the pants of the people. I still haven't done much high-lighting afterwards, but I can always go back later and touch things up. I just want to get them done now.








Not done with these yet, but here is my progress (need to shade and base yet).



(edited to increase picture resolution)
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Rob Judy
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After the wash and a touch of sand painted grey to the base, here they are!

Bandits on deck....



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Rob Judy
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Here are the bandits, and almost completed Terridan Raiders (still need some basing touch-ups & flatcoat spray).
The Lava Men are in the process now.





I have done a few upgrades to my paint station too. A better lighted magnifier, more paint stands, brushes, and I really find the puritan cotton swabs useful (especially the pointed tip ones) for cleaning mistakes.



I also need to put together the figures from Derelict Ship and Trederra expansions. I also have coming int he mail to me some more monster add-ons to add to the queue of painting. I hope to be done by Christmas and able to play the fully painted game. Oh yes, I also ordered directly from FFG the corpse piles miniatures.
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Rob Judy
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I finished the Terridian Raiders bases and added some red dirt to their clothes and reddened the rocks.



Now on to the Lavamen.... Progress pictures. I tried to keep the body core yellow, and move to orange and finally red at the extremities.





For the bases, I decided to go with a lava flow between their legs and some rocks on the sides. I still need to paint the rocks a similar color to the lavamen's hardened rock color (Raw Umber) and then flat coat to protect it over the top.

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Rob Judy
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Lavamen complete!

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