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Subject: My first painted minis with base decoration rss

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Phil Greenfly
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Hello guys. Sorry for posting two posts with kinda similar content (miniatures) in quick succesion. I just want to share the final result of 5 finished miniatures - painted, based and varnished. Every starting character except for Spellweaver, she is still waiting for her base decoration.

Let me describe the process I went through as a complete beginner - it may help someone in the same position I am/was. Since I have not done base decoration before, I had to improvise. And improvise a lot. I have bought grass decoration with the idea of using it for every single miniature, but after finishing Brute, I figured it might seem a bit monothematic. That was the moment I let my creativity go wild. With no special materials, I grabbed things that have been lying around - drywall, wood filler, bamboo sticks, cardboard.... and to mix it all together, PVA glue and superglue did the job.

Let me say, these miniatures looked small when they first came out of the box. They became even smaller when I started painting them. And when I started decorating the base (with already painted minis), they became super tiny. Because I decided not to cut them off the base and reattach after the base has been decorated. It seemed like a lot of work and prone to a lot of potential failures. Even then I failed miserably multiple times, then I became more patient and careful to prevent unnecessary repainting of the minis. Shape, test fit, shape a bit more, glue on, tear off, throw away, start again. Rinse and repeat. Then paint. And paint.

Maybe my approach was not the common one (probably the opposite of that), but hey, I am very satisfied with the final result.

As a last step, 2-3 coats of Vallejo Satin varnish. Hopefully they will survive adventures through the world of Gloomhaven. Looking forward to the reactions of my companions when they first see it.

As always, any feedback will be greatly appreciated. I am a fan of constructive criticism!




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Redd Lantern
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Those are pretty amazing. I have never attempted it but have watched painting videos. How did you decide on the colors? What paints did you use? Can you provide details on technique, brushes and process used?
 
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Phil Greenfly
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ReddLantern wrote:
Those are pretty amazing. I have never attempted it but have watched painting videos. How did you decide on the colors? What paints did you use? Can you provide details on technique, brushes and process used?


Hello. Thanks for the kind words.

I will try to asnwer your question as best I can. When I was deciding on the colors, I tried to stick to the original art as much as possible, with respect to the "material" the character is made of / wears (stone, metal, hide and leather etc.). I bought Vallejo Extra Opaque set of 16 colors, added pure white, black, silver and gold to cover most of detailwork I had in mind. Because in tutorials everyone mentioned washes, I also bought 3 shades I liked: Citadel Nuln Oil (blackish), Citadel Agrax Earthshade (earthy brownish) and Citadel Reikland Fleshshade (skin color, dark orange / reddish). On top ov everything I bought Citadel Blood fot the Blood God technical paint because BLOOD AND GORE.

Because I had no clue what size of brushes should I use, or rather I would be able to use, I bought Army Painter Regiment, Detail, Small Drybrush and Psycho brushes. The Psycho was too ambitious of me but I used him a few times for eyes atc. For most of the work I used the Regiment brush size.

I primed all the miniatures with Army Painter matt black aerosol primer, then felt confident in preshading them (drybrushing white paint). They looked good, but then I ruined the preshade work with NOT thinning my paints enough (at least for the first 2-3 miniatures), basically covering all the highlights. Then I learned from my mistakes a bit and thinned them more.

Technique-wise, I just followed some videos for beginners on YT to not screw things up. Base paint -> wash -> highlights -> details. That was my technique for most of the part, and if I failed and made a mistake, I tried to repair stuff by going a step back.

A few tips (from a beginner who learned on the run):
1) Thin your paints. That was also the first advice I received when I shared the pictures. The pigments have better coverage then you might think when the paint is being wet.
2) Load your brush only half way in. I overloaded my brushes a lot and as a result screwed a lot of details on the miniatures.
3) Let the paint dry before applying another coat. I was impatient and tried to paint over a not-so-dry coat and yeah, it resulted in failure.
4) Don't overdo things. Many times I got carried away with a certain "theme" - glow, blood, shine, etc. It was so easy to overdo it. To prevent it, let the miniature sit and return to it after a while, you will have a completely different (unbiased) view on things.
5) Be caureful with shades. Don't cover the whole miniature with it and expect a miracle. It is not a fairy dust. Use it with thought just to locally increase contrast or tone tthe colors. Do not let it pool in unnatural spots (better to not let it pool at all!), otherwise you will get a pretty bad result (too thick lines around creases, too shiny surface, too dark colors etc.).

Good luck with your painting if you decide to give it a try!
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Redd Lantern
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Wow...Thanks for the great detail. I am saving this somehow for future reference.
 
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Adam Wickham
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Damn, it continually amazes me the art and creativity that I see on here. Excellent job! Those base decorations are superb.
 
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Marc M
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Not sure I agree with the Shade (wash) advise. They are designed to pool into deep recesses to give you dark shadows. Yes, you can thin them with water a bit, but you shouldn't use shades as a last step. Instead build color back up once the shade dries.

Any pooling or over painting, while the paint is still wet, wash your brush, dry it out quickly with paper towel, and then dab the section of over paint / pooling. The capillary action of the brush will soak up the excess.
 
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Phil Greenfly
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alcovitch wrote:
Not sure I agree with the Shade (wash) advise. They are designed to pool into deep recesses to give you dark shadows. Yes, you can thin them with water a bit, but you shouldn't use shades as a last step. Instead build color back up once the shade dries.

Any pooling or over painting, while the paint is still wet, wash your brush, dry it out quickly with paper towel, and then dab the section of over paint / pooling. The capillary action of the brush will soak up the excess.


that is actually a very good advice! When I was talking about the shade, it was based on my very limited first-time painter experience. I did not like the result of miniatures fully covered with shade (in excessive amount), so I tried more careful approach. Your technique sounds very good, I'll definitely give it a go on my next painting job =).
 
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