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Subject: My wife and I have discovered a new hobby - painting minis! rss

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I've always been fascinated by the photos of painted minis on this site, such as the following:



UniversalHead echoota johnnyonthespot1



beckerdo Bernd badrobot



Yugblad zrgrvsh Guido1

Now look up the profiles of each of these users, click on "Contributions", and then click on "Game Images Uploaded:" - you will be amazed by what you see!! It took me ages to pick out just one photo from each of these exceptionally talented painters!


So I got talking to my wife about how much fun it would be to paint up some of the figures from our games. To my surprise, she was quite excited by the idea, and we're pretty strapped for cash at the moment due to saving for our first home purchase, so we thought it would be an inexpensive way to spend a fair bit of quality time together. I was initially thinking that it would be fun to tackle the 300 mythological creatures from Age of Mythology: The Boardgame, but we ultimately decided to start with our Shadows over Camelot figures, since it would be a much smaller project and the figures themselves are somewhat larger and therefore easier to paint for our first attempt.

But before we could do anything, I had to do some research to figure out how to go about getting started with this new hobby. I sent messages to some of the BGGers whose work I admire so much, and received some extremely helpful advice. I also dug up the following websites, which helped set us on the right track with regards to our techniques:

[Link deleted because it was no longer working.]
[Link deleted because it was no longer working.]
http://www.games-workshop.com/
http://www.how-to-paint-miniatures.com/
http://hot-lead.org/start/paint_guide_main.htm
http://blog.brushthralls.com/?page_id=1170
[Link deleted because it was no longer working.]
http://www.thearmypainter.com/


So, armed with a head full of inspiration and knowledge, I went shopping. My first stop was a Games Workshop store, where I purchased the following:

-a Citadel foundation paint set, containing 18 colours
-a Citadel wash set containing 8 washes
-individual jars of white, black, gold, bronze, and chainmail
-2 sets of Citadel brushes, each containing a standard brush, a small drybrush, and a fine detail brush
-1 can of Games Workshop white undercoat spray paint
-1 can of Games Workshop "purity seal" spray clearcoat

Cost: $205.94 gulp

Next stop was Michaels where I picked up:

-2 magnifying lamps

Cost: $63.81

And finally, I hit up the dollar store to get:

-2 paint pallets
-4 small tupperware containers to hold water (for cleaning brushes and thinning paints)
-a package of thin wooden sticks for scooping and stirring paints

Approximate cost: $5.00


Total cost: $275.00 surprise


Okay, so this wasn't quite the cheap hobby I was expecting! However, these are all up-front costs and I expect we will get countless hours of painting with no further expenses for quite some time. I sure hope so anyways...


Now we had the inspiration, the knowledge, and the supplies, and all we needed was the time. With myself being a shift worker and my wife covering 2 full-time positions at her current place of employment, time always proves to be a real challenge for us, and it was probably a good month before we actually sat down with our first figures. But we finally found a day to set up the painting table, pop a DVD into my wife's laptop, and apply paint to plastic.

We started with those little catapults in order to practice the exciting techniques I had read about, such as washes and drybrushing. We were quite encouraged by the results:


Beth's catapults My machines


Next, we decided to tackle Merlin and the special items. My wife did Merlin and the Grail...



...and I went for the Lady in the Lake (who clearly had a bit of an incident with her nail polish blush ) and Lancelot's armour:




Finally, we were ready to take on the warriors. First, we went "berserk" on our sexy Saxons. Here are my wife's...



...and here are mine:




And last but not least, we took on the wee Scots. Now, I realize that these fine fellows are each from a different clan, but we thought it would be more fun to mix up the tartans! So here are some pics of my wife's Picts...



...and here are my own (I would like to dedicate these ones to oneilljgf, who will be celebrating a milestone birthday this month, and who I was actually thinking about while I was painting them ) :




So there they are, in all their glory! We were rather nervous about having every brushstroke scrutinized under the microscope of high-res photography (I think in the future I'm going to thin my paints a little more with water), but all-in-all I'm very pleased with our first paint job. And I'm immensely proud of my wife, who can add artistic skills to kicking my ass at War of the Ring (First Edition) and a host, nay, a plethora, of other exceptional talents. What a woman!! I'm looking to spending more quality time with her on our next project, and to improving my technique and my fine brushstrokes!

In fact, I already have our Fury of Dracula (second edition) figures trimmed of flash, washed, primed, and ready to paint. So stay tuned in the next couple of weeks for the results of our second project... [Edit: And here they are - http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/419852]


Thanks very much for taking a look at our work - it's certainly nice to know, when so much effort is put into something, that people other than ourselves will appreciate it! And now I have to log off, because we are hoping to send out 2 knights each to save Camelot this evening with our newly painted minis. Tally-ho, and so forth!


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Kent Reuber
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If it's something you like, you might consider doing minis painting on commission. Many miniatures guys, myself included, really stink at painting, and pay others for it. Often the work is done offshore in places like Sri Lanka where wages are cheap.

You might find it an entertaining way to bring in some bucks here or there.
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Richard Panek
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Ugh, you should have asked here- there are cheaper ways than GW to get into painting, although the new Foundation colors and washes are nice, and there's something to be said for using what's available locally. Vallejo, Coat d'Arms and Reaper all produce miniature paint, and quite a few people use craft store paint.

And definitely use Walmart spray paint instead of GW- Walmart has much more clout when it comes to quality control and is $2 vs, what $15?

Welcome to the hobby.
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Paul
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You guys are awesome, now I'm really itching to play Shadows!
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Richard Johnson
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Fantastic!
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Martin Gallo
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Some of my favorite gaming memories are from a time long ago when The Chief and I painted or figures for an RPG game we were participating in before she went back to school. She has not had time to play much since then.

Congrats to you both - it is good to share a hobby with someone you care about, and you both have talent!
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Brian Collins
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Thanks for the encouraging pictures and story! I too am a miniatures enthusiast who does not paint very well... Anyway keep up the good work!
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robert cabrera
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When I started painting minis, I was horrible at it. Keep reading painting forums and check out gamesworkshops forums and articles for warhammer. LEARN TO DRYBRUSH AND INK, these are the two best techniques in my opinion. And though it may be expensive, once your painting skills improve...paint gameworkshop figures....they have great resale value on Ebay if you can paint well. And if you get really good, buy Forgeworld minis or start making terrain...its expensive either way, but very satisfying and if you buy in packs...profitable.

PS...your minis look pretty darn good for just getting started...I see you already drybrush a little. Nice.
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Alex
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Great stuff.
I've also just gotten into the hobby with my girlfriend. She likes to paint pictures and likes fantasy, but she's not a gamer. So painting miniatures is her way of joining me in the hobby. It's really a great way to spend time together.

Your work is a lot better than ours, though.
Keep it up!
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Chris
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Outstanding job to both of you. I also got bit by the painting minis bug. I am no longer buying games but buying paint and stuff. I am buying paints very slowly (like 5 at a time) until I get a good selection. I started painting some 40k minis and moved to Blood Bowl teams and will be tackling the Fury of Dracula set next. After that it is off to Runebound then Doom then Descent.

I find i have problems with Organic materials. Skin is my biggest problem. I thank you for your links as they will help. I will post some images soon of my Necons and Blood Bowl team.

Also I have been buying Game Color by Vallejo Paints. I like the bottles they come in for mixing and thinning colors. I have to say that I like Citadels Washes much better though. Also I really don't like Reaper's paints. I find that they dry funny and the black I have no matter what I base coat with always cracks. I have been looking for nice brushes though. Reaper brushes are OK and so are Citadel but I think I can find better. I use a paper plate (I actually use the Chinnet heavy duty plates) as a palate and a place to place my mini. It allows me to rotate the mini easily. I haven't made a rig for holding them yet. I don't have any putty to attach it to a soda bottle cap as I saw in one video. Although I do have tubs of Plumbers Putty in my garage (comes with the trade).

I find that my biggest problem (aside from a shaky hand sometimes) is that If when touching up a spot I nick another spot I have to touch that spot up and then I nick a spot and have to continue the chain. Also I have Painted a mini and not liked how the color came out and off to a Simple green bath it goes. Simple Green is the BEST way to remove paint and primer from a mini. Just soak it for a few hours and tada no more paint. Hit it with a old tooth brush and your have a almost new mini. It is also Non-Toxic and Biodegradable. Amazing stuff.

Chris
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Eric Weidus
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I have to second the person who said to use craft store paints. I play warhammer every week and the cost of GW's stuff is insane when you can go to Pat Catans and get it all for half the price if not more.

Nice work though.
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Michael Barlow
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Very nice work. You're new at this?

For the next time, you could have saved $100 if you steered clear of GW.
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Chris
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Yeah I have a few different paints I got from a craft store and you get a giant bottle for the same price as a citadel paint pot. I like Vallejo paints as you get 3ml more per bottle for the same price and Citadel. While you can buy the other paints from a craft store for cheaper they tend to be thicker and the selection of colors is usually limited. But for primary colors and common colors you can't beat them for value.

Reminds me to stop off at Micheal's and pick up some Black
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Patrick McInally
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Hey Josh -- good job, especially for a first try!

If you're going to tackle a big job like AoM or WotR, you should at least consider "the dip" method of painting. It won't produce stunning results like the individually, lovingly painted minis you see some of the pros (and gifted amateurs alike) turning out, but 300+ minis can take you months to paint up if you're not truly efficient.

I did my Descent set quite quickly using the dip, and I regularly get all sorts of compliments on the quality of the work. It's basically primer + base coat of colours + maybe a touch up or two + dilluted water-based floor varnish. Works like a charm. The varnish vaccuum seals the mini (no need for a sealer finish, unless you want a matte look) AND it fills in all the nooks and crannies... instant shading and depth!

Here's an example from www.thelastalliance.com

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Adam D.
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This is your first try?

Excuse me while I go throw away all my painting supplies and take up knitting.
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Panzagl wrote:
Ugh, you should have asked here- there are cheaper ways than GW to get into painting, although the new Foundation colors and washes are nice, and there's something to be said for using what's available locally. Vallejo, Coat d'Arms and Reaper all produce miniature paint, and quite a few people use craft store paint.

And definitely use Walmart spray paint instead of GW- Walmart has much more clout when it comes to quality control and is $2 vs, what $15?

Welcome to the hobby.


I concur, I find the vallejo paints as a whole a much better than the GW paints. Although the foundations and the new washes from GW are very good.
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John So-And-So
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I'm just getting into this hobby too, having just got some Hordes models from Privateer Press, I'm taking a trip to the arts & crafts store this weekend to pick up supplies. I think I've got my noob questions pretty much under control, but I can't seem to find an explanation of an "ink" versus a regular paint. The painting guides often recommend inks in certain cases, saying they give better results. Why not just always use inks? Can someone explain this whole thing to me?
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Chris
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Inks are just that. Ink. they tend to be very dark in pigment and VERY watered down. They are used for Adding Shadows and are the same as a Wash really. Without nit-picking.
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Hey, I've created a video channel! Hover over my avatar to get more info! :) - Josh -
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kentreuber wrote:
If it's something you like, you might consider doing minis painting on commission. Many miniatures guys, myself included, really stink at painting, and pay others for it. Often the work is done offshore in places like Sri Lanka where wages are cheap.

You might find it an entertaining way to bring in some bucks here or there.


The problem is, my wages aren't as cheap as in Sri Lanka! cool

It's an interesting suggestion, but it's simply too time-consuming. I'd need to charge a LOT of money to give up my already limited free time!
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Hey, I've created a video channel! Hover over my avatar to get more info! :) - Josh -
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lordunborn wrote:
I haven't made a rig for holding them yet. I don't have any putty to attach it to a soda bottle cap as I saw in one video. Although I do have tubs of Plumbers Putty in my garage (comes with the trade)


I've made up a pretty good system for holding them. I take a sheet of foam, cut it into small strips that are roughly 3.5 cm or 1.5" wide, stick large-headed nails into the foam (I use 1" 11 ga galvanized roofing nails), put balls of stick-tack on top of the heads of the nails (I use NandiTak, made by Super Glue), and mount the figures on the stick-tack. This image shows the rows of nails with the stick-tack on top after I had spray-painted my War of the Ring (First Edition) figures (although for these figures I used much smaller strips of foam because I was only painting a couple at a time):



This method allows me to place several identical figures side by side for simultaneous painting, I pick them up using the foam base, and the nail elevates them off the base a little bit. It's a handy system!

lordunborn wrote:
I find that my biggest problem (aside from a shaky hand sometimes) is that If when touching up a spot I nick another spot I have to touch that spot up and then I nick a spot and have to continue the chain.


Oh man, I can relate to that! angry


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Dan Becker
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What a great job. You will become a better/faster/more creative painter with each project, so I can envision many great photos from you and your wife in the future.
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hmgs.org
for many non-GW links for the entire hobby of miniatures.meeple
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Mark Chaplin
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Well done.

Next thing you should try is creating your own scenery. Nothing better than painting something you've crafted from scratch yourself.

I'm still in the middle of building the Second Hall and Durin's Bridge, myself.




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LJ
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Good luck and have fun!
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Jim O'Neill (Established 1949)
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Reprint wrote:
Very nice work. You're new at this?

For the next time, you could have saved $100 if you steered clear of GW.


Josh,

Great stuff! You are now officially on the road to perdition. I have been painting miniatures probably since before you were a gleam in your dad's eye and I can honestly say that your first attempt is amazing. I don't have the skills or eyesight of those in your gallery (gettin' on a bit, ain't I) but, that will not stop me using them for inspiration and enjoying myself in the process.

And to have a Mrs Swasbuckle that not only supports you, but actually matches your painting style is nothing short of

pyuredeadbrilliant.

In my experience, the female of the species always produces neater work; of which fact, you will no doubt constantly be reminded.

Now, Reprint is right in that you could have saved yourself over $100 but, I use only GW paints. I like the consistency in that, when you buy another pot of "Blood Red" it will, to the naked eye, match exactly the previous pot of "Blood Red" you purchased. In my opinion, they are first class paints.

Welcome to the painter's world! May it give you both the pleasure it has given me.

Regards,


Jim
Est. 1949

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