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Subject: A Painting Question rss

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Cactus god
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So, I've been painting miniatures for games like Descent, Shadows Over Camelot, etc. Those little plastic ones. I wash them and everything, so thats not my problem. What my problem is though, is that I use Acrylic paint. I got mine from Dick Blick and they work well...just not all the time. Sometimes the paint sticks to the figure beautifully and looks magnificent. I've painted many figurines that have come out quite well. I've always given them a primer coating, so thats not the issue. I guess the issue is I cant seem to find a way to make the paint less watery. Is there some kind of method I could use to do this? Some tubes seem to work much better than others and I cant figure it out.

Thanks for any tips
 
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Nick Hayes
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I take it you're not mixing water with the paint, right? Just had to make sure.

You could always spread the problem color out on your palette and let it begin to air dry. It will either begin to thicken or it will develop a skin. In the latter case, keep smearing it around on the palette to let the vehicle (liquid in the paint that contains the pigment) evaporate.
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Greg CZ
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Sometimes a good stir+shake helps. The pigments tend to settle on the bottom leaving the top watery. Or those paints were dilluted to much by the previous owner.
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Big Sean
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Acrylic paints on plastic/vinyl figures can be affected by the "releasing agent" used in the figure moulding process.
I would recommend washing the figures in warm soapy (household detergent for dishes etc is best) water and letting them dry, this usually removes the agent which is like a grease from the figures surface. It tends to affect the softer plastics as opposed to the hard plastics like construction kits. Another tip is if you have bent and out of shape soft plastics wash them in hotter water and reshape the figures while the plastic is pliable. Another trick is to coat them with a thin coat of PVA glue (approx 70/30 with water/glue) this also in certain cases prevents the paint from cracking if the figures get bent. Another good idea is 2 coats of varnish/lacquer. Two schools of thought on this one.
1 first coat gloss second coat matte.
2 both coats matte.

Dont rush this though as not allowing the clear coats sufficient drying time before recoating can with certain brands cause them to go milky and take on an opaque finish.

Hope this helps.

 
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Tom McThorn
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After washing the miniatures in warm soapy water and drying are you using any sort of primer? That may help with your paint sticking problem.
 
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Cactus god
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Hey thanks for all the replies. I'm using a squeeze tube, similar to a large large tube of toothpaste.(120ml) The thing is, some tubes work incredibly well. I squeeze the paint out onto newspaper, and I coated my darker figures with black paint, and they came out beautifully. I did actually wash them all with soap, and not only that but I coated them after they dried with a layer of paint, not primer. I just don't have primer available at the moment, although when I get some extra cash I will. The thing is though, that some of the figures take the paint extremely well. Other figures from the same set refuse to accept the paint as well as the others. So, I'm at a loss. I can only imagine that some tubes of paint are a little less mixed.

I don't mix the paints with water, but I believe the acrylic has water in it when they're made...or some kind of oily thing...I'm not positive. The glue idea is actually the best I've heard so far, as the glue will clearly stick well to the figure. But I'm looking to dry out the acrylic paint in order for it to be less watery. Any other ideas?


Thanks a lot guys, really appreciate every tip.
 
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Patrick McInally
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It sounds like your problem is still the releasing agent from the mould process... try giving the bothersome ones a second wash.

As for paint vs. primer, there's often no difference. With plastic, you actually don't generally NEED a primer, though with minis it's certainly recommended. I like gesso, as it is quite flexible and helps prevent your paint job from cracking over time.
 
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Orlando Ramirez
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There's also "gels" for acrylic paints. different kinds depending on how you want it to modify the properties of the paint. Look for them where you buy your acrylic tubes.

Some will thin out the paint, some will thicken it, some will make the workable time longer..etc.
 
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Richard Johnson
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I think all you really need is a primer. Go get pretty much any spray primer (doesn't need to be anything special or expensive) and your paint will stick 100 times better.
 
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Jim Patching
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cuzzle wrote:
I think all you really need is a primer. Go get pretty much any spray primer (doesn't need to be anything special or expensive) and your paint will stick 100 times better.


I agree with this. I know you said you already prime your miniatures but do you use a spray primer? I don't know why, but spray paint just seems to work so much better than actually painting primer on.
 
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Tom McThorn
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panzer-attack wrote:
cuzzle wrote:
I think all you really need is a primer. Go get pretty much any spray primer (doesn't need to be anything special or expensive) and your paint will stick 100 times better.


I agree with this. I know you said you already prime your miniatures but do you use a spray primer? I don't know why, but spray paint just seems to work so much better than actually painting primer on.


Wal-mart sells gray primer for around $1 per can. I use it on my miniatures and it works fine. Much better than a $10 can of hobby branded primer.

 
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Richard Johnson
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panzer-attack wrote:
cuzzle wrote:
I think all you really need is a primer. Go get pretty much any spray primer (doesn't need to be anything special or expensive) and your paint will stick 100 times better.


I agree with this. I know you said you already prime your miniatures but do you use a spray primer? I don't know why, but spray paint just seems to work so much better than actually painting primer on.


I use spray primer, so the best of both worlds. I have used spray paint before and while it's better than straight plastic, it is NOT primer and doesn't give the same quality.
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Cactus god
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A 1 dollar can eh? Thats my kind of can. Is there a special brand I should get?
 
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Denis Maddalena
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Dollar cans O primer? Eesh... I would suggest spraying a test figure with that stuff to make sure it's your style. Sometimes cheapie primer is great, coats fine, and other batches have been sitting forever, creating bumpy looking figures. I've had it happen with hobby branded primers, too, it just seems like it's less often - usually it ain't a big deal for the things it's intended for, but detail-oriented miniatures, like I said, can be hit-or-miss.

Not only would mold release agent be an issue, but sometimes different colors require different plastics. I used to be a production scheduler in an injection molding facility, and you see all kinds of crazy stuff thrown in the mix... and it would vary from run to run, depending on the needs, cost effectiveness, etc. Sometimes you're in danger of running out of dye and push the supply to its limits by thinning the mix just a tad, or maybe the customer feels like it should be brighter and you use twice as much dye as you planned. Though ultimately declared to be an inconsequential difference in the end product, there were always weird little side effects like weight and, most importantly, the way it feels.

Not that any of that matters too much when using primer, but it may explain (in more detail than you need) the issues you've been having.
 
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