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Subject: Painting Workshops rss

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Doctor X

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So, you're probably all familiar with those cooking classes for couples, where you and your SO learn to cook a few nice dishes with other like-minded couples.

I propose - and would love to know if it already exists - some kind of workshop for those who want to paint minis and/or pimp games. I literally have a stack of GW boxes filled with minis I want to paint. And I would love to take a shot at pimping a game.

Now, I managed to paint the Battle for Macragge set with some measure of competence, but for a variety of reasons I had to stop painting for awhile. Now that I've tried to get back to it - experimenting with some Chainmail minis I had - I find my painting "skills" have gotten worse. I can't explain it, but it's true. I'm making a mess of stuff lately and I'm not going to do that to a $50 or $100 game.

I have several GW painting guides but I don't learn well from books (no, school was not fun for me) - I do my best when shown how to do something and then invited to follow the example.

So in short, I wish there were painting workshops for folks like myself. Any thoughts, ideas, comments?
 
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Mark W
United States
Islip
New York
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Maybe not a full-fledged workshop, but I've heard you can walk into a GW store and get painting tips, as well as use their supplies. Of course they'll try to sell you tons of crap. But anyway, the closest store to Utica is a bit of a trek.
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Ed Oviedo
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Brentwood
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I have two suggestions:

Go to your local game store and see if they run any kind of miniatures events or demos. Talk to people there about painting. Or if you are lucky they will have painting seminars. Alternately if you have a Games Workshop store nearby they may have painting workshops there. (Just don't feel obligated to buy all your supplies there -- they are good but very expensive).

Second, you really need to learn by doing it. Take a look at this Geeklist which covers the "dip method":
The DIP Method: A Step by Step Guide to Painting Miniatures

Also, take a look at this site for more info (although I disagree with some of his advice about the translucency of paints).

Once you are comfortable with the basics, take a look at this site for more advanced techniques:
BrushThralls.com

Good Luck.
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♬♪♪ ♫ ♩ ♫♫♪ ♩♬♪ ♫
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MURRUMBEENA
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All reality is a game. Physics at its most fundamental, the very fabric of our universe, results directly from the interaction of certain fairly simple rules, and chance... (Iain Banks)
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YMMV, but in Australia mini painting is often available through organisations that teach craft/skills courses, especially as a holiday activity for teenagers. I know of two games shops in Melbourne that do this during school breaks. There are also at least two hobby centres that run demos/courses at the same time.
So check out shops, especially those that sell a lot of minis and terrain, and investigate craft programs for kids!

-R
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temazur
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I can't give any better advice than you've already gotten. There are some good resources listed here.

I did find that perusing the GW site and looking at their step-by-step guides for specific figures gave me good ideas. I wasn't even painting GW minis, but it helped me figure out what to do in the proper order.

I'm not a great painter, but I'm passably okay. The biggest boon I've found lately is lighting. I have a 3-LED headlamp I use for camping and as a booklight at night. That thing is amazing when painting minis. Better than any desk lamp I've ever used to give exact illumination. Between that and judicious use of ink washes, my stuff looks a lot better.

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Doctor X

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All good advice so far folks, thank you and keep 'em coming if you're interested.

Let me also ask this: what's the consensus on practice? Okay, this sounds silly, obviously practice makes perfect, right? Or is mini painting more akin to riding a bike?

What I can't figure out is why my painting ability, meager as it was to begin with, took a gigantic dive. There are certain factors I can understand - my paints took a hit in quality during the time I stopped painting, and apparently re-hydrating them does not work as I had hoped. I wish I had a little mini paint-mixing machine for the paint pots. ( ) But lately, everything is turning into a giant smudgy mess.

I did get very nice results recently painting a fantasy mini of a thief by finishing up with the dip method, but after trying that a few times with other minis I believe I have discovered that you need different shades of wood stain depending on whether the mini is lighter or darker. Also, I think the dip method might be best suited for figures of persons and creatures. I attempted the dip on some Battletech tanks with disastrous results.
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temazur
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Practice does make perfect. I've put mine aside for a few years and just picked it back up. My first figure was meh, my second figure was slightly less meh, and my third figure is continuing the trend. I'm working on a fourth one and it's already much easier and I'm happier with the results with this one.

It really sounds like your paints are a good bit of the problem. If they're not really liquid to begin with, won't they clump faster on the brush, too?

How are your brushes, too? I just replaced a bunch of mine (yay for spontaneous stops at awesome art stores!!!) and I'm much happier with the results.

Maybe replace your most used two or three colors and see if that helps.

Oh, keep in mind I'm not some kind of zen mini painting master - this may be a case of the blind leading the blind.
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Bryan Brown
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use ball bearing or rock in bottle to mix. Buy some acrylic extender to thin the paints (read the directions, I used some straight out of the bottle and my minis almost never dried). Some pigments don't last, some forever
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