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Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition)» Forums » General

Subject: A question for the miniature painters among us rss

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Glyn Allport
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Im new to boardgaming (3 months) I recently picked descent second edition up. I have noticed pictures of painted models appearing already and I would love to try it myself.

I know I will be terrible at first and was wandering if the paint jobs are permanent? could I wash the paint off with something and have a second go?

If anyone could point out some good learning resources for learning to paint that would be greatly appreciated as well.
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Tim M-L
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The paints you are likely to use (acrylics) will be removable with a little work. There is a lot of information for beginning painters in Miniature Painters Guild. You can find several relevant threads and ask more questions there.
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Rob "Bodhi" Wolff
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I used to do more painting, and I've decided to dust off my paints and my techniques to paint up my copy of Descent 2.0 as well.

If you want to skip my rant, go straight to Army Painter and look up their Quickshade tutorials ... http://www.thearmypainter.com/

I am a basic painter, at best, but over the years I've picked up any and every trick I could that cheated and made my poor paintjob look better than it actually was. The thing is, the tricks I used a decade ago have turned into a well-known series of legitimate painting techniques, along with cool products to support them! You can now just buy the stuff to make your paintjobs look good!

Here is what you do ...

1. Clean up all flash, extra garbage, and excess plastic from the miniatures. (with these great Descent sculpts, you can skip this step).

2. Wash in soapy, warm water. This removes the de-molding agent. If any miniatures are bent, or out of shape, dip in HOT water, allow to get soft, then re-position, and then dip in COLD water, to re-set them. Rinse all models thoroughly to remove soap.

3. Prime -- use a can of "plastic paint primer". 3M, Krylon, and others make primers now specifically for soft plastics. These primers are more flexible, and will stop the classic chipping and flaking that often happens with paint on plastic. Line your miniatures up, hold the primer about a foot away and 4 inches to the side, start your spray, then move your spray across the miniatures, all the way off the other side about 4 inches. (this way you get a nice even flow, by starting and stopping off the miniatures line). Rotate your miniatures and repeat, until the miniatures are covered lightly. Allow to dry, and repeat. It doesn't matter if the miniature is covered completely -- the priming agent is the main thing, and it will transparently mist over the miniature even in spots where the colour didn't cover completely. I use white primer, but others use black, and the debate as to which is better rages on ...

4. Paint. I use cheap hobby paints by Apple Barrel, but you can also buy hobby packs at hobby stores, such as a Testors Model kit, which gives you a wide selection of colours for cheap prices. The Apple Barrel craft paints cost less than a buck a bottle, and come in a huge variety of colours.

Paint your miniatures from the inside, out. Paint the deepest parts first, then the outlying areas. Paint simple, slightly-brighter-than-you-want shades. Paint large areas, then go over and paint smaller areas within the large areas. Thus, you might paint the entire pants of a miniature, then go over and paint the belt, then go over and paint the buckle.

If you want to paint metal objects on the figure, use a paint with the description "metallic" in the title. Usually having a silver and a steel metallic is enough, but you can also get bronze, gold, brass, etc.

Don't worry about fine details yet.

5. "DIP" -- this is the cool part, and the part that used to be a secret trick and is now an accepted technique with new products to help you.
If you are completely unfamiliar with this, check out the Army Painter site, and their tutorials.
I recently picked up Army Painter Strong Tone Quickshade, which is a product that you can paint on your miniatures to bring out shading and details. It is a real product that replaces the minwax polyshades so many of us have been using for years (which was a wood stain, and wasn't designed for little miniatures)
What this product does is lightly cover the entire painted miniature, and then pool deeper into the crevasses and nooks and crannies. This means that the outer areas remain bright, and the deeper folds now shade darker and darker, progressively, making things look shadowed, shaded, and detailed. Your simple one-color treatment now looks "realistic".
Seriously -- it is magic!
You can either dip the entire miniature into he stuff and then shake off the excess, or simply paint it off and wick off the excess with a brush or q-tip.

6. Detail -- go over your model and add a few bright details. "Drybrush" the edges, or make certain details pop out. At this stage you might paint the logo on a shield, or try to paint eyeballs, etc. Now is the time to hit up those edges, pop those details, and finish the paintjob.
Also ... paint your base to match the red/white master/minion aspect. Or, you could base your miniature with a pretty base, and forget the color-coding.

7. Coat -- Your model is glossy and candy-coated from the dipping stage, so now apply a simple coating of matte-cover varnish. This also serves to protect the miniature.

////////////

Army Painter Quickshade and the matte varnish have replaced the products I used for over a decade, and I am excited that the painting community has caught up to the cheap-and-simple tricky techniques that we poor painters have been employing for years.



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Paul

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I will let others handle the finer details, but let me say this. I strongly encourage anyone to give it a shot if they have the time. I had basically no experience painting but decided to give my Descent figures a shot. I did a little research and dove right in. I have all my monsters done and am almost done with my heroes and I couldn't be happier. They aren't as good as some of the A+ jobs that you see around the Net, but they really look great on the board.

I just used $0.99 acrylic paints found at Walmart, a handful of mid-priced brushes (finding decent brushes is important, especially for the fine details), plus your basic matte sealant and I have never looked back.

The great thing you figure out pretty quickly is that when you make a mistake, it is so easy to just paint over it. In fact, that is the best piece of advice I would give...start very general and don't worry about staying "in the lines", because those bottom coats are going to get painted right over eventually (which you will see when you look at some tutorials). While I wouldn't use the term "slop it on" literally, that is essentially what you do...adding details/layers as you go.

Bottom line...if I can do it...you can do it.
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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For beginners, I *highly* recommend the "Dipping" technique that BodhiWolff described above. It produces okay results, doesn't take much time, and is *very* satisfying for beginning painters. After dipping a few times, you start to become courageous and try other techniques (drybrushing, washes, etc). Having successes early on really helps encourage continued painting.

-shnar
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Paul

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I know that dipping has gotten great reviews by many, many folks, but I dipped my monsters and wasn't thrilled with the results. I had already done some basic drybrushing etc. and while dipping helped some of the figures, there were a few that I thought looked better without (but I wanted to be consistent).

I might recommend finding a spare figure...maybe an old Heroclix or some other spare mini to quickly paint and then dip to see if it works for you because like I said, once I dipped a few of mine, I felt obligated to dip them all for consistency (at least the monsters...I am not going to dip the heroes).

As noted, I have heard a lot more positive reviews than negative however.
 
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Mike Russo
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I'm sure this has been discussed elsewhere, but can anyone point me in the direction of a "beginner's set" of paints and/or brushes? Is there a set that has all the necessary basic colors and washes you would need? Where is a good site to get those sorts of supplies?
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Cody Konior
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Is there a reason you do the dry brushing after the dipping, instead of before? Most tutorials I've seen seem to indicate the opposite.
 
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Josh Owens
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I bought a starter set from Games Workshop at my local comic shop. It comes with around 8 paints, a brush and 5 minis to practice on.
 
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Taylor S
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cody_au wrote:
Is there a reason you do the dry brushing after the dipping, instead of before? Most tutorials I've seen seem to indicate the opposite.


I could be wrong, but if you drybrush/highlight first, those will be affected by the dip which will dull it. If you dip first to create shading, then you can highlight with the base color to make the mini pop. Lighten and add one more level of edging, etc for a real nice job. But then you'd have to re-varnish to protect it maybe?

I just invested in an Army Painter paint set to get this started. I'm priming with white gesso since it is crazy humid in NYC and spray primers won't work. Then I'll use base colors, dip, one stage of highlights using the base color + pick out details, and seal with the matte varnish dull coat. Then I will base the minis with PVA glue + Army Painter basing materials. Drybrush that, paint the base edge, and we're done.
 
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Cody Konior
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I just ordered an army painter mega paint set from maelstrom... here's hoping they can still get stock.
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Taylor S
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cody_au wrote:
I just ordered an army painter mega paint set from maelstrom... here's hoping they can still get stock.


That's what I got. It's awesome.
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el_chupacabra wrote:
I'm sure this has been discussed elsewhere, but can anyone point me in the direction of a "beginner's set" of paints and/or brushes? Is there a set that has all the necessary basic colors and washes you would need? Where is a good site to get those sorts of supplies?


Walmart.

No, really, Walmart. W has a 24-bottle acrylics set that has *shades* of each color, including flesh. I usually find five bottles that work together, and build up the layers. Also, get a high quality (well, as high as W has) paint brush set that has as many detail and angle brushes as you can find.

Primer you buy at OSH or Home Depot. Additional detail brushes you buy at your hobby store or art store -- a good detail brush is vital.

You also want one of these things, maybe without a magnifier:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000NQ4Q4C/ref=oh_details_o...

Warning: Heroes have a *lot* of detail. If you're really new, practice on undead skeletons, slimy horror monsters, or space miniatures without faces or detail. Big miniatures should also be easy to paint, and try to paint in batches (five of the same mini).
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Note that the Wal-mart paints are the 'craft' paints, so they tend to not only be cheaper but also larger bottles. It's a great way to save costs over the 'specialized' miniature paints. And acrylic paint is all that mini paint is.

-shnar
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Lorenzo Sasso
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You already received a lot of great suggestions but, if you are/you'll be looking for other sources, i'd like to point you a couple of great painting sites

http://www.coolminiornot.com/

http://chestofcolors.com/

http://massivevoodoo.blogspot.it/

here, in the "tutorial" or "articles" section, you can find a gazillion of tuts, maybe the most are advanced ones but there are also a lot made for beginners who want to start.

Lawrence
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Glyn Allport
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Thanks alot to everyone. There are some brilliant tips in here. Iv'e ordered the armypainter mega paint set and strong tone quickshade for dipping. Im going to browse the recommended sites, then im going to go for it!

I own descent 2.0 and gears of war, both look great for painting (lots of detail though) I wish my copy of mage knight wasn't pre-painted now as well to be honest.

Thanks again.
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David Bezio
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Well, here’s what I did with the first edition. These minis won’t wow miniature gamers, but they were fast and are durable.

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/440308/descent-core-painted-...

Here is a tutorial of the technique I used (but read the thread to the end, because there were some problems with the tackiness of the sealer I used). LOts of people have had fun with this.

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/448494/last-night-on-earth-z...
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Cody Konior
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I'm pretty sure those figures would wow anyone sane. I'm horribly jealous.
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Clint Conner
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So far, I've painted my Fleshmoulders and Zombies. I'll post pics later tonight, but I used the dip method listed above. I dipped the Zombies in Antique Walnut Satin and I dipped the Fleshmoulders in Pecan Satin. The problem that you'll run into with Antique Walnut Satin is that it will severely drown out lighter colors. It turned the light grey wings on my First Edition Razorwings into almost completely brown wings.
 
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I started painting a few years ago and did a lot of research on the Internet on techniques and materials. Here's what I found:

Remove flash with a knife, but be careful, it is better to leave too much than remove too much, and this soft plastic doesn't flash well. Then wash your minis with soapy water to remove residue mold release agent. 

Primer
You have to prime! Use primer, not paint! Krylon fusion sucks: paints slides off of it. Black primer is often recommended, but it makes details hard to see when you are painting, and it will dull all bright colors. White primer leaves white areas on your model if you miss a spot (and you will) and those stand out. Grey primer is the best of both worlds. I use Krylon indoor outdoor grey primer for almost everything now, and love it.

Paint
Walmart paints suck. You get a lot but they don't work right, and you really don't need a lot. Games workshop is the brand my local store carries, and I like it. So that's what I use. Other miniature brands (Vallejo, etc) may work as well or better (but I would have to order them online, and there is something to be said for having a supply easily accessible)
I got some foundation paints (now called bases) from GW. They are great, but use them carefully, as they are thicker. One coat is a great base for further paints in the same color family, or will work well on its own.
Miniature paint is expensive, just slowly buy what you need next pot by pot.
Silver: paint on black. Gold: paint on dark brown. Follow these two simple rules and you will be happy with the results. Don't follow them, and ten coats of gold will still not look right (but will become a nice glob obscuring all detail)

Dipping/washing:
I dipped in wood stain and hated the results. Then I bought GW washes (brown and black are the most used) and they really work well. They are also acrylic, which means you can paint over them (unlike wood stain dipping, which should be the last thing you do to your mini)

Dry brushing: 
Learn this technique. It is easy, and the results, especially when combined with washing, are great. I found that the GW dry brush brushes are really, really great (all their other brushes stink though, don't buy them)

Brushes: don't cheap out. You want a 5/0 and a 10/0, and then some larger brushes. Hobby stores have cheap sets that are fine (don't buy the cheapest, though) but Walmart cheap sets shed worse than my dog, so stay away. Nothing worst than a hair in your carful paint job!

Sealing: you can skip this step, but if you seal, you can use Pledge tile and vinyl floor finish with Future. This is acrylic (so you can still paint after this step!) This sometimes gets milky when drying, but after it is dry it is clear. After this dries, I spray with Krylon Matte Finish. 
EDIT: I do not apply a layer of Pledge to any model that has not been completely cured. This means dry for at least two weeks! The solvants in Pledge are the same as in your acrylic paint, and it will dissolve un-cured paints. The result of this is that the pigment in the paint is now in your seal layer (that you want to be clear) and smudges over your careful paint job. You do not want this to happen! Just wait a few weeks and it won't. I also have a brush set aside specifically for this job!

So this is my way that I discovered through many failures. Hope it helps.
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RobertDD wrote:
Dipping/washing:
I dipped in wood stain and hated the results. Then I bought GW washes (brown and black are the most used) and they really work well. They are also acrylic, which means you can paint over them (unlike wood stain dipping, which should be the last thing you do to your mini)



You can paint over wood stain. I always dip my figures and THEN paint their bases before applying a coat of laquer.
 
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Robert
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Maziken wrote:
RobertDD wrote:
Dipping/washing:
I dipped in wood stain and hated the results. Then I bought GW washes (brown and black are the most used) and they really work well. They are also acrylic, which means you can paint over them (unlike wood stain dipping, which should be the last thing you do to your mini)



You can paint over wood stain. I always dip my figures and THEN paint their bases before applying a coat of laquer.


Well, you can, and you can't. The wood stain will make a surface that is hard to get paint to adhere to. It is like the original plastic you begin with, and to get paint to adhere to that we had to apply a layer of primer. Obviously, you don't want to apply primer to the wood stain. You can paint on the stain, deal with the poor qualities as painting surface (which is easier on a base than on a fig itself, I'd imagine) and then apply varnish to seal the whole mini. I'd imagine that that would work, to some degree.

What I often do after applying a wash is drybrushing the area. I just washed (after it is dry, of course) If I drybrush back with the same color I washed over, I get a great highlight effect: darkest in the recesses where the wash dried, a darker hue over the entire area and the original color on the high areas. This technique will not work with woodstain dipping. The dry brush will not yield the desired result. At least not for me.

Another general rule in painting is that you want to apply acrylic on acrylic. So once you apply a non-acrylic layer, you are done. This is why I think the Pledge with Future is so great: acrylic sealer (and dirt cheap at that!)

By the way, if you cut pledge with some water and at a little paint, you can make your own washes in any shade you like. It is called "Magic Wash" (http://www.paintingclinic.com/clinic/guestarticles/magicwash...) and can also be used as an alternative to the dip.

I still really like the GW washes, though. No need to go mix, which is nice. Agrax Earthshade is the brown one, and Nuln Oil is the black one, those two will do most everything for you. Use brown over organic, black over metalic. For faces and hands I do use Ogryn Flesh (Now called Reikland Fleshshade) but you can use Earthshade as well. I use lots, I am not careful putting it on at all.

EDIT: one more thing: acrylics clean up with water and soap! Wood stain does not! If you "dip" using a brush, that brush is pretty much throw away after the job.
 
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Robert
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One more piece of advice I found very helpful: When you follow advice from someone, always make sure you see some of their painting results. Make sure it is up to your own standards.

I have read some painting advise that I thought was interesting, like "use this, it is just as good as this, you can't tell the difference!" and then looked at some pictures, and I could tell the difference. Very easily.

Note that I realize I don't have any painted stuff up. I'll try and remedy that soon!

EDIT: I uploaded some paint work to my gallery so you can check out what results I am getting using my methods. (No Descent, I haven't painted any of my Descent figs)
 
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RobertDD wrote:
One more piece of advice I found very helpful: When you follow advice from someone, always make sure you see some of their painting results. Make sure it is up to your own standards.

I have read some painting advise that I thought was interesting, like "use this, it is just as good as this, you can't tell the difference!" and then looked at some pictures, and I could tell the difference. Very easily.



As a staunch defender of the Apple Barrel type paints, I will simply state that I don't think anyone said that they were as good as the expensive mini paints. Rather, they work just fine if you aren't a hardcore painter and just want nice solid results without breaking your bank (which is what category most beginners fit under IMO).

As someone who has used the cheapo paints, I can tell you first hand that my figures look great given my skill/experience. In other words, it isn't the materials holding me back.

If this is going to be a hobby or if you are striving for an elite level of painting, I agree with all you said. If you are a gamer who just wants their minis to look good on the table, then the Apple Barrel type paints are going to suit your needs just fine.

Maybe I will get around to posting some of my pics too.

EDIT...and by the way, love the images you posted. Fine job.
 
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badgermaniac wrote:
RobertDD wrote:
One more piece of advice I found very helpful: When you follow advice from someone, always make sure you see some of their painting results. Make sure it is up to your own standards.

I have read some painting advise that I thought was interesting, like "use this, it is just as good as this, you can't tell the difference!" and then looked at some pictures, and I could tell the difference. Very easily.



As a staunch defender of the Apple Barrel type paints, I will simply state that I don't think anyone said that they were as good as the expensive mini paints. Rather, they work just fine if you aren't a hardcore painter and just want nice solid results without breaking your bank (which is what category most beginners fit under IMO).

As someone who has used the cheapo paints, I can tell you first hand that my figures look great given my skill/experience. In other words, it isn't the materials holding me back.

If this is going to be a hobby or if you are striving for an elite level of painting, I agree with all you said. If you are a gamer who just wants their minis to look good on the table, then the Apple Barrel type paints are going to suit your needs just fine.

Maybe I will get around to posting some of my pics too.

EDIT...and by the way, love the images you posted. Fine job.

Thank you for the praise!

A lot of people seem to like the Apple Barrel paints, and this advise is all over the geek and the internet, but I strongly disagree. I bought a bunch of them at WalMart based on all the positive reports. I didn't want to spend a ton of money on a hobby I didn't even know if I were going to enjoy. But I got really frustrated and almost quit the hobby completely. I just didn't get the coverage, or if I did it was globby and covered the details, or I needed layer after layer after layer. It just did not work for me at all. I also never got them to flow right, either to thick or too thin.

I am not saying they won't work for anyone, I am just saying they didn't work for me. And I really agree with the previous poster who said early success is important.

It's probably a good idea to mention that I am in my early 40s and my eyesight is only so-so (I wear glasses). I have only been painting for somewhere between two and three years now, so I am mostly a beginner, maybe just beyond that at this point. I did get one of those standing daylight magnifying glasses\lights that really help in getting the details right, but painting underneath it required a bit of getting used to. I am also somewhat critical and if it doesn't look good by my own standards then I get frustrated. But if it does I really enjoy that sense of accomplishment that painting gives me.
 
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