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Subject: Update: Mock My MINIS (Again!) rss

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Jon Martin
United States
Ypsilanti
Michigan
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Thanks for the feedback on the last thread guys! It was really helpful. I'm making progress! Here's a link to my latest efforts--now please mock them mercilessly and destroy my dreams:

MOCK MY MINIS!

Remember, I've not held a paintbrush since high school 15 years ago so no tip is too basic.

I just did my first humans for Fury of Dracula and I must say that I am quite proud of them! By far my best work yet, mostly because they were all so finely detailed that I used a 20/0 or 30/0 brush and a magnifying lamp for everything. I'm actually going to be redoing all the skin when my new flesh tone paints, flesh washes and Armer Painter strong tone comes in.

I've also started using white primer instead of grey or black and that has helped immensely.

The barghests also turned out fantastic imo. I've actually gone back and added some details here and there (blood trickling from the Merrods' mouths, recolored their back spines a lighter shade, small touchup work on skin tone for some of the humans, etc) to several of the models so I might add some pictures of where they are right now.

The Goblins were a pain in my ass. Since that picture I went back and made the master more distinguishable by making his leather dark grey/black, and his arrow fletching purple.

I struggle with eyes. I just can't seem to find a way to color JUST the eye white without smearing white on the nose or cheek. Then when I try to touch up the cheeks or nose I cover the eye back up in flesh tone. I can 'dot' an eye properly to give the pupil a color, but that doesn't look right without the eye painted white. If I can't white the eye I think it looks better just leaving everything skin tone and shaded.

Once again, please give me critique and be harsh! If you know of a technique that might help out a new painter (only one week old) please share the info. Even though I am completely new to this I think I've managed a pretty good baseline competency, but there's still a lot to learn.

Another issue I'm running into CONSTANTLY is brush tip degradation. I try to wash them with water every five minutes or so while painting, reform the tip with my lips after washing, etc, but they still all develop hooks or fishtails really quickly, and once that happens it seems permanent.

One of my friends suggested that I start using shampoo and conditioner on them after I'm done for the day, so I'm starting that. He also suggested that dipping a detail brush in some Elmer's glue and then forming a perfect tip with it and letting it set up and hold the tip perfectly overnight might help reshape the point once its hooked or fishtailed. Seems scary to dip a tiny brush in glue but I just washed the glue out of my test brush and it seems undamaged and its tip is almost like new.

I'm using one set of Army Painter brushes and one set of GW brushes. The GW brushes seem like rubbish. The AP are a little better. Any suggestions on what brush brands are the highest quality, sharpest tip, and longest lives?

I've signed up for the Reaper Minis kickstarter, so I'm in this for the long haul. $100 for over a hundred minis, some of them large, huge, and limited distribution? Yes please!
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Joseph Paquet
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well, with each batch youll notice some improvement. i started painting when i was about 10 and now 20 plus years later i still find area to improve and sometime i just re-do a mini cause the looks of it bug me.
Now on a technica note, ive never had this sort of problem with the tip of brush. I dont use super expensive brushes ( i got 4 for 2$ at a local dollar store) and they rarely get a bent tip. Maybe you are storing them point side down instead of up? maybe you clean 'em too often? Also it seems a bit of overkill to use 20/0 or 30/0 on those minis...at your skill level ( no offense intended) a good drybrushing would amply substitute for detail work like that... just my opinion though. im sure others can chime in with their best brushes selection but i prefer cheaper brush thati change more often. I never heard of the glue tip though...i just wash them good then shape the point using a bit of saliva...nothing fancy. I know most art store also sell stuff meant to help keep you brushes longer. If you are serious about mini painting you will find much help in art stores too not just gaming store

I'm sorry if you already mentionned but what type of paint are you using? acrylics? seems to me, a good way to improve would be use those acrylics thinned down a bit. Working on multiple layers of paint yield better result in the long run as applying just one fat coat.

eyes are a real PITA .. heres a little trick that might help you. On good minis ( i.e : one that arent going to be handled constantly) i start with white primer and before i do anything else i do the eye first. because the eyebal is already white, thats simple enough i just dot them ( you can also use a single thin vertical line), then i go back to my regular colour routine : flesh , then clothes, then detail work. If you mess up the eye at that first stage its easy to clean up and re-start fresh... If the mini is to be handled a lot or if it is in the smaller scale, i will usually just not bother with eye detail work. casual observers wont notice that too much

i think you'd do very well to practice washes and drybrushing. they are very simple techniques that will improve your painting by leaps and bounds. Look up "cool minis or not" and reaper "the craft" section for more info on these.

summmarly washing mean using a darker shade of colour (Say dark brown for a red cape) , thinning it down to almost water consistency, then letting it flow to settle in the deep recesses. That create dark shadows in you minis and improve contrast . Drybrushing means taking a ligther shade of colour to highlight only the top,raised details ( in the red cape example, id use a lighter red with a bit of yellow added) using a wider brush you load some paint, then rub most of it off on a painting rag until flicking it produce a very subtle shading. then you gently flick to highlight the top of the fold of the cape.

words can only help so much , hope anything i said will stick and help you enjoy mini painting keep working at it
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Jeff Wells
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From what I can tell, looks like you're doing fine. Like everyone else has said, you'll get better with experience. I consider myself decent at painting minis, (not great) and in the last couple of years there were two things that really helped me:

1. google Miniature Mentor. It's a site with tutorials. Yes, you have to pay for them, but find one that best fits what you'd like to learn (for me it was the speed painting one). They are professionally done, with really nice closeups so you can see really well the techniques the artist is using. You can find good tutorials on YouTube, but you'll have to sort through the advertisements and the not so good stuff.

2. Buy really good brushes. I finally broke down and got a couple Rafeal and Windsor & Newton brushes. They're more expensive, but the quality is outstanding, and even with a larger sized brush, you're still able to make a sharp point and get a lot of the details.
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old spirit
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Here's a tip: don't let the paint cover the bristles up to metal clamp. If even a little paint goes into the metal and dries then it will start to deform the brush tip (fishtail).
I think the hooks are a result of the quality of the brush. I'm sure if you only dipped em in water they would still hook.
If your not using washes then your brushes will have a shorter life.
Every once in awhile I'll put Elmers glue on my fingers and apply it to a brush tip sparingly. I've never dipped the whole brush... makes me wonder.
Oh, and keep the brushes. You'll find that come in handy at times.
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Craig J
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I’ve been painting for years and only started achieving good results after investing in some decent brushes... Kolinsky Red Sable watercolor in size 0 and 1.

Here’s a good read on Miniature painting and brushes...

http://www.dndlead.com/Painting/Paintbrushes.htm

EDIT: BTW... What Greg said (below)... Good job!

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Greg S
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Yes, your skills are improving more and more each time.

I used to paint eyes, but now I skip it since at the scale distance you wouldn't really see them; but do whatever you prefer. I've seen some really great miniatures with painted eyes so I would never fault it. Perhaps it's just my rationalization for not wanting to take the time to do it myself!!

Take a trip to your local art supply/craft store. The artist's section should have products you can use to both clean your brush, and also reshape them. While Elmer's glue may be working for you, I'm not sure what type of long-term issues may come up if you continue to use it.

Great job!!
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Jon Martin
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Thanks guys!

How would I go about mixing my own wash?
Can I add a colour to some minwax in a litlle temp mixing bowl? Or add a drop of color to nuln oil? Or do I have to start with my base color and then just thin it down.

What ratios?
Do I need anything other than base color + water?
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Chris
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They look pretty good. As a Mini Painter I would recommend investing in some Testers Dullcote. Yes the exact brand name if possible. This will take the shine off the minis and makes them look more realistic. It is a HUGE difference in the realism of a mini. If you have items that need to be glossy I would use some gloss varnish (Vallejo has a good one). You seem to be thinning your paints (or if not at least not glooping it on).

The brushes will hook. Care for your brushes and not going cheap on brushes are key. As Festivus said above W&N Series 7 Mini brushes are the best. Run around 8 - 12 dollars each (actually not mush different from the GW or Army Painter brushes in cost but 1000x better in terms of quality). Master's Brush Cleaner and Preserver is also a must buy.
http://www.generalpencil.com/index.cfm?page=content&cid=10
Read the directions.

Wash and Drybrush until you feel comfortable and move on to layering and then wet blending and extreme highlights. I have to say that for a new painter the new GW "How to Paint Citadel Miniatures" book is a great investment. The DVD that comes with it help to see the skills being used. Overall your doing great.
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Chris
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hairrorist wrote:
Thanks guys!

How would I go about mixing my own wash?
Can I add a colour to some minwax in a litlle temp mixing bowl? Or add a drop of color to nuln oil? Or do I have to start with my base color and then just thin it down.

What ratios?
Do I need anything other than base color + water?


Magic Wash

http://www.paintingclinic.com/clinic/guestarticles/magicwash...

Make a wash from ANY color paint.

Also I learned this one but can't remember where is that for Blood do NOT use red wash or paint. Brown ink and Red Ink 2:1 ratio. Makes AMAZING blood. Dip a brush in it (just a little on the tip) and give it a burst of air (like your blowing a piece of dust off the tip) and it creates a real nice splatter effect. I know your not doing these things but the mention of Magic Wash made me think of it and I figured I would pass on my knowledge.
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