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Descent: Journeys in the Dark» Forums » General

Subject: Newbie miniature painter requires advice... rss

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Martyn Fookes
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OK, the plan is that I'm going to cut my teeth miniature painting on my Descent monsters...

Anyone (with more painting knowledge/experience than me; which let's face it, won't be difficult!) got any suggestions as to which of the Descent mini's will accept a "less than expert" paint-job without looking like a 5-year-old has had a go? (No disrespect intended for any 5-year-old BGGs out there!)

I've got to start somewhere, just don't want to my first dozen or so attempts to LOOK like my first dozen or so attempts...

Anyone catch my drift here?

 
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Bobb Beauchamp
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Start big, the dragons are probably a good place to start. And don't be shy to use a picture (art, or preferably of another mini) to use as a guide. Attempting to replicate ain't a half bad way to try and learn things.

I'd also suggest looking up a walk-through to painting minis. There should be enough free ones on the internet that getting a good idea of what works for others shouldn't be too hard. The basic techniques, once you get the hang of them, really are pretty easy, and they make it look like you worked much harder to achieve the effects than you actually did.arrrh
 
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Jason Jullie
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Well, I've been painting Warhammer figures for some time and there are a few simple things you can do to really improve the appearance of figures.

First, get a spray primer. It would be best to get two (one white and one black). In a pinch, just get white. Base the monster that are going to be darker in the black spray primer and use the white primer for the figures that will be lighter. Using a spray primer not only saves time, but also creates a fairly even primer coat that is tough to achieve with brush on primers.

Second, don't just apply a single coat on your figures. Drybrushing and using washes are two simple things you can do to drastically improve the appearance of your figures. Drybrushing is tricky at first, but by simply following an online painting guide (I suggest the Citadel Minitures one) should give you an acceptable result. Washing is alo pretty easy, it just takes a few attempts to gauge the ammount of wash you need per area.

Hope this helps.
 
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Martyn Fookes
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Cheers, for that!

I've been reading online guides for a few weeks now; I think I'm down with washing and dry-brushing - the theory at least! The practice, well, that's why I asked my question...



The only thing that worries me about starting with a dragon is "because it's a 'big' miniature, won't it magnify any mistakes I make?" (I do bow to your superior knowledge/experience on this subject - honest! - it's just that this is nagging at the back of my mind...)

I'm pretty sure I've also read somewhere that wings are a right-royal pain to do well - or is that just "feathered" wings?

Once I've got something to show I'll post some pics and you can have a good chuckle! Might try and take a pic at each stage - might be a good learning tool for future minis to see what that first one was like as it progressed...

laugh
 
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Rob "Bodhi" Wolff
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My wife generally does our miniatures painting (she is *really* quite good), but forour Descent game we went with a tried-and-true, newbie-friendly method so that I could give her a hand, and still get nice results.

Plus, we're cheap, old-school gamers. We don't like to pay money if we don't have to.

Step One: Primer
Use White automobile primer, no-name brands from low-cost stores like WalMart, etc. Coat lightly, but evenly. The masters don't have to be pure white (they'll wind up looking kinda pink-ish). Don't worry. You just want enough primer for the other paint to stick to.

Step Two: The Paints
Use acrylic craft paints, like "Apple Barrel" paints, from low-cost stores like Walmart, etc. Don't buy them at craft stores, or you'll spend too much. Each tube of paint runs about 50 cents, and ours have lasted years and years. However, for metallics (like for chainmail, bronze, etc.) we still find that the standard miniatures paints are a little nicer.

Step Three: The "Dip"
For Descent miniatures, we opted to go for the "Dip" method, or "Magic Dip", as it is sometimes called.

What is this magic dip, you ask?

Minwax light- or medium-brown wood stain. Yes, wood stain. I know, it sounds crazy! A little can, costs about 2 dollars, lasts for years of projects.

Some people actually "dip" their entire miniature in the stain, then wick off the excess. I find that a bit much, so instead we just paint it on with a brush.

The Dip Method:
a. When painting, paint broad general colours over things, but paint them in lighter tones than you normally would. So paint the beastman skin a light flesh tone, paint his loincloth a light red, leave his hair primed white, paint his sandals light brown. He looks cartoonish and ugly so far, with just general bright colours, and no details.

b. Brush on Minwax wood stain. Light/medium Brown colours work well, because they don't darken the original paint too much. IF you want more black colours, make it a *very* light grey/black, or you'll just stain the whole thing black.

The stain flows over everything, but then runs into the cracks by preference. It acts similarly to an ink wash, but with slightly different (and useful) results.

The wood stain tones down the colours (that's why you painted them lighter than you would've normally), blends them, blurs the edges between each broad colour band. It also fills in the cracks with dark colour, making the details POP out instantly. Finally, it coats the miniature with a nice protective coating.

It really does blend the colours together. Our Hellhounds were painted with broad bands of 3 shades of brown, then stained, and suddenly they looked all blended and shaded, but with the cracks filled in an the manes completely detailed out. It is truly nifty to watch!

If too much stain has pooled in one spot, use a small piece of paper towel to wick off the excess easily. Check the miniature every few minutes, to see that you're getting the results you want.

Let the stain dry completely, until it is no longer tacky. This can take a full 24 hours for some miniatures, but we've managed to paint miniatures just an hour or so after staining.

c. Now, go back and drybrush on a few last details. Drybrush teeth white (but leave those cracks filled in brown/black, so the details still stand out nicely). Drybrush chainmail with a nice metallic silver. And so on. Just pop out those last few details that you want to call attention to.

d. Clear-coat with a dull/matte acrylic clear coat protector. This will stop the paint from chipping through extended use.

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

"The Dip" is fast, simple, easy, and gets results! I can't paint a miniature to save my life, but I've managed to paint up my descent miniatures quite nicely. Of course, for *truly* nice work, I hand them over to my wife for detailing. However, for the general monstrous-type miniatures, when I just want to paint them quickly-yet-prettily, this method can't be beat.
 
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Bobb Beauchamp
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CatDonkey wrote:
The only thing that worries me about starting with a dragon is "because it's a 'big' miniature, won't it magnify any mistakes I make?" (I do bow to your superior knowledge/experience on this subject - honest! - it's just that this is nagging at the back of my mind...)

I'm pretty sure I've also read somewhere that wings are a right-royal pain to do well - or is that just "feathered" wings?

laugh


Aye, the dragon's bigger, but that also means that there're fewer small details to mess up on.

Here's another suggestion: go buy a cheap minis starter set...Games Workshop usually has a decent starter set. That'll give you a few paints, brushes, and most importantly, a few non-Descent minis to practice on. You'll be able to try out the different techniques...light/dark base coating, drybrushing/washing, even layering and shading, to see how different things work, without worrying about making a mistake on you game figs.

And a word on mistakes...as that TV landscape guy used to say, there're no mistakes, only happy accidents. If you're using a thin enough paint, a little mistake shouldn't matter at all, and you should be able to paint over it with no one the wiser. If it's a big enough deal, you can usually wash off the error paint before it has a chance to set, if your other coats are sufficiently dry. And if you don't feel comfortable with that, consider if there's some way you can work the "mistake" into a different paint scheme from what you set out to do. arrrh
 
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Martyn Fookes
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kingbobb wrote:

Here's another suggestion: go buy a cheap minis starter set...Games Workshop usually has a decent starter set. That'll give you a few paints, brushes, and most importantly, a few non-Descent minis to practice on. You'll be able to try out the different techniques...light/dark base coating, drybrushing/washing, even layering and shading, to see how different things work, without worrying about making a mistake on you game figs.

Top idea!

I must admit I didn't know such a thing existed... Sounds like an ideal to spend tomorrow's lunch break - hunting for a cheap starter set on the net that I can buy in the UK...

Thanks

 
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