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I can't believe I'm about to ask: Painting Minis

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08 Oct 2008 21:18 #12662 by Stonecutter
So I just got Descent and the girlfriend loves playing it... but she's interested in painting the minis. I've looked into a bunch of tutorials online and I think I've been able to parse out most of the basics, but every guide I find is either way too in depth, or way to abstract to be a definitive guide.

So if anyone has experience and would like to type up a sort of middle ground, or if anyone could link me to something I'd really appreciate it.

What I'd REALLY love, however would be a shopping list. Most of the guides I see are for painting pewter figures, but of course descent is plastic, I'm sure this changes the types of paints I'd need, but I haven't the froggiest idea of what works and what doesn't.

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08 Oct 2008 21:27 #12663 by Gary Sax
The best tutorial I found was on brushthralls. It was novice enough for me to understand but got into slightly more advanced techniques as well.

www.brushthralls.com/tutorials/index.php

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08 Oct 2008 21:33 #12664 by Gary Sax
Directed you to the wrong part of the site--here's the one I looked at.

www.brushthralls.com/pre-painting-prep/m...-101-the-basics.html

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09 Oct 2008 01:10 #12666 by ubarose
Good sable brushes costs $10 - $25 a piece. You can find packaged sets of crap "sable" brushes in craft stores for $10 for 5 brushes, but you might as well flush that $10 down the toilet. So you might want to compromise and get student grade synthetic brushes (student grade meaning poor university art students, not little kids) such as Cotman, or Windsor Newton University brushes, which are about $3 - $5 each. If both of you are painting together, you'll want two of each size. Then, when you figure out which size you use most, upgrade to a sable in that size. The tutorial recommends size 1, 2 and 4. Personally, I swear by my Winsor & Newton Kolinsky Miniature Brush in a size 0 for the really fine detail, like eyes.

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09 Oct 2008 08:31 - 09 Oct 2008 11:23 #12681 by Mr. White
I've been painting minis for the better part of 20 years, but lately have been cutting waaaay back (see man-child thread for reasons).

Anyway, for what y'all want to do I'd forgo all the expensive stuff. Casual painters don't need to spend the cash for Golden Daemon quality work (GD being the highest painting prize in the GW hobby). You just want some color on your pieces that look of table top quality, and probably in a reasonable amount of time.

I suggest dipping.

Basically, it only requires base colors (I suggest using a white primer as the dip will darken the colors a bit. The white will counter this to a degree.) then dipping the model in a dark, water based wood stain. Minwax is best. You can get it at Home Depot or what not for about $5. Get cheap brushes too, as the dip is *very* forgiving (another reason first time painters should do it) and fills the gaps you leave or the lines you cross. Being a protective stain, it also acts as a sealant against chips/scratches. However, I spray a light coat of sealant using Testor's Dulcote to cut the shine from the dip and add an extra layer. The only thing you may want to spend a little coin on is the paints. I'd suggest using GWs.

Here are two tutorials on it:
www.dysartes.com/model/painting/Dipping1.php

www.librarium-online.com/forums/painting...g-tyranids-more.html

And some models I have used the dip technique on in the past:

Khorne Blood Bowl
Nurgle Blood Bowl
Blood Bowl Personalities

The biggest thing you need to know about your Descent pieces is that they will need to be washed in warm soapy water before applying the primer. Plastic minis are cast with some thin slimy film which keeps them from sticking to the mold. This needs to be completely cleaned off for the primer/paint to take.

Good Luck, and I can field any questions you may have.
Last edit: 09 Oct 2008 11:23 by Mr. White.

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09 Oct 2008 08:45 - 09 Oct 2008 11:21 #12682 by Mr. White
Also, I remembered this article.

utini420.blogspot.com/2008/08/descent-gw-washs.html

GW has put out some washes that folks are going nuts over. Washes are basically watered down paints. Anyway, with the success folks have had with dipping over the years GW has changed the consistency of their washes to be more dip-like. They settle in the recesses creating a shaded area while lightly coloring the raised bits giving a highlighted look.

This actually may be the way for y'all to go, as I think you'll only need to buy the set of washes for $18 and be good.
Last edit: 09 Oct 2008 11:21 by Mr. White.

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09 Oct 2008 10:48 #12698 by Stonecutter
So very awesome. Thank you.

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09 Oct 2008 11:16 #12699 by ubarose
I also suggest finding out why your girlfriend wants to paint the minis. Does she just like color in the game, in which case the quick dip or wash might be the best way to go. Or is she interested in the activity of painting the minis.

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09 Oct 2008 11:37 #12702 by Mr. White
Even so, I'd go cheap material first until she decides she actually likes it. The hobby can be very expensive and a huge time sink. I wouldn't recommend going all in unless you've tested the waters.

For the record, I use cheap craft brushes and my minis look fine. So long as you take care of them they'll hold up. If not, they're cheap enough to buy a new set. I think mine are like 5 for $4 at hobby lobby.

Vallejo puts out some good paints if you don't want GW's, but again buy the wash set or a basic modeling paint set and see if y'all like it.

Painting minis (particularly large amounts like in Descent) can be a lot like the Mitch Hedberg pancake joke. All exciting at first, but by the end you're %$&#ing sick of it.

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09 Oct 2008 11:38 #12704 by mikoyan
I haven't painted minis but I have painted figures as part of my models (although I never quite got to the level of painting eyes and stuff....Not that patient). But to echo what everyone else said, get a good detail brush. For paints, I use Tamiya but that's mostly because of my models and Tamiya is nice enough to reference them in the instructions. Acrylics are nice because you can use water. But the best thing you can do is the wash.

Take either black or brown, place a drop in some water (you want it fairly well diluted) and then paint it on normally. It doesn't take to the outer parts but it does pool in the low lying areas and brings them out nicely. You would use black for this. Brown is good for doing mud and stuff.

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09 Oct 2008 11:44 #12706 by Mr. Bistro
I agree with keeping it cheap until she decides if she really wants to go all the way (an interesting sentence if taken out of context). Also, if she ever tries dry-brushing she will prefer cheap brushes, since that process quickly destroys them.

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09 Oct 2008 12:17 - 09 Oct 2008 13:39 #12708 by Mr. White
One other tip.

The bases on plastic boardgame pieces are terrible for flocking (sand, grass, rocks, etc to add texture). They're way to soft and that stuff eventually breaks off as the pieces get bent. Bad idea.

Here's a really quick way to have your bases look good. Being set in a grey slabbed dungeon. Paint the whole base black, dry brush with a similar shade of grey as the board (with some black showing through), then wash/ink with either brown or black. (also paint the edge of the base the color the mini should be. Red rings for the red minis, etc so you can tell the creatures apart. having entire bases red or various colors look like everyone's standing on a skittle). Anyway, doing the base, dry brush, wash will add depth to the base while still allowing it to hold up to play.

I used this technique on my FoD minis that you can check out in the catchall section. Of course I used shades of brown instead of greys to better fit the FoD gameboard.
Last edit: 09 Oct 2008 13:39 by Mr. White.

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10 Oct 2008 00:52 #12740 by Stonecutter
ubarose wrote:

I also suggest finding out why your girlfriend wants to paint the minis. Does she just like color in the game, in which case the quick dip or wash might be the best way to go. Or is she interested in the activity of painting the minis.


Oh it was one of the first questions I asked. It's about the actual act of sitting down and painting them more than adding color to the game I think.

Jack Hooligan wrote:

Painting minis (particularly large amounts like in Descent) can be a lot like the Mitch Hedberg pancake joke. All exciting at first, but by the end you're %$&#ing sick of it.


Oh I kinda figure that's going the case. The last thing I want is a half set of painted minis and a half set of unpainted/half painted minis. I'm undoubtedly going to buy some mini's just to practice on/paint up for fun before I even touch the descent minis.

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10 Oct 2008 10:49 - 10 Oct 2008 10:55 #12748 by ubarose
Stonecutter wrote:

ubarose wrote:

I also suggest finding out why your girlfriend wants to paint the minis. Does she just like color in the game, in which case the quick dip or wash might be the best way to go. Or is she interested in the activity of painting the minis.


Oh it was one of the first questions I asked. It's about the actual act of sitting down and painting them more than adding color to the game I think.

Jack Hooligan wrote:

Painting minis (particularly large amounts like in Descent) can be a lot like the Mitch Hedberg pancake joke. All exciting at first, but by the end you're %$&#ing sick of it.


Oh I kinda figure that's going the case. The last thing I want is a half set of painted minis and a half set of unpainted/half painted minis. I'm undoubtedly going to buy some mini's just to practice on/paint up for fun before I even touch the descent minis.


LOL. You are screwed. Your girlfriend will pick a few of her favorites, lavish loving attention on them, get bored after a couple of painting sessions, and you'll be stuck with all the rest. I did the same thing to my Man back when we were dating. All the furniture and the four heroes in his HeroQuest set are painted. 15 years later, and the monsters are still in various states of not painted at all, or partially painted. Monsters were too boring. This past summer he finally handed a bunch of monsters over to our 9 year old to paint. Despite that, it was fun to paint together and I remember those afternoons with fondness.

So, ignore the tutorial's suggestion of expensive sable brushes and super fine paint. But don't go super cheap either. If you have mad skills, you can paint with crappy tools and materials, but they will frustrate the hell out of a beginner and you will end up with even fewer finished minis. The exception is that you should have some cheap trasher brushes for dry brushing, and other stuff that doesn't require fine control, like base coating. Other than that, go with something mid-range for both brushes and paint. Don't over buy. Resign yourself to the fact that you will have a set done in three different painting styles - the ones your girlfriend paints, the one you paint with your girlfriend, and all the rest that you do something fast and easy on.

The two items that I would add to your shopping list as must buys are:
One good detail brush - your girlfriend will attempt to do the eyes.
Acrylic paint thinner of the same brand of whatever paint you decide to buy.
Last edit: 10 Oct 2008 10:55 by ubarose.

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