In this final part of the series we will look at painting to a tabletop standard.
For Part 1, please go here.
For Part 2, please go here.
Much like the article on assembling minis, this is not designed to be a tutorial on the basics of how to paint, as there are many tutorials out there on that topic that are way better than I am capable of creating. That being said, I am hoping that this will show you some new ideas, or at the very least, show you that you don't have to be an award winning painter to get a nicely painted set of models on the board.
I tend to use Kolensky brushes (primarily the classic Windsor Newton number 7). Mostly I will be using a Number 1 brush, thogh for small details I do have a 00 size brush. One thing I don't do is use my painting brushes to mix my paints. I tend to use toothpics for this instead.
I actually use a mix that I learned a long time ago. It's basically remove a cup of water from a gallon of distilled water and then replacing it with Future acrylic floor polish. That being said, a normal flow improver works just as well.
This is the biggie right now in the hobby. While I do use one (primarily for base coats), for this article I did not.
I use Army Paint Uniform Grey as my standard primer. This is mainly becuase Army Painter is the primary paint system that my FLGS carries. For your primer, just get something that's decent. Any of the major paint brands make a nice primer, and I know people who also use stuff like Duplicolor flat primer from a home improvement store. My suggest is to take some of those sprue pieces (the one with the copyright on it) and prime those first, you can use the copyright information to see how the primer does with the details without messing up a mini.
This is another one of those things that is personal preference. As you can see, I have a large variety, of primarily vallejo and army painter. Once again, this is due to the ease of getting those brands, use what you like best.
This is probably one of the greatest things out there. I have hot glued my minis to some test strip bottles, but you can use anything you have handy. I have seen people using corks, or purpose made handle. Also, most people use poster tack to attach the model (or if you magnatise the base, attach a magnetic to the handle). This keeps your hand out of the way of the painting, and makes it easier to paint the undersides of things.
My basic priming process is to prime with a grey primer (as mentioned above). I then do what is called Zenthial highlighting. This involves taking a white primer and prime from directly above. This lightens the areas where an overhead light would hit it. First, here is a picture of just the grey primer under my hobby lamp so you can see how the light hits it:
See how the white lines up with the light from the first photo? This helps with some of the coloring of minis.
So I tend to be pretty free form on my palette.
I really liked the base studio color, so I started with a nice green-blue color.
I knew I wanted the urchins to be wearing scraps, so I looked for a beige or tan for that.
From there I decided to expanded out. Since my two base colors are green and beige. So based on that I kept with more natural colors such as browns and olive, basically I pulled out my miltary paints and used them for my palette.
Next I had to decide how to do my accessories. For the organs, I wanted the heart to be red (obviously) but the intestines I wanted to look different, so I went with a purple for them. For the clouds of smoke, a basic grey for them will do nicely.
Finally the metal bits. The Priests should have a regal look, so I went with a gold tone. The urchins on the other hand, are on the poor side, so I went with a black obsidian knife for them. finally, the rest of the weapons I went with gunmetal.
As I mentioned above, I tend to thin my paints. It's hard to say what the ratio of paint to thinner is, I tend to do a drop or two of each, mix it, and then add paint or thinner as needed until it is about the consistency I want. Here is a basic idea of how I like it to flow (click the thumbnail to see an animation of the paint flow):
One thing you will notice with paint this thin is that it looks awfully yucky with just one coat:
But, fortunately, after a few more coats, it starts looking half-way decent:
So when looking at the Voice of Daigon, I noticed a manufacturing defect along one arm. I could have used my superglue trick (or maybe some two part epoxy (like "green stuff") but I decided to "fix" it with paint. I pulled out some pink I had and mixed it with some of the of the skin tone to give him a nice scar:
At this point, it's a simple matter of putting the colors where they go. One trick to is use the side of the brush to paint the edges. Also, don't get to worried about getting paint in the right spots. One of the advantages of thinning the paint is that you can use a clean wet brush to remove most of the mistakes, and for what you can't, once it is dry you carefully paint back over it.
I like using resin toppers as you can see in my pictures, though a simple basing material works as well. I like this to be my last step because I know I am going to messing it up. My order is to always paint the top of the base first, and then paint the rim a nice black as a frame.
While that is a reasonable tabletop standard, you can make it stand out a bit more by using a wash. These come in a lot of different colors, though the most common ones are brown and black. For this, you just not so carefully put it on. The big thing is to watch how it is going on so that you don't get flat spots with a bunch on it. For these models I am using Nuln Oil by Citadel Paint thinned down like I thin down my paints, which is probably one of the most common washes you will hear people use.
And one final picture of the group all complete. Like I said, this isn't going to win a painting competition, but it looks good on a table:
(for the observant ones, one of the pants is in fact grey even though I didn't mention that color in my palette section. That is because when I went to paint it beige, I liked the primer coat better so I repainted it grey. That's the great thing about this hobby, pick the colors you like, there are no rules here.)
The final step is to use clear sealer to keep the paint from rubbing off.
And there you have it, a basic paint job that while it doesn't win awards looks good enough for the tabletop.