A lot of tabletop games involve the use of miniatures or other play aids (hand-made dungeons, illustrations, paintings, etc), and this is the thread for them. Herein we talk shop about the full gauntlet of tabletop hobby activities: modelling, painting, sculpting, converting, and many more I am certain I have forgotten. Do not be afraid to ask questions! We all started horribly, and we have no problem letting you know our secret painting methods(in turn, making them not so secret).
There are some great sites out there for painters, converters, etc. While I am not personally big on using them, I know a lot of people do. Feel free to let me know any other sites you know, I'll throw them into this post!
- A long time favorite of many of the users on these forums, filled with good tutorials
- While its more community than anything else, the modeling and painting forums are a great place to get advice on things.
In this thread, a number of questions come up often about certain aspects of painting, so this is a small F.A.Q. for questions you have. If any of our regular viewers would like to add to this, just let me know!
Q: I see these beautiful models people post, so why do my models come out so much worse?
A: This is a hard question to answer, although part of it may just be you being critical of your own models. However, there are a few things that mini painters tend to all do, that highly increase the looks of their miniatures. First, you should always use primer on your models, whether plastic or metal. There are black and white primers, as well as coloured ones, such as red and green. I prefer white, but many people swear by the others. Experiment!
From there, it generally goes to base coating, which is what most people think at "painting". This is getting the main colours on parts. For example, you would be putting blue paint mainly on an ultramarine, with gold on certain parts, etcetera. This is also a good place to mention that you should generally water down your paints, especially if you use the main citadel line of paints. Just a few drops of water will really help getting the basecoats done.
The next two steps can be done interchangably, though I prefer to highlight before washing. So highlighting. This is just the practice of painting lighter colours on the raised parts and hard edges of a miniature. For example, lets take an imperial double eagle(the one with the two wings and two heads). Lets say this was painted with boltgun silver. You might, then, use mithril silver with a small brush to paint the edges of the feathers. This helps the model really pop, and look more striking.
Washing is the other step here. A wash is a heavily watered down paint, meant to pool in the recesses of a model to create shading and depth. The citadel washes are amazing, quite simply. They just work. Devlan mud works on everything.
Q: Ohh no, I hate how this model came out. Should I just repaint over it?
A: No, that would really kill a lot of the detail. Models are not very hard to strip! Simple green is the commonly used solution to strip a model of paint. Just leave your models submerged in simple green for at least an hour(overnight works better), and take a toothbrush to them to get off the paint afterwards(You probably dont want to use the toothbrush on your teeth later). Acetone can work for metal models, but be careful to make sure they don't have plastic parts; Acetone will eat plastic.
Q: Do I have to use GW's paints?
A: No, although you probably want to use miniature paints of some sort. These include Citadel, Vallejo, Reaper, P3, and other paints. Make sure its a paint meant for miniatures, and that its acrylic, water based paint.
As it always comes up in these threads, here's Ashers method of painting his tyranids
Recipe is dead easy:
White undercoat (Skull white Spray)
Paint carapace Bestial Brown in a couple of watered down layers to get even coverage.
Now this is where it varies. For baby bugs, you can skip the next for steps and go to the straight Bleached Bone Layer. For bigger things do the following:
Streak inwards with a large brush using a 60/40 Bestial Brown/Bleached bone mix. Maybe go 1/2 to 2/3 of the length of the plate with this layer.
Then do the same using 40/60 Brown to Bone instead. Obviously you don't streak in as far.
Then you streak in using straight Bleached Bone. Use a small brush and have a lot of patience to get a good result. You can see in that picture about how far to go in.
Now, once again it depends on whether you're painting a baby bug or big bug. For Big Bugs, I carefully wash any recessed areas with Devlan mud, then go back with Skull White to tidy up any accidental splashes. Baby Bugs don't need this step.
Then, go ahead and wash the whole thing with Badab Black. You can water it down to keep the look a bit brighter if you want.
Then go back and re-streak with straight Bleached Bone again. This will give the edges of the carapace some nice depth.
Final step, Big Bugs only, mix 50/50 Skull White and Bleached Bone and do some selective streaking on the carapace to add a bit of highlighting. I haven't done that in that picture.
Hope that helps!
and of course... The Showcase.