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Tabletop Gaming, Models, and Minis => Modelling and Miniatures => Topic started by: BanzaiCat on July 11, 2016, 06:18:50 PM

Title: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: BanzaiCat on July 11, 2016, 06:18:50 PM
...specifically, I'm thinking of starting small (and staying that way most likely) and painting my Imperial Assault plastic minis. Any advice from you experts out there as to what brand(s) to use, brush sizes, extras, etc. that I might need to use?

Thanks in advance.
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Silent Disapproval Robot on July 11, 2016, 06:42:19 PM
CSI has a bunch of out of print Star Wars miniatures from the WOtC game.  If painting isn't your thing (my hands aren't as steady as they used to be), they're worth a look.  They made hundreds of different types of models.

http://www.coolstuffinc.com/main_search.php?pa=searchOnName&page=1&resultsPerPage=25&q=star+wars+miniatures (http://www.coolstuffinc.com/main_search.php?pa=searchOnName&page=1&resultsPerPage=25&q=star+wars+miniatures)





Having said that, I used Tamiya paints for my Armada minis.  They work well with plastics.

Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: bbmike on July 11, 2016, 07:00:51 PM
And then Banzai_Cat tripped and fell head first into the rabbit hole...  >:D
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Nefaro on July 11, 2016, 07:53:10 PM
I only started a couple years ago, and only do it in occasional spurts.  So I'm still working on improving.


There are a number of good name brand paints.   Just make sure you get some good acrylic paints and a decent primer to go on first.


I have a large amount of Vallejo brand acrylic paints, and a handful of others.  I prefer the Vallejo and further stocked my color range with those as time passed.

Oddly enough, my local game store sold individual bottles of mini paints cheaper, per bottle, than I could find sets for online.  For awhile, anyway.  Pretty sure they raised the prices since then.   :-\  Never know.. if there's a game store with a minis selection near you, it may be worth checking out their paint prices.  These things aren't cheap, so just start off with the basics and mix & match as needed.  You'll tend to mix white in with other colors regularly when you're layering for gradual light/shade effect.


Many people use spray primers, of all sorts, for the undercoat.  I've seen a couple types of plain 'ole spray primer, form your local hardware store, recommended for regular use by many. Since the temperature, and especially the humidity, varies so much here, from day-to-day, I started brushing mine on after having a batch of primer'd minis dry out poorly, with a rather sticky primer coat.  Got some different bottles of airbrush primer and tried them out for brushing (liked the Badger Gray and the Vallejo Black thus far.. they were thick enough for brushing).  Takes longer that way, however.



As for brushes, just pick up packs of the smallest Rounds you can find.  No need to buy the pricey hair/fur bristled brushes, just pick up some with passable man-made ones while you're starting.  I actually kinda prefer the extra spring of the non-natural ones, anyway, when it comes to some of the detailing.  Although they tend to wear out faster.

Don't think I've tried this set on Amazon  (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B014GWCLFO/) yet, but it's the type of inexpensive sets I tend to pick up on occasion.  You'll tend to only use the #2 size and lower.  #0 and lower get the most workout for me, if the minis have a lot of detail (we always hope they do!).


One thing I was thankful to have started using is a Wet Palette.  Has not only saved my paints from drying too quickly, while I'm doing multiple models at once, but also helps keep it about the same damp consistency throughout.  You can purchase them or make your own with just a few items, but it is purely optional.   I hate to see even small amounts of paint get wasted so I eventually purchased a wet palette and was happy.  Before that, I just used a couple plastic palettes with small wells to drop a little paint into (cheap!).



Check out TY vids on the basics..

There are different methods for painting them, but I think everyone tends to mix and match different styles into their own method after getting familiar.  After a short introduction (easy to pick up the basic concepts by doing them a couple times), you'll find yourself experimenting.  Which is kinda fun.








As for Imperial Assault minis... check out this guy's big series on how he's painted those specific ones:


http://youtu.be/1ZUsfAtyEM0?list=PL6xOeNhrVj9to2nKZjk5H8OAQbG9izBrH






21 Mini series, showing each painting step on each mini.   8)

He goes into an extra step or two than my lazy ass currently would, for that extra bit of shading, but they look quite good for it too.


There are other Mini Painting Basics all over YT, which can give you the cut-down principles to start with. 

Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Jack Nastyface on July 12, 2016, 05:06:18 PM
oops...wrong quote, wrong thread.
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: BanzaiCat on July 12, 2016, 06:28:15 PM
Thanks all! I'll check it out this weekend an see what's what.

Thanks for the video link, Nef. I hadn't seen those vids yet.
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: SirAndrewD on July 14, 2016, 03:10:51 PM
My method for painting is pretty simple and tends to get decent results. 

I prime with black, quick color spray enamel.  It can be had for $.90 or so at Home Depot.  It's a lot cheaper than most purpose built spray primers and does the same job.  Works very well on washed resin or plastic. 

For paints, my favorite is Vallejo model color, the kind that comes in the paint dropper type bottle.  The dropper system makes mixing and blending a lot easier if you want to go for advanced features like highlighting. 

I also use several of the Andrea Color paint sets for quick shading.

Washes are good for adding depth and quick shading.  Try looking for a few of those that are a shade or two darker than whatever base colors you want to work with.

Get yourself a good set of brushes. I use a white tipped Lowe-Cornell Size 3 for regular and size 00 for fine work.  You might want to keep a 3/0 on hand for the really little stuff.  Keep them clean with The Masters Brush Soap.  Brushes are pricey and you don't want to be running through them often.

I'm not going to call myself the best painter in the world, but I get decent results..

(http://i331.photobucket.com/albums/l472/AndrewDupy/newultras1.jpg) (http://s331.photobucket.com/user/AndrewDupy/media/newultras1.jpg.html)

(http://i331.photobucket.com/albums/l472/AndrewDupy/warboss1.jpg) (http://s331.photobucket.com/user/AndrewDupy/media/warboss1.jpg.html)

(http://i331.photobucket.com/albums/l472/AndrewDupy/catachans1.jpg) (http://s331.photobucket.com/user/AndrewDupy/media/catachans1.jpg.html)



Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Nefaro on July 14, 2016, 03:52:52 PM
Forgot those.  Definitely the washes and the Masters Brush Soap. 

The latter definitely extends the life of brushes.  O0  The former makes shading so much faster & easier.

Andrew - do you use some kind of lacquer on your minis, normally?
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: bbmike on July 14, 2016, 04:12:41 PM
That's better than decent results!  O0
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: SirAndrewD on July 14, 2016, 04:35:36 PM
Forgot those.  Definitely the washes and the Masters Brush Soap. 

The latter definitely extends the life of brushes.  O0  The former makes shading so much faster & easier.

Andrew - do you use some kind of lacquer on your minis, normally?

Yeah, that stuff is amazing.

No, I generally don't like the result from lacquer and sealers.  They have their place for sure, but I haven't had much use for them myself.

That's better than decent results!  O0

Thanks!  I sometimes am a bit hard on my own ability, especially because I have several friends who are MUCH better painters than I am.  One of them is a Golden Daemon winner from '04.  I feel like I do well with darker colors, skin tones and shading.  I'm average at best at freehand, and that's where my real roadblock comes in getting better. 
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Barthheart on July 14, 2016, 05:58:09 PM
That's better than decent results!  O0

+1  :o

I could only wish to be that decent.....  :-[

I've got some Mercs Recon minis in the works.. I'll post pics when they're done but they won't approach those. My hands and eyes aren't what they used to be back in my model making/mini painting hay days.  :P
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: BanzaiCat on July 14, 2016, 08:47:57 PM
Echoing all the +1s so far...wow, that's great work!  O0
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Nefaro on July 15, 2016, 08:02:27 AM


No, I generally don't like the result from lacquer and sealers.  They have their place for sure, but I haven't had much use for them myself.




I don't like how they affect them either.  Just wondering if you thought them important enough to use despite that. 

After hearing some horror stories about game minis' paint getting scratched off, or getting wet and running off, I tried some in the past.  Would rather go without but as these acrylics are so water soluble, I'm still unsure.   :-\


And I agree with the others; those are great paint jobs. 

Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: SirAndrewD on July 15, 2016, 02:09:03 PM


No, I generally don't like the result from lacquer and sealers.  They have their place for sure, but I haven't had much use for them myself.




I don't like how they affect them either.  Just wondering if you thought them important enough to use despite that. 

After hearing some horror stories about game minis' paint getting scratched off, or getting wet and running off, I tried some in the past.  Would rather go without but as these acrylics are so water soluble, I'm still unsure.   :-\


And I agree with the others; those are great paint jobs.

I've rarely had problems with paint chipping or coming off miniatures, especially if they're plastic.  A good enamel primer will provide a strong base for the acrylic paints and you shouldn't need to seal it.  I can soak a dried painted mini in water and it won't do any damage.

Where you might run into some problems is when painting over metal or resin models, especially resin because of the post production oils.  Resin and pewter should be washed with soap and water and gone over with a toothbrush and left to dry before priming, this should help the primer get a better hold. 

I've actually had more trouble stripping the paint off models for a repaint than I have had with the paint bleeding or coming off on its own.
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Nefaro on July 16, 2016, 03:42:29 PM
Good to know.

I've only had to wash the occasional set of minis, due to excessive leftover oil.  The primers I use have been pretty good with the rest without a wash.

It's finding all the tiny flash lines, for filing off, that troubles me most in preparation.  While I find, trim, and file much of it off, there is often a small bit I only later discover after having primed and got into painting the details.  Can't win 'em all I guess.  :))
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: SirAndrewD on July 16, 2016, 04:34:07 PM
Good to know.

I've only had to wash the occasional set of minis, due to excessive leftover oil.  The primers I use have been pretty good with the rest without a wash.

It's finding all the tiny flash lines, for filing off, that troubles me most in preparation.  While I find, trim, and file much of it off, there is often a small bit I only later discover after having primed and got into painting the details.  Can't win 'em all I guess.  :))

Yeah, you're always going to find that last bit of flash after priming.  It's just the nature of the beast.
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Nefaro on September 01, 2016, 11:58:56 PM
...specifically, I'm thinking of starting small (and staying that way most likely) and painting my Imperial Assault plastic minis. Any advice from you experts out there as to what brand(s) to use, brush sizes, extras, etc. that I might need to use?

Thanks in advance.

There are a few good series out there, which cover everything.


The following series has lots of good suggestions, from mini prep through the different painting steps. 

I think you'll agree, it's an easy watch too.     :)


Series Playlist:
http://youtu.be/UXBijbQ23vQ?list=PLULI8CkjwVt-lWkqLTWuw2bhAXv71xuH7


First Episode in forum playbox:


Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: BanzaiCat on September 02, 2016, 04:50:45 AM
Well, thanks Nef! I can definitely appreciate painted fingernails. ;)

TOO often I see a board game review video and it's a dude with filthy fingernails, doing close ups of components. I'm not squeamish normally but damn that's gross.
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Nefaro on September 02, 2016, 12:59:18 PM
Well, thanks Nef! I can definitely appreciate painted fingernails. ;)

TOO often I see a board game review video and it's a dude with filthy fingernails, doing close ups of components. I'm not squeamish normally but damn that's gross.
[/quote]

Definitely understand your aversion to seeing filthy fingernails on YT vids.  It's disgusting.  Being an OCD hand-washer, and having always scraped the filth from under my own nails, it makes me uncomfortable seeing such a thing.  I can understand if it was a vid of them outdoors, digging in the dirt or something, but it's not.  Those guys have obviously had enough time at home to wash their hands and clean that shit up.  :knuppel2:

Some of them also have annoying speech habits.  A primary example being those people who smack their tongue against the roof of their mouth after every sentence.  That begins to drive me nuts after a few minutes straight, because it seems to get louder over time.   :tickedoff:  Not everyone is a soothing Bob Ross, for sure.  ;D


As for this lady's painting vids, she certainly knows what she's doing.  While there is some beginner stuff that didn't get covered a lot, in that series, I did learn some new tricks which I'd not heard of before.  Her other "How I Paint this.." vids have some very impressively painted minis at the end.  And her narration is pleasant, without any annoying quirks. 

Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Nefaro on September 02, 2016, 01:59:15 PM
Here is a long series, of which the earlier episodes are good for beginners.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLTJEjDK0-g&list=PLB0292071C3B38CAC&index=114


The playlist is backwards, but the episodes are numbered.

Straightforward demonstrations of painting techniques in there, which are handy.  The later stuff goes into more detail about specific things.
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: BanzaiCat on September 02, 2016, 07:53:22 PM
Thanks for posting those too, Nef. I've no idea when I'll get to it but I'm going to want to paint every plastic mini I own once I get those paints. I need to make my way back over to the hobby store...their paints were 2.99 each but their primer can was $10. But, the primer is excellent quality and the guy telling me about it does a lot of minis himself. I just never get over there that often.
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Nefaro on September 03, 2016, 08:42:18 AM
I just used some Rust-O-Leum black spray primer on my horde of Mercs: Recon minis.

They're nice minis, but aren't the highest quality, especially noticeable on the indistinct faces.  It did the job at half the price or less of the spray primer meant for minis. 

If I had some super detailed mini models, I might go for the $10 to $14 can of good stuff.  Such as those high dollar mini-only kits.  But for these mid-quality board game minis, the rust-o-leum primer is okay. 

I'm much more concerned with when to spray, here, since the temperature, and most notably the humidity, can jump quite a bit every day.  I had to spray in the garage this time.  Too high & they can make your primer coat sticky or globular, which is plain bad.  Still had to let them dry for a day this latest time. 

I'll often just brush on some black or gray airbrush primer, if it's just a few minis I'm taking through the whole process at the time.  Dries much faster that way, and I can prime all the hard to reach areas in one go, but obviously takes longer painting it on manually.  I only opted for spraying these latest ones because I had about 45 minis ready for priming, at once.  Had some assembly required, for Mercs, so I just powered through gluing those tiny bits all at once (though I still have the other base game to do).

Gary was joking about some Kickstarter featuring fancy miniature-holding grips in the other thread.  Laughs aside, I recommend you get a pack of Sticky Tac and use some small round jars, tall lids, or large corks to sticky-tac your minis' bases to.  I use a small pack of round hard plastic jars pretty much the size of those old black film development cannisters, mounting them on the bottom.  Much easier to turn the mini around without dropping it, and have more stability when painting.  Holding them by the mini's own base makes it more susceptible to being dropped while the paint is still wet, and accidental smudging & getting extra paint on yourself.

As for buying high quality stuff, the only thing you should be required to go the extra monetary distance for is the acrylic paints.  Vallejo, 3P, Army Painter, GW, etc.  The rest of the supplies don't need to be the highest quality.  I'd say spend any extra money you have on more tools & paints, and paint assistants like Medium.  Tools such as a pack of the differently shaped metal jeweller's files (trimming mold lines), a proper set of sprue clippers if you need to cut little plastic bits out of sprues, a wet palette or the stuff to make your own, etc.

That latest series I linked is great for getting started, and has a bit of this info.



Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Bison on September 03, 2016, 09:26:18 AM
This is a really nice conversion chart for different paint brands. 

http://www.dakkadakka.com/wiki/en/Paint_Range_Compatibility_Chart

I use Vallejo game color primarily.  I do have some Vallejo model paint.  However I will say that Citadel produces the best washes IMHO.  I picked up some Vallejo game color wash, it's ok but takes some prep work.  The Citadel wash is just dip and brush.
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Staggerwing on September 03, 2016, 01:57:08 PM
Have anyone of you used Krylon Fusion paints (http://www.krylon.com/products/fusion-for-plastic/) for a primer or base coat? Supposedly it's made to stick to most types of plastic including PVC and Vinyl.
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Nefaro on September 03, 2016, 04:18:21 PM
Have anyone of you used Krylon Fusion paints (http://www.krylon.com/products/fusion-for-plastic/) for a primer or base coat? Supposedly it's made to stick to most types of plastic including PVC and Vinyl.

I've seen people mention using Krylon before, too.  I've not tried it yet.



This is a really nice conversion chart for different paint brands. 

http://www.dakkadakka.com/wiki/en/Paint_Range_Compatibility_Chart

I use Vallejo game color primarily.  I do have some Vallejo model paint.  However I will say that Citadel produces the best washes IMHO.  I picked up some Vallejo game color wash, it's ok but takes some prep work.  The Citadel wash is just dip and brush.

My Vallejo washes require extra watering down.  Took me a bit to realize that. 

But, at the same time, I can also use them as an ink-ish paint with no adjustments.  Have used it as a darkening or dirtying coat over metallic paints, to tone down the sparkles and give metals a grungier look.

I'm still very much experimenting with various methods, and constantly modifying current ones.  Guessing that's how it will always be, to some extent.

In "Aela"s vid, she suggested mixing a little bit of dish soap in with a Wash, to make it seep into the low points & off the high better.  Never heard of that before, may have to attempt that sometime too.  :coolsmiley:
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Bison on September 03, 2016, 05:03:55 PM
I use a concoction I brewed up with water and matte medium, but I need to look at a thinner too.  The Vallejo washes aren't horrid just not as easy as the citadel to use.
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Silent Disapproval Robot on November 28, 2016, 04:43:46 PM
Ugh.  Been out of the minis painting field for almost a quarter century other than a few quick dabs of paint on the fighter models for Star Wars: Armada. 

I figured now that I own Mansions of Madness, Tide of Iron, and Descent that I should get back into the hobby as I used to enjoy painting figures.  Went and dropped way too much money on a bunch of paints, brushes, and other stuff only to come to the realization that the eyes and hands just aren't up to the task anymore.  Bloody frustrating, this getting old business.  Beats the alternative I suppose but still....
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Bison on December 21, 2016, 07:50:36 PM
SDR -  Don't give up faith man!  I don't have a clamp stand, yet, but I do use a magnify lens with a light when I paint.

https://www.amazon.com/Joyutoy-Magnifier-Magnifying-Soldering-Assembly/dp/B01ERG3DME/ref=pd_sbs_60_8?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B01ERG3DME&pd_rd_r=9MJJFWS2N7K8P4H3QFNC&pd_rd_w=6km71&pd_rd_wg=9gkPu&psc=1&refRID=9MJJFWS2N7K8P4H3QFNC

This is what I use
http://www.hobbylobby.com/Yarn-Needle-Art/Notions-Tools/Magnifiers/Magnilamp-Magnifier/p/134917
I'm considering breaking down at some point and getting a pair of these bad boys.
http://www.hobbylobby.com/Crafts-Hobbies/Model-Kits/Paint-Brushes/Optisight-Magnifying-Visor/p/146631
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Bison on December 21, 2016, 08:54:02 PM
I picked up three new Reapers miniatures to paint today.  I must have been in a ranger mood because I got two different ones, but to fair to myself one is dual weilding swords and the other has a bow.  The third mini is a dwarven fighter or cleric.  He has a wonderful shield and warhammer. 

After these guys I'm going to pick up either some goblins or a few orcs.  Although the oldest is clamoring for a druid, so we'll see. 
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Silent Disapproval Robot on December 21, 2016, 09:18:06 PM
I use these.


https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B007CDJKM2/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B007CDJKM2/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1)


My biggest problem is getting proper paint consistency.  It's often too thin, especially with metallics and acts more like a wash than a paint.  I also have a problem of mangling my brushes when I clean them so there are always a few split strands and/or flyers.  The shaky hands just complete the trifecta.

Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Bison on December 21, 2016, 09:33:14 PM
What kind of paints are you using?  I personally like Vallejo Game Colors, but I'm looking at getting some Privateer Press P3 in particular the washes.  I don't use a lot of different colors and use a wet pallet to mix my own colors.  The result is I can sometimes have a very thin paint, which is okay for the most part.  Just learn to layer on the coats and your good to go.

I've found the key to wild brush hairs is brush soap and conditioner.  It not only maintains the bristles, but you can shape them and keep a nice fine point or flat brush.  I should invest in some better brushes, but I've found the Army Painter bushes to work well along with some mid-range priced golden talkon brushes I got at Hobby Lobby.  I buy a couple of my favorite size and then use them for dry brushes when they get fubar.
https://www.amazon.ca/30ml-Masters-Brush-Cleaner-Preserver/dp/B006FHLG7I/ref=pd_sbs_201_4?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=0ZS28QY2F40BMKT4VVF9
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Nefaro on December 21, 2016, 09:41:08 PM
I got a set of Army Painter brushes awhile back.  Must've got shafted in the brush lottery because the bristles quickly began to splay out after first use.  Even after using the brush cleaner/conditioner on them.   :-\

Oddly, the ones with the longest-lasting point I've used were fairly inexpensive no-name taklon brushes.  The point was still sticking together wonderfully, after quite a few uses, even though the taklon had started giving out and the brush tips were all permanently starting to curve in one direction.  ;D   

Those brushes also kinda sucked because the paint on the handle would chip off rather quickly.  Odd combination of poor paint and surprisingly uniform bristles.   ???

I've picked up two or three somewhat pricey sable brushes, but their points aren't quite as pointy or cohesive as those were.  I rarely use them over the cheapies these days.   I'm perfectly happy using the latter, despite having to search/replace them more often.

Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Bison on December 21, 2016, 09:42:26 PM
Hmm...well that's shitty.  I'm hitting up Tabletop Games tomorrow, so I'm hoping pick up some painting goodies.
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Silent Disapproval Robot on December 21, 2016, 09:47:46 PM
I was using Tamiya and those were alright apart from washes.  I found if you mixed them with water, they became very glossy.  I ended up buying a big paint kit from Citadel only to learn later that GW/Citadel paints don't have the best rep.  That appears to be true.
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Nefaro on December 21, 2016, 09:51:29 PM
I was using Tamiya and those were alright apart from washes.  I found if you mixed them with water, they became very glossy.  I ended up buying a big paint kit from Citadel only to learn later that GW/Citadel paints don't have the best rep.  That appears to be true.

I've used a couple Tamiya colors and they look rather.. plastic-like?.. I dunno how to describe their paint consistency, but it's weird. 

Nearly all my paints are Vallejo.  Been quite happy with them and the dropper bottles make it easy to be stingy efficient with them. 

After using a wet palette, it's also easier for me to water down the paints, and keep them that consistency for longer.  Doesn't take as much extra water since the palette is pretty damp anyway.  I've had issues getting them watered down enough in the past, but it's become easier this way.
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Bison on December 21, 2016, 09:51:36 PM
I think Citadel is a fine paint, but I'm not a fan of the pots and they charge you a premium for less paint in them.  I think they do it to dry the paint out quicker.  The Citadel washes, however, are fantastic.  I know dumping more money into paints isn't what you want to do, but I'd look at Vallejo eventually too.
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Bison on December 23, 2016, 04:44:54 PM
Finished up the bears minis from Wraith of Ashardalon.  I hated painting these things.  Brown and a little more brown not to mention the model wasn't a very good cast.  Blah.  Oh well I primed a couple of Reaper Bones minis today and hope to sit and start painting those tonight.
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: BanzaiCat on December 31, 2016, 01:47:18 PM
We had a nice coupon for Michael's craft store usable only today for 40% off acryllic paints, so I went and grabbed a bunch of them, some white primer, brushes, and a tray to store everything in. Gotta jury-rig something in the garage to apply the primer to minis with, but first, gotta figure out which game gets the painting...lol.
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: BanzaiCat on January 12, 2017, 12:08:25 PM
The more I'm looking at all of my games with plastic minis, the more I'm thinking I just need to put primer on ALL of them at once. I was planning on doing that this weekend with my Star Wars Imperial Assault minis.

Is that a good idea/okay to do? I mean, it might be a while before I get to painting all of them. And in all honesty I might start with a different set; I just happened to put all the SW:IA figs into this container I got to hold my paints and such. Thinking of starting with Shadows of Brimstone, actually, since I want to get that to the table next, or maybe Fortune and Glory instead. I dunno.

While I hem and haw at which set to actually start with, does it matter if I just spray the lot of them with primer and put away the ones I won't get to for a while? Or is it better to just do the primer when you know you're going to start painting in 24 hours?
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Nefaro on January 12, 2017, 05:19:46 PM
The more I'm looking at all of my games with plastic minis, the more I'm thinking I just need to put primer on ALL of them at once. I was planning on doing that this weekend with my Star Wars Imperial Assault minis.

Is that a good idea/okay to do? I mean, it might be a while before I get to painting all of them. And in all honesty I might start with a different set; I just happened to put all the SW:IA figs into this container I got to hold my paints and such. Thinking of starting with Shadows of Brimstone, actually, since I want to get that to the table next, or maybe Fortune and Glory instead. I dunno.

While I hem and haw at which set to actually start with, does it matter if I just spray the lot of them with primer and put away the ones I won't get to for a while? Or is it better to just do the primer when you know you're going to start painting in 24 hours?


Just spray prime a bunch at a time.  If there's no extreme temperature or humidity where they'll be drying. 

By it's nature, primer sticks to the mini quite well.  I wouldn't worry about chipping it off or anything.  Less so than actual paint.
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Bison on January 12, 2017, 08:46:49 PM
I'd primer my "practice" minis first and start painting.  The first few might turn out less than optimal, because its just the nature of learning to paint.
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: BanzaiCat on January 13, 2017, 06:29:47 AM
Thanks, Nef and Bison.

I might start with the Shadows of Brimstone heroes (four pieces). I gotta get some ticky-tack to secure the base to something before I start detailed painting (LOL, "detailed"). I don't really have anything that would work and be stable.

I can't wait to see what a disaster these turn out to be.  :D I'll be sure to post pics so you guys can laugh at me.
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: BanzaiCat on January 14, 2017, 01:07:12 PM
Finally had time to get my Shadows of Brimstone figures to the garage for a primer coat.

(http://i1175.photobucket.com/albums/r624/MichaelE6/Mobile%20Uploads/20170114_131855.jpg)

I think it went well, though I was afraid I was putting too much on.

(http://i1175.photobucket.com/albums/r624/MichaelE6/Mobile%20Uploads/20170114_132117.jpg)

These Void Spiders were difficult; I couldn't secure them since they don't have bases, but I just went ahead and flipped them on their backs to spray them, then when they dry I'll flip them over again on their legs and give them another coat.

(http://i1175.photobucket.com/albums/r624/MichaelE6/Mobile%20Uploads/20170114_131453.jpg)

(http://i1175.photobucket.com/albums/r624/MichaelE6/Mobile%20Uploads/20170114_132126.jpg)

(http://i1175.photobucket.com/albums/r624/MichaelE6/Mobile%20Uploads/20170114_132138.jpg)

The more I look at them, the more detail I can see, so I guess I didn't put too much on.

(http://i1175.photobucket.com/albums/r624/MichaelE6/Mobile%20Uploads/20170114_132134.jpg)

Or maybe I did. It's not like I've done this before.

Can't wait for them to dry! Though I have no idea where to start or what to start with. Stormtroopers would have been easy - those are mostly white to begin with. Oh well there's plenty of vids in this thread and out there so I'll figure it out.
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: BanzaiCat on January 14, 2017, 01:16:33 PM
I think I'm supposed to be using some epoxy that fills the joints in some of the minis, but I'm not going that far down the rabbit hole.
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Nefaro on January 14, 2017, 02:37:57 PM
The spray job does look a little thick, but it could just be the primer color and the light. 

If you are using actual primer spray, you don't really need much at all.  It's just there as a better bond between paint and plastic, not for color.  Having that extra grip, it doesn't need much.  I've even seen people say it's okay to have little speckles of plastic still showing, if the majority of the surface is covered in primer.


Unfortunately the minis in Shadows Of Brimstone aren't all that great regarding details compared to some others.  They're not horrible, but mine had somewhat mushed faces & such.  Compared to boardgame minis with good details, such as Descent 2nd Edition, they were a just a little disappointing.  Especially since some other good ones, like in the Descent example, come pre-assembled and save so much time.  But the theme is cool as is the sculpt art so I'm good with it overall.
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: BanzaiCat on January 17, 2017, 06:59:00 AM
Okay, dumb question, but what's the difference between using a black primer and a white primer?
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Barthheart on January 17, 2017, 07:01:34 AM
How bright you want the final colours to be.
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Bison on January 17, 2017, 07:10:26 AM
Basically.  And if you are painting light colors it'll take a few more coats over black paint to get the color you want, which can cause issues with details if you are not careful.  I generally don't like black, but some people swear by it.  I have cans of white and grey primer that I use on my minis.
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: undercovergeek on January 17, 2017, 07:47:37 AM
If you're mini is predominantly black go black primer - night goblins, once primed just need a face

Skeletons- white primer, then they just need eye sockets!!
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: BanzaiCat on January 17, 2017, 07:52:13 AM
Stormtroopers too. :)

Thanks for the answers. I'll stick with white for now. I just need time to paint the Shadows of Brimstone figs...gotta think of which one I want to start with. And if I want to futz with going to Michael's to get debris/tiny rocks to build up their bases or not.
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Bison on January 17, 2017, 07:56:55 AM
And if I want to futz with going to Michael's to get debris/tiny rocks to build up their bases or not.

Cat litter works too.  Clean cat litter of course you sick bastard.
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: BanzaiCat on January 17, 2017, 08:17:04 AM
I way, way overdid it with the primer on these models. I guess I could look into stripping them but honestly I'm not going to play this all the time. Guess I'll paint one and see how it turns out.
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Bison on January 17, 2017, 08:20:04 AM
Use one to practice removing the primer.  Like I said the first few minis you paint are at best experimental works of art.
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Ubercat on January 17, 2017, 08:45:15 AM
I base my mini's (WHEN I base) with aquarium sand. The cheap bag I bought 20 years ago is still almost full after being used on probably 150+ models. I water down Elmers glue and apply it to the base and then sprinkle the sand on, tipping the model to let the excess fall off.

After it's thoroughly dried, I paint on several coats of a cheap, dark green acrylic paint that I bought at an art store. Next I drybrush Citadel goblin  green, and then a bright yellow. The GG is a somewhat heavy drybrush and the yellow is very light. The yellow makes it pop, and look a lot like real grass IMO.
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Nefaro on January 17, 2017, 09:39:16 AM
I generally don't like black, but some people swear by it.


I use black a LOT.  It's so easy to work with. 

You can get a good idea of where to put the brightest highlights, with an initial glance before painting, since the light reflects a bit better off a black-primered mini.  Hard to pick up all the detail subtleties with white.  But more importantly for me, you don't have to worry about missing some tiny little spot in the nooks & crannies later on.  If you miss something with a white primer base, you'll have a little white pinprick spot glaring at you from under an armpit or their crotch. Just saves the trouble of triple checking for little white spots where there should be darkness. 

I also tend to need less layers of the subsequent base color when using black.  The white tends to shine through more with a lot of colors, being brighter, so white can be some extra work here too.

Black works well when the mini will be primarily metal- or dark-colored and is a short straight & upward progression in colors for highlighting.  My default for military style outfits.

I would probably use brown more often, instead of black, if I had some.  But I already have lots of primer so best use it first.  Would work well on heavily fleshy & animal stuff, something with the darker end of yellow, and with earthy-colored clothing.

Unless it's something that's supposed to be mostly white-ish, or a bright cartoony style.  In which case I try to start with a gray or white.  I just find it easier to steadily work the colors up from black, and have some natural dark coloring in all the crevices by default, but if you want the colors to be bright then white is the way to go.  Again - cartoonish style minis for me.  But the most notable is.....



White primer, or a good white base coat of paint, is essential for something that will be red. Red paint just always seems to come off darker than you'd think.  So even if I've used a darker primer, and only need to color one piece of clothing red, I will still put a white undercoat of regular paint under something that's supposed to be a crimson red or brighter.  Even then, I still often force myself to use a slightly brighter range of red paints than initially expected.  Otherwise it will come out as three shades of old blood; too dark.  The same could probably be said of Orange and brighter Yellow too, although not quite to such an extent.  But if I've already primered with black or gray, I just add some white layers to brighten the later red. 

First saw mention of this in some 'painting tips' vids.  It made sense since my previous experience with red proved too dark.



Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Bison on January 17, 2017, 09:42:43 AM
Red is a hard color to work with sometimes.  I'm not sure why, but it is.
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Nefaro on January 17, 2017, 09:53:42 AM
Red is a hard color to work with sometimes.  I'm not sure why, but it is.

Orange, and to some extent yellow, is more troublesome for me.  At least... getting the layering looking good.   
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: undercovergeek on January 17, 2017, 10:01:10 AM
Red orange and yellow flame pattern on the rim of a black primed night goblin hood, lots and lots of going over and over
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Ubercat on January 17, 2017, 01:50:54 PM
I use black a LOT.  It's so easy to work with. 

Same here.

A black undercoat gives you a ready made dark area dividing different sections of lighter colors. Just make sure that you leave a thin black line between areas. A white undercoat would require you to carefully paint black lines everywhere yourself. Also, I recommend painting mini's with a couple coats of fairly watered down black paint after priming. This is a quick step as it requires no finesse. The black paint makes the model less sticky in your hand and also covers any spots that the primer missed or where it was too thin.

What I just described is how I've been painting for the last 21 years. I still find it a slow process, though suitable for when you don't have 100's of mini's to get through on a dead line. A few years ago I experimented with another method which has also given me good results, though different than what I normally do.

Here it is. Simply paint the different areas in a flat coat of the appropriate colors, no shading, high lighting, or black lining required. When you finish this step, the mini will look like juniors first paint job. Bland. Next, paint on a coat or 2 of Minwax Polyshade or other varnish of an appropriately light shade. These will take longer to dry than acrylic paints. There are some that are designed specifically for mini's, though I had good results with Minwax Polyshade: Antique Walnut Satin. The varnish provides natural shading to the recessed areas and also serves to protect the paint job, saving yet another step. Use older worn out brushes for the varnish step, or buy crappy cheap ones. Mini's done this way are fast, easy, and look good but will never win any awards.

The method is called dipping, though I doubt that anyone still literally dips their mini's in an open can of varnish.
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Nefaro on January 17, 2017, 02:28:35 PM
Also, I recommend painting mini's with a couple coats of fairly watered down black paint after priming. This is a quick step as it requires no finesse. The black paint makes the model less sticky in your hand and also covers any spots that the primer missed or where it was too thin.




I actually brush on some airbrush primer when doing just a few models at once.

Initially started doing so when the humidity & temp here changes so regularly that my drying spray primer would sometimes get sticky like that.  Plus I'd have to go brush on some more in the places the spray missed anyway.  Said "screw it, I'm just going to brush on the primer and get all that done at once." 

May take a little extra time but it all gets done evenly and in one pass.  With the ones I use, by the time I get done priming three minis, the first is usually dry enough to start painting. 

I will still spray a large number sometimes, in one go.  Usually when there are quite a few of the same model/mold.  I'm not so worried about little bits when there are a bunch of repeats to do... best to get through them ASAP because that kind of repetition isn't so enjoyable.



Been wanting to grab one of those little travel-size hair dryers with the cool blower option.  Not to primp my luxurious mane, but to help dry my minis faster at certain points in painting.  Because I use washes in between some layers and their much higher water content makes them dry more slowly.  Don't like waiting when I got more to put on before it's finished!  >:(
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Nefaro on May 05, 2017, 08:45:46 AM
Some of my Vallejo washes have too large/heavy pigments for my liking.  At least the various brown/warm ones that typically get used the most.  Even after I thin them out, the pigments just look too large or glop together too much for my taste.  Their regular paints are good, I've been quite happy with them; just looking for new washes.

I decided to try a set of Citadel shades since GW's pigments are supposedly a bit lighter.  If so, I figured maybe their shades/washes are a bit better suited to the task.  Your experiences with them compared to others?

I was first debating picking up a couple of the Army Painter acrylic "tone" shades (in the dropper bottles) but was a bit concerned about those being more like the Vallejo ones after seeing some video comparisons between various brands.  Would really like to have some that don't require a lot thinning, for the usual crevice darkening, but especially ones where the pigment is fine enough to keep the color even.

Which manufacturer's pre-made washes do you guys prefer?
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Ubercat on May 08, 2017, 08:25:50 PM
Some of my Vallejo washes have too large/heavy pigments for my liking.  At least the various brown/warm ones that typically get used the most.  Even after I thin them out, the pigments just look too large or glop together too much for my taste.  Their regular paints are good, I've been quite happy with them; just looking for new washes.

I decided to try a set of Citadel shades since GW's pigments are supposedly a bit lighter.  If so, I figured maybe their shades/washes are a bit better suited to the task.  Your experiences with them compared to others?

I was first debating picking up a couple of the Army Painter acrylic "tone" shades (in the dropper bottles) but was a bit concerned about those being more like the Vallejo ones after seeing some video comparisons between various brands.  Would really like to have some that don't require a lot thinning, for the usual crevice darkening, but especially ones where the pigment is fine enough to keep the color even.

Which manufacturer's pre-made washes do you guys prefer?

How are you thinning them, with water? You may have better results experimenting with medium.
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Silent Disapproval Robot on May 08, 2017, 08:41:42 PM
Citadel's washes are great.  I like Tamiya's brush for edges and lines but I find the shade is too shiny when it dries. 

Citadel paints are OK for darker colours but I find their metallics are quite poor in that they don't mix well and either come out very runny or too thick.  Their lighter colours are too thin and you have to do a lot of coats with them.
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Nefaro on May 09, 2017, 05:42:29 AM
Some of my Vallejo washes have too large/heavy pigments for my liking.  At least the various brown/warm ones that typically get used the most.  Even after I thin them out, the pigments just look too large or glop together too much for my taste.  Their regular paints are good, I've been quite happy with them; just looking for new washes.

I decided to try a set of Citadel shades since GW's pigments are supposedly a bit lighter.  If so, I figured maybe their shades/washes are a bit better suited to the task.  Your experiences with them compared to others?

I was first debating picking up a couple of the Army Painter acrylic "tone" shades (in the dropper bottles) but was a bit concerned about those being more like the Vallejo ones after seeing some video comparisons between various brands.  Would really like to have some that don't require a lot thinning, for the usual crevice darkening, but especially ones where the pigment is fine enough to keep the color even.

Which manufacturer's pre-made washes do you guys prefer?

How are you thinning them, with water? You may have better results experimenting with medium.


Yes.  Thus far I've only used water.

Although I have some medium, I didn't want to constantly mix/use it every time I washed something.  Part of the reason I picked up bottles of washes was being able to use them more quickly, without too much fidgeting.  Plus not having to replace medium/thinner as often would be a plus.

Mostly a matter of convenience.





Citadel's washes are great.  I like Tamiya's brush for edges and lines but I find the shade is too shiny when it dries. 

Citadel paints are OK for darker colours but I find their metallics are quite poor in that they don't mix well and either come out very runny or too thick.  Their lighter colours are too thin and you have to do a lot of coats with them.


I'd seen some mention of the Citadel paints being thinner in general, and some good things about their washes because of that, so figured I'd try them out. 

At the same time, their normal paints seemed to get a bit of a down vote for the same properties.  Especially the metal.  I'm not concerned with the other paints, however, as I've been quite happy with my Vallejo ones.  It was just the washes I wanted to shop around on.



You use Tamiya paints for lining?  Hrmm..  I only have one pot of Tamiya paint; a dark gray I generally just use for painting bases.  It seemed to have a strange sheen or viscosity to it, compared to others, but has been fine for secondary duty like that.  I saw mention of Tamiya having some nice "clear" types of ink/paint, notably the Clear Red.
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: SirAndrewD on May 28, 2017, 12:09:14 AM
Ugh, I've been remiss in keeping up with this thread.  I'm currently working on painting commissions again.  I'm going to try to dig deep and help with anyone that wants here.

I'm currently doing paid work discovering the horrors/joys of doing board game minis for local gamers on contract.  The base and material sometimes informs the results. Not everything is made in high quality and good mold resin sadly.

Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: bbmike on May 28, 2017, 06:36:04 AM
Ugh, I've been remiss in keeping up with this thread.  I'm currently working on painting commissions again.  I'm going to try to dig deep and help with anyone that wants here.

I'm currently doing paid work discovering the horrors/joys of doing board game minis for local gamers on contract.  The base and material sometimes informs the results. Not everything is made in high quality and good mold resin sadly.

Pictures!
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: SirAndrewD on June 05, 2017, 12:13:23 AM


Pictures!

Working on it!  I'm currently on a commission for Pandemic's Cthulhu game and the Labyrinth board game.  Results are actually better than I'd anticipated.

The client doesn't want pictures before, he'd prefer to be surprised by the finished results, so I've not taken anything yet. 

But, things are going to be busy.  Since I'm a teacher, I'm on a very extended and very unpaid vacation for a few months, and with the release of Warhammer 8th, I'm getting a full queue to pass the time.  If I can keep myself away from Steel Division '44 and Cold Waters when it drops, I'll post some results here.
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: GDS_Starfury on June 05, 2017, 04:31:10 PM
Some of my Vallejo washes have too large/heavy pigments for my liking.  At least the various brown/warm ones that typically get used the most.  Even after I thin them out, the pigments just look too large or glop together too much for my taste.  Their regular paints are good, I've been quite happy with them; just looking for new washes.


look for paint used specifically for air brush use as these have the finest ground pigment.
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Nefaro on June 06, 2017, 03:38:32 PM
Some of my Vallejo washes have too large/heavy pigments for my liking.  At least the various brown/warm ones that typically get used the most.  Even after I thin them out, the pigments just look too large or glop together too much for my taste.  Their regular paints are good, I've been quite happy with them; just looking for new washes.


look for paint used specifically for air brush use as these have the finest ground pigment.


Good point.  Thanks!   O0
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: Bison on June 06, 2017, 05:21:35 PM
Vallejo makes the air product line specifically for air brushes.  They have both game and model colors.

http://www.acrylicosvallejo.com/en_US/game-air/family/31
Title: Re: Painting Plastic Minis
Post by: BanzaiCat on June 27, 2017, 01:18:32 PM
I still need to get started with this.

I bought a bunch of paints last year from Michael's when they were on sale...arguments on line went from "GASP NO YOU CAN'T USE THAT YOU INFIDEL!!!1!" to "Meh, yeah, it'll work just as well as the expensive paints," so I dunno. I guess I'll learn from experience.

Now that I have a dedicated (ish) space for gaming in my place i can probably put up some painting. First will be Shadows of Brimstone.