Tabletop Gaming, Models, and Minis > Modelling and Miniatures

Lord Help Me... I'm going to paint minis!

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TheCommandTent:

--- Quote from: LongBlade on September 12, 2012, 04:25:02 AM ---
--- Quote from: Jack Nastyface on September 11, 2012, 10:53:00 PM ---SoM,
I'm planning on doing a bit of mini painting myself.  I've done a bunch of research and have found a bunch of on-line resources. If you want, I can post them here or PM-you directly.

Yours in painting,

Jack Nastyface

--- End quote ---

I would encourage you to post them here - we're all about the gaming hobby in general and I suspect even guys like me and Tent can still learn plenty of tricks :)

--- End quote ---

Yes please post them here.  One of the things I enjoy about this hobby is the give and take between everyone in the hobby in order to help one another learn.

Speaking of which here is a link I found useful when starting out painting.

http://johnswargames.wordpress.com/2009/12/09/172-scale-painting-tutorial/

MIGMaster:
Ok....let me start with this.... I've never painted a mini so please bear with me.... Do you need to apply a base coat or a primer before you start painting ? I've noted that some of the colors are extremely intense and I figured they must be applied to a well-prepped surface ? Or do they come already prepped ? Sorry dudes, I'm just trying to figure this out.....

TheCommandTent:

--- Quote from: MIGMaster on September 12, 2012, 11:04:24 AM ---Ok....let me start with this.... I've never painted a mini so please bear with me.... Do you need to apply a base coat or a primer before you start painting ? I've noted that some of the colors are extremely intense and I figured they must be applied to a well-prepped surface ? Or do they come already prepped ? Sorry dudes, I'm just trying to figure this out.....

--- End quote ---

Not a problem, asking questions is the best way to learn.

To start with you need to wash your figures off in warm water with a little soap and then rinse thoroughly.  After they are dried you need to apply primer.   The primer is very important to give the figure a nice uniformed surface for the paint to adhere.  IMHO it also helps bring out details for you to see while you paint.  There is however, the debate over whether to use white, gray or black primer.  But thats a whole other story. :)

LongBlade:

--- Quote from: TheCommandTent on September 12, 2012, 11:14:37 AM ---To start with you need to wash your figures off in warm water with a little soap and then rinse thoroughly.  After they are dried you need to apply primer.   The primer is very important to give the figure a nice uniformed surface for the paint to adhere.  IMHO it also helps bring out details for you to see while you paint.  There is however, the debate over whether to use white, gray or black primer.  But thats a whole other story. :)

--- End quote ---

A note - I used to never wash my minis before I primed them. Can't say I ever noticed much difference, but I can say that it won't hurt. I have three dogs and if my minis lay out for any length of time near the floor they get covered in fur that absolutely needs to be washed off. So now I wash mine.

As for primer - it helps. FWIW, I bought some Valspar primer at Lowes that is rust colored. It's the same (I think) as the primer used by the Krauts in WWII. Valspar is unfortunately not mini quality and goes on pretty thick. In addition it needs about 36 hours to fully cure. So primer *can* come in different colors, but talk to us before you jump off that pier.

Jack Nastyface:
^I'd back up one more step...
First...whether you are painting metal, hard-plastic or soft-plastict minis, I highly recommend that you clean them up with a file and exacto-blade, first.  Many minis will come with flash and mold-lines clearly showing on the model, and you really need to make an effort to clean those up, first.  Buy yourself a set of mini-files (probably cost you about $10) and a set of small or fine wire cutters / side cutters (I actually use a pair of old hangnail clippers) and you should be good-to-go.

If you are painting hard or soft plastic minis (and some metal ones), you will of course need to cut them off of the sprue.  I tend to wash the complete sprue with components still attached in warm, soapy water BEFORE I start cutting off pieces, but you could do it later (after assembly).

As CommandTent mentions, once the figures are cleaned up (flash, mold-lines) and then washed, you can go ahead and prime them.  As he mentioned, you ABSOLUTELY need a primer on minis.  Soft-plastic minis need either a "household" plastic primer (Krylon) or a "model craft" plastic primer (read:  more expensive Humbrol etc brands).

Before priming your figures, you may also want to think about creating what I call a "figure stick" or mini-painting stand of some kind.  Bascially this is a stand that you fix the mini to that you can hold onto when you paint.  Some folks use a wine-cork and double-side tape the figure on one end.  I use any scrap of wood stripping (think 1 x 2) that I may have lying about in my garage and then either white-glue or double-side tape a bunch of figures to it.   Makes it easy to prime, store and paint the guys.

And since I've already mentioned it...I don't know if you've already picked out your minis, but you might want to give some consideration to what kind you want to paint.  By "kind" I don't mean era or melieu (although that is important) but casting material.  Metal minis are expensive, but they have a nice heft to them, and it's relatively easy to completely remove paint from them and start again if you want practice / don't like the results.  Hard-plastic minis are really only a few years old, but having a tremendous impact on the hobby.  Like traditional model kits, they DO require some assembly, but that allows you to customize figures to your hearts content.  Finally, soft-plastic (typically 1/72 scale plastic soldiers, like the Airfix or Esci guys) are the most affordable, but the small scale is a little difficult to manage, and you have to really choose model kits carefully for casting quality.  Check out plasticsoldierreview.com as a good source of info.

More later...

Jack Nastyface

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