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Critique my Technique

Tips and tricks for painting miniatures and anything else.

Critique my Technique

Postby TheWiseOldElf » Friday July 10th, 2015 6:30pm

Following on from my recent re-introduction to HQ (see here), I thought I'd have a go at re-painting some minis, as the 12-year-old me hadn't done a great job, and the intervening quarter of a century has taken it's toll, too.

For starters, though, I found some un-painted goblins in my copy of Kellar's Keep, so decided to start with those. Having done some reading, I decided to try Acrylics this time round (enamels back then), and to try to use some techniques to add a bit more depth and realism. The results so far have certainly proved better than my earlier attempt, but they seem to lack something, so I'm hoping if I post some work-in-progress pics, someone might be able to point me in the right direction?

Image
Primed

Image
Base Colour

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Washed shadows

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Dry-brushed highlights

I think I need to use a brighter highlight shade, and am struggling with the large flat metal areas on the weapons - any tips, and what else could I be doing better?
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Re: Critique my Technique

Postby Goblin-King » Friday July 10th, 2015 9:52pm

Well... for starters your base colors doesn't seem to cover the mini evenly.
apply a thin coat of paint evenly over the entire miniature until you can't see the primer.


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Re: Critique my Technique

Postby TheWiseOldElf » Saturday July 11th, 2015 2:05am

Goblin-King wrote:Well... for starters your base colors doesn't seem to cover the mini evenly.
apply a thin coat of paint evenly over the entire miniature until you can't see the primer.


Yes, I see what you mean (looking at the pics on a bigger screen, now - yikes! :o ). They don't look that "threadbare" in the flesh - but the camera flash and large zoom really shows that up, doesn't it?
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Re: Critique my Technique

Postby whitebeard » Saturday July 11th, 2015 12:25pm

As you can clearly see, even a quick base, wash, highlight approach looks MUCH better than an unpainted mini. Good job, for your early attempts.

I believe the center part of the belt buckle is actually the belt, and not metallic.


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Re: Critique my Technique

Postby TheWiseOldElf » Saturday July 11th, 2015 12:38pm

whitebeard wrote:As you can clearly see, even a quick base, wash, highlight approach looks MUCH better than an unpainted mini. Good job, for your early attempts.


Thanks! - I'm pleased enough with the results so far that I'm seriously considering working through the whole set when I get time - quite enjoying the experience, and hopefully I'll get better results the more I practise.

I believe the center part of the belt buckle is actually the belt, and not metallic.

That makes sense - I'll try to sort it out - I was thinking that I need more contrast between the belt and the tunic anyway, so will probably go darker for the belt and add a bit more highlighting to the folds of the tunic.

Anyone got any tips for eyes? Am toying with the idea of a tiny white dot to look like shine, but not sure if it will work in practise? What do other people do?
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Re: Critique my Technique

Postby whitebeard » Saturday July 11th, 2015 4:00pm

Chech out the gallery for examples of eyes. Eyes on your Heros will be the most difficult part. Resist the urge to paint your heroes first. After painting a bunch of minis you are going to be a lot better at it. I just do yellow eyes for the goblins and orcs. The fimir is pretty easy to do more complicated eye effects. Perhaps start there?


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Re: Critique my Technique

Postby Lemmeron » Sunday July 12th, 2015 10:04am

First step, take off the mould lines around the head and arm (and possibly beside the boots if you can be bothered).

Also you have lost a fair amount of detail by going too thick with your base coat / primer. you want a light dusting with a primer for paint to stick to rather than a thick coat. hold the spray can further away and use short bursts.

The paint looks like it was chipping/rubbing off, was the grey a primer or just a normal paint ? did you wash the mini with soapy water and a tooth brush to get rid of any oil before paining ?

You will also get a smoother effect if you base colour all of the skin a dark green and build up the highlights in layers either with thin layers of paint, or dry brushing very lightly and again building up to the light colours in a few steps.

Metal weapons in hero quest tends to look good if it is some what rusted. So if you are going to paint them silver, add a small amount of brown and orange to some silver pain, and drybrush in places water would run down or use a sepia wash to tone down the overall shine, and then dry brush the edges with silver lightly.

When you get to it, clean up your colour transitions between clothing and skin, with a fine black (or very dark colour) if you can.

I hope this helps !

good luck. |_P


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Re: Critique my Technique

Postby whitebeard » Sunday July 12th, 2015 10:40am

Lemmeron wrote:Metal weapons in hero quest tends to look good if it is some what rusted. So if you are going to paint them silver, add a small amount of brown and orange to some silver pain, and drybrush in places water would run down or use a sepia wash to tone down the overall shine, and then dry brush the edges with silver lightly.


Actually for the weapons you want to start with a non-metallic grey base color (on top of the primer). Then add the silver highlights (I like "Lead Belcher") and perhaps dry brush the flat faces with the same. This makes it look like someone sharpened it (scratches in one direction). If you're really goos you can do a metallic look without a metallic paint. That takes a lot of practice, I can almost do it now, but I throw the dry brush metallic on for consistency.

Rust is more controversial. Many maintain that the monsters are not stupid and would take great care of their weapons. I maintain that they live in dank holes and as long as the edge is sharp, they are happy with the performance. I always add the rust last, onto of a clean weapon. The color GW says to use is Scrag Brown.


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Re: Critique my Technique

Postby knightkrawler » Sunday July 12th, 2015 11:51am

I maintain that the hattrick of contrast makes a beautiful miniature in a very easy way.
So, a medium bright red/orangish rust can make an incredibly beautiful contrast to a more bluish green goblin skintone.
A Skeleton without a dab of color as for cloth almost needs rust or verdigris if it uses bronze or brass weaponry or armor.
If I shade an Orc's green skin mixing violet in to get that shade, I'll put some yellow somewhere on the model. The last mini I did this on has rust from brown to yellow on its metal pieces, for example.
And before anyone tells me rust can't be yellow: I don't care, it's my fantasy world, rust can go all the way to yellow, verdigris all the way to dark blue.
I intend to use crayons as pigments for all kinds of weathering. I dream about this at night.

What I'm trying to say is, there is no definite recipe for any effect. There are dozens for metal weapons with rust and I've tried at least 6, all of them turning out well, so be courageous and try out everything you read and hear. It really all depends on how much time you have in one painting session, what brushes you use, and so on and so on. Trial and error is the way to go.
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Re: Critique my Technique

Postby whitebeard » Sunday July 12th, 2015 2:04pm

Yeah, what KK said. Been avoiding specific painting tips, because my minis are only "okay".

My real point was that the people who paint really great weapons start with a non metallic base. When you start looking closer you will see that. The rest of the description was what I do and it can certainly be done better!


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