Author Topic: Basic Beginers Guide?  (Read 1455 times)

SCC

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Basic Beginers Guide?
« on: 23 April 2023, 05:53:13 »
So I was planning on waiting until the new Camo Specs that was promised as part Invasion Kickstarter was delivered before starting to paint the 'Mechs I got but seeing as how that doesn't seem to be happening I've decided I should get started on that.

So from bits and pieces I've picked up I need to prime first, this is spray can and I need to find some way of temporarily attaching the miniature of a stick so I can move it around without touching it and it doesn't fall over. Possibly two coats, a black all over and then a white from the top?

Then I need a wash? Mixture of paint and water.

Then main body coat, just dip the brush in the paint pot?

Detailed as desired next?

Cleaning up afterwards?

abou

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Re: Basic Beginers Guide?
« Reply #1 on: 23 April 2023, 09:43:04 »
So to be clear, you've never put paint on a model? What supplies do you currently have?

carlisimo

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Re: Basic Beginers Guide?
« Reply #2 on: 23 April 2023, 16:39:16 »
Mechanical Frog had a pretty good video about the basics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWvIa61WNWw

My basic steps would be:

1. Remove the most obvious mold lines.  With this PVC plastic material, the only reliable way is to cut them with a blade - they don't sand or file well, in my experience.  With other materials I like using the back of an X-Acto blade.2. Wash with dish detergent and dry - this is less important with plastic than metal or resin, but getting rid of your finger oils is still a good thing.3. Prime.  If one day you get an airbrush, those make this step a little nicer.  With spray cans, I'd stick to black; white primers are more prone to fuzz up on you because the paint started to dry before it hit the mini.  Go outside, put the minis in a box on its side, spray at ~8" distance.  You should be sweeping past the minis 2-4 times and starting, changing direction, and stopping only when you're not pointing directly at them.  Use a gloved hand to rotate them by their bases and you may need to pick them up to spray from below.  Nitrile gloves are best.  Wear clothes you don't care about and if you wear glasses, wear goggles over them because I've ruined the coating on a pair before.  Finally, move the whole stinky box somewhere safe from dust but also where you won't breathe in the odor.  This whole process sucks - and may not work at all in humid environments or cold winters.  Priming by hand is slow, though, and often lumpy.  Airbrushing is comparatively wonderful but the setup is expensive.3a. Zenithal highlighting (optional) - I warned about white primers, but a common technique is to take white or light gray (not necessarily a primer-type paint) and spray your black-primed minis only from above, or from an angle in front and above.  Keep the angle consistent between minis, and maybe expand that angle if you're going for white or yellow as your final color.  This is more important if you're going to use a light color.  It's also necessary if you're using a Contrast/Speed Paint type of paint.  They're meant to go over a fully light gray/white undercoat but keeping the lower surfaces in black primer can give a nice effect. 

4. I don't remove my mechs from bases to put onto sticks.  It's a good idea, but I'm used to just holding them by the base, but you can superglue them to a large cork or put them on a painting handle. 
5. If you're using Contrast/Speed Paints, the Camo Specs Online YouTube videos are really good about explaining their unusual behavior.  Like the Grey Death Legion Marauder video.  Regular paints - take a #2 or #3 watercolor brush, dilute your paint on a palette, apply paint to the tip of your brush (just keep it away from the lower half of the bristles) and have at it.  Everyone talks about trying to dilute to the consistency of milk... just play around until you find a sweet spot between smoothness and coverage.  Don't expect full coverage in one coat.  Cool colors do better in that regard, though.  Early on, just focus on painting between the lines.  There's a lot to learn about brush technique later on.  Get your base color on there, then paint the metal bits (rinse in a separate cup or you might get metal flakes onto whatever other paints you're using that session) and any secondary colors.
5a. On brushes - the cheapest ones aren't pointy to begin with.  The midranged ones are pointy to start, but with a little use that point starts to hook.  The good ones hold a point for longer before starting to hook.  Natural Kolinsky sable tends to be the best. 
6. Wash with something like Army Painter's tones, GW Nuln Oil, etc.  Messy washes will stain the whole mini, which you may want.  Targeted washes along panel lines are slow.  If you want to do that, oil washing is surprisingly fast and forgiving though it requires adding a couple of varnish coats to the process.  Don't worry about it yet, but when you're ready for the next step in washing, read up on it.7. Drybrushing is the easiest highlighting technique.  Get a soft makeup brush, apply undiluted paint, dry on your towel (usually a paper napkin but it has to be one that doesn't shed particles) until there's barely any left, and flick your brush over the mini in one direction (down).  Camo Specs Online covers it pretty well.  Later on there's edge highlighting, panel highlighting, volumetric highlighting... whole world out there.8. Details - I use a #0 brush.  There are smaller brushes but the paint dries on them before you even reach the mini.  A pointy #0 brush can do anything.  Paint the cockpit (also something Camo Specs Online has videos about).  The simple way is to paint silver or gold then apply an ink or Contrast color over it for a shiny effect. 

9. Basing.  Ideally you do the assembly parts of this before painting but only the diehards do that.  Apply PVA glue, diluted so it's easier to work with, with a toothpick or brush you don't care about.  Once it's dry, put some diluted glue over it again so nothing comes off.  Put terrarium sand on it (it's finer).  Paint, wash, and drybrush.  Add tiny rocks or bits of fake vegetation or whatever else you can think of.  Try to make it look like the mech is really stepping into the material and not floating over it.

Do this 100 times and you will be good at painting.



Hellraiser

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Re: Basic Beginers Guide?
« Reply #3 on: 23 April 2023, 17:32:30 »
Honestly, I use a beer bottle or soda can 12 pack & tear them open to make an "L" from the side or "C" from the top.

Basically a bottom/back/sides to stop over spray & them using normal spray paint techniques.    (Shake, Warm Water the nozzle if clogged, hold 12 inches away, etc etc.

I normally let dry & then rotate them 1/4-1/2 & then spray again, rinse repeat.

Sometimes I'll tip them over & turn sideways towards the can so I get more of an "under" spray.

It takes a little bit but I'm doing several at once so in the end I get a lance-company done in a few hours & I do chores while they dry.


In regards to the black from bottom white from top, that sounds like the dry-brushing technique used in contrast, speed, slap-chop painting.

Not sure if that is the intention or not.  I would avoid spraying a white from above v/s doing a specific areas dry-brushing but that is me.
3041: General Lance Hawkins: The Equalizers
3053: Star Colonel Rexor Kerensky: The Silver Wolves

"I don't shoot Urbanmechs, I walk up, stomp on their foot, wait for the head to pop open & drop in a hand grenade (or Elemental)" - Joel47
Against mechs, infantry have two options: Run screaming from Godzilla, or giggle under your breath as the arrogant fools blunder into your trap. - Weirdo

SCC

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Re: Basic Beginers Guide?
« Reply #4 on: 24 April 2023, 05:03:12 »
So to be clear, you've never put paint on a model? What supplies do you currently have?

Yes, and I am at Step 0, assemble a shopping list.

Mechanical Frog had a pretty good video about the basics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWvIa61WNWw
Thanks for the link.

Go outside, put the minis in a box on its side, spray at ~8" distance.  You should be sweeping past the minis 2-4 times and starting, changing direction, and stopping only when you're not pointing directly at them.  Use a gloved hand to rotate them by their bases and you may need to pick them up to spray from below.
So I'm planning for the first run to do one mini only but that shouldn't change things too much.

Nitrile gloves are best.  Wear clothes you don't care about and if you wear glasses, wear goggles over them because I've ruined the coating on a pair before.  Finally, move the whole stinky box somewhere safe from dust but also where you won't breathe in the odor.  This whole process sucks - and may not work at all in humid environments or cold winters.
Well it's going to be warm and dry where I am for the next couple of days, so if I can get the supplies soon that would be great. The box can't be left outside?

3a. Zenithal highlighting (optional) - I warned about white primers, but a common technique is to take white or light gray (not necessarily a primer-type paint) and spray your black-primed minis only from above, or from an angle in front and above.  Keep the angle consistent between minis, and maybe expand that angle if you're going for white or yellow as your final color.  This is more important if you're going to use a light color.  It's also necessary if you're using a Contrast/Speed Paint type of paint.  They're meant to go over a fully light gray/white undercoat but keeping the lower surfaces in black primer can give a nice effect. 
Pretty sure this is the second primer layer I was talking about.

4. I don't remove my mechs from bases to put onto sticks.  It's a good idea, but I'm used to just holding them by the base, but you can superglue them to a large cork or put them on a painting handle.
Was thinking put the whole thing, including base, onto a stick with blue tack so it's possible to move it around without actually touching it.
 
5. If you're using Contrast/Speed Paints, the Camo Specs Online YouTube videos are really good about explaining their unusual behavior.  Like the Grey Death Legion Marauder video.  Regular paints - take a #2 or #3 watercolor brush, dilute your paint on a palette, apply paint to the tip of your brush (just keep it away from the lower half of the bristles) and have at it.  Everyone talks about trying to dilute to the consistency of milk... just play around until you find a sweet spot between smoothness and coverage.  Don't expect full coverage in one coat.  Cool colors do better in that regard, though.  Early on, just focus on painting between the lines.  There's a lot to learn about brush technique later on.  Get your base color on there, then paint the metal bits (rinse in a separate cup or you might get metal flakes onto whatever other paints you're using that session) and any secondary colors.
Rinse in water or something else?

5a. On brushes - the cheapest ones aren't pointy to begin with.  The midranged ones are pointy to start, but with a little use that point starts to hook.  The good ones hold a point for longer before starting to hook.  Natural Kolinsky sable tends to be the best.
 
Suggested sizes?

6. Wash with something like Army Painter's tones, GW Nuln Oil, etc.  Messy washes will stain the whole mini, which you may want.  Targeted washes along panel lines are slow.  If you want to do that, oil washing is surprisingly fast and forgiving though it requires adding a couple of varnish coats to the process.  Don't worry about it yet, but when you're ready for the next step in washing, read up on it.7. Drybrushing is the easiest highlighting technique.  Get a soft makeup brush, apply undiluted paint, dry on your towel (usually a paper napkin but it has to be one that doesn't shed particles) until there's barely any left, and flick your brush over the mini in one direction (down).  Camo Specs Online covers it pretty well.  Later on there's edge highlighting, panel highlighting, volumetric highlighting... whole world out there.8. Details - I use a #0 brush.  There are smaller brushes but the paint dries on them before you even reach the mini.  A pointy #0 brush can do anything.  Paint the cockpit (also something Camo Specs Online has videos about).  The simple way is to paint silver or gold then apply an ink or Contrast color over it for a shiny effect. 
And BT mini's are technically painted in parade colors, so they should look clean, seems like that makes for extra work.

9. Basing.  Ideally you do the assembly parts of this before painting but only the diehards do that.  Apply PVA glue, diluted so it's easier to work with, with a toothpick or brush you don't care about.  Once it's dry, put some diluted glue over it again so nothing comes off.  Put terrarium sand on it (it's finer).  Paint, wash, and drybrush.  Add tiny rocks or bits of fake vegetation or whatever else you can think of.  Try to make it look like the mech is really stepping into the material and not floating over it.
Invasion mini's come preassembled.

Do this 100 times and you will be good at painting.
Don't have 100 mini's to paint, yet.

EDIT: So I'm looking at my chosen test subject, the Natasha Kerensky Direwolf (Picked because I've got two, one from Lance Pack, 1 from Salvage Box) and the only seam I can definitely find is on the left foot.
« Last Edit: 24 April 2023, 07:23:49 by SCC »

Joel47

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Re: Basic Beginers Guide?
« Reply #5 on: 24 April 2023, 11:52:50 »
I don't remove my minis from the hex base, but instead hot-glue the base to a large child-proof cap to use as a handle. The cap flexes enough that I can break the glue after I'm done painting.

warriorsoul

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Re: Basic Beginers Guide?
« Reply #6 on: 24 April 2023, 13:45:25 »
 The biggest problem starting out is going to be smooth paint application and fine brush control. That kind of thing takes practice and experience. Most new people should pay a LOT of attention to getting their paint at the right consistency and putting it on the model without brush-strokes. Same thing with precision. If you're gonna be an edge-highlighter invest in a big lighted magnifier and spent a little money on some good, tiny detail brushes.

 I think the main fork in the road is whether you want to do dry-brushing (generally easier to learn, fast, creates a weathered effect) or edge-highlighting (harder to learn, more time consuming, produces a very sharp, vivid effect).

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carlisimo

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Re: Basic Beginers Guide?
« Reply #7 on: 24 April 2023, 15:43:19 »
SCC, I find multiquotes a little overwhelming so please forgive the disconnected responses here. 

The only problems with leaving the primed minis outside are wind knocking over the box and dust getting stuck on the minis before they're totally dry.  If you have solutions for those, outside is fine.

Blue tacking the whole mini to a stick feels like it might be a little weak.   

Water works for most acrylic paints and inks meant for painting miniatures - anything by GW/Citadel, Vallejo, Army Painter, Scale 75, Pro Acryl, etc.  The only thing to look out for is that our hobby overlaps a lot with scale modeling, and they're used to paints that use mineral spirits, rubbing alcohol, or proprietary thinners.  Avoid enamels, lacquers, and Tamiya paints (aside from spray cans).

Brush sizes: I use #0, #1, #2, and #3.  I could live with just a #0 and #2.  Plus a makeup brush for drybrushing.

Parade colors: there's no consensus on this.  A lot of us use parade colors because they're fun, but we often weather them.  Some units use them in combat and as soon as the dropship is away, they'll be covered in dust.  Other units repaint their mechs in mission-appropriate camo and that's fine, too.  When you choose how you're going to decorate your bases, decide what your mechs are actually doing in the moment and paint accordingly.

I wasn't clear when I said assemble before painting - I was just talking about basing, i.e. gluing sand and rocks to the base.  It's easier if you do that before you start painting the mech. 

Hellraiser

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Re: Basic Beginers Guide?
« Reply #8 on: 24 April 2023, 17:30:16 »
I don't remove my minis from the hex base, but instead hot-glue the base to a large child-proof cap to use as a handle. The cap flexes enough that I can break the glue after I'm done painting.

This ^^    Pill Bottles, the poor mans "painting handle".  :)

Only I do it after the Primer stage, when I'm using brushes for base coats & washes, etc etc.
And I use Sticky Tack instead of hot-glue
3041: General Lance Hawkins: The Equalizers
3053: Star Colonel Rexor Kerensky: The Silver Wolves

"I don't shoot Urbanmechs, I walk up, stomp on their foot, wait for the head to pop open & drop in a hand grenade (or Elemental)" - Joel47
Against mechs, infantry have two options: Run screaming from Godzilla, or giggle under your breath as the arrogant fools blunder into your trap. - Weirdo

Joel47

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Re: Basic Beginers Guide?
« Reply #9 on: 24 April 2023, 17:40:11 »
Only I do it after the Primer stage, when I'm using brushes for base coats & washes, etc etc.
Doing it before priming means the underside goes un-primed, but that's fine. It keeps my fingers off the primer until it's had time to cure properly.
Quote
And I use Sticky Tack instead of hot-glue
I use to use poster-tack until a metal mini fell off (into my lap, fortunately). Now it's a couple dots for plastics and a circle for metals. That said, if you're just painting plastic, use whatever is sticky -- I've even seen some people using double-sided tape.

Ghaz

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Re: Basic Beginers Guide?
« Reply #10 on: 24 April 2023, 18:19:46 »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GV85SO2u1A&t=32s

Duncan Rhodes using a paint stick with double sided tape.

Pat Payne

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Re: Basic Beginers Guide?
« Reply #11 on: 10 July 2023, 22:48:22 »
I use to use poster-tack until a metal mini fell off (into my lap, fortunately). Now it's a couple dots for plastics and a circle for metals. That said, if you're just painting plastic, use whatever is sticky -- I've even seen some people using double-sided tape.

My go-to for a painting handle is an old Tamiya paint bottle and some Silly Putty.

pheonixstorm

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Re: Basic Beginers Guide?
« Reply #12 on: 12 July 2023, 15:30:01 »
If you are afraid of ruining your mini at all I suggest getting a small bag of cheap army men. They may not have much in the way of details but you can get a lot of practice off of them when you want to experiment with new painting techniques or colors.

Brushes can be cheap or mid range. The biggest thing with brushes is HOW WELL YOU CLEAN THEM AND TREAT THEM. There is brush soap or you can just get some baby soap, works well enough.

As for sizes, your main brushes will be a 2 and a 0. The size 2 will be your workhorse brush for most everything. If you want to do any drybrushing you may want to get a makeup brush, though there are a few companies that make them specifically for hobby use as well. There are plenty of channels on youtube that you can watch for new ideas or just to learn. Then again just listen to Pro Painter Sam Lenz talk about the brushes he uses here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vfJdCimmKA

https://gameenvy.net/ makes some brush holders that will be useful. You don't want to leave them point down as that will eventually ruin your brush. If you don't want to spend money on a holder just reuse a pickle jar or the like (after washing of course). I have used a few gameenvy products such as the hobby holder. It works well for me, but there are several brands that make mini holders. Use what works best for you and your hand size.

Once upon a time painted some BT minis, then when I got back into painting it was for Zombicide. Which was about 25 years later so may as well say I was a newbie again. this is how that turned out, which was better than I thought. https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,62974.msg1447441.html#msg1447441

Take your time, don't rush.
Good luck and have fun! Painting is only as hard as you make it.