My First Painted Miniature
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Posted 6/1/14 , edited 6/1/14


I'll admit, it isn't the most amazing thing in the world but I am proud of it. The pic you see was taken with an iPhone camera so the quality doesn't do it justice.

It's a 1-inch Bones figure painted with GW paint. There is a undercoat of black primer. There is not a face done because I kept trying and failed I then realized I should do eyes and such first before applying skin color. A mistake.

There are a couple things I know I would do differently or have learned:

1) I need to get some Wash. After seeing the videos online of people applying wash I think it would add a lot of depth.

2) I need to paint the eyes and facial features first and then add skin color.

3) I want to try dry brushing for future chainmail emphasis.

4) I need to mix colors and try new combos to achieve different effects.

If anyone out there has painted minis before and etc, please feel free to give some feedback and advice. Anything is appreciated.


Also, since I am just wanting to paint minis and make them look really good, should I focus on buying bigger minis to achieve more detail rather than the small ones (like the one I did which is only 1 inch)?
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Posted 6/1/14
Really good start actually, esp for a mini figure. Try drybrushing, I think you will really impress yourself with the results. Will look great on the armor and may even get you past the face. When I first started painting miniatures, I couldn't figure out how they were able to get so much detail on such small pieces. It's all in the technique

Please post if you're not sure how to drybrush yet. and post results

~ SK
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Posted 6/1/14

stonekaiju wrote:

Really good start actually, esp for a mini figure. Try drybrushing, I think you will really impress yourself with the results. Will look great on the armor and may even get you past the face. When I first started painting miniatures, I couldn't figure out how they were able to get so much detail on such small pieces. It's all in the technique

Please post if you're not sure how to drybrush yet. and post results

~ SK


Yeah, I'm not sure how to dry brush but I have read a bit about it online. Yeah, the details going on the mini figure were actually really difficult. That's why I'm wondering if I would get better results and more detail if I were to use a larger figure.
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Posted 6/1/14 , edited 6/1/14
For practice, just paint your piece black like before and let it dry thoroughly. Then dip your brush in silver and brush a piece of scrap paper like a grocery bag or something. Do this until your brush appears dry. Now lightly brush your model piece. Even though the brush appears dry, you will see tiny details miraculously appear on your model

As long as there is enough contrast you can use any two colors. So a dark dark green and a light green should work for the face once you get the hang of it. there are pens that can be used for the pupils of the eyes if you are not confident using a brush for fine detail.

Good luck, post your results.

~ SK
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Posted 6/1/14

stonekaiju wrote:

For practice, just paint your piece black like before and let it dry thoroughly. Then dip your brush in silver and brush a piece of scrap paper like a grocery bag or something. Do this until your brush appears dry. Now lightly brush your model piece. Even though the brush appears dry, you will see tiny details miraculously appear on your model

As long as there is enough contrast you can use any two colors. So a dark dark green and a light green should work for the face once you get the hang of it. there are pens that can be used for the pupils of the eyes if you are not confident using a brush for fine detail.

Good luck, post your results.

~ SK


Thank you for the advice!

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Posted 6/1/14
NP

Look forward to seeing how it turns out.

~ SK
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Posted 6/1/14
Great work for just starting off! I remember my first miniature, it was a Space Marine from Warhammer 40K and it looked ... horrendous. Come to think of it, I'd rather not remember it. It was blue, like solid blue, with no attention to detail. Over the years I've gotten better, but I have my share of utterly botched miniatures (thankfully I don't play, I simply wish to build a diorama) but I also have some gems in there. A few years after I started painting, when Games Workshops still had brick-and-mortar shops in my area, I learned of dry brushing. Dry-brushing is an excellent technique and I think it adds a ton of life to miniatures (I've been on-and-off painting miniatures as a random hobby for 12-13 years now) and it is extremely easy. I would, though, recommend you not use your primary (or favorite) brushes for dry-brushing, as it can gum up the hairs of the brush. I have a number of inexpensive brushes dedicated to dry-brushing. Here is a really good tutorial on Dry brushing miniatures: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tj9XNbwfwHo (notice the brush tip in the first minute of that tutorial)

I'm interested to see what else you come up with (and I'll try to dig up some photos of my own miniatures)!
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Posted 6/1/14

t1ckles wrote:

Great work for just starting off! I remember my first miniature, it was a Space Marine from Warhammer 40K and it looked ... horrendous. Come to think of it, I'd rather not remember it. It was blue, like solid blue, with no attention to detail. Over the years I've gotten better, but I have my share of utterly botched miniatures (thankfully I don't play, I simply wish to build a diorama) but I also have some gems in there. A few years after I started painting, when Games Workshops still had brick-and-mortar shops in my area, I learned of dry brushing. Dry-brushing is an excellent technique and I think it adds a ton of life to miniatures (I've been on-and-off painting miniatures as a random hobby for 12-13 years now) and it is extremely easy. I would, though, recommend you not use your primary (or favorite) brushes for dry-brushing, as it can gum up the hairs of the brush. I have a number of inexpensive brushes dedicated to dry-brushing. Here is a really good tutorial on Dry brushing miniatures: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tj9XNbwfwHo (notice the brush tip in the first minute of that tutorial)

I'm interested to see what else you come up with (and I'll try to dig up some photos of my own miniatures)!


Thank you and thanks for the advice.

I watched a few good tutorials on dry brushing and mixing different colors to get a more realistic effect on certain things like leather, chainmail, etc. I am definitely going to have to try it out.

I have a really good figure I picked up for just that sort of thing because he is mainly covered with a robe.

I think my focus on that next guy will be to combine a few colors, dry brush and use wash to get a more realistic effect on the clothing.

Do you have any tips for doing the faces? I've watched tutorials and such but when I got to the face I just froze! No idea what to do!
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Posted 6/1/14
Faces suck. Plain and simple. So much detail in such a tiny space ...

I painted some Lord of the Rings miniatures a few years back and the one Aragorn that I started with I still have nightmares about. I tried a few different things, first, after using a grey primer (automotive primer is awesome, btw ...) then tried to individually paint the eyes and that turned out like one of those creepy clown figures.

It's difficult to explain how to get a good look on the face, but this video explains a method very similar to what I did (though, they add a little more pizzazz that I ever did): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhonPjqBkek

Essentially, after primer has been applied, you paint sloppy around the eyes, mouth, etc. then you 'clean it up' by painting the rest of the face in your desired flesh tone. The biggest pointer I can give? Use the finest brush you have for painting the flesh tones around the eyes / mouth (this covers up the sloppy paint around them and gives you a lot more control).

Essentially the order to apply the paint (after primer) is:

#1 - Eyes
#2 - Mouth (or teeth/fangs)
#3 - Flesh tone
#4 - Other features, such as eyebrows, hairlines, etc.
#5 - Dry brushing / finishing highlights

My brother uses the dip method (for the entire figure) for the first and final coats (he uses stain, like wood stain, to darken all the crevices/add shadow effects) and his are stellar, but I can't figure out the dip method (I have tried exactly two times and failed spectacularly), but it's something you may want to look into. I am curious if others here have used the dip method with any success.

Eventually I moved away from human / medieval figures (or rather, figures with real faces) and got into purely robotic-style figures. Think Warhammer 40K Tau Empire figures. I am incredibly excited to be getting my Robotech RPG Tactics miniatures (talking a few hundred of them!) sometime this year ( https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rrpgt/robotech-rpg-tacticstm ).

Let me know if I can be of any more help!
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Posted 6/1/14

t1ckles wrote:

Faces suck. Plain and simple. So much detail in such a tiny space ...

I painted some Lord of the Rings miniatures a few years back and the one Aragorn that I started with I still have nightmares about. I tried a few different things, first, after using a grey primer (automotive primer is awesome, btw ...) then tried to individually paint the eyes and that turned out like one of those creepy clown figures.

It's difficult to explain how to get a good look on the face, but this video explains a method very similar to what I did (though, they add a little more pizzazz that I ever did): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhonPjqBkek

Essentially, after primer has been applied, you paint sloppy around the eyes, mouth, etc. then you 'clean it up' by painting the rest of the face in your desired flesh tone. The biggest pointer I can give? Use the finest brush you have for painting the flesh tones around the eyes / mouth (this covers up the sloppy paint around them and gives you a lot more control).

Essentially the order to apply the paint (after primer) is:

#1 - Eyes
#2 - Mouth (or teeth/fangs)
#3 - Flesh tone
#4 - Other features, such as eyebrows, hairlines, etc.
#5 - Dry brushing / finishing highlights

My brother uses the dip method (for the entire figure) for the first and final coats (he uses stain, like wood stain, to darken all the crevices/add shadow effects) and his are stellar, but I can't figure out the dip method (I have tried exactly two times and failed spectacularly), but it's something you may want to look into. I am curious if others here have used the dip method with any success.

Eventually I moved away from human / medieval figures (or rather, figures with real faces) and got into purely robotic-style figures. Think Warhammer 40K Tau Empire figures. I am incredibly excited to be getting my Robotech RPG Tactics miniatures (talking a few hundred of them!) sometime this year ( https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rrpgt/robotech-rpg-tacticstm ).

Let me know if I can be of any more help!


Thank you and that video is actually pretty helpful!

I guess my biggest issue was after I laid down a layer of primer, I could barely tell where the facial features were. Perhaps I made the primer too thick? Or maybe I should be using a different color primer than black. I'm not sure what the deal was there.
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Posted 6/1/14
It's my understanding that Bones by Reaper Mini's figures don't need primer? ( see: http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/48667-bones-frequently-asked-questions-unofficial/ ) The issue may be a combination of using primer on a mini that doesn't need primer, and using a primer that is too thick.

I personally use automotive primer (any cheap light grey or black, pending your needs) since it sprays on really thin yet sticks really really well (it stinks ... bad). What type of primer are you using? Are all of your miniatures the Bones lines from Reaper?
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Posted 6/1/14

t1ckles wrote:

It's my understanding that Bones by Reaper Mini's figures don't need primer? ( see: http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/48667-bones-frequently-asked-questions-unofficial/ ) The issue may be a combination of using primer on a mini that doesn't need primer, and using a primer that is too thick.

I personally use automotive primer (any cheap light grey or black, pending your needs) since it sprays on really thin yet sticks really really well (it stinks ... bad). What type of primer are you using? Are all of your miniatures the Bones lines from Reaper?


Yeah, I sort of figured out they don't really require primer after the fact. All the minis I bought are the bones series, yes. I'm using GW primer so it's made for minis. On the next mini I am going to try not using primer and see if it works out better.

For every mini I know it's best to use primer but I think the bones series is different since they are made to not need it.
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