I have been a bit stuck in a hobby funk for the past month. Much of which has to do with bulk painting, which is something I am far out of practice on. Finding some real motivation, I was able to finish up my first squad of US Infantry for Bolt Action. While this squad is just a 5 man squad I feel like I have reached a big milestone on this project.
Tag: painting Page 1 of 3
It’s been a busy and hectic couple of weeks, but when it’s busy you just have to keep that paint brush working. That means I have a few projects finished to share. Most of the work I have been doing is really focused on super heroes for the Batman Miniature Game by Knight Models and Marvel: Crisis Protocol by Atomic Mass Games.
Harley Quinn was the most recent project. She’s one of the most dynamic posed models I have for the Batman Miniature Game. I love the scenic base and I feel it adds so much character to the model. I didn’t have much direction when I started this model. I focused initially on the bottom elements of the figure and worked my way slowly up the model filling in colors and slowly working up the highlights. As I finished the model I wanted the eye to have two focal points. The first, and primary, was going to be Harley’s hair and face. I think this area of bright color on what is otherwise a darker shaded model really makes this an instant place your eye is drawn. As the eye works it’s way down the model the second focal point comes into play with the stone clown face having just enough color and lighter shading to stand out on the base.
If you have been keeping up, you should now have or be ready to purchase brushes, a palette, and know which vendor(s) paints you want to go with. The next thing to find intimidating is the number of colors in that paint rack. Most manufacturers churn out 40, 50, 60 or more colors and picking which colors you want to get started at a few US dollars for each pot or dropper bottle can stretch your initial hobby funds pretty thin.
In this article, I will go over some strategies you can use in deciding what colors you want to pick up first as you start to put the finishing touches on your starting paint kit. It shouldn’t take a ton of colors to be able to get started with painting. Down the road, as you expand your collection of paints or perfect your abilities to mix the colors you need to help with your growing and continued painting hobby.
So, after a recent conversation at the game store this week with a couple of people I had just run through a demo of Star Wars: Legion by Fantasy Flight Games I realized it might be useful for people just getting into the hobby an idea of what it takes to get started with painting models.
Painting for new wargamers is one of the most intimidating things about miniature wargaming. When I started the game and you would go to the game store where you bought your products there was only one brand of miniature paints that had different colors of paint and hobby inks. Products like washes, mediums, glazes, base colors, highlight colors, air brush paint lines, and all of the other odds and ends just didn’t exist (least not as a something that the average wargamer talked about). Bases were painted Goblin Green and you would put a little model railroad flock on the base after painting your figure (if you even did that) and go on playing with your little toy soldiers.
Now days though, the market has surged with multiple paint lines, hobby products, paint brush manufacturers, and all sorts of things that can make the jump into painting intimidating. In this article, I am going to focus on talking about the accessories to painting like brushes, palettes, and cleaning supplies. In future articles I will talk about what paints and other hobby supplies you might want to pick up.
There are a number of brushes out there, but I recommend not going fancy here to start with. While there are a lot of paint brushes on the market and usually available at the game store, there are three sizes of brushes that I recommend you start with. Of course, these sizes are pretty traditional and standardized by artists who have been painting things far longer then we have been painting toy soldiers!
- A size 2 brush
- A size 1 brush
- A size 0 brush
There are a number of other sizes I use or have including an 18/0 and a size 6. All brushes I typically use are round brushes.
Also as a recommendation regarding brushes, don’t go out and buy ridiculously expensive brushes for your first brushes. There’s a lot that goes into brush maintenance and you likely are going to do things that will beat up brushes quickly. On my paint desk are a number of brushes by Artist’s Loft which you can likely find on Amazon or at Michael’s (hobby and craft’s store).
To start with a simple old heavy cup, like a coffee cup and tap water should be good enough. After working with the paint you are working with just jiggle the brush in the water until the brush seems clean and wipe off with a paper towel. That’s pretty much what I do today and it works fine enough. No need to go any further.
I strongly recommend you look at getting a paint pallet. Painting directly from the pot or if you go with a paint line that uses dropper bottles. For this, I am going to recommend that you start with a wet palette.
I started out with paint pots and sticking my brush straight into the pots and going to the model. This ends up with a heavy coat of paint that makes it hard to do fine detail painting. Next, I started using glass mirrors (small round ones) or old used CD and DVD ROM disks. These let me do a lot more with mixing different colors up and improved my blends, but the paints dried out so quickly on those that I would often have to remix a color or blend to get the color right. It wasn’t until I went to a wet palette that I really was happy with the palette.
While they aren’t complicated and you can hack one together out of a blister pack, a piece of foam and some wax paper, for about $10 US I picked up a Masterson’s Sta-Wet Handy Palette that’s about 8×6 inches in size. It’s great and I can easily get replacement sponges and paper that are sized and cut for it when I need them. It’s a little extra money here and there for my painting hobby, but the convenience factor for me was worth the few extra dollars a year.
I used a simple base-coat and wash technique to finish my US Army for Bolt Action. It is a quick and easy technique that produces pretty good results for the table. If you are shy about painting I urge you to go for it and start with this technique. It can also be brought up more by simple adding a layer of highlight or two. This technique could be used on anything by just changing the colors. I’ll also cover the colors I used if you are interested for your own US force and how I did the basing.