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Getting Started: Starting Out with Colors

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.

Getting Started: Picking the Right Painting Set Up

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.

Paint Brushes

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).

Cleaning Brushes

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.

Paint Palette

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.

Start Collecting a Joker Crew

My Collection of Joker Crew Models

There’s something iconic about the Joker. Whether it’s Mark Hammill’s voice performance, Heath Ledger’s The Dark Knight, or any of your favorite comic stories there is just so much to love about the character. In the Batman Miniature Game, the Joker commands a crew of thugs to play a few jokes on the city of Gotham. After all, doesn’t everyone need a smile on their face?

Getting Started with Soldiers of Fortune

The Dark Knight Rises Bane Crew

Bane will break the Bat! With the Bane crew, it’s about powerful models that will dominate your opponent with strength. Bane crews tend to be elite models that play a very strong role on the table. Each one individually can be expected to serve their role and do it very well. With this article, I will focus on what’s available for resin purchases which makes your cost of entry in getting started with this crew easy and makes future growth expansions not too bad either.

Soldiers of Fortune feature both Bane and Elite Mercenaries, but also includes the Arkham Knight and those mercenaries from the video game of the same name. For this article, I am going to focus on Bane builds. While the Arkham Knight is one of my favorite models, I feel it’s fair to give Arkham Knight his own future article and build options.

Getting Started with the Batman Crew

Conesy’s Batman Crew Collection

Who doesn’t want to play Batman? Let’s face it, the good guys are probably a big reason why we got into this game. I am a huge Batman fan, though probably a little less the comics and more the big screen and the animated series. This meant that I was drawn to this game and wanted to expand beyond the Suicide Squad box right into the Batman and Law crew.

Of course, those were a thing of first edition and now that we have third edition, those have all been combined into the Batman crew. This makes one of the largest single collections of both resin and metal models that a person can choose from. Lots of selections though, can feel very daunting from the go. I will take a look at how you could get started with two easy to purchase model lists.

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