Friday, April 5, 2013

Painting for Beginners

Painting for Beginners Part  

There are all kinds of tabletop games and games that use miniatures. However, most of these miniatures are not pre-painted and need to be painted. This is actually what makes gaming a hobby, when you know that you have done something by yourself. This will be one of many articles that will deal with basic painting and conversion methods that can be used.
Before we start, there is one rule that you should keep in mind when starting to paint something. Be patient! There is no art and perfection that can be rushed. Take your time, and prepare your miniature, paint it for couple of hours, look at it, than paint it more if you are not satisfied. There are different ways people want their miniatures to look like. In general there are two different types of paint jobs: tabletop painting and showcase painting. Tabletop painted miniatures are supposed to look good when you look at them from afar, standing on table top while playing a game. It doesn’t take much time, and usually there are no details painted on the miniature, but when placed in formation they look good. Showcase miniatures look like they are alive. With astonishing bases and incredible details, these miniatures are used for wining prizes as well as for playing. However, it takes a lot of time for painting and converting these.
We will start with basics, for people who have never tried painting miniatures. Before you start doing anything, make sure that you have all you need for painting. There are few things you need to start: a brush, paints, glass of water, palette for mixing colors and sand paper. Brushes come in different shapes and sizes. Always have different sizes, from smallest to a large one for big areas. You don’t want to paint small details with a large brush. There are brushes that are so thin that only have few hare on them.
Use different types of brushes
When it comes to buying paints for your models, there is no general rule, as there are different companies that make them. Everyone has its own favorite company, I for instance, prefer using Games Workshops and Vallejo colors. Someone might disagree, but I am just used to them, as they were my first choice.
Before starting to paint prepare your miniature. Use a hobby knife and sand paper to get rid of all imperfections that are left on the miniature due to metal casting or bad plastics. If you want your miniature to look good on tabletop, you don’t need to spend much time on this. However, if you want a first class miniature spend some time on preparation.
When your miniature is ready, now comes the first layer of paint. This layer is known as basecoat, and it is only there so that metal or plastic won’t show under your paint. There are different basecoat sprays, but you can use your paint or airbrush to basecoat your miniature. Just make sure that basecoat is not too thick as details will be lost that. Depending what you want, use basecoat in color similar to one that will be main color of your miniature. People usually use black for tabletop miniatures and white if they are painting for showcase, as than other colors and shadows show well.
You should always have a good painting surface
When your undercoat is done you may start painting. Experiment a bit, mixing color and water, until you find mix that fits you best. When painted on the miniature, paint should not be too thick nor should it be too watery, so that it runs down your miniature. Best way to paint is to apply few layers of paint, so don’t worry if first layer is not showing of that good, as you will apply more. It is best to paint slowly, and to apply as much thin layers as possible.
After you have painted your miniature with basic colors, it is start to highlight some parts. Figure how light if falling on you model and mix base color that you have used for painting that part with a bit of some bright color, such as white. In thin layers apply this mix only on parts that are supposed to be brighter, like an end of a sword or top of the rangers’ hood. This is also one of techniques that require patience.
As we are now talking about basic of painting, there is one simple technique that is great if you want your miniatures to look good on the table top. This technique is called inking. There are already prepared ink washes that can be bought, however, you can make one on your own by diluting a paint, so that it is very watery. Then just apply this wash all over your miniature. You won’t believe how this can improve your miniature. Of course, this is if you have low standards and you don’t particularly care how your miniature looks like.

These were some basic tips of how to paint your miniatures and what you need. Soon I will write about some advanced techniques and how you can make your miniature really stand out.

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