Monday, June 29, 2009

Painting Tricks and Tips

So a group of us were approached about sharing some painting secrets and tips. I thought "I don't really have any 'tricks' to my painting or anything like that." There I was thinking about laying down a grand article on some masterful ideas of painting. I then realized, I'm not that great, maybe a little better then average; so how do I churn out my paint jobs.

I'll have to start with the basics. Know what you're going to paint. Paint a test model. That will give you an idea of how you want the mini to look and how to paint it. Many times I'll find shortcuts to a final step by just painting a single mini. It also gives you a chance to take a look and determine that what you saw in your head is or is not the final product you painted.

Many times I've had an idea in my noggin only to find out that put down on a mini it really isn't all that. Take note of my Elysian link to the right and the test model there. I don't like it. I thought I would and have given myself time to look at it and get a better feel for it. After several days I've decided, nope. It's not what I saw in my mind. So off I go looking for the right paints again.

Another trick, be comfy. Not to the point you'll fall asleep in your chair but many of us have a restricted painting area, whether it's because of a wife and kids needing the extra bedroom so you have to make space in another room or because you're in an efficiency and have no other rooms except the bathroom. Regardless of your painting area make it comfortable.

I personally like background noise when I paint, whether it's the TV or tunes only depends on my mood at the time. To me painting is a release, not a "job" (I'll get to that in a minute). Where I paint depends also, sometimes it's on the folding TV tray table or it's at my desk with the big screen TV turned so I can see it. The point is I paint where I'm comfy and that translates to better paint jobs.

Another thing is, set time aside. If you have an hour between coming home from work and dinner. Use it to paint, then don't touch a brush again unless you really want to. This helps you stick to a schedule in case you are doing work for someone else or if you're trying to get a bunch of stuff painted before a GT or event. Don't push it though, nothing sucks more then being burned out on painting.

My final piece of advice, be ready with the assembly line once you've got your test mini where you want it. This works well for rank and file, but not so much for your special characters and leaders. Those you want time to work on seperately, but joe smoe trooper can get the basic paint job, unless you want a perfect showcase army. Granted most want that, but I find once you get your basic paint jobs on then you can always go back and keep adding to it... as long as you don't seal the mini. Of course this could cause you to have to go back and touch up your base coats after several games of handling the mini, but I find that once I can go back and do touchups I find a little extra time to add something to increase the quality of the paint job.

So there you go, it's not elegant, nothing like use your finger nail for wet blending, but I think these basics will help you get to where you want to be. Stick with the basics and build on them and you'll be pleasantly surprised. Until next time...


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