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Discuss all areas of historical miniature painting and painting preparation.
Painting figures with enamels
England - South West, United Kingdom
Joined: July 27, 2011
KitMaker: 95 posts
Historicus Forma: 2 posts
Posted: Monday, August 22, 2011 - 11:02 AM UTC

i have been progreessing fairly well with painting vehicles and uniforms using just revell/humbrol enamel paints and brushes but i am nromally let down by the faces of my figures

I never was able to draw faces and it turns out im a bit pants at painting them as well

as you can see these are pretty bad
and in my opinion my latest figures (US marines) look awful as well
i have no problems with the uniforms just the faces!

any helpful tips for using enamels???
Staff MemberSenior Editor
Croatia Hrvatska
Joined: February 13, 2002
KitMaker: 5,579 posts
Historicus Forma: 1,985 posts
Posted: Monday, August 22, 2011 - 06:35 PM UTC
Here's a really good article on painting faces with enamels by Marijn van Gils:


Hope that helps,
Texas, United States
Joined: May 28, 2006
KitMaker: 59 posts
Historicus Forma: 54 posts
Posted: Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - 01:54 PM UTC
With all the acrylic and oil figure painters out there, its nice to see another enamel user. I've never used anything but Humbrol, Model Master, and Testors enamels for any of my work, and I've been building models for over 30 years. If you'd like to get an idea of what I'm doing with enamels, and therefore whats possible for you, go to the Kitmaker member gallery and search for Deepgroove. Thats me. I've got quite a few photos of my work there, in a variety of subjects and scales. I read the article suggested to you, and while I think it can help you, there are a few honest mistakes lost in the language translation. For instance, a few times it mentions using a pencil. I'm pretty sure they meant your brush. One other thing I'd add is that the article talks a lot about thinning colors for highlights and shadows. While this is true, be careful when doing this as too much time spent with heavily dilluted paint could lift your base coat.
I always paint my base coat and give it a full day to dry. The next day I inspect it to see if a second coat to even things out is needed. If so I paint it and give another day to dry. When I'm satisfied with the base coat coverage, I proceed to do shadows and highlights. I'm a rebel....I do shadows first. Either way you should allow a full day of drying between each step. At the very least it will teach you patience. Most important of all, take your time and work on techniques. When I started out painting figures I tried to purchase cheap ones with decent faces, just to learn with. Eventually I graduated to something of higher quality, and was more confident with my efforts. The hobby of figure painting is very fun and rewarding, and I wish you all the best. Please let us all know your progress, and never hesitate to post questions along the way.