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Painting
Discuss all areas of historical miniature painting and painting preparation.
A few newbie painting questions
mawelch74
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United States
Joined: September 29, 2014
KitMaker: 12 posts
Historicus Forma: 10 posts
Posted: Wednesday, October 08, 2014 - 12:30 AM UTC
So I've ordered paints, Vallejo Model Color starter set(8 colors, palette, coupla brushes). I'm certain I'll have to order other colors as I move forward, for nothing else than ease of painting(less color mixing) and consistency's sake.

One question I have, though, regards the washes available. Are they a "must have" item starting out, or can I get away with darkening a base color and using that for now? Costs are adding up pretty quickly and while I don't want to cheap out, I don't want to break the bank, either.

Second question, are there any color equivalency charts that show which colors from which suppliers are alike? Pretty much every tutorial I've run across is using Games Workshop's line of paints, but based on much reading, I've been sold on Vallejo. It would be nice to have a quick reference if there is something like this available.

Third question, how the heck do you guys see these things?? I started playing with the 1/72 velites in my Zvezda box last night using some supplies I have on-hand. I quickly realized that it's not going to matter how properly-thinned my paints are, how good my brushes are or if I am touched by th ghost of Michelangelo in my sleep, if I can't see these things, I'm hosed.

I noticed mostly when I have a need to get close up to paint a (very, very) small area, it all goes blurry. I'm 40, so I expect a bit of this, but this was ridiculous. I've used magnifying lamps for fly tying and they just got in the way, so I imagine the same thing would happen while painting. Would a pair of cheaters be a way to go? I was really struggling last evening. I'm not committed to the point of getting a special visor, but a pair or three of cheaters from the Dollar Store would be an easy, short-term fix if they're workable.

I have some 28mm figures coming with the paints, so maybe that will help, but they're not *that* much bigger than the 1/72 fellas I was painting on last night.

As always, thanks in advance for any thoughts/suggestions/advice!
AJLaFleche
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Massachusetts, United States
Joined: May 05, 2002
KitMaker: 8,074 posts
Historicus Forma: 1,791 posts
Posted: Wednesday, October 08, 2014 - 01:30 AM UTC

Quoted Text

So I've ordered paints, Vallejo Model Color starter set(8 colors, palette, coupla brushes). I'm certain I'll have to order other colors as I move forward, for nothing else than ease of painting(less color mixing) and consistency's sake.


Great choice for paints. You say brushes...the best are Kolinsky sable but right now there is a problem getting them into the states. You may be able to gray market them from dealers in other countries, however. I recently bought some cheap sable brushes and they don't have near the quality of Kolonsky sable. You shouldn't have to go below a #1 brush if it holds a good point. That set of cheap brushes ahs a 2 or 3 0 and it's just about useless.
Vallejo FAQ
General Vallejo Tutorial
Vallejo Model Paints Pages

Quoted Text



One question I have, though, regards the washes available. Are they a "must have" item starting out, or can I get away with darkening a base color and using that for now? Costs are adding up pretty quickly and while I don't want to cheap out, I don't want to break the bank, either.


I have some washes and use them occasionally but the general method of painting with Vallejo and related acrylics is layering and washes are lot designed for that so I guess you can economize there.


Quoted Text

Second question, are there any color equivalency charts that show which colors from which suppliers are alike? Pretty much every tutorial I've run across is using Games Workshop's line of paints, but based on much reading, I've been sold on Vallejo. It would be nice to have a quick reference if there is something like this available.



Equivalencies from Vallejo


Quoted Text

Third question, how the heck do you guys see these things?? I started playing with the 1/72 velites in my Zvezda box last night using some supplies I have on-hand. I quickly realized that it's not going to matter how properly-thinned my paints are, how good my brushes are or if I am touched by th ghost of Michelangelo in my sleep, if I can't see these things, I'm hosed.

I noticed mostly when I have a need to get close up to paint a (very, very) small area, it all goes blurry. I'm 40, so I expect a bit of this, but this was ridiculous. I've used magnifying lamps for fly tying and they just got in the way, so I imagine the same thing would happen while painting. Would a pair of cheaters be a way to go? I was really struggling last evening. I'm not committed to the point of getting a special visor, but a pair or three of cheaters from the Dollar Store would be an easy, short-term fix if they're workable.


What you need is an
Optivisor

I have a magnifying light and never use the magnifier, it's just another light.


Quoted Text

I have some 28mm figures coming with the paints, so maybe that will help, but they're not *that* much bigger than the 1/72 fellas I was painting on last night.


Some wargame scale painters can get good looking faces in 28mm and smaller. You said 1/72 figures...are you talking about those soft plastic sets? They won't hold paint well. Resin or plastic figures should hold paint better. In that scale, however, as a beginer, tiy may want to suggest more than pick out small detail.


Quoted Text

As always, thanks in advance for any thoughts/suggestions/advice!

mawelch74
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United States
Joined: September 29, 2014
KitMaker: 12 posts
Historicus Forma: 10 posts
Posted: Wednesday, October 08, 2014 - 03:19 AM UTC
Thanks for the reply and the many links!

I feel pretty comfortable with the paint choice. It was a lot of reading around to decide what I wanted. As for the brushes, Kolinsky, sadly, won't be getting my money at this point. I simply can't afford them starting out even if they were available at my local Dick Blick. Maybe down the road.

I'm sort of confused about the layering vs washing thing, as I see washing talked about quite a bit in a bunch of tutorials, mostly as a way to shade. I'll have to do some more reading.

Thanks for the equivalencies link! That will be extremely helpful!

The optivisor may become a necessity, but as mentioned, cost is a concern considering how much is required for a newbie to start, which is why I was wondering about cheaters over the short term.

On tools in general, I know it's best to get "the best". However, at least until I get settled into the hobby, I have to go with what's affordable or it will take me months to accrue the basics needed to begin to enjoy painting, which would be a massive frustration. Please don't get me wrong, I asked for thoughts and advice and I'm not failing to take it to heart, you've taken the time to give me quite a bit, it's simply the situation in which I find myself.

This is the set I currently have at home: Zvezda Republican Roman Infantry
It says "hard plastic" and I've no basis for comparison. The little guy I started on seemed to take paint well enough, but I was mostly goofing and my primer coat was some very thinned out grey Gesso(it's what was at hand), so there's that. I don't intend to do much in 1/72 as I'm finding more and more that I like in the 28mm range the more I look around.
AJLaFleche
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Massachusetts, United States
Joined: May 05, 2002
KitMaker: 8,074 posts
Historicus Forma: 1,791 posts
Posted: Wednesday, October 08, 2014 - 06:48 AM UTC
Just so you know, Kolinsky is not brand name but a type of Russian weasel (no, not a mobster! )who sacrifices tail fur for top notch brushes.

Layering is the careful application of well diluted paint, diluted to transparency, to build up shadows and highlights by tinting the under layer with successively lighter or darker intermediate shade of the base color. Before application, the brush is unloaded of excess fluid on a paper tower.

A wash might use the same dilution of paint and water (thinner) but is spread very wet over the entire surface. The color concentrates in crevasses and along sharp edges giving a shading effect. It's old school in figures and considered a quick and easy way to shade. In 1/72, however, that might be the way to go. Water, due to its surface tension, is not a very good medium for this. I've heard that adding some Windex helps break the surface tension and allows a water based wash to do the job better.
mawelch74
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United States
Joined: September 29, 2014
KitMaker: 12 posts
Historicus Forma: 10 posts
Posted: Friday, October 10, 2014 - 02:08 AM UTC
Yes, I'm aware. I have a few for fine art painting purposes. Luckily the were a gift. I should have worded that differently.

Your differentiation of shading vs washing had me go back to the research department and now I have a much better grasp of the two, and note the major difference between them. I'm uncertain I could effectively layer on the 1/72 guys, but perhaps on the 28mm models OR I just need to try on the wee fellas and see what happens. They're a set I'm not too worried about experimenting with or messing up on. I'll try a few different methods and see how I fare.

Paints arriving today, just in time for a 3-day weekend!

ETA: I grabbed a couple of pairs of cheaters at Dollar Store yesterday. They work!!! I'm sure Optivisor is better, but for now this will do. It was nice being able to actually see what I was doing while mucking around last evening.
PeeDee
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England - North West, United Kingdom
Joined: September 03, 2011
KitMaker: 608 posts
Historicus Forma: 98 posts
Posted: Saturday, October 11, 2014 - 10:00 AM UTC
Hi matt
We've both been on the other forum
Get some cheap brushes, cheap reading specs and have a go.
When you KNOW what you need, then spend the money.

Most of those starting out ask people who've been painting for years for help and get told you must buy this and you've gotta get that; not really

Just have a go and enjoy it.

If you have real problems drop me a private message with your email and I'll send you a pdf that shows acrylic in straiht forward steps and no jargon.

Washes filters pre-shading zenithal lighting are all jargon
when you just need to paint.

Do have a look on You tube.
Ignore brand names and watch the techniques with the sound off.

On my bench I have figures from 4mm to 900mm tall, that's not a typo, have a look at my gallery hope you like some of my stuff.

I use brushes that are £2.99 for 4, and use every brand of acrylic because I buy the colour not the brand.

Most important go to shows when you can and ask the modellers how they do their stuff.

Good luck

Paul
justsendit
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Colorado, United States
Joined: February 24, 2014
KitMaker: 3,033 posts
Historicus Forma: 11 posts
Posted: Saturday, October 11, 2014 - 10:28 AM UTC
Matt,

Lots of good advice to be found here on Armorama. Good luck and be sure to post your work.

ómike

Welcome to my world!