Thursday, 30 June 2011

Steps to Being a Better Miniature Painter – Part 3

 Section 1) Preparation Part 3

This will be the last post regarding the preparation of the models, I swear.  As previously mentioned, the reason why I go into so much detail for the preparation is because I truly believe that this is the foundation of a great paint job.

Primer- Once again, this may seem completely intuitive, but you should always prime your models. I do know people who just use GWs Foundation paint line on bare plastic models, but I personally always prime my miniatures.  Priming ensures that when you paint the minis, the paint stays on them.   This is imperative for any metal model, as it will seem that just looking at these minis will cause them to scratch.  I know that a common debate among miniature painters is what colour primer should you use to basecoat your model.  The most often used colours are white, and black, with Grey being a close third.  Based on my experience with primers, the best answer I can give you is “It depends on what colours you are painting”.
If you are painting primarily dark colours (e.g. dark blues, dark reds, browns, etc), or you are planning on using paints such as GW Foundation paints, black is the way to go. Frankly, black-based models are much easier to hide missed spots, and are easier to shade. I always use Black primer when I am painting my Ork army, for example. I tend to use dark colours, so the black primer looks great on these models. However, if you are going to be using primarily lighter colours (yellows, whites, greys), obviously you do not want to use black primer on your models. It will take many coats of paint to get these vibrant colours to look decent if you do. I tend to use white primer when I am painting my Tyranid army, for example. I like getting a blue basecoat after priming, which gives the recesses of the tyranid models a dark blue tinge. Overall, I really like the effect. I will definitely be putting up photos in the near future of these models, so you can get a better understanding of what I am talking about. However, one solution that people are doing today is using black primer, then bright Foundation paints, then highlighting with these vibrant colours. In my experience, they also tend to turn out quite nicely.  Luckily, GW offers excellent primers in both white and black.   There has also been a trend lately towards using Grey primers, especially on armies such as Grey Knights. I have seen several of these models, and it does appear that the silver paint goes over grey primer quite nicely and easily. However, I have little experience with this colour of primer, so I will end here.

So, to summarize, preparation is VERY IMPORTANT and use dark primers on dark painted models and light primers on light painted models. Pretty straight-forward. In my next post, I will be covering foundation colours and the importance of layering colours on a model. Hope you enjoy.


Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Steps to Being a Better Miniature Painter – Part 2

 Section 1) Preparation Part 2

Pinning- For any of you modelers that are not familiar with the term “pinning”, it refers to the act of drilling small (pin-sized) holes between connecting model pieces, then filling the holes with super glue (and sometimes green-stuff) and then putting a pin in the hole. On the connecting piece, you drill the same sized hole, put more super glue in, then insert the pin from the other piece. Basically, this procedure ensures that these two model pieces will be stuck together Permanently.  Pinning is only typically used to keep heavy models (e.g. Metal models) together. It is not usually required for lighter miniatures, such as those made from resin or plastic.

I personally recommend pinning any and every model you have, especially warhamer/40k models like monstrous creatures, or warmachine heavy warjacks.   I will be putting up pinning tutorials soon on my blog, so check back soon if you want to learn how to properly pin your models.  If you cannot wait, I would recommend checking out google or youtube for other peoples tutorials.  The only tools you require for this are 1) A pinning drill/ pinning vice, 2) Super-glue and 3) Green stuff (if you desire a little extra strength to the bond).

Gap Filling – Products such as Green Stuff, Brown Stuff, or other epoxy modeling putty’s can be used to fill any gaps in a miniature, typically between attached arms, heads, or items such as backpacks. Though this procedure is not 100% necessary, some miniature painters prefer to gap fill any mini they paint. Ultimately, it is up to you on this particular step.  Eventually, I will also be putting up a tutorial on how to fill gaps of a miniature.

So, in the next posting I will be covering the importance of choosing a good primer and basecoat for your model. Hope you enjoy.


Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Steps to Being a Better Miniature Painter – Part 1

Essentially, I will be breaking this topic into a series of posts.  So, I would be lying through my teeth if I said I was the best miniature painter out there. But, I do consider myself to be above average, perhaps above the crowd. I have won best painted awards at several Warhammer 40k tournaments, for my Ork and Tyranid Armies. I have even been hired a couple of times to do some commissions for people at my local gaming club.

Now, many of the tips I will be giving may be considered to be “obvious” or “basic” to some, but this blog is designed to help painters of any level, including novice painters, or those new to miniature painting.

Section 1) Preparation (1 of 2)

Proper preparation of a model is the foundation of any excellent paint job on a miniature. Many inexperienced miniature painters do not understand how important the preparation phase of model painting can be, and therefore are ultimately at a “handicap” before they even begin painting.

Cleaning the model- if you are painting metal or resin models, it is very important to clean the model before painting.  Many of these models have residue remaining from the molding process. This residue will prevent the primer and paint from sticking to the model, making the job of painting an uphill battle from the start. In my experience, simple dish detergent and a sponge or cloth works fine.  Make sure to use warm water (not boiling, especially if you are using resin). Also, ensure that the drain is covered so your models/parts do not accidentally fall down the drain. You would be surprised at how often this has happens, even to the best of us.

Remove extra molding/ mold lines – With the introduction of Games Workshops Finecast range, as well as the push for companies like Privateer Press to release plastic miniatures, this step has never been so important.  When painting miniatures, it is imperative that you remove all extra molding and mold lines.  Later in the painting process, products like washes will expose even the slightest mold line. This step is becoming increasingly important in the tournament circuit, where painting scores are being worth more and more.  I was recently competing at a tournament, where one of the criteria on the score card actually read “No mold lines visible on miniatures”, which I recall was worth 2 or 3 points out of the 20 point painting score. Plus, mold lines just make the mini look less AWESOME!!!!

The easiest way to remove these pesky lines is to use a sharp modeling knife. These can be purchased at pretty much any modeling store.

 Thank you very much for reading part 1. In the next part, I will cover pinning and gap filling miniatures. 


Monday, 27 June 2011

A Brief Introduction

Hey There Blog Readers,
My name is Justin, but I have gone by J since I was young.  I am a Miniwargaming enthusiast, especially Warhammer 40k and Warmachine.  I started painting miniatures when I was a kid, way back in the early 1990's.  I got back into Warhammer 40k about 2 years ago when my good friend Andy re-introduced me to 40k.  Since then I have gone a little overboard.  I am now currently collecting 4 Warhammer 40k armies; Tyranids, Orks, Tau and Grey Knights, as well as a Cygnar Faction for Warmachine.  However, I am pretty much willing to paint any miniature for any game.  I even occasionally do commissions for my friends.

I personally consider myself to be an above average miniature painter, having won best painted numerous times in tournaments for my Tyranids and Ork armies.  My goals are typically to paint to a tabletop or slightly better than tabletop standard.  I will be using this blog to give some helpful tips and pointers that I have been told and have found over the last couple of years, as well as showing the miniatures that I have been painting recently.  

Well, Thank you very much for reading this blog posting and talk to you again soon.