Any tips for someone with an unsteady hand? - Wargaming Forum and Wargamer Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-29-16, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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Default Any tips for someone with an unsteady hand?

So i'll be honest, im about as anxious a guys as you can find. I can barely hold a brush without shaking like a leaf. I typically try and paint my models by gluing a coin to the bottom of the miniature, this way I can lay it somewhere and it (generally) stays still while my hand is everywhere. Any other suggestions to get even more proficient at painting models, even with a lot of shaking?

Many thanks! White Wolf 7
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-29-16, 08:30 PM
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Some options to try

- Brace the edges of your both your hands against a (high) table edge. I typically do that for extra stability.
- Use blutack instead of your coin-gluing. It'll be more secure, and you can also secure it at a greater variety of angles rather than just flat on a table.
- Some type of table clamps with rubber grips- another alternative to your coins.
- Try to to the majority of painting with the use of washes. IMO the best option would be a very light spray basecoat, followed by dark, then medium washes.
- Spraypaint individual parts your chosen colours before gluing the models together.

Hope that helps!
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-29-16, 10:06 PM
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I would agree with everything said by @Fluketrain , you can also try the little model stands with clamps and magnifier. Another tip would be to decide and write down exactly what way you want your miniature painted before you start and stick to that plan. I personally paint my minis largely unassembled, as my painting skill not the best either

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-29-16, 10:34 PM
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Oh and another technique would be drybrushing, being shaky wouldn't matter at all.

Essentially you get the paint on the brush then run it over tissue a few times until it is almost dry. Then run it back and forth over the detailed area. There are tutorials on youtube.

It can be any paint really, not just "dry" paint.

What models/ colour scheme do you plan on using?
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-30-16, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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Nice! Drybrushing seems like it would work very well.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-30-16, 01:26 PM
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A nice way to circumvent any shaky-hand difficulty would be "dipping": it's not a sexual fetish. You just lay the base colours of the model on a bright tone (eg. an ork would have a bright green skin and bright brown dresses, plus simple metal weapons and bitz, maybe even black boots) and then you dip it into a varnish paint (i used even a varnish paint intended for wood...), shake the model a bit (to remove excess varnish) and let it dry 24h. boom, ready model, minimum paintjob. Extra handy for orks, necrons, tyranid swarms and imperial guard blobs. The darker the varnish, the darker the effect, so it will affect your choice of base colours (unwise to do dark base and dark varnish. the best is bright base and dark varnish)
This is an old article related : Speed Painting -- The Dip Method

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-30-16, 01:29 PM
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Dry brushing I find is the absolute easiest for a new painter to do.

After a while I try priming (spray painting) all my minis first before just applying paint (I recommend using white as a primer as it is the most color neutral, and it "brightens" the model more than a black primer).

Another thing to think of is to just use 3-5 colors max. It can be real complicated and intimidating when your using a lot of colors and paints.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-30-16, 08:29 PM
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The biggest thing with painting, and it's hard to get your head round is that you've just got to get painting! Painting models takes time, the more you do the better you get, it's a journey of discovery. It's amazing how many easy techniques there are to get outstanding results. But unfortunately as I said earlier, you just have to get painting. Once you've started your confidence will build and you'll find you don't shake so much. But here's a little confidence tester for you, watch the GW "how to paint a space marine" video and then try to paint one as they have suggested from start to finish. And then repeat. I'm pretty sure after your 4th or 5th guy you will be noticing a difference in your hand stability and ability. Just remember, the more you do, the better you will get, it's all practice.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-30-16, 11:08 PM
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I have the same problem sometimes but only with my right hand. Just so happens I'm right handed.
So here's what I did:
Blu-tack or model clips to make the model as unmoveable as possible.
Hand: Double hand technique. Make a fist with your left hand and place it on the table in front of the mini. Your right hand, place the upper wrist/bottom side of your palm (opposit side of your thumb) onto the fist of your left hand. The left hand provides a firm foundation. With your right hand pressing down, it helps control the shaking. (If you are left handed, obviously, just flip the directions).
Only other thing I can add, take frequent breaks and shake out your hand. Let it rest in an open position for a few before going back at it. Good luck!
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-01-16, 12:35 AM
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A lot of great suggestions here! It might also be worth looking at why your hand shakes. If it's just a lack of practice, then you may be able to improve your fine motor skills over time. Conversely, if it's nerve damage you might be out of luck and need to rely on more assistive techniques.
@WhiteWolf7 have you ever done any sketching? One of the best tips I revised l received when I first started painting was to use short, quick brush strokes as though I was drawing. Conceptually, this is very similar to dry brushing but your brush needn't be dry!

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