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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Basically i have no real idea how to paint, i have had my models etc. for about a year now, and it is getting embarassing that i dont even have a single model painted completely. I have given it a go, but i have worked for a lot of hours on one model and it still isnt even nearly finished... Please can i have a beginner guide for painting? I cant even drybrush properly, theres either too much paint or none at all...
 

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Sorry, started this about an hour ago, it had logged me out by the time I hit reply... eeerk! Anyway...

I too am a rubbish painter, I had a WFB orc army that was unpainted for nearly 20 years. A lot of the units aren't even legal, or just don't exist any more. BUT a lot of the rest is now done - so there is hope.

Don't know what it is you're painting, so some may not apply. But here goes - Red Orc's guide to passable (not by any means brilliant) painting.

a word on brushes
Doesn't matter how good you are, if you don't have the right tools for the job. You can't cut down the tallest tree in the forest with a herring, no matter how good you are. Likewise, if you're using a knackered paintbrush, it'll be splodgy. You don't need to go mad. But I'd say 3 or 4 brushes, for detail, small areas and large areas/washes (at a pinch you can use this one for drybrushing) would be enough. If you're painting tanks though, you need a BIG brush!

2 - batch paint
Between 5-20 models at a time. Make sure they're substantially the same. You can't 'batch paint' 3 tyranids, 2 Sisters, an Ork Warboss, 3 Cadians, 2 kroot and a Farseer all together. Paint squads, if your army has squads. If you play nids, paint batch after batch after batch...

3 - undercoat
Don't miss it out, ever. It's boring but absolutely vital, it's quite literally what you will build upon to make the completed paint job. I've never seen a decent-looking mini that wsan't undercoated 9and that's all we're going for here - decent looking). It's sometimes possible to cheat though - I 'have, sometimes' used a colour that I know is gonna feature in large amounts on the model. IF YOU CAN GET AN EVEN COAT (and only if) you can treat undercoating as basecoating, for some parts. Chaos marines or Black Templars would probably be OK like this. Best done using paint from the tin rather than spraying (which I can't get smooth & even), so it's a bit time-consuming, on the other hand you're saving time by not painting twice.
If you don't feel confident enough to do this, just undercoat them evenly. Pick a colour - black or white. When I started, everyone undercoated in white, even the Citadel painters. Then this guy (I think he was called Ian - used to work for GW) told me about this new technique he was using - a BLACK undercoat. This must have been about 1985. Both work, both have advantages and disadvantages. Generally, black is easier. Unless you're painting yellows, reds, or white. OK, basically it's easier for green and brown. More or less, if it's a dark figure, undercoat it black. If it's a light figure, at least think about a white undercoat.
People are now saying foundation paints can go straight over a black undercoat - haven't ued them yet, my life is complicated enough without buying more paints. But if they're as good as people (including a good number on this forum) say, then you may wanna invest in some. I'm just sticking with the regular paints at the moment, and getting OK results (sorry, got no pix as no digicam I'm afraid)

4 - first layer/basecoat - not to be confused with undercoat
This will be different for black, white or coloured undercoat., but the idea is that you have colour and shadow by the end. This is where black really is easiest (providing you're painting it with something that will cover it) - it's already a shadow.
Black: paint the 'next lightest' main colour for each area; if it's Dark Angels Green, slap it on. If it's Warlock Purple or Scorched Brown, slap it on. Don't worry about the corners/edges cracks. Leave them black - they're the shadows.
White: Do a wash of a darker version of the main colour on the area you're painting it. so if you're painting grot skin, do a dark angel wash. I always use paint for this. Some people swear by inks. I try to keep things simple. Water it down - a lot. You want it to dry in all the creases and folds, but not the raised bits. Again, this will produce shadows ie 'shade'.
Coloured: basecoat the other colours. Sometimes this is tricky. When you've undercoated a whole batch of woodelves goblin green, basecoating their faces gives a very corpse-like effect; green and flesh don't sit well together. But it's not a disaster, just requires a bit of experiment until you get an effect you like - then replicate it (this is why batch-painting is good!). If there are areas of the main colour that need shading, use the same technique as with white shading above. This will produce a mini with patches of colour with shadows.

5 - main colour & highlight
Obviously, in general this is a lighter shade of the colour you just slapped on. If you've done a black or coloured undercoat, just do a lighter shade for the main, and a lighter still for the highlight. Simple! :shock:
If you went for a white undercoat, however, you probably have a basically white mini with blobs of intense colour hiding in corners. Paint the more foreground layers in a lighter version of the wash. then paint the extreme highlights in an even lighter version.

6 - drybrushing
Too little is better than too much. It's better to do five lots that you look at and go 'do I need more' rather than put your brush onto a mini and go 'shit that's far too much'. Just be patient. Also, a bit like batch painting, try to have 2 groups of metal things; if there's too much paint for the 'a bit metallic' things, slap it on the 'very metallic' things. When it's run out a bit, start the 'a bit' metallic things again. Be careful. It'll come.
Also useful for fur and hair. Just try not to overdo it; test the brush on some white paper first. The paint should look like dust, not a thick trail. Care and patience are the keys to this. Not like obsesively, but not just splodging it on.

7 - know when to stop
Sometimes more paint doesn't help. Learn to let go. After a while, stop. There are only so many highlights a mini can take, so just leave it if you can't get it exactly right. You never know, in a month's time you might realise what's wrong. Or you might see another mini that makes you think, Hmm, I could paint my orange SMs like that and they'd look really cool. Or whatever. anyway, like I say, you need to know when to stop.

Hope this is some help. I don't claim it will get you the best minis ever, not by a long shot. But they should be at least OK and it's also quick and cheap. I reckon using this method you should be able to knock out ten passable figures in a couple of hours - most of that time is spent waiting for paint to dry, so batches of batches is sometimes a good plan! I don't know how big your army is, but it shouldn't take you very long to do them all to an OK standard - honestly!

Let me know if any of this helps - hope it does!

Ciao (and don't be daunted by the task ahead! It gets easier!)

:cyclops:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ty!!! Havent tried it yet, this is just b4 school, but will give it a go soon.
 

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I'll tell you what I always tell my kids, if you want to be good at anything..... practice doing it.

I would suggest painting your least favorite figures first, don't want to mess up the nice ones.... and the good thing is you can always re touch the paint.

I suck at painting but I recently painted a battle for McCraggie set (SM's & nids) and they look decent after doing a black primer, a dark blue basecoat, followed by a black ink wash and a lighter blue drybrush... then I hit the details with the appropriate colors.

I really do suck at painting, my vision is poor and my hands shake like a queer eating a hot dog.... every single miniature of mine has SOMETHING wrong on it, but overall and due to the size of the figures I am quite happy with the end result. As I said.... practice did help, and so did some tips from the local GW shop.

I can't ever see myself doing some of the masterpeices I see on this site, but over time I can see where I will get better at painting mini's....just gotta invest the time.
 

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my hands shake like a queer eating a hot dog
You made me spit hot tea on my hand!


The best way I have found to gauge the paint on your brush for drybrushing is to do a test run on your palm. if the paint drybrushes nicely on your palmprints then you have just the right amount for a drybrush.
 
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