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Discussion Starter #1
I'm having some trouble painting my armies. I'm nit sure if its the paint I'm using, or maybe how and when I paint them.

I've heard people tell me to put the model together then paint them, but some people strictly advise painting while on the sprues. I've heard people say painting on the sprues because the paint messes up the glue, but I use zap a gap which works wonders and have had no problem.

How does everyone else do it??
 

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I'm a sprue painter... and even when the paint gets a little eaten by the glue (superglue - turns everything white) its usually a quick touch up unless you do mixed colors or wet blend those spots heavily

edit: i take that back... it depends on the model.. my DP i painted after assembled except a couple small pieces that would have covered part of the model (shoulder pad) but for core units and the like i prefer sprue painting
 

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I tend to assemble the mini as far as I can without making anything too difficult to reach, so I'll normally leave an arm and the bolt gun off of a space marine so I can get everything with the brush.
I don't paint on the sprue, too much fussing around with tidying stuff up later, clip everything off, clean it up and if necessary put it on a pin or rig of some sort for painting.
 

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I assemble the miniature and then paint it at least for all non vehicle models. For vehicles it depends on if there are areas that would be very difficult to paint after the whole thing is assemble, such as with Drop Pods. In this case I assemble as much as I can leaving the area I want to paint exposed and once I am finished painting that area glue the rest of the model together and continue painting.
 

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for infantry i build, and them blue tack the arms. do the chest plates then glue them together. for vehicles as i always paint the insides i build after the insides have been painted. i personally think painting on the sprue is pointless for 3 reasons. 1
1: mold lines...i can be a paint to get a clean job while still on the sprue
2:model positioning, while its on the sprue you cant pose the model
3:after paining and you cut it off youll damage the work youv already done and there will be a mold line and a patch you need to clean up. and also the glue wont stick as well due to the paint.

but its a personal thing.
 

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1: mold lines...i can be a paint to get a clean job while still on the sprue
2:model positioning, while its on the sprue you cant pose the model
3:after paining and you cut it off youll damage the work youv already done and there will be a mold line and a patch you need to clean up. and also the glue wont stick as well due to the paint.
the way i avoid these
1. i cut all the sprues i can off and leave it on 1 or two depending on where (chaos warriors the two on the bottom of the feet are perfect for sprue painting) also most pieces have a sprue in a glue spot so i usually just find that one (arms where they go into the shoulder) and leave it
2.only really do more posing than a standard look when im using green stuff and thats on large minis
3.depends on the glue really never had a problem with it sticking but it does occasionally damage the paint in the area but its an easy fix

but yea most definately a person preference thing...
 

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A couple of thoughts for you.

First, Norm and Fatmantis are completely right. Sprue painting is almost always a bad idea for all the reasons they mentioned. Additionally, you'll probably want to dry fit the model before you glue it together or paint it.

Generally speaking, you always want to build and paint from large to small. So what do I mean, "from large to small"? When assembling models I mean it's often best to assemble the head, torso, legs, and sometimes the base as one piece before painting; then the arms each as another piece including shoulder pads and weapons. And of course any other pieces such as a back pack afterwards.

If this were a space marine for instance, once you have each arm and the whole body you can dry fit the model (possibly including blue tack) and get a sense for how you want it to fit together.

I find it is often easier to spray prime a model in these general sections as well.

Then when it comes time to start painting, you have sections of model that are easy to hold and manipulate, without too much model obscuring detail or making painting more difficult.

So then, 'painting large to small' is a process for using a larger paint brush and covering most of the model inn three largest areas of color first, including any washes, dry brushing, or blending.

When you do the big areas first you can afford to be a bit looser and sloppier, and of course it's harder when using a big brush working in large areas to be completely tidy. Then you should work with a fine brush filling in progressively smaller details such as eyes, picking out studs/rivets, scrolls/text, and doing any final blending, highlighting, or finishing touches.

Finally the base.

I hope that helps.

That's my process. I've been at this for about 20 years, and it works well for me. Best of luck =)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Great advice!!! Now about paints. Obviously GW wants you to use GW paint, but I use the cheap acrylic paint from my craft store for 25% of the price of the GW paint.

Any objections? If so, why?
 

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The main problem with the "cheap" crafting acrylics is mainly the thickness of them. To build nice thin layers you will need to water them down and carefully apply them in several layers.

There are other acrylics you can get from craft stores that are as good or better than the GW paints, but they are also more pricey than the cheaper alternatives.

I would highly recommend GW washes though, I have used those for years even when using other brands of paint.
 

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Hi typhos, I actually use GW paints. Generally their paint quality is very good, the current edition is quite good (2 versions ago was not good). Though as you say it can be a bit pricey.

In addition to thickness there is also a matter of the amount of pigment to the amount of fluid (suspension and binder). Cheaper paint often includes less pigment, and courser pigment particles. But if the craft store variety works for you then no problems.

Games workshop has also designed their current line of paints not so much around an artistic concept as a painting process. The current paints come in different thicknesses and levels of opaqueness.

So now you can buy your colors and plan your model by purchasing a base color, a series of layer colors, and a highlight color. Each type of paint is decreasingly thick, allowing more of the colors below it to show through.
 

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Great advice Krueger. I normally assemble the whole say marine and paint it. But now I'm looking at CSM havocs and that big gnarly missile launcher takes up so much space and the support arms block so much detail that I think I have to break it down into 3 or 4 pieces. As for cheap paints I used them back in the day and they were great for painting a army to get on the board. But back then i was no where near a good painter. I see painting like shooting. It takes years of practice to shoot anywhere near the potential of a cheap old gun, let alone a competition race gun. Just use what ever you can justify spending your hard earned cash on.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It took me 9 weeks to shoot perfectly. Sniper school.

You guys are great! I'm probably going to pick up some GW paint tomorrow and give it a shot.

I always like the "rugged" looking fantasy pieces. I know a guy up in northern New York who has the biggest Fantasy collection in the United States. He paints sooooooo many models that he HAS to use the cheap stuff or it would be so much money to pay for it all. And his looked really cool. Like they've seen battle. In real life.

How about spray paint? Does it need GW stuff or is there a comparable model?
 

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Always have used GW just for convenience but I've never had a problem with them... they thin down easily and the new line is great.
 

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I'm a sprue painter... and even when the paint gets a little eaten by the glue (superglue - turns everything white) its usually a quick touch up unless you do mixed colors or wet blend those spots heavily

edit: i take that back... it depends on the model.. my DP i painted after assembled except a couple small pieces that would have covered part of the model (shoulder pad) but for core units and the like i prefer sprue painting
Since I've started to magnetize my minis, I don't have that kind of problems anymore. ;)
 

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I use generic spray paint. I play chaos as well, and I find it is almost always better to build up my colors over a black base than spray prime white and shade down.

I think the important utility of black primer is that any small recessed spot that remains primer color becomes a shadow.

Especially for bad guys!
 

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Krylon makes a nice set of primer sprays in several shades from White to Grey to Black (and a few colors). They even have a line specifically designed to use on plastics that works well.


Personally I like to prime grey, I have found that it allows me more freedom to work brighter or darker.

As for spraying base colors, for my marines I am finishing off a 10 year old can of army painter in dark angels green. I love it, but not sure about any current lines of base color. If your base spray is dark though and you don't want the darker color to tint a lighter highlight I have found you need to cover areas with white then build the lighter color
 

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used both the GW Primer white and black... will likely pick up stuff at walmart next time to possibly save some money and have different options but if you want to use GW it works just fine
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Just picked up some paints. My local game store taught me a whole bunch on how to use the new stuff. I'm kind of anxious.
 
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