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Discussion Starter #1
The Misadventures of a Cack-Handed Painter

I’ve just finished painting up my Chaos Space Marine army for a tournament being held in a couple of days time, and as my back and spine slowly recover from the punishment I’ve inflicted upon them over the last few weeks, it seemed as good a time as any to start my new painting log. Now I’m not a great painter, nor am I a good one, or even decent, average or mediocre. I am in fact a bad painter, a very bad painter. Not only do I lack a steady hand with which to paint (by which I mean it’s impossible for me to keep my hand still), but also I have very little patience for any technique that requires extensive preparation or skill.

Highlighting of any sort is beyond me and I long ago gave up trying to pick out the edges of raised surfaces and the like. Nor do I entertain any hope of being able to pick out the smaller details of a model, such as the edges of Chaos Space Marine shoulder pads or all those little arrows they have pointing up and down, while every time I go over a model I invariably find little details that I’ve missed and I have to go back and pick them out all over again, or else I find that some of the basecoat is still showing through.

Now despite all this, I wouldn’t say I’m the worst painter in the world, merely highly placed within the top ten. About the only things I’m any good at painting are Plague Marines (who are supposed to look that bad anyhow) and Orks, who for some reason have detail that is easier to pick out than is the case with Chaos Space Marines. Anyhow my hope with this painting log, besides somehow becoming a better painter, is to write about my incompetent attempts at painting in a way that I hope is vaguely entertaining, and in that spirit here is my first offering, some pictures of my recently completed Chaos Space Marines:









 

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Your honesty is amusingly refreshing...

Its nice to see someone asking for help who really needs it.

My main piece of advice isnt about painting, but modelling. Please, please remove your mould lines. Your models will look the better for it. Also, think more about the posing (the top pic looks like it has a guy slipping on a banana skin, and the second has a guy dolling out high-fives...)

On the painting side, a shakey hand is a tough thing to get over. You've got a good start with a simple scheme, but the one thing you could do right away is to ensure a nice even coat. Either look for a scheme you can do with foundation paints, or just do multiple, washed down coats. Again, I'm mainly looking at the Khorne dudes' red for this...

Hope that helps...
 

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highlighting is very easy using washes that would make anything look good (almost anything)

good start though:victory:
greenee
 

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Much respect for admitting to not painting well. However, I would not place you in the 10 worst painters; I have seen much worse work in just the tournaments I have attended locally.

For example, your choice of colours for each model is good; nothing leaps out of a photograph and attempts to melt my retinas. The bases are also solid game level work. So you have a reasonable aesthetic sense, which your limitation is likely to be lack of practice rather than talent.

Depending on which point on you body the shake starts you could try bracing to reduce the shake. For instance if you wobble from the shoulder then painting with both elbows pressed loosely to your sides removes the shake; for detailed work you can even brace the heel of your painting hand on the heel of the hand holding the miniature, which will deaden the effect of twitches in almost all of your body.

Another possibility is training your hand to your eye by drawing lines at different angles on a piece of paper with a ruler and pen then trying to paint along them starting at one end or the other; this will be easier than following on a model but will help you to practice moving smoothly. It can also help understand how and when your brush drifts or jerks off the line you want to follow; for example, if you always drift to the left on vertical lines but keep to horizontal lines starting from the right then you can rotate the model to make vertical detail horizontal.
 

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Dave gave out some solid advice for shakey hands though I do understand that it's hard to change that quite fast. It's a lot of practice even for me, though I have a pretty steady hand.

I do say thin down your paints a lot, like 1:1 with either water or flow improver and use a couple of layers since it seems that there's a lot of thick paint here and there. It will help your models a lot and even with a shakey hand, with thinned out paint, you will probably have a bit of an easier time controlling how much paint you put where. The natural layers will also give you a bit of shading and highlighting. Washes will also help you in this department.

Overall, you're doing pretty well with shakey hands. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
First off, thanks to all for the comments. Mould lines are a bad habit of mine, as I tend to notice them only after I've undercoated the models, so I'll have to try and get used to filing off the lines. Also, thanks to Dave for his advice about reducing the shaking, I'll give it a try and let you know how it turns out.

Anyway the next project will be my long-suffering VBCW units that have spent months sitting on my desk, grinding their little miniature metal teeth in frustration as squad after squad of Orks and Chaos Space Marines have shoved them out of the brushes way. Well no more, now is their time and when their finished they'll crack some heads belonging to those Blundering Ugly Frakwits (BUF). Here's the first WIP unit, Cecilia Denbigh-Hartford:

 

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Discussion Starter #8
Looking like a good start.

The jacket and skirt are tidily separated
Cheers mate, I tried painting with my elbows against my body, but it proved to be too uncomfortable to paint that way. Thanks for the suggestion though.
 

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As some of the other's touched on, try using the GW washes, they make everything look 50 times better :) Just try a universal coat of Devlen Mud of Gryphon Speia, this'll tie the whole mini together and provide some shading which will pick out all those details.

Keep it up :)

Rev
 

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The model above is a great starting point. With a little bit of citadel washes (to begin with) and a few extra colours you can turn that model into a real nice peice.

I'd recommend getting some Ogryn Flesh wash, then a Thraka Green and a Asurmen blue for the respective colours. Put a small amount on first and see how it shades the colours respectively. If it needs a bit more, add a bit more to add some more depth.

When it comes to painting the face, once it's washed and dry, the easiest place to start is paint with the original colour these main areas:

- Chin
- Cheekbone
- Bridge of the nose
- Forehead

If you highlight these areas first it'll give you great scope to then if your feeling adventurous, add a lighter shade to the mix and then hit the very tips of those edges (edge of chin, end of nose etc.) That will help the skin tones plenty.

With regards to the cloaks, remember to leave the shaded colour in the recesses, and then simply add the base colour on the raised area. It's a simple one step shaded technique. Then once thats done, you can add a bit lighter areas to the very highest areas.

I'm hoping these tips helped, if you get stuck get to where your stuck, take a photo and post up, i'm sure we can help you with some of the finer details.

Good luck with it, we are all here to help :)
 

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Cheers mate, I tried painting with my elbows against my body, but it proved to be too uncomfortable to paint that way. Thanks for the suggestion though.
Using a sturdy table or a chair/stool might help too, like bracing your elbows or wrists against the table or stool.
 

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I've seen much worse than your painting. In fact I hope my miniatures look about the same when I'm finished. Keep trucking along!

The worst painter I ever saw once used the smallest brush he could find, "so he could get all the details," to paint an entire high elf army using just two colors per model. No highlights, no washes. The sword was the same color as the armor, the boots, and the legs, and the arms. He did take time to paint the face and hands elf flesh, though. That small brush didn't seem to catch the detail very well for some reason...
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Just the latest update to the log.

Well since I'm working lates today and tomorrow I've taken the chance to catch up on some of my numerous and it would seem, ever-growing list of projects still to be completed. This time it's my Trench Raider squad for a projected VBCW force.

First off we have shots of the whole squad as we approach the tidying up stage:



A bit of reverse detail:



Finally we've got an attempt at a close-up:



Sorry about the lack of detail, but I'm still figuring out the odds and ends of the camera I'm using. One thing I've tried on the putees is to use bleached bone to provide something a little more historically accurate. I have to say it, but these models have been great to work on, as the level of detail is phenomenal and makes you want to lavish that little bit more attention on them.

Additionally I'm adding in some pictures of the new Finecast Plague Marines. I took these lot to my local GW yesterday and was able to put them together in about an hour and a half. I know lots of people have been complaining about the Finecast models, but these were a joy to work with and far easier than any metal model when it came to assembly.





 

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Looks as if you have achieved a consistent look across the squad.

Finally we've got an attempt at a close-up:

The backpack looks a little flat in the same colour; I suggest painting some of the pouches in a different brown then giving it a Devlan Mud wash to pull it together.


One thing I've tried on the putees is to use bleached bone to provide something a little more historically accurate.
I use Deneb Stone myself, but Bleached bone looks good too; I usually give puttees a light wash of Devlan Mud to make them look used and pick up the layering.
 

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I am liking the trench raider squad- I agree with hobbit, the brown could do with a little wash, but great work otherwise.


hooray for finecast plague marines! How was the kit to build?I am thinking of getting some for my Consuls of Decay Army. Do you think it would be possible to have the gas mask head as the apsiring champion? Or is the bare head fixed onto the backpack? (in the fluff of my guys, they are so corroded and nasty that their armour has literally morphed into them, so they can never take it off)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I am liking the trench raider squad- I agree with hobbit, the brown could do with a little wash, but great work otherwise.


hooray for finecast plague marines! How was the kit to build?I am thinking of getting some for my Consuls of Decay Army. Do you think it would be possible to have the gas mask head as the apsiring champion? Or is the bare head fixed onto the backpack? (in the fluff of my guys, they are so corroded and nasty that their armour has literally morphed into them, so they can never take it off)
The backpacks come seperate so you can use the Gasmask chap as your Aspiring Championn without a problem. I suppose if you wanted your corroded effect you could use Green stuff.

As for the Trench Raiders, I'll be making a few changes, darker blue on the helmets for one.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Quick update for Saturday

Just showing off some of the Bolt Action Partisans I painted this morning. They're not quite finished yet as I still need to do the skin and some other details, but anyway here are the first few pictures:







The Partisans set is a nice one to get if you're looking for 1930s/40s miniatures as it comes with eight models, four in civilian dress, two in what I'm guessing are meant to be Soviet uniforms and two in German uniforms, which brings me onto a problem I'm hoping you'll be able to solve for me.

As you can see in the picture below...



... I haven't done much on these two guys. Now since they're in German uniform I was thinking of doing them up in BUF colours. However those colours are predominated by black and I'm not all that sure black goes with the rest of the unit that well. So if you've any ideas I'm willing to listen.

Cheers, the Sullen One.

P.S. Sorry about the slightly out of focus pictures, I was trying to make the colours used on the arms and legs prominent.
 

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Hello Sullen,

First, for the pictures, just grab a sheet of white printer paper or notebook paper and place a piece on the bottem and behind the unit and it will have dramaticaly with the camera focus.

Next, these look like some cool figures, not quit sure where they come from but neat nonetheless. Reminds me of the old OOP GW Pretorians for IG, if I spelled that right.

Also, try adding maybe a wash to their faces, should help with highlighting and definition for the model. Do you plan on doing the bases as well?

Im def interested in seeing how your chaos units turn out and wish you the best.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Endless white!

Added 14/07/2011:

Was mucking around with various bitz this afternoon and cooked up these two Space Marine sergeants:



I'm going to try and paint them up in a white scheme, which could turn out hilariously funny.

17/07/2011:

First off let me say why I've used a black undercoat rather than a white one.
Well about two and a half years ago I bought some Space Marine Veteran models for a planned Crimson Fists army that never really got going, anyway some of the Veterans were going to be painted up as Imperial Fists and since I was going to be painting them yellow, I primed them white, at which point they turned pink.

Yes that's right, the Skull White I was using interacted with the metal in a way I don't understand and turned the models candyfloss pink. After this painting became a little difficult, eventually ending up looking like someone had poured egg yoke over the models.

So that is why I decided to prime the models with a black undercoat. Anyway having done that I used a P3 colour, Greatcoat grey, followed by Codex grey and then two layers of Fortress grey. After this I was finally able to start putting on the layers of Skull white. Well, to cut a long story short, I'm now on the third layer of white and I've still got more to go, at least another layer, probably two.

Part of me can't help wondering if I should have added Space Wolves grey somewhere along the way, though I reckon that the first layer of white was maybe a little too thick in places. Still they're coming along and so I'm going to carry on until the white is smooth. Below you can see my efforts for yourself:







Definitely two layers, at least.
 
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