Paint on Toys!

Well it’s a start, at least.

The powder monkey got hacked off his old base and the Plague Marine got a spray of grey primer so they’re a little closer to having colours on them.

The others fared rather better. The WWI German got two thin coats of Foundry Moss Shade (29A) as a base for his field grey uniform (and some of his equipment), and then the start of some shading with P3 Thornwood Green.

Field grey is probably a little more blue in reality than it is so far on the model, so I’ll add a filter later if I need to. It’s always a pig of a colour to know what to do with though as it varies hugely. In both world wars the German troops had “field grey” uniforms that started more blue-grey in the early years and trended towards green as the war went on and the quality of fabric and availability of dye stock went slowly down the pan. And that’s before you get fading from light, washing, mud, dust and everything else that changes the colour of real clothing. Some way to go on this colour here though. We’ll see how it goes.

The Imperial guardsman got some base colours on his camo trousers. I like painting camo, and this was made up as I went along after a bit of a thought about a colour mix. It will get shaded/highlighted/tinted from these base colours. Some camouflage patterns are so intricate that highlighting and shading them just looks messy and obscures the pattern, but this is relatively simple so it should be OK. There’s only one way to find out.


Comments? Criticism? Questions? You’ve got a box below that’s just waiting for your thoughts 🙂

This entry was posted in Painting & Modelling. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Paint on Toys!

  1. I have been thinking about figure painting quality. Your painting skills are better than mine as could be expected as I am new to it. In my case I know I don’t want to settle for speed painting and I am not looking to enter any contests. I am working to get paint on all the details but am trying to limit shading to good enough to take less time on each figure. What is good enough for me is going to be adjusting for some time as my skills improve.

    What is your goal? to be in the top 10% in painting skills? It seems in most skills a commitment to doing your best will give you a shot at the top 10%. Perhaps you could share what your goal is relative to other painters. I would also be interested in what makes one figure better compared another because I have just a vague idea at best and as a former judge I assume you have a list of things that you where looking for.

    It is interesting to learn what you are doing. I have been doing hobby stuff all my life but I am a newbie to war gaming while you would classify as one of the more experienced war gamers (assuming professional exposure counts for more compared to guys who just play a lot). It is interesting to see the new things I can learn from war gamers and to see what skills I picked up in other areas will cross over.

  2. Quirkworthy says:

    Some thought-provoking comments there, Don. There are many different techniques you can try, and the ones that are used for showcase figures are not (all) the same ones you’d want to get a reasonably good army on the table quickly. However, there are a few common things to ain at to start with, and perhaps that will help. The basics, if you will.

    1) Clean the models. I don’t mean wash them, I mean scrape or file off the mould lines and so on. This is a bit of a chore, but it is important as no matter what skill you are the final result will be marred if you don’t. It’s also a pain if you leave them on because the paint tends to follow the mould lines rather than the lines of detail on the model, making it harder to paint them.

    2) Colour in neatly. Just like when you were little and you coloured in drawings, try not to go over the lines. It sounds childish and simplistic, but you’d be surprised at how many people fail at this level. If a model has a blue jumper it should stop at the edge of the collar, not half way up his nose.

    If you do a neat job then that’s a good start. This may be enough for you. If it isn’t then you need to add either shading or highlighting to bring out the shape of the model. There’s not really space to explore this topic in depth, so I’ll write an article about it 🙂

    Also, there are many books and DVDs on the subject of painting, as well as sites, YouTube video, etc. So you can get some good tips online.

    • I will work at getting some pictures up so you can see where I am at. I have been collecting all the information that I can on-line but am very interested where someone with your background draws the line and declares your figure finished. By the way your camo works for me. I am starting to develop my own ideas on things like eyes and am working on the skill needed to get it done. After several experiments with a wash over the whole model I now limit washes to select areas.
      It seems your enjoyment is from results on the high end of the scale which means you will be spending a fair amount of time on each model. I am currently able to get five to eight figures (normally five) done in about ten hours when I am trying to do my best. I am assuming that a skilled painter could produce a contest quality model in that amount of time per figure.

      • Quirkworthy says:

        Romain (Elromonazo) said something the other day on one of his videos at Beasts of War about top end competition level models taking c18 hours to do each. He can correct me if I misunderstood. Obviously it varies a great deal depending on complexity, etc, and this is probably a minimum. But you’re not aiming at that.

        When a model is finished is a tricky thing to define as I can usually see bits that I think I could do better if I had another bash. My inclination to carry on fiddling with a model is one of the things I need to temper. You will have to decide what you are happy to accept as finished. I think the laws of diminishing returns are the main factor here. Once you’ve got a model that is painted with highlights and shading on it you’re starting to get very much less improvement for each extra minute/hour invested. Depending on whether the figure in question is a character or a rank and file minion may help dictate how much time you think is worth spending on them. On the other hand, I always think that I’m going to spend a long time looking at them, so perhaps cutting corners in painting is something of a false economy. After all, we only have miniatures because they are attractive. If we wanted the most efficient gaming pieces it would be a counter with values written on it for ease of use.

        With a bit of practice I’d say you should be able to get a very serviceable model in an average of 2 hours. Practice, skill and learning a few tricks (like painting in groups as you already do) will speed up your painting efficiency greatly.

        Finally, if you don’t already know it, try looking at the galleries at for advice, hints and inspiration.

  3. Hi there,
    On the subject of when a model is finished, I’ve always been abit finicky with miniatures, not knowing when to stop fussing. I’ve found it quite helpful to get to that point of ‘it looks ok but maybe this, maybe that…’ and put the mini to one side, out of the way. After a few days go back to it and make the decision with fresh eyes.It’s all too easy to get too close to the fire to see the flames sometimes. It’s saved me screwing up a mini through over-fussing.

  4. Thanks for the great link. It is early in the day and sadly I need to get some work done before I can check out the articles. The top ten stuff is just incredible.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Quite bogglesome at times. There are some very talented folk about. Not always to my taste, but you can see the skill. If you fiddle with the search engine you can finesse what you’re looking for so that you can find things that are a more attainable level. Remember that the 10s are display pieces for winning tournaments, not tabletop use.

  5. Hey Quirk at least you’ve got paint on some of your mini’s right now I have a number of Aleph mini’s and my Dystopian Wars EotBS fleet staring at me all primed and ready to go. I’ll at that paralysis stage where I’m not too sure where to start and what tone to set for them. I hate this part, the visualising as I can see so many possibilities some times I get painters block!!! 😛

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I got round that by picking something that was all ready, but that I didn’t really want for anything particular game (see above). With the possible exception of the artillery lad, I’m not expecting to sue these any time soon if ever. That makes it “safe” to paint them as it doesn’t matter if they’re rubbish. Once the painting juices are flowing I can pick something I want to use now and paint that 🙂

  6. Keith says:

    Hey Jake I really like that camo scheme, I also really like your thin bases, are they just 2p coins? I’m very tempted to try basing something like that.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Thanks Keith. The ones here are just 1p and 2p coins. I use steel bases when I can get them the size I want, but they don’t make round ones at 20, 25 and 30mm, which is a pain. Luckily 1ps are almost exactly 20mm, and 2ps are almost exactly 25mm. The tolerance is certainly less than the inaccuracy of an average move on a tabletop 😉

  7. Hey Jake, I’ve posted up some pics of my painted minis just to prove I can paint (As we’ve had many a discussion about it in the past)

  8. Quirkworthy says:

    You mean your “model citizens”? Good name. You’ve been playing with the Photoshop as well, I see 🙂

    Are some of them finished or are they all WIP? Only some of them have labels.

    What did you think of them when you saw them on screen? Doesn’t it allow you to see all the mistakes you’ve made? I find it does.

  9. “Keep on moving forwards regardless” is my philosophy in life in general, it’s never done me no wrong!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s