Painting & Modelling

2011 is the year I started painting miniatures again after a break of umpteen years. There are many reasons why I haven’t been painting, but none of them are very interesting so I’ll ignore them and just look forward instead.

The object is to (re)learn how to paint, and to paint not only well, but quickly enough to complete armies. Ambitious? Certainly. Impossible? I don’t think so.

I am, however, something of a perfectionist and so this really will be a big challenge for me. I always want to paint each model as well as I possibly can, but this is totally impractical if I am to get an army done. Hopefully it will be entertaining for you guys too. Who knows? Maybe you’ll even pick up some useful tips along the way 🙂

Core Concepts

  • Try to remember that different models need different standards of painting. Rank and file should be painted well, but cannot all be painted as well as the characters in a force. I need to find a level of painting for the rank and file that is both reasonably quick and of a good enough quality to salve my perfectionism.
  • Don’t paint till you’re bored. Stop when you are still enthused so that you want to go back to it next time. Perhaps “little and often” is a way forward.
  • Give yourself fun tasks as rewards for the boring stuff. Cleaning models is essential, and I hate it. By rewarding myself with fun tasks every time I do a dull one I hope to incentivise myself into not getting stuck.

17 Responses to Painting & Modelling

  1. You really sound like my twin brother… 😉

  2. pancake says:

    I hate painting, maybe its because i’m not very good at it. But on the other hand i hate playing with unpainted minis.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I’ve seen your armies and they look fine on the table, which is what they’re supposed to do. And you even come along with modelled terrain boards as well, so for all your dislike and “not being very good at it” you seem to do better than most 🙂

  3. Shaun higton says:

    Painting mini’s is, (like most things in life), something you get better at the more you practice it. My early Marines and Guard were not that good, but compared to my latest ones, they’re like kindergarten pics compared to the Tate! Keep at it, and you’ll get better. (And you can always repaint your old mini’s when you achieve a level you are satisfied with).

  4. I find that the best way is to do a model one at a time. If you do one model a day that is 365 in a year. Give yourself a bit of time off and that is 300 a year. If you really dont fancy painting that model right now put it down and pick up something else. You will like it later also I don’t know many armies that have 300 models apart from the goblins and ratmen

  5. bneffer says:

    My situation was very similar a year ago, as I resumed the painting hobby after a 15 year hiatus to paint Battlelore and Memoir ’44. The tip that helped me immensely was to hot glue each model to a nail. Simple, but it made worlds of difference in control for me; still going strong with Zombicide, WoA, and some Descent 2 under my belt. Next – Dreadball!

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I used to stick models to corks or paint pots, but it hardly matters what you use. The worthwhile bit is that It’s good advice to stick models to something that you can hold instead of the model itself while you paint.

      • tornquistd says:

        With plastic figures I have had some success with using magnetic bases to stick them to a something I can hold. With overly large or heavy figures this is bad idea however with small and lite figures it sure is easy and flexable.

        • Ben Neff says:

          Magnetic bases? Like a temporary base? Or a metal base? Or a base made out of magnetic material? Is that permanent base for the mini? I’m intrigued.

  6. kingofwars says:

    If you want to get armies done to a very reasonable standard but want a quick turn around, I can’t recommend Quickshade enough. If you are doing mass numbers of infantry it will take about a third of the time compared to traditional highlighting/shading.

    I do recommend however that you brush on instead of dipping as dipping can lead to globbing of the quick shade.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I think that Army Painter is a very clever idea and that that style of washes is a very important weapon in a painter’s arsenal. The results you get from just dipping (or painting on a shade) aren’t what I’m after though. They have a very distinctive look, and while I understand the speed benefits, for my taste I think models need more work.

      part of what I need to experiment with is how much that is preshading, and how much is post-dip highlighting.

      • Ben Neff says:

        I’ve used the quickshade with highlights after that – worked wonders for my Memoir 44 Mediterranean Brits. But those are rank and file/tiny minis with not much detail.

  7. tornquistd says:

    I have a couple of reaper bones trolls. They cleaned up without much trouble with a new knife blade even if you have less control because you are cutting (scraping and filing does not seem to work). My experience with bones figures is increasing and it seems that taking the time to wash and prime them is worth it. I am using armory primer. The trolls seem like a good figures to try air brushing with because I will get them done very quickly if it works. I plan to dust off the air brush and give it a go. While I have a lot of air brush experience I have not tried air brushing Vallejo yet and the way bones figures take air brushed paint that is also an experiment plus I have never air brushed a 28mm figure before. Hopefully it will not be to many variables for a good result.

    I tried to take my plaster casting from good to perfect. The result was finding a number of ways to add effort and reduce the quality of the plaster casts to rubbish. Humbling but progress of a sort. I have some new materials on the way that hopefully will move things in a positive direction. The good news is that it seems that the path to perfect casts might take less equipment than I thought. On my list of things to try is making some of my own molds.

    I have been experimenting with sitting down and painting during spare bits of time. It has not been a failure but I have found that it takes 30 to 45 minutes if I want to get the feeling that any progress was made. I will keep at it and see if making a habit of throwing paint on figures when waiting for this and that will produce finished figures. Does anyone have experience using a fluorescent magnifier? Are they worthwhile compared to optivisor etc..? Putting on head gear seems like more of a hassle when you are only going to be there a few minutes so I am thinking a magnifier might make a short period of painting more inviting.

    And for the new year. Why waste time losing weight and getting in shape when you can use the time to clean and organize your work bench? 🙂

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