Well, here is the final product seconds before the clear coat finish. There 3 things I want to quickly write about to wrap this little tutorial up. First is "washing," and it's not what you think. Using a very watery black paint, apply over all places that have little cracks and crevasses, sort of like the spaceship and Dexter in this case. Now, I am the first to admit that I am not good at this step. I tend to not put enough pigment on, but this is an important step. If nothing else, but to give a little bit of realism to the pieces. Find a video on this technique on Youtube to see what I am talking about.
Secondly, finishing your figures with a clear coat spray will protect the paint for years to come (as long as they are handled normally, and not given to your cat as a plaything). Like the ongoing rule of thumb, several light coats and don't let it puddle. Now there is some debate as to gloss or semi-gloss. I am a gloss fan, but have used both with good results, so my recommendation, pick one and give it a whirl. Maybe even try it out on that test figure that someone commented about back in the first post.
Lastly, wait for the clear coat to dry before you dismount them from the poster tack and nail. Once you do, scrape off the bottom of any excess paint and primer with a utility knife. I do this to help ensure that no paint gets on my game boards (where it is almost impossible to get off).
That's it! I hope you've enjoyed this little walk through! Again, let me encourage you... for around $10, you too can give a whirl at painting a figure or three! It's a lot easier than you might expect and has a very calming effect... ***twitch, twitch, twitch
Have a look at my set up. The toothpicks are to get paint out of their little pots and on to the old Christmas Cookie lid which I use as a pallet (the container itself is great for paint storage). Notice the abundant amount of brushes on hand, a small thing of water and a paper towel. Alvin and Dexter stand ready for their first coats of paint. Now remember, a little paint goes a long way. I usually take out no more than a dime sized amount from the pot and put it on my pallet. This helps with a few things. The paint doesn't dry out inside the pot while I'm working with it. I don't accidentally put the wrong color into another pot. It allows for good color mixing, and if I mess up the color mix, I haven't messed up a whole bunch of paint.
The next general rule of thumb is to work from the innermost parts to the outer most. So taken in this order: skin then clothes then armor then vehicles they are in, etc. In this case we need to start with the buildings, since both the alien and the monster have the buildings IN their clutches.
Here you can see why it is important to work from the inside out. Getting to the clock tower portion of the building means working through Dexter's nether regions! If I were to have painted him first (like I wanted to) I would probably have gotten paint on or scraped paint off of that inner thigh of his in an attempt to paint the building. This is why it is also important to get comfortable tilting and spinning the figure to get the best angles for your brush. This will also show certain areas that you may have missed or forgotten about. Ideally, you want as much light as possible to help with that. Sometimes I even resort to using my phone's flashlight app to illuminate things in tough to see places.
As you can see here, using black primer does have some disadvantages. It does add shadow and depth, but it also means needing to paint lighter colors a few times to get the color right. And the same rule with primer applies here. Several thin coats are always better than one thick one- this will keep the detail intact. Let me also take this moment to talk about something I didn't photograph. Inevitably you will have some stray paint get somewhere you've already painted (say like red paint of your roof onto the yellow paint of the walls). The best way I have found to fix this is to not panic, but quickly grab one of those spare brushes, preferably a short tight brush, load it with water and then gently scrub the offending paint off. Don't scrub too hard, or you are liable to take off the paint under it that you want to keep. If you do it right, it will almost seem like the wayward paint is attracted to that new brush like a magnet.
I'm about half way finished painting the 205 pieces for War of the Ring and I thought it would be good for me to quickly paint something else over the weekend. I also wanted to take the opportunity to encourage you out there, Mr. or Mrs. Neverpaintedanythingbeforeandkindofscaredtotry, that for very little investment ($10 or so), you can probably pull off something pretty good. Pictured above are Alvin and Dexter, an expansion well worth getting for the game Ticket to Ride. Here you see them how they come... interesting, but blah. This is where the list of STUFF you will need, comes in. For the beginner I suggest, a shoe box (used for storage and as a workbench), several nails with flat heads on them, some poster tack stuff that you used as a kid (sort of like thick silly puddy found in the tape and glue isle), a can of primer (though I'm partial to Krylon Camouflage Black, as long as it is flat black it should work fine), a cheap craft acryilic paint set, some small beginner brushes (the smaller the better), and a can of clear gloss lacquer.
Now follow along- board game piece is smashed carefully into a small wad of poster tack (preferably completely under the base of the piece) which is mashed on top of nail head with the nail pushed through the shoe box top. Once you have all your pieces mounted like this (as pictured above), check the humidity outside! Anything over 65% is too humid. Once the weather is nice and dry, take the box top with the mounted figures and head outside with your primer. The box top acts not only as a holder for the pieces, but also as a shield for your hand as you pitch and move the whole thing to get at hard to spray places.
Once you are nowhere near a vehicle, the house, the dog, or cement, CHECK FOR THE BREEZE! You don't want to be covered with this stuff either. Toss a few blades of grass into the air and stand upwind. Now the golden rule to priming: spraying several thin coats is always better than just pouring it on. If it begins to look wet, just get your finger off the trigger for a few seconds. Too much too fast, and you will lose details. Here you see Alvin and Dexter with their first coat. And you can still see the details of the buildings and such. Make sure to get into sneaky areas like mouths, spaceship seats, tunnels, in between legs, etc. Keep doing this while twisting and turning the nails from under the box top to get better angles, until the pieces are completely coated.
Here we are back inside after 3, maybe 4, thin coats. You can see the rivets on the spaceship still, and though my photo doesn't show it very well, the scaly skin is still crisp and full of detail. You probably could start painting in about 15-30 minutes, but a tip I have for you is to wait overnight. This will give it a chance to completely dry and give you a chance to figure out things like color schemes and finding tricky spots to remember to paint (like deep inside the mouth of Dexter).
Next time, Painting! Part 2 Here!
Jason's Board Game Reviews, Suggestions, Tips, and Stuff.
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