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Help please

Discussion in 'General Figure Talk' started by James Zilvitis, Jan 8, 2024.

  1. James Zilvitis New Member

    I am a total NEWBIE to figure painting. For the last three years I've been collecting a LOT of figures, but I haven't gotten to work yet. I HAVE been doing a TON of reading and YouTube viewing.

    I've gotten a lot of the Life Miniatures figures, among them the French Zouave from WWI. I'm curious as to what you folks would recommend for the Blue and Red for the uniform. I'm going to be working on things I hope in a couple more months. That's one I think I'm going to start with. I have access to all the Kimera Kolors and AK 3rd Generation paints.

    Thanks Jim

    BTW my old account was hacked through my CPU so this is my NEW account.
    Nap likes this.
  2. housecarl Moderator

    This may help.
    For the blue, I'd go Prussian blue with a touch of black.
    Red, scarlet for the highlights. Darken the base with green for shadows.
    Enjoy James.(y)
  3. Ferris A Fixture

    Well, the most important thing is to start painting. Not intended as a joke! :)
    With all the references available these days, it is easy to make the hobby a theoretical exercise.
    It takes a while to get to grips with materials, such as acrylic paints. Degrees of thinning, how to get coverage, how to layer paint to create transitions, etc, etc.

    I’d say build, prime and finish three of your figures and expect the results to disappoint. Learn lessons with each one, using the forum to get advice on areas you find difficult.

    Use good quality figures! Don’t save them for when you can paint well. A well-sculpted figure is so much easier to paint and the result more pleasing, even when not painted perfectly.

    So many recipes for reds and blues to find on the forum. I’d say keep it simple. For learning, don’t hesitate to darken some generic blue or red with black and lighten with whites. Someone will say this is all wrong, but just start somewhere. Next exchange the white and black with other light or dark colours and see what happens. Experiment and don’t worry to fail.

    Hope this of any use. Go for it. The forum will be of great help!

    Blind Pew, theBaron, winfield and 2 others like this.
  4. Wayneb A Fixture

    I've heard this story before.......Find a figure......look at it until you're purple in the face........Buy paints to do the job.....Buy brushes to do the job.....
    Stare at it again .....prime .........Make your move........and you're on your way.......

    Blind Pew and housecarl like this.
  5. Nap Moderator

    Hi Jim

    My thoughts are the same as Adrian , I'd say choose your first , clean it up if needed , prime and go for it , there's lots of stuff avail through a search here on PF

    I've got a ongoing thread on mixes , will try and add some more on reds and blues as well as the advice given here


    I would suggest you don't buy till you get going ....despite how tempting .....it will be hard ....I speak from experience!!

    Have FUN

    Banjer likes this.
  6. Rob A Fixture

    This is excellent advice. I picked up a 40+ figure auction house "job lot" of mainly old and part painted figures when I decided to get back into this hobby. I thought they would be useful practice, but not so. As Adrian said, the better the figure the easier the painting.

    A lot of the ones I bought are now just test dummies for pre-checking the consistency and matte finish of spray paints and varnishes.

    If you want practice pieces don't be afraid to hit the 3D print sites. A good 75mm printed figure is a fraction of the price of a similar cast resin piece.
  7. James Zilvitis New Member

    Too Late Nap I've acquired a LOT of figures over the last two years as well as paints and everything I need. But that's okay. I've gotten the cleanup down, next step is pinning. But I have some health issues to deal with first. Thanks.
    Blind Pew likes this.
  8. Nap Moderator


    Good to hear your stocked up ! , cleanups done ...that's good ....just get those health issues away

    Best wishes

  9. theBaron A Fixture

    Welcome to the Planet, James!

    If I can offer any advice, it's to find a copy of "Building and Painting Scale Figures" by Sheperd Paine. Shep's books are still the best primer for someone starting out in the hobby; he wrote with the beginner in mind. For many of us, he was our introduction into the hobby.

    And beyond that, I'll second Adrian and Nap that you should just start painting. You probably won't be happy with your initial efforts, but that's OK, none of us were. Patience and practice.

    It's like the old joke about the tourist who visits New York City. He stops a New Yorker on the street and asks, "Excuse me-how do I get to Carnegie Hall?" The New Yorker replies, "Practice, practice, practice."

    It's also good advice to get good figures. If you ask here in the forum, and read the threads, you'll start to learn which brands are good and which are better. A good paint job can make a good figure look better, but a bad figure can make all of your efforts look bad. Shep covers this in his books, by the way.

    I look forward to seeing your work!

  10. Gary D PlanetFigure Supporter

    Here you go.

    Image not showing I added this one ...Nap
  11. Ned Ricks Active Member

    Hi, James-
    Hope the health issues resolve well and soon.

    Good quality material (figs and busts) is an excellent first step.

    Unlike learning to swim, you can just jump in the deep end without fear. Start. Dab away. If the result is too awful to look at (as many of mine were in retrospect, but not at the time), there are several good paint removal techniques to salvage the thing and do it again until you are pleased.
    You only need to please yourself. It's a hobby.

    This forum provides wonderful help. I find some good advice ever day.
    Nap, Merryweather and theBaron like this.
  12. NigelR A Fixture

    These guys are in the French 1914 blue/red uniform and were painted using AK second generation paints:


    I used the Dark Prussian Blue as a starting point, there seems to be a similar colour in the 3rd gen range. I used a mix of colours from the AK second gen red set and the names have all changed in the 3rd gen, but I would say scarlet red or deep red would be similar to the to colours I used.

    Sorry, not that one ;) That is for horizon blue uniforms. The Life Miniatures figure is in the 1914 uniform of dark blue/red.
    Nap, sd0324 and theBaron like this.
  13. Gary D PlanetFigure Supporter

    Aaahh! Thanks for the clarification!(y)
    NigelR likes this.
  14. Blind Pew A Fixture

    Ask three different painters what they do and you'll get four different answers. Just try and copy what you like to look at yourself. You know what you like and be guided by that. Find what suits you.
    If you haven't already, get hold of that book. It's easily 30 years old now, and while some aspects have inevitably dated a bit, it really is still the bible for the figure painter - it's never been bettered. Even after all this time, I still refer to it every so often. The cost of the book will repay you in what it will teach you. Use us here on PF.
    theBaron and Chrisr like this.
  15. WarhammerAdjacent Well-Known Member

    I've not got much to add to the wise words of more expert members other than to re-enforce the message about painting good figures. The key thing is to enjoy what you are doing, I (and probably everyone else) started with some rubbish figures and struggled to paint them (buoyed on by folk on social media who took the same figures and made them look amazing). I was never happy with my results and ended up giving up again and again and again. Then I picked up a nice bust, really enjoyed playing with it and got a result I was pleased with - it wasn't actually good, but it felt like it was good enough and I enjoyed looking at it. From that point I was hooked.

    The worst case scenario really is that in a year or two you look back and thing 'wow, that first figure I did was a bit rubbish' and realise how far you've come.

    They are beautiful!
    Blind Pew and NigelR like this.
  16. Chrisr PlanetFigure Supporter

    Might I suggest you invest in a copy of Mike Blank's Colour Harmony for muting, darkening and lightening colours. and Mike Butler's Modelling and Painting World War 1 Allied Figures, the latter of which which I reviewed here:https://www.planetfigure.com/thread...d-painting-world-war-i-allied-figures.629227/ . Both are excellent references, and well worth the money. Mike Blank's mixing of colours is superb and he doesn't advocate lightening red or blue with white, or darkening red with black - rather use the complementary colour green.
    Blind Pew and Nap like this.
  17. Wayneb A Fixture

    Where are you located James?.....maybe someone can help you out......
    Nap likes this.

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