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Painting 1/48 flesh with oils?

Discussion in 'Oils' started by goof1972, Dec 17, 2016.

  1. goof1972 New Member

    Hi Guys,

    I'm a novice trying oil paints for the first time.

    I'm practicing painting flesh on a 1/48 fallschirmjager but the paints seem to be "blending" into each other so much that it looks like one colour.

    My question is oil suitable for such a small scale? Or is it more for larger scale like busts? Is there a good resource or video on how to start with oils in miniatures?

  2. Nap Moderator

    Hi there Brian

    FIrstly welcome to PF good to have you here enjoy tge visits

    I use water soluable Oils along my Acrylics ( Not a full blown Oily!! )

    It sounds like the paint is too thick , perhaps try a wash over a base flesh mix of Acrylics

    There are other "proper" Oil painters that will advise better

    As for videos have a look at You Tube

    Hope this helps

  3. theBaron A Fixture

    I'd say it is suitable, and I'll cite the example of painters who use oils to paint flats, often in much smaller scales than 1/48. So, it can be done. I second Nap, that there will likely be responses soon from others who are more experienced with using oils. I have some, but I use them more for shading over acrylics, and for weathering ordinance.

    I hope you post some pics of the figure you're painting. I'd like to see it. When I paint a 1/48 figure, it's usually a pilot to go with an airplane. I use acrylics, mostly, laying in the basic colors, and then using washes and drybrushing to pick out details.

    anstontyke and napoleonpeart like this.
  4. Alex A Fixture

    Yes oils can be used but the fact that they dry so slow can bother some people at that scale.
    What I mean by that is that the larger the figure is, the more oil paints will be useful since you can blend very easily even though the surface is very large.
    When you are painting that small, you have to wait or put your figure in your light oven before adding too many brush strokes otherwise you will obtain that muddy color. It can be done but you should resist from adding too much paint at the same time and should spread it very very thinly. You will not be able to go from the darkest tone to the lightest one in a single painting session, unless you use some articial drying method (light oven, etc.).
  5. billyturnip A Fixture

    I think this is a subject that all oil painters have had to learn the hard way. You really have to use the barest minimum of paint. When I first started using oils I used way too much paint and like you it usually turned into a muddy mess and also took ages to dry.
    Painting with oils has really taught me the importance of patience and restraint. To quote an often used statement less is more and in this case it is absolutely true.

    As far as is it suitable for 1/48 scale figures, absolutely, I and many others paint 30mm flats with oils.

    Hope this helps.
    theBaron, anstontyke and Alex like this.
  6. goof1972 New Member

    Hi Guys...thanks for the responds.

    I think you're right...I think i'm putting on too much oil and its "muddying" everything up. The oils are also forcing me to mix my own highlights and shades...and I am realizing I am new to that. For my acrylics I use the GW paints which have every layer in different pots. Now I have mix my own layers and that is something I have to learn.

    Thanks again for the advice!

    anstontyke and billyturnip like this.
  7. billyturnip A Fixture

    Brian, am I correct in assuming you are painting wet on wet?
    If you are it might be worth waiting till your basecoat is dry before adding your shadow colour and the same with your highlight. This will obviously slow the whole process down but it will help a bit to stop the muddying problem and also give you plenty of breathing space to experiment with colour mixing for your shadows and lights.
    Once your first thin layer of shade or light has dried add another slowly building up till you are happy with it.
    As I said, it can be a slow process.
    theBaron and anstontyke like this.
  8. theBaron A Fixture

    Of course, as you get comfortable working with oils, you may find yourself applying wet on wet, to take advantage of blending the colors. For example, you can lay down a base color, pink flesh, let's say, and then lay down your shadow color, and then use the brush to blend the border between the two, creating a gradual transition.

    As a followup to Roger's tip on letting the first coat dry, you can accelerate the drying time. Many of us use a 60w lamp (light bulb), rigged up in one configuration or another. I have an old gooseneck desk lamp on my work bench, and I can stand a figure under that and bend the lamp down. Some guys build little boxes cabinets with a socket base inside, and use that. Others use crock pots, or those potpourri pots that were popular back in the 90s, all very low, gentle heat. That helps the oils dry a little faster.

  9. Ron Tamburrini A Fixture

    In that scale forget about oils , paint the face black or a very dark browned dry brush a neutral flesh tone in , thats all you will need
    theBaron likes this.
  10. theBaron A Fixture

    Or flesh, with a wash of burnt umber over the face. That's typically how I do my pilots and figures with 1/48 or 1/72 aircraft.


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