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Starting painting figures.

Discussion in 'General Figure Talk' started by Mark.O, Aug 15, 2022.

  1. Mark.O PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Canada
    What would be a good figure to practice/learn on?

    Any advice, book, ect that I should be aware of?

    For acrylics, right now I have a small selection of vallejo and tamiya paints, is there any other brands that would be more sutable for painting figures? Vallejo like to rub of easy if I handeling the figure.

    Tamiya would be ok for airbrushing, I have used the tamiya brand retarder, works ok.

    Any ideas on oils? I do have 3 or 4 orf the windsor and newton that I bought quite a while ago, The colors where for the flesh type color, have the book from Chris Mrosko that has good info in, also have the book from Brett Avants.
  2. David Spencer Active Member

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Try ICM 1/35 scale sets.
    If you're new to the scene and want to get nice figs without shelling lot of money out, they are worth a look.
    Quite a range in a limited period of history: 19 century to modern.
    Come in sets of 4, usually, with many accessories.
    Hope that helps.
    theBaron, Nap and Mark.O like this.
  3. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Hi Mark

    Agree with Davids comments , ideal pieces , you might like to look in the Marketplace here on PF

    Suggest you pin and mount figures for painting , personally not had Vallejo rubbing off , I do use a lot of Reaper paints as well

    There are sets of smaller tubes of oils on the market as well .....try those , no point in spending a lot on oils IMO

    Happy benchtime

    Nap
    Mark.O likes this.
  4. theBaron A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    I use Vallejo Model Color, among other water-based acrylics, and yes, given enough handling, it rubs off. So I second the advice about pinning your figures and sticking them into something to use as a holder. I have a holder that I got through MicroMark-can't find a picture now, but it consists of a round "table", perforated to accept pins, and adjustable via a threaded screw to open and close it. But I started using wine bottle corks, far easier to work with. Just need to make a holder for those-I'll take a piece of 2x4 and drill some holes in it, and stick the corks in when I'm not working on the figure. I'll have to take some pictures to share.

    Prost!
    Brad
    Mark.O likes this.
  5. DaddyO A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Couple of obvious points Mark, but are you priming your figures? are you thoroughly mixing the Vallejo paint (take the nozzle off and use a cocktail stick to stir the contents)
    I use Vallejo regularly both brush and airbrush and it takes quite an effort to rub them off when properly dried.

    Paint choice is personal, but try one for a few figures rather than switch back and forth. I like water based (Vallejo, Scale 75, Andrea), but I also use oils for certain effects. Each medium has its own advantages.
    Mark.O likes this.
  6. Mark.O PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Canada
    Thanks for the great information everyone!

    I think from a bit of looking here on planet figure, there is the one type of clamping hand hold type, on the one tamiya kit I did, I did use cork bottle caps, drilled out the bottem and used tooth picks, like what you use baron.

    I do prime my figures, have used spray cans, I did buy a bottle of Mr. Surfacer 1000 for painting my other models, only problem, going to need to get myself or build a spray booth that vents out side.

    I did try tamiya fine surface primer before, sprayed it outside since it stinks bad. Worked nice!

    For Vallejo, I do try to shke the bottle good, I do know that you can buy a paint shaker, might work better then wearing out the arm :)

    Is there any other brands of paint that might be good to look at trying?
  7. Hawk_Uk PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    For shaking the bottle just add a couple of small steel ball bearing they work great and you dont need to shake so much :)
    Mark.O likes this.
  8. Larsen E. Whipsnade A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Two tricks. If I'm going to be handling a painted or partially painted figure or bust I wear an el cheapo disposable plastic glove of the type food handlers use. I bought a box of 1000 gloves, I can't remember if it was Amazon or eBay, for very little money two years ago. If I've painted something intricate and time consuming and don't want to have to re-do it, like the lace on a hussar's jacket, I hit it with a quick spray of Testor's Dull Cote to seal it and protect it against smudging.
    Rick
    Nap, theBaron and Mark.O like this.
  9. theBaron A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    I found Micro-Mark's catalog page for the clamp I mentioned above. They call it "Universal Clamp":

    https://www.micromark.com/Universal-Clamp

    It is useful, though I've used it mostly with pieces like old Staddens with the tinplate bases. Also, I use it without the handle attached. I find it easier to work with that way, myself. And the milling isn't consistent for the holes in the table. The same peg will fit tightly in one hole and loosely in another. But unless you turn it upside down, that's not a big deal.

    Prost!
    Brad
    Mark.O likes this.
  10. Mark.O PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Canada
    Curious what a good figure would be? Looking to probably start with something larger, like a 1/16 or so figure or bust? The idea would be to learn to to wet blend and other effects.
  11. Larsen E. Whipsnade A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Mark, I'm a self-taught painter of (maybe) average skills and have painted in scales from 1/32 to to 1/9. It may seem counter-intuitive, and others are sure to have a different point of view, but I'd recommend you begin with a smaller scale 1/32 figure for three reasons. One, a 1/32 figure doesn't require as much detail to look good. Two, errors, and there will almost certainly be some, won't be as glaring on a 1/32 figure as on a larger scale. Three, painting a 1/32 figure will help you with your brush control which is as important as anything in painting miniatures. And speaking of brushes, don't go cheap, buy the best brushes you can afford. I use Winsor & Newton Series 7 brushes in sizes 0.1.2.3. You'll find lots of different opinions on which brushes are best.

    As far as techniques, like wet blending and many others, I'd recommend you look at the Painting Techniques board on this Forum. It has a lot of useful information for someone just starting out in the hobby.

    As far as what to paint, it's a purely personal choice. I'd recommend you consider an American Civil War figure as a good place to begin, lots to choose from, fairly simple paint schemes. Whatever you do don't be tempted by the infamous hussar!

    Hope you find this helpful.

    Rick
    Henk, Mark.O and Nap like this.
  12. Mark.O PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Canada
    Yes, that's excellent advice!
    Henk and Nap like this.
  13. Russ Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Having only recently "busted" into figures myself, I'll take a crack at your questions:

    What would be a good figure to practice/learn on? Kind of like "the single best exercise you can do", the absolute best figure to start on is one you like, but is comparatively simple in design. Simple, so that you have a chance of a reasonable result (and easier to strip and start over if need be); and a subject you like, so you don't get discouraged if things go sideways.

    Any advice, book, ect that I should be aware of? Aside from the excellent tutorials on PF, my two favorite books on figures are Shep Paine's "Building and Painting Scale Figures", and "AK Learning 06 Flesh and Skin".

    For acrylics, right now I have a small selection of vallejo and tamiya paints, is there any other brands that would be more sutable for painting figures? Vallejo like to rub of easy if I handeling the figure. I have tried Tamiya acrylics for certain colors, but by-and-large they seem a bit fragile and quick-drying for my pace. I far prefer Mission Model Paints (MMP) for acrylics (including undercoats); and ABT502 oils for certain top-coats, shading, and blending.

    Tamiya would be ok for airbrushing, I have used the tamiya brand retarder, works ok. I've found the MMP to be as good in the spraygun as Tamiya, AS LONG AS it's not over-diluted. If it's too thin, you might have adhesion problems. NOTE: I have used Tamiya acrylics with brush and airbrush for years on my other models, so no knock on them by any means.

    Any ideas on oils? I do have 3 or 4 orf the windsor and newton that I bought quite a while ago, The colors where for the flesh type color, have the book from Chris Mrosko that has good info in, also have the book from Brett Avants. As noted, I like the ABT502 oils. They're adequately fine-grained, paint "true", and handle well. The thing I've never gotten used to with oils is my inability to mix up a batch of a particular blend and store it in a bottle until forever. That means that if I mess something up down the line, I have to either 1) try to recreate the blend ratio I used the first time, or 2) sigh deeply, get as close as I can, and recognize that I may have to re-coat the whole surface because I can't quite get the original hue/shade/tint.

    Again, just a bust beginner, but perhaps that can help. :happy:
    Mark.O likes this.
  14. Russ Member

    Country:
    United-States
    OABTW: If you're using a hand brush for acrylics, consider investing in a decent "wet palette". I can mix until I'm happy, apply a coat, then close up the palette and let everything set overnight. Very flexible, and acrylics applied to a wet palette can be good for days, if not longer.
    Henk and Mark.O like this.
  15. Mark.O PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Canada
    Thanks for the great information! Good for us new guys to learn from each other!

    Looking on a different thread, I found this company.
    https://www.elgrecominiatures.co.uk/collections/mini-busts?page=1
    Might be something to try?
  16. Forté A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Are we talking water based tamiya acrylics or the alcohol based ones.

    If you're using the alcohol based ones... DO NOT PUT THEM ON A WET PALETTE! The water will make them go funky.

    Personally, if you're doing the acrylic route water based acrylics are much better for hand painting, easier to mix, and more forgiving to actually paint figures and busts with. Those Tamiya ones are more suited to scale models or base colours for oil painting.
    Mark.O likes this.
  17. Forté A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Just realised; you said "Vallejo are easy to rub off when handling". Are you priming before painting and if so, what with?

    Only asking because I use Vallejo Model Color a fair amount and once they're properly dry they stay put pretty well, even when handled for gaming. But when you're painting you ideally want to mount your miniature on something to minimise touching during painting. A wood block or cork bung for example.
  18. theBaron A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    I didn't know Tamiya made any water-based acrylics. I use the X/XF acrylics, and they're probably the ones you mean by alcohol-based. It's actually a lacquer-based acrylic formula, but they can be cleaned with isopropyl, and some have success thinning them with isopropyl. But right, they can't be used on a wet palette. I use them with Tamiya's acrylic thinner, dipping the brush in the thinner then in the color, or mixing the thinner and color in a well on a ceramic palette. I used them for years, with clumping, or successive coats lifting off previous coats, till it occurred to me to thin them for hand-brushing (since I thin them for airbrushing), and then I got as good results as I get with water-based acrylics.

    Prost!
    Brad
    Henk, Nap, Forté and 1 other person like this.
  19. Mark.O PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Canada
    I'm using the alcohol based ones.
  20. Mark.O PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Canada

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