My minis look like trash
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Thread: My minis look like trash

  1. #1

    Default My minis look like trash

    I've been playing tabletop games for about a year now (40k to be more specific) and after stumbling across this site I've come to the realization my entire army which I've spent countless months painting looks like utter garbage. The paint is where it needs to be and the only good thing I can say about my painting is I have a steady hand and even the fine details look sharp. Compared to most gamers they look just fine on the tabletop. Unfortunately I've noticed just how many techniques I've been ignorant to and how vastly inferior my minis look. It's becoming a huge regret now that I've sunk all this time and money into my models without having the knowledge to paint them properly. If I were to post even my most prized models which I spent countless hours on they'd be lucky to receive a rating of 4 on this site. The worst part is how proud I was of them. Now I just look at them and feel shame.

  2. #2
    Brushlicker gohkm's Avatar
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    Sep 2002
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    It's a learning process. Go back, strip some of figs, and re-paint them with more advanced techniques. I daresay you're in a position to actually measure improvement, since you have a horde of old figs - a simple side-by-side comparison of old vs. new stuff and any improvements ought to be clear. No need to feel shame, just need the courage to post up some of your old stuff for C&C - I'm sure there's more than enough painters who'd be more than happy to point out areas of improvement. Then all you have to do is go back and re-work them.

    At least you won't need to blow wads of cash getting a new army .

  3. #3


    I'll post up some pics tomorrow. The ork boyz are a lost cause as there are just too many to bother caring about,150 to be exact... The skin is simply a base coat of green and a wash. I spent more time on the nobz and warboss but again the ork flesh is simply a base coat and wash. If there was one thing I wish I knew how to do it would be to paint flesh or orky flesh would be even better!

  4. #4


    hmmmmm, well with so few layers, you may not need to strip anything at all, simply treat it like basecoat. dont feel bad about your work at all - mini painting is a constantly evolving art, and even after years on CMON i'm learning new techniques with every figure. please post some of your more recent work so we have an idea of what you need to work on, and you'll get loads of tips.
    as a further bit of advice, paint to please yourself. comparing your minis to the best of the best across the globe and being disappointed is unfair to you; its like watching the Olympics and being ashamed of yourself because you arent superhuman.

  5. #5


    To be fair, comparing some gaming miniatures to some of the folks here is like comparing a school drawing to a painting in the Louvre.

    Paint to make yourself happy, anything more (unless you are selling your wares) is just icing on the cake.

  6. #6


    Don`t be ashamed, thats the way art works. Even Michelangelo wasn`t born the master he became (even if his biographer Vasari claims otherwise).
    As far as my expierence goes, you need 4 things:

    1. Talent: If you have a steady hand and the ability to paint neat ("paint is where it needs to be") as you said, you`re already halfway there.

    2. Technical know-how: Congratulations, you have just found one of the best places on the internet to learn all that, just don`t make the same mistake I am making all the time: Reading tips on cmon: 10h, -actually trying them out: 30min :-D

    3. Dedication: Everyone will tell you that practice is the key. But its not that alone. Its also the question if you will have the patience to learn colour theory, the money to invest in high quality brushes, the nerve to go through all of your 150 orks again or to spent 60+ hours on a single miniature and so on. This leads to number...

    4. which is.. FUN! This is most important: You must find the level of dedication you feel comfortable with. There is no use in beeing the best, if it means loosing the fun in what you are doing (unless you get heaps of money for what you are doing ;-)) I have accepted that I will never reach certain levels of greatness because I`m not willing to invest as much time, money and thought into it like those who DO reach them. And I`m perfectly fine with it.

    Best regards, Alex
    When I was your age, Yuggoth was a planet.

    GW cares not from whence the cash flows, only that it flows!

  7. #7


    Don't sweat it! Read some mini painting articles and try out the new techniques. Don't be afraid to try them, they will take time to master. But, if like you said "The paint is where it needs to be and the only good thing I can say about my painting is I have a steady hand and even the fine details look sharp" then 90% of the work is done! All you need to do now is go back and apply the new techniques and do some more layering of colors and bring up the highlights. If you have 150 fully painted Orks, that's WAY more miniatures than the average person playing 40k!! With a horde type army you want to find a fast & good method of painting using only a few colors. Only paint the bosses, nobs, and special characters with more detail than the boys. Also, only paint about 10 models at a time our you'll get overwhelmed! Check GW's site for painting flesh, both 40k and fantasy (orks and humans). Hope that helps!

  8. #8


    i agree with the others. there's always gonna be stuff that looks better than yours. a big, neatly painted army is the just as impressive in it's own right as a demon winner

  9. #9


    This way of thinking is hard to shake. (im going through it now). It is very true that you will see your standards improve from figure to figure. But it is also true that some people are naturally gifted and just 'have it'.
    Be happy with your improvements and look back at early projects and just smile.
    Thats what I do.
    "we reach for the stars, forever looking to the heavens, our minds filled with wonder and the glory of the cosmic all; stretching the boundries of human knowledge and securing the solar system for the Human Species out there beyond the final frontier so one day our decendants will be as gods!
    You hold our hands so we don't blunder into things........and do the photo shop.
    . Andyg

  10. #10


    Biggest thing for me was going to warhammer world and seeing those Golden Demon winners from 2009....the amazing Mortarion sculp. We looked at that for ages. However my mates and i sat back and thought "Actually, in real life they look quite different to the pictures we see. I could actually do that with practise and dedication. From there i went off and practised and painted. I absorbed all i could from here and just painted. I have almost finished what i think is a nice piece. Its far better than anything i've done before. I never would have been able to do it if i hadnt been inspired though. I'd have just been happy with thinking i could never achieve. Like Yoda said to Luke, "There is no try....just do". If you dont believe you can do it, you'll always fail.

    Takeinspiration from what you see here. Your army likely looks awesome on the battlefield. Close up.....maybe a little tatty but who cares? Save the good paint job for your warboss or special characters. The ones you can proudly show off slaughtering hordes of you opponents men. Just dont sweat it. Paint to how you want to paint. Most other people have unpainted armies anyway so you're well ahead of them!

  11. #11


    Quote Originally Posted by avatarofcourage View Post
    The paint is where it needs to be and the only good thing I can say about my painting is I have a steady hand and even the fine details look sharp.
    You do realize this portion right here is the basis for good painting technique, right? If you hadn't learned it, you'd be in for some serious freaking headaches. I mean, you can't even bother with the advanced techniques until you can do this.

    You've learned to wax on, Daniel-san. Now learn to wax off. (Jester/Cassar if you make a joke of this I swear I will beat you to death slowly with an encyclopedia)
    Nosus decipio - We Cheat

  12. #12


    Heh. Made the mistake of looking someone else's finished version of a model yesterday (it's a Battlestar Galactica model, in case you're curious). Was looking for a good YouTube video for using Micro-Set and Micro-Sol, and stumbled onto it. All the added details that were being added, and the little extras... and then I look at what I've got on my painting desk. Very discouraging!

    But, you'll have to push through it! It'll make you better.
    "Reality, she's a mathematical bitch from hell.", MaxedOutMama
    Wanna be bored? Watch me twitter. --<>-- Still have neurons? Watch my YouTube channel on painting!
    Want to know when to fry your neurons? My painting twitter will announce the videos.
    To judge how far to follow my advice, consider this: ---<>--- Slappin' paint on minis since 2006

  13. #13


    Just to echo the comments already made. Many of the people on this site have had years of experience, some are naturally skilled painters where as others have had to spend hours learning how to do just one technique. I think I speak for a lot of painters in saying that every time you put brush to mini, you're developing your skills and that never stops.

    Also don't forget that you do distinctly have 'tabletop' or 'gaming' standard paint jobs and 'display' standard for a reason. There's no point in painting fifty cannon fodder troops to display standard if they only last one or two turns on the board!

  14. #14

  15. #15


    Here is my latest work in progress. I apologize for the awful quality of the photos but hopefully it gives you guys an idea of how I paint. The problems as I see them are the black looking very flat and plain and much to clean to be orkish. I have no clue how to fix this other than adding metal chips. Another problem I have is the reds on my warboss' Klaw seemed to be applied to thick because I just can't seem to get the proper consistency. It's either to runny or too thick.

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  16. #16

  17. #17


    They're Orks, you can afford to make them look a bit sloppy. I paint my Orks grimy on purpose.

    As stated before, with practice you will get better. As long as you have a good time doing it.

    Painting a whole horde of Orks can be a daunting task. Might I suggest you look into games such as Warmachine or Malifaux. Both have fairly low model counts. That way you can take your time and not feel so rushed.

  18. #18


    I agree with funnymouth - it sounds like they are basecoated and now ready for some further loving.

    Grab your favourite mob of boys and get into it, after taking some good quality 'before' photos.

    Each unit and character that get's the treatment will make your force look more and more awesomer on the tabletop and that's great for everyone.

    The challenge of getting improved results is inherently it's own reward but sometimes it's also nice to get positive comments from opponents/mates etc when you play.
    The Future Of Magic Wash is Klear

    supervike: This site is cake, the scoring is icing. Scrape it off if you don't like it, the cake is still delicious!!

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  19. #19


    Quote Originally Posted by Kalidane View Post
    The challenge of getting improved results is inherently it's own reward but sometimes it's also nice to get positive comments from opponents/mates etc when you play.
    Because then no matter what the outcome of the game is, you win.
    Nosus decipio - We Cheat

  20. #20


    Quote Originally Posted by avatarofcourage View Post
    The paint is where it needs to be and the only good thing I can say about my painting is I have a steady hand and even the fine details look sharp. Compared to most gamers they look just fine on the tabletop.
    It's already been said, but this is actually really important. Many of my early minis were painted with extreme care but nothing beyond the base colours. Then I'd see minis at the store that were shaded/highlighted etc, but otherwise looked like they'd been painted while drunk. No evidence of brush control at all. I always wondered why anyone would take that approach.

    You have a solid technique base to expand from, and I'm sure you'll be able to produce paint jobs that satisfy you more quickly than you think. Also, my advice would be: armies are not the way to really improve your skills (although painting a nice-looking army is also a skill). Try doing a few one-off "showcase" minis using your new knowledge, and you'll likely be pleasantly surprised at the results.

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