Getting back into painting after a long time - a few basic questions
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Thread: Getting back into painting after a long time - a few basic questions

  1. #1

    Default Getting back into painting after a long time - a few basic questions

    Hey guys, I used to be pretty active on these forums back when I was in middle/high school but stopped painting when I went to college. I graduated a few years ago now, and I've been getting back into painting minis and having a great time with it! There are just a few things that I've been having issues with that I'm hoping you guys can help me with. For the most part I've been able to jump back in where I left off, but a few things arent quite working the way I remember.

    Thinning paints: I'm having a few issues with thinning paints. Sometimes I can get a nice thin coat, but a lot of the time it seems no matter how much I thin the paint and how little I put on the brush it still goes on kinda chunky. I live in LA now and we have very hard water so I'm wondering if that could be an issue, although I'm mostly using Liquitex flow-aid to thin. I'm using a mix of Citadel and Vallejo paints, but the biggest problem paints have been metallics in general, and Vallejo pale sand. Still having some issues with others though.

    Another facet of this problem is that I'm finding that even when I paint very thin coats with a not over saturated brush the paint still flows into the detail and obscures it. Sometimes I end up with a bunch of tiny bubbles in the cracks and recesses which dry and maintain their form. I dont remember this being an issue back in the day. Anything in particular I can do to stop this?

    Rubbing paint off: I'm noticing that paint rubs off raised detail super easily, stuff like cloak corners and tips of weapons. I dont remember this being an issue in the past. I've been using citadel primers, wondering if the paint isn't adhering to it well enough.

    I think I'll be back on the forums every once in a while and maybe I'll start a WIP log at some point.

    Thanks for the help!

  2. #2

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    thinning: nope, the water hardness doesn't interfere with thinning itself, BUT you can get some mineral particles you don't want on the surface making it not so smooth (it looks similar to when you get partially dryed paint on the mini), so using distilled water is better for you imho.

    paint running into cracks: it looks like your brush is overloaded. Touch the side of the brush to the paper towel, so it looses some of the water, thereby making controll better.

    paint rubbing off: yep, no real adherence of paint/primer to the surface. Either use a real primer (GW sprays are paints, not primers) or just not touch the mini until you are finished and it is varnished. (there are multiple miniature holders that do this. Even GW's is pretty good)
    Forgot, that it works again.

  3. #3

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    Maxxxx summed it up pretty well. For primers I would suggest either Vallejo primer or Badger Stynlrez (actually prefer this one). I haven't had any issue with paint rubbing off (except when I have dropped the figure, but that isn't the paint or primers fault). Which metallic paints are you using? I actually like using these ones (https://acrylicosvallejo.com/en/cate...etal-color-en/) but they can still be a pain to work with - these ones separate really quickly but look great for metals

    Also, as for the paint rubbing off, you could always seal it with some gloss varnish and then a coat of matte but that could get old quickly if it is every tiny little piece. Have to agree with Maxxx about getting a holder if you don't have one. Check out PK-Pro holder, Game Envy holder, GW one, you should find one you like.
    Last edited by ekipage; 09-17-2019 at 07:24 PM.

  4. #4

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    I have a mini holder but rarely use it. I find it easy to get a pack of short .5 cm thick balsa wood or dowels and use Bondic to adhere them to a contact point on the figure. Just give it a twist when finished and reuse the dowel. Great for things that need sub assembly so you don’t have to keep changing things over.
    Automotive primers are good if you want to stick to rattle cans. Eki mentioned a couple of good alternatives with the Vallejo and Badger primers. For the way I paint I find Stynylrez better for airbrushing and not so good brush on. Vallejo gives me a fantastically smooth finish with a brush....you couldn’t tell the difference between that and airbrushing.
    Some metal paints have larger mica grains than others that will give them a grainier look too. I really like the Vallejo Air metallics as the mica is superfine for airbrush use. They cover wonderfully with a brush too. Even finer are the Vallejo alcohol based metallics but they can be harder to work with if you don’t want something that has a super fast drying time. Lacquer based metallics for airbrush use are even finer ground and look sweet but I find annoying due to needing a super smooth gloss base for best results. Darkstar and Turbo Dork make good metallics as well although the Turbo Dork paints are more coloured metallics.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by bullfrog View Post
    I find it easy to get a pack of short .5 cm thick balsa wood or dowels and use Bondic to adhere them to a contact point on the figure. Just give it a twist when finished and reuse the dowel. Great for things that need sub assembly so you don’t have to keep changing things over.
    That IS a mini holder. Doesn't have to be branded.
    Personally I use a pin-vice for this. Or if the base is already glued to the figure, then the GW one.

    Quote Originally Posted by bullfrog View Post
    I really like the Vallejo Air metallics as the mica is superfine for airbrush use.
    have to agree. They are really fine. Also Scale75's metallics are great if you stick to acryls.
    Forgot, that it works again.

  6. #6

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    Hey guys thinks for the replies!

    Ahhh thats really interesting. I didn't realize that the citadel sprays weren't primers, I pretty much only used their primers back in the day so I didnt even think to check. Do they even make a primer anymore? Are any of the primers you might buy in a regular hardware store even worth trying?

    I've been using both Vallejo and Citadel metallics and both have given me issues. I never would've thought to use the airbrush metallics though, so I'll definitely try that! Theres a hobby shop near my work that sells their full range so maybe I'll pick some up at lunch today. I'll give the Vallejo brush on primer a go too.

    I have been using a holder of sorts, just pinning stuff to a bunch of big corks. I guess I just need to touch the minis less!

    Thanks again for the tips!

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    As an ‘Oldie’ I’m going to agree with the use of the GW holders, by far the best ‘accessory’ they’ve produced.
    I believe in Karma, what you give, is what you get returned. Affirmation; Savage Garden
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  8. #8

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    Picked up some of the airbrush metallics and some Vallejo primer. Looking forward to giving them a go. Maybe I'll grab a GW holder next time I'm there!

  9. #9

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    I've encountered another issue, some of my paint has been reactivating and lifting off when I brush it with water. Not as dried chunks but as actual active pigment. The main culprit was Vallejo Dark Prussian Blue, but it happened with other colors too. They were all also drying kind of glossy. Could this be an effect of the poor primer adhesion? Thanks!

  10. #10

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    from 2 clues it seems that you haven't agitated the paint enough and you painted with the acryl medium instead of the pigment (paint).
    The 2 clues:
    - drying glossy (the medium tends to dry glossy)
    - reactivating and lifting off (wasn't mixed well enough, so the reaction of the medium and pigment didn't happen.)
    Forgot, that it works again.

  11. #11

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    I think most of the others have hit pretty much everything you’ve asked. Just wanted to throw a couple things out there. Using flow aid to thin, I love flow aid but be careful to either dilute it or use it sparingly on your heavier areas. Paint comes off the brush wonderfully but can sometimes have issues with paint adhesion. This could explain some of your issues with paint coming up, in addition to some things others have mentioned. I primarily use the flow aid for detail areas, but for glazing and thinning for blending maybe try a glazing medium instead. I like Golden’s glazing medium, it’s very thick which I like personally (preference) and May also help with keeping the paint where you lay it as opposed to running into the cracks as you were saying. You should still always dab a towel or test how much is on your brush before you hit the mini, as previously stated by another. also, for your paint rubbing off and for the reactivation with water... don’t be afraid to throw down a thin coat of matte varnish in between working steps. Many artists use it as a “save point” since you can clean up little mistakes with water and a brush without disturbing underlying layers or rubbing off your work. It will also prevent your underlying work from reactivating, and will protect those edges you inadvertently rub when handling your mini (even with a paint handle or cork sometimes I find myself holding minis in places for better control). Just take care to not do it too too much or in thick coats because it can obscure your detail. Just a nice thin smooth coat for protection. Hope this helps.

  12. #12

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    [QUOTE=MAXXxxx;886510]That IS a mini holder. Doesn't have to be branded.
    Personally I use a pin-vice for this. Or if the base is already glued to the figure, then the GW one.


    Sorry. I meant a commercially produced mini holder.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by MAXXxxx View Post
    from 2 clues it seems that you haven't agitated the paint enough and you painted with the acryl medium instead of the pigment (paint).
    The 2 clues:
    - drying glossy (the medium tends to dry glossy)
    - reactivating and lifting off (wasn't mixed well enough, so the reaction of the medium and pigment didn't happen.)
    Ah, thank you, that makes a lot of sense. I'd never painted with Vallejo back when I used to paint so its still new to me. I have noticed some separation in the paint so I'll try to shake it up better before I squeeze it out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sik Willy View Post
    I think most of the others have hit pretty much everything you’ve asked. Just wanted to throw a couple things out there. Using flow aid to thin, I love flow aid but be careful to either dilute it or use it sparingly on your heavier areas. Paint comes off the brush wonderfully but can sometimes have issues with paint adhesion. This could explain some of your issues with paint coming up, in addition to some things others have mentioned. I primarily use the flow aid for detail areas, but for glazing and thinning for blending maybe try a glazing medium instead. I like Golden’s glazing medium, it’s very thick which I like personally (preference) and May also help with keeping the paint where you lay it as opposed to running into the cracks as you were saying. You should still always dab a towel or test how much is on your brush before you hit the mini, as previously stated by another. also, for your paint rubbing off and for the reactivation with water... don’t be afraid to throw down a thin coat of matte varnish in between working steps. Many artists use it as a “save point” since you can clean up little mistakes with water and a brush without disturbing underlying layers or rubbing off your work. It will also prevent your underlying work from reactivating, and will protect those edges you inadvertently rub when handling your mini (even with a paint handle or cork sometimes I find myself holding minis in places for better control). Just take care to not do it too too much or in thick coats because it can obscure your detail. Just a nice thin smooth coat for protection. Hope this helps.
    Thanks for the tips! Thats good to know about the flow aid. I'll try to be more sparing when I use it.

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