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  • Basic painting


    This is the page
    that I will try and describe how I apply my undercoats and base colours.

    <a href="#U">Undercoat</a>

    <a href="#BC">Base

    <a NAME="U"></a>Undercoat:
    For me to be able to get the best results on my miniatures, I need to make
    sure that I start with a good undercoat. Different people use different
    colours for undercoats, but I have found that if you want your figures
    to really stand out from the tabletop, then a white undercoat is essential.
    Black can be good if you want your models to look more dark and sinister,
    but I like brightness in my miniatures, so I have stuck with white all
    the way through.
    If you start
    by giving your models a good undercoat, the rest of your painting time
    is going to be well spent. Bad undercoats make models look messy, and you
    may aswell have not bothered to put one on. So what makes a good undercoat?
    Well, to me there are two things that you need to be aware of. The first
    is to make sure that the undercoat is as solid as possible. By this I mean
    that none of the miniature should be showing through the paint, be it plastic
    or metal. If your undercoat is too thin, it will create blemishes in your
    colours that are added later. To get the best results with undercoats,
    I would recommend your miniatures be sprayed, because it will leave the
    undercoat uniform and smooth.
    This leads me
    into the second thing you should take note of, and that is the thickness
    and texture of the undercoat. If you do choose to spray on your undercoat,
    then make sure that you apply the paint evenly to all areas. Mounting the
    miniatures on a piece of card can help a lot, as you can turn it while
    spraying, without touching the wet paint. Make sure that you spray in a
    well ventilated area, as not to breathe in any fumes from the spray can.
    It is best to spray undecoats in two goes. The first one doesn't need to
    cover the figure completely in a solid colour. Let this one dry, then apply
    another coat to finish the job. Two thin sprays are better than one big
    one, as you can control the amount of paint you are putting on a lot easier.
    So bare in mind that each layer of paint you put on a miniature is going
    to decrease the amount of detail on it. If you apply one big spray, you
    may go overboard and blot out this detail, but with two small coats, you
    are going to be able to keep the paint smooth, flat, and uniform, keeping
    the detail visible.
    If, on the otherhand
    you choose to brush on your undercoat, then as well as watching how much
    paint you put on and how uniform it is, you should also be careful not
    to 'work' the paint. Basically, 'working' the paint means to play with
    it while it's drying. I find that Skull White can get a bit chalky at times
    while painting, so the best remedy is to add a few of drops of clean water
    to the pot and then give it a shake (preferably with the lid closed). This
    way, when you come to undercoat your miniatures, the paint can be applied
    evenly and smoothly to all the areas, without drying while you are still
    painting it. If the paint starts to dry while you are still applying it,
    you will end up with either brushstrokes in the paint or lumps of goo on
    your miniature, or both.
    Below are two
    pictures of a Space Marine. The one on the left has an undercoat that is
    not unifom/solid. You can see the blemishes in it. When colours are put
    on top of this the blemishes may show through. The one on the right however
    is unform/solid and any colour put on top of it will be solid also.

    So, in summary,
    try to go with spraying on your undercoats, rather than brushing them on
    for best results. But if you do choose to brush, then be careful while
    painting it.
    <a href="#top">Top</a>

    <a NAME="BC"></a>Base
    Colours: So now you
    are ready to apply the first lot of colours to your miniature. I will go
    into more detail in each race on specific pages, but here I will just say
    that your base colours are the primary colours that you want your figure
    to be painted in. Again, you need to make sure that your paint application
    is smooth, solid and uniform and most essentially, neat. The more you get
    colours overlapping onto the wrong areas, the more you'll have to clean
    up by painting over again, and this can get very messy. So if you have
    applied a good basecoat, then you shouldn't have to much trouble with getting
    good base colours. I prefer, mostly, to apply base colours in one go, but
    sometimes, if the pigment in the paint is not very strong, I would have
    to result to two, maybe three coats. But when I do this, I need to make
    sure that each coat is as thin as possible, as not to obscure any deatil.
    Below is the same Space Marine with a couple of base colours added.

    What colours
    should you use? Well, whatever the paint scheme is that I am using at the
    time, I make sure that each is a mid-tone of what I want the end result
    to be. Why a midtone? Because it will then prepare your model for the shading
    and highlighting stages of the painting scheme. This is explained in more
    detail on the appropriate pages. So with the Space Marine above, I have
    chosen Ultramarines Blue and Sunburst Yellow as two different base colours.
    So when I want to add depth to the figure, I can then add Blue Wash (see
    for more information) to the helmet and Orange Wash to the chest eagle.
    From there I can use lighter tones of blue and yellow to highlight up.
    So as I have said, I like to use a mid-tone for my base colours. You may
    like to do the same.

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