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Mixing and Thinning paints...

Nedar

Wight King
Joined
Feb 17, 2008
Messages
438
#1
I've heard a ton from people that to get the best quality paint jobs you should mix and thin down your paints. I'm a little curious on how people do this, however.

If you start with a standard citadel paint jar, what do you use to mix on another surface (furthermore, what surfaces do you use)? Just load up a brush with a ton of a paint a few times and dribble/dab it into place...or some small "spoon" or other such device?

I'm starting to paint my minis and want to get learn what I feel I need to know, and this is an important first step that no one really clarifies that i've seen.
 

The Dark Lord Mr Fluffy

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Joined
Dec 23, 2007
Messages
2,586
#2
Haha, with a spoon! I've never heard that one before..
As for mixing paint, just get a medium brush worth of paint (standard citadel) making sure its not a blob on the bristles, put it on a tile for mixing (any old tile will do, I have 3 myself. 1 for metallics, 1 for base/high light colours and the last for thining paints and inks)

Putting the two colours you want to mix beside each other at the start is a good way to make sure you don't accidently mess up. Then blending half of each colour together, if you don't like the colour you have, mix more of one of those colours in. Its easier then having to go and get more from the pot.

For thining, it depends do you want to make a glase, or just a wash for shading?
Glases I use are all metallic, and make things look like metal. Just water down some chainmail/boltgun/methril or whathaveyou until you can see the tile below it, just. Then use it like one of the new washes, but be careful, as it makes cloth shiney too.

Washes are the exact same with paints, but using the new washes is so much easier. Making washes out of old inks is quite similar to the glasin technique, but you can basically use it anywhere i.e. On HEs, you can use it on their armour to give a blue tint, on Skaven, to darken fur, on zombies.. well, you can basically do whatever you want to a zombie :tongue:

Hope that explains what you wanted to know. And remember, practice makes perfect. Took me a good 6 months to get it perfect, and even now I mess up from time to time
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2008
Messages
694
#3
but you should also thin your actual paints down. they are a little bit thick to use straight from the pot.

you have two options, take a little paint on a tile and mix clean tap water with it (purists will use distilled water)

or you can just carefully dribble a few drops of tap water directly into the paint pot, remembering that you can easily add more, but its very hard to remove some if you add too much....
 

N1AK

Vampire Count
True Blood
Joined
Apr 21, 2008
Messages
1,252
#4
Normally if it is a one off blend I just use the brush and a tile or plastic blister. How ever if I am trying to use a blend over a lot of models then I use a pippet to ensure I get the same ratio.

When watering down your paint the guideline is generally to get it to the consistency of milk (Semi not skimmed!). In practice this simply means thick enough that it doesn't pool in gaps and covers evenly. The reason this is important is that thick paint fills in detail on models and can also leave a rough surface where you should have smooth panels.
The new GW Foundation paints and Privateer Press's P3 paints are both heavily pigmented (lots of colour in liquid) and still cover well when properly thinned.

Generally a good painting setup will includes:
> 2 water jars, one for metallics and one for other paints (even a small amount of metallic paint in water can cause visible shine on other paints.
> Kitchen Towel, not toilet paper or other fluffy paper. Toilet paper tends to leave tiny strands on a brush that then get on the model and ruin your paint job. Use this to dry your brush, clean your brush and remove paint for drybrushing etc.
> Tiles, glass plates, plastic surface for putting paint on. The surface should NOT be absorbant. As a general rule you should not be applying paint direct from the pot, as this tends to apply very thickly and ruin detail. Dip your brush in the paint, then put it on your chosen surface, depending on how thick the paint is dip your brush in water and add some or dip it and then slightly dry it before getting the paint on your brush again (this ensures your brush is moist, which helps protect your brush and keep paint smooth).

How are you undercoating your models? Personally I would suggest using spray undercoat and tidying this up with brush undercoat. This is quick, and also holds to the model well, which lowers the risk of paint chipping.

Hope some of that helps.
 

Nedar

Wight King
Joined
Feb 17, 2008
Messages
438
#5
Great, thanks for the tips guys. I have mostly been using one of those little white "well" painting thingys. I would take a big blob of paint and thin with water, just seemed like a ton of paint got wasted in my water bowl (only did a few times to test stuff out).

I did try my foundation paints out for the first time last night, and holy majoly are those things awsome. You guys bother to thin these? They work freakin amazingly already. I've yet to pick up the new washes, but I will for sure. I've never liked the old Inks that I have as they always made my models shiny and looked stupid.

@N1AK - I have a black spray can primer from GW that I undercoat with, have never painted a model without an undercoat (I do a lot of research before I do anything, cuz I don't like screwing up terribly).

One more thing...I DESPISE super glue!! How do you get this crap to work? I'm trying to glue the new female vampire (how stupidly simple eh?) and the glue will not set, I hold the arm on for what seems like 4 or 5 minutes and it doesn't stay...i'm not holding body parts for a quarter of an hour so they stay freakin glued.

I've seen that accelerator that makes superglue dry in seconds, but heard it weakens the bond a lot, any suggestions?
 

The Dark Lord Mr Fluffy

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Joined
Dec 23, 2007
Messages
2,586
#6
It really depends on what type of glue your using - I use cheap stuff from my local corner shop. "The original super glue" I think its called. It comes in a twin pack for pitance, and its some of the best super glue I've used

Just make sure to get some Cyanoacrylate based adhesive, they work the best (Heh, nerdy me knows what glue is made from! :tongue:)
 

N1AK

Vampire Count
True Blood
Joined
Apr 21, 2008
Messages
1,252
#7
Nedar said:
I did try my foundation paints out for the first time last night, and holy majoly are those things awsome. You guys bother to thin these?

@N1AK - I have a black spray can primer from GW that I undercoat with, have never painted a model without an undercoat (I do a lot of research before I do anything, cuz I don't like screwing up terribly).
I do thin foundation paints slightly, although they don't like being mixed with water so I tend to be quite cautious.

I thought you probably would prime properly but it's always worth checking as it's so simple and makes a big difference :)
 

The Dark Lord Mr Fluffy

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Joined
Dec 23, 2007
Messages
2,586
#8
Priming is the first battle in becoming a great painter. The second is keeping your sanity while block painting bone on skellys and 'guards. Don't even start me on BKs :tongue:

When you find bitz of plasic turning up while block painting, it makes you go a little crazy inside
 

ProperGoffic

Bringing Sixy Back
True Blood
Joined
Feb 26, 2008
Messages
1,158
#9
Nedar said:
One more thing...I DESPISE super glue!! How do you get this crap to work? I'm trying to glue the new female vampire (how stupidly simple eh?) and the glue will not set, I hold the arm on for what seems like 4 or 5 minutes and it doesn't stay...i'm not holding body parts for a quarter of an hour so they stay freakin glued.

I've seen that accelerator that makes superglue dry in seconds, but heard it weakens the bond a lot, any suggestions?
Accelerator's great if you have three hands or some sort of handy clamping thing to hold the model by the base. If you don't, it's rather fiddly.

Some things which can help with superglue:
- it oxidises very very quickly, so get those parts pressed together fast.
- don't try and stick things together without cleaning off the old superglue first.
- some of the goop used to separate models from moulds might interfere with the surfaces. A good scrub with slightly warm, soapy water sometimes does the job.
- it also helps if you roughen the surfaces you're trying to bond - increases the surface area, you see. A few scores with a modelling knife ought to do the trick. Sandpaper's optional.
- some GW superglue batches are not of the best. The one I've got now is okay, but before that I stopped using it for years 'cause it was frankly chod. Loctite do quite a nice brush-on one...
 
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