Painting Tips from Chris

For all of you miniature gamers out there who keep putting off painting your figures because it’s too time consuming, Chris has written an article which may help:

While there are some out there who paint miniatures simply for the act of painting or to display their skill, most miniature wargamers are focused on one thing: wargames! This means that painting can often take a back seat to time spent playing, but one of the coolest moments in this hobby is seeing a table full of beautiful terrain fought over by two stunningly-painted armies. No matter which miniatures game you play, actually finishing a whole army can be a bit of a holy grail – so why not make it easier to achieve? Here, I’ve chosen to highlight five products we carry that can help you produce a fully-painted army quickly and easily, and still end up with a collection of beautiful figures.

Army Painter Colour Primer

The way it usually goes, the first paint to hit your figure is either black or white. Great if you’re painting a miniature that will actually be black or white, but chances are it’s just a primer coat for some other basecoat colour that you’ll need to brush over by hand. Why not trim this down to one step? Army Painter spray primers are designed to be applied right over bare metal or plastic, priming and basecoating all at once. These sprays are currently available in 14 different colours, so chances are you’ll find a shade that will work better for you than just plain black or white. They also work great with…

Army Painter Quick Shade

This stuff is made specifically to address the same point as this blog entry – getting armies painted! Quick Shade is a varnish-based wash or shading medium for your figures. The idea is pretty simple – paint your figures with standard paints, just with flat colours – no shading or highlighting required. Then, dip your figure into the Quick Shade, and remove the excess by shaking it off or removing it with a dry brush. As it dries the Quick Shade flows off the high spots and into crevasses and shadows, completing the shading and highlighting in one step. If you’ve seen it in action, the effect can be remarkable. With this stuff, finishing an entire force in as little as a weekend can be a possibility. Quick Shade is available in Soft, Dark and Strong Tones (translated: light brown, dark brown and black) so you can match the shading level to the brightness of the scheme you’re painting.

P3 Wet Palette

I didn’t come to appreciate this tool until I started painting my army for Flames of War, and started using more Vallejo paints to match the historical colours of military equipment. Since the Vallejo paints use dropper-style bottles, I was mixing paint on a palette much more often. I found that my pool of paint would start to dry out quickly while I was trying to work, and I kept having to go back and mix in more water and try to match the consistency I was looking for again. The P3 Wet Palette does a fine job of removing this issue – the palette allows the paint to absorb more water as it begins to dry, keeping the paint at the same thickness for much longer. While it’s a bit fiddly to set up, for a painting session when you’ll be using the same colour for a while, the wet palette is a great tool.

Games Workshop Washes

If I had to recommend one product on this list to a beginning painter, it would be the range of washes from Games Workshop. These do a great job of shading a wide range of colours right out of the pot, and can both shade colours with a darker tone or enrich the base colour, giving it more depth and saturation. They flow smoothly and don’t carry a lot of pigment, allowing you to produce smoother, less stark effects than the old range of inks they replaced. Coupled with more traditional highlighting techniques, these washes can produce an excellent finish quickly.

Gale Force Nine Hobby Scenics

Lastly, this product range covers something that can often be overlooked – bases. The Hobby Scenics from Gale Force Nine cover a wide range of basing grits, flock, static grass, clump foliage, rubble, etc. that when combined, can produce a base that’s just as cool as the figure standing on it. The Hobby Scenics come in small round containers, giving you plenty of material to finish an army without making you pay for enough to flock a golf course. They’re also available in handy four-packs, themed around various terrain types to place your figures in.

If you’re curious, come on in to the store and take a look at some of the miniatures that I and some of the other staff have been working on using these handy products. Or better yet, come down to one of our weekly Painting Demos on Sundays. We’ll have each of these products available for you to try out for free!

Thanks for reading!

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