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GW paint always seems to come at the perfect consistency but idk. Are you supposed to thin it then or when it becomes a little dried up?
Every pot is a little bit different. Some of them will come out ready to use, others don't. You just get used to creating the consistency that's right for you with practice. The simple test is, can see see brush strokes, brush marks, or clumps on your model when you're done? The paint was too thick. Does your model have little rings and lines on it along the edges of where puddles of paint dried? The paint was too thin.
Very good post, Affe.
Not much more to be said, to be honest, although I would suggest that almost no paints are good to go, straight out of the pot.
Watering paints down is pretty much always the right thing to do, unless you're drybrushing.
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Last updated 09/01/11
"Never before has another man made me want to go out and buy vasaline"~The Paint Monkey
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Paint thinning is done by adding some water?
How does one thicken?
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I seem to remember reading an article in White Dwarf many years ago (mid to late 1980's I guess) which suggested that the thickening element in their acrylic paints is pretty much exactly the same as talcum powder. I tried this with some black paint with some success but the finish had a strange 'gleam' that it hadn't had before.
Talcum powder may have some additives etc - again, not sure why you would want to thicken paint, but I would use pure gypsum powder rather than perfumed talc.
As to when to thin paints, I always thin paints, except fro metallics...
Omegoku, I don't know how to thicken paint, but as to thinning, I offer the following:
You can use water to thin, but many experts out there will suggest enough fancy, name-brand additives to fill up a small chemistry set. None of these can really take the place of water, but you can add them, along with water, to your paints. Some additives are so useful that painters like to keep an empty dropper bottle (Vallejo makes them. Very useful) with their favorite mixture of water and additive, and just use that to thin their paints with.
Basically, the additives break down into a couple of categories:
Extenders: Again, made by a number of different manufacturers, extenders make the paint stay wet much longer. These are good for keeping paint from drying up on the palette before you're finished with them, but a "wet palette" is much better at this IMO, especially if you don't use any other additives to your thinning agent (i.e., your water).
Most often, extender is used for "wet blending," an advanced technique that involves just what it sounds like: taking two different colors on a model and "blending" them together to make a smooth transition from one color to another. It's a pretty tough technique to master, and I can't claim to have done it myself, but the extender's purpose here should be pretty obvious.
Glaze/Matt Mediums: The most common ones you'll hear about are made by Vallejo, and they are called (duh!) Glaze medium and Matt medium. Basically these alter the properties of the paint to produce a special effect. The Matt medium will often dull the "shine" of paint. Back before GW released the new washes, their inks were famous for drying with an unattractive sheen. Adding matt medium when thinning the inks was a good way to prevent this. Many people just spray their models with a matte finish after painting, but if you only want to dull down certain parts of the model, using this medium in your thinner is an option.
Glaze medium is, IMO, much more useful. It basically makes the paint a little more translucent. Thinning down paint a LOT and using this stuff, then applying in multiple, quick-drying layers creates softer colors, like the green of a patina on metal, or accumulated dust on "weathered" surfaces. Even if you don't do actual paint glazing techniques, you'll find that it's good for other applications, such as layering, where you want to see the "edge" of your paint layer look a little softer.
Surface Tension Breakers: This is a common problem that has a much more low-tech (read: cheaper) solution. Basically, paint thinned with water has surface tension, the same property that makes water bead up on the surface of a well-waxed car or waterproof clothing.
When painting, this is Bad(TM) because it can really ruin an otherwise good paint job. This is what causes those infamous "rings" and ugly dark borders on what is supposed to be a smooth transition.
Most people use soap/wax to fix this. Often, it's as simple as adding a single drop (or less) of dishwashing detergent. Others (like me) prefer to mix a bottle of water and Future Floor Wax. One bottle of the wax is cheap and will last, well, years. I personally keep a roughly 50/50 water/wax mix of the stuff on hand. Not as handy on inks, I find, but the GW washes make that problem largely irrelevant. It is useful on paint, however, and I find it helps me with layering quite a bit.
Bottom line: don't go nuts on the chemicals. Water is just fine for now, but once you've gotten a little experience, and are looking to take your technique up a notch or two, you'll find investing in some of these can be useful. I personally love the glaze medium, plus the aforementioned floor wax trick. I don't claim to be an expert, but I'm learning how to fake it real good.
I agree, extender/acrylic paint flow agent is invaluable! It helps the paint run smoothly and evenly off teh brush, and hales to allow for smoother transition work with more control. I haven't used a wet pallette - it's on my list of to-dos though...
I don't think the GW metallics, as I find that the metal content is too fragmented to provide nice even coats.
I am exctually experimenting with some "foil glue" to see if I can acheieve a shiny surface using AL foil and maybe proceed to gold foil where I want to get a beaten metal effect...
That's why you haven't bothered getting a Wet Palette yet. Come live here for a winter! I'd even skip the parchment paper and paint right off the sponge if I could...Location: London