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  1. #1
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    Paint pooling on flat surfaces

    I'm having massive difficulty getting my paint to apply smoothly on pretty much anything, it always comes out patchy, and runs into the areas I really don't want it in.
    Its really quite infuriating.

    Its been boiled down to either how much I'm thinning, the paint, or the paint itself.
    I use a Kolinsky sable brush, and the really old GW paints back from 2006, I'm honestly suprised they haven't completely dried up.

    I've been told on many occasions to thin my paint down so it has the consitancy of skim milk (essentially water), I do this and it ends up looking like crap. So I've decided to use a smaller amount of water, but it just ends up chalky.

    Are there any preffered ratios or brush movements I can use to keep control of my paint?
    Please help, its a real issue for me.

    PS: Is there anything I can do for brush control, I shake a lot and it makes highlighting quite hard.


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  3. #2
    LO Zealot MDSW's Avatar
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    All paint is composed of three elements - vehicle, pigment and carrier. In acrylic paint, the vehicle is obviously the acrylic, which is a plastic-sort of derivitive to help it get its hard coat when dry. The carrier is essentially water - however, there are other emoliants in the carrier to help it flow and remain consistent.

    You cannot easily change the paint's pigment or vehicle, but you can really only change the amount of carrier. If you over thin you lose the pigment/vehicle balance and it does not coat worth a darn. If not enough carrier, it is gloppy and thick. If the carrier (water) has evaporated from old paint it is not just as simple as just adding some water as you have also lost some of the other carrier additives that help flow and consistency - that is why it is chalky.

    Simply try and buy another new pot of paint. There are many brands, but stay with the best mini-type of paints - GW, P3, Vallejo, etc. Just do not try the cheap acrylic paints you buy in the big container at the craft store for $1 - they do not have the pigment saturation we need for proper mini painting! With a new pot of paint, take a couple of dabs out onto a mixing tray (a plate will do) and add about a brushful of water, only if needed to get it about milk consistency. I think you will see night and day in the results!

    Good luck and have fun!
    Three Roads Dreamt - My novella collection is now available! Action Suspense, Fantasy and Sci-Fi


  4. #3
    Senior Member Muse2k8's Avatar
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    Sounds like your diluting too much so that the pigment can't take hold (see above )

    Every colour and paint is different. If your not sure on the mixing ratio use the simple white paper test.

    Take some white paper... Paint a square and fill it (so a block of colour basically).

    What you want to achieve is a solid colour without any streaks. If its streaky then it's too dilute. Now obviously if it's straight from the pot you will get a block colour but you will notice it will likely (not always) clump, be thick and won't flow from the brush. Keep adding drops of water till the paint flows off your brush like a dream (you will notice this) but before it gets streaky.

    Eventually you will just get a feel for adding water. Once you have got the flow consistency right you can try adding glaze mediums etc. some people will tell you never to dilute with water but that's tosh. Always dilute a water based paint with water I say clues in the name really. Yes you can over do it but if you get it right it's perfect to use.

    Oh and that skimmed milk stuff is useless. I always thought of it more as condensed milk or budget sour cream lol. Experiment and learn your medium

  5. #4
    Senior Member Muse2k8's Avatar
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    120 (x3)

    Saying that, if your paints shot as mdsw said then your better buying a new paint first before trying the dilution experiments out.

    I'll just add though that I purposefully will mix ratios of 20 water to 1 paint and use this to paint on up to 50 layers to build up a glaze of colour for example for creating shadow on red ill make a very watery blue and paint this on, covering a little less each time to build up a beautiful shading.

    Btw it's probably a stupid question and I apologise for it but you are priming your models yeah?
    Last edited by Muse2k8; May 4th, 2012 at 04:47.

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    Thanks for the info!
    If I invest in vallejo paints, what type would I be looking at? The game colour, or model colour paints?

    To the guy above me, I do infact basecoat/prime my models, I use black game colour.
    Last edited by nimbus456; May 4th, 2012 at 06:00.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MDSW

    Just do not try the cheap acrylic paints you buy in the big container at the craft store for $1 - they do not have the pigment saturation we need for proper mini painting!

    Good luck and have fun!
    I buy craftsmart tubes from Michaels for 2.25 and they come out awesome. They also make fine tip paint markers that are amazing for fine details and dags.

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    Senior Member Muse2k8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nimbus456
    Thanks for the info!
    If I invest in vallejo paints, what type would I be looking at? The game colour, or model colour paints?

    To the guy above me, I do infact basecoat/prime my models, I use black game colour.
    It's up to you the game colour range is pretty much matched to games workshops (old) range and are designed as "game" colours. But then with the model colour range you get loads of colours and they are for the most part more natural and "earthy".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Davies View Post
    I buy craftsmart tubes from Michaels for 2.25 and they come out awesome. They also make fine tip paint markers that are amazing for fine details and dags.
    I do have a large collection of these, but they are solely for use on bases and other non-important areas. If they are working good for you, then that is great!
    Three Roads Dreamt - My novella collection is now available! Action Suspense, Fantasy and Sci-Fi


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    I'd put my money on old pots. I have a pot of chainmail I bought only a year ago that I NEVER used and upon trying to use it recently I found it dried up quite a lot to the point it feels like glue.

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