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One day, I while I was staring in awe at a man in a business suit collecting $100 dollars and a dreadnought for a side job, I decided to ask him how he would teach a beginner to paint. My models lacked any kind of detail, because, regardless of how much paint I wiped off the brush on the edge of the paint pot, it still globbed up and filled the cracks. Lo and behold, he was willing to not just tell, but demonstrate how he paints. He advised me to never do details in this manner, nor use valuable brush, but what he taught me, I use to this day, and think I am a better painter for it.
Assorted Bag of Paint Brushes
Testors Bottled Paint
Old Coffee Mug
Gojo Liquid Hand Soap
Old Cafeteria Tray
Now to explain: this is everything to get the basic work done. Not painting to brag about to your friends, but to put it on the table and not lose because you're in awe of your opponent's army. The $5 bag of paint brushes gives a good size, but because this painting method relies heavily on drybrushing, you won't shed a tear (and neither will your wallet) when you have to replace them. Because it is going to be used a lot, and applied multiple times, it is cheaper to use Testors paint for this. Old Rag, Mug, and Gojo are for cleaning. The tray can take all sorts of abuse, holds really bad spills, and makes for quick transportation. don't leave home without it. Toothpick and bamboo skewers are your friend.
Now that you have your models built, and primed in black (grey if you are using an exceptionally light color, but try and use black (even for light yellow powerfists). Take off their arms. I am not kidding. If you are truly worried, you don't have to, or don't build them with the arms. But it is much easier to do this without the arms.
Now, place them on your tray. take whatever color you are painting the main part of your body, and medium (bristles as wide as width of a model's head or slightly bigger) brush and dip it into your main color. Wipe as much of it onto the inside lip of your paint pot as possible to avoid waste. Dab each side of the bristles on the rag 3 times. gently wipe it on your hand. You should see no color. With a light, rapid stroke, apply this to models one by one, covering everywhere. This should get a minimal coat of paint that dries far darker than the paint color. It's okay if you get this where you don't want it in the end, that is later on in the guide. They should all almost be dry after you finish drybrushing the individual model, and I would be surprised if they weren't all dry at the end of the squad.
Repeat this process until you get your desired shade, or perhaps a tad lighter. You should have a nice, even coat, that almost highlighted itself (my marines do this somewhat, but it isn't extremely noticeable). Now, for jump packs, and guns, repeat this process with a metallic paint. This guide is now entering a Marine Zone, because I haven't painted my eldar in ages, however, this is just for the actual process, you can still use ideas here for whatever army you're painting. Take a Bendybrush (TM) (If you invented, PM me so I can put your name in this guide for credit. and get paint on as you would earlier, but only dab it on the rag once or twice, depending how much paint was on there prior to dabbing. Now, my bendybrushes bend to a side, like this: )_) line up that outward bending side (the fine point) with the rim of the shoulder pad. Keep it lined up at all times.
Now, odds are, you messed up the rims of the shoulder pads while painting. Get out a nifty toothpick, and repaint the lines using the flat edge of it, carefully. Also, take your original color of paint. Hopefully, you didn't drybush coats up to that tone (for this purpose, I pick a paint a few shades lighter then my desired color), and you can use a brush, it looks a lot better, esp. on SM greaves, but for the rims of the shoulder pads you might have to use a toothpick. For the grille and the eyes, use the long end of a skewer. I might have said bamboo, but that doesn't matter. Just a long wooden stick that comes to a point.
Now it's painted, and you feel so special, you're going to want to base it right? Hopefully, you haven't put it on that plastic base, because I make a majority of my mistakes here. Paint the base with elmers glue, and then dip it in a cup of sand, take it out, shake it off, and paint it whatever, then glue your model on. Or paint it while it's in a pin vise, or very steady. This is a huge place to mess up, and it ruins me every time.
Cleaning the Brushes
When you are done with a brush, always immediately put it into a cup of water to prevent losing it. I don't care if it's easily replaceable, it sucks to stop painting cuz you nuked a brush. Okay, you are done painting, and have a bunch of somewhat messy brushes. How to clean them? If they are good detailing brushes, I would recommend hobby store paint brush cleaner and Kleenex. However, for your junky Michael's 20 for $5 drybrushing brushes, I found a very low effort, and as of yet safe method of cleaning. Rinse the brush in water, and rinse that coffee mug in water. Now, squirt some GoJo liquid hand soap (this I have found to work far better than any other kind of hand soap or hand sanitizer.) into the cup, enough to fill it up at least for the depth of the brush. Spin it around until you are whisking the GoJo, or stirring tea, until the GoJo has drastically changed color. Rinse the brush off. Does it look clean? Feel the Bristles. Do they feel like a new paint brush does when it gets water on it? They should be close to that. Try brushing your hand gently but firmly. No color should appear. Now for the most dubious part: the Pinch. Pinch the bristles strongly with your rag, and then either release, or slide the bristles out from your grasp. I would recommend just releasing, to prevent risking losing bristles. If it comes out clean twice (i.e. no coloration of rag, water soaked up isn't discolored) and the brush looks like it's original color, then it is good and clean.
This is all based upon experience. What works for me might not work for you.
If I contradict myself, post about it, and go with the latest version of what I said. I wrote this in three parts due to scheduling conflicts and so there isn't just a chance, I guarantee that there are errors in this.
Go through this document once, with one standard trooper of yours, to get a feel for the technique. Do each member of a standard troop unit one by one, so you get the hang of it. It is much easier to master if you complete the guide at once, and then they can serve as a visual aide.
Lastly: The one thing that can bring stunning details out on a model is learning how to ink. An okay model, painted so as to leave all original recesses (i.e. a guardian's six pack still has gaps between them) visible, once inked, can look simply gorgeous. Nothing to compare to Gareth's, or the work of many others on the site, but enough to make you feel warm and fuzzy just looking at it.
I am looking to expand this, because it's not as comprehensive as I'd hoped, and thus, if you contribute via PM or post, I will edit the information into this post, and put your name here. I'll list your contribution next to your name.
That Bendybrush guy. Rork, I think it was you, but am not sure. PM me to claim fame.
Q & A
Dear Lord people. 46 reads and no comments or questions? please, someone, post something! I want to get your opinion of it!
Last edited by farseer_seele; November 12th, 2006 at 13:03. Reason: Must I have reasons?
If it's not funny, I will remove it. Stand Warned.
the filament of a standard lightbulb uses tungsten wire, however I beleive a tungsten-titanium-copper (not sure about copper) mix is used for the halogen/flourescent lights, to emit and receive the current transmitted through the gases.
If it's not funny, I will remove it. Stand Warned.