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Monday, April 1, 2013

Luke Melia Painting?

I know I have never been known for painting. As a matter of fact, I believe the complete opposite is more correct. I am known for not painting. Jon and Steve are fond of saying that the only paint brush I own is 4" wide. However, recently I was recently working on some British tanks to sell at Cold Wars. I spent a few weekends with Jon and under his tutoring I felt like I was excelling at painting the tanks.

I know, I know. I have complained many times on the podcast how much I loathe painting. It's boring and I did not have the eye/hand coordination to do it well. I have spent a lot of money having others do the painting for me. I have been playing Eve Online recently and found myself with a lot of down time while watching the screen and since one of my fan driven New Year's resolutions was to paint at least five infantry bases I thought I would give it a try.

Now, before I got started, of course I went to Jon and asked advice. Jon is one of my closest friends, but I really was not satisfied with the method he proposed for painting. I wanted to do more showroom quality painting I wanted to do. I spent several hours searching the internet and found a couple of really good tutorial videos which I watched probably five or six times each and went to ... ide1A.html and they have a three part tutorial I found very helpful. Those guys at Model Dads are REALLY good and if you have not checked them out I suggest you do.

I also went and spent about $30 in quality brushes and bought a lighted hobby magnifying glass which attaches to my table and is used for detail sewing I think. Regardless it works like a champ. I realized that I did not want to do the standard inking that everyone does. Looking at Golden Demon winners it appeared to me that it was really in the highlighting that created the awesome looking miniatures. Therefore, I really have spend a lot of time working on trying to get my highlighting techniques down. I did practice on some US infantry to get a feel of things and I am not every going to show those figs to anyone, because the initial results were disappointing to say the least. After about five or six stands I got a good feel of things and have been ready to move on to the Germans.

Before I go further I have to admit that I have copied techniques I have seen on this forum and the internet.  Also, as I said previously there are many stands of infantry I tested techniques and especially basing ideas that looked pretty bad, but trial and error seems to be a good way for me to learn. 

I needed more detail and room so I could not paint on the base itself.  Individual sticks hot glued to the bottom of each infantry figure gives me a lot more control over what I am painting.  Again, I can not stress how awesome it is to have a large magnifying glass, preferably lighted.  It takes a little getting used to, but means all the difference in the world.

I did not have the exact colors for the packs, but did a blend of yellows and browns and had to augment my collection of paint from the local hobby store standard acrylic paint selections to get the desired color blends.

For a lot of the highlighting I used the actual base color then mixed it with either a yellow or white to blend on top and add more depth.  I tried to avoid washing these figures.  Inking seems to work well with tanks, but I lost a lot of detail when I tried it with infantry and it seemed to darken up the figures.

I spent a little more time on the base and did not use my usual fast basing technique.  I used a small piece of wire I found and the puddle was really easy.  I just used some polyurethane with a technique I saw on  A little color under the polyurethane and a little blend in it itself made a really cool effect. Special thanks to my buddy Chris who took the final pictures in his home studio!  You rock Chris and you're right, lighting is the key.  Much better than my I-phone.

Overall I am pleased with the results and will be working on the rest of my German army in the next few weeks.  I was surprised how easy it was and honestly think it was fear and apprehension that kept me from painting in the first place.

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