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Basic painting questions

PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 11:04 am
by Andy
Andy the absolute beginner here, hi all! After popping home for Golden Week, I now have 24 dinky little models and a set of rules! Next step is painting...
Does anyone know of a good place to get a basic paint set and brushes in Nagoya? As I've never painted before, I have no idea precisely what's needed. I also need some bases and some glue, perhaps a little file as well to trim up my new models?
Secondly, I'm open to any painting tips for absolute beginners! I've had a look online and found some resources, but if anyone has any tips that they wish they'd known when they'd started out, I'd be grateful!
Thanks, all!

Re: Basic painting questions

PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 2:06 pm
by Dekana
I'm very much a novice painter myself, but I'll throw in a few tips until the pros come along and post.

You don't need anything special for brushes. I'd get some cheap brushes from BIC or Yodobashi Camera. Joshin Kids Land in Osu should have lots of hobby supplies as well.
For glue, I'm using some basic superglue from a 100 yen shop and occasionally Tamiya Extra Thin Cement. Superglue is fine for most uses, but I use tend to use cement on my vehicles with pieces that attach in long sections.

You'll need a cheap set of plastic clippers, a sharp knife with disposable blades (xacto or similar), and a small file. Remove your models from the sprues with the clippers and trim off mold lines with the knife.
Edit: this assumes you're using plastic models. Disregard if metal.

It also helps to have some epoxy as well for when there are gaps or air bubbles in your model - you just mix together the two parts of the epoxy, fill it into the gap, and wait for it to cure.

Youtube tutorials can really help you get started painting. As a veeeery rough guide though, here's what I generally do.
1. Spray model with a thin layer of primer.
2. Paint the basic colors of the model. (Make sure to thin out the paints - I just use water for this.)
3. Use slightly brighter shades of the base colors to highlight raised areas of the model.
4. Use darker washes to create shadows in recessed areas.

Good luck getting started! My first attempt at painting was kind of a disaster, but I think I'm getting better with every painted model.

Re: Basic painting questions

PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 10:06 pm
by Primarch
Right, where to begin?

Well, Dekana covered the basics, but the minimum you'll need is:

A metal file
A palette for your paint
2 Paper cups for water

A set of clippers and a sharp knife may also be handy.

If you have a Daiso or other 100 Yen shop nearby, you should be able to find a set of mixing palettes and paper cups easily enough. You may also be able to buy brushes there, though they aren't much good. A cheap 100 Yen brush does have some uses though, so it may be worth picking one up.

Superglue can be found in most convenience stores. Look for a product called Alon Alpha, (in katakana) it should be in a yellow tube. There will be pictures on the packet telling you which materials it is good for.
When it comes to gluing things together, use Polystyrene Cement for plastics, PVA for wood and Superglue for metal and resin figures. If in doubt, or mixing materials, use Superglue.

It seems like you already have models, so let's look at bases. There are a few options.
Coins are a fairly easy source of bases. English 2p or Japanese 5 Yen coins are cheap and give your model some heft to keep them on the table. You will need to do more work to cover them up though.
Plastic bases are the most common, though not easy to source in Nagoya. You can order some from in Kyushu. (Also take a look at the section for Renedra bases). The shop owner is very helpful and speaks some English. Presuming you bought Perrys models, you'll be needing 25-30mm bases. The convention is to use round bases for skirmish games and square bases for big battles (because they are easier to line up). Ordering from overseas also provides some more options.
The final choice is to use MDF bases, these are usually available from companies that make terrain.
both offer bases. Sarissa makes unpainted terrain with a lot of Japanese buildings and is the cheaper of the two. 4ground has cheaper bases, some pre-painted Japanese buildings, but they cost a little more.

For tools, these can be found in Nagoya.
If you go to Kamimaezu/Osu, all the hobby stores are in the same place. I think exit 10 at Kamimaezu station is the closest. There are three shops to look for:
Joshin Kids Land - They have a range of modelling tools and brushes as well as some Tamiya paints.
Hobby Shop Volks - Again a range of tools, but they sell Vallejo paints.
Yellow Submarine - Mainly a board/card game shop, but they sell Games Workshop paints.
The webshop above also sells a few brands of paints and some Games Workshop hobby tools. The GW tools are crazy expensive though. If you want to save time and hassle, ... 1325800019 might be a good choice.
For the file, you're looking for one that looks like a long, thin iron bar covered in ridges, somewhere around the size of a paintbrush. If it looks like something you'd tidy up your fingernails with, it's a waste of money.

A couple of brushes from Joshin should set you back a few hundred yen. They're not the best quality, but so long as you keep them clean they'll do the job for now. You want brushes with a sharp point on the tip. If memory serves, in Joshin you should look for black handled brushes with a size of O and OO. That should cover you for regular and fine detail work.

Finally, paint. There are lots of brands, but let's go over the ones easily available in Nagoya.

Tamiya and Mr. Hobby are Japanese brands. They have their uses and do make some good products, but I have generally had poor experiences with them. Their spray on Primers are good though.

Games Workshop/Citadel Colour is made for wargaming. The colours are usually bright and vivid, give good coverage and they make some good tutorial videos as well. They are a little pricey, but worth it. Picking up one of their starter sets from Yellow Submarine should give you the essentials and some basic colours to work with. Citadel brushes are pretty good too. Their spray on Primers are again quite pricey, but good.

Vallejo paints give you 50 shades of everything and are my go-to brand when it comes to painting. The Vallejo Model Colour range is great for historical minis with realistic shades of browns, greens, khakis and greys. Game Colour is more vivid and similar to Games Workshop. Model Air is for airbrushes only, so you can ignore it. They also do a great range of technical paints for adding mud splatter, texture and other unique effects. After picking up basic colours from either Citadel or Vallejo Game, augment your collection with Vallejo Model Colours. Vallejo paints often separate in the bottle, so shaking them thoroughly before use is essential. The dropper style bottles let you control how much paint you use in your palette and help avoid spillage. Sometimes an air bubble will form in the neck of the bottle and cause paint to spurt out when you open the lid, so be sure to tap the base of the bottle on your desk a few times before opening.

For metal figures, varnish is essential!! You can get this as a spray or a brush on type. The spray type is quick and easy, but will sometimes turn all misty on you and ruin your model. The brush on type takes longer, but gives you more control and I've never had any misting issues. Vallejo Matt Varnish is my usual choice, though Citadel makes one as well.

To break it down, you need:
Spray on Primer. Usually Black, Grey or White. The primer helps the paint adhere to the model. The colour of Primer has an effect on the following coats, with White giving a brighter end effect and Black a darker one. Black is more forgiving if you miss a spot though. White spots stand out a mile.
Basic Colours - White, Black, Red, Blue, Yellow, Green, Brown, Metallic Silver. These should give you a range of options when mixed together.
Other Essential Colours:
Skin - This is one of the hardest colours to find a good choice for. I nearly always end up mixing a few different skintones together. Vallejo Heavy Skintone is the closest I've found for straight-from-the-bottle painting.
Gold - Because sometimes models have a bit of bling.
Light Grey and Dark Grey - White and Black are hard colours to shade, I find greys are easier to work with.
Beige - A very useful colour for those odd bits of clothing. Vallejo does one called German Camo Beige and I use it all the time for socks, shirts, hats etc.

Washes - These are special paints designed to cover a model and flow into all the nooks and crannies. Brown is pretty much mandatory for most things. Black is good for metal and steel. Citadel has one called Fleshshade which is great for adding depth to skin.

Varnish - As mentioned above. If you don't want to repaint your figures after every game, get varnish.

Re: Basic painting questions

PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 12:53 am
by The Other Dave
It's also worth noting that, while it's (obviously) focused on their own sci-fi and fantasy ranges, the Warhammer TV painting tip YouTube channel is a really good source of basic painting techniques and tips. Down at the bottom in particular is a "getting started" series, and while they talk in terms of the Citadel range of paints, the basic ideas are pretty universal.

Also, the most important advice: Thin your paints!

Re: Basic painting questions

PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 2:31 am
by me_in_japan
howdy :)

What Prim and ToD have said is all good. I happen to be at my painty desk today, so here are some pics of things I have in front of me. And yes, this is clearly a painting area that has gotten badly out of hand and needs a good talking to. I understand that. Anyway:

(higher res pic is here]

So what the hell is this mess. Well...

1. Paint. You dont need anything like this much, but as you can see, it accumulates. It also raises the question: what are MiJ's paint racks actually for? The colours Prim recommended are solid. I'd add that Vallejo Air should not be dismissed, even for regular brushwork. It's much more pigmented than most paint, and is already very liquid, so it flows well. Their Metal Air range is hands down the best metallics. Buy their Vallejo Metal Air Chrome if you get nothing else.(NOT Liquid Metal - thats a different animal. Also good, but fiddlier).You can also see I have a wide range of manufacturers' paints there - there's no need to feel tied to one particular brand. Also, I've decanted my GW paint into dropper bottles, because they dry out less than the GW pots. That's just me, though.
2. mini. It doesn't need to be this big. In fact, I'd recommend it not to be.
3. wet palette. This is a Great Thing and I strongly recommend you use one. It's made of a plastic tray (eg from food in the supermarket. Washed, of course), with a thickish layer of kitchen paper or even TP, soaked in water. Soaked is important. Then a layer of baking sheet like you'd line a cake tin with. You put your paint on this.) A wet palette allows you to mix colours easily, and osmosis of water from below stops your paint from drying up. Seriously, you can leave it all night. But dont, because Things start growing in it, especially in the summer. If your palette smells, change it.
4. a stereo. Because art needs music. Or audiobooks :)
5. brushes. Both Prim and ToD have said you dont need an expensive brush. I'd respectfully disagree. Better brushes are easier to use and less frustrating for newbs and pros alike. Spend a few hundred yen on a Winsor and Newton series 7, or a nice kolinsky sable from Rosemary & Co, or Raphael, or whatever art company takes your fancy. The important thing is Kolinsky sable. Weasel butt fur for a happy painting experience!
6. water pot. The bigger the better (more water = less need to change it. Clearly I could do with a change here, nonetheless...)
7. clippers, saw, knife, wire etc etc. These are the other things you'll need for model prep. I have too many, mostly because I like to chop minis up and change bits around (kitbashing). The minimum is a hobby knife*, a pair of flat-edge clippers and maybe a saw if youre going to work with big metal or resin parts.

That's it. I'll also add some pics of things you may find useful here in japan

1. Superglue. This is the aron alpha Prim mentioned. It's a strong bond, dries fast, but can be brittle and snap if pressured.

2. Two-part epoxy glue. For a strong bond that takes half an hour to form.

3. Plastic glue (polystyrene cement). Tamiya is pretty standard here.

Also, here are various putties. These are used for filling small gaps (or even sculpting whole minis, if you're so inclined.) Probably at your stage you dont really need em, but here they are anyway.
milliput. Water soluble when uncured, dries rock hard and can be sanded. Good for armour and flat/mechanical surfaces with hard edges.

ProCreate (grey stuff.) Stretchier, almost like gum. Cures slightly flexible. Good for organic shapes like clothes n stuff.

Hopefully there's some useful stuff in there. Any further questions, please just ask :)

*ps this is a hobby knice. The tip has snapped off this, and its rusty as hell, but this is the kinda knife you're after. Change your blades more often than me!

Re: Basic painting questions

PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 2:45 am
by me_in_japan
oh yes, basic painty advice:

1. watch dem tutorials. GW ones are fine.
2. Paint from the inside out. ie skin -> surfaces on the skin (eg clothes)-> surfaces on those surfaces (e.g straps, armour etc)
3. Less is more. Use thin coats for good coverage. Also, a useful thing I learned, if coat 1 is applied with a left to right brushstroke on the surface, try to apply coat 2 top to bottom (perpendicular to coat 1). It helps even out the coverage.
4. It's easier to cover light colours with dark colours, so let that inform your painting order.
5. Dont be overly concerned with colour matching. As long as things are roughly the same theyll look fine.
6. Eventually, look into using colour to shade/highlight. By which I mean, most folks start off shading, say, green, with darker green, and highlighting with lighter green. Things change a lot for the better when you start adding, eg. blue to shade green, and bone to highlight. You can start thinking about cool/warm tones, and "feel" of the mini at this point.

Re: Basic painting questions

PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 3:35 am
by Primarch
Kolinsky brushes are available from art stores if you can find them, or alternatively
They are nice brushes and hold their shape better, BUT, you need to take care of them. Water doesn't clean all the paint off a brush and over time the tip of any brush will spread and they'll become a hindrance. Buying an expensive brush usually means looking into ways to maintain it as well. Cheaper brushes are disposable, which is why I recommended them to begin with. Kolinsky is what you buy when you're sure this is the hobby for you.

If you haven't already picked up on this from other threads, M_i_J is our resident painter. Any techniques you want to learn about, any products you want details about, he is the guy to ask. I'm more of a bulk painter, I'll do a unit of 30 guys whereas M_i_J will spend the same time on a single figure. The quality of the finished piece(s) shows a big difference in our approaches. Every one of his models looks amazing, mine much less so.
But I'm happy with that. Everyone develops their own style over time. You'll develop your own as you decide how much time and effort to put in and what sort of quality you want out of it.

Re: Basic painting questions

PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 12:38 pm
by Andy
Wow, many thanks to everyone who responded! Tons of useful info there. I have to admit, work is hectic now so I will have to sit down and digest it all when I get a quiet moment, but thanks again for being so helpful. When I get some free time next week, I'll start assembling my painting supplies.