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D&D 3E
27th-Dec-2006 02:25 pm
dice from Melanie
Hey, folks.

I've been running an augmented version of Red Hand of Doom, and I think I've finally gotten all the miniatures I need.

(1) I bought a lot of boxed sets of the WotC plastic miniatures, and boy, do I have a lot of spares and figures I'm not going to need (Oh, boy; another displacer beast pack lord...). What should I do with the spares?

(2) Eventually, I broke down and bought some unpainted pewter figures. I've never really painted miniatures before. Any suggestions about getting started?
27th-Dec-2006 09:25 pm (UTC)
A lot of this depends on the level of detail you're looking for. If you just want them to end up painted as well as the ones from the boxed sets, that's one thing. If you want a lot more detail or consistency, that's going to call for more work and commitment.

1. Clean off all the extra metal with an exacto knife or a file.
2. Glue the figure down to its base using either superglue, or epoxy putty, or superglue and then epoxy putty. If it's already on a base but won't stand up, glue it down to a penny.
3. Spray the mini with metal primer. Don't bother paying the exorbitant prices for the teeny little cans of model primer; just go to a hardware store and get a full-sized can of Rust-Oleum, available in nifty colors, to give you your base color:
a. White: Good guys. Ghosts. Water/Air elementals.
b. Black: Bad guys. People in mostly metal armor.
c. Other: Depends on the miniature, really...
4. Unless you have a lot of experience working with enamel paints, you want the ones where you clean the brushes with water.
5. For a mini with a lot of individual things, make a list of everything on it, and write down what color you want each thing to be painted.
6. General rule of thumb, paint the miniature from the skin out. This will tend to lessen your chances of painting over something you've already done while you reach into an inaccessible crevice (this is also the advantage of using black primer: if it's that inaccessible, it probably doesn't need to be painted). Less general rule of thumb, paint the most inaccessible parts first, then work your way out.
7. Once you've got the base colors done, you may be done, depending on the level of detail you're going for.
a. Slightly more detail, for darker figures: mix a 5:1 water drops:paint of a darker color, say, dark brown or a mix of brown & black, and do a dark wash which will fill in the hollows with shadowy darkness. Let it dry before doing anything else with it. This is the level of detail you see on the boxed plastic minis, by the way.
b. Also slightly more detail, for lighter figures: take a brush you don't like very much, get a little bit of lighter paint on it, brush it on a paper towel a few times so that it's dryer, then brush this lightly over the highlights so they stand out more.
c. Much more detail: do both of the above, a. then b.
8. When you're at the hardware store buying a can of spray primer, also buy a can of matte finish. Use that when you're done.

Spray outside when it's above freezing. Spray in your garage when there aren't any cars around. Don't cut yourself with the knife. Expect the first few to look kind of goofy. When it stops being fun, stop doing it.
27th-Dec-2006 09:26 pm (UTC)
Well, if you don't feel like gang-banging your party with displacer beast pack lords, the other option is to sell them on eBay. I know that a number of the commons, particularly from newer sets like WotDQ have special abilities that amp up if a boatload are used at once, though that only helps if you're playing the skirmish game.
27th-Dec-2006 09:52 pm (UTC)
You should have hit up e-bay. People buy those boxes and pawn off the commons for cheap. I bought 70-something plastic miniatures for about 30 bucks.
28th-Dec-2006 12:17 am (UTC) - For painting
I recommend you go to a craft store like Michael's and check out their acrylic paints. You have just as good a selection as with the many lines of paints for figs out there, but you get a lot more for your dollar. You can get some decent brushes there too, look for 5/0 to 10/0, I *think* (folks correct me if I'm mistaken).

colinblackthorn pretty much got the "how-tos" on painting figs, including drybrushing (a technique I use a lot). For the matte, be careful. A glossy matte finish may make your figs look too shiny. Go for a flat matte, and you'll be fine.

I'm also told that the paint job is utterly crappy, you can soak the fig in Pine-Sol and water to get the paint off.

For bases, I recommend getting washers from the hardware store. Attach the washer to the fig using the putty and you shape your base up nicely. A one-inch washer is perfect for any Medium sized fig.
30th-Dec-2006 04:15 am (UTC) - Re: For painting
I have used a citrus orange product to strip really bad paint jobs. Stripping is always an option, if you have paint jobs that suck, and no new projects to work on.

The craft store is good for brushes and other products, but I would stay away from the cheap craft paints. I know some people get great results from them, but it is much harder work. Slightly better is the games workshop paints. That is where most people start out. Above that, reaper makes a line of paints, vallejo game color, a few others that I haven't tried. Top shelf is the vallejo model color, but to come full circle, you have to have some idea of what you are doing to get best results out of them.

Oh, and the 10/0 brush is a must, but for each part of the painting, use the largest brush you can use and still get the detail you need. Trying to paint a dragon with just a 10/0 will turn you off painting forever.

and someone else said it, I'll repeat it. Your first several figures may look aweful, keep at it. It gets better fairly quick.
3rd-Jan-2007 04:56 am (UTC) - Re: For painting
The problem I've found with the Games Workshop paints is that they can dry out quickly. Plus at $3 for such a small can you don't get the volume.

Having said that, I realize that GW changed their paints to come in the flip top caps instead of the screw-ons (last I saw), which seems to make them last longer, and you can use it more efficiently. I just have a beef with the cost.

Reaper paints are pretty good, and if you don't want to go with an unknown quality that you might find in the craft stores, it's probably your best bet.
29th-Dec-2006 08:14 am (UTC)
As for #1, do you know of any gaming buddies might need spare pieces to use for D&D pieces? Could use them for presents; for example: for DMs, they are handy for representing random enemies.

You ~could~ try repainting some of them, if you're daring/bored enough, though on the plastic it probably won't stick to well so you'd have to take care. Some of the pieces wouldn't work as well as others also, such as any piece with a lance because the lance would be bendy due to the plastic and crack any paint (though you could just avoid painting these parts and it would solve that problem).

Can't exactally say anything myself as to #2 as I only just started painting minis myself.
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