Base painting 101

discuss minis painting and modeling with our resident modeler.

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FieldMarshall Ober
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Base painting 101

Unread post by FieldMarshall Ober » Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:47 pm

As a aid to the members who are new to painting I thought we could have a thread to discuss and ask questions about painting. As a lead off I am going to give you my method (the Ober method) of applying a base color to your mini. Hopefully Loco & Dano will weigh in with some of their tips also.

Rule one: Never try to paint something in one coat of paint or you will lose all your detail, instead paint in multiple thin layers. With vellajo paints it take about 3 coats before the true color emerges, craft paint can take up to 5-6 thin layers before it looks even and a consistent in color.

Rule two: Paint in sections. For example a tank for me has 5 painting sections, top, 2 sides, front and back. Complete each section completely before moving to another section. Be systematic with you painting.

Once your mini is primed you can start with your first base paint layer. Start by choosing a side to paint first. Plan to paint systematically from one end to the other. Start by applying enough paint to the brush to cover about 1/3 of the side you are painting and brush it on thick so to get it into all the detail and crevasses. Paint until your brush runs out of the paint and you feel like getting more paint then STOP and go back where you started. Return to where you started with the dry brush and clean the excess paint out of the detail and crevasses and use the paint to paint more of the side. Repeat until the side is done. If you use cheap paints the first couple of layers will look pretty awful before the color starts to show but eventually you will get consistent color, don't panic. Good paints like Vellajo can be easily done in 3 applications. Thin coats of acrylic paint can dry enough in an hour to go on with another application so its easily done in part of a day. Once a side has been finished start another side. Once the entire mini has a coat of paint on it allow it to dry for a while before starting the entire process again.

Rule 3: Once you have completed painting a side look at the other sides to ensure the paint hasn't run around the corners and gotten on any other sides. If it has clean it off with a wet cloth or wet q-tip before allowing it to dry.

Rule 4: Paint the entire mini the base color, even the details like tracks and stowage. Once the base coat is done you can go in with the detail colors and paint the detail like the tracks and shovels. Once the base coating and details are painted clear coat with Dullcote it and proceed with the wash.

Rule 5: Use good quality artist brushes and stay away from Testors/hobby brushes as they aren't that great. You can get good quality brushes at 'Hobby Lobby' and 'Michaels' craft stores for $4 - $6 and are available in sets for much less ('artists loft' and 'American Painter' are good and cheap). Generally a good #6 - #8 for base coating, a #0 for detail and a x10 - x15 for micro detail should suffice.

Rule 6: When finished clean your brushes well with dish soap and running water taking care to get deep into the root of the bristles. Dry on some paper towel and ensure no paint is left on the brush before storing for the next time. DON'T leave brushes in a glass of water with the bristles down or the shape will become deformed and they won't be easy to use.

Question, comments or suggestions?
"Maybe there are 5,000, maybe 10,000 Nazi bastards in their concrete foxholes before the Third Army. Now if Ike stops holding Monty's hand and gives me some supplies, I'll go through the Siegfried Line like %*$# through a goose."
~Gen. G.S. Patton

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Centurion
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Re: Base painting 101

Unread post by Centurion » Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:18 pm

Oooh, ooh *hand goes up* Mr. Ober sir, and Mr Dano & Loco also, what is a good selection of colors, for first starting out, I have a Panzer Yellow, Burnt Umber, Drab Green, bright red, gunship grey, Russian Earth Brown and some others (blue white, bright yellow etc. etc.). What else should I get?
A piece of spaghetti or a military unit can only be led from the front end. George S. Patton

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FieldMarshall Ober
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Re: Base painting 101

Unread post by FieldMarshall Ober » Mon Aug 05, 2013 3:09 pm

Centurion wrote:Oooh, ooh *hand goes up* Mr. Ober sir, and Mr Dano & Loco also, what is a good selection of colors, for first starting out, I have a Panzer Yellow, Burnt Umber, Drab Green, bright red, gunship grey, Russian Earth Brown and some others (blue white, bright yellow etc. etc.). What else should I get?
In terms of vellajo paints I recommend for NE Europe: Medium Olive 70850, Dark Rubber 306, US OD Green 70889, English uniform 70921 and for the Germans: German Uniform grey 70920, Middlestone brown 70882.
"Maybe there are 5,000, maybe 10,000 Nazi bastards in their concrete foxholes before the Third Army. Now if Ike stops holding Monty's hand and gives me some supplies, I'll go through the Siegfried Line like %*$# through a goose."
~Gen. G.S. Patton

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Re: Base painting 101

Unread post by dano903 » Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:11 pm

for myself...I also need to know a little about my audience. If this is something you're going to sell on Ebay, you could reference the FoW painting guide(s) as well. Sometimes people are too critical about uniforms, and colors. If it's for me, I really don't care too much, as long as it looks nice for me. I also try to stick with well known paint brands...people get a warm and fuzzy feeling when you can drop names/brands.

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Re: Base painting 101

Unread post by Centurion » Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:18 am

I'm not selling anything, I'm just going to paint my units that I get occasionally, in order to dress them up. But this helps, thanks.
A piece of spaghetti or a military unit can only be led from the front end. George S. Patton

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Re: Base painting 101

Unread post by curtm1911 » Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:43 pm

Rule 4: Paint the entire mini the base color, even the details like tracks and stowage. Once the base coat is done you can go in with the detail colors and paint the detail like the tracks and shovels. Once the base coating and details are painted clear coat with Dullcote it and proceed with the wash.

Well this little paragraph explains why I feel like a Donkey's behind regarding my inkwashes........I somehow managed to misread it (must have been a "Senior" moment), I was doing the inkwash BEFORE the Dullcote......D'Oh......oh well, now noted & filed away for future references.......I am also guessing that the decals go on BEFORE the Dullcote as well........I'm still learning & hopefully getting better in this endeavor of Minis Painting.

:bump:


On the Plus side/Good Discoveries.....

I have been Base Painting the Tracks on my Tank Projects with a Flat Black & last trip to the Hobby Lobby, I found a color called "Oily Steel". A kind of less bright Silver color & when washed with Brown ink, it has a nice look to it. Not too Shiny but the tracks do look like metal but with a bit of wear & rust to them. Better than just leaving them Black IMO.
Last edited by curtm1911 on Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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FieldMarshall Ober
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Re: Base painting 101

Unread post by FieldMarshall Ober » Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:00 pm

For perfection I recomend two Testors dullcote applications. The first once the mini is finished with all details painted and ready for ink wash. This allows you to remove some dry wash with a wet cloth wrapped around your finger and not damage the base painting. This won't remove all the wash, the rest can be delt with by dry brushing the base color on over the wash. This allows the wash to be seen in corners and recessed areas and not be seen on flat smooth surfaces. The final Dullcote takes place when the mini is completely finished (this includes decals) and give it durability to be handled without the oils from your hands affecting the decals or painted surfaces. The Dullcote will also help a bit with resistance to paint chips on the sharp corners, having said that, Dullcote won't protect a mini from a drop to the floor. Only rubber minis can survive drops to concrete floors. :Tout:
"Maybe there are 5,000, maybe 10,000 Nazi bastards in their concrete foxholes before the Third Army. Now if Ike stops holding Monty's hand and gives me some supplies, I'll go through the Siegfried Line like %*$# through a goose."
~Gen. G.S. Patton

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FieldMarshall Ober
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Re: Base painting 101

Unread post by FieldMarshall Ober » Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:04 pm

@ Curt - Have either Loco or I done a dry brushing tutorial? I can't remember if we discussed this in our phone conversation or on the forums. Its hell getting old!
"Maybe there are 5,000, maybe 10,000 Nazi bastards in their concrete foxholes before the Third Army. Now if Ike stops holding Monty's hand and gives me some supplies, I'll go through the Siegfried Line like %*$# through a goose."
~Gen. G.S. Patton

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curtm1911
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Re: Base painting 101

Unread post by curtm1911 » Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:13 pm

FieldMarshall Ober wrote:@ Curt - Have either Loco or I done a dry brushing tutorial? I can't remember if we discussed this in our phone conversation or on the forums. Its hell getting old!

@Ober,

I am not sure if you have done a Drybrushing tutorial & Thanks for your advice on the Dullcoating posted here.

Also, we are not getting Old, that is the "O" word here..............I prefer to say we are "Vintage".........:D........in my case, it brings to mind the Bob Segar song.........."Back in '55, we were making Thunderbirds"..........that is my year

curtm1911
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Re: Base painting 101

Unread post by curtm1911 » Wed May 14, 2014 9:00 pm

A quick question here; could someone post a Basic Colors Guide maybe. By this I mean what are some Basic Colors a person should have for a Different Variety of colors for the Major & Minor Countries & Fronts of Action; North Africa/Eastern & Western Fronts & Pacific. A Camo Paint Guide would also be nice to see. Thanks in advance.

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