Getting back into painting minis, after a fifteen year hiatus, and dealing with vision issues.

Gavin Bennett

What Would Trudeau Do?
Validated User
#11
My best mini painting was nearly...*mumble* years ago when I lived in a house which had a spare room with a huge window. Daylight just streamed in. Painting was thus easy. (the rest of the house was shite, mind)

Ever since then I've had shittier and shittier luck with light. My next place will be in a basement, what's more.

My eyesight is still (really) good, but I'm noticing a slowing down of refocussing. Which makes minis tricky. Also, for whatever reason I've been painting a lot of smaller featured plastic Dungeons and Dragons type miniatures.

As a result, I acquired an LED magnifier thingie vaguely like that shown above. I am looking forward to using it.

And promising myself when I get a proper job after grad school, the first thing I am going to look for in a new place is a big window with lots of daylight.
 

grubman

Grubby Smelly Gnome
Validated User
#12
I would suggest getting something like this. It's LED technology, which means that the bulbs should last a lifetime, and it's semi-portable (clamps to a table or desk) and may be just the solution you're looking for. A little pricier, but hopefully not out of your ballpark.
Yep, I have something similar (except bigger and more industrial), I also have to wear reading glasses now to paint.

My painting is a pale shadow of what it was in my glory years, and it doesn’t help that I have less patience and time.

At least most the miniatures I paint are “old school”, since I abhor most new miniatures these days...so while the groves and separation isn’t as pronounced, there isn’t as much intricate detail to futz with.
 

Eryops

Level five vegan
Validated User
#13
How do you thin your paints?

I've tried a variety of ways, but I haven't really seen the amazing magic really so I assume I'm not doing it the way everyone's thinking of when they recommend it.
Here's a LINK from the Reaper forum that has all the key words you're looking for. I still have a small bottle I mixed up that had some concentration of water, some Future Finish (I think that's the brand) floor wax, and a drop of dish soap. There may have been other ingredients, but it's been so long that I don't remember. Thin only on your palette, and not in your bottles (duh, but it was mentioned in the linked thread).

I pretty much exclusively use Vallejo paints, and they're pretty inconsistent in the bottle. Some pigments need a fair amount of thinning, others, I don't thin at all.
 

Rolzup

Dinoczar
Validated User
#14
Well, I discovered something interesting: if "Magic Wash" gets old enough, it stops working as a wash...and instead becomes a remarkably efficient paintstripper. Thankfully, the damage caused by this was fairly minimal, and I've mized up a new batch that's working just as it should. As a side note, the stuff is now called "Pledge Floor Gloss -- Original".

I've found that my metallics haven't done as well as the other paints, and that everything needs a very thorough shaking (and some time upside-down) before it's really usable. Over the next few weeks I'm going to be keeping a record of what's entirely dead, so I can do a bulk order to replace them when I have the funds to do so. Damn, I miss the Cartoon Colors, though. Turns out the company that made them is no more, so even if I had the money to replace them it's not an option. Not at all surprisingly, my wet palette is no longer wet...but it is really gross, so I need to pick up some more parchment paper. I'd forgotten how much of a pain in the ass it is to use squeeze bottles without it.

I've mostly finished my first new mini: A Reaper Stone Golem, which came out fairly nicely. I'm waiting for my Zap-A-Gap order to be delivered so that I can add some static grass to the base, and once I've done so I'll see if I can get a decent picture with my crappy phone. This reminds me that I need to order some Dullcote so that when I have enough stuff finished I can give everything a few coats.

(The best painter that I've ever known, who was both highly skilled and very prolific, never put any kind of sealant on his minis. He did mainly 15mm, and when he would pack away his troops after a game he would just scoop them up in his hand before putting them away, letting them all bang together and chip the paint. Made everyone around him insane, watching this happen.)

The past few days have convinced me that, for the moment, I'm going to stay away from painting any people. I've always had a problem with eyes, and now it's all but impossible for me to do them neatly, even with the aid of magnification. I've always primed in black, and now I've found it really helpful to do a good drybrushing of white overtop of the primer coat to make the details pop for me. I've got a collection of Bones waiting to be cleaned, based, and primed...and the ones that I don't like, I'm going to prime in white, so I can use them to test washes on.

Thank you, everyone, for the advice and support. It's going to be a slow process replacing the things that have died on me (god, I miss the miliput), but it feels damned good to be doing something active once again.

Also, Podcasts + Painting is something that I really wish had been an option when I started this hobby....
 

Arethusa

Sophipygian
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#15
Here's a LINK from the Reaper forum that has all the key words you're looking for. I still have a small bottle I mixed up that had some concentration of water, some Future Finish (I think that's the brand) floor wax, and a drop of dish soap. There may have been other ingredients, but it's been so long that I don't remember. Thin only on your palette, and not in your bottles (duh, but it was mentioned in the linked thread).

I pretty much exclusively use Vallejo paints, and they're pretty inconsistent in the bottle. Some pigments need a fair amount of thinning, others, I don't thin at all.
Please don’t add soap or detergent to your painting media. It makes the resulting paint film moderately water soluble and vulnerable to rewetting. If you need to reduce surface tension a drop of rubbing alcohol or a surfactant formulated for acrylic paints such as flow release would work better.
 

Rolzup

Dinoczar
Validated User
#16
Silver paint, apparently, does not age well. Nor does gold. I still have the alcohol based versions of both, so I'll have to break those out for the short term. Who makes the best metallic acrylics nowadays, anyway? Vallejo?

Did finish a mini, though, from start to finish. Technically I started it a long, long while ago...but that was just the cleaning, basing, and priming. The painting was all done since my initial post, in bits here and there, and all it needs now is the Dullcote. It's not fantastic, but I'm fairly pleased. Not with my camera, but with the mini itself.

 

Hodden

The Great
Validated User
#17
The new hotness in modelling circles are Aclad laquers, but Vajello, MiG or AK all all great for metallics.
 
Top Bottom