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Need newbie tips for painting...
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tlee33
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Joined: 28 Feb 2012
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:34 pm    Post subject: Need newbie tips for painting... Reply with quote

I was a big Star Fleet Battles fan years ago, and just recently read about Federation Commander and wanted to get back into it. I also wanted to start with the Starline 2500 miniatures, but I've never really seriously painted any miniatures. Do any of you have any simple tips for someone like me? I know I need to primer the ships first and I'm planning to use a wash on them afterwards to bring out the highlights. I was also trying to look for what color paints to buy. I saw the painting guides on the Starline 2400 line but they seem too simple with just listing basic colors like blue, gray, etc. Are there more specific colors that I should use? I'd like to use the "official" colors for the ships. Thanks in advance.
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Bolo_MK_XL
Commander


Joined: 16 Jan 2007
Posts: 778
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's the 2400 painting examples thread, look through it for colors and details, also sort through the ADB store front for SL2400s, player painted are on the cart ---

Ship Painting Contest: http://www.starfleetgames.com/minis/contest_archive.shtml

Storefront: http://store.starfleetstore.com/merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=S&Category_Code=14

These can give you some ideas or a direction you might want to go ---
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phdillman
Lieutenant SG


Joined: 09 Jun 2008
Posts: 137

PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Need newbie tips for painting... Reply with quote

tlee33 wrote:
... I'd like to use the "official" colors for the ships. Thanks in advance.


Well, that's kinda part and parcel of the problem. Other then the FJ ships diagrams found in the old tech manueal http://www.amazon.com/Star-Trek-Fleet-Technical-Manual/dp/0345340744 there isn't any official colors listed. The best you'll find is in the old 2400 painting guides.

(No 'official' colors in the sense of listing hue, saturation, ect.)

Most everyone I know ends up expirmenting with their favorite brand of paint on a test mini or two untill they find what looks good on the mini.
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Spacecowboy87
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Joined: 03 Jan 2012
Posts: 181
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Invest in some good brushes, particularly a small one. It needs to be small enough to make a dot smaller than the head of a pin. They're not really too expensive. Also quite nice, but kind of pricey, is a lighted magnifier. I'd be lost without mine.
And when it comes to "official colors" don't worry about it. Be imaginative. You can find photo galleries from players where all their ships match each other in meticulous excruciating detail. They look great, but I like a little variety.
For example, would a 100 year old Fed CA be the same color as one fresh off the line?
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Steve Cole
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Joined: 11 Oct 2006
Posts: 3001

PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spray paint!

Ok, seriously, I use that joke a lot, and "Steve Cole spraypaints minis so what does he know?" has become something of a matra for Matthew over at Mongoose.

Seriously.

I do spraypaint minis, the ones we photograh for publicity. If you photograph a bare metal ship, it is bright and shiny and the edges and corners produce backscatter and you get an image you cannot really see. So I spraypaint them with flat gray primer and photograph them and they look like bare metal except that they don't relfect light.

For real minis, here is what I do,and you can regard it as the lowest level of painting.

First, it depends on what it is. Spaceships I spraypaint the base hull color because that's fast to do. Civil War 15mm I paint blue (I drew the yankees in the draw decades ago) with a brush, being fairly sloppy. If I can avoid blobs and drips and filling in creases and not leave any bare spots, I'm ok. My Space Hulk minis came in a base hull of plastic, so I skipped that step.

Anyway, base color is good enough for gaming.

Second, I get some bottles of paint and some brushes. When I did the Space Hull ones I went and got three or four colors (I forget, black, gold, green, maybe another one). Then I pick a quiet afternoon, pick a bottle of paint at random, lay out all of the minis, get a brush, and go to work. I pick up each mini and say to myself "I happened to open color XXX, so what on this mini needs to be that color?" and I do it. Maybe I get to the end of the row, maybe I get interrupted and have to finish that color another day. No matter what, I throw the brush away, being too lazy to clean it.

If a game comes up, I use the minis as is, paint jobs not complete.

Later, I find another afternoon, get all of the minis, pick another color, and repeat the process. What needs to be brown on each civil war guy? Or maybe what needs to gold on each space hull guy. Or what needs to be blue on each starship.

If a game comes up, I use the minis as is, paint jobs not complete.

Eventually, I have painted every color on every figure. Sometimes I have to go back to a color I did before in order to touch up something or add a spot of color on top of another color.

I did all of the Space Hull figures in a week, but then, nobody could tell the boss he couldn't make a mess on the conference table and leave the stuff out day after day. But of course, they were a closed set.

Civil War minis I was always buying more. So I had entire regiments with one, two, three, or four colors. (blue uniforms, black boots, brown rifles, other details.)

I never tried to tackle stuff like washes and coatings and decals.

But I eneded up with minis I could use in gaming without any trouble.
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trynda1701
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Joined: 17 Mar 2008
Posts: 122
Location: BR "Swanmay"

PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is nothing wrong with the venerable spray paint, it's what I use when painting starships, with added details by brush.

I can't do highlights and shading on starships and make it look good. To do good washes and drybrush highlights on a 25/28mm D&D figure tends to take me about a week working two to three hours a night, but I like to put the effort in for my character figures.

Similar to how SVC works, half a dozen starship models at a time, then detail work, and transfers or decals as required (I used Letraset for Feds, and certain GW decals for Orion skull motifs. The Empire of Man twin headed eagle looks good on the Romulan KR hulls, by the way!) Here's a few pictures of a couple of my minis...

Federation NCL USS Groton and FF USS Burke (old sculpts)


Federation CA and CX (FASA Constitution refit!)


Orion CA and CR


Romulan KR (FASA D7 in SFB colours) and K5R


Romulan Sparrowhawk and War Eagle


Mark
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Krellex
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Joined: 30 Sep 2009
Posts: 261
Location: RIS Boise

PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trynda, I really like how your Sparrowhawk looks!
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trynda1701
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Joined: 17 Mar 2008
Posts: 122
Location: BR "Swanmay"

PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Krellex. Hull is Aluminium, but I can't remember what manufacturer. Humbrol acrylics for the detail work.

Mark
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Jim Lewis
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Joined: 25 Mar 2011
Posts: 123
Location: Campbell, CA USA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I airbrush my minis overall. I actually never learned to spray-bomb models, I went from brush-painting straight to airbrushing. Someday, I will sit down and learn the finer points of spray-bombing.

I use acrylics for airbrushing and enamels for weathering. I use ModelMaster Acryl Flat Black or Flat White as a primer. In a pinch, I use Tamiya Flat Black or White.



Painting Federation ships, I use ModelMaster Acryl Flat Gull Grey as the base color coat. This is my favorite Franz Joseph and Early Years color. For the new Starline 2500 ships, I'm using the MM Acryl Flat Gull Grey as a base color and applying a cloudy overspray with MM Acryl or Tamiya Flat White to denote these ships.

Some of my older metal minis have a rough and pitted surface. I use a Wire Brush in my battery-powered Dremel tool to buff-out the surface before priming. I've also used a coat of Future Floor Finish in place of the primer coat to fill a rough mini surface - its self-leveling and fills rough areas nicely to give you a good canvas on which to detail paint.



I use Vallejo Acrylics for hand painting details on the minis. I always cut them about 50% with tap water to both extend the application time and not to buildup too much paint on the mini. In. This scale, colors straight out of the bottle are often too bright, the water and a tiny bit of White mixed in helps to mute bright hues. I drybrush with acrylics too, a soft contrasting color like Vallejo Middlestone, before washes are applied.

Weathering is done mostly with enamel wash - I prefer AK Interactive Dark Brown. Straight Black washes are too stark for this scale. To supplement the wash, I like to use MiG Productions' #P028 Europe Dust because it makes a good "Rust Ring" effect that mimics the television ship/model in a complimentary style.



Then I use ModelMaster Acryl Semi-Gloss over the whole mini as a protection for painted mini, to even up the finish and as a base for decaling. I do not go with a full gloss coat. After the decals have setup, I overcoat again with MM Acryl Semi-Gloss to even up the finish. Last is a coat of ModelMaster Acryl Flat Finish, which cuts the sheen down to a step above matte and allows for handling during game play.

Notes of caution:
There is no problem applying enamels over acrylics, and vice versa, but you want to remember that if your basic finish is acrylic - weather it with enamels. If the basic finish is enamel - weather it with acrylics. Since I like to employ Tamiya Clear Enamels for warp engine glow and navigation lights, I have to protect these areas with a clear acrylic coat before going to enamel weathering, else I wipe it all away when removing the wash.

if you use Tamiya Flat White, be sure to lower your airbrush pressure before spraying. I spray normally around 15-18psi, but drop to around 10 when shooting Tamiya Flat White and Buff to avoid splatter and spitting.

ModelMaster Acryl is a fine paint, but I recommend using a primer coat with it. Tamiya Acrylic is a fine primer paint for MM Acryl color coats. Without a primer coat, MM Acryl will peel on you at the worst possible time. Murphy's Law.

Sorry this is a long post, but I hope it give you more ideas!
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Steve Cole
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Joined: 11 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The point is don't get discouraged, don't get scared, and don't think you have to "finish" the paint job on every single ship before you put the ship into a game. Just take it slow, learn as you go, try different things, and get better over time.

Don't think you can buy a box of 5, or 16, or 24 ships and have them all perfectly painted the next day. You don't need to and don't have to and can't. Just do what you're comfortable with, when your hands start to shake, take a break.
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djdood
Fleet Captain


Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2917
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed.

I've gamed with folks whose minis were bare metal.
I've gamed with folks who had one-color spray-bombed their minis (this would include me, in the case of my Kzintis; game demo day came before I had time to detail them).
I've gamed with folks with nicely hand-painted minis.
I've gamed with folks with exquisitely finished and detailed works of art.

Every one of them was an opponent cool enough to bring their own minis to the session and I was stoked to get to play them.

Obviously the guy with the nicely painted minis got more discussion from me on his techniques, etc., and the guy with the miniature masterpieces probably got annoyed at all my talk of minis.
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kinshi
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 09 Apr 2011
Posts: 84
Location: Port Orchard, WA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve Cole wrote:
Spray paint!

Ok, seriously, I use that joke a lot, and "Steve Cole spraypaints minis so what does he know?" has become something of a matra for Matthew over at Mongoose.

Seriously.

I do spraypaint minis, the ones we photograh for publicity. If you photograph a bare metal ship, it is bright and shiny and the edges and corners produce backscatter and you get an image you cannot really see. So I spraypaint them with flat gray primer and photograph them and they look like bare metal except that they don't relfect light.

For real minis, here is what I do,and you can regard it as the lowest level of painting.

First, it depends on what it is. Spaceships I spraypaint the base hull color because that's fast to do. Civil War 15mm I paint blue (I drew the yankees in the draw decades ago) with a brush, being fairly sloppy. If I can avoid blobs and drips and filling in creases and not leave any bare spots, I'm ok. My Space Hulk minis came in a base hull of plastic, so I skipped that step.

Anyway, base color is good enough for gaming.

Second, I get some bottles of paint and some brushes. When I did the Space Hull ones I went and got three or four colors (I forget, black, gold, green, maybe another one). Then I pick a quiet afternoon, pick a bottle of paint at random, lay out all of the minis, get a brush, and go to work. I pick up each mini and say to myself "I happened to open color XXX, so what on this mini needs to be that color?" and I do it. Maybe I get to the end of the row, maybe I get interrupted and have to finish that color another day. No matter what, I throw the brush away, being too lazy to clean it.

If a game comes up, I use the minis as is, paint jobs not complete.

Later, I find another afternoon, get all of the minis, pick another color, and repeat the process. What needs to be brown on each civil war guy? Or maybe what needs to gold on each space hull guy. Or what needs to be blue on each starship.

If a game comes up, I use the minis as is, paint jobs not complete.

Eventually, I have painted every color on every figure. Sometimes I have to go back to a color I did before in order to touch up something or add a spot of color on top of another color.

I did all of the Space Hull figures in a week, but then, nobody could tell the boss he couldn't make a mess on the conference table and leave the stuff out day after day. But of course, they were a closed set.

Civil War minis I was always buying more. So I had entire regiments with one, two, three, or four colors. (blue uniforms, black boots, brown rifles, other details.)

I never tried to tackle stuff like washes and coatings and decals.

But I eneded up with minis I could use in gaming without any trouble.


This is invaluable beginner's guide, should be a sticky.

I am a neophyte when ii comes to minis and painting, having always used the cardboard chits, and was hemming and hawing over how to get started. Having a succinct guide to how to get started that assumes that I am in fact just starting with little to no previous experience in painting minis is great!

Thank you SVC (I have looked at numerous online attempts to teach this stuff, but most of what I find assumes I already have the tools, and know what tools are needed, they basically assume too much.
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Thlaylie
Ensign


Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whoa!

Really nice paint jobs here!

I have the Micromark illuminated magnifier goggles, looks like I will be needing them!
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Monty
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 23 Aug 2007
Posts: 227

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve Cole wrote:
Spray paint!

Ok, seriously, I use that joke a lot, and "Steve Cole spraypaints minis so what does he know?" has become something of a matra for Matthew over at Mongoose.

Seriously.

I do spraypaint minis, the ones we photograh for publicity. If you photograph a bare metal ship, it is bright and shiny and the edges and corners produce backscatter and you get an image you cannot really see. So I spraypaint them with flat gray primer and photograph them and they look like bare metal except that they don't relfect light.

For real minis, here is what I do,and you can regard it as the lowest level of painting.

First, it depends on what it is. Spaceships I spraypaint the base hull color because that's fast to do. Civil War 15mm I paint blue (I drew the yankees in the draw decades ago) with a brush, being fairly sloppy. If I can avoid blobs and drips and filling in creases and not leave any bare spots, I'm ok. My Space Hulk minis came in a base hull of plastic, so I skipped that step.

Anyway, base color is good enough for gaming.

Second, I get some bottles of paint and some brushes. When I did the Space Hull ones I went and got three or four colors (I forget, black, gold, green, maybe another one). Then I pick a quiet afternoon, pick a bottle of paint at random, lay out all of the minis, get a brush, and go to work. I pick up each mini and say to myself "I happened to open color XXX, so what on this mini needs to be that color?" and I do it. Maybe I get to the end of the row, maybe I get interrupted and have to finish that color another day. No matter what, I throw the brush away, being too lazy to clean it.

If a game comes up, I use the minis as is, paint jobs not complete.

Later, I find another afternoon, get all of the minis, pick another color, and repeat the process. What needs to be brown on each civil war guy? Or maybe what needs to gold on each space hull guy. Or what needs to be blue on each starship.

If a game comes up, I use the minis as is, paint jobs not complete.

Eventually, I have painted every color on every figure. Sometimes I have to go back to a color I did before in order to touch up something or add a spot of color on top of another color.

I did all of the Space Hull figures in a week, but then, nobody could tell the boss he couldn't make a mess on the conference table and leave the stuff out day after day. But of course, they were a closed set.

Civil War minis I was always buying more. So I had entire regiments with one, two, three, or four colors. (blue uniforms, black boots, brown rifles, other details.)

I never tried to tackle stuff like washes and coatings and decals.

But I eneded up with minis I could use in gaming without any trouble.


This is great advice and a very healthy perspective on the hobby.

thanks
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Jscot991
Ensign


Joined: 16 Nov 2012
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spacecowboy87 wrote:
Invest in some good brushes, particularly a small one. It needs to be small enough to make a dot smaller than the head of a pin. They're not really too expensive.


Exactly what kind of brush would I need to start doing some minor detailing (impulse and warp engines and maybe some darker coloring for weapons on Romulan ships, etc.)?
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