Federation Commander Forum Index Federation Commander
A NEW fast paced board game of starship combat!
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Newbie Guide?
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Federation Commander Forum Index -> Miniatures
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Lars Porsenna
Ensign


Joined: 08 Feb 2010
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, here is how I paint my ships.

Feddies: Gray, specifically I use Citadel's Fortress gray. When dry it looks vaguely like Haze gray used on US postwar warships. I could airbrush haze gray, but sometimes it's just easier to brush paint and do it up quickly. It's also closer to the filming model, as well as how it appears in the Remastered series.

Klingons: blue gray, specifically Shadow Gray from GW. Vaguely evokes the color of japanese warships in WWII (though they were more of a "true" dark gray according to my references -- and the Japanese movie Yamato!)

Romulans: same as feddie ships. The contrast with the feather designs differentiates them enough from the Feddies.

Damon.
_________________
Books Like Dust blog
Minis Like Dust blog
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Falconer
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 11 Jan 2010
Posts: 39
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love the advice about specific paints. Thanks!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
markgeorgetwo
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 334
Location: london england

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:38 pm    Post subject: post subject Reply with quote

nice post and also advice Wink
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Yahoo Messenger
djdood
Fleet Captain


Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2919
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[EDITED TO BREAK INTO MULTIPLE POSTS]
I'm coming really late to this party; sorry about that (I've been distracted by drumming gigs).

Paul (OGOptimus) and Tony (scoutdad) already covered just about everything, so I'll just throw in a few random bits and then run-through my methods briefly (since mine are different in some ways, same in others).

Regarding the Fed DN minis, do note that the DNG mini (and the DNL and DNH minis) have the "flat" engine struts, similar to the BC. The plastic ("Zochii") DN's (clear and whatever-plastic-was-in-the-machine-that-day) both have the "angled" struts, as-in the FJS Technical Manual.

As far as color-schemes go, the ADB painting guides, etc. are a good start:
HERE's the Federation color-guide, as an example.
(THIS page should be your starting point for a lot of guidance).

Personally, I go for a bit of a "hybrid" look on my minis. They are done in an "as seen on tv" scheme, modified a bit with SFU-isms, like engine glow, etc. My personal Federation paint-guides are HERE, on my PhotoBucket account. I don't have my paint-mix formulas for the other empires posted anywhere yet, but I'll see if I can put something together.

As Tony noted, if you acquire more than a few minis, it gets easy to get distracted by the new shiny thing from ADB and not finish ones already in-work. It happens, and it's a hobby, so who's to say what's wrong with that? Wink

I'm worse than many in that regard, and it's why I keep such thorough notes. I'll often come back to things years later, and those notes help me recreate paint-mixes that dryed-up, etc.

There is no "right" or wrong way to paint your minis. Another guy who posts here (Starfury, IIRC) paints his Feds bright red and decals them in WarHammer markings. It's all about how you want your minis to look. There is lot to be inspired by other folks' work (and I'll be the first to admit that I beg, borrow, and steal from everything I've seen), but in the end, it's your mini and should reflect your tastes.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
djdood
Fleet Captain


Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2919
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding fragile minis -
Yup. Some of them can be pretty tender.

Sculpting gaming minis is a tricky balancing act. They need to be robust enough to be used as gaming pieces, but they also need to look like the art that they are.

The really recognizable "tv ships" are particularly tricky, as if the wings of the Warbird or the struts of the engines on the Enterprise are thickened up too much (to make them tough for gaming), then it spoils the looks of those iconic ships. ADB has done a really good job the vast majority of the time to keep that balance.

There are people (like me) that whine if the minis don't look enough like the "ships on tv", so it's a tough job.

In the case of the Warbird, I have some that are thin and some that aren't so thin - that's attributable to the vagueries of the somewhat inconsistent casting process. Rubber molds and clamps in a spin-casting machine never behave the exact same way twice, and the more they wear out, the more inconsistent they'll get.

If you feel you got a real "dud", contact Leanna at ADB. If it's one that slipped through their QA, they'll make good on it.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
djdood
Fleet Captain


Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2919
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as my process goes, here's a quick runthrough (with a few comments) -

First thing is to prepare the mini. I remove flash with hobby knives, jewler's and hobby files, sanding sticks and paper, and even heavy "garage" tools and my Dremel when called for. You want a nice clean surface, with no thin little ribbons of metal (the "flash" referred to earlier) or casting stubs remaining (which would mar your paint job).

Knives, files, etc. will be available from any "hobby store". These used to be where you could buy plastic model kits, but most of these stores cater to the RC car and airplane folks nowadays. Regardless, the tools are the same. They'll be *far* cheaper there than at a "game store" - game stores tend to carry the exact same tools, repackaged under gaming-brand names for a substantial markup. Save your money by not giving it to Game Workshop (they don't need it, and your local hobby store does).

In the process of prep'ing the mini, make sure the various parts nest together well and that there aren't any excess bits causing them to not sit in their holes, slots, etc. Also check to see if the stand hole is deep enough to mate with the peg on the stand. If it isn't, this can be corrected with a small drill (I use a small jewler's drill for this and other tasks).

Once the mini is prepped, (as Tony noted) wash it thoroughly in soap and water to remove casting mold-release agents and any skin oils from handling. Liquid dish soap works great for this. Any grease, oil, or dust will detract or potentially even ruin your finish later.

Once the mini is clean, I then box it up (to keep it that way), until I have a batch ready to work on (I prefer to work in batches, all at the same "stage" of the process).

Unlike some folks, I prefer to prime and paint a fully assembled mini, mounted permanently to its stand. I also tend to use 2-part epoxy glues, as they are much less brittle than cyanoacrylate (super-glues) and hold up better on the game board (truth be told, I use a little of everything, whatever is the most appropriate to the task at hand - tiny little parts that won't ever get bumped are fine with superglue).

One tip I can give for gluing/assembling (regardless of what kind of glue) is to "cross-hatch" the mating surfaces. Use a hobby knife to cut a series of criss-cross lines on the faces that will be glued together. This will increase the strength of the joint significantly. It's particularly good to do on the legs of the stand peg and the slot in the stand base.

I "stand-up" my minis before painting because I like having the stand to use as a "holder" for the mini during painting. This is especially helpful since I spray mine. I use hobby "Extra Hands" alligator-clip holders to grab the stand, which then lets me position the mini wherever I need it to spray it.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
djdood
Fleet Captain


Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2919
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I prime (and I always prime nowadays, having learned my lesson with not priming) using "rattlecan" Tamiya Fine White Surface Primer. I'm used to the Tamiya stuff (which is admittedly spendy) but some folks use cheap auto-shop primer, with no problems.

The primer should go on in a few very light coats (you should still be able to see that it is metal underneath the primer - if all you see is white, then you "painted" the mini with primer, which is too much and is likely obscuring detail.

Primers tend to be *really* nasty solvent-based stuff, so always do spraying outside or in a "spray hood". Trust me, you don't want to make a habit out of breathing the fumes from that stuff. Also be aware that any spray is extremely, explosively flammable, so be aware of potential ignition sources nearby (including electric motors, etc.).

Primer needs time to cure, so I usually leave a batch alone overnight, in a spot where they wont be disturbed or get dust on them (and where the off-gassing won't be a problem).

Once the primer has cured, then the mini can be base-coated. As you've seen, there are as many opinions on paints as there are painters. They're all valid.

My method (which is a bit of carry-over from my plastic kit modeling days) is to spray the mini with Testors (usually Model Master) enamel paints. I use an airbrush for this, as I tend to like to mix my own custom colors. In cases where I can find a "rattlecan" color that works for me, I use those happily (airbrushes can be a royal pain). The majority of mine were airbrushed using a cheap little plastic "single action" airbrush sold by Testors (but made by Aztec) - they usually run less than $30 and are more than worth it, if you want to spray and are picky about colors.

The reason to spray instead of brush on a base coat is that spraying allows for much more control on the thickness of the paint. Brushing brings troubles with brush-marks, etc., that I really hated. Spraying brings its own set of troubles, but I manage those better.

Again, a base coat needs to cure before you do anything else to it (several days is not a bad idea, to make sure it's nice and hard).

The next step is to paint on all the "details" that make the mini look like a starship. Weapon mounts, engine grilles, shuttle hatches, etc.

What you don't want to have happen is something ruining your hard work with the base coat. If you apply details in enamel paints, over an enamel basecoat, the solvent in the detail paints will soften and attack the basecoat, potentially bleeding, etc.

The easy way to avoid trouble is to switch paint-types. I use acyclic paints for details (acrylics are alcohol and water based), over an enamel basecoat (which is pretrol-chemical solvent based) - some folks go the opposite. Some folks don't bother and just do everything in acrylics (and must have better luck than I do...).

The key thing for painting details is having a good brush. At the tiny scale we work at, even the "stock" hobby brushes sold by Testors and other companies don't cut it. Their bristles are too thick, the points are too broad, etc.

Good brushes cost real money, but pay you back in avoiding rework, etc. Get yourself a few top-of-the-line brushes, in the smallest sizes you can find and if you take care of them, they'll reward you.

Decals are a separate subject and best handled later, once you have some minis at least basecoated and detailed (not everything can be done with a decal - believe me, I would if I could).

Once the mini is painted/detailed/decaled to your satisfaction, protect it with a good coat of sprayed-on clear-coat (Crystal Clear, etc.). These will keep your hard work from getting rubbed off and even give it a bit more chip resistance. Also, if you use matte or flat clearcoat, they will dull down the shine and make the mini have a more scaled appearance and look less "toy like".

Another trick for improving the stabilty of the minis on the gameboard (and a cheap one too) is to glue "fender washers" from the hardware store onto the bottom of the stand bases. They add some extra weight below the center of gravity and help to keep them upright.

There's lots more advanced techniques to talk about (pinning joints for strength, the many joys of epoxy putties, etc.) but hopefully this helps.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Scoutdad
Commodore


Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4456
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For a more detailed guide to painting, here is the article I wrote on painting Lyrans:

From this to THIS!

While it focuses on some of the advanced techniques I use and is concerned solely with Lyran ships, the techniques can be used on ships of any empire. And it also gives a good run down of the basic tools needed to paint SFU miniatures.
_________________


Scoutdad's minis photos here!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Yahoo Messenger
Lars Porsenna
Ensign


Joined: 08 Feb 2010
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Couple more points:

Re - handpainting and brush marks. THIN YOUR PAINTS! I handpaint exclusively in acrylics (I airbrush exclusively in acrylics too). For GW paints, I thin approx 50% with distilled water (we have hard water here in Pennsylvania, and sometimes it can leave calcium deposits on the minis!!!), and use multiple coats. My goal is usually opacity in 3 coats (sometimes more, sometimes less depending on the color). By keeping the paints thin, you avoid brushmarks.

Re - decals. If you plan on using decals at any point, you MUST glosscote the model. Decals tend to give poor finishes on dull surfaces. This is caused by microscopic pockets of air against the dull surface (think of the dull paint finish as being a microscopic mountain range, over which you just laid a decal). This takes the appearance of clouding of the transparent decal parts. glosscote eliminated the microscopic ridges and such. Also the decal sticks better.

For glosscote I use Future Acrylic Floor Finish in my airbrush. It's acrylic, a lot less toxic than organic solvent paints, and smells good too!

After decal application, it's a good idea to use a decal solvent like Solvaset (my favorite). This softens the decal and allows it to snuggle down over details, especially good over the grid details on Feddie ships.

After decaling, it is a 2nd coat of Future (both protects the decal as well as helps hide the edges), and only then do I dullcote (Polly Scale Dull flat acrylic, with a little Tamiya Flat BASE -- not a clearcoat! -- added to enhance the effect, again in my airbrush).

I know I am new on the forum, but for a disclaimer, I have been painting minis and building scale models for more than 25 years.

Damon.
_________________
Books Like Dust blog
Minis Like Dust blog
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Falconer
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 11 Jan 2010
Posts: 39
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, alright, thanks everybody! Expecially djdood. This will all come in very handy!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Falconer
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 11 Jan 2010
Posts: 39
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

djdood wrote:
Regarding the Fed DN minis, do note that the DNG mini (and the DNL and DNH minis) have the "flat" engine struts, similar to the BC. The plastic ("Zochii") DN's (clear and whatever-plastic-was-in-the-machine-that-day) both have the "angled" struts, as-in the FJS Technical Manual.

That definitely seals the deal in favor of the plastic DN for me.

Which begs the question: eschew the metal CC in favor of the plastic CA?

Can you use the regular stands with the plastic minis?

Thanks again.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
djdood
Fleet Captain


Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2919
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you glue them in, you can use the regular plastic stands just fine. I don't think they would work unglued though, as the peg in the modern stands is smaller than the hole in the plastic minis.

Regarding the Fed heavy cruiser mini, you really have three choices:
1) The "Zochii" plastic heavy cruiser (CA)
2) The metal heavy cruiser (CA)
3) The metal command cruiser (CC)

Any of them will work fine to represent any "CA-hull" ship.

The two metal minis both have the aft hull with extra phaser mounts (to represent the refitted CAR and the CC) and the same engines. The only difference is the saucer part, which on the CC is a newer (computer-modeled and SLI-"grown" sculpting. The CA's saucer is a slightly modified version of the saucer used for the BC.

Personally, I highly recommend the CC. I like the newer saucer's "look" much better (I even bought extra saucers to retrofit some of my other minis, like my CA's and BC's).

The plastic CA is a classic and still very highly detailed. It needs a little help to be usable on the game board (weights in the base, etc.), but it's still one of the best representations of the "tv ship" ever done.

You can't go wrong with either of those.
_________________


Last edited by djdood on Mon Apr 12, 2010 7:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Falconer
Lieutenant JG


Joined: 11 Jan 2010
Posts: 39
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stands, stands, stands...

So ADB sells three different kinds of stands (actually, four, but let’s leave out the Zocchi plastic for now).

Plastic base / plastic stand
Plastic base / metal stand
Metal base / metal stand

All three are different heights. Which means I want to settle on one and stick with it for all my minis, otherwise all my ships will be at different heights. No matter which I pick, I would paint (spraypaint?) it black in order for it to be as invisible as possible.

Okay, I really like the base of the metal/metal stand. I like the weight. I like the feel of the material. I like the size of the base. But the stand is short and thick. Way more substantial than, for example, the Romulan WE mini. So that won’t do.

I guess that means I will go with the plastic/metal. It holds up the Gorn CA way better than the plastic/plastic, which basically has no advantages (other than cost).

The only other option I can think of to get the best of both worlds is to use the base from the metal/metal configuration, and saw/file the stand from the plastic/metal configuration to fit. That would be pretty expensive and require a bit of work (albeit nothing difficult), but the thought of it makes me happier than any other alternative. Thoughts?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Scoutdad
Commodore


Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4456
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use the plastic base / metal stand for the majority of my minis... but I do have the metal/metal bases for SBs / BBs/ and the occasional large unit...

I'venever had a problem with the metal / plastic mini - and once painted black; it looks just fine on the tabletop.
_________________


Scoutdad's minis photos here!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Yahoo Messenger
djdood
Fleet Captain


Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2919
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use a mixture.

Really small minis (Orion LR, Romulan Snipe, etc.) go on plastic/plastic stands (since I have dozens of them, it puts them to use, where strength is not a requirement).

Most of my minis go one metal/plastic stands.

I only use the shorter metal/metal stands for truly huge minis like the B-10 and Condor.

I have modified some stands for height, after accidents (most of my Fed DNs are on "chopped-down" metal stands, to bring their center of gravity lower).

One benefit of using the various different stands is reduced conflict on the game table. If they are all at the same height, you'll have more trouble with them interfering with each other physically when ships are close together.
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Federation Commander Forum Index -> Miniatures All times are GMT
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Page 2 of 4

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group