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Savedfromwhat
Commander


Joined: 23 Aug 2007
Posts: 641

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 6:06 am    Post subject: Where To Start? Reply with quote

First off hello everyone, I am very new to the game (I just bought it 3 days ago) but so far I love everything about it. I think I even like the Star Fleet Universe better then that other universe (eh hemmm). Anyway I bought Klingon Border, Klingon Attack, Romulan Attack and Boosters 1 and 2. I still don't have even an opponent lol, point is I really Think this game is cool and am willing to support it on the off chance I can get someone interested back home in Redding, CA.

Anyway my question for you miniatures guys is this:
Where do you get started on miniatures I know that first you need to buy them lol, but I am talking more about the resources needed for painting and "customizing" your fleets. I did some model building when I was younger but never really went gung ho with it. Sorry this is such a muddy post, what I am trying to ask is where are some good places for equipment, what kind of equipment is needed, are there any good online resources for basic instructions, and is there anything you should know about painting that is "common knowledge" (like how to primer, should you primer, or anything else useful that way). I pretty much know nothing about miniatures painting and the little I have learned has been from looking at this board. Thanks very much for any help given and nice meeting you, I look forward to interacting with this community in the future.
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Scoutdad
Commodore


Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4470
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 12:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Where To Start? Reply with quote

Savedfromwhat wrote:
...
Anyway my question for you miniatures guys is this:
Where do you get started on miniatures...


That's a lot of questions for one post - Wink

But we'll help you work throught it.

Good places for equipment: I typically buy my painting stuff at either Wal-Mart ofthe local craft / hobby shop. I use primer and acrylic paint from Wal-Mart (IMHO - their primer is as effective as those designed for miniatures and a lot cheaper - the CeramCoat brand of acrylics comes in multiple colors / hues and is readily available. It reuires a bit of thinning to flow properly... but not much else) Paint bushes I will only get from a craft / hobby store that deals in artist supplies. The cheap plastic brushes Wal-Mart sells will not work on small scale minis (they leave brush tracks, they aren't small enough for the fine details, etc.)

What is needed: a well-ventilated, well-lit workspace is a must. A spray booth (homemade from cardboard, is fine) to keep aerosol primer off everything else, a selection of colors appropriate to the units being painted, a couple of brushes, a matte sealer to protect the finished item... that pretty much covers everything I use. YMMV!

Online resources: Lots - I'll detail them in the next post to keep this one to a manageable length.

Best online resource: US Very Happy We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have. There are several excellent miniature painters on this forum, Will McCammom (djdood), John Schneider II, Terry O'/Carroll (terryoc) and on the starfleetgames board; Mike Raper, Aaron Staley, Dale McKee, and Jame McCubbin just to name a few. They will all answer any questions.

As for the primer questions, I can field those:
Priming is necessary. It gives the miniature an even base on which to apply the paint and gives the acrylic a slightly roughened surface to "stick" to.
Apply the primer in athin coat... just enough to coat the miniature... but not thick enough to obscure details. This one comes with experience, but you can use 2 or 3 really thin coats... just to keep from spraying too thick a layer to start with.
Primer color - this is a hotly debated issue and you can ask 10 guys and get 10 different responses... so I'll give you the Scoutdad theory. I use 4 colors of primer - white, black, grey, and red. 80% of the minis get primed with white. I like the way the white primer sprays.. .and it gives a lighter base on which to work. I use black primer on miniatures that will get a larger metallic finish (i.e., copper-colored Tholian ships or armor-plated knights) because I like the interaction of the metallics on the black undercoat. I use the grey primer on minis that will end up mostly grey (i.e. Klingons) because it hides small errors (i.e., missed spots) better. Red primer is used solely on red miniatures (i.e., Kzinti) because is a be-yatch to cover red with another color.
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Scoutdad
Commodore


Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4470
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Online resources:
Terry O'Carroll wrote an excellent series of How-To articles a few months ago. These are located here: http://www.starfleetgames.com/federation/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=177
They are excellent and should be required reading for anyone who intends to paint miniatures... of any type.

Aaron Staley has a web=page devoted to his SFB miniatures. It's currrently being revamped and updated, but it has lots of good reference pics: www.awwwdrat.com

Mike Raper has a very nice webpage: unfortunately, I'm at work and don't have his site bookmarked here - perhaps someone else can link to it.

John Schneiders web page: http://web.mac.com/zapski

Jeremy Grey's webpage: http://jgray-sfb.com/

The www.starfleetgames.com discussion board has a topic devoted entirely to their Starline 2400 miniatures series:
http://www.starfleetgames.com/discus/messages/7342/7342.html?1187960177

One of the sub-topics is the ongoing painting contest, found here:
http://www.starfleetgames.com/discus/messages/7342/10441.html?1187960177

There are probably hundreds of other resources, but those should get you started.

Feel free to ask any more questions. We're glad to help out.
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Steve Cole
Site Admin


Joined: 11 Oct 2006
Posts: 3082

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check Starblog on the 18th (sometimes 17th or 19th) of any month for a list of ways to find opponents.
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jpat
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 19 Jan 2007
Posts: 203
Location: Iowa City, IA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve Cole wrote:
Check Starblog on the 18th (sometimes 17th or 19th) of any month for a list of ways to find opponents.


If you can't wait, a few would be ...

* Posting in the Local Groups & Retailers thread here on these boards
* Signing up for the free Commander's Cirlce membership and using the Find Players option
* Asking at a FLGS (friendly local game store) that carries FC products
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djdood
Fleet Captain


Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2925
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Savedfromwhat -

Welcome! You've come to the right place.

Tony (Scoutdad) does me a great honor by lumping me in with the likes of masters like John Schneider, Mike Raper, Aaron Staley, and everybody else. I'm still learning, but I'm such a web-geek that I put up lots of posts and pictures of my progress. Maybe it makes me look like I know what I'm doing. Wink

Like you, I built scale plastic models (competitively when I was a teenager) - those skills will serve you *very* well with metal minis. Scraping off "flash" is pretty much the same, if it's plastic or metal.

Tony covered a lot in his post and it was all good advice. You'll get slightly different takes on how to do things from different people, but the basics pretty much will always ring true.

I (for example) am a big fan of Tamiya White Surface Primer and Acrylic paints. Tony does amazing things with the far more affordable stuff from Wall-Mart. Different paint-strokes for different folks - they all make cool minis.

If you don't still have them from your plastic modeling days, you'll need a few tools at the minimum to get things ready for primer and painting:
A good X-acto-type knife
A "half-round and flat" needle file
Some fine-grit sandpaper.
Gel-type superglue and/or 2-part epoxy glue

You can do great work with just that. There's a ton of other things you can get that let you do "more" or make life easier and more efficient, but really that's all you need. The needle file is the one thing I never had from plastic modeling that is indispensable when cleaning up the (much harder) metal minis.

Any of the scale modeling websites have tons of how-to's that are applicable (starshipmodeler.com , culttvman.com, etc.). Another fantastic resource is Star Ranger's site Starship Combat News .

I have a website as well, at djdood.com. In the 'Graphics' section, I have a few pictures of my minis up. There will soon be many, many more pictures.


Last edited by djdood on Fri Aug 24, 2007 5:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Savedfromwhat
Commander


Joined: 23 Aug 2007
Posts: 641

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scoutdad, Thanks for that awesome reply really appreciate your time their.

Mr. Cole, Will do.

Jpat, heading to the commanders circle now to set things up.

Thanks all.
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djdood
Fleet Captain


Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 2925
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's an extra. I stumbled across this one last week and found it a very thorough walk-through:
Online Miniatures Painting and modeling Guide
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Starfury
Lieutenant Commander


Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 296

PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wanted to add my .02 to the discussion.

Files: You can get 2 sizes, one are about 5.5" long and the smaller ones 3" long. I have a set of each including some that I really don't use. The smaller size are great for getting mold lines filed down in tight places.

Brushes: Good ones can run $5+. I've found that I can get decent (not the best) quality at Wal Mart in the sizes I need.

Paint: This will also be expensive...$3-$4 per jar for 1/2 oz of Testors/PollyS/Tamiya. There are cheaper alternatives but I haven't tried them. The Warhammer brand paints are pretty good and not too expensive.
I do like the Tamiya Silver, it covers well and is VERY bright.

When prepping a miniature remember: What you can see will show up when painted.

Once you get into it and if you enjoy it, technical pens (Rapidiograph) will allow you do amazing things on your miniatures. with a steady hand you can put markings on your figures for lettering. I also do fantasy and 40k marines, the eyes on my dragons always amaze people on how real they look. On the marines you can put a dot or line of black in places to enhance the miniature.

Good luck and have fun! Remember...if you're not happy with the paint job, strip and restart.
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Scoutdad
Commodore


Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 4470
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Starfury wrote:
Once you get into it and if you enjoy it, technical pens (Rapidiograph) will allow you do amazing things on your miniatures. with a steady hand you can put markings on your figures for lettering. I also do fantasy and 40k marines, the eyes on my dragons always amaze people on how real they look. On the marines you can put a dot or line of black in places to enhance the miniature.

Good luck and have fun! Remember...if you're not happy with the paint job, strip and restart.


I forgot about the technical pens. Do be careful with them however. If you use them to put the final details on the mini, allow the ink plenty of time to dry before clear coating. I once spent hours painting my Federaiton CX and then used my technical pens to paint in the small details... hull lines, windows, etc. Once complete, I gave it a few minutes to dry and sprayed it with clear sealer... the still wet ink ran down the sides of the miniature! Sad

Oh well, straight into the Easy-Off it went nd then I got to paint it all over again. Very Happy
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