Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Painting and varnishing Figures.

Gary, here is the answer to your question.

I paint using a white undercoat.

One layer base coat. Use a lighter shade than normal, apart from flesh, I use Foundry flesh 5A. For most colours you would probably go with the mid shade if you were painting using a tri layer method. (hope this makes sense)  

Wash the whole figure using Winsor and Newton Artists Acrylic Raw Umber mixed with Winsor and Newton Acrylic Flow Improver. ( I have been using Games Workshop Washes on Zulu flesh and on horses.)

Highlight flesh and any other lighter colour you may think that needs it. British scarlet and plate armour I highlight but tend to leave most other colours with just the wash effect.

Gloss and Matt varnish the figure using Daler Rowney Soluble Varnish.




The last picture shows the following, using various methods of painting I have used in the past.

The Foundry AWI figure on the right was painted using a black undercoat and then three layer method. Probably gives the best results but for me I find it takes the longest.

The Perry plastic Napoleonic figure in the middle was painted using the Army Painter method. A very fast way to paint figures but I wanted a bit more control in the finished result.

The Empress Zulu War Miniature on the left was painted using the white undercoat and raw umber wash. This method is not quite as fast as the AP method but three or four times faster than the black undercoat three layer method and still produces a reasonable standard.

Hope this is of some use.








12 comments:

  1. Top tips... I may just try your acrylic wash version on an upcoming project

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  2. Excellent tips. I might just give this a try sometime too. Thanks.

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  3. You know how to do it and it shows...you do some of the best I,ve seen

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  4. Great tips, thank you. I'm not sure the armer painter method is for me at the moment, but I've got to say I'm seriously impressed by the white undercoat method.

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  5. Figures look great. What ratio do you mixraw umber and flow ? Do you add water? Any guidance you can provide would bemuch appreciated.

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    1. Thanks Chaps.
      Chris,
      I mix the flow improver with water at a ratio of about 1 to 10. I then mix a tiny amount of raw umber (size of a head of a drawing pin) with about a table spoon of flow, so it is very, very weak.
      It depends what effect you are after, on light colours, especially white it would be a lighter mix. Where you need it darker, around the eyes for example it could be slightly stronger.
      I dip the brush in the wash and start off brushing onto the darker areas first and draw the wash out to the lighter areas with what is left on the brush.
      It is trial and error, eventually you will find a technique that works for you.
      You could always use a ready made wash, GW or Vallejo, although more expensive.
      Hope this helps,
      Pat.

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  6. Pat, This helps much. I've been painting with the black undercoat for the last 10 years or so and have been looking to try a new method. Your figures look great so I plan to give it a go. Great blog. Chris

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  7. Really interesting post, Pat, thanks very much for explaining your method. Do you use the Daler Rowney varnish over Army Painter Quick Shade? Having mixed results experimenting with their Matte Varnish spray after applying Quick Shade, so I'm tempted to try brushing the Daler Rowney Matt as an alternative.

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    1. Hi Peter,
      I have used DR varnish over the top of the AP spray varnish to correct and give it a more matt finish but not used DR directly onto the quick shade.
      Experiment on a test piece but give it 24hrs drying time before using the varnish.
      If you are after a really matt finish, then give the figure 2 x coats of DR matt. Use a flat nylon brush for applying your varnish.
      Hope this helps,
      Pat.

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    2. Thanks very much for the advice, Pat. I've brushed some Quick Shade on to a test figure earlier, so I'll let it dry off before having a go with the DR over it. Having tried it on a couple of non - Quick Shaded figures, the DR does seem to give a lovely matt finish, with no discolouration or misting that I can see. Thanks again, keep up the great work!

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