Question from a novice (but older) Painter

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Question from a novice (but older) Painter

Wed Dec 02, 2015 3:27 am

Greetings, :D

I'm a Dad, an educated fellow, and have taken quite a bit of time reading, learning, and exploring the LotR miniatures hobby. I wanted to ask a couple of painting questions since it is the one thing I simply have ZERO experience with and would appreciate advice. Living in the USA and not far from the Games Workshop headquarters is great. I love the miniatures and love seeing other people's amazing collections.

I have never (not once) painted a miniature. My goal is to make the miniatures look as close to the on-screen versions of the characters as possible. My Gandalf miniature needs to look like Ian McKellen in the movie! :-)

I have no expectation that I'm going to be a master painter of miniatures. Hard work and years of practice are in my future. That's not a problem. I'll work hard and practice and put in my time learning. Working hard is a great reward in this hobby. Seeing that in all your collections is inspiring!

What I wanted to ask is where you suggest I start in painting these miniatures? What brushes do you recommend? What paints? Is there a step-by-step guide to these miniatures that you recommend?

The sets I have purchased so far are:
the Games Workshop Fellowship with the 9 miniatures including Frodo and the bunch.
Also I have the 9 metal Nazgûl.
The Moria Orks.
The Metal Cave Troll from Moria.
The birch-tree Ent (not Treebeard) which is one of my favorites yet!
And the Uruk Hai spearmen set.

Not a lot of miniatures in my new collection, but plenty of painting to get started with and practice.

I really would like your advice on brushes, paints, and most importantly advice for beginners.

If step-by-step guides exist for these Lord of the Rings miniatures, I know that will be of great value to me as I begin this process.

Thank you for your assistance! Sincerely.


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Re: Question from a novice (but older) Painter

Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:47 pm

For painting tutorials you will need to look at forums like this and peoples Work In Progress pages and when you spot something, ask them how they did it. I have painted pretty much everything you listed at one point or another. Tale of Painters has a lot of the new Hobbit line in tutorial form but the older stuff is not as easy to find there.

If you want to go from novice to expert to have realistic models, prepare for disappointment. it is not easy to achieve expert painting skill without painting many models and trial and error. but you can practice on paper with your brushes to get colors right, thin lines and control, but getting all the subtle shades and highlights will take practice even if you read the best tutorials on the web.

For the best tutorials for every technique you can think of trying you will want to visit Cool Mini or Not website. the best painters in the world post on there and the article library is astounding. The painters that win awards can be found on that site. So, take some time and visit there often and read the articles as it will help to expand your knowledge of all the techniques, colors, and how to achieve the best results. From there it is up to you to practice. Bear in mind that most painters, myself included, make a dozen mistakes as we paint a single model, but we apply colors in an order that allows the next color to cover the previous ones unsightly nudges, we also go back and fix things when we mess them up. If you are regularly holding yourself to a high standard then you will always be improving.

After that, the hobby really is relaxing and enjoyable.
"So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their ending!" \m/

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Re: Question from a novice (but older) Painter

Thu Dec 03, 2015 2:21 am

I looked up some tutorials on Youtube that might help you get started

How to paint a dwarven warrior miniature ... miniatures

How to paint Gandalf the Grey from the Hobbit

How to paint a LOTR High Elf - Girlpainting

The next step is probably learning to do a dozen at a time, so you can do one step of painting on each of them before moving on to the next.
It's not as fun, but it gets it done :D

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Re: Question from a novice (but older) Painter

Thu Dec 03, 2015 4:31 am

As far as brushes go, sable brushes are lots of people's go-to. I myself like Raphael 8404. Another popular brand is Winsor and Newton series 7. (Link to an article comparing the two That website is where I bought my 8404's, and I have not been disappointed with them. You should also invest in some "Master's brush cleaner" (small yellow octagonal tub) and some natural turpenoid to clean your brushes with. Another good thing to invest in is a wet pallet. They are easy to make yourself, and help keep your paints workable longer.

As far as paints go, you can go with GW, but there are lots of other options out there. Scale 75, warpaints, and vallejo are all good from what I hear, and some of them are also significantly cheaper than GW's offerings.

As far as how to get better, start reading articles, there is a ton out there as far as techniques, and exact step-by-step how to's. But the number one thing is to practice. You'll just have to start painting. Starting a wip thread to document your progress and get hints and advice is also a good idea.

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Re: Question from a novice (but older) Painter

Thu Dec 03, 2015 2:31 pm

Great tips!
I would rather share one lifetime with you than face all the ages of this world alone.

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