Painting figures - how do you do it?

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Steve Holland
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Painting figures - how do you do it?

Postby Steve Holland » Tue May 24, 2016 9:57 pm

Looking at some of the commercially available figures I get the impression that they have been painted with a three inch emulsion brush - bulging eyes, monotone clothing; I am sure you know what I mean.
One of the great things about our hobby is that it can take you off in all sorts of unexpected directions. For me that is figure painting as it is something that I had never tried in smaller scales. Various of my figures have appeared in some of my other topics, such as http://gn15.info/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=10230&start=50 and http://gn15.info/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=10174&p=118230&hilit=dirty+diseasels#p118230.
This is a quick outline of the way I paint my figures. All of this is done with acrylics as it stops my wife complaining about the smell (of the paint, not me before you ask :lol: )
The victims in this instance are the ICM 'Henry Ford and Co' and the first job is to prime the figures with Games Workshop's "Imperial Primer":

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I rough in the eyes next, using a fine brush to put a thin black line across the eyeballs. The hard part here is not to make the figure look cross eyed:

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The flesh starts with a coat of Games Workshop's "Bugmans Glow":

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This is where it is very easy to make a mess of the eyes by splurging the base coat over them - Henry Ford took about 6 attempts to get right.
"Bugmans Glow" is followed up with a layer of "Cadian Fleshtone":

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Then "Kislev Flesh" goes on:

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The aim with the progressively lighter shades is to give highlights and lowlights, such as the tip of the nose and cheeks. This is enhanced with a wash of "Reikland Fleshshade" to 'pop' the highlights:

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Clothes come next, and I work in layers from the skin outwards. I use a base colour then wash a darkened version in to the clothing creases. When this has dried I dry brush a lightened version of the base colour over the tops of the creases. Hopefully this shows up in the photo:

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I find white and black are particularly difficult clothing colours, but reproducing them is made easier by not using either pure white or pure black; both are varieties of grey so the shading can be done. Pure white sticks out too much, and there ain't no such colour as black - unless you are in a very deep dark cave!
I can't help the thought that the mechanic in the ICM set looks a bit like Vladimir Putin. This is him with his overalls painted:

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Even better is the engineer in the ICM set. I think he looks a bit like George Batty from the Sand Hutton Railway:

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He really needs a Hunslet "Waril" to drive.
Finally Vladimir and George are discussing the Bagnall 'Alice':

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So much for a quick outline - goodness knows how much space I could take up with a detailed description! That's how my figures get painted, and I am learning something new with every one. The main thing is to have a go and not be afraid of messing a few up - practice is what cheap Chinese figures and Modelstrip were invented for :D
Over to you guys - let us know how you paint your figures as you may have some better ideas than mine.
Steve Holland

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Re: Painting figures - how do you do it?

Postby NFBrown » Wed May 25, 2016 1:47 am

I must try your method for painting eyes. I've been making my own figures, which takes a long time so I don't get much practice paining them. Where do you get the Chinese figures?

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Re: Painting figures - how do you do it?

Postby Nevadablue » Wed May 25, 2016 3:41 am

ebay
Ken

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Re: Painting figures - how do you do it?

Postby KEG » Wed May 25, 2016 7:37 am

It is fine to bring up the figure painting theme up again.

Newbies maybe should also dive into the archive of this forum http://gn15.info/forum/search.php?st=0&sk=t&sd=d&sr=posts&keywords=painting+of+figures

Regarding eyes, I meanwhile use a simple toothpick to bring in the white
and a dot for the eyeball.

Image

Image



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Re: Painting figures - how do you do it?

Postby Bilco » Fri May 27, 2016 7:31 pm

Funny you should ask this question, Steve - I'm just finishing painting those same figures!

However, there are some differences in our techniques. First of all, I primed mine in white. I have tried the black primer method, but found it didn't fit my way of painting so, rather than change that, I've stuck to a white base.

Next, I've painted the figures in bits ...

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... as I found it easier to paint the heads, hats, legs and bodies seperately, then join them up. There is a third head in the photo, hidden behind the body of 'man in suit'. I've modified the mechanic's hat into a 'grease-top' style with GreenStuff putty.

I use the Citadel paints, like you, as I find the coverage is good, although I thin them slightly and do two coats. I either do shading by painting a dark version of the base coat where required between thin top coats, but otherwise I do it post top coat, using base colour with a little black (or dark brown) for the shadows, and base colour plus white for the highlights. For the faces I use Model Color Carne Mate (Flat Flesh) base and add a little brown or white to paint in the shading. I was shown how to use the Citadel Shade paints - thin like ink - to achieve shading by a charming young lady in the Games Workshop in Oxford, and I've used that technique on the mechanic's overalls.

I do like you method of painting eyes - I'll try it on the next figures I do. For these I've painted a white eye socket, then used a 0.2 black fine-liner to put in a black dot, then painted the flesh carefully around.

The mechanic needs a little tidy up of the white shirt (modified to be a collar-and-tie) then I shall assemble the figures and take some close-ups.

Hours of fun.
Bill

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Re: Painting figures - how do you do it?

Postby KEG » Sat May 28, 2016 11:00 am

It is a very good idea, to participate in thes workshops hosted by Games Workshop and others all over the world.
After all, these fantasy painters show some amazing quality all over the net and in magazines.

Those paints they sell are of excellent quality, but do have their price. We do not really need much paint, so they probably will last for a few years.

I use those cheap tube acrylics from the artist supply shop or even from pound shops. I tend to mix my own shades. In this case a skin tone, using yellow, white and very little red. Tone it down with burnt sienna

Image

These table top figure painters often prime their models with a dull black and drybrush with white. Sir Brian introduced this technique in here many years ago.
Drybrushing is like exploring the details of a casting with the tip of your paintbrush. You will appreciate the fine work of the sculptur. Very often you´ll find a flash line, which you missed to remove. But it will give you an idea for shading and lightning.

I apply paint in very thin washes so the priming will show through more or less.Sometimes I use a hair dryer to chase the paint into remote areas or to dry it within a few seconds. If nessessary I enhance shading and lighting. Of course, I start with the face and other skin tones.

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My example above is a 7 / 8 th scale figure, sculpted and cast in resin by Richard from the USA. Today he offers his castings via Shapeways.

One thing, one might think about, is where to use the figures. Natural daylight or artificial light in a diorama or a module.
Artificial light might need the painting a bit more exaggerated. More like make up for the stage.

Have Fun

Juergen

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Re: Painting figures - how do you do it?

Postby Bilco » Sat Jun 04, 2016 4:13 pm

Right, my three figures are assembled and just need a final touch-up and matt varnish ...

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I see that the mechanic's eyes aren't quite right, but they'll have to do, as bitter experience tells me that if I try to do more I'll b***** it up! His collar is a bit heavy, too, but my last remarks apply. The cruel close-up doesn't help my shading to look as good at it does from a foot away!

So, two ways of painting the same figures, neither better than the other, I feel, and both do the job.
Bill

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Too soon old, too late smart.

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Steve Holland
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Re: Painting figures - how do you do it?

Postby Steve Holland » Sat Jun 04, 2016 8:07 pm

Bill,

Nicely done.
Has anyone left the screwdriver in the mechanic's hand or do they all undergo a screwdriverectomy?
Steve Holland



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Re: Painting figures - how do you do it?

Postby Nevadablue » Sun Jun 05, 2016 3:10 am

Very nice Bill!

Steve, I have two sets of those to do, I guess I need to decide whether to screwdriver or not. :?
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Re: Painting figures - how do you do it?

Postby KEG » Sun Jun 05, 2016 9:02 am

Actually we have three sets of painted Ford figures in this thread. Plus a few hundred sets all over the world, waiting to get painted.

Image

It looks, as if my worker still has his screwdriver in his hand.
Three distinctive different painting styles. I like the ones with the lighter clothes the best.

The engineer with the yellow vest will have difficulties, the next time he will visit a toilet. Somebody stole the zipper from his trousers.


Have Fun

Juergen

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Re: Painting figures - how do you do it?

Postby Sir Briand » Sat Jun 25, 2016 12:32 pm

Visit http://www.brifayle.ca for another idea. This gives you the all important edge and fold shadows.

Yes. I know it is eons since I have said anything on this site but I am still around and still showing Gn15 at shows here in Southern Ontario.

Should probably have directed you to the figure painting part of my website to make life easier. BTW I am now 86 :shock:b
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Re: Painting figures - how do you do it?

Postby KEG » Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:24 am

Sir Briands painting techique has been mentioned in this forum quite a few times already.
Some few people actually use it.


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I was hoping to see some more tipps on figure painting in this thread. All we have so far, are three sets of Henty Ford figures plus readers, who announce they will buy some or paint theirs some day. I wonder, if there is a Forexit going on.

Have Fun

Juergen


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