Friday, May 20, 2011

How to: Step 2 - Priming miniatures

After the washing and trimming off of any flashes (see step 1), one is ready for step 2 in priming the miniature. Reading several blogs and websites on how-to paint miniatures, it is highly suggested that the figurine be painted with primer.

There are two types of primer: 1) Brush on, and 2) spray.

First know that the reason for priming is so that the paint being used with adhere to the character. Metal is to slippery for most paints, but coated lightly with primer it sticks very well. So what type of primer should be used? Most hobby/craft stores that carry primer mark up the price. I couldn't find any store that carried brush on primer, but they carried spray primer; it cost $12.00 (USD). I then drove to a local general type big-box store where there was spray auto primer for $3.77 (USD), which can held 25% more paint then the hobby store brand. Problem, which type of primer paint to buy for there was gloss and matte, light color and dark color? As for color I went with the lighter color, but many use black as the base color first, so dark might work well (but light wasn't a gamble). Choice two, glossy or matte? Matte is better for it is more natural looking and glossy might cause a problem of paint sticking (of this I don't know).

After purchasing primer the next step is attaching the miniature to something that will hold the model so that it can be painted. A stick, dowel, spray paint lid, whatever is comfortable for you, and you can find. Tack the figure to the holder with some glue (I used Elmer's all purpose glue). This holder will be used not only for the primer painting, but for the general painting as well. For a holder I used a very short pencil that had no eraser.

Tacked to holder before priming
Miniature primed

Because I used a spray primer I found it worked best if the spray is used outside due to the fumes. Take note of the wind/ breeze so that the spray doesn't come back on ones self, and that the spray doesn't hit anything else (I spayed on the back porch away from the house). Some folks use half a medium size box with one side cut out to spay in. Make sure the paint is well blended by either shaking the can or stirring the paint.

NOTICE - Don't hold the can to close to the target! Spray from a distance of 12-18 inches, and use short bursts. The spray takes very little to cover a 28mm figure. A couple bursts on each side. Make sure the paint doesn't pool or run on the figure. If it does suggest using a cotton swab to absorb the paint (this goes for the entire painting process). Also look to make sure the paint doesn't bubble. The spray primer will first look like it is glossy, but it will dry matte.

After priming one can see how detailed the carving is. To much primer or paint will cover this detail, and one doesn't want that!

Let the primer dry. Some primers will dry very quickly, but I suggest 24 hours to be sure.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I'm converted to become a gamer

Okay, I give-up!! Decided to become a gamer. Viewing all of your blogs and seeing the fun and joy you all have in the hobby has persuaded me. I found a game that interests me called Celtos by Brigade Models. It seems that this game has a small following and has been around for sometime, yet I love the premise of the game. It is loosely based on the invasions of the Emerald Isle and incorporates a lot of Irish mythology and some Norse. And they are 28mm, as small as I want to paint (even here I hope my eyes will still like me).

Some of the figures or characters have real names in Celtic/Gaelic history. There is Nuada Silver Hand, Mananna (Celtic God of the Sea for whom the Isle of Man is named), Morrgian, Cernunnos, Herne, Balor, Freyja, Mordred, and Culann (Cuhullian?).

It takes place in the land of Goria where five groups fight each other for control of the land.
  The first group is the Sidhe (Gaelic for fairy/elf, who were actually called the Tuath de Dannan, later to become the Sidhe or "We People"), lead by Nuada Silver Hand (left); the Vanir are from Norse mythology, here they are a dwarf people from the land of ice that include valkyries (right).

The third group are the Fomorians (a real tribe that was displaced by the Firbolgs in Irish history) are blood revers, goblins, & orcs, their leader is Balor (a real Celtic God) (left).

Next are the Firbolgs, who are flesh eaters, zombies & skeletons (in history it is said they were a very cave-like people, very backward, displaced by the Tuath de Dannan [Sidhe]), lead by Cerannous a real Celtic God too, only spelled Cernunnos (right).
Last are the Gaels who displaced the Sidhe in history, they are full humans.

Some the the figures play the bagpipes and the Gaels and others wear kilts (I love it!). One Gael figure even rides the Celtic chariot. I'm waiting on acceptance to the Celtos forum where I shall post a lot of questions before jumping in though.

 Yea, I know,  I have not found anyone where I live near or far who play this game. The closest I've found is Chicago, about 1300 miles away. So this shall be only a family game, hopefully each of my children and their spouses will find a character from each group to be interested in. I do have a son-in-law who is into D&D and one other game, so he can explain this all to me. What I'm looking forward to is painting the figures. But...this will take some time, a few months of saving. The figures aren't to expensive, but need to come from England, so the postage is going to really cost.

Morrigan, Priestess of the Horned God

Shaman and familiar, Fomorian


Monday, May 16, 2011

How to: Step 1 - Cleaning & trimming miniatures

One needs to clean the miniatures after taking them out of the box. Manufacturers put a powder or special spray in the molds to help the molds release their product.

(left) Take a hard bristle toothbrush and some dish detergent, scrub the miniature under warm water, when finished place the cleaned miniature on a towel to dry (right).


When dry, take an xacto knife and trim off the miniature any flashes or slag left by the mold and also lightly scrape off the seam lines. Be careful not to scrape to deep or hard for white metal & lead is very soft.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A new hobby

It seems that my days of picture taking are done, so what to do with this site? Weeeell. . . I decided to start a new hobby of painting miniature soldiers. As I've been researching this hobby I see that to do it right it will take a long time and fill all the spare time I have, or at least put a good dent in it. I decided on this cause I have a box of about 50 bottles of acrylic paints used to do the other hobby of mine which is wood carving (which will be included here too). But can't wood carve in the winter for my stuff is in the garage and there's no heater. Also it is very messy. The only problem I see in this is that I may have the paints, brushes, but I don't have a magnifier and that costs. Plus the miniatures cost. So I finally get one monthly debt finished and can use it to supplement the fridge's holdings, but it's going to go to supplement this new undertaking. My first miniature is a 28mm of King Brian Boru. My interest in him is that I'm a direct descendant proven by DNA research. I'm going to have to have my eyes checked too. Getting old really sucks. Any way, I guess I shall post a progress of this hobby as I go along and other things I make. So right now I'm saving up for a lighted magnifier which will take a couple months, pinching my budget will take time.

Also I really appreciate the willing advice & how-to of fellow bloggers & painters Paul (Scotland) & Ray (England).
  (left) 28mm Brian Boru straight out of the box needs to be washed and the seams and flashes scraped off. Then the next step will be painting them with primer.