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Standard technique

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 11 months ago

Standard Technique


Download this guide: standard techniques.pdf


My standard methods of preparation... 


I prep all my 10mm figures that you can see on this wiki in this way - in fact I do this with pretty much any and all scales that I'm painting - in essence you can get the basing done & dusted in advance of painting - which of course means that you can do it fast without worrying about drybrushing earth colours all over your nicely painted uniforms!! [of course, with my BKC & CWC armour, I'll actually paint tanks *before* painting the basing because I *want* them to look muddy...]
Paint station:
Forget those over-priced commercial things - I've got two of these, both constructed from chipboard offcuts bought at B&Q for 20p - essentially it's a smaller piece of chipboard glued to the top of a larger piece - gives you a nice raised area from your baseboard with enough room to play with - and put your palette, water etc on. Nice eh? It also means (like here) you can transport all your painting stuff onto and off the dining room table easily...
The ECW, WMA & Napoleonics are based on 40mm x 20mm plastic bases which are 1mm thick, supplied by a friend of mine.
All other bases are MDF from Tony Barr at East Riding Miniatures.
What I do is superglue the figures to the base; once dry I PVA the base & add a fine sand & [railway] gravel mix; once this is dry I then seal the texture with diluted PVA before undercoating - this means that once I get to drybrush the ground, none of the texture comes off! You *must* remember to let the initial sand dry on to the base thoroughly before 'flooding' with the diluted PVA - otherwise you'll just get gloop!
Small patches of static grass are added once figures are painted - this ususally gets a swift drybrush of Bleached Bone to dull the green a bit.
Undercoating & first colour - overbrushing
I find that by spray undercoating black & then going with a fast overbrush / wetbrush of a good dark brown - I use Charred Brown from Vallejo Game Color, it gives me a great basis to paint up from - what you get is all the detail raised. This means that you can see what you're painting - and if you apply your colours slightly *inside* the patches of dark brown, you're getting nice shading from the outset.
If the army I'm doing has a lot of earth neutral colours [for example my 10mm Macedonians & Indians that I'm about to start] then I'll go even further - by overbrushing with the next tone up - so it'll be Scorched Brown & then Bestial Brown or even Snakebite Leather [I tend to use Vallejo paints rather than GW ones but the colours are easy to reference!] - in this way you can get the bulk of base colours done really quickly - breeches / trousers etc. Oh, and of course gives a nice base colour for flesh.
In essence the overbrushing raises the detail off the black while providing instant shading as you're going from black => dark brown => base colour => highlight
The trick with 10mm is to be bold - aim for colours that are *significantly* lighter & brighter than you would use for larger scales - once they're on the tabletop, they'll stand out more. Similarly, really obvious highlights work well too.
I use old CDs - those feebie Internet sign-up ones are great - as palettes - these work well:
  • the shiny surface will give a true sense of the colour and tone you are mixing
  • they don't dry your paint too fast
  • you can mix around the disc - from dark basecoat to midcoat to highlight - very easily
  • you can write on the disc what you've been painting for future reference
  • they're easy to store for future reference
  • if you paint the same thing again you can mix your colours on top of the dried paint & get them 100% accurate to tie in with original paint scheme
    Left = US vehicles, Vietnam; Right = NVA vehicles, Vietnam                     
Write it down
I have a nice hardbound A4 lined book which is where I write down *everything* game-related - from ideas, to army lists, to plans & shopping lists...
It's also where I write down *exactly* how I've painted things - do this as you go along and don't forget to include mixing ratios - you can even dab paint into the book for future reference
Magic Wash
Another nice trick is to use a 'magic' wash once you've done your painting - essentially get some Johnson's Klear floor polish from Tesco's [about £2.75 for a litre or something] - add in some brown ink: paint your base colours lighter & brighter than you normally would - once dry overpaint the 'magic' wash for instant shading and dulling of the base colours...then do some fast highlights...
The trick with this one is that Klear floor polish is basically the carrier used in acrylic paints without any pigment - so not only does it apply nicely & evenly when mixed with ink but it will also give a certain amount of protection [as it's another layer of 'paint' which will dry]
Don't ever underestimate the value of a final featherlight drybrush of Bleached Bone over *everything* once you're done - if done correctly - so that you can hardly see the paint going on - this last touch will lift the whole figure / base
Don't forget to paint your base edges too - another simple trick that will help unify the whole army as well as tidy up those scruffy bits of drybrushing from the basing stages
Don't cut corners with this - you've spent a lot of time & money getting your army finished - this last stage will make sure they continue to look great.
I use Testor's sprays - first a couple coats of Gloss for protection and then a spray of DullCote for that amazing flat finish. Key things:
  • shake the cans really well
  • wear a face mask / breather
  • spray from a good distance
  • let each coat dry thoroughly
  • don't do it in extremes of weather - ie when it's really cold, or hot or humid

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