Tavern Talk – Painting: Beginners and Beyond

Time for drinks down at the Trading Post.

I have decided to try a different thing this time around.  I thought I would offer you this scenario and see what your advice would be:

A new starter to the hobby has approached you, their army has been selected (insert your own preference if needs be) and rather than ask you questions about how to game or army composition they instead ask you about painting.  Your reply is….

Basically, what tips would you give to a new starter in the hobby.  Everything from paints, to basing.  What are your top tips?

This is best addressed in a list style format. Away we go!

  1. Before you even start painting, properly prepare the model. Clean off mould lines and give it a wash if you have too. Since this is for a beginner, I wouldn’t recommend trying to fill gaps. That can come later.
  2. Pick a rank and file model to start with. Don’t leap straight into Azhag the Slaughterer. It might be worth investing in a plastic box set that you like the look of, to allow you to mess about and try different colours. Be prepared that this lot of models might not even be the army you end up choosing.
  3. A black undercoat will most likely give a more satisfying final model. However, it is harder to get lighter colours to get even coverage, so beware of that.
  4. The most common mistake I see of beginner painters is laying their paint on too thick. There’s no shame in this, I did the same thing starting out. But the goal is to lay down multiple, thin coats to create a more even coverage. Practise not only your brush techniques, but also watering down paints to different consistencies and seeing how that affects the application.
  5. Look after your brush. And don’t chew on it. That’s just nasty.
  6. Your fine detail brush is for just that, fine detail. Make sure you have a higher point sized brush for applying paint to larger areas.
  7. Practise painting a couple of models before you worry about basing. Take it one step at a time.
  8. Try out some different basing materials and techniques before deciding on one for your entire army. You don’t want to commit to something that isn’t going to look right, or prove to be too difficult, to apply over hundreds of models.
  9. Renew the water you use to clean your brush regularly. A murky grey slop isn’t the best environment for proper brush hygiene.
  10. Send a pie to anyone who gives you useful painting tips.

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About matt

Freelance Graphic Designer, thinker, and Warhammer tragic.

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