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Old 01-07-2005, 03:59 PM   #1
Firestorm
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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Default How to protect paint jobs on miniatures??

In the past, I have purchased the Deluxe Ogre and Deluxe GEV games, several boxed Ogre miniature sets, and several individual packaged Ogre miniatures.

I have assembled and painted most of them. I painted them with acrylic paints. I have noticed that the acrylic paints seem to wear off some parts of the miniatures relatively easily as the miniatures are handled. Up to this point, I have gone back and touched up the paint jobs as needed.

My sons and I are anxious to try playing some Ogre/GEV scenarios with the miniatures, but I am hesitant to use them because I am afraid to cause the paint to wear off while handling the miniatures during gameplay.

Richard Kerr has done an excellent job at painting the miniatures that I have seen.

Is there a better way to protect the paint jobs on the miniatures and make them more durable?

Is there a finish I can apply that might help?

Thanks.

Randy
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Old 01-07-2005, 04:08 PM   #2
GoatRider
 
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Default Re: How to protect paint jobs on miniatures??

There are two parts to making a paint job stay on- what you put under your paint, and what you put over it.

First, you need to thoroughly wash your minis. Sometimes they use mold release, and other oils might get on it during the manufacturing process. Also, during assembly you probably got skin oils on the miniature. Both of these will prevent the primer from sticking.

Next, you need to use a good primer. Primer is best done with spray paint. But it's not ordinary spray paint- it has adhesives to make it stick better to bare metal or plastic, and grit to make it rougher and easier to paint on. If it doesn't say "primer" on the can, it's just ordinary spray paint (one exception- I think Games Workshop in UK sells their primer as "chaos black" or "bone white". GW in the US still calls it primer). Let your primer dry for at least 24 hours, better would be 48, if you use acrylic paints. Although it may feel dry to the touch, it will still be outgassing solvents which can weaken the acrylic.

After painting, make sure you let it dry for at least 2 days. Again, it might feel dry, but it takes a couple days for acrylic to fully cure and reach full strength. If you seal it in, it will always be weak.

Finally, varnish it. If you don't want it to look shiny like varnish, use "Testor's Dullcote" spray varnish, which is the only truly matte varnish I know of. Some people think it doesn't protect very well, and will spray a cheaper varnish first to protect, and then kill the shine with Dullcote. If there are some areas that need to be shiny, spray with Dullcote first, then use any brush-on gloss varnish. I haven't yet found a bad brush-on gloss varnish.

Oh- one more thing. Storage. If you let the minis bang into each other, that will chip the paint off far faster than your hands will rub it off. Make sure you minis are separated in some way, at least by wrapping them in tissue. Most people use carriers with foam compartments the right size for each mini.
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Last edited by GoatRider; 01-07-2005 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 01-07-2005, 04:33 PM   #3
Firestorm
 
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Default Re: How to protect paint jobs on miniatures??

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my inquiry.

So far, I have followed each of the steps you mentioned except for spraying with Dullcote. I cleaned the miniatures parts, washed them, assembled the miniatures. I then applied Games Workshop White Primer and waited for days or weeks before painting them. It is during the painting phase that I notice that the paint sometimes rubs off the corners, edges, and other protruding surfaces that I may hold as I am painting other parts of the miniature. Maybe I did not wait long enough after applying one color before applying a different color?

I actually have not tried to actually use the miniatures in game play yet because I had read that I needed to spray with Dullcote or something similar. I have been finishing painting all of each army's units and plan to spray Testor's Dullcote when I can spray an entire batch at one time. Up to this point, I have been hesitant to finish this step with only one or two miniatures at a time.

Also, I have found that as I have gone along, my painting technique and skill have improved. As a result, I have been going back and applying some highlights that I had not previously done.

All this being said, our two sons and I are looking forward to the time when I have enough units for both sides so we can try some Ogre and GEV scenarios. Our oldest son likes Ogre and GEV almost as much as I do and is pretty good at it. The two of us like war games, strategy games, and computer games more than my wife and our youngest son do.

Our sons like the paint schemes on the Ogres and the other units I have done so far and are anxious to try them out in battle. Our oldest son especially wants to battle an Ogre Mk VI vs. a Doppelsoldner as well as try a version of the "Destroy the Command Post" where a Mk VI is attacking.

Thanks again for your input. I am glad that I have done all the proper steps so far. I just need to apply the Dullcote... after finishing the infantry...

Randy
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Old 01-07-2005, 04:42 PM   #4
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Default Re: How to protect paint jobs on miniatures??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firestorm
It is during the painting phase that I notice that the paint sometimes rubs off the corners, edges, and other protruding surfaces that I may hold as I am painting other parts of the miniature. Maybe I did not wait long enough after applying one color before applying a different color?
The problem is you shouldn't touch the miniature while you're painting it. As soon as it's dry to the touch it's fine to paint over it. But Acrylic doesn't fully harden for a couple days, you shouldn't touch it during this time. Find some way of holding it so that you don't touch it. With most miniatures, you hold on to the base somehow. With miniatures that don't have a base, what I usually do is drill a tiny hole, and put a pin or rod in it, and hold it by that. I have some dowels with a .032" rod stuck in the end, and I use the appropriate wire gauge drill bit to drill a hole in the mini and lightly glue it in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firestorm
I just need to apply the Dullcote... after finishing the infantry...
Consider also getting a cheaper varnish to add "bulk" to the protection. Dullcote will kill the shine on even a thick coat of inferior varnish. And like I said, some people think dullcote doesn't protect very well, and will spray something else first. I don't have enough mileage on my minis to know one way or the other on that.
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Old 01-07-2005, 05:51 PM   #5
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Default Re: How to protect paint jobs on miniatures??

GoatRider,

Thank you very much for a comprehensive and concise overview
of good miniature painting! I haven't painted a mini in over 20
yrs and had forgotten the washing step. I do have a Mark V
(disassembled) somewhere (maybe it's a Martian Metals??)
and an Ogrethulu packed away that I need to finish.

One quick question to finish off this fine thread. Since it's
been years and years and I'm not up on all the current info,
can you tell me what is (currently) the best glue (hopefully
"gap filling") used for metal miniatures today?

Thanks,
Bowser (Doug Pearson)
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Old 01-07-2005, 05:56 PM   #6
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Default Re: How to protect paint jobs on miniatures??

Turns out I have a stock post for that I use on another forum. My friends call me "Mr. Adhesives". So don't think I spent a lot of time typing this out just on your behalf:

CyanoAcrylic glue, also known as super glue, is best for gluing metal to metal when the joint fits together really tight, and the surfaces are smooth. It also works fine on plastic. It's an unstable liquid that turns hard when it gets squeezed. You want to use as little as possible, and like I said, the surfaces need to be smooth and tightly fitting. The best way to do this is to file both sides flat with a mill file. If you can't get the joint tight, use epoxy, described next. There are a lot of brands of CA, most of them are pretty good. I usually just buy the store brand at the model airplane store. It also comes in thick, medium, and thin, with thin being the fastest. Medium seems to be the best for minis. You can also get a spray accellerator, but it weakens the joint somewhat.

2-part Epoxy is useful when the joints don't fit well, and there's a big gap that needs to be filled. I'm not sure why, but a thickened cold-weld epoxy works the best, like JB Weld or JB Kwik. Unlike CA, the joints should be roughed up a bit, so that the epoxy has something to grab onto. You mix the two parts in equal amounts, and it gradually starts getting hard. It doesn't "dry", it "cures". JB Kwik is workable for only a few minutes, and you need to hold the joint for 5 to 10 minutes. It's then cured in a few hours. JB Weld is workable for about a half hour, hold it for an hour, and it's fully cured in 24. One thing I like to do is use a little extra, and the excess squeezes out. When it's partially cured, I use a modelling knife to slice off the excess and carve details into the epoxy filling the gap. Note that Green Stuff is also an epoxy, but it's got too much thickener to be a good adhesive. I've heard some people will put a thin layer of CA before the green stuff, to glue the CA to either side of the gap- but I think that's not as good as using the right epoxy in the first place.
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Old 01-11-2005, 01:57 PM   #7
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Default Re: How to protect paint jobs on miniatures??

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoatRider
Consider also getting a cheaper varnish to add "bulk" to the protection.
Do you have a recommendation as to a cheaper varnish to use first before applying Dullcote?

Thanks.
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Old 01-11-2005, 02:09 PM   #8
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Default Re: How to protect paint jobs on miniatures??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firestorm
Do you have a recommendation as to a cheaper varnish to use first before applying Dullcote?
I dunno, they're all fine. GW's so-called "matte" varnish would be fine, or Krylon would be cheaper but still reliable. Actually, stay away from GW, I've heard they've had a run of bad cans recently, tending to frost a little more easily.
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Old 01-11-2005, 07:47 PM   #9
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Default Re: How to protect paint jobs on miniatures??

As a side note to the above...

Gloss Varnish does protect better than Dull.

If you expect your figure to get heavy play-time, then do a few coats of gloss and follow with dull to taste, otherwise several coats of dull is sufficient.
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Old 01-11-2005, 08:37 PM   #10
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Default Re: How to protect paint jobs on miniatures??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firestorm

It is during the painting phase that I notice that the paint sometimes rubs off the corners, edges, and other protruding surfaces that I may hold as I am painting other parts of the miniature.
If the figures have bases, you can use the kind of putty used to hang posters on the wall, sometimes called blue-tack and stick the figure to an old paint bottle, or anything else easy to hold onto. This makes it much easier to hold and paint and prevents rubbing off paint from one section when painting another.

Here are some painting tips from the paintersguild that might help: http://www.paintersguild.com/paintingtips/
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