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Thread by @e3kmouse: "It's been two years since I started painting miniatures. I've really only been "painting" a year though. The first year was rough. I want to […]"

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It's been two years since I started painting miniatures. I've really only been "painting" a year though. The first year was rough. I want to toss some of them in the trash. Prior, I wouldn't have thought I would enjoy it at all. I've learned quite a bit from the process: (thread)
1) Most important! The painting process grounds me in the theme of the game more. While I'm "creating" the character, the decisions for colors... trigger story telling moments. The painting process can very much be an integral part of the game-play and narrative directly.
2) Painted models actually did make the games more enjoyable. But... only after I started painting. Prior to picking it up, I was just fine playing games with unpainted models. But now, it's as if I've ruined that experience for myself. I immediately have the urge to "fix" them.
3) The sense of accomplishment is strong. But, the key is to set interim goals. Paint a single unit, or a single faction, or just the player party (like the six characters in Descent) or just one main villain. A small success (victory) will beget more successes.
3) cont... Next thing you know, you'll have finished that army, or entire base game for Descent or Blood Rage or whatever. Sure a month or two (or more) may have gone by, but you'll have finished it. You'll have ACTUALLY finished it. It's great.
4) Painting doesn't have to be expensive. Brushes from a hobby store like Michael's in the U.S. and FolkArt paints (also from Michael's) are PERFECTLY FREAKING FINE! I almost exclusively use Vallejo and Citadel paints, but I will still break out FolkArt. Just thin it way down!...
4) cont... Don't let anyone sway you different in my opinion. 100% Vallejo etc.. are better paints for minis. But, when you're JUST getting started, FolkArt (and other brands I expect) work. You can get started for ~50$ no question. Less even if you aren't afraid to mix colors.
5) After a while (and if you want to stick with it), 10000!!!% get a Wet Palette. You can make your own or buy one. I got a Sta-Wet Palette and use Reynold's parchment paper. Main use (for me): I get bored and jump around colors a lot. When I come back to a color, it's still wet.
6) I also highly recommend the Reaper Bones: Learn to Paint kits. Two years later I'm still mostly using the techniques I learned. They give you some starting paints and some models you won't care if you totally ruin. This is key. Fear ruining models is a detriment to starting.
7) The online painting community is largely the absolute most polite community I've encountered in gaming. I have had one or two snarky comments, but that seems to be far and away NOT the norm comparatively. If you ask for help, it's there to be had. YouTube is amazing for this.
8) Never prime when it's humid (or cold)! If you get more into the process, it's hands-down worth it to get a cheap airbrush simply to prime minis. You'll make your money back pretty quickly. The primer goes on better. And, it's easier to do Zenithal priming + other tricks later.
9) Exercise! Yes. One of the drawbacks to painting is a sore back, especially if you get sucked in for several hours. You need to balance the relative "inactivity" and get that blood pumping and circulating. A well balanced meal of a sorts is important in all things in life.
10) Painting does not have to be a lonely endeavor. One of the tricks to getting rolling is setting up your work space. Some people have a desk with everything all nicely organized and they work right out of this location. That's awesome. I'm sort of jealous, but I don't do this.
10) cont... I store everything on a shelf. I've got to where I can easily break it out, lay down a mat, newspaper or paper tool, and paint while my wife is on the couch watching TV or visiting with me. It's her favorite part of the hobby for me (other than playing games with me).
11) Last one. Assembling minis? I've learned to enjoy this. But, sometimes it's a freaking pain in the butt if the build isn't an easy one. I don't know what to tell you. Games Workshop models are far and away the best. There's lots of great minis you don't have to assemble.
11) cont.. GW has the best minis no question for painting. The new Shadespire sets are a great entry point. Easy assembly. Low model count. Fun game. I'll follow this last one with 3 resources to get started. The first of which is Warhammer TV which helps directly with Shadespire
Resource #1) Here is the YouTube playlist for all of the Shadespire minis. YouTube is a ridiculous resource for painting (along with Google Images):
Resource #2) This is the painting "Get Started Bible" of video series. It's got everything. It scales from beginner to advanced. If you watch some of this and then search for the terms to see how other people approach it as well, it's also great for that: youtube.com/playlist?list=…
Resource #3) Here is my video outlining the Reaper: Learn to Paint Kit. You'll get an idea of what's in the box. These are the first miniatures I ever painted. I didn't start again until Silver Tower came out. Ther are two sets now. This is the "Core Set".
PS - Careful watching "pros" show you how to do a thing. I still struggle with that. I just compare my minis to the minis I just finished painting. A painted mini is 99% always better than unpainted.
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