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I have finally convinced my wife to play Malifaux with me (it only took a year and a half.. :P) and have now started painting our miniatures. 

Here is the first miniature I have ever painted: Pandora's Poltergeist. 

Since I am working on getting better at doing highlights/lowlights, what is your suggestion for this miniature? How would you proceed from here? What am I missing?




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I agree!!! This is a HELL of a first model!!!! Don't touch the model itself, it is brilliant as is, though maybe paint the base a bit, just to give it a bit of context in which the model will exist.


I am currently painting the same model, so I know for a fact that it is not an easy one!! You can check out my other models here to see some other models for Pandora's crew.


Well done, MrG, and I can't wait to see more of your beautiful work!!!

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Thank you guys for the compliments! I really wasn't expecting  that.
It is true that it is my first miniature, but obviously it  has taken a lot of work and time. I'm very slow.


@monkeyboy30672: I was thinking of creating something for the bases as soon as I finish the whole crew, so I do all of them in one pass. Btw yours are very nice models! I love that Ice Golem!


I'm honestly not sure on how to proceed next. Should I make the highlights stronger? Should I add more shadows? If so should I use a wash? The problem is that I find this model has very few crevices, the body is very "flat" with just a few bumps so when I wash I risk to darken the whole model without having the shadow effect. Any suggestions?

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Even for slow work this look amazing for a first miniature. The highlights on the skin and greenish parts look great - very nice, smooth transitions from darker to brighter shades there with a very nice touch of broghter shade for final highlight. The whole crew painted to this standard will look fantastic. 


As for possible improvements, tere isn't really that much I can suggest. You can apply a wash or a light glaze of brown to the teeth and do the same (this time with light brown/yellow) to the eyes.

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Wow, that's beautiful. Truly amazing work for your first mini (or your 50th to be honest). I'd recommend leaving this one alone and moving along to the next mini and see how you get on with that one. You can always try slightly different techniques and effects with different figures and see what look you like the best.

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@Viruk: thank you! I followed your advice and now eyes, teeth and nailS look more like bones and less artificial. I'll keep this in mind for the next miniatures.

@Wing: I think I'll follow your advice and varnish this one and move on the next mini. I hope I will get something ready to show in the next couple of days.

Thank you to all of you!

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I used a mix of Airbrush for the big parts and brushes for small parts, highlights, shadows and details.

After lurking on this forum for almost 1 month, and having read/watched thousands of guides on the web I decided it was time to start painting, so I decided for this process:


- Black priming

- Tiny coat of white priming to get the idea of the highlights

- Grey basecoat

- Black dry pigment (with a brush) on the back of the neck, armpits and chest

- varnish to fix the pigment

- started mixing the basecoat color with a flat green and black in different combinations and divided the mini in section trying to overlap the colors in a way that looked smooth. To be honest having a background in photography and retouching helps a lot with colors so I wanted to challenge myself with blending right from the start.

  1. Basecoat / Flat Green - 3 / 1
  2. Basecoat / Flat Green - 2 / 1
  3. Flat Green
  4. Flat Green / Black - don't remember I think I eyeballed that one.


- Painted flames matching the gradient on the body (less coats since it was a very small part)

- Highlights on body and arms

- eyes, mouth, nails and highlights


The minis on this forum (and the community so far) are amazing, I think I can learn a lot more sticking around while being an active contributor at the same time =)

Edited by MrG
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I will start out by saying that it is a really nice mini!


But you might want to be a bit careful of not relaying to much on the airbrush in the beginning, and learn some basic techniques with a normal brush first.  


This video explains some of the problems with the airbrush:



Although I am not as negative about airbrush as this guy, his points are still valid- if you look at your model, you can see small grainy texture all over the model(that is what makes the model look like a toy), and that is what you really need to be careful with.


Later you can use the airbrush for certain effects, but using it on the whole model can be a bit of a negative thing later on. So pick up your brush, and learn to use the "basic" brush techniques like glazing, wet blend, layering etc :) 


Of course this is a major debate in the painting community, and there will most likely be a lot of people that will disagree with me. But this is just my humble opinion, and me trying to help a new guy like yourself to at least know how it is. So you might not want to follow my advice, but at least you are informed about it now ^^ 

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I agree and disagree on points in the video, and also in the supporting video, by Corvus Miniatures. 


An airbrush does take skill to learn and use. One has to kind of "unlearn" how to draw and paint with a pen or brush, and then "relearn" how to achieve the same results with an airbrush. And airbrush has a very sensitive trigger, and it can be very touchy and difficult to master. That being said, it can achieve some AMAZING results! I owned an airbrush while I was growing up and produced a lot of very detailed and skilled artwork, but I never used it on miniatures. The thought never even occurred to me.


What I definitely agree with is that I think an airbrush is brilliant for basecoating, though a bit rubbish for fine detail work. I just don't like the style it creates. Maybe I'm just a "brush purist"...  :lol:  I don't get jealous of painters who create stunningly beautiful models... I just don't particularly care for the style that the application of the paint creates. Purely just a matter of opinion. But when a person can create smoother blending with a brush, I think that's more highly commendable that when one creates a smooth blend with an airbrush. 


Again, just my 2 pesos. Besides... for me, the cost of an airbrush is too high for just basecoating. I can always buy some Army Painter Coloured Primer and start from that.  :)  And like Ikvar, I think one needs to learn the basics, all the traditional ways, before jumping straight into the advanced stuff. It's like learning to drive a car with a standard transmission before driving an automatic. It gives a sense of respect for the traditions, and a better base from which to learn and grow.

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Hello guys and thanks for all your feedback!
First things first, I watched the video and to be honest that guy seemed to be a little bitter toward the airbrush to begin with.
It isn't true that the airbrush (an entry level) is very expensive, otherwise I wouldn't have thought of getting one. With <$100 one can get an entry level airbrush AND a small compressor. Does it cost more than a brush? Sure! 
I'm totally new to the whole miniature painting world, but my background is an artistic one. I worked for some years in a photography/advertising studio and this gives me an edge on the painting since "I think I know how this stuff works" :P  I also learned that sometimes you need to use the tool the gets the job done and that you need to balance results over time invested.

I'm still experimenting with different techniques using brush and airbrush and I decided that I shouldn't set myself any artificial limitations at least for now, while I'm still searching for my personal painting style. I even thought that it would be awesome to try to paint even the fine details with the airbrush. I'll probably try that at some point even though I suspect I might not like it. On the other side, the brush, the wet palette, the retardant for wet blending are also other tools that I'm using in my numerous test/stripping/test sequences.
I agree when monkeyboy says: "when a person can create smoother blending with a brush, I think that's more highly commendable that when one creates a smooth blend with an airbrush" and I'm sure that a judge in a competition will think the same way, but how much it will impact my gameplay? Or if using an airbrush gets me closer to the look I am trying to achieve?
I see the airbrush as another tool in the belt of the perfect miniature painter. Is it the perfect tool for everything? Absolutely not by a far margin, but it is a useful tool that goes beyond the basecoat or the priming. Certainly it is not going to replace brushes or proper techniques with them, but it can do some things well and I don't think it is just a "cheap way" to obtain good results.
I am still trying to find my style of painting and I'm sure it will change over the course of the years. For now I want to live up to something that my wife once told me: "Instead of being a Jack of all Trades but master of none, you should be Proficient in Everything" =P

Thanks again for the insights, please keep them coming since I think about all of you as my mentors... A big community of mentors, I like that.

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