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Miniatures Painting Guide and FAQ


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Archive-name: games/miniatures/painting-faq
Rec-games-miniatures-archive-name: painting-faq
Last-modified: 10/22/1996
Author: tierna@agora.rdrop.com - with tips gathered from posts
on rec.games.miniatures and from readers of that group
Comment: Available for FTP from rtfm.mit.edu in usenet/rec/games/miniatures
or from kewlaid.highfiber.com /pub/rpg/miniatures
or by email from tierna@highfiber.com or tierna@agora.rdrop.com.

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
                       Frequently Asked Items

This document is presented to help the inexperienced miniatures painter get
a grasp of the basics.  Most answers given were collected from months of
discussion on rec.games.miniatures and represent the experiences and tips
of a great many people.  The rest of the answers are Britt's, compiled from
hours and hours of experimentation and practice.  Many answers are not
absolute.  Painting is an art and in art there are few absolutes.

This FAQ is scheduled to be posted monthly, around the 20th of each month.
An informal format is being used because it's easier.

NOTICE:  This document is Copyright (c) 1995 by Brenda Klein. 
         Use and copying of this information is permitted, so long 
         as the following conditions are met:
	   o  no fees or compensation are charged for use, copies 
	      or access to this information beyond the Internet
	   o  this copyright notice is included intact
	

IMPORTANT CHANGE:  The email addresses of the FAQ maintainer are now:
             tierna@indirect.com  and  tierna@agora.rdrop.com

 NEW STUFF:  Section 6: "How do I strip paint" has been updated with new
             information on plastic figures, and two new paint strippers.
	     Section 9.A.b: "How do I paint hair" has new and better
	     techniques for both blond and red hair.
	     


                             Contents
                         ================
                    (* denotes changed entries)

   1. How do I get started painting?
     *  1.A. Are there books on painting available?
        1.B. What kind of paints should I use?
        1.C. What kind of brushes should I use?
	    1.C.a. How should I clean my brushes?
        1.D. What other equipment do I need?
   2. Should I prime?  (Also, what should I do to the miniature before
      priming?)
        2.A. Black, white, or gray?
   3. What's the first step after priming?
   4. What are shading, washing, drybrushing, highlighting and glazing?
        4.A. How do I wash?
            4.A.a. Why do my washes dry badly?
        4.B. How do I drybrush?
        4.C. How do I highlight?
        4.D. What are inks, should I use them, and if so how?
        4.E. What colours should I use for detail work?
   5. What should I use for bases?
        5.A. What's the best stuff to cover bases with?
   6. How do I strip paint?
   7. What kind of miniatures should I start with?
        7.A. Metal or plastic?
            7.A.a. My miniature came in multiple parts, now what?
	    7.A.b What is pinning and how is it done?
   8. What is kitbashing?
        8.A. How do I convert miniatures?
        8.B. What kind of glue should I use?
   9. How can I paint details?
        9.A. How do I paint faces?
            9.A.a. How do I paint eyes?
	    9.A.b. How do I paint hair?
        9.B. How do I paint insignia?
        9.C. How do I paint armour?
        9.D. What other detailing can I do?
	    9.D.a. Can I use anything besides paint and ink for details?
   10. What is an overcoat and should I use one?
   11. How do I keep paint from drying out?
   12. How do I use an airbrush for miniatures?
   13. How/where do I get miniatures?
        13.A. Is there a list of companies?

                       

                           Questions and Answers
                       =============================

   1. How do I get started painting?

      Get some paint, brushes, miniatures, and a space to do your work.
      There is no `secret formula' involved, and despite all the advice
      and information you'll get from this FAQ and other sources, the
      best method of painting is the one that works for you.  If you
      prefer one type of paint to another, that's great.  Painting is
      a hobby, not an exact science.  Pick and choose, practice, relax,
      and enjoy yourself.  Take advice only if you feel right about it.
      Be patient with yourself.  Most painters have a box of the stuff
      they learned on, or have removed old paint and redone several of
      their miniatures.  Good painting's a skill.  Remember: PRACTICE.
      Try different materials and techniques.  Don't take anyone else's
      word for it unless you're sure - and the practice will do you good.


  *  1.A. Are there books on painting available?

          There are several, though probably not all publications will meet
	  all painters' needs.  The best descriptions and information
	  available at this time are listed below:
	    Citadel produces a Painting Guide which is a $1 pamphlet.  It
	    was also reprinted in the back of _Golden_Demon_Awards_, which
            covers the finalists and many entries in the 198? Golden Demon 
	    Awards , and also in _Fantasy_Miniatures_, which is likely a
	    later printing of Awards.

	    Citadel currently produces a book for its games called 
	    _'Eavy_Metal_.  The book retails around $20 US and has a lot of 
	    excellent information, if you remember that the only standards you 
	    need to adhere to are your own.  Some people love the way GW-
	    painted miniatures look, others hate them.  It's all a matter of 
	    taste.

	    The first edition of _BattleSystem_ (TSR, trademark, blah-blah)
	    had a nice, though thin, intro to painting with pictures of a
	    work in progress.  (Thanks, Coyt!)

         (David Lee McLellan is to be thanked for finding the next two titles.)
           _The_Armory_Painting_Guide_to_Military_Miniatures._  A 24-page
	   pamphlet which costs $3.00 US.  They also do a painting guide
	   to horses which costs $2.00 US.  Both are aimed at the wargaming
	   audience.

           _Building_and_Painting_Scale_Figures_ by Sheperd Paine, available 
	   from Kalmbach Publishing.  

         (Steve Gill kindly listed the following from his personal library.)
           _Making_Model_Soldiers_of_the_World_ by Jack Cassin-Scott
           pub: John Bartholomew and son Ltd 1973, 1977
           Quite a good little book, covers design, sculpting and casting of 
	   figures as well as sections on painting. Due to it's emphasis on 
	   54mm Napoleonic figures it has a very good section on horses.

           _The_Encyclopedia_of_Military_Modelling_ gen ed Vic Smeed, con ed 
	   Alec Gee   pub: Octopus Books 1981, Peerage Books 1985
           Large coffee table size book: has sections on all the major 
	   historical periods, the different types of figures available, 
	   equipment, vehicles, dioramas and displays. Sort of a collection 
	   of long articles from the Military Modelling magazine crowd.

           _Buildings_for_the_Military_Modeller_-_Design_&_Construction_ by
	   Ian Weekley    pub: B.T.Batsford Ltd 1989
           Covers Ian Weekleys building techniques, more is spent on describing
	   the subject than the techniques used, unfortunately, but very
           inspirational.

         (Gary Leitzell himself kindly provided the information about his 
	 book.)
	   _Brush_Strokes_.  Has been advertised in Military History Magazine,
           had reviews in MWAN and The Courier and had an article published in
           issue 61 of Courier on painting.  
           Mail orders to World Games Network, P.O. Box 15834, Pittsburgh, PA 
           15244.  Include $12.95 per copy, which includes shipping and 
	   handling, in check or money order.

          There's also a magazine which might be of some interest to painters.
	   Forge has some general interest painting and modelling information
	   in each issue and is otherwise dedicated to Warzone.  It is $2.95
	   per copy and has a subscription rate.  It's produced by Heartbreaker
	   Hobbies.  

          Also, Renaissance Ink publishes a monthly newsletter that covers 
	   painting techniques (12 issues $15.00). We also offer a pocket 
	   miniatures painting guide with shadeing and highlighting chart for 
	   paints and inks ($0.50).  To receive these publications mail:
                     Renaissance Ink
                     335 Torrance Ave
                     Vestal, NY 13850
           More information can also be obtained from Jay Worth, publisher of
	   the newsletter, at jwirth4702@aol.com. 


     1.B. What kind of paint should I use?

          This question has sparked some vigorous discussion from two major
          camps: acrylics and enamels.  First, a description of what these
          terms mean:
          Oil- or solvent-based.  These tend to be a bit thicker
          than acrylics and require that you have thinner on hand for
          washing, thinning, and brush cleaning.  These paints are often
          referred to as enamels, but some acrylics can be enamels as well,
          so when in doubt, read the label.
          Acrylic paint is water-base and tends to be smoother, though if
          it gets dry it can become grainy.  All you need to thin or clean
          up with this stuff is tap water.  Discussion on the newsgroup
          rec.games.miniatures has uncovered that more posters prefer the
          acrylics to oils.  (This author uses acrylics.)  Again, a
          matter of taste.
          The basic colours from which just about anything can be mixed are
          white, black, brown (you can mix this yourself, but it's a pain),
          red, yellow, blue, and gray (same as above).  Metallics, various
          shades and hues, practically anything you can think of is available
          through one company or another.  Start with the basics and expand
          as you feel you need it.  Soon enough you'll have more paint than
          you ever imagined you'd need, and likely use every one.
          Most like-type (acrylic or oil) can be mixed regardless of
          brand, but be cautious at first as some brands are incompatible.
          Companies which manufacture miniature-formulated paints:
            Ral Partha  (acrylics and dragonscale metallic creams)
            Floquil/Polly S  (acrylics and oil-base)
            Armory  (acrylic)
            Pactra  (acrylic enamels)
            Model Master  (oil-base and acryylic)
            Humbrol  (oil-base)
	    Dragon Colour (acrylic)
            Citadel  (acrylics and specially-formulated inks)
            Howard Hues  (acrylic)
	    Tamiya (fine acrylics, almost transparent)
	    Gunze Sangyo's Aqueous Hobby Colour (fine acrylics)
	    Horizon (acrylics for vinyl models - good on primed surfaces)
            Accuflex  (acrylics - formulated for airbrushing, also makes a
		       good primer)
          There are other companies, of course, these are just the ones the
          author could think of right now.  Most paints are available at
          your local hobby or gaming shop, and places that specialize in
          miniature railroad equipment often have the best selection.
          Railroad paints are often oil-based, but primers and sealers
          of that type are usually quite good at preserving detail.
          Paints may be bought by the individual bottle (usually under $2
          US per) or in sets.  If you buy a set, be sure that you can _see_
          all the paints before purchase.  This way, you'll assure that you
          get what you're looking for and that the consistencies are good.
          SHAKE all paint before purchase, to make sure they mix up well.


     1.C. What kind of brushes should I use?

          Brushes come in a myriad of sizes and several different materials.
          Sizes range from 1" to 20/0 or more.  The more 0s the smaller the
          brush, generally, however companies vary in size so the only true
          scale is to look and compare.
          Materials are sable, fox, camel hair (which is actually squirrel
          tail, BTW), ox hair, and nylon.  Round and flat are also available.
          Red sable is the painters' choice, usually.  A large brush for
          primering and large areas, something between a 000 and 5/0 for
          smaller areas, and anything from a 10/0 to a 20/0 for fine detail.
          Drybrushing destroys good brushes so a couple camel hair for
          drybrushing is a good idea.
          Again, look at them before you buy.  Make sure the tips are smooth
          and end in a point and the sizes are right.  A good brush retails
          anywhere from $3 to $8, so it's a purchase to take time over.
          Brushes are available at hobby and game shops, often at crafts
          stores at a better price.

        1.C.a. How should I clean my brushes?
	    It depends on your paint type, mostly.  For acrylics which are
	    water-based, a good careful washing with warm water and dish
	    detergent is fine.  Remember to re-form the tips into points
	    before storage.  For oil-based paints, your best bet by far is
	    to buy a bottle of thinner made by the same company as your paints.
	    Not all paint is formulated the same and thinner is often
	    product-specific.
	    Also, Badger brand "Air-Opaque ready-to-use- cleaner" for 
	    airbrushes does a wonderful job of getting dried paint off of 
	    paintbrush bristles, either acrylic or oil-based.  It costs $4 for 
	    16oz. (Thanks to Bill Gilliland for that tip.)
	    While we're at it, there are three `nevers' to brush-handling.
	    Never let your brush rest in the water or thinner on its tip.  
	    That's the surest way possible to lose a fine point.
	    Never scrub a good brush across either miniature or blotter.
	    Never let paint dry on your brush.  This'll fray the bristles
	    into an unusable mass.
	    When cleaning a brush while painting, gently rotate it against
	    the side of the solvent/water container until the bristles stop
	    exuding paint.  A gentle wipe across the blotter before washing
	    the paint out of the bristles both saves solvent/water from 
	    clouding prematurely and helps get rid of traces of paint you
	    can't readily see.  A clear solvent/water container is desirable
	    so you can monitor its cloudiness and how clean the brush is 
	    coming.

       
     1.D. What other equipment do I need?

          Not much.  Something to hold your water/solvent (two of them if
          you're working with metallics, one for the regular paint and one
          for the metallic - keeps flecks out of the other stuff, and change
	  often to keep from muddying your colours), a palette of some sort
          (professional, ceramic tile, old plate, even the plastic bubble
          from a large miniature or two - Coyt suggests the plastic lid from a
	  large margarine tub or the like covered with foil.  When done, strip
	  the foil off and discard), and GOOD LIGHTING.  Against a window is
          ideal, if not a good overhead light or adjustable lamp is a must.
          Paper towels or napkins - some for blotting your brushes on and some
	  extras for the inevitable spill or splatter.  Time - never enough of
	  that so learn to paint bits at a time (also good so that one layer
	  can dry before you put on another).  Ventilation, ventilation, 
	  VENTILATION!  All paints give off noxious fumes, whether you can 
	  smell them or not, and unless you like having headaches, you'll want 
	  lots of space, open windows, even a fan or two.
          The above are the _needed_ things.  Below are optional:
          A magnifying glass - useful for seeing fine detail.
           [A tip from Coyt D Watters which might be useful:
	   "I started using a magifying visor (jewelers) which gives me 2x and
	    flips up out of the way.  Gee what a difference!  Now I can easily
	    detail those little things like dart feathers, buttons, and laces.
	    My 0 brush looks about 5" around though.  They are a little 
	    expensive, but a good quality one can be purchased from Micro-Mark 
	    for under $20.  And, because it's on my head, I don't have to move 
	    around to get a good clear view, nor is a magnifying glass in the 
	    way of my brushes."]


          An X-acto blade can be helpful, tweezers can be invaluable if
          you'll be gluing, files and emery boards are used to remove sprue,
          mold lines, and anything else you don't want. Nail scissors get
	  into places larger ones can't.
          As you get more practiced you'll start finding other things to use
          in your painting pursuits (such as toothpicks and small brushes),
          so you'll acquire your own personal array in time.


   
   2. Should I prime?  (Also, what should I do to the miniature before
      priming?)

      Yes.  Primer not only assures for good paint adhesion, but it also
      brings up detail more starkly than on an unprimered miniature.
      Now that that's settled, we go into another major area of controversy
      among painters: how?  The only thing painters seem to agree upon is
      that a spray primer is best, and the primers specifically formulated
      for miniatures are better at retaining detail.  Some folks use Krylon
      with very good results, but it takes a light and even spray to retain
      detail.
      Companies that put out good spray primers are Ral Partha, Armory,
      Floquil, Model Master, Testors, and Citadel.  Krylon is the best of
      the non-hobbyist primers, but other store brands are in the same
      league.  If you use sandable primer, be especially careful to use
      thin coats so as to not obscure detail.  (Many department stores
      and most home improvement centers carry spray primer at much lower
      cost than hoby and other specialty shops.)
      BEFORE APPLYING PRIMER you will need to clean up any bad lines on
      the miniature (use a small file, X-acto knife, or emery board),
      making sure you get rid of the bump under the base, if your miniature
      has a self-molded base (sandpaper is excellent for this), then
      WASH it in a little soap and water.  Various substances are used on
      miniatures to make them come free of the mold, as well as the fact
      that hand oils get on the miniature as it's handled, and these will
      interfere with paint adhesion unless cleaned off.  Now, use a little
      white glue (or rubber cement - thanks Ed Sharpe!) and glue the miniature 
      to a base of cardboard, cork, wood strip, popsicle stick, ruler, plastic 
      bottle cap...  Anything you can safely handle without touching the 
      figure.  This assures that you can handle the miniature during the 
      painting process without touching wet paint.  Even a freshly dry coat 
      will rub off without the slightest provocation.
      Methods of applying primer are spraying and brushing on.  If you're
      using a brush-on primer, make certain it flows well without being
      too thin and use a semi-large brush to brush over your miniature from
      top to bottom.
      If you're spraying, set up a large box enclosed on three sides in
      which to place your miniatures for priming.  This will keep the paint
      from going everywhere and also tends to give a better coat.  Make
      _sure_ you have good ventilation, outdoors or in a window or set up
      a fan.  Spray paint is nasty.  On the subject of technique, the best
      advice I've seen came from Deep Six (sl9b4@cc.usu.edu), as posted to
      rec.games.miniatures, and is edited and used here without permission:
          
	  "First, be sure you shake the paint well. It says on the can you
          should shake it for a full minute, so I do it for two minutes.
          Shake during use, too.
          The second thing is spraying the figures with the `good' stream
          of spray. You do this by starting the spray before it hits the
          figs and stopping the spray after it hits the figs. The spray
          that comes out of the can when you first start spraying and when
          you stop spraying is incomplete -- it has too much or too little
          paint, and/or too much or too little carrier. What I do is put the
          figs out on newspaper and start spraying the newspaper to one side
          of the figs, when the spray has been coming out for a half-second
          or so, I pass the spray over the figs, and when the spray has
          passed over the figs, I stop. This assures that only properly
          mixed paint is falling on the figs. It takes longer and wastes
          some paint, but the finish is worth it to me.
          Next, keep the can as upright as possible, and keep the nozzle
          about 10 inches from the figs. Any closer and it's too hard to
          control the amount of paint on the figs. Any further and the paint
          starts to dry before it hits the figs.
          And finally, IMO you should never use a whole can of paint (on figs
          anyway). It seems like when the can is about 3/4 of the way empty,
          the paint is really crappy, uneven and it comes out of the can in
          spurts."
	  And Coyt reminds us to always make sure you get the underside
	  of the miniature as well, particularly if it's a figure in a cloak
	  or the like.  Spray upward and at an angle and make passes from 
	  all sides to assure coverage.

       
     2.A. Black, white, or gray?

          A thousand answers exist for this one.  The best advice available
          seems to be use what you prefer.  White primer makes colours go
          on brighter and is best for anything on which you want that effect.
          Black primer gives good shadows and is commonly used to base
          modern military and skeleton figures.
          Gray is rather neutral allowing for brighter light colours and
          decent shading.
          The best tip so far is to experiement and see what you like.
          Also, and the author likes this effect, prime in black and then
          drybrush raised areas in white before painting.  This allows for
          the depth of the darker shade but gives the lighter base for the
          brighter colors.


   3. What's the first step after priming?

      Pick the colours you want for the major areas (skin, each piece of
      clothing and armour, hair, shield) and paint them on in layers.
      Think of dressing the miniature.  Start with eyes, move on to face
      and hands, then clothing, armour, hair, lastly weapons.  You aren't
      going for massive detail just now, you're only setting each area's
      base colour.  Make certain the paint goes on smoothly and remember
      to paint from top to bottom.
      Once you have this part done, it's time for detailing.  This is
      achieved by many different techniques such as drybrushing, washing,
      shading, and highlighting.


   4. What are shading, washing, drybrushing, highlighting and glazing?

      These are techniques to give a little realism to your miniatures.
      
      % Shading and highlighting give the illusion that there is light
      shining upon the figure.  Shading details the folds and shadows and
      highlighting picks out the brighter, better lit areas.  Washing,
      glazing, outlining and blending are all methods of shading.
      (See below.)
      
      % Drybrushing is a highlighting method, as is simply accentuating the
      high spots with a bit of paint a bit lighter than the base.
      (See section 4.B.)
      
      % Glazing is done with inks, as can be washing and outlining.
      (See section 4.D.)
      
      % Outlining is simply picking out the line between two seperate parts
      of the miniature (i.e. sleeve and arm) and painting or inking in a
      fine line of either black or a darkened shade of the base in order to
      bring out the division between the two sections.
      
      % Blending is rather difficult and takes much practice.  To blend one
      changes the tone of the paint as it crosses the surface of any
      non-detailed section, as Mecha armour or unscaled hide.  Darker shades
      are laid into any depressions and carefully thinned and blended into
      the surrounding areas using a damp brush.  (This is NOT a technique
      for beginners.  The author still has trouble getting her blending 
      to look good, and finds nothing wrong with not shading miniatures 
      at all.  Again, try it and see if you want to practice the technique 
      or not.  Another personal-choice situation.)
      Some excellent advice from Coyt D Watters:  "If you're using 
        acrylics, you can pick up several TONING MEDIUMs, which alter the
        brightness of the paint without the headache of black.  I've started
        using a drop of white, a drop of black, and a drop of toning and
        mixing all four with equal parts of the color I'm using, so I get 
        light - color - toned color - dark
        My first attempt was on one of the mages in Partha's Forgotten Realms 
        set, and the cloak looks better than anything I've done, and I haven't 
        drybrushed or washed it yet."]  
      And a tip from Christian Widmer (widmer@avalon.unizh.ch):  "Use a
        slower on acrylic colours. This slows them from drying but they
	do still not cover if they didn't before.  Warning, oil colours tend 
	to lose their colours and go brown-grey when I try this."
      Nick Fogelson (fogelson@ursula.uoregon.edu) shares his methods, which
	are far better than anything the author could provide (used without 
	permission):  "The way I always do blending is to put a smudge of the 
	two end colors in a strip, separated about 1.5 inches.  I then use a 
	slightly moist brush to mix them together into a spectrum.  The colors 
	near the original smudge will be closer to that color, the colors in 
	the middle should be fairly even mixes of the two.  You then have a 
	nearly infinite palette of color to use.   You can do a nice blend
	with only 5 or so shades that looks really good unless you magnify 
	it.  Alternatively: Say you want to go up red to yellow.  Paint the 
	entire area yellow.  Put a block of watery red on the top.  Slowly 
	draw a moist brush down the area, drawing the red pigment with it.  If 
	you're patient, this method will bring the best results (but if you're 
	not, you'll get a big mess)."
      Kenneth Creta~ (kcreta@sedona.intel.com) also has two good techniques:
        "This idea was suggested by Tom Harris and I added a little of my own 
	touches.  Let's say you want to fade from green to black.  Just paint 
	the whole darn thing green.  At the point where you want it to fade, 
	wash with a black ink.  When dry, wash again but a little farther down 
	and so on until the bottom is black.  The first ink is not a smooth 
        transition so when the washes are done, go back and dry-brush green 
        over the first ink line and this will smooth it out.  The washes may 
	be diluted to the desired consistency."
        "Start by painting a band at the bottom in dark green.  While it's 
	still wet, add some white and paint the slightly lighter green band 
	above it.  Use a second brush and paint along the line between.  If the
	paint is still wet, they should blend together pretty good.  I use a 
	slightly damp brush.  If you get enough bands, it's looks like a 
	gradual color change.  The hardest part is the blending between the 
        bands."
      Here's another banding method from Roxanne Reid-Bennett 
        (reid@sfcpmo.enet.dec.com):  "I have a Water Elemental that was done 
	in this style (Rafm).  The typical way of handling this is to "blend" 
	two colors together (which I have a LOT of trouble with).  What I did 
	was to paint the base (bottom 1/2") dark blue (RP Paladin) then used 
	graduated shades of blue (about 5 different) up towards the top of the
        figure where I used a light blue (Sky) for the upper torso of the
        elemental.  After the bands were in place I went back and used mixed 
	intermediates on the band overlap areas.  I kept this up until the 
	graduated shading looked right. Some of the intermediates I watered 
	down some so they wouldn't go on very thick.  I really wish I could 
	"blend" like the books and FAQ say - by mixing the two wet paints in 
	the middle - but so far haven't succeeded.
        "For finishing work I used a slightly darker blue for wash on the 
	torso to bring out the muscles.  I used white on the tips of the water 
	waves and washed in blue.  Just for final effect I washed the whole 
	figure in Pearl White (RP).  Gives the figure a nice wet look - even 
	with a flat seal cover.
        "So the hard way is to literally to paint stripes on the figure in 
	shades close enough to each other that our (human) eyes can't see the 
	distinct lines."
      And here's a rather advanced shading/blending/tinting method from
        John Colasante (johnc@colossus.cs.rpi.edu), used without permission:
        "Lets say you want to paint an orange tunic on a figure. Mix the
        base color and plop a pile on your pallete. Next to it, plop down
        a dark tint and a light tint. For orange, lets say dark brown and 
        yellowish-white. It doesn't matter what kind of pigment you use, 
        water base or oil base. Now, tint the base color with the dark
        tint and paint the entire tunic, or even drybrush the tunic if
        painting over a dark primer. When dry, paint the basecoat over the
        dark tint, BUT NOT ALL THE WAY TO THE EDGES. Also, leave tinted
        dark shade in the folds. Next, tint light and highlight the center
        and highspots. Note: this is similar to drybrush except you are 
        painting color here, not actually drybrushing, so you get a certain
        effect which it different than pure drybrush. In fact, it often looks
        nice when there is a clear demarcation between the tinted shades on
        certain surfaces, almost like color contours. Use more than three tint
        levels for certain effects. 
        It sounds tedious but if you use the palette it's _very_ fast and the
        results often look much better than the purely drybrushed highlights,
        especially for larger, flat areas where drybrushing might miss."

     4.A. How do I wash?

          Washing comes before drybrushing.  Take a shade darker than your
          base color and dilute it until it's about the consistency of milk.
          Now, brush it across, gently.  It'll flow into folds and
          crevasses.  Makes cloth look real good. Remember, you can always
          add wash, so start light and work your way up.  Don't be afraid to
          wash, then darken and wash again, until you've reached the effect
          you like.  Wash yellows with yellow-orange or yellow-brown, flesh
          with light brown, white with bluish-white or gray.  Experiment,
          only you can set your style.


         4.A.a. Why do my washes dry badly?

                It seems that once in a while, even though the inks and
                washes have been mixed properly, they end up drying, not
                in the low spots like they should, but on the high contours.
                It has something to do with the density of the wash and
                the slickness of the surface; on matte surface the effect
                is more prominent than on glossy surfaces. It happens
                because a pool of wash in a recess starts to dry from the
                edges, then the rest of the paint in the wash adheres to
                the already dry paint, producing a ring of paint around the
                recess. There are four methods that can help solve the
                problem:
		   1) Add a small amount of rubbing alcohol to the wash.
                      It lowers the surface tension, and dries faster.  This 
		      may be a drawback for some painters.  Some model 
		      railroaders have been doing this for a while now.
                      (Thanks to Coyt D Watters for this tip.)
		   2) Add a little dishwashing detergent to the wash.  It
		      helps the wash stick better.  (Coyt again...)
                   3) Use small amounts of wash, allowing each to dry
                      before applying the next.  Blow gently on the wash
                      after applying, from the top, to keep the pools
                      in the recesses where they belong.  If the wash is
                      thin enough, it'll dry with a minimum of blowing.
                   4) Mix a new wash, thicker. It might work better, being
                      thick enough to keep from creeping, or maybe with
                      just little different density.


     4.B. How do I drybrush?

          First off, drybrushing is most effective when used with a colour
          a shade or two lighter than the base.  White drybrushed over
          black primer also makes for a very good painting base.  It also
          looks good as a stand-alone colour scheme on some figures.
          Take your desired colour and an old brush, as drybrushing wears
          brushes out and tears them up (the author has had good success in
          using cheap watercolour brushes for large drybrushing projects
          with acrylic paints, but for smaller areas a better-quality brush
          is still necessary).  Dip it into the paint until the tip is
          saturated, then blot on a paper towel until no paint can be seen
          on a dark brush, or a light one looks pretty clean.
          Take the brush and gently draw it along the raised parts you want
          highlighted.  A little paint will stay on the highest edges and
          give great depth.
          Many painters like to highlight in stages, lightening the shade a
          little with each level.  This can be either overkill and a pain or
          an excellent technique for brightening and preserving detail.
          Practice yourself and decide.


     4.C. How do I highlight?

          Drybrushing is the best method of highlighting any large area or
          area with repetetive detail, such as armour.  For faces, hands,
          buckles and the like, highlighting can be achieved by taking a
          slightly lighter shade of the base (mixed with white or a lighter
          tone) and going along the raised areas lightly.  A fine brushpoint
          is required, as is a steady hand.  For faces highlight the chin,
          nose, and cheeks.  For hands go along the backs and each finger.
          For other detail, pick the spots that should show up best and
          give them the lightest highlights.  It's common to highlight
          twice, each time getting lighter in tone and finer in line.
          A bit of blending is required to keep things looking natural, but
          this blending is easier than the large-surface technique.  Simply
          keep a damp brush handy and brush very lightly toward the darker
          areas.
          Again, this technique takes practice, but is worth the effort when
          the miniature is completed.


     4.D. What are inks, should I use them, and if so, how?

          Inks are just that, semi-transparent tones that can be used to add
          colour and shading to a miniature.  If you wish to go beyond the
          range of paints, you might wish to try working with them.
          Unless using for outlining, inks should always be thinned
          slightly for glazing and rather a lot for washing.  A milk-like
          consistency is best for washing (or even thinner, since you can
          always wash again if more is needed) and about 50-50 ink and water
          is best for glazing.
          If you do not get the specially formulated for miniatures inks
          (the only brand known to the author is Citadel, and they're very
          good), then the best information available comes from Wade
	  Hutchison (whutchis@bucknell.edu), as posted to rec.games.
	  miniatures and is edited and used here without permission:
	      "A tip about Inks.  If you go to the art supply store to buy
              your inks, be sure and get _pigmented_ inks, not transparent
              ones.  Pigmented inks, especially brown, work much better for
              a wash than the transparent ones.  Red and blue don't seem to
              matter as much.  For shading white, there is a really good ink
              color called "Payne's Grey" whick is a kind of blue-grey.  It
              does a much better job than black when washing white or very
              light tans and greys."
          Recommended also have been Windsor & Newton inks.
          Inks are best used as washes, for outlining, and as glazes.
          When washing with inks on a matt surface (or on any other,
          actually), a gentle blowing of air from the top to the bottom
          of the miniature helps keep the ink from drying back up into the
          raised areas.  The author usually blows lightly until the wash
          stops looking slick-wet.
          
	  % Glazing is done with inks.  In this technique, a slightly darker
          tone than the base is thinned and then brushed over the entire
          surface and allowed to dry.  Glazing brings out a richness of
          colour not possible with paint alone.  Glazing should be done
          after highlighting and shading and tends to bring up detail of
          these well.


     4.E. What colours should I use for detail work?

          Here's a standard chart on what looks good together (remember,
          nothing is absolute.  Try new blends and develop your own
          preferences):

           Base colour       Highlight             Shade
           -----------       ---------             -----
           White             (none)                Gray or blue-gray
           Light gray        White                 Dark Gray
           Dark gray         Light gray            Black
           Red               Red-orange            Red brown
           Red brown         Orange-brown          Dark brown
           Dark brown        Light brown           Black
           Pink              Pink+white            Red
           Human flesh       Flesh+white or tan    Red brown
           Tan               Orange+yellow+white   Brown+orange
           Black             Black+green or blue   (none)
           Light blue        Light blue+white      Medium blue
           Medium blue       Medium blue+white     Dark Blue
           Dark blue         Medium blue           Dark blue+black
           Purple            Purple+white          Purple+dark blue or black
           Bright green      Green+yellow+white    Medium green or dark green
           Medium green      Green+yellow+white    Dark green
           Dark green        Medium green          Dark green+black
           Yellow            Yellow+white          Yellow+brown
           Orange            Orange+yellow         Orange+red-brown or red
           Gold              Gold+silver+yellow    Orange-brown
           Silver            (none)                Black+blue
           Brass or copper   base colour+gold      base colour+black

          NOTE: colour+colour means two or more colours mixed, colour-colour
          means either a commercial shade of that name or colours mixed.


   5. What should I use for bases?

      This depends entirely on what you're using the miniature for.  If
      it's a display model, then you can get fancy.  If it's for military
      gaming, you'll want a durable, realistic look.  If it's for fantasy
      play you'll want durability and likely not too much fuss.  Standard
      materials for bases are: the plastic slottabases many companies both
      supply with their products and sell seperately, pennies or flat
      washers, cardboard (not recommended - bends too easily), tiles, wood,
      sheet metal, matt board (available at art supply stores), and magnetic
      strips (often bonded to one of the above materials).  Filler and water
      putty have both been used with success, and someone also has claimed
      to make his own bases out of hot glue.
      The general rule, of course, is the more use the miniature gets, the
      stronger the base material should be.


    5.A.  What's the best stuff to cover bases with?

           Again, a matter of how natural-looking and/or durable you want
           the base to be.  For foilage, the hands-down favourite material
           is the model railroader's groundcovering.  Woodland Scenics has
           an excellent selection and it's inexpensive (particularly when
           you figure that the small bags of the stuff can do 100 miniature
           bases or more).  Bill Gilliland (skaven@u.washington.edu) uses
	   something called GRASS (es, all caps) from Life-Like Scenery,
	   which is ultra-fine sawdust which has been coloured.
	   Verlinden is another recommended brand, available in Europe.  A
           product called Basetex, from Colour Party Paints, comes in various
           colours and is available in the UK.
           Other materials that can be used are sand, sifted clay cat litter
           (not the scoopable stuff), aquarium bottom material, or sawdust.

           First, paint the base a neutral-type or natural colour.  When it
           dries, take an old brush (or a cheap watercolour brush) and paint
           a 50/50 mix of white glue and water over the surface you want to
           cover.  Painting the glue on gives more precise coverage than
           simply squirting it on.  The base covering material may be applied
           either by having it in a tray about 1/4" deep and dipping the
           glue-covered bases into it or by shaking a spoonful over the wet
           glue.  Give it an hour or so to dry and shake the miniature over
           the container holding the rest of the base covering.  If needed,
           just dab the bare spots with a little more glue and reapply the
           covering.  Mix different colours or drybrush for an irregular
           look, if wanted.
           Apply details, like rocks and the like (also available from model
           railroad suppliers) by dipping into the glue and setting in place
           with tweezers.
	 Here are some specific methods used by gamers:
         Bill Gilliland (skaven@u.washington.edu) contributes:
           "It is handy is to keep a dry brush handy while you're doing this, 
	   and if you get flock on wrong areas, flick it off with the second 
	   brush.  Old red-sable brushes will work for painting the glue on, 
	   but they're kind of soft and they can be hard to get the glue right 
	   where you want it.  I use nylon brushes, they're stiffer.  And 
	   painting the base before flocking is important.  I use  Citadel 
	   Goblin Green which is the same color as the WD photos, but I've used
	   black before and that works fine as well." 
         Joshua Buergel (jbbb+@andrew.cmu.edu) adds:
           "As for the sand method, I've used it on a couple of titans I 
	   painted, as the bigger area you cover with this particular variety 
	   of flock, the sillier it starts to look.  I use aquarium sand from 
	   a pet store and do the above process, only dipping the miniature in
	   sand.  After waiting a couple of hours or more for the glue to dry 
	   (if you don't, when you do the next process the sand starts coming 
	   off), I use a heavily watered down woodland green and paint all of 
	   the sand.  After again waiting a long time for this to dry 
           completely, I dry brush sunburst yellow on top.  "Dry brushing" 
	   isn't entirely accurate, though, as I do not wipe the paint off the 
	   brush completely.  Rather, I take one swipe on a piece of paper to 
	   rid the brush of a little paint, and then use a dry brushing sort of
	   motion.  This makes the top of the sand yellow but leaves the 
	   bottom bits clearly green."  
         Then back to Bill:
	   "I use this method on all my 28mm models and titan-bases.  The stuff
	   was white sand (I forget if it was coral or dune sand) and 3$ got 
	   me about 4 kilograms.  I've also used sand from playgrounds, but 
	   this is more irregular than aquarium sand.  Again, flick off sand 
	   then let dry.
           "Painting 28 mm bases can be done any number of ways.  For fantasy 
	   I paint Goblin Green all over the sand and sides, then `damp brush'
           (as Josh described, pretty much) `bilious green' on the top of the 
           sand.  This provides a neutral texture to accentuate the model
           yet not detract from it.
           "For 40K-types I do the same, but when I'm done I go over the side 
	   with black paint.  This is because I started painting for space 
	   hulk, and this looks better in the corridors, but on the table both 
	   black and green edges look fine.  
           "Also, the best looking 28mm bases I've ever done were painted all
           black to begin with, then drybrushed dark green-mid green-yellow 
	   green-yellow, and the edges were kept black, but this took FOREVER 
	   to do.
           "You can also just paint the base black and have unpainted sand on 
	   the top (sandbox sand looks better than white sand -- it's speckled)
	   I did this on all my Blood Bowl miniatures and it looks fine.  
           "But whatever specific method you choose, try to do the same thing 
	   to all the models in an army, and at least the same thing to all 
	   the models in a unit.  A simple unit with neatly done bases often 
	   looks better than a well-painted unit with sloppy or completely 
	   unpainted bases."


   6. How do I strip paint?

      There are several substances which will work, outlined below.  Other
      than the top two (which are the author's personal default choices), 
      they're in no particular order.
         a) Pine Sol for a 24-hour soak then brush off remaining paint with 
	    a soft toothbrush.  Works great on metal.  Brian Lojeck
            <lojeck@mizar.usc.edu> ran extensive tests on Citadel plastic
	    genestealers and Pine Sol for paint removal.  Here are his
	    results:
            "I soaked the plastic genestealer in about 50-50 Pine Sol/water
	    solution for 7-8 hours (a nights sleep).  The plastic didn't seem 
	    softer, the detail didn't seem any worse, and the paint came off 
	    pretty well (as it always does with Pine Sol. it was hard getting 
	    the paint out of the cracks (I soaked in acetone to do that)."
	    Then he soaked some unpainted Citadel plastic figures in another
	    50-50 Pine Sol/water solution:
            "The figure survived whole, without softening or loss of detail.
            The solution turned milky white about 30 minutes after the 
	    experiment started, but had cleared back to golden by morning."
	    <Britt's note - that's the standard Pine Sol reaction in water, 
	    does same when I'm cleaning the toilet.>  Brian left the figures 
	    soaking another 48 hours and they didn't mar under the toothbrush
	    bristles, but he was able to stick his fingernail into the plastic
	    about 1/16".  It looks like the 50-50 mix is the key.  Certain 
	    other pine-oil cleaners of less strength than Pine Sol are on the
	    market.  Anyone who tests these on plastic figures is encouraged
	    to send the author your results for inclusion here.
         b) Chameleon model paint stipper from Custom Hobbyist, Inc. found in 
	    model railroad shops.  Sort of expensive, but _reusable_, water 
	    soluable, and really fast.
         c) Floquil/Polly S Dio-Sol.  Also purportedly dissolves glue.
	    Won't harm your plastic as much as Pine Sol, but reportedly loses
	    detail due to the amount of scrubbing necessary for the recesses.
         d) Brake fluid.  Won't melt your plastic, but might melt your hands...
	    2-3 hour soak _maximum_, usually works faster.
         e) Dettol, the pharmaceutical cleaner.  Works much like Pine Sol, but 
	    I have no information on its potential to melt plastic.  Though it
	    didn't melt the base on the test figure, bases probably aren't
	    polystyrene.  It did remove glue, though.  (Thanks to Steve Gill
	    for this bit.)
         f) "The Sainsbury's home brand pine disinfectant (UK).
	    It actually gives pine oil as one of it's ingredients.  In testing
            it works very well and costs roughly 99p per 750ml bottle."  (More
            thanks to Steve Gill who found this product and tested it.)
         g) Acetone nail polish remover.  Smells, peels skin, melts plastic, 
	    takes paint off metal like a champ.
         h) Isopropyl alcohol, the stronger the better.  Lab grade, if you
	    can get it.  This seems to be the safest product for use on plastic
	    miniatures, and also the most universally available.   "It takes 
	    off acrylic paints in almost no time, but reportedly doesn't do as
	    good a job in crevices as Pine Sol does.  As for oil-based 
	    paints...  "after several days of soaking, renewing renewing the 
	    solution, scrubbing... the figurine I tested has still a good 
	    portion of its paint on, mainly on the zones that I cannot access 
	    with a toothbrush." - Magali Mathieu 
         i) Easy-Off oven cleaner.  And wear gloves.  It reportedly will not
	    harm metal or plastic minis.  Remember to use GOOD ventilation.
	    (Thanks to Richard Kurtin for this information.)
         j) "Bix Paint Stripper.  Buy the sprayable, rather than the jelly 
	    mix. It smells bad, is volatile, and will go after your skin if 
	    you forget your gloves.  It will remove enamel paint with minimal 
	    scrubbing, and does a pretty good job on acrylic. It _WILL_ eat 
	    plastic, so don't even think about putting your Genestealers (tm) 
	    in it. Also, you'll probably find yourself replacing your 
	    toothbrush more often." - Pete Siekierski 
         k) "Methylene Chloride.  One of the components of Bix Paint Stripper, 
	    MC is rarely available in its purest form (I've no idea where my 
	    dad got his can, and neither does he!). It is extremely volatile. 
	    Do not light up near a can of methylene chloride! It will also do 
	    a number on your skin, making it wrinkled like you've been all day 
	    in the bath. Wear gloves! Also, be sure not to wear metal jewelry. 
	    Because of its high rate of evaporation, MC "chills" metal, and 
	    this can be very uncomfortable if you immerse a ring in it...
            On the plus side, pure methylene chloride is even more effective
            than Bix, which contains only a small amount. It burns right 
	    through any kind of paint that you'd care to put on a miniature, 
	    and will reduce plastic Genestealers (tm) to shapeless lumps (big 
	    deal, heavy flamers do that too!). It will "chill" lead or pewter 
	    miniatures, so they will feel cold to the touch, but in a room-
	    temperature environment, this will wear off quickly. Like the Bix 
	    stripper, you'll find yourself replacing your toothbrushes more 
	    often." -  Pete Siekierski <psiekier@isc.jsc.nasa.gov>
	    (Archiver's note: Proper dental hygene suggest that you replace
	    your toothbrushes every other month anyway...)
         l) Poxy Scum <shughe10@scu.edu.au> in Australia also offers this
	    info:  "I found that Rexona(tm) Sport pump spray, not the aerosole 
	    works quite well, almost immediately on acrylic Citadel paints.  
	    It is best used for spot cleaning as it works almost instantly to 
	    soften paint and is quite safe on plastic and metal.  

      As you can see, there are a lot of products that will remove paint.  Most
      are caustic.  The author recommends a non-caustic product.  Pine oil 
      cleaner will remove any type of paint (acrylic, oil-based, Rust-O-Leum, 
      fingernail polish, etc.) from miniatures with no loss of detail, no 
      caustic residue, and no hazardous fumes.  It's safe for metal miniatures
      and will not dissolve the glue holding parts together.  Pine-Sol is the 
      best brand, as it's 19.9% pine oil, but any percentage over 5% pine oil 
      will strip paint (it just requires a longer soak in the less-powerful 
      cleaners).  It also works on paint that's been on for several years (the 
      author successfully removed 10-year old Testors from a metal miniature 
      with a 2-day Pine-Sol soak).
      For plastic miniatures, Pine Sol in a 50-50 solution with water, else
      isopropyl alcohol is your best bet.
      Dettol, a product from the UK, seems to work as the US Pine-Sol does
      in preliminary testing.  More information will be made available as
      testing continues.
      Simply place the miniature in a container which will allow full
      coverage, pour in enough pine oil cleaner to cover, and let it soak
      for 24 hours or more.  The longer the soak, the better the stripping
      (the author has soaked metal miniatures for over a week with no damage
      resulting).  If you're doing multiple miniatures, it's best to soak
      them seperately, if possible.  Once the paint starts to dissolve, it
      causes a sliminess that can get on the others.
      After the soaking, take an old toothbrush (dry) and scrub.  A soft
      bristled toothbrush is best, however using soft then stiff will get
      most everything without special work.  The finest details are kept,
      the paint comes off easily, and the smell doesn't try to knock you 
      out.  If some paint remains stubborn, another soak will do the trick.  
      (The tip of a toothpick is also good for crevasse-cleaning as are 
      standard pipecleaners.)  Do wear gloves if you're skin-conscious.  The
      author doesn't and has never suffered for it, but others report peeling
      and irritated skin.
      NOTE:  Many people have complained about the pine-cleaner soak 
      darkening the metal of the miniature.  The author just finished
      cleaning a lead miniature on which the acrylic paint had been for
      two years.  It soaked for 24 hours and was first scrubbed with a
      soft toothbrush then a stiff one until all the paint was removed.
      Then the soft brush was washed clean and hand soap (the bar of
      Ivory by the sink) was applied to the brush and the miniature was 
      brushed down vigorously, as one would do teeth.  It took about 5
      minutes, but the lead shined up as good as the fresh-from-the-package
      figures it ended up beside on the shelf.  So the `dark metal'
      syndrome can be taken care of, if it's important to you and you
      care to spend the time.


   7. What kind of miniatures should I start with?

      25mm is easier to detail than 12mm or 6mm, some miniatures are less or
      more detailed than others.  Again, this is much a matter of personal
      preference and what you want the miniatures for.  Look over as much
      as you can before selecting starter miniatures, unless you have your
      heart set on something.  Just don't pick something so fussy or detailed
      that you'll get frustrated with your new hobby on your first project.
      Also, refrain from doing that `special' one until you've had a little
      practice.
      Some offerings of types in the 25-30mm range are:
         Citadel: tend to have large areas and broad features, and
          are recommended `beginner' pieces if you can't find something
          better.  Once you have the feel of painting, can be masterpieces.
	 Heartbreaker: Everything good about Citadel plus some of the most
	  excellent modelling ever done in this style of figure.  And costs
	  less, too.
         Metal Magic: again, heavier features, thus good for the novice.
         Mithril: pre-primered and a little above 25mm, broad detail
         Ral Partha: tend to have sharp detail, good once you have the basics
           down.
         Grenadier: detail can be hard to follow, but that can be a plus.
	 Soldiers & Swords: Good variety in both individual figures and
	  quality.  Some are excellent, some aren't worth the purchase.
	 Simtac: Good figures with fine features and nice detail.  A little
	  difficult for the beginner.
         Various military miniatures: varies greatly, use your own judgement.


     7.A. Metal or plastic?

          Opinion varies.  Some favour plastic because it's cheaper, some
          prefer metal for better detail.  Choose according to your own
          budget and preferences.


         7.A.a. My miniature came in multiple parts, now what?

                Get the smallest file you can find, a pair of scissors, and
                some glue.  If it's a plastic miniature, you can use model
                cement or super glue, if it's metal use Zap-A-Gap, super
                glue, or any model formulated cryanoacrylate.  On plastic, 
		first clip in as close as possible with scissors (nail scissors
                are excellent) then file.  On metal, carefully file the edges.
                The goal is to get the pieces to fit together as closely as
                possible.  Once they do, clean them with soap and water to
                remove all shavings, dry, and glue.  Hold for about twice as
                long as is recommended for the glue to set.  The innovative
                miniaturist can come up with a great many ways to clamp,
                fasten, or hold parts together until everything's dry.
                 (Regretfully, the author has forgotten who posted this
                   tip [likely it was Tom Harris], but it's excellent:
		   "A little note, if you're working with super glue keep
                    a wet teabag handy.  If you spill super glue on your
                    hands wipe it on the teabag and the teabag will absorb
                    it - teabags are highly absorbant of chemicals. It works
                    great for me and I don't end up with shells on the ends
                    of my fingers of dried super glue.")
                  (This one comes from John F. Bailey <jfbailey@spk.hp.com>:
                    "If you do become adhered to yourself or pieces via
                     superglue (cyanoacrylate), most of them can be dissolved 
		     with acetone.  May take a little soaking, but it works.  
		     Unfortunately it also removes skin oils almost completely.
		     Follow it with isopropyl alcohol to neutralize the acetone
                     then lots of soap and water to neutralize the alcohol, and
                     then a good moisturizing lotion to replenish skin oils and
                     avoid those nasty dry skin diseases (eczema, etc.).  A bit
		     of a pain, and it eats most plastics, but a whole lot 
		     better than surgery to remove that battle-axe.  A 
		     preventive technique is to use "barrier creme", not a lot 
		     of mechanics in this country use it even though it is very
		     common in the UK, but I have obtained it by asking for it 
		     in pharmacies/drug stores.  You put it on like hand lotion
		     before you get into something.  It dries to a thin film 
                     that protects your skin from most solvents, gas, oil, 
		     etc., and washes off with soap and water.")
                Note:  If working with cryanoacrylate, have the acetone (nail
		polish remover is the most available form) on hand and nearby.
		When you aren't prepared, you'll end up stuck to something.  
		Murphy loves modellers.

		Once the glue has dried, take an X-acto blade or razor blade
                and carefully clean off the excess glue, if any.  A file or
                emery board will also do the trick.
                You'll have to wash the miniature again before primering, to
                remove hand oils and glue remains.
		After you've gotten the basics of gluing your miniatures, 
		the best stuff you can use is epoxy.  It's permanent, filable,
		and works exceptionally well on miniatures that will get a
		lot of handling.

         7.A.b. What is pinning and how is it done?

                Pinning is a method of securing multiple-piece miniatures
		by drilling small holes and inserting wire before gluing
		in order to reinforce the joint.  Required are a pin vise,
		suitable size drill bit, thin wire (copper wire, paper clip
		wire, anything like that) and either cryanoacrylate model
		glue or epoxy.  Complete instructions come courtesy of
                Bill Thacker (wbt@babel.cb.att.com): "Either adhesive, properly
		applied (that is, to _clean_ surfaces) will give you a joint 
		strong enough to withstand normal handling.  Neither is
                guaranteed against serious abuse (poorly-packed figures 
		rattling around the trunk of your car, or being carried `by 
		the handful').  If you want a _very_ strong joint, get a very 
		fine drill and some piano wire.  Using a shoulder joint as an 
		example: drill a hole in the center of the joint, a quarter 
		inch or so into the body of the figure. Insert the piano wire 
		into the hole (you want a gauge of wire that fits well, but not
                so snugly that you have to force it in the hole) and, using 
		side-cutting pliers, snip it off flush with the hole.  This 
		will leave you with a chisel-point on the piano wire, just 
		slightly protruding from the hole.
                "Now take the loose arm, align it to the figure the way you 
		want it set up, and press firmly.  The chisel-tip on the piano 
		wire will have left a nice gouge showing you where to drill 
		the mating hole.  Remove the piano wire and discard it; drill 
		the mating hole about a quarter inch into the arm (or as deep
                as the figure allows).  Cut another piece of piano wire, a half
                inch or more, and insert it into the figure; then attach the 
		arm.  You may need to trim this down until the arm fits flush 
		with the shoulder joint. Epoxy or superglue this in place and 
		the joint will never fail.
                "This technique is rarely needed for something like an arm or 
		hand, but for assembling large figures (dragon wings!) it's 
		invaluable."


   8. What is kitbashing?

      Kitbashing is the colloquialism used by miniaturists to describe the
      process by which a miniature is converted from its original form to
      another permutation, such as taking a fantasy miniature and making
      it into a figure for superhero roleplaying, or changing gender.  Most
      properly, it refers to the instances when two or more figures are used
      for components in the final version.


     8.A. How do I convert miniatures?

          It's an acquired skill.  To convert a miniature requires a lot of
          imagination, steady hands, patience, and a few out-of-the-ordinary
          tools.  Costumes have to be obliterated, faces changed, weapons
          removed or added or changed.  In all honesty, the processes
          involved are more numerous than can be addressed in this FAQ.
          Therefore, only the most common modifications will be addressed.
          Tools:  To properly modify a miniature, you're going to need:
             files (round, triangular, square, flat), the smaller the better
             X-acto knife and several replacement blades
             glue, preferably Zap-A-Gap, possibly epoxy
             nail scissors or tiny wire cutters
             needle-nose pliers, the smaller the better
             sandpaper and/or emery boards
             a hacksaw, the finest you can get
             any new pieces you want to add (weapons, etc.)
          
	  % The most common modification is to change one weapon for another.
          For purposes of explaination, a fantasy figure will be used, the
          change being from sword to battleaxe, assuming the sword had been
          molded as one with the hand.  First, clip or cut the sword off on
          either side of the hand, being very careful not to damage the hand.
          The new piece may be one cut from another miniature, or one
          acquired from a weapons pack.  If it is the latter, you will need
          to measure it against the hand and cut out part of the handle to
          compensate.  The next step is to make holes in either side of the
          hand where the handle enters in order to insert the new parts.
          An X-acto blade or file may be used. A pin drill would come in
          handy about now.
          Once the holes are made, a drop of glue is placed in each one, then
          the handles are carefully set in place.  The glue should show, as
          the extra is needed to keep the parts in place.  Hold until set,
          possibly reinforce with a little tape, a brace, or some sort of
          clamping arrangement, and let set.  After the glue is thorughly
          dry, a file or emery board can be used to clean up the excess,
          Avoid using a knife or razor blade, as you're likely to take off
          too much glue and the weapon will simply fall off again.
          
	  % Another common modification is to make a miniature suitable for
          superhero use.  The easiest way to do this is to file and sand
          the clothing smooth with the rest of the body, then paint on the
          costume of your choice.

          A note on drilling, thanks to Andrew Reibman (alr@cbnewsh.cb.att.com)
            "A useful tip for figure converters and folks drilling out
             spears to replace them with wire. Before drilling (with
             either pin vice or dremel tool)
             dip the bit in Johnson's tube wax (what the pros in the
             machine shop use), dryed-out  Simonize car wax (my choice),
             or other wax. Even a bar of soap may work. 
             "Since a buddy of mine who spent his career
             in  machine shop recommended this, I've cut bit breakage
             down by a huge fraction, and starting and drilling are both much 
             easier. I use to break my .014 bits, used for starter 
             wholes in tough 15mm jobs, about once every ten holes -
             well that's an exaggeration, but I did break a lot of bits...
             The wax lubricates the bit, and "keeps the flutes from
             filling/jamming", allowing the cutting end of the bit
             to do the job more effectively."
             Brian Oplinger (oplinger@ra.crd.ge.com) says that turpentine,
	     mineral spirits, and paint thinner also make good bit lubricants.
	     If things get hot, though...  And remember to ventilate.


     8.B. What kind of glue should I use?

          The common miniaturists glue is Zap-A-Gap, available at nearly all
          stores which sell paints.  It's thick, holds well on both metal
          and plastic, and fills gaps and cracks.  Also of this type are a
	  line of cryanoacrylates which come in various-coloured bottles,
	  each coded to its type, and a blank space for the local store's
	  name or Wargames West (in the US, of course).  Super glue is often 
	  used to join pieces; it dries brittle and a good drop might snap the
          connection.  Its redeeming feature is speed of bonding.  Epoxy is
          excellent for permanent bonding and building up areas when
          modifying.  The bonds it makes don't break when jarred, and almost
          nothing will remove it once it has set (the author has never heard
          of set epoxy being removed, but refuses to use absolutes and be
          later proven wrong).  Epoxy also comes in different formulas for
          different materials.  Duco cement is a good all-purpose bonding
          agent.  White glue, such as Elmer's or Aleen's Tacky, is good for
          adhering paper and groundcovering to plastic and metal surfaces.
          White glue does fatigue, however, so if it is used, a sealing agent
          overall will help keep your pieces together.
	  For building up areas and the like, nothing beats ribbon epoxy.
	  For more information on cryanoacrylate see section 7.A.a. above.


   9. How can I paint details?

      Finest brush you can get, a steady hand, lots of patience, and good
      lighting.  Fine detailing includes (but is by no means restricted to)
      faces, eyes, jewelry, shield devices and banners, small clothing
      details, weapon decoration, insignia, and armour detail.  For many of
      these, some of the highlighting/washing/drybrushing tips above apply,
      for others a whole new range of techniques are necessary.


     9.A. How do I paint faces?

          Start with the eyes.  Then do the face in whatever shade you
          choose.  Now add a touch of white to the flesh tone to get a
          slightly lighter shade and go back over the nose and cheekbones.
          A light orange makes defined but natural-looking lips.  Remember,
          red lips are a product of makeup, not nature.
	  Some painters prefer to put the eyes on last, but others say it's
	  too hard to keep from making the effect pop-eyed when done last.
	  Try whatever method you prefer.
          Moustaches are best if dry-brushed, paint beards a slightly redder
          or darker shade than the hair and dry brush with the same colour
          you use on the hair.  There's nothing wrong with a 5-o'clock
          shadow on an appropriate figure, either.  Dry-brush it on in a
          shade slightly darker than the hair.  Once you get comfortable
          with faces, experiment with scars or tattoos.  You might amaze
          yourself.

        9.A.a. How do I paint eyes?

               Depending on the size of the miniature, there are a couple of
               good methods.  On a 15mm or smaller miniature, don't try too 
	       hard for absolute detail until you've gotten a lot of practice 
	       in.  On 25mm and larger, though, eyes can be done rather easily 
	       (with practice, of course).
               Below are several methods:
	         % Before painting the face, paint the eyes white.  When 
		   that's dry, dot them black.  Then paint a slightly darker 
		   shade than you're going to use for the rest of the face 
		   around the eyes to define them (mix a touch of brown or tan 
		   into the flesh tone for this).  Then paint the rest of the 
		   face.
	         % [This method is courtesy of Andrew Cameron Willshire 
	           (s921959@yallara.cs.rmit.OZ.AU) ]:  "Another easy way is to 
		   paint the white of the eye with a brush.  Let it dry.  
		   Then, take a tech pen (architectural or engineering) and 
		   draw the iris.  With another tech pen, dot in the pupil.  
		   Note that this requires a few different pens since you'll 
		   want a few different colours - say black, blue, brown and 
		   maybe green.
                   "This is a really easy technique, and since the ink is 
		   water based if you muck up you can just rinse it off (this 
		   is assuming you use enamels for the rest of the figure, 
		   like I do)."  [Author's note: even if you use acrylics, if 
		   the white is already dry you can still blot the ink off 
		   with a damp Q-tip or the tip of a damp, fine brush.]  "It 
		   also works great on monsters, say orcs.  However, they tend 
		   to look better with `reds' instead of `whites' in their 
		   eyes, then having a white iris and black pupil - very nasty 
		   looking!  Tech pens may be a little pricey to pick up, but 
		   you can easily find sets with a few in them that are 
		   reasonably cheap.  They also work magnificently for such 
		   things as flag details, shield heraldry and so forth."  
                 % Steve Harvey (dwallace@wam.umd.edu) has some advice
		   regarding affordable tech pens: "Most tech pens are 
		   obscenely expensive, but there are two brands of non-
		   refillable tech pens that I am aware of.  Sakura makes
                   an excellent series of tech pens called Pigma - these 
		   come in a variety of colors, in sizes ranging from .005mm 
		   to .8, and cost about $2 each.  I like these so much that 
		   even though I have a set of Pentel professional tech pens,
                   I use these instead.  Schwan/Stabilo also makes a series 
		   of pens called OHPen 96 (or at least that's what it says 
		   on the barrel of mine...) which also come in numerous colors
		   and several sizes.  They are not as fine as a true tech pen,
		   but they will write on ANYTHING - glass, plastic, etc. 
		   without the ink beading.  The one thing to watch out for is 
		   that they come with either permanent or water-soluble ink; 
		   the latter are popular as overhead transparency markers, 
		   but for miniature work, the permanent is what you want."
	         % [This method is given by Allan Wright (aew@spitfire.unh.edu)
                   and has been edited]: "I paint eyes on 25mm (and 15mm 
		   officers, standard bearers, etc) with a technique taught to 
		   me by a friend.
                   1. Fill the eye socket with white.  I use an OOO brush, one 
		   stroke horizontally across each socket.  Be sloppy, it's OK.
                   2. Paint the middle of the eye, Black, Dark brown or Dark 
		   blue.  Paint a vertical stripe down the center of the eye - 
		   taking up the middle third of the eye socket - don't worry 
		   about going over the top/bottom edges. Again I use an OOO 
		   brush. In both let the brush 'fan out'
                   3. Eyebrow - paint with hair color of your choice.  Paint 
		   the eyebrow on the ridge above the eye socket in a slight 
		   crescent shape, cover the white and black from 1 & 2.
                   4. Under eye: use tan or slightly darkened skin color (under
		   the eye is usually darker or shadowed).  Cover the white and
		   black from 1 & 2 with a slightly crescent stroke."  [The
		   author has adapted this method slightly and finds it most
		   effective thus far.  Suggest you try this at least once.]
                 % Bill Gilliland <skaven@u.washington.edu> says:  "For humans,
                   I paint the entire eye socket black.  Then, on either side
                   of the center where the pupil is, I put a small white dot 
		   to show the whites of the eyes.  On character models, I 
		   paint the iris a solid circle (usually blue or green) with 
		   a highlight in an upper corner, then put a smaller dot of 
		   black in the center.  This method gives you outlining of 
		   the eye for very little effort.
                   "For evil creatures (such as orcs) I paint the socket black,
		   then put a white oval inside, leaving an outline all around.
		   The white is then overpainted with red.  On characters the 
		   corners of the eye are spotted with a translucent yellow to 
		   accentuate the red pupil."
                 % Derek Kingsley Schubert (dks@acpub.duke.edu) explains his
		   method:  "Faces/eyes: Shade/highlight the face completely 
		   first.  Paint dark brown or black in an area just slightly 
		   larger than the eye itself.  Then paint white for the eye, 
		   and finish with a dot of dark brown or black for the iris.  
		   Colored irises don't look good unless surrounded by a dark 
		   ring to set them off from the white; but this is darn 
		   tricky, so new painters should paint only dark irises on 
		   figures that should have humanlike "white-and-iris" eyes."

	    9.A.b. How do I paint hair?
             
                   It's honestly not as hard as it looks, though you do
		   need to both wash and drybrush it.  Base in a good
		   neutral tone for the colour you want (a dark yellow
		   for blondes [tan, dun, khaki, yellow], dark red for
		   redheads, lighter for auburn, orange for strawberry 
		   blondes, any shade of brown for brunettes, and black
		   or dark blue for black hair).  Then darken it or select
		   something a couple of shades darker and wash.  Let that
		   dry, then wash thicker and darker.  Let that dry and 
		   drybrush with the original colour.  Then a lighter shade.
		   (For black hair, drybrush in dark blue and leave it at 
		   that, drybrush in dark gray, white or light for salt-and-
		   pepper, or don't even bother to drybrush if you like
		   the colour it ends up after washing.)
		   Black hair can honestly be achieved with a dark, dark blue
		   base, two black washes (one light and one heavy), then
		   a very light dark blue drybrush.  A royal blue drybrush
		   achieves a nice punkish-look.
		   Blonde starts out best with a dark base then lightening
		   with drybrushes.  Wash chestnut or light brown.
		   Redheads are best if understated a little.  Don't use
		   red unless you want something impossible to nature.  Dark
		   red-browns are best (Polly S Demon Deep Red is great, too)
		   washed in brown and highlighted with first the original
		   shade, then something lighter in that line, then perhaps
		   a dark orange or yellow-brown brushed very, very lightly.

		   Here are some extremely good tips from Chris Pierson 
		   <cpierson@interlog.com> for specific hair colors:
                   "Golden blond: Polly S Canine Yellow-Brown, drybrush with 
		   Polly S Griffin Hide (_don't_ use the "real" yellow as a 
		   base coat. That oughta keep it from looking like Loni 
		   Anderson. :) ) This one works well for elves.
                   Ash blond: Sort of a Norse-type blond, very pale. Polly S 
		   Manticora Tan (a light tan), drybrush with Ral Partha Ivory.
                   I've got three redhead styles:
                   Auburn (dark redhead): Base coat Ral Partha Dark Brown or 
		   Polly S Kobold Dark Red-Brown. Drybrush with Ral Partha 
		   Red- Brown.
                   Redhead (standard): Base coat Partha Red-Brown. Drybrush 
		   with Polly S Rust.
                   Strawberry Blond (light goldy red): Base coat Polly S 
		   Rust. Drybrush with Polly S Manticora Tan.
                   For the Polly S impaired, Rust = reddish tan; Manticora 
		   Tan = light sandy tan."  Griffin Hide = dusty yellow
     
     9.B. How do I paint insignia?

          Two good methods have been presented in rec.games.miniatures.  The
          first comes from Steven Loren Lane (lanes@spot.Colorado.EDU), and
          is used without permission:
	  % "Well, on top of getting the smallest brushes available, you can
          always cut them down to an even smaller size.  I have several
          brushes that have only a few hairs on them.  These are very useful
          brushes.  I would also recommend for the very fine detail to set
          the object up so you can use both hands to hold the paint brush
          as still as possible."
          And was followed up by Steve Gill:
	  % "Another useful tool is a 0.13 mm spirograph ink pen, a couple
          of splodges of colour in the right place and you can pretty it up
          with the pen. I used this technique for 6mm heraldry."
          Yet another use for tech pens.  They are also very good for shield
          devices and clothing patterning.

       
     9.C. How do I paint armour?

          For fantasy and historical, some suggest not priming the miniature, 
	  then washing or drybrushing (or both) the bare metal, but to others
	  this looks sloppy and unfinished.  Besides, not much armour looks 
	  like lead, and lead certainly doesn't make good armour (nor do any 
	  of the alloys of which miniatures are cast).
          Paint the armour a base-metal colour, usually silver or one of the
          like tones, and let it dry.  Don't be afraid to use bronze, or gild
          it, though.  Then take a black wash (ink is excellent for this) and
          go over it carefully.  Let that dry, then take either your original
          colour or a lighter shade and drybrush.  Remember to use a seperate
          water/thinner for the brush you're working the metallics with, so
          as to not get flecks in the other colours.
        Steve Gill (steve@caws.demon.co.uk) shares his method of painting 
          chainmail:
          a) If the links are sculpted clearly enough that you can see the 
	  leather underneath then base coat should be leather (whatever colour 
	  required by the figure). If not ignore this step only paint leather 
	  around the edges where it should show under the links.
          b) The links are painted in dark metal.
          c) Drybrush the links in lighter metal.
          d) Highlight drybrush in very light metal.
          In general I would choose gunmetal as the dark metal, steel as the
          lighter colour. Heroic figures could use steel with silver, but try 
	  to keep this rare.
          Darker chainmail is probably much more historically correct than the
          usual hollywood style silver armour.
        Dan Evans (evansd@bbs.ug.eds.com) has a method suitable for SF figures
	  as well as fantasy:  "I've come up with a way to get interesting 
	  results with metallic colors.  (Maybe someone else has done this 
	  before...)  Basically, the trick is just two steps:
          1) paint your figure (or part of it) silver.
          2) when it's dry, apply colored ink (I have the Citadel set) over 
	  the silver.  The cool part is, you get unusual control over the 
	  degree of tint by applying the ink straight from the bottle or by 
	  watering it down (a wash.)  Another cool part is, you can blend one 
	  color into another.  Suppose you have a warrior with a shield, and 
	  you want it to fade from metallic blue at the top to metallic green 
	  at the bottom.  Paint the whole shield silver first, and then when 
	  it's dry, apply blue ink to the top half.  Next, apply green ink
          to the bottom half, mixing it up with the blue in the middle.
          "Yet another cool part is light-to-dark shading done this way:
	  Suppose you have a Space Marine and three shades of silver paint.
	  (The shades of silver may be sold as "aged metal" or "chain mail" or
          "gunmetal" or "silver".  Use your eyes: buy a blackish silver, a dark
	  silver, and plain old silver.)  I'll just call them dark, medium, 
	  and light.  1) Paint the entire figure with the dark silver and let 
	  it dry.  2) Drybrush the entire figure with the medium silver and 
	  let it dry.  3) Drybrush the entire figure again, concentrating on 
	  raised details, with the light silver and let it dry.  4) Right now 
	  your Space Marine should have a pretty nice shaded metal look.  Now 
	  go over the whole figure with red ink, and you'll have a shaded RED
          metal Space Marine.  Hey, you could even try technique B at this 
	  point, maybe with purple or orange blended into the red." 
	There is a caveat to this, however. Be careful using inks with acrylic 
	metallics. There is often a reaction between the two which give some 
	nasty effects. At the very least allow the metallic to dry for 24 hours
	before adding inks.  Some people have had only bad results from inking
	over acrylic metallics...  Test it before you begin your masterpiece.

     9.D. What other detailing can I do?

          Get in the light and give your miniature a good look-over.
          Usually a dot of paint or careful drybrushing will bring out the
          final details.  Certain specialized questions have been asked, the
          answers to which are given below:
          
	  % Does anyone have a decent method for painting torches?
          This answer came from D.R. Splatt (edd440u@nella02.cc.monash.edu.au):
          "The best I've personally seen was to paint the flames red at the
          base, orange for highlights, yellow for the bulk of the flame and
          a light drybrush of white (or black for a smoky flame).  Try to
          get the flames predominately yellow, eg:

                    |   <--------- White
                   | |
                  |   | <--------- Yellow
                 | ._| |
                |  | |<-|--------- Orange
                 \_(o)_/
                    !------------- Red

           Also a 'ragged' orange layer looks good."
           
	   % From Kent Reuber (reuber@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu):
           "People doing micro-armor have been using this sort of thing to
           simulate burning tanks for quite a while. Paint the torch itself
           black. Then tear off a small bit of cotton, paint the upper part
           grey-black and the lower part red-orange. Glue this bit of cotton
           onto the torch."

        9.D.a. Can I use anything besides paint and ink for details?
	       
	       Of course you can.  The simplest are decals, which are sold 
	       by the sheet and have many different styles to choose from.
	       Technical pens can be used for a lot of intricate work, as
	       can fine tip permanent markers.  There's a catch to the
	       markers, though, they can bleed when overcoated.
               Alec Habig (ahabig@bigbang.astro.indiana.edu) has a good
	         remedy: "I used some fine tip permanent markers to do letters 
	         and lines on some minatures.  This works well, giving better 
	         results than painting the same sort of stuff.  The problem - 
	         the marker would bleed when I coated the minis with the 
	         obligatory DullCote lacquer.  The solution - I rubbed a 
		 little bit of good old Elmer's white glue on the spot that 
		 I'd lettered with the marker.  Just a bit, and rubbed it 
		 around till I couldn't see it anymore.  This stopped the 
		 bleeding, without altering the finish in any noticable way."
               Mariano Flores (mflores@SU1AG.ess.harris.com) gives these tips
		 for decals (used without permission):  "For best results of 
		 decals adhering to the surface of your miniatures:
                 1.  Spray miniature with a shiny gloss coat (I use
                     Testors Gloss Coat).  You will find that decals
                     adhere better to smooth surfaces.
                 2.  Let gloss coat dry, maybe an hour or two.  I
                     usually let the coat dry for a whole day.
                 3.  Apply decals to model.  It is suggested to use
                     distilled water, since tap water is not that
                     pure and may contain some contamination (i.e. iron).
                 4.  Let decal dry for a day.  The wrinkling effect on
                     decals is usually caused by applying the dullcoat
                     or semi-gloss coat to a decal that still contains
                     some moisture.
                 5.  Apply dullcoat to model.
                 These procedures seem a bit drawn out, but patience is
                 a virtue.  These procedures work for me."
	       There are probably dozens of other common and unusual detailing 
	       tips out there that the author hasn't heard of yet.  She'd love 
	       to have them sent in for inclusion here.


  10. What is an overcoat and should I use one?

      An overcoat is a coat of clear paint that protects those colours you
      so carefully put onto your miniature.  Even an unhandled figure will
      begin to dull after awhile, and one in regular use will lose its paint
      even faster from hand and carrying case friction.  So you should put
      a protective coat over the miniature to make sure the paint remains
      unmarred.
      Overcoats come in three (possibly four) types: gloss, matte, flat, and
      lusterless.  Though four types are named, one company's matte is
      another's flat, flat and lusterless are often interchanged, and matte
      occasionally is labeled semi-gloss.  When in doubt, test or ask.
      Overcoats also come in two different applications, brush-on and spray.
      Spray is easier to use when you want a uniform coating, brush-on is
      good for when you only want certain parts covered.  Spraying overcoat
      on a miniature is much like spraying primer, though 3-5 coats is
      recommended for maximum protection.  Remember to begin and end the
      spray beyond the miniature in order to get the cleanest application.
      Gloss is just that, shiny.  It is most usually used on cars and other
      items that should shine.
      Semi-gloss (satin, sometimes called matte) is low-luster, and very
      durable on a figure that will be getting a lot of handling.
      Unfortunately, it tends to look artificial on humans and some animals.
      It's excellent on scales, however, and hard leather.
      Flat (also sometimes matte) is nearly without shine.  It's a good
      all-around people coating, exceptional on animals, where it simulates
      fur's natural shine.
      Lusterless is absolutely flat, it doesn't even look like it's there.
      It's perfect for people and cloth and anything else that should have
      no shine whatsoever.  Several coats can be applied and it never shows.
      A good method of overcoating a realistic-looking human/humanoid is to
      use a spray lusterless overcoat and put on 3-5 coats, then after the
      last coat is dry, use a brush-on matte or gloss to go back over all
      metallics, jewelry, eyes, lips, and anything else that should have a
      shine to it.  This is the author's favourite method.
      Companies making overcoats are (+ denotes brush-on, = is spray): 
        Armory (water-based acrylic):  Glass  -  a high-gloss +
				       Matte Sealer - low gloss  =
        Floquil (oil-based enamels):   Flat Finish  -  completely lusterless +
                                       High Gloss  -  very shiny, looks wet +
                                       Crystal-Cote  -  not quite as shiny +
				       Al-Pro-Cote - flat finish +
                                       Glaze  -  a lovely matte/satin finish +
				       Figure Flat - a low-shine matte =
        Floquil Flo-Stain (oil-based, 
              for wood or over paint): Glaze  -  as above  (I use this) +
                                       Crystal-Cote  -  also as above +
                                       Al-Pro-Cote  -  flat finish, no shine +
        Humbrol (oil based):           Dull Cote - flat finish +
        Krylon (spray only)            Clear Matte - low gloss =
        Model Master (oil-based):      Lusterless  -  another lusterless =
                                       Gloss Finish  -  high-shine =
        Pactra (water-based enamels):  Flat Clear  -  lusterless +
                                       Gloss Clear  -  shiny +
        Polly S (water-based acrylic): Gloss Finish  -  high shine +
                                       Flat Finish  -  lusterless +
        Ral Partha (acrylic)           Spray Clear Matte Sealer - low gloss =
				       Clear Sealer - matte finish +
        Testers (Oil-based enamels):   Flat Finish  -  again, lusterless +
                                       Gloss Finish  -  shiny =
				       DullCote - absolutely flat =

      There are others, of course, these are only what the author knows about.
      

  11. How do I keep paint from drying out?

      Shake or stir them often, put plastic wrap between the cap and bottle
      on paints that come in glass jars.  Acrylics reconstitute fairly well
      with the addition of water and a good stirring.  Oil-based do same
      with thinner.  Try and keep your paints in a place where temperature
      remains fairly stable.
      Users of both Polly S and Humbrol have had good results from storing
      their paint upside-down.  The paint itself augments the seal and
      keeps all air out.


  12. How do I use an airbrush for miniatures?

      The best paints for airbrushing are Accuflex and Humbrol, with Polly S
      and Testors each selling an airbrush thinner for their paints.
      That's the bulk of what the author knows on the subject.
      
      Some excellent information was posted to rec.games.miniatures by
      Mike N. Tassano (miket@netcom.com), much in regard to advising
      a novice airbrush painter, and is reproduced here without permission
      and with minor editing:
      "I've done a lot of airbrush as well as regular airgun painting, so
      maybe I can get you pointed in the right direction.
      "There is a relationship between the airpressure used and the rate at
      which the thinner evaporates.  Ideally, the carrier or thinner is still
      liquid when the paint strikes the surface to be coated, but not so
      liquid it runs off.  Inks have a really slow thinner, relatively, but
      since you're doing a wash, you don't care if it's really wet on
      contact.  The idea is to puddle ink in the low spots anyway.
      "The primers usually have a fast thinner, allowing a good coating
      without running. Spray cans _usually_ are balanced between pressure
      and range and thinner and particle size.
      "Second, the pressure in the air-cans varies wildly as you use it up.
      And as the temperature changes.  (So does the moisture content from
      condensation caused by cold air)  Even the best airbrush will behave
      in a cranky way with canned air.
      "Third, the type of paint or ink used may not be too friendly to
      airbrushing. Particle size needs to be pretty consistent for spraying.
      A lot more consistent than brushing requires. If you intend to stay
      with airbrush priming, I can offer some possible helps:
      "1. If you can ONLY use canned air, shoot for shorter sessions. Let
      the can warm back up a little more.
      "2. Try an alternate air source, a compressor or an innertube filled
      at a service station.  You want as little pressure difference between
      your air source and the spraying pressure as you can manage.
      "3. Use a primer designed for spraying.  There are some hobbyist
      brands around that might be available where you are.
      "4. Practice, practice, practice!"

      And a word about priming, thinning and cleaning from
      Ed Sharpe (esharpe@hsc.usc.edu), which is also edited and used without
      permission:
      "After carefully cleaning, washing and drying the figures, I prime
      them with Testor's flat white mixed 50/50 with airbrush thinner by
      Testors.  I apply the paint using an air brush.  It usally takes 2
      to 4 coats.  Take your time and do not rush any of the steps.  I use
      the Testor's air brush thinner only to thin the paint.  I use general
      paint thinner from the hardware store to clean my air brush."


  13. How/where do I get miniatures?

      Game stores are, naturally, the best choice.  Some comic and hobby
      shops deal in miniatures, so ask around.  And a lot of companies do
      mail-order for those who live bereft of their product sold locally.
      The yellow pages is where to start, after that you get the feel of
      where to look.


    13.A. Is there a list of companies?

          Thanks to immense assistance from many, many readers of and
          posters to rec.games.miniatures, there is.  It was kept by
	  Keith Lucas for awhile and will be again, is currently kept by
	  tierna@agora.rdrop.com, and is posted sometime near this FAQ
	  to rec.games.miniatures.  It is on archive for ftp at 
	  ftp.indirect.com in /pub/rpg/miniatures and also by email from 
	  tierna@agora.rdrop.com (yes, that's me again) who would be glad to 
	  send it out to anyone who wants it.  
--
  Descriptiones habeo catapultae novae quae saxos multos separatim et simul
      iaciant.  Si illas prehendat, sit finis terrae qualem cognovimus.

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM