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Painting as a total beginner

Assemble before or after painting

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As a new painter, many video talk about painting the mini after assembleing. I must admit as a beginner my first inclination was to build first paint later. This can abe an effective way of painting in that you can prime and apply any highlighting techniques such as zenithal highlighting before you add your basecoats. This however can make painting some areas harder to get to than others. This was how my first mini was painted and it was a chore. After watching some videos, tried painting each peice individually and while it was a lot easier. I had a harder time deciding where to put the highlights of some of the harder to reach areas, as the same problem was present as with prebuilding.
With prebuilt minis your options are limited. Painting them can be a hassle but for the beginner, they will make it easier to see where the light naturally hits the model. this can be used to inform you where to use the lighter paints. This can also be a blessing as you can use a airbrush or spay primer to chose where the light is hitting. this method is called Zenithal Highlighting. there are many videos on youtube that will describe in detail how to do this but always remember to use a lighter contrast than your base coat. Another advantage of using the zenithal highlight is that you can experiment with different colors to make the highlights have a different color temp to them. Want to make a Moonlit night? use a light blue color. does the setting have a dessert theme, use a light yellow or red to make it warmer. do not be affraid to test out different colors and see how you like them. If you do not like the colors just strip the model or add more layers of the basecoat to the area. Also do not use to many layers of paint over the highlight. acrylic paint is translucent and will allow the lighter color to show thru a bit, but, to many coats will make the highlight useless.
For those who would perfer to paint models disassembled, you can have better coverage of each part and it will help avoid any trouble with the brush hitting adjacent peices. Handleing these peices is the one of the main issues with this method. While with the preassembled models you can hold the base while painting, the individual peices do not have a standard base to hold. A simple trick is to use a soda bottle with some blue tack attached to the part that either pressfits in or will not be visible. If you plan on pinning your model ( search youtube if you do not know what this is) then use the pins as holder or connection to some corkboard or the soda bottle by using some superglue. After attaching the peices, all you have to do is prime and paint.
If you are comfortable with highlighting this can also be done but if not you will want to assemble the model leaving off any peices that will get in your way. highlight using either a sourcelight to guide where you paint or some other method that you feel comfortable with. for the other peices align them as they would be on the model and paint them using your perfered highlighting method. even if the part would be blocked by the rest of the model some light will hit the inside so make sure that you at the very least do a light amount of highlighting. finish assembling the model and then do any touchups that need to be done.
I personally use a combination of the two. With pressfit models, I will assemble them without glue and do a prime and highlight. after the primer and highlight dries I disassemble the model and paint each peice individually. I will cut a small amount off the pressfit nubs to make them easier to take apart. After painting but before assembling, I seal the paint with an acrylic sealer so that handleing them will be easier. Once finished assembleing repair any spots that may have become damaged and seal it with your acrilic sealer of choice.

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Updated 02-14-2020 at 06:35 PM by tymkoijn1 (unfinished)

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