Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Quick Tips- Spray Handles, Paint tops, and Swatch Cards

Okay so the windows 7 upgrade is coming along but still have a number of apps to reinstall.  In any case I'm taking a time out to keep the blog going. This gives me the idea of shooting out some quick tips so I can leave you with some helpful hints in a compact package.

Spray Handles
Here we see a fresh can of P3 primer ready to be used (my first time with this primer).  If you have seen this handle attachment before then you know what it does if you haven't let me explain the power of this item.  Many spray can have small push head nozzles.  These spray heads require you to push down with a finger and try to direct the flow of paint with your hand.  The issue can be if you batch prime like I do your finger will get tired and you won't get the control you need.

With the spray handle you get excellent control because you can move your wrist and your finger won't get tired and have your finger slip off the tip.  This also speeds up priming.  I believe I picked this up for just under $10 or over $10.  I did not did find this at my local gaming store which leads me to another quick tip.  I purchased this at a more traditional hobby store that does models like planes, trains and automobiles and a good number of tanks and model railroads.  Those hobbies have a longer history then our own miniatures and often have some good tools you won't find in the hobby section of your gaming store, so make sure you check out any hobby stores near you.  You might just find a hidden gem.

Paint Tops
This is a tip I picked up early when I started painting.  When you first get a new paint bottle make sure you shake it well to get a great sample batch pour a small amount out and dip it or paint the shade on the cap.  Reason one it makes it easy to know the color if your looking down, you don't have to read labels or look at the bottle.  Two, paint will separate. So having a sample on the cap tells you what it should look like so when  you shake it up you can compare the results.  That way you know how many shakes you need to get the proper color.  Trust me this is helpful, both my Tau and Crimson Fists use that regal blue shade and I had a batch that came out more deep purple then blue, but I wasn't sure how off the paint was because I didn't have another bottle to compare and was new in the hobby so I couldn't just eyeball the shade. The above picture shows how this works when you have a bunch of blues that look similar.

Paint Swatches
Building on this paint sample idea I like to keep color samples on index cards to develop my own swatches.  This provides a few good outcomes.  One on the base white card you get a good sense of the color on a larger canvas.  Also if you have an army you want to paint a certain scheme make a card for the scheme so you can see all the paint in one place. This allows you to see if the scheme really works the way you envision it.  You don't want to wait till its on the model to see the colors clash.  You can also put the swatch up against models to see if colors contrast and complement the way you think they should.  And lastly you can get a sense of coverage from the paint sample.  I don't have a picture to show this but I will give an example to illustrate.  When I started painting my Realm of Battle board I had paint from the GW terrain kit and I also had similar Golden Fluid Acrylic colors.  When I applied both to my index card swatches I saw that the GW brown dried to a thin finish and did crack rather easily.  The Golden color dried thicker and had a richer color.  After seeing that I went with the Golden color because it needed less coats to get the coverage I wanted and it was a more durable finish.  The cards allowed me to see that in 5 minutes.

So there you have my quick tips for the day, thanks for reading any comments, thoughts, ideas etc are welcomed.  Happy Hobbying!


b.smoove said...

Top Tips. I'll be mimicking the paint on lid trick, and I particularly like the index card idea. I would never have thought of that one in a million years of trying. Nice one.

Julie Myers said...

It's definitely a good idea to keep paint swatches when painting a home. Then you can remember all your colors and make the final decision. Soon, I am planning on repainting my home, and I would like to get some really good paint swatches. Then I can compare with the other colors I am planning to use and determine if they go together well. Thanks for the great post!

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