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 Post subject: Need some customizing advice
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:02 am 
Jedi Knight
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Hi guys

Hopefully, i'll be starting on some DotF customs soon like so many others here. But i've never made any customs before, so i was hoping to get your oppinions on some things first.
Now what do i need? So far i went out and got myself a couple of things. First, a hobby drill to be able to make transplanted limbs stay in place with bits of metal wire or the like. I also got a nice modeling knife and some small files for trimming stuff. And last but not least, some of the ever popular green stuff. I still need to get glue and paint, paint brushes and maybe some pincers.

So for the paint, is GW Citadel paint a good choice? It's pretty easy to come by and there are lots of colors to choose from. I'm thinking of starting out with perhaps 10 colors and then stocking up later on.
I was also wondering if the repainted minis can withstand being stored in boxes with the other ones without the paint coming off. Or do you have to coat them with something? (i'm not that fond of glossy minis so i hope there's a way around that)

Regarding the glue, does it have to be based on something particular? I have various allround and modeling glues, but they don't seem to do the job that well with minis. Any specific brands that are good? (a link would be great :D)

The paint brushes, well they just have to be as small as possible or at leat very small right?

And finally, am i missing something? It would be a bummer to forget some important thing, but i can't think of anything else right now.

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 Post subject: Re: Need some customizing advice
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:12 am 
Jedi Knight
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Where did you get the drill, and what will you use for pinning limbs in place? I haven't changed limbs around yet, but want to start doing that soon.

Also, I just started making customs and have found that Loctite SUper glue works ok for me It sticks well, is liquid and is applied with a small brush so it doesn't get everywhere and spoil the mini. So far my lightsabres haven't dropped off, provided you don't try to snap them off...


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 Post subject: Re: Need some customizing advice
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:56 am 
Jedi Knight
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I got the drill at my local gamestore, and it might even have been a Citadel. I'm thinking that cutting up some clothes pins or similar should do the trick. I considered just using glue only but as i have no display space they will probably go in a tacklebox with the rest of my minis. So to ensure that they won't break apart, i thought this might be a good idea.

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 Post subject: Re: Need some customizing advice
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:46 am 
Imperial Dignitaries
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Here is what I use

I figure I have about 7 brushes. Generally I am only using three, but for huges it helps to have some larger brushes to cover the larger surfaces. If you are starting out you should get a very fine point brush and a small dry brush then a small brush for large areas of med base sized minis.

Tools - Most of my tools have came from a local hardware store. Menards is where I go, but I figure you can find the same stuff at Lowes or homedepot
Xacto Knife set - $3ish you we get two handles and about 10 blades. More then enough to do stuff with SWM.
Precession Drill - You could get this from your LGS but mine was $10 I think instead of the $20 my LGS was charging for the one Citadel makes. Mine came with 5 or 6 bits that can store in the handle. I have a magnet handy to dump the bits out of the handle. This keeps me from using them.
Small needle nose pliers that can cut wire. I just found a set in my regular tool box that wasn't doing anything and use them.
Tweezer. Should be inexpensive from a drug store.
Tool storage - this might sound a bit anal, but keeping an organized work space makes life a bit easier. A regualr coffe cup makes a good starter tool cady.
Two small or medium tupperware containers. This give me a place to put extra parts (Heads, Arms, Guns etc..) The other gives me a place to store works in progress. The lids give me something to cut on as well.

Paint - Everyone has a prefrance on this.
Primer - most os the SWM don't need primer, but I have ran into a few where the paint just did't stick well or need a few more coats.
Brand and colors - i use Citadel paints. They run about $3.50 a bottle, but the coat well so a bottle last a while. I can buy 3 bottles for $11.88 including tax from my LGS. I buy a few new colors a week and before long you have several colors to choose from.
Finish - You can get clear coat flat finish from your local hardware store. It will be in the spray paint section.

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 Post subject: Re: Need some customizing advice
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:53 am 
Imperial Dignitaries
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My list continued.

Misc -
Straight pins - this is what I use for my joints.
Green Stuff - two part poxy that lets you make anything you can imagine. Just cut = parts and kneed together. A little goes a long way.
Magnet - this keeps my pins and drill bits in one spot.
reference material - I make sure I find some pictures on Wookiepedia or just google them so you have something to base your mini off of. Right now I am working on a Celeste Morne custom. I had no idea who she was so I went and looked it up and saved an image on my laptop so I know what is supposed to be colored what. For instance she needs to have black hair, white, clothes, and a yellow lightsaber. Plus this gives me an idea of what the finished project is supposed to look like.

Hope this helps.

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 Post subject: Re: Need some customizing advice
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:29 pm 
Imperial Dignitaries
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The mug boss works great to organize all your tools for customizing. I think they only cost around $10.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Need some customizing advice
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:45 am 
Jedi Knight
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Wow Les that's quite a list :D

But thanks, it gives me an idea of what i'm missing. I'm going to have to do some big time shopping soon so i can get ready to get something done before long (at least before R&R, or i'll be way behind schedule!).

A few more paint questions: The primer, is that painted or sprayed on? And the finish, does that seal the paint enough so that it can withstand bumps and such?

Does anyone else use that Loctite glue? Any other good brands?

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 Post subject: Re: Need some customizing advice
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:58 pm 
Imperial Dignitaries
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I use the loctite easy squeeze gel.

Primer is spray that I get from LGS

Sealer is protective and keeps it from chipping when in your tackle box.

Some of the stuff I had becasue I use simlar tools for tieng fly for fishing

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 Post subject: Re: Need some customizing advice
PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:29 pm 
Jedi Knight
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Another question guys, what paints would you start out with? What are the must-haves?

I'm going Citadel, and i'm looking for 10-20 different ones including washes.

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 Post subject: Re: Need some customizing advice
PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:48 pm 
Imperial Dignitaries
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http://www.swmgamers.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=10911&sid=75732fe237d5dbd151a04e7c34013076

Look at the link above

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 Post subject: Re: Need some customizing advice
PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:36 pm 
Sith Apprentice
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One item that I would add to the list is a (not sure of exact name but if you to go a hobby store they are sure to know what it is) little stand with two pincher grip vices and a magnifying glass in the middle...really helps for fine detail work.


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 Post subject: Re: Need some customizing advice
PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:52 pm 
THE Customist
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Buy high quality brushes. Cheap brushes may leave clumps of paint or unsightly brush-marks on your minis.

If you have any experience mixing colours, you might want to try Liquitex acrylic paint. I only ever buy six colours (red, blue, yellow, black, white, brown) for a near-infinite range of hues (no metallic though).

Have fun!


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 Post subject: Re: Need some customizing advice
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:55 am 
Warmaster
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it may seem odd but one of the Paints i use for various different metal parts is Testors Argent Silver. It is a strong paint though so you have to be careful. It will cover almost any color and it looks great for things like lightsaber hilts, blasters, and armor pieces. I wouldnt suggest Testors for much else as it doesnt blend well with other colors but I have had good luck with it for their silvers.

one bit of advice i will give you is to always try to cut in an enclosed area. If you are cutting an arm or hand to replace it , or any other small object for that matter it can be very problematic if you cut and the piece you need flies away. also anytime you cut up one piece to make another , save your leftovers. YOu never Know when another torso orarm could come in handy.

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 Post subject: Re: Need some customizing advice
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:22 pm 
Jedi Knight
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Lily_Wan wrote:
Buy high quality brushes
I have the Citadel ones, hope they will do.

Raylinthegreat wrote:
One item that I would add to the list is a (not sure of exact name but if you to go a hobby store they are sure to know what it is) little stand with two pincher grip vices and a magnifying glass in the middle...really helps for fine detail work.
That's a good idea, i'm going to hunt one down i think. Don't know what it's called either, but know exactly what you're talking about :)


Thanks for the help and input guys, i really appreciate it. I bought some paints today, so now i have no more excuses for not getting started ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Need some customizing advice
PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:06 pm 
Jedi Knight
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All right, so i finally had the time to sit down and paint a few figures. I'm really kind of happy with the results. But the problem is that the paint comes off pretty easily if scratched. I basecoated them black (with standard citadel chaos black) and painted 2 times color over that. Am I doing something wrong here? Should I perhaps have spraypainted them black instead?

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 Post subject: Re: Need some customizing advice
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:44 am 
Name Calling Internet Bully
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Once you have finished a mini, you need to spray/paint it with a sealer. Matte Clear is the best choice. It will still darken your colors slightly, and add a little bit of shine compared to totally flat paint, but once that dries, the paint won't come off unless you physically scrape it with a knife.

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 Post subject: Re: Need some customizing advice
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 8:25 am 
Jedi Knight
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Thanks! I got some on the way home from work, and i'll give them a coat some time this weekend. I must have forgot to buy some during my initial spending spree :D

Virtual sets rock by the way! I don't think i would have ever ventured into the world of customizing if it weren't for the new characters. And it's so much fun (and frustrating sometimes!) to make them. I'm totally behind scedule though, so i'll go paint some Mandalorians now..

Pictures will be up soon.

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 Post subject: Re: Need some customizing advice
PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 10:16 am 
Jedi Knight
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I picked up the Purity Seal Satin Spray from Citadel and sprayed it onto some of my newly finished mandalorians. That was a bad idea, as the armor lost all it's shine. I intentionally went for a matte finish, but didn't think it would be that matte. Also, one of them got a white dust-like coat on him, what's up with that?? I'm thinking that the spray might still be good for minis without armor, such as jedis and the like. But i'm going to pick up some other sealer for the armored guys.

Can anyone recommend a good brand/type of sealer?

EDIT: Also, does anyone know if you can successfully paint on top of the sealer or use semi-gloss sealer on top of the matte for a more shiny effect? Or are you stuck with the first layer? I'm hoping i won't have to make another set of customs just because of a wrong choice of spray :|

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 Post subject: Re: Need some customizing advice
PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 6:39 pm 
Third Jedi from the Left
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I don't know what's up with the powder...? But i've never used spray clear coat either.
If you want the armor to appear glossy after you've already sprayed, you can try brushing on a coat of semi-gloss clear where you want the effect. I have had success with painting over a clear coat, so yes to your edit.

I use mostly Model Masters paints and clear coats, I do not use pins or anything like that, just super glue of what ever brand... and it holds pretty well almost glued my fingers together last night.

Advice...plan ahead and decide how you are going to build the.custom before putting it all together. I have found that it is usually best to work on the legs and torso before attaching the arms and accessories because it is easier to paint ...fewer hard to reach areas. I even occasionally paint the limbs/head before I attach them.

Edit.. if you decide to try brush-on clear coat, don't press too hard as you paint job could flake off

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 Post subject: Re: Need some customizing advice
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 4:52 am 
Jedi Knight
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Thanks, so i think i'll get some of that Model Master Gloss Clear Acryl. That should put a protective layer on the mini right? Also, the MM Dullcote seems to be a popular product among painters for the not so shiny parts.

The powder problem seems to be a common issue when using spray sealer. I googled it and found lots of people who had their miniatures ruined by spray, so i think i'll go the brush-on way instead. Learning by doing i guess. I'm just not taking any chances, because i've spent many hours making these and would hate for them to get ruined.

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