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Test BielTan Dire Avengers - need help making them look better!

Test BielTan Dire Avengers - need help making them look better!

JudgeEatz

Looking for feedback, criticism, comments, and help to make my models look better. I haven't painted in 20+ years, and would really like to up my game with my Eldar army. Want to get good before the 9th edition Codex drops and I'll likely have to buy new models!


sciencep1e

This is one of those situations where it's difficult to give C+C because all you really need to improve this model is practice on other models. You're on the right path, got a good grasp of colours and highlights, nailed that smooth white. I know it's a bit of a trope now but you really need to thin you paints more on next one otherwise just keep doing what you're doing and you'll see improvement in every model. I always tell people you don't need to paint every detail when you start out. Paint 10 bodies and you'll already have a steadier hand for painting helms, paint 10 helms and eye lenses won't seem as daunting and so on. Keep us posted please.


JudgeEatz

This is going to sound stupid, but how do you successfully thin your paints? I bought a wet palette, but I'm scared to use it. I envision adding too much water, and giving my model a tinted bath... any advice?


Oscar-the-Artificer

Don't worry about it and try. What's the worst that could happen? If your paint is too thin and you loose control of it just clean and dry your brush and soak up the excess.


MaesterPycell

Most things will say you want a paint consistency of melted ice cream or milk. Wet pallets just keep your paint usable for longer and keeps them from drying up too much. Model looks good, keep practicing!


sciencep1e

Looks like folk have your back already. It's a feeling that will come to you. Personally I always lean to the more watery a mix and build up many coats.


dipdipperson

A classic rule of thumb is to mix it with water until it reaches a milk-like consistency. It takes some practice, but you'll soon get a good feel for it. I felt the same trepidation when I started out, but just jump in with both feet; it will feel weird at first, but keep at it.


tangledinbeard

Sure, it comes with practise. That the short answer, a bit longer is something along this. First take a small drop of paint on your palette (I am using a plastic lid, so I'm not familiar with wet palette), then dip the tip of your brush in water and mix the water from the brush with the paint, just start from edge and drag the mix away from drop of paint (so you still have the 100% paint preserved) you will then notice the thinness of the mix and how the surface strengt of the mix is. It becomes pretty obvious when you have the right mix between too thin/liquid and thick. When you're satisfied with the mix, test the mix on either the base.


Conspiranoid

Others have already discussed stuff like thinning your paints and whatnot... So I'll focus on edge highlighting. First, find a thinner brush - 0 at least, but you can also try 00 or smaller. Then, don't smother the paint and/or move it up and down to cover more space, just limit yourself to the thinnest line along the edge you can paint. If you feel it's too thin, you can add on to it, but in very small increments. Once you have that down, you'll be able to try to work on gradients, to make the highlights/shadows/etc even cooler, so it's a transition between the lighter edges and the darker parts of the mini. For example, instead of just using dark green for the armor and light for the edge, you can use one or two mid greens in between the two


EH__19

I would say 3 main things could help: 1) The gold looks like it just needs an extra coat, possible two. That'll give it a more solid colour. 2) The helmet looks a little flat. Recommend using a really pale grey and then highlighting white. It will still look white once you've finished. 3) Your edge highlighting just needs to be a little sharper. The best bit of advice I got for this was try not to move your wrist and pull backwards towards the point of your elbow as you lay paint (so your forearm and hand all move in that direction one straight line). Hard to explain on here but hope that makes sense Good place to start from though. You'll be amazed how quickly you'll improve and so many more resources out there now than 10, 15, 20 years ago.


la_seta

I second these; all good tips. I would also add a few suggestions: Regarding the "white" for the helmet, I use Corax White. It's the palest grey you can get before jumping to White Scar (bright white) and it does indeed translate as white to the human eye. Just be warned that it gets really chunky in the pot, so either spray your helmets separately with the Corax White can and glue them on later or make sure you've got plenty of Lahmian Medium and/or paint agitators (BIG quality of life improvement). If Corax White proves too inconvenient, Ulthuan Grey is a close substitute. For the body armor, I'd suggest what a GW store manager told me once: use the color you want as a base (making sure not to go so thick that you cover the details), hit it with a shade (I'd recommend Biel-Tan Green in this instance, but Nuln Oil is fine too), then when it dries hit all the raised parts of the armor with the same color you used as a base. Now it's dark in the crevasses and normal everywhere else. For highlights I'd also add that if you can use the side of your brush, not the tip, to graze the edges that can help you from getting too splotchy. To echo the guy above me, you really are doing good for just starting back. Obviously Duncan's tutorials on YouTube are great, but I also really like Miniac for painting tips.


JudgeEatz

Thanks for the tip - I seem to recall using that trick with base + shade + base to get the crevasses darker. I'll give that a try.


JudgeEatz

For point 3, if I understand correctly, lock your wrist, and move the brush with your whole arm? Is that right?


tangledinbeard

Here is a tip for practicing this movement is to take a piece of paper and a pencil. Then try to draw a freehand straight line in different directions eg. Left to right, right to left, top-down, down-up, from top left corner to bottom right corner and so on. you'll quickly notice that pulling the pen towards you will give a straighter and more stable line than movement away from your body. Learned this many years ago at the art academy school of architecture study.


EH__19

Yeah and pull inline with your bristles (I.e don't brush sideways/perpendicular to your bristles)


chazzatron

Also I’d get a good strong light or two to work under. Good lighting really helps with brush control


la_seta

This is such an underrated tip. Once I got more than one source of light it improved my painting game a lot.


Thangaror

This is indeed a very important thing! Get a lightbulb from the hardware store that is close to natural sunlight. If it's the typical "lightbulb light" colour, it's too yellow-ish. Actual sunlight is even better, though! Last year during lockdown I actually sat down on the balcony to paint reflections on my Ulthwé infantry, and once or twice during painting, I actually managed to fool myself and took what I had painted for actual reflections...


marekciacho

This is almost exactly same color scheme as I have dude. Check out my profile. You will find an answer for everything you looking for.


JudgeEatz

I've seen some of your posts on here before. Love the Biel-Tan colour scheme. I'll have to save your account as reference for the rest of my army.


Ekfud

Did you end up doing your fire dragons with orange or white helmets?


marekciacho

I finished them some time ago, but in the end I decided on completely different color. They are orange, white helmets and green masks inside helmets to imitate Biel-Tan, and hold some aspect colors.


figrin1

It's looking good. I especially love the base. I noticed on the rear loincloth-thing, it has a kind of shiny glossy look. Make sure you're using a "shade" version of nuln oil and not the "gloss" version. I made this mistake when I first started painting guardians and they all looks like they were coated in wet motor oil. 😂


foisty-moisty

Even if it is the shade version of nuln oil, be sure to shake it before using it; I cocked up a model not realising this


JudgeEatz

The loincloth is Khorn Red with a Nuln Oil shade on top (to try and give the fabric depth). Is there a better way to do this?


JoeB150

For red I’d use agrax earth shade. Warm on warm.


figrin1

I'd echo the red shade, and again make sure your nuln oil is the "shade" version, not the "gloss". They're both for "shading" but they're easily mixed up and the gloss leaves your models looking shiny and wet like the loin cloth on this model.


poobumstupidcunt

Tbh to fix the glossy effect (which can happen even with the shade paints citadel has) and protect my paint job in general I always spray a layer of a matte varnish on my minis


JudgeEatz

Do you mean that you spray them *before* you varnish? Or just afterwards to seal everything in. I plan on varnishing the model, just haven't until I get the whole squad done. The last time I used my spray varnish though, [it ruined my paint job](https://imgur.com/gallery/qksDLAZ).


poobumstupidcunt

Afterwards to seal everything in. Shame on the other model, I’ve luckily never had something like that happen


chazzatron

Hi, I like the colour scheme especially as you’ve chosen the most tasteful of craftworlds ;) I can see you are working on the edge highlights for the armour and with time they’ll get sharper. The mane is painted nicely with a good regular pattern. Now to get picky: there is a mold line on the front of the helmet. Unfortunately the first thing people look at is the face so it stands out. I’d scrape it off and repaint the white. Second it look like the base coat of the armour is patchy. You should go over the base coats in a number of layers until they are smooth. This is really important for eavy metal approaches. The gold also needs an extra layer or two until it is smooth. I’m not sure what you used for the red (perhaps it is contrast) but it is coming out glossy and looking off. I’d stick to a regular base paint like khorne red at this stage. Finally, a number of the elements such as lens colours are bleeding into the surroundings. These should be tidied up. In summary, scrape mold lines, more thin layers for smooth base coats and work on thinner and more consistent thickness edge highlights (actually consistency is probably more important at this stage) and tidying up for that neat look. Keep pushing, some of it is muscle memory and requires repetition


klingstal87

The scheme is really nice 😎 Keep painting more models, eventually over time you will start to pick up on what the right mix of paint/water is and how strong the coverage is for said water+paint mixture. You can try out the "as milk" consistency, then you barely need 2 layers, just barely. Thinner mixes requires more layers (more of the same mix ontop of an already painted area, to increase the intensity). Some people like to use wetpallets. I prefer to mix on a large plastic lid so that I can control each mixed sample.


poobumstupidcunt

Everyone has already provided excellent advice so all I’m going to offer is encouragement. Looks good and I’m looking forward to seeing how you come along. Have fun painting!


A_La_Joe

Yeah, only advice I'd give is "just keep painting".


forgotten-ahroun

Define better


JudgeEatz

I'm not planning on entering any painting competitions, but I would like my models to look nicer/cleaner on the table top. I had my [Space Marine army commission painted](https://imgur.com/a/yp55Cdg), and they look better than my Eldar... so I'd like to try and bring my Eldar up to the same level...


forgotten-ahroun

Im pretty aure you got alot of replies, i asked that question because at that stage of the painting i do the chipping and weathering. For what you're going for my suggestions are either agrax earth shade wash or nuln oil to get the details to pop and and matte varniah to knock the shine back. Id like to see a follow up =)


The_SeekingOne

You've already received a lot of solid advice. However, nowadays the best single advice that can ever be given is this: go to YouTube and watch painting tutorial videos. One good video can teach you more than 100 pages of text. [Here's a good one](https://youtu.be/sxQg8gy_U-0) about edge highlights for example. Or you can simply search YouTube for something like “miniature painting basics” and will already get a ton of material to learn from.


JudgeEatz

Thanks for the suggestion - that video was really good!