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"How Do YOU Paint Shiny Black Vinyl/Leather?" Topic

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Comments or corrections?

Cacique Caribe11 Jul 2007 1:57 p.m. PST

This is the look I have in mind for the garments:


However, it will have to be for these figures:

TMP link

Any suggestions?



Plynkes11 Jul 2007 2:01 p.m. PST

Matt coat highlighted with gloss.

Or was it the other way around? Can't remember. Looked okay though, if not spectacular. This was back when I used enamels.

Top Gun Ace11 Jul 2007 2:03 p.m. PST

Actually, I would suggest painting black, and then using a satin spray coat for some shine, but not an overpowering effect.

Meiczyslaw11 Jul 2007 2:08 p.m. PST

Your usual black scheme, with a gloss varnish over. The varnish should be the last coat you make, even over whatever you do for sealant normally. (Especially if you usually dullcote.)

Cacique Caribe11 Jul 2007 2:15 p.m. PST

Top Gun Ace,

Thanks. That would work, I guess, except that I've already painted the skin color and would prefer that the skin remain chalky-looking, for contrast.



syr876611 Jul 2007 2:18 p.m. PST

You can get brush-on gloss varnishes. GW's "'ardcoat" is one example, but there are others. I think Vallejo has one as well.

Cacique Caribe11 Jul 2007 2:20 p.m. PST

As you can see, I started adding very faint grey highlights to the outfits:


However, I wasn't too thrilled with the results and so I stopped this painting project for a long time.

Can anyone post a photo of a good leather/vinyl painting representation on a minitiature?



Zephyr111 Jul 2007 2:50 p.m. PST

Flat black paint base coat, with a black ink wash over (maybe a black glaze would be better, as it is a little bit shiny), then gloss coat over for protection.

Black Cavalier11 Jul 2007 3:17 p.m. PST

I tried for the exact same "Selene" look. This is what I came up with:

Probably a little too shiney. To match Selene's look. I just painted my fig black, did my normal spray sealer routine (that finished with a matt sealer), & then used a couple of coats of Reaper's gloss paint on the black parts.

I asked on TMP about how to paint Selene's outfit here in this thread:
TMP link

I've sense thought about it & might try a flat black, drybrushed with a very dark grey mixed with a little gun bolt metal.

TheRaven11 Jul 2007 5:14 p.m. PST

coat with any shiny acrylic varsish. Do not waste money on GW go to any art supply place and buy gloss polymer

Usrivoy311 Jul 2007 6:23 p.m. PST

Hi CC,

I use the same method for both black vinyl, leather and black cloth. I start with a black base and then I drybrush Delta Ceramcoat Charcoal over it. Here are a couple shots of a figure I did a long time ago. Unfortunately they dont look as good close up. The effect is much more subtle than it looks here.



For the gloss vs. flat. I use Walmarts matte sealer. If you apply multiple coats it will start giving it a satin finish. I would then use the brush on flat sealer as others suggest. I actualy plan on picking up a couple figures for an Underworld themed game. When I paint "Selene" I'll give you a shout to see what you think.


wordwildwebb11 Jul 2007 7:16 p.m. PST

You can also try a thin layer of Vallejo Metallic medium over the top – or a black paint/metallic medium mix.

cloudcaptain11 Jul 2007 9:01 p.m. PST

Just use Testors black enamel paint! Looks just like the real thing.

Cacique Caribe11 Jul 2007 9:17 p.m. PST

All of you . . . Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Maybe now I'll finally finish painting them.


ChunkyDuff12 Jul 2007 3:16 a.m. PST

Personally, I've never been happy with the gloss/satin varnish effect. At 28mm it just makes the figure look like an old fashioned toy soldier rather than implying a shiny leather finish.

I prefer to paint on highlights to give the desired look:

After getting an opaque black, highlight as normal with a charcoal. There is usually a fairly shiny finish at this stage. Using a mid grey, very watered down, selectively paint on the highlight, following as much as possible the areas naturally shiny from your light source. Then highlight again with a very pale grey, again very watered down, and finally use white where needed. The final bit is painting jet black next to some of the highlights, to give a rwally strong contrast, to get that really glossy finish. If you want more of a leather look rather than PVC, don't go as far as the final white highlight.

The trick is ignoring the usual highlighting source of light from above, in much the same way as NMM, shiny surfaces will also reflect light from below.

It takes a bit of practice but ultimately takes no longer than normal highlighting. I knocked those zeppelin troopers up quite quickly.

Cacique Caribe12 Jul 2007 5:10 a.m. PST

They look NICE!


Mulligan12 Jul 2007 7:26 a.m. PST

I initially painted my Brigade Games aliens in black jumpsuits. I wanted to get a shiny vinyl look reminiscent of the Invasion of the Saucermen. I just primed them in Testor's flat black and then highlighted the round areas with Testor's gloss black. Nice effect, although ultimately I decided I wanted more of a contrast with the alien's eyes (also done in gloss black) and repainted the jumpsuits as silver metallic with Testor's steel.


blackscribe12 Jul 2007 7:45 a.m. PST

For leather you want to highlight blue (glossy) or green (oily). Gray is the highlight of choice for metal.

Personal logo Jlundberg Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2007 8:42 a.m. PST

I use RenInk's extrafine flocking gel

Cacique Caribe12 Jul 2007 11:41 a.m. PST

Blackscribe: "For leather you want to highlight blue (glossy) or green (oily). Gray is the highlight of choice for metal."

That's what I did wrong then. Thanks!!!


jpattern12 Jul 2007 12:14 p.m. PST

Another point to consider: Just as colors need to be more muted on a mini than in "real life", to reflect the relative viewing distances involved, so does straight gloss usually look too glossy on a mini. Instead, go with a satin finish on glossy areas. It gives a nice sheen, without the harsh reflections of straight gloss (which can conflict with painted highlights and really confuse the viewer's eye).

vtsaogames12 Jul 2007 1:45 p.m. PST

For shiny leather like crossbelts and cartridge boxes I use flat black paint. After using Dullcoat paint Testors glosscoat on the shiny parts. I did some fantasy animals and used gloss on the black eyes – people always remark about the eyes.

Saladin12 Jul 2007 8:28 p.m. PST

Unless you are looking at your figures from 6 inches away and under a high-intensity lamp all the time, you have to do it the way ChunkyDuff does.

Look at the picture of Selene. Pure white highlights.

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