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"Dark Pantyhose and fleshtones on ladies?" Topic

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Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member29 Jan 2017 1:43 p.m. PST

Pulp and Gangster time! I want to paint up some cocktail waitresses with guns who are wearing Playboy Bunny-like costumes, which would include black hose over their legs that still allows the flesh color to show through. Who's perfected a good technique that works for 25mm? I've experimented with grey washes over flesh, flesh wet brushing over grey, a simple darker flesh tone, but have not been entirely sold on any combination or result yet. Too blotchy, not smooth enough, not diaphanous enough -- any suggestions on what's worked for you pro-level painters?

Examples of the look I seek:




Personal logo herkybird Supporting Member of TMP29 Jan 2017 1:52 p.m. PST

At 28mm, I would just slightly darken the skin tone you are using, and declare victory!

Delta Vee29 Jan 2017 1:56 p.m. PST

Tamiya clear smoke, is probably worth a look

John Secker Supporting Member of TMP29 Jan 2017 2:10 p.m. PST

Perhaps we need to see some more pictures.

Mako11 Inactive Member29 Jan 2017 2:14 p.m. PST

Did you say something?

I didn't think so.

Mako11 Inactive Member29 Jan 2017 2:16 p.m. PST

Oh, right……..

A dark wash should work. You can mix up various shades.

Might keep it thin, and apply several times, to get the desired effect. Experiment on paper or cardboard, before applying to your minis, to get the right tone(s) desired.

If it goes on too thick, wipe it off with a paper towel, or napkin, and re-apply.

I think John may be on to something. Definitely could use some more reference pics, strictly for research purposes, and accuracy only, mind you……………..

Personal logo The Beast Rampant Supporting Member of TMP29 Jan 2017 2:27 p.m. PST

Mix black, dark grey (or whatever the hose color is) with the base flesh tone. Add more flesh to the mix to highlight (very similar to the you would do five o'clock shadow- hopefully not on legs!).

You can look at the above pics and see those tones clearly.

IMO, the technique works fine. I've tried washes- and heard of the use of Tamaya Smoke, though never used it- but don't know that it would work much better on minis of that scale. I would certainly not dismiss the notion on, say, 54mm.

But I've been wrong before. Recently, even. grin

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP29 Jan 2017 2:37 p.m. PST

Yes. More pictures. Definitely.

Zephyr129 Jan 2017 3:14 p.m. PST

Paint swatches of your flesh tones on paper, let dry, then test your various washes on those samples (I'd use a flat or semi-gloss for the base.) Apply to only half the swatch so you can compare the effect. Much easier than testing on a mini… ;-)

haywire Supporting Member of TMP29 Jan 2017 4:31 p.m. PST

Here is Dr. Faust video on how he does it

YouTube link

Here is a Kingdom Death tutorial


Personal logo Jlundberg Supporting Member of TMP29 Jan 2017 4:31 p.m. PST

A glaze would be better – dark mixed with a matte varnish perhaps

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP29 Jan 2017 6:05 p.m. PST

A simple wash would be difficult to control.

altfritz29 Jan 2017 8:00 p.m. PST

Try this thread…


David Johansen29 Jan 2017 9:22 p.m. PST

I'd probably just mix a little black into my flesh tone and blend up layers.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member29 Jan 2017 10:37 p.m. PST

Okay! Lots of good ideas! Thanks, gents, plenty for me to experiment with tomorrow. (And I thought mere fishnet stockings were hard!) I've seen many excellent paintings of semi-opaque robes or stockings on 54mm and larger figures, but not so much for 25mm. Altfritz' link is a very good example, but I'll strive for a lighter tone.

The figures I'm about to tackle, in case anyone was wondering, are the Kit-Kat Club castings from Brigade Games' "Atomic Cafe" range:
-- Dig the Hefner figure included! (Makes a good millionaire playboy Bruce Wayne or Lamont Cranston!)

They are essentially Playboy Club bunnies with cat costumes instead of bunny costumes (plus weapons instead of cocktails). No one makes Playboy Bunnies as far as I can find, no doubt for trademark restrictions. This is the best I can do, not having the talent to convert or cast anything closer.

I had to make my initial post in haste, and didn't have time to look up more pictorial examples -- but I agree with the sentiments, and can best recommend this book as an addition to your painting reference libraries: 50 Years of the Playboy Bunny:


And here's a bonus pic of honorary Python Carol Cleveland in her London club Bunny days and Kirstie Alley playing Gloria Steinham in "A Bunny's Tale":



Mako11 Inactive Member30 Jan 2017 12:00 a.m. PST

Settle down there, Winston.

Wonder what the ribbons are for?

Lonkka1Actual30 Jan 2017 5:16 a.m. PST

The ribbons are Purity Seals (she's obviously a Space marine)

Lonkka1Actual30 Jan 2017 5:17 a.m. PST

No need to do anything else than to paint with suitable color in the usual way. You do not get any better or realistic stockings effect by shading or washing over flesh color.

Dr Argent30 Jan 2017 7:14 a.m. PST

Eureka Miniatures carries the Shadowforge line of all female miniatures and they have the Bunny Gunners range.


I think they also have an all Bunny football team.

Personal logo The Beast Rampant Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2017 8:02 a.m. PST

I wish the Shadowforge sculptor would learn to do a DIFFERENT female. He just swaps out hair styles and costumes on the same blow-up doll.

Ottoathome Inactive Member30 Jan 2017 8:45 a.m. PST

Kirstie Alley playing Gloria Steinham --- that's like Capezzoli de venere playing a Goobers.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member30 Jan 2017 10:43 a.m. PST

The ribbons on the Bunny suit displayed the Bunny's name, in the middle circle.

The sheer black Danskin tights replaced the original mesh tights after the first few years of the start of the Clubs. The Bunny of the Year at each local club was authorized to wear an all-silver costume. Black was usually reserved for senior Bunnies. Blue velvet costumes with white trim were invariably worn by Bunnies working the VIP Room. Green ears and tails were worn in Boston for St. Patrick's Day and red, white-trimmed "Santa" variants were worn around Christmas. After 1967 psychedelic and geometric color prints began to also be issued. There were almost enough variations and military-style regulations (e.g., their rabbit-head cufflinks had to be facing each other -- "kissing") to warrant an Osprey title! (Which would surely be a best-seller.)

The Bunny Gunners are interesting figures, but too Rambo for what I am looking for.

I see that the "A Bunny's Tale" TV movie is OP and has never been issued on DVD; someone has an old VHS release for sale on Amazon for $200 USD! Makes me scared to touch my copy!

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member30 Jan 2017 12:59 p.m. PST

Alas, no Bunny costumes ever made in tartan, as far as I've been able to find. I don't think there were any Clubs in Scotland either.

Carrion Crow30 Jan 2017 2:44 p.m. PST

Whilst I've not tried this technique myself yet, I've seen a simply over painting of the flesh with brown ink work pretty well. I'm assuming that using black ink would work in a similar way. Probably the technique I'd try first, as it's less fiddly.

Carrion Crow30 Jan 2017 2:56 p.m. PST

Also, not sure what your sculpting skill is like, but Copplestone's "Bodyguards in Bikinis" might make good base figures?


GROSSMAN Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2017 8:00 p.m. PST

Yes please…

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member31 Jan 2017 12:32 p.m. PST

Ah, yes, I have those Copplestone figures. But my sculpting skills are inadequate for a conversion of this level -- but these would be good models to use if I was up to the job! I'm going to have to paint my set of these ladies as they are.

I've tried black washes before but the finished effect was too muddy/grey and blotchy when the wash dried; it wasn't "translucent", just looked dirty. I'm intrigued that this Tamiya "smoke" paint might have this lacquer/glaze quality and will look for a bottle of this tomorrow. (I'm still waiting for the time to sit down for a long, applied, experimental painting session.)

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member02 Feb 2017 2:41 p.m. PST

Okay! Tamiya Smoke is a winner! It does the best job of providing the look I sought for the least work… I am applying it directly over the unmodified basic flesh tone I use (no other washes or highlighting first).

After drying, I might highlight a little as desired with a diluted flesh wash just on the knees and calves, but this step may not be really necessary, if the Smoke coating dries darker in recesses, lighter on raised surfaces, as it looks when wet.

THANKS for this excellent tip! Tamiya Smoke earns a permanent place in my paintiers!

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member04 Feb 2017 4:06 p.m. PST

UPDATE/Revision: I'm finding that the Smoke overcoat works best, in fact, over a final skin tone, so I've gone back to my usual washing and highlighting pocess before applying the Smoke coat. No short cuts.

But what thins/cleans Tamiya Smoke? It doesn't seem to respond to normal hobby paint thinner. I've tried several brands, also paint thinner and tripolene thinner from the hardware store. Acetone seems to work best of all -- but I was surprised to find my brush so stiff and dirty after my trials from the other day. Does Tamiya paint require its own, proprietary thinner for brush clean-up?

PS: Hmm, perhaps putting on my reading glasses might help. I NOW see that the bottle is labeled "Tamiya Acrylics" so maybe I'm outsmarting myself by not just using water? Altho' I thought I had done this at first and it didn't seem to clean, and I assumed this paint was enamel-based?

Special bonus photos for those reading to the end!



Your Kidding06 Feb 2017 6:43 p.m. PST

Please post a pic of the fig with the Tamiya smoke. And of course more reference material.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member07 Feb 2017 2:01 p.m. PST

I will post pics when the Kit-Kat Klub members are done!

WARNING: test the Tamiya Smoke on plastic for compatibility before using! I applied this over a different, plastic figure (a female magician in fishnets, as cartooned above) and it made a horrible mess, something in the paint dissolved the original paint or plastic underneath. Ruined her legs forever. I will try to repaint to correct the damage, but in the future I would only use this Smoke on METAL!

herzogbrian Inactive Member08 Feb 2017 4:04 p.m. PST

Paint your base and mid-tone flesh then instead of a highlight use Reaper's Brown Liner thinned 1:1 with their Flow Improver. You can go 1:2 if you like to paint layers.

The Improver IS the medium Reaper uses for their paints so you end up with simply a thinner version of the paint (without the blotchiness that can occur when some acrylic paints are mixed with just water.

Apply a light coat all over and go back an apply another layer or 2 to any folds and shaded areas of the legs.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member08 Feb 2017 9:31 p.m. PST

Thanks! This is something I will also try. I have the Reaper Flow Improver already and will pick up a bottle of the Brown Liner on my next trip to the hobby store.

Your Kidding09 Feb 2017 3:13 p.m. PST

The Tamiya smoke melted the plastic? what did you use as primer and a base coat. I thought the Tamiya line was all acrylic. Anyone else have this issue or thoughts?

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member08 Mar 2017 2:12 p.m. PST

I have the finished images here, below links.

I must clarify and correct the above post about the Smoke paint damaging the "plastic". This was NOT typical miniatures plastic, but a custom-made figure by Hero Forge, using a 3-D printer and their "Nylon Plastic". I think. The current Hero Forge materials descriptions are not quite as I remember them from a few years ago when I had my batch of figures made. At that time, I chose a more premium grade and the cost was $25 USD a figure, and the figures were a sort of milky clear plastic. This seems to roughly correspond to what is now marketed as "Nylon Plastic" only the cost has dropped to $15. USD What they now call "Premium Plastic" costs $30 USD and comes dark. So I don't know if the forumlas have changed, the terminology, the prices, what. In any event, be careful with that stuff. It took plastic primer and acrylic paint fine, and then a spray lacquer (Krylon clear coat) but Smoke paint made a mess of the undercoatings.

I've used this Smoke paint on primed (Krylon Fusion primer), painted (acrylics) regular plastic figures without ill effects. So far.

Haven't been able to find Reaper Brown Liner in the local stores yet.

Meanwhile, here are my completed Kit-Kat Club kittens, plus a figure painted as Zatanna the magician (DC comics). The effect ranges from good to slightly sloppy. I'm still working out how best to thin the wash with water. Smoke paint straight out of the bottle seems to go on too thick and dark and dries blotchy. And unfortunately, it tends to emphasize mold lines and any other surface imperfections. I just bought some new Delta Ceramcoat satiny-glittery finish paints that I want to try on a fresh batch of Kittens, so have ordered a new batch. Updates soon!


And included for reference purposes only:


Dr Argent09 Mar 2017 7:22 a.m. PST

I appreciate your technique and all of the extra research references.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member12 Mar 2017 11:22 p.m. PST

There's no substitute for Research.


Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member13 Mar 2017 4:21 p.m. PST

And these pipers got the dream gig:


dragon615 Mar 2017 11:17 a.m. PST

piper909, if you come back Tamiya's thinner is X-20A PDF link

You can also use Tamiya's clear flat X86

I've not tried it but I have read several painters who thin Tamiya with alcohol

Karl von Hessen Inactive Member15 Mar 2017 5:42 p.m. PST

I'm with Jludenberg…black or charcoal mixed with glazing medium. I have used it with both red and black for Native American warpaint. Lets the "flesh" peak through on the highlights. Experiment with color to glaze ratio for the right look.

Oberlindes Sol LIC15 Mar 2017 7:52 p.m. PST

Thanks to everyone for posting the research material. I've downloaded all of the images for later review, in case I decide to incorporate this theme into my own science fiction gaming.

Now I'm going to submit my suggestion to Osprey for the next set of miniatures rules and the next book of uniforms.

chironex16 Mar 2017 5:38 a.m. PST

One could try Gunze-Sangyo clear paints.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member16 Mar 2017 2:00 p.m. PST

This has been an instructive as well as fun thread, thanks everyone who contributed!

alan lockhart Supporting Member of TMP17 Mar 2017 1:35 p.m. PST

I think we all need to get out more!

FusilierDan Supporting Member of TMP25 Mar 2017 1:02 p.m. PST

The challenge with painting black stockings is that in real life the stocking is a lighter shade when looking at the wearer and the black outlines the leg ,see Piper909's post.

With a miniature you would have to pick the angle you wanterd to view the figure from and paint the black edge of that view. The outline won't keep changing as you turn the figure like it would on a real person.

Your Kidding25 Mar 2017 6:45 p.m. PST

Hmmm. Good point. Do you have any reference material as an example.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member26 Mar 2017 1:19 a.m. PST

FusilierDan has nailed an essential and to me unsolvable problem. We don't see our castings only as static, 2-D images. We have to paint them in three dimensions. Urgh!

tkdguy26 Mar 2017 1:57 a.m. PST

I found this on YouTube:

YouTube link

mrinku Inactive Member02 May 2017 12:00 a.m. PST

Seems to me that a tinted varnish is what you want. Maybe magic dip of some sort *only* applied to the stocking area?

chironex04 May 2017 2:57 a.m. PST

You're going to have to paint and shade the legs before applying the tight or stocking colour.
Also, we don't see the castings as 2-d images because they are not, nor are actual people. Shrink your reference images on screen to the size of a mini and see if it really matters in the slightest.
And what of other colours?





Another issue is that the opacity of tights is a variable.
And then this could happen:

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