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"When the task exceeds your skills" Topic

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Korvessa24 Nov 2020 3:03 p.m. PST

Working on a set of the knights from Monty Python's Holy Grail.
In the movie, the various knights have designs on their surcoats (or however you spell that), which are beyond my skills to paint. I am not even sure I can do the flags.
Fortunately, they have shield decals.

What do you do in this situation?
I am thinking it is best to just ignore it.
I could probably do something with the flags, if you don't look too close – and I line it up with folds.

HMS Exeter24 Nov 2020 4:09 p.m. PST

There are many options.

1. You could have a painting service handle them. I dont know which is best at high detail work. Posting an inquiry separately would likely give good guidance. This won't be cheap, but there weren't all that many kniggits, so it may be workable.

2. Medieval Mayhem do flag decals in addition to those they make for shields. That only leaves the Surcoats.

3. There are kits you can get to home make decals. It should be possible to resize the shield devices to surcoat size.

4. Most of the surcoat devices are only partially visible. Trying to freehand paint these modest areas, while challenging, might not be impossible. The coats are white. If you prime in white you can overprime and make several attempts.

5. Or, you could just fuggeddabouddit.

Personal logo Jeff Ewing Supporting Member of TMP24 Nov 2020 4:56 p.m. PST

If I let this stop me, I'd never paint anything! Push yourself; practice the surcoat patterns on a sheet of paper, maybe.

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP24 Nov 2020 7:09 p.m. PST

I'm with Jeff Ewing! That's how I improved own modest skills.

Try some designs on some figures that you don't care about. You'll be surprised at how much you come to care about them, and how good they'll look. You'll have made some progress toward being able to do them on your knights.

Zephyr124 Nov 2020 8:45 p.m. PST

Paint your designs on thin paper, trim out the shape to fit, then glue on like a decal. By putting it on paper, you can mess up & try again without having to "do it right the first time" when attempting to paint it on the mini… ;-)

Martin Rapier24 Nov 2020 11:52 p.m. PST

When doing some courses mplex hoplite shield designs, I did the basic shapes in paint then drew in the outlines and details with a micron lining pen. It looked surprisingly OK and was far easier than trying to paint the whole thing.

Striker25 Nov 2020 7:23 a.m. PST

I start out drawing it on paper to get size and shape right. Then use whichever method is more comfy. You can lightly draw it on the figure and paint it in also. One of the Andrea painting knights books covers this.

Sgt Slag25 Nov 2020 8:09 a.m. PST

You can color laser print on regular paper, cut out, then use Mod Podge Glue, to attach them. The Mod Podge is water based, so the paper will become soft, and pliable. You can then press it into the sculpted shield, to make it conform. It is not perfect, but it is relatively easy.

I suggest experimenting, on a test figure, to see if the end result is satisfactory. I've done some Frost Giant shields, using 60mm Viking figures. It worked at an acceptable level, for me. YMMV. Cheers!

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP27 Nov 2020 3:16 p.m. PST

Yea, I get it.

I'm in this situation with a few Italian Wars armies I'd like to field, not to mention other medieval/renaissance ones.

I plan to try to work first on plain, common figs to develop/improve my painting skills a bit, then tackle the harder stuff.

On to your question(s) though. In this case, decals ARE your friends. They make life much, much easier and look great when properly selected and applied.

Fine paint brushes, and/or paint pens will help too.

In some cases, I've seen where people actually use sharp pencils to draw the designs onto the minis, and then use those as a guide to paint over them. I don't know how common that is, but apparently it does work.

Sharp tipped, mechanical pencils would seem to work best here. Common ones are 0.5mms in diameter. I'd also recommend a finer, 0.3mm diameter pencil lead, which you can find in art and/or drafting stores, assuming the latter haven't completely gone extinct now that most drafting is done on a computer.

From others I've seen, they practice painting/drawing their designs a bit first on paper or other materials before doing that to the minis. In smaller scales, impressionistic designs can work, and permit your eyes and mind to fill in the blanks.

Practice, practice, practice, until you are satisfied your can create the design(s) correctly using muscle memory.

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