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"Looking for tips on how to paint Mantic Armada ships" Topic

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787 hits since 22 Sep 2021
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Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP22 Sep 2021 4:31 p.m. PST

What it says on the tin.

I've recently acquired Mantic's Armada starter set, featuring "Basilean" (I think human) and Orc fleets.
I'm not all that worried about the Orc ships, as they're supposed to be haphazard constructions of wood and whatever.
But the Basilean ships have some finery on them.
I'm not trying to create the same look as in the Mantic photos. I just want "good enough to game with."
I'm new to painting ships.
Any advice on primer color (white, black, gray)?
Colors for sails?
And what about the fancy bits (figureheads with swirly curly flame-like bits)?

I'm not a big mixer of paint or a blender of paint at all— I tend to go for spot colors, maybe dry brush a few highlights, and shading just by slapping on a black wash (or a dip, if that would work). As long as they're decent enough at arm's length, that's what I want.

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP24 Sep 2021 6:45 a.m. PST

The Dip Technique is your friend, along with Magic Wash.

I recommend Minwax Royal Walnut urethane stain: it is a dark, dirty brown. It works superbly for a dirty look. Otherwise, Tudor is plain black.

Magic Wash is Pledge Floor Gloss + acrylic paint of desired wash color. Use it full strength, with a drop of dish soap, as a flow aid, if desired.

Dry-brushing will help, but it is not really necessary, IMO. The wonderful thing about The Dip Technique and the Magic Wash is that they blend everything so well together. I do simple block painting, on my mini's, followed by either technique, and they are done (sometimes I finish with a matte clear coat, if they come out too shiny…).

The Magic Wash may be more advantageous of the two techniques: you can mix up any custom wash color desired; it dries in 15 minutes; it is water-based so easy clean up; it smells rather pleasant. The downside is that you need to mix it, every time (or do batches, and keep them in tightly sealed bottles/jars).

The pro's and con's of The Dip Technique are: you only need to mix the can, thoroughly, before applying; it is extremely durable when dry (urethane!); it comes in a variety of brown colors; and the downside's: it is oil based; it can take days to dry; it smells, for years afterwards; turpentine is required to clean up brushes -- I use throw-away school paint brushes to apply it, at $0.04 USD per brush); it can pool excessively, so you may need to wick away excess using the edge of a paper towel/napkin; it is more expensive, but it lasts for years, and 1,000's of mini's -- literally.

For the Minwax, I suggest a Slow Cooker/Crockpot. Put the mini's into it, on the Low Setting (170 F), for 30 minutes. They will come out fully cured, ready for the table (might need a matte clear coat…). The Low setting is hot enough to cure the urethane stain, but cool enough that plastic and lead/pewter mini's will not melt (400 F -- most thermal plastics; 700+ F -- lead/pewter), or be damaged by the heat (the plastic will soften, but it will not melt). You can pick up a suitable Slow Cooker at Wal-Mart for around $20. USD Keep it for mini's, only, not food, due to the chemical off-gassing.

You can use it for curing white PVA Glue, as well as other glues. You can also use it for spray primer paint, to dry that faster. No sparks generated, safe for flammable fumes -- use it in the garage, or outdoors, only. Cheers!

HansPeterB24 Sep 2021 9:16 a.m. PST

This is similar to Sgt. Slag's technique, but (imo) a little easier.

1. White or light gray (if you want to add a step make this a two step zenithal process).
2. paint with contrasts -- snakebite leather (stupid names) is good for wood, and I used agaros dunes for decks and masts, sails are space wolves grey.
3. paint all the metal bits, cannons a nice bright bronze and all the ork trim gunmetal.
4. Mix up an oil wash -- their are lots of tutorials on youtube and its not difficult at all. Slather the hull and deck with a dark black/brown. Then use a make up sponge to remove the wash from raised areas and whereever you've decided you don't want it.
5. The sails will probably want a little highlight, but otherwise you're done.
Mine came out looking pretty great given the time invested. Sorry -- I've never figured out how to upload pictures onto TMP.

HansPeterB24 Sep 2021 9:18 a.m. PST

And I should have said "prime" white or light gray, and the Ork sails are naturally not white -- I used blood angels red on some and gryph hound orange on others.

Dave Gamer24 Sep 2021 8:04 p.m. PST

Yes, the Basileans are humans with a religious fervor.

I take it you've seen these "How to paint" videos on Yootoob…

Basilean ship: YouTube link (long one!)

Orc ship: YouTube link (short)

Both: YouTube link (also short)

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP05 Oct 2021 4:08 p.m. PST

Makeup sponge— that's a good tip, and I know just were to swipe— uh, "politely request"— one.

Thanks for the suggestions, all!

Der Krieg Geist28 Sep 2022 10:40 p.m. PST

I recommend you let your own imagination be your guide, it is fantasy and you can't do it wrong. :) Image yourself standing in a watchtower on a blue clear breezy day, when your eye drifts to the waves again and you are struck by the sight of an unknown fleet of invaders so close to your shores you barely have time to sound an alarm! So…what do they look like? :D

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