Learning Bench 2018-05-31


Keep your workspace tidy

One handy way to keep your work area tidy when brush painting is to get yourself a large flip chart pad. Tear off a sheet and put it down on your work surface. I like flip chart paper better than newspapers because it’s easier to see tiny model parts on it or to spot any wet work surface paint blobs that might accidentally stain a part.

For brush painting I set up three cups of thinner. Use the left-most cup for the initial brush wash (the dirty cup), then move the brush to the middle cup to remove the rest of the paint (the cloudy cup). Lastly, move the brush to the right-most cup and give it a final quick rinse.


Basic considerations

Do not brush paint straight from bottle ! Remove paint from the bottle onto a palette (old plastic bag) and work from there rather than painting from an open bottle and wiping the brush on the lip. A (wet) palette allows more control over how much paint you get on the brush, it avoids the paint in the open bottles from thickening prematurely, and it keeps dried paint off the bottle lip.

To properly load a brush with paint, take a clean damp brush (never load a totally dry brush with paint) from the working tray [5-9] and load only the bottom half of the brush with paint from the palette as shown here. This keeps paint away from the metal ferrule, later drying, and then ruining the brush. By keeping most paint out of the brush ferrule, it’s

Always pre-wet a brush with thinner – I like to do this by storing my brushes in a working tray or working cup/glass with thinner. This keeps any paint residue in the working brush from drying out and keeps the tip pre-wetted before each use. I prefer to use a tray and not a jar or larger cup for this. Laying the brushes in a tray does not deform the bristles like standing them upright into a jar or cup will do, except if you use a “pincelier” like I got from géants des beaux art website.

Even though paint can feel dry to the touch, there may still be some water trapped under the skin of the paint that needs to evaporate. This is useful to know when you are painting – and will help you keep out of too much trouble if you remember to let the paint dry fully before repainting. Thin paint will dry thoroughly in 10-20 minutes, while thick paint may take an hour or even up to several days to finish drying.


Working with Pigments

Pigments are what the colour in paint is made from. In historical times these pigments came from nature, and you can still purchase and use some of these pigments today. Nowadays nearly all pigments are “manufactured”, or at least treated in some way to standardise their particle size, purity and chemical make-up.

Many companies will use the same standardized names for paint colours. Some are based on the chemical make-up of the pigments in the paint, such as Phthalocyanine Blue, while some are named after the artist who was well known for using a particular colour, such as Turner’s Yellow. When naming the colours of the paints, there are no real legal requirements for companies to use specific specific names for colours.

It is a legal requirement that the labels on paints do not claim to be something that they’re not. For example, a company is not allowed to name paint Cadmium Yellow if there is no cadmium used in the creation of the pigment.

Sometimes, paint companies will use alternative colours that look similar to the original, to give a colour that closely resembles the original named colour. When they do this, manufacturers will often use the words Hue or Tint in the name of the paint. For example, Cadmium colours can be quite expensive to produce, and may be toxic, so you may find some companies prefer to create a Cadmium Hue to make a more affordable paint or for use by children.

Some pigments that originally came from natural sources may have had the colour chemically created. This could be because the original pigment source may also be limited in supply such as Ivory Black, which is made from the soot of burnt ivory. Other pigments are made in such a dubious manner that the processes have dropped out of use due to deviations in the colour and quality created. An example of this is Indian Yellow which, legend has it, was originally created by collecting and concentrating the urine of cows that had been fed mangos.

Due to the variety of sources of pigments for paints, they will each have their own particular qualities. Because of this, colour chemists need to create special formulas to suit each pigment. You did the same sort of thing when making your own paint earlier. You would have noticed you needed more water with some pigments and less with others.

For example, if you were to take two glasses of water, add equal amounts of flour to one, and jelly crystals to the other, the glass with the flour being added would thicken more quickly than the glass with the jelly crystals. The same can be said about pigments. Pigments are even more different than flour is to jelly crystals. Comparing different pigments would be like comparing flour, to jelly crystals, to marbles, and cotton wool.

Ideally, for artist quality paints, you would expect them to be as highly pigmented as possible. You would also expect paints from the same manufacturer to be consistent in their formulation, with a similar amount of acrylic in the paint. Because of their different properties, colour chemists need to carefully determine how much pigment each colour can absorb without compromising the consistency of the paint. They also need to take into account other factors of the pigments.



You will find the updated (January 2018) Vallejo Catalogue. You’ll find the one of Mig Jimenez also updated. On the same page you’ll find free step by step tutorials.


Instead of “buying” your static grass, you can apparently also easily make some if you can work a little bit with your hands. Here’s a full tutorial on how to make a static grass applicator. If you’re not tech savvy and have the money, you can also just buy one on Amazon. Modelism herb is pretty cheap in bags of 100 grams.


A very instructive 5 min video on how to paint a leather coat with AK Interactive products with airbrush coats and a thin brush (official AK Interactive channel).

I am looking at the various tutorials and books about making dioramas and stumbled on this video from Dutchmodeling explaining the content of the AK Interactive dioramas.

I have to paint Yun a hero from Arcadia Quest basebox. He has some with “templar” type of tunic on the front and a cape in the back. His tunic is white, I was looking at how to successfully paint in white and watched the tutorial from painting miniature 101: part 25 – paint white for inspiration.


Painting the eyes of Chibi figurines in a realistic way is what I would like to achieve; to differenciate them from the classic look, it is also a good exercise with reasonably large eyes, this I started watching a few vids but this one stands out with a very detailed step-by-step:




Where to find STL files to print:

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