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LPBs and LPGs - little plastic blokes & little plastic gals


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OK, I'll bite - grabbed some 50cm-quality* HO figures from my storage box.
Since the old modules are long gone and I won't get started on new modules till the end of this year, I quickly posed the figures on some white paper, two desk lamps, a Samsung S3 in Macro mode, and boom - murky pictures! Sadly, the pictures still are clearer than a lot of those in the Walthers' Catalog ones... :sarcastichand: .
* (Meaning - the figure looks decent enough at half a meter viewing distance)

OK, Preiser (and Merten) figure usually look pretty good to start; I strip the paint (or better yet, use ones from the mega-piece unpainted sets - shame too many of those figures are stuck in the 1980s), repaint, dark wash, flat finish



Unfortunately I'm often compelled to modify the figures - the mechanic on his auto-shop creeper was originally a hot-dog salesman, and the Merten hippie with the guitar was originally playing a banjo (was hippie-banjo a thing in the 1960s?). I see the man in the white shirt and the girl w/ brown shorts need a little more dark wash across the eyes (I never paint eyeballs or iips in HO scale, it often looks too clownish even with a 000 size brush - 'course, I might just suck).

OK, German figures look decent, but what about Bachmann Plasticville? Atlas? Old School Life-Like? Well...BachmannFigures.jpg
The big burly bearded workmen didn't turn out too bad; the business man - on reflection, I don't know about that mustache; the Life-Like mailman, he looks better at a more normal viewing angle, and the 1960s doctor & nurse - I dunno, I painted them more or less as a goof, they are from an Atlas set made for HO racing sets (and they are tall - I was able to modify a cop figure from the set into a imposingly modern cop) - I am thinking of posing them as mannequins in a Costume (Fancy Dress) Party shop, along with some 19th century Preiser figures, seeing as how I model the 21st century.
As for the grey-painted figure glued to the piece of styrene - that's sort of a modeling tip - he's a Preiser figure of about average male height of 5ft 10in (6ft with the hat) - I use him to eyeball whether the dimensions or scale of something (vehicle, street furniture, structure elements like doors or loading docks, etc.) looks correct or not - the base holds him (and adds really no extra height), and makes sure he doesn't disappear for long.
Bachmann Plasticville figures, as you can see, run about 5% overscale, and are not usually that detailed (hence the beards - maybe I should paint one on the 1950s green-dressed housewife)

Those traits can be useful - as there are other human shapes which may be overscale and have less defined features...BachmanQuakerStatue.jpg
Pennsylvania had lots of Quaker Preachers of importance, and surely one of them would have been immortalized in Bronze on a 1970s style textured statute base such as this, which will grace the center of a park/plaza on a future modules.


Painting figures can be fun and even therapeutic, at least if you use quality brushes and decent paint so you don't need to curse every few minutes. 
Always: Prime; layer paint (flat if possible, unless you are going for an effect like gold lame or something) light to dark; don't be afraid to scrap off paint mistakes with a knife; dark wash to enhance details, wrinkles, folds, eyes, etc; dull-coat.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Having painted probably thousands of wargames figures over the years, figures are a bit of a 'thing' for me. Often let down otherwise amazing layouts.


I've found two main methods to be most effective.


1. Undercoat in white or grey. Block colour everything. Don't try to shade or highlight, but be neat. Wash. Use a 'proper' wash or ink if possible, sepia brown or something like Army Painter dip. Pick out flesh if too dark. Matt varnish.

2. Undercoat in black. Build up shades by painting in dark shades of the colour you want first, leaving a little of the black in the folds etc. Then apply a second, and third if you want, layers of proressively lighter shade, leaving the previous shade visible around the edges.


If you do nothing else - applying a 'flesh wash' will bring a plain figure to life.

Sometimes it's worth finishing off with a very light drybrush to highlight the figure.

Don't paint eyes. It never ever looks right in these scales.


Some examples here:




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To add to that, a wash of Citadel paints "Devlan Mud" that will be a great overall way of making the model "pop"


I've got a pack of 500 unpainted figures coming from China, when they eventually show up I'll no doubt be adding to this thread! :D

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