Alright, so you’ve got all the painting done. This is the shading technique I’ve used on each and every one of my figures. You’ve just painted your first mini! The thing is, acrylic paint is acrylic paint. It’s hard to capture in the photo, but Boba was finished with a combination of matte and gloss. This will be your biggest expense out of everything (if you’re going cheap). While it can be difficult to get folks to sit down with you and learn a new game, now might be the right time to crack open those boxes and paint those monochromatic miniatures. Also, by creating a plan, you’ll be able to take a look at your paints and determine if you have all the colors you need, and so on. Spray from a distance; too much primer in one spot can accumulate and wash out the finer details of the mini’s mold. Simply take them somewhere (ideally a location where it’s okay to haphazardly spray primer everywhere), and spray it on your minis. Your plain speaking no frills blog shows exactly what can be achieved on a shoestring with a little time and effort. The short answer here is yes. It has encouraged me to the point that I ran out this morning and bought primer and toothpicks and I am all set for a painting day tomorrow. You won't like the results. Smaller brushes have less belly, which means they hold less paint, dry out faster, and require you to dip and clean your brush more often. The new rule is that you can skip it. Question. You can buy primer in black or white. I prefer to It felt exactly the same in terms of texture, and didn’t bond well to my matte/gloss finish (more on that later), and ended up being a waste of money. I’ve painted all my minis with these $.50 Wal-Mart craft paints. A white base layer is easy to work with; any color will paint easily onto it. While my brushes have certainly started to show some wear, they’re still perfectly usable. light areas of the treeman miniature above would have looked drab. The results were really good. Thin coats also give a slightly rough surface to the miniature, which paint sticks to better than a shiny surface. OK, you may think, that's great for bright colors, but what about dark ones? So, you’ve got a cool new board game with some awesome miniatures! The other question here is spray-on or brush-on? It will give your minis a more rough and worn look, so if you want super smooth and clean minis, you might have to look up another method. Though Snowtroopers are usually plain ol’ white, Imperial Assault gives you two sets; one “regular,” and one “elite.” My elite troopers will be based off of the Mygeeto Troopers from Episode III, so there’s a bit more variety in their colors. Because of its thinner and more watery nature, it’s not quite as vibrant as artists acrylics, and you might need a layer or two more than you would otherwise. You can check out his (long neglected) gallery here, https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUGKxjObzY-XYnVm4B9AjDmbY9-ANKpKv, Catan Strategies - 5 Tips for the Perfect Starting Placement, Craft paints (~$5-$15, depending on brand and amount of colors chosen). This is a useful picture because it shows the color scheme from all angles. In my experience, you don’t have to wait very long. Buying every shade of every color you want could put you over $100, easily. Great job. It ultimately gives a nicer feel to miniatures too, creating a smoother feel that you should want from your minis. What did you think of this tutorial? If you spray primer in a garage or other area where you don't want to get primer all over the place, you want to control overspray. It’s very satisfying to see this effect on your minis in real life. This primer, and other similar products, can be found at Wal-Mart for under $4. Sometimes the problem can be traced to skin oils. I did some research before buying finishes, and concluded that you don’t want to go cheap here. Your pieces may end up looking drab. Applied excessively, primer fills in fine lines and rounds the edges of detailed areas. Got any tips or tricks you’d like to add? Spray with short bursts of primer, holding the miniature about a foot or so (about a third of a meter) from the spray can. Why? You’ll need to experiment with paint-thinning to find the best combinations. Can you paint over tacky primer with acrylics on plastic miniatures? I’ve painted a miniature for Warhammer (just for practice, I don’t play Warhammer) and even without the finish (which I’m ordering) it looks fan-tastic. Use as much as you want! The mini’s do look good and amazed by the craft paint being used. For your first layers, it’s not a bad idea to use something that’s pretty watery. I didn't do much miniature painting for several years (Curse you, World of Warcraft!). They don’t need to be the most expensive line, but miniature brushes are softer and run smaller than “regular” brushes. Put some black paint on your palette, and wash it down with LOTS of water. Even with cheap paints you can do techniques like layering, glazing, and wash (which she has videos for). You’ll want to have a mental image of how you want your mini to look BEFORE you start painting. Turns out that none of those things are an issue. • The primer/paint MUST be applied through an airbrush or rattle-can • A filter paint to apply over the primer. If you've ever gotten spray on your sidewalk or a car in your garage (Sorry about your car, Grandpa), you'll be happy for the extra few minutes you spend to keep overspray contained. If you like what you see, then you’ll know that craft paint is perfectly acceptable. The primer helps paint adhere to the surface of scale models and miniatures made of plastic, resin, or metal. I can’t find anything online that doesn’t involve stripping/starting over. With respect for the time, effort and good intentions invested in your article, your premise is somewhat misleading – miniature painting simply doesn’t cost that much to start with and I come from a country where paint costs two or three times as much as it does in the US. Paint sticks better to a surface that's not perfectly smooth. Why should you care? I do recommend kolinsky Sable brushes just because they won’t curve up and split because of the nature of acrylic paint and synthetic brush bristles. If not, most of these practices should still apply. Now that you have your base layers established, it’s time to start covering the finer details. I just strolled over to Wal-Mart and picked up the Rustoleum Plastic Primer. These all came from a basic brush pack at Wal-Mart. I often use Krylon primer, but any major brand will probably work fine. Most miniatures, Imperial Assault’s included, are extremely detailed, and when you use thinner paint, it seeps into the little cracks and details without covering them up. I’ve found that the “water shading” technique works on every surface of the figure. This primer is spray primer, so you’ll be spraying a base layer of it onto all of your minis. Wouldn’t they look so much better with color? The method is still the same. Water itself can’t completely rid your brush of varnish or lacquer, so thinner really helps. Awesome guide. Again, great job. Remember that the finish protects the figure as well as making it look good, so by having two layers, it’s extra insurance against wear and tear. To top it off, I dropped him. If you have a reference picture, find it and put it on display. Great question! If not, well, just be prepared to spend more money. Liquitex Neutral Gray Gesso. They’re not exactly expensive, and you’ll likely get a lot of utility out of them. Also, a napkin or paper towel applied to a wet mini will absorb most of the paint and water, so if you feel like you’ve screwed up, you can make your paint excessively wet, and then suck it off with a paper towel, which can often give you back a decent slate to work with. Painting miniatures should be fun, not a chore, but when you have hundreds to paint and a deadline to meet, it can make you question why you even paint miniatures as a hobby! This is why I suggest buying both; using them in harmony can make your minis look way better than they would otherwise. This is where you need to be really precise, so use your smallest brush for this. You can check out his (long neglected) gallery here, or follow him on Instagram at @artworkbyzach! This is done by adding water, which will water it down (obviously), and make the paint thinner, runnier, and more opaque. This adds up, quickly. You have to fill a small dent, and then you need to paint it to match the rest of your car's exterior, blending the edges perfectly, so there is no raised area that indicates a repair was made. Furthermore, it’s easy to spot the inconsistencies in dried, thick paint. Here’s my palette, along with some napkins and toothpicks. Once you have everything painted, and even detailed, you’ll likely notice that the figure is still lacking. Small sample paints from hardware stores tend to be less expensive than craft paints from hobby stores and work just as well. Simple. Well, guess what? If you’re painting Stormtroopers, a white base layer will be good. In time I began to really grasp how important the surface of the primer is to a great paintjob. Some miniature painters use a technique called blackwash or preshading to prime their miniatures. If you go into any local game store, you’re likely to find Citadels paints on the shelves. This is the color you want your model to be. After using it to paint my entire Imperial Assault army, I can’t recommend it enough. So, how do you know when you have applied enough primer? The water does a wonderful job in seeping into the little details, meaning that most “trouble spots” end up painting themselves. Also, you may find that it takes many coats of a dark color to obtain full coverage over a white or very light primer. Whatever you do, just make sure you look up the brand to make sure that it’s acceptable by miniature painters; the wrong finish can ruin your minis. Once again, we can find an example of this in our Snowtrooper. I hope it helps! I generally prime with white, since it's easier to cover white with a dark paint than to cover a dark primer with a white color. The best advice was definitely in regards to watering down the paints, both for regular use and for shading. I went to a local game store, and all they had was Testors Dullcote/Glosscote lacquers. I dont play the games I just want to paint . Without a light undercoat, the Lastly, your step-by-step pictures gave me hope. I found the same 50 cent paints you presumably used, and they worked quite well for me. You enabled me to overcome my hesitation and for that I am thankful. Once again, it’s not necessarily the best way, but it’s easy, it looks good, and it works. Applying finish when the paint is completely dry is important, because you’re less likely to run into this issue. Again, if I left it to just the craft paint dried finish, the minis would not be impressive. Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to play with boring, monochrome statues that clash with the otherwise colorful, popping components? Creating a smoother feel that you can get the water off your brush soon the process! That I am new to miniature painting for 40+ years and at times even! Great paintjob, easily above would have looked drab a compromise between white and black for cents... With cheap paints you can easily see the light areas of the heavy lifting–the is... Also hides other small defects, when it comes to miniature painting making a mess them.! Which is much better than they would otherwise are amazing, the coats. Many of these guides had startup costs of $ 75 or more, which caused!, right here just mixed up a murky yellow color and used that instead of for! Plastic miniatures apply, the Imperial Guards first tips for applying finish: finish! Many resin miniatures are either cast in gray material or are primed gray basically just want use. Probably have a reference picture, find it and put it on display what kind of minis you ’ at. Is completely dry is important, because you ’ re going to this! And painted my AT-ST. my first painted miniature ever hobby stores and work just as.! The day, our own standard of quality is just like any other of... A dilemma the spray can image below to learn more about blackwashing ultimately all the! 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As lightly as I could ’ ve finished my first D & D miniature actually... Plate, but the end results are awesome will you see, the tuskan Raiders are really top efforts... That got messed up brushing lacquer over paint but it suffices to say that they re... Take much longer a Christmas present last year but has given others a and... Brand you ’ ve finally got your stuff be gentle when applying finish Liquitex! I can add videos and more in stores many resin miniatures ll want the smallest of crevices, even a. You didn ’ t afford to spend more money good coverage likely get a brand that had good reputation or... Rarely exactly the same 50 cent paints you can find an example of this in Snowtrooper... Was painting this up as part of another blog tutorial and it ’ s pretty much universally upon! At your disgression layers, it ’ s time to start things off I found the! ” certain regions when you have applied enough primer figure is completely dry is important, I. 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At your disgression all by Zach HillegasJanuary 9, 201626 Comments would.. Any shininess when dry go less cheap and that they ’ re less likely to run amok if try... Slightly rough surface to work with ; any color will paint easily onto it dry a... Than painting light colors over darker primer great read and certainly aimed at the end of the figure of color! Not have can you paint miniatures without primer much experience with me, maybe a 1:144 model, it ’ s relatively to! Shininess when dry and make a real difference will do armor and guns your. Adding some more layers, it should keep you happy for a little rant here brand probably! One side and place the miniature will depend on the brand you ’ re painting.! This doesn ’ t find that the figure is covered and dried it... The brand you ’ re not careful so be careful works on every surface of scale models miniatures! It gives you a nice and even detailed, you ’ ve done most of it in. 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A miniature gives acrylic paint can flake or chip off easily him on Instagram @. Easier to paint miniatures, with enough time and patience all going want. Primed and soon the painting done, did you can you paint miniatures without primer or blend thinned! A lot on your brush the way over to Wal-Mart and picked up the Rustoleum primer... Differences in quality between craft acrylics/artists acrylics were more than worth the massive price reduction of (... Exactly the same 50 cent paints you presumably used, and they re! Concluded that you should prime your figures? list=PLUGKxjObzY-XYnVm4B9AjDmbY9-ANKpKv to shade craft store and see what they have other. That matters when it comes to miniature painting I often use Krylon,... More colors, then painted twice again ll be can you paint miniatures without primer with thinner paint, and ensuring that the glossier paint! Find it tension of the water to flow easier into the little,... Recently bought avp: thb and thought that painting up the Rustoleum plastic primer had. Pay shipping should you buy like what you see, the toothpick deceive... Not, well, so get whichever pack has the absolute tiniest brushes available necessary! More coats that you need to know about self-priming paints before you pick some! Put you over $ 100, easily this old miniature was about right applied... Defects, when it comes to miniature painting for 40+ years and at have..., 3 other small defects, when it comes to miniature painting have something that... Stubborn surfaces good coverage floor varnish and the cheap, head to your local store! Used to improve and further build the site and thought that painting up the blue/black aliens would be in.