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How To Paint Miniatures

How to Model and Prepare your Paintable Miniatures Like a Pro

The different steps for the preparation of a miniature

You have probably already read a lot about model making. But sometimes these tutorials for paintable miniatures are incomplete.

Here are the different steps of the preparation of a miniature, whether it’s made of plastic, metal, or resin, anyone will learn something!

These are not necessarily long steps, so you shouldn’t neglect them. They will simplify your life and improve the final rendering of the figure.

Obviously, not all materials are equal in terms of the preparation steps: While plastic is the easiest to process, metal and resin will require a little more time for different reasons.

Before starting, you will need the following model making tools:

Degaussing the Pieces of your Paintable Miniatures

The first mandatory step before starting anything – Don’t worry! Nothing too complicated here…

We will use our cutting pliers to cut the pins that hold the parts of our figurine in its original cluster.

The trick is not to cut too cleanly with such an imprecise tool, at the risk of cutting details or flattening rounded surfaces… So we cut wide, so as not to damage the part in question. We will refine anyway later!

In the picture below, you clearly see that the studs are still on my pieces even after they have been disassembled.

paintable miniatures Degaussing

Very important: We first need to untangle the fragile pieces of the various parts (lances, antennas, thin pieces). This way, cutting the other studs of the same element, won’t put too much stress on these fragile pieces, at the risk of breaking or twisting them.

Concerning the resin: it can happen that a particularly long piece is twisted (sword, spear…).

Nothing to panic about. You just have to boil some water in a pan and put the said piece in the hot steam. This way, it will soften slightly and naturally take back its initial shape!

Refining the Pieces of your Paintable Miniatures

Once removed from the plastic pieces, we are now able to clean more precisely our figurines. For that task, we will be using our modelism cutter/knife.

With the help of the latter, we’ll remove the remaining studs and any outgrowths from the molding.

Once this is done, we can get rid of any molding lines and remaining studs, with the help of a file (flat most of the time, round for curved surfaces).

No need to rub like crazy. The job gets done very quickly, by just making sure that we can’t distinguish the traces of the molding.

And that’s it!

Deburring miniature painting

On plastic figures, this step can be done very quickly. With new advances in modern figurines-making technology, the figurines now have fewer molding lines than in the past.

Keep in mind that this process is even more important on metal figurines, as they’re generally less fine in terms of molding.

It is also crucial to note that it is wise to wear a filtering mask (such as a disposable mask for work). Wear it during the filing stage when working on metal or resin miniatures.

It may seem like nothing, but the fine particles of metal and resin are very bad for the lungs!

Concerning metal figurines specifically, the latter is quite variable in fineness depending on a lot of parameters. It is a good idea as well, to use fine-grained sandpaper (otherwise you risk scratching the fig!).

This way, it will smooth out all grainy surfaces if the molding was poorly made.

Gluing the Pieces of your Paintable Miniatures

Now that our pieces are neat and tidy, all that’s left to do is assemble the figurine!

So we will equip ourselves with the appropriate glue:

gluing for warhammer figure painting

For plastic paintable miniatures, the plastic glue is required. For metal or resin paintable miniatures, cyanoacrylate glue is required.

Nothing could be easier than gluing plastic! In fact, GW plastic glue works miracles by welding the parts that touch each other.

As you can see in the picture above, I put enough glue so that it has only a very slight excess. This way, it creates some sort of a “seal”, by keeping the parts in contact, and melting and welding the edges of the parts that are glued.

On the resin and metal side, it’s less easy, but the cyanoacrylate glue will do the job.

file for perfect warhammer model painting

Undercoating before starting your figurines painting

Last step before the actual painting: The undercoat.

What is it for anyway? Simple! This thin layer uses special paint that adheres well. On top of that, it is itself slightly rough, so the black acrylic paint “clings” well to it.

Without this layer, the paint would soon flake off!

If you plan to paint your very first Warhammer miniature, we highly recommend you to read our beginner guide here.

under coat with black spray for warhammer figure painting

Now Your Models are Ready to Get Painted

All that’s left is to get started! If you have respected the above different steps, you’re off to a great start.

You’ll see quickly, that with time and experience, it won’t take much time to prepare your paintable miniatures.

Your efforts will greatly improve the final result when you apply yourself to the painting!

Nothing is worse in terms of modeling than a well-painted figurine with gaping joints and mold lines everywhere.

But when you complete the preparation steps well, the result will be AMAZING!

Don’t prep your Warhammer miniatures like a nub!

This is not the end. Let’s keep in touch!

Did you enjoy your reading today and find what you were looking for on the topic of “How to mount and prepare your model before painting“?

You’ll also like the other articles on our Painting Minis blog and What Makes Painting Miniature So Special, According to Experts?

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