There are tons of tricks, tips, and tools to paint citadel miniatures you can find all over the internet. But here are some basic lessons that I wish I had known when I started.
At this stage, a lot of experienced painters (myself included), take these lessons for granted. Looking back, having these bits of collective wisdom may have saved me some grief along my hobby journey.
1st Commandment To Paint Citadel Miniatures – The More Detailed the Model Is, The Easier It Is to Paint It
It is true that people are intimidated by highly detailed citadel miniatures.
For a lot of people, more detail means that it takes more control to paint. In fact, the opposite is true.
The more detailed the sculpt, the more work the model does for you, and the further simple, beginner-friendly techniques like dry brushing and washing will go.
Take for example this Skin & Moans miniature.
The sculpt has a lot going on, but it was painted with primarily basecoats and washes with my favorite D&D Monster Paint Set.
The detailed sculpt of the flayed skin on the model was very easy to paint (various flesh tones were base coated and washes were layered on).
After that, the details like eyes and stitches were picked out, the blades were dry brushed with metallics and rust-stippled (with cosmetic sponges).
The model can do a lot of work for you, so don’t be intimidated by a dynamic and detailed sculpt.
2nd Commandment To Paint Citadel Miniatures – Add Blood Painting and It Will Looks Perfect
I make mistakes all the time when I paint miniatures.
One of the things I often tell hobbyists starting out is that instead of concerning themselves with fixing them, just paint some blood on the mistake and move forward.
I find the bright red paint in the Army Paint Set Wargames Hobby Starter Set to be just the right color to replicate the “blood feel”.
Then, finish your models!
You’ll get closer to perfect if you finish 10 models than if you continually keep trying to fix one and never complete it.
Why? Because on those ten models, you’ll have a chance to reinforce the skills you executed well on the first mini, as well as practice the things you need to improve.
Overall, you’ll be a better painter for it.
You’ll see more growth as a painter by focusing on making the next miniature you paint better instead of trying to make your first miniature perfect.
You’ll never get to taste the sense of accomplishment you get when you complete a project, and it’ll keep you from getting to the table.
3rd Commandment To Paint Citadel Miniatures – Miniatures Never Have to Look Good Until It Is Done
I love work-in-progress photos. They’re often an honest glimpse into how messy or incomplete miniatures look before they get closer to the finish line.
The truth is, most minis around the 60% mark can look like “lost causes”.
Paint can get everywhere, nothing is particularly clean. Colors can look flat and it’s hard to see just how good the miniatures will look. Things can look crazy.
One of the reasons why a lot of people think they paint badly isn’t because their miniatures are badly painted. In fact, it’s that they’re not fully painted.
Finishing details can elevate miniatures from painted to pretty. Take the time to focus on those lovely, sculpted details and you’ll find your miniature will pop.
4th Commandment To Painting in General – Keep It a Hobby, Not a Job
If you put time and love into a miniature and you enjoy the process of it, it’s not a waste.
There is no such thing as ruining a miniature with paint. Especially if it is your hobby.
Give yourself time to learn a new skill. A hobby is an investment in oneself.
It’s a way to give yourself permission to be creative, be enthusiastic, and passionate about something.
So be forgiving of yourself in terms of the outcome. It will improve over time if you continue to paint minis.
Don’t let the outcome of your paint job undermine the experience.
A miniature that is painted, with love, passion and pride will always be better than one that is naked. That’s a fact.
The displacer beast was painted using only the most basic techniques and with a basic painting kit, the Army Paint Set Wargames Hobby Starter Set. And the whole thing, in less than 20 minutes. If I did it, You can do too!
This is not the end. Let’s keep in touch!
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