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How To Paint Miniatures

The Ultimate Guide to Painting Military Miniatures

A very detailed and delicate craft

The hobby of painting military miniatures has been around for centuries. It is indeed a very detailed and delicate craft that requires patience and precision.

It may seem like an obvious hobby but military miniature painting also has a rather interesting history.

It was mostly used by the military in the 18th and 19th centuries to create detailed models of their battlefields, in order to plan strategies and better understand enemy positions in the line of fire.

The Craze Around the Military Miniatures

A model is a three-dimensional representation of a person, animal, building, landscape or any other object. Models are often used in movies and television productions to create a realistic scene.

A model is a replica of the original thing. A miniature model is a small version of something that can be used to make a map or landscape for war games or for children’s amusement.

There are many different scales of miniature models. The smallest scale is 1:12 meaning that one inch on the model equals 12 inches in real life size.

military miniatures painting brushes

The military miniatures are one of the most exciting things to collect. They are miniature figures that represent soldiers, tanks, aircrafts, etc.

There are many ways that people collect military miniatures.

Some collectors get interested in collecting a specific country’s miniatures, while others might get interested in collecting miniatures of a certain era or conflict.

You can buy them online. Some of my favorite figures I own I got from Sunny Days Entertainement or at your local store and they come with beautiful displays cases for easy display.

What Paints to Choose for Military Miniatures?

Different miniature painting requires different paints, but in order to paint well, you need to choose the right type of paint.

There are 3 different types of paints that exist.

  1. Acrylics – Acrylics are a water-based paint that dry quickly and work well on most surfaces. This is because they do not require a primer or varnish coat before use. the one I use the most is the Painting Set from the Army Store.
  2. Enamels – Emanuel are oil-based paints that have been around for over a century and provide a high quality appearance with a sheen finish. They’re popular amongst the armed forces because of their durability, as they are often used during war periods. The Testors 9146XT is one of the most popular set.
  3. Oils – Oils offer more flexibility in regards to detail and offer an even sheen finish with their long drying time. The Winsor & Newton Winton Starter Kit has worked great for me in the past.
soldiers paints

Which Paint Brushes Should I Use?

Paint brushes are an essential tool for miniature painting.

There are many different types of paint brushes out there and each has their own use cases.

One of the most popular ones is the round brush. It’s great for smoothly blending colors together, but it’s important to know what paints you need to use with the brush before you buy it.

We recommended to use a miniature brush and a fine detail brush for painting military miniatures.

If you want to know more about other supplies you should have on hand for your painting project, we wrote an article about it right here.

soldier figure

The Process of Painting

The process of painting miniatures is usually much more detailed than the process of painting a larger model.

A miniature painter needs to be much more careful in his or her brush strokes. Give the surface a quick coat of paint. The end result can look amazing when done correctly, but it takes a lot more time and patience in order to get the right effect.

For military miniatures, you will probably need the same color palette. This is because you will probably be painting figures that wear the same uniform or equipment.

Otherwise, the painting process is the same as with any other miniature, such as warhammer citadel, warhammer 40k, etc.

In Short: The 4 Steps of The Miniature Painting Process

  • Start by painting the entire miniature with the base color.
  • Then, add shading to the entire miniature with a darker shade of the same color.
  • Then, add highlights to the miniature with a lighter shade of the same color.
  • Finally, add shadows to the miniature with a very dark shade of the same color.

If you want to learn more about how to paint a miniature figure, we wrote an article about it right here.

military miniatures with bases

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

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You’ll also like the other articles on our Painting Minis blog and The Surprising Health Benefits Of A Miniature Painting Hobby.

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2 replies on “The Ultimate Guide to Painting Military Miniatures”

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