A beginner’s guide to buying and painting miniatures
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What You Need To Get Started Painting Miniatures? Full Guide

Quick ideas on where to find excellent assistance on the internet

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, I’m imprisoned at home, just like you are. While I’m loaded up on supplies and have family and streaming TV to keep me occupied, many of my favorite video games aren’t appealing to me right now.

In these situations, I generally turn to board gaming with my pals, but social alienation forces us to separate.

As a result, I’ve started painting miniatures.

It’s been a wonderful way for me to relax and clear my thoughts, and getting started wasn’t quite as difficult as I anticipated. Best of all, with only a few simple procedures, you can achieve some incredible outcomes.

Where should I start?

You’ll need to start by gathering some miniatures. You might already have unpainted miniatures in a box if you have a current tabletop game in your collection.

Hundreds of unique sculpts appear to be included in almost every significant Kickstarter board game campaign. While getting people to sit down and learn a new game can be challenging, now could be the best moment to open those boxes and paint those monochromatic miniatures.

Painting miniatures is also a wonderful way to go through your podcast backlog. A box of Warhammer 40,000 minis and a few dozen episodes of Welcome to Night Vale were all it took for me to learn to paint a few years back.

Furthermore, painted miniatures are an excellent way to add variety to your favorite tabletop RPG. You might have personalized minis waiting for each of your regular group members when they come back together to play in person.

So why not take advantage of this odd window of opportunity to start a new activity that can easily fit into any living space? I’ve written extensive guides on the subject in the past, but here’s a quick breakdown of what you’ll need to get started painting miniatures, as well as some pointers on where to learn more.


To begin painting miniatures, you shouldn’t require much space. Of course, you’ll need a nice chair and a strong table.

But don’t forget to think about your lighting. Shadows can change the way you see miniatures and their details. It’s possible that you’ll miss a place as a result of this, but it’s also possible that you’ll experience eye strain.

Consider getting a couple arm-mounted moveable lights. I have two of them, each with 1600-lumen daylight bulbs.

Obtain your favorite coffee cup, paper towels, and some water as well. If you spill everything in this guide on a hard surface, except the glue, it cleans up simply with water.

Globe Electric Multi-Joint Desk Lamp with Metal Clamp

You’ll have to spend some time putting your miniatures together if they don’t arrive pre-assembled. Simply shaking the pieces out of a plastic bag and gluing them together can accomplish this (as with Star Wars: Legion from Fantasy Flight Games).


You’ll need to cut the pieces free from their plastic sprue for the majority of the others. A hobby knife, a cutting mat, nippers, and some adhesive are required.

I prefer hobby knives with breakaway blades since there are fewer things I can lose. However, at the price, why not purchase both? This kit also includes a cutting pad, which helps protect your table from damage.


You might feel compelled to reach for a set of pliers or a wire cutter from your tools. That’s not a good idea! Nippers feature a unique edge that allows you to get right up close to the models without hurting them.


Don’t let the name deceive you. This isn’t glue. Instead, it’s cement. Citadel Plastic Glue a chemical that melts and fuses plastic components together. This is required for most miniatures, but not all.

Check your instructions to determine if cyanoacrylate (Super Glue) is required instead.


The first thing you’ll need to do after construction and cleaning is prime your naked plastic miniatures (unless you buy ones that are primed ahead of time).

DND’s pre-primed miniatures, which arrive ready to paint right out of the box, are my recommendation. As well as WizKids figurines. Miniatures from tabletop games such as Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder, as well as My Little Pony and Transformers, are available.

The details on the ones I’ve seen are a touch softer than I’d prefer, but the convenience is hard to beat.

Get something medium-sized, like the beholder from the Dungeons & Dragons Nolzur’s Marvelous Unpainted Miniatures series, if you’re just getting started. It has a lot of texture and is a good starting point for newcomers.

Even though it’s been primed, there are a few mold lines on this one. However, it isn’t a major issue.

Alternate eyestalks with translucent spell effects are also included in the set.

Otherwise, a simple black primer from Games Workshop’s Citadel line is a good choice. I’ve tried the Army Painter rattle cans previously, but the results have been mixed.

Spray paint can be prohibitively pricey when purchased online. If your local hardware store is open, you’ll almost certainly be able to locate something considerably less expensive there.

Just make sure to read the label to ensure it’s safe for plastics and acrylic paint compatibility.

In the previous few years, I’ve gone through a lot of rattle cans, and it’s always a nuisance to spend a lot of money on a great can of paint only to throw it away after a week of use. I recently took the plunge and purchased an airbrush.

While it’s not for beginners, it’s not as daunting as I first imagined – definitely something to think about if tiny painting becomes a hobby for you.


Games Workshop and Vallejo are the two biggest names in acrylic hobby paints right now. Both sell entry-level paint sets that are ideal for beginners. The Vallejo kit has 16 colors compared to 11 for Games Workshop, but the Brits compensate with a fantastic paintbrush.

Regardless of whether you get the Games Workshop paint set, grab two of the company’s medium layer brushes because you might break one while learning. Grab one of the medium dry brushes and some brush soap as well.

General Pencil Brush Cleaner

It’s now time to start painting.

Option one is to look for guides and tutorials on painting whichever miniature you’ve chosen to start with on the internet. However, if you’d rather go your own way or keep to a limited palette of hues, there’s an app for that.

The Citadel Colour app is available for free on both the App Store and Google Play.

Let’s pretend your tiny has some leather on it. When you select Brown from the Paint By Color guide, you’ll be presented with numerous possibilities for achieving the desired effect.

Almost every other color and texture in the rainbow is the same way. Layering, dry brushing, and edge highlighting are the three primary techniques used in all of these guides.

After you’ve blocked out the primary colors on your miniature, you’ll want to dry brush it. This is where you use a brush with very little paint on it.

Games Workshop’s YouTube channel can once again provide you with excellent advice.

Finally, you’ll probably want to highlight the edges. This is where you use a lighter hue and carefully trace around the borders of an object.

When it comes to edge highlighting, everyone’s impulse is to use the smallest brush they can find, but that’s not the best way to go; your medium layer brush will suffice. For more details, watch this YouTube video by Scott “Miniac” Walter.

You’ll also want to clean and maintain your brushes in between painting sessions. The best advice I’ve discovered for that may be found on YouTube, and it’s also from the Miniac. His video also contains some helpful tips for filling up your brushes with paint and producing a nice, clear line.

This is, once again, merely a fast guide with its own shopping list. In addition, I’ve produced a comprehensive guide to the wargaming hobby as a whole.


But, just for a moment, consider the possibility that my well-intentioned guidance has had the opposite impact. After reading this, you will have no desire to paint miniatures.

That’s all right.

Maybe all you want to do is make miniatures. A beautiful Gunpla is a wonderful place to start. It’s a set of poseable robotic Gundam figures, which adds to the build’s intricacy.

However, the majority of them are available as multicolored plastic kits that don’t require any painting. Get yourself a good hobby knife and a pair of clippers, and you’re ready to go.

I propose Games Workshop’s Adeptus Titanicus or the Warhammer 40,000 line of Knights if you want to keep to gaming. Both lines offer highly pricey models, but they’re also poseable, having hips, knees, and elbows that allow for some unique alternatives.

After that, they’ll surely benefit from a coat of paint, but for you, maybe just a single color and a dry brush approach would suffice to make it look like a statue.

Read Here A Beginners Guide On Everything About Acrylic Paint Techniques and Tools

For More About The History Of Painting Minis

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