Most pewter items are unfinished, but the metal holds paint well, so it can be dressed up quite easily. The most famous brand would be Citadels Paints. You can buy “metal” colors craft paints with actual metal particles in them for metallic things, they look great. The posts on this website contain Amazon affiliate links. TL;DR things I learnt from skimming the videos: cheaper paints have less pigments (referred incorrectly as OP as being more watery), which you can combat by just painting 2 or more layers. Paint doesn't adhere well to glossy surfaces. Like the Vallejo paints, you can find many different sets tailored to specific paint jobs you may encounter when painting miniatures. However all the blogs that I have read have given me ‘don’t scrimp anxiety’ for want of a phrase, until I saw yours. Most of the time nothing really bad happens, but sometimes it does. Use as much as you want! Methods of applying primer are spraying and brushing on. The more coats that you apply, the more details get filled in. Again, great job. Take, for example, my Boba Fett mini. Additionally, most of the water dripped down and accumulated at the bottom of the capes, which ended up giving the capes a “worn” feel, as if their rims had become dirty from constant contact with the ground. After using craft paint for awhile, I decided it was time to “upgrade” and I bought a set of “artists paints” from Wal-Mart. I use vallejo and reaper from miniaturemarket.com which runs 2.45 to 2.47. Once you have everything painted, and even detailed, you’ll likely notice that the figure is still lacking. Hopefully, by following these guidelines, you’re able to create something that you, personally, can be happy with. You can paint without primer, but it’s pretty much universally agreed upon that you should prime your figures. When it’s moved around in person, the cloth elements of his outfit remain plain, while light reflects off his helmet, armor, gun, and jetpack. My brushes are looking a little worse for the wear, so it will soon be time to replace them. Take this Echo Base Trooper, for example. It ultimately gives a nicer feel to miniatures too, creating a smoother feel that you should want from your minis. That’s eight colors. You’ll make mistakes when you paint–notice how I thought painting the legs first would be a good idea, and then I ended up getting red on them from painting the underside of the cape. Here's a key point. figure. Actually, I needed a refill of white the other day painting Return to Hoth, so I cruised over to Wal-Mart and picked up some white, only realizing once I got home that I picked up “gloss white.” This stuff is thicker, and will give you a finish more similar to artists paints. Gonna give it a whirl. What did you think of this tutorial? Unless the detail is exceedingly fine, maybe a 1:144 model, it shouldn't be a problem. Without primer, acrylic paint can flake or chip off easily. I generally use a pretty thin base layer, and then move up to a slightly thicker version to add some real pigment. Nevertheless, it might happen, so be careful. They’re bland and colorless. Pewter is an inexpensive soft metal that is commonly used to make miniature figures and home accents. Just about anybody can paint miniatures, with enough time and patience. You’ll want to make sure that it’s designed to bond with plastic. 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. A white base layer is easy to work with; any color will paint easily onto it. I decided to play it safe, and get a brand that had good reputation. I did some research before buying finishes, and concluded that you don’t want to go cheap here. Four dollars. Okay, so you’ve finally got your stuff! Another tip “wet water”. If you’re painting an AT-ST, you might want black. NOTE: After reading this post, you will want to refer to the post where I did a year in review of how the painted laminate cabinets held up with and without primer. Now when I prime, not only do I apply far less primer, but I use very thin coats. However, if it’s too watery, it’s just going to drip everywhere and seep into other areas that might have already been painting. Why should you care? Put some black paint on your palette, and wash it down with LOTS of water. It’s impossible to teach exactly how to paint every mini perfectly, and will mostly come down to what you learn doing it yourself. amzn_assoc_emphasize_categories = "165793011"; When you work with paint, you’ll need it to bond to whatever you’re painting to. Furthermore, I’ve seen more than enough painting guides that highly recommend Citadels paints, and then they go on to recommend that you buy every single shade that you want to use. amzn_assoc_fallback_mode = {"type":"search","value":"fantasy flight games"}; If you want less saturated colors, you may want to paint over gray or black primer. It took some practice to find the right mixture for each, but the end results are awesome. 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. You'll always want to use a flat, or "matte" primer, meaning it's nonreflective. If you were to look at the surface of your mini under a strong microscope, with and without primer on it, you would see that the surface without paint is much smoother than the surface with a primer on it. Make sure some of the paint is still in your brush, and then apply it to your mini. The following steps will give you a good idea of where to start. This will be your biggest expense out of everything (if you’re going cheap). Definitely bookmarking for all my future minifig needs! Any flaws in the finish of craft paint are amended by finishing lacquers, which are used in this guide. Here’s my palette, along with some napkins and toothpicks. Devoting an entire page to applying primer to miniatures may seem like overkill. You’ll have to use something as a palette. Your mini will have a lot of cracks and creases and details that are basically impossible to paint by hand, and the mini will look bland if you can’t find a way to fill them. By following this process, you’ll apply finish in such a way that does justice to the image of the mini, AND you’re able to apply two layers of finish, which is a practice that’s generally recommended. I was painting this up as part of another blog tutorial and it came out very poorly. Chime in in the comment section! The latter reason is the most important reason to use finish; you’ll want a good, protective layer that will seal the paint onto the figure and protect it from wear and tear. The easiest way to know if your paint is too thick is to imagine how the model would look if the current paint on top of it was dried. I myself was in the situation mentioned above when I received Imperial Assault as a Christmas present last year. Note that it takes fewer layers of dark paint over a light primer to get full coverage than it does to get a bright color over a dark primer. Assuming you’re using spray primer like I recommended above, this is very easy. Thin coats also give a slightly rough surface to the miniature, which paint sticks to better than a shiny surface. amzn_assoc_ad_mode = "auto"; • The primer/paint MUST be applied through an airbrush or rattle-can • A filter paint to apply over the primer. This is the big one. Thank you so much for your sensible and easy to follow advice! This is totally legit. On the snowtrooper, as well as Loku Kanoloa here, washing their capes with the black water ended up leaving some unpredictable spots on the surface. Think of it this way. Acrylic paint doesn't adhere very well when applied directly to metal, resin, or plastic, no matter how well you clean your miniature. The great thing is that, if you want more colors, then go for it! This often covers over details unless you're careful to apply very thin layers of paint and carefully prevent accumulation. Just like I warned you to keep your paints thin, make sure that your finishing layer also isn’t too thick. I learned a lot. amzn_assoc_default_category = "All"; Zach is an avid tabletop gamer, and he created Board Game Resource out of his love for the hobby, and his desire to see more people come into it. 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. Just finished my first two minis ever and an very happy except for the laquer problem. I went to a local game store, and all they had was Testors Dullcote/Glosscote lacquers. Depending on what kind of minis you’re painting, paints will bond on some materials better than others. I don't sell anything on this site, and I provide all information free of charge, so if this site has helped you, please consider donating to help support adding more content to this site. Lacquer/Varnish is really thick and oozy, and it’ll leave its mark on your brush. Acrylic paint needs something to stick to, not only so it won't flake or chip off, but also so the paint can't move around as much as it dries. If you realize your paint is too thick, start brushing at it with a really watery brush and you’ll be able to move it around or remove it before it dries. Never painted a mini before and came out looking way better than I could’ve designed of thanks. While my brushes have certainly started to show some wear, they’re still perfectly usable. Thank you for reading! Shake the can of primer really well, then spray the miniature with a thin coat from about 12 inches (300 mm) away. The finish makes the model. amzn_assoc_ad_type = "smart"; Click the "Shop now" link on the spray can image below to learn more. Sometimes I can finish twenty figures and it never happens, and then occasionally I won’t be able to so much as touch the figure without the paint coming clean off. I had used my cousin’s Liquitex paint and I liked it, so I figured that, if it was labeled as an “artist paint,” it would produce similar results. 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. However, if you strictly play solo or you want your own custom army filled with various factions, you can paint them however you want. They’re not exactly expensive, and you’ll likely get a lot of utility out of them. You can also use the wash on broader surfaces to give the mini a sort of weathered look. Once again, this will take some practice before you’ve got it down perfectly. The other great thing about brush-on is that you can combine matte and gloss finishes to make certain parts of the mini stand out. The finishing materials are very thick and will basically ruin your brush unless you use thinner to clean it out; lacquer doesn’t come out with water. If you have a reference picture, find it and put it on display. Sometimes the problem can be traced to skin oils. What I used: Craft & Barrel Acrylic Craft Paints ($.50 each, Wal-Mart). What’s the point of painting, after all, if it’s all going to come off later? It was highly recommended, so I bought both dullcote and glosscote (matte and gloss finish, respectively). Just add some wet water, and let it seep into the cracks. I dont play the games I just want to paint . All of these miniatures were painted with Wal-Mart craft paints. I say this simply because I painted Imperial Assault with no budget – buying a bottle of Vallejo White, Black, Nuln Oil and a metallic paint let me paint all the stormtroopers, the E-Web Gunners, Darth Vader and the Probe Droids to a reasonable standard for about $30 or below. The only colors I used were red, blue, yellow, green, brown, khaki, black, white, silver, and gold. Avoid the really cheap stuff. amzn_assoc_placement = "adunit0"; While you’re at Walmart, pick up a bottle of pledge acrylic floor varnish and the cheap Daler Rowney acrylic ink. Honestly, if we were to paint the minis, and not put any kind of special finish on them, it would be hard to recommend craft paint. They’re so beautiful! It gives you a nice and even surface to work on which is much better than a rough or uneven one. The thing is, acrylic paint is acrylic paint. I’ve found that the “water shading” technique works on every surface of the figure. For figures such as stormtroopers, it will help them to appear more shiny. This is one area where I decided to go less cheap. It’s supposed to be that way. For this guide, I’ll be painting an Imperial Snowtrooper as a “live” example. You can check out his (long neglected) gallery here, or follow him on Instagram at @artworkbyzach! Furthermore, it’s easy to spot the inconsistencies in dried, thick paint. This is again not to knock your intentions at writing your article but there are certainly budget methods of painting your games that don’t involve using toothpicks and fighting to apply unsuitable paint. Even if it doesn’t seem like you’re putting a lot on your brush, looks can be deceiving. This has been very helpful to me. To save yourself some trouble, choose the less detailed minis first, and then work up to the more complicated ones. However, no matter your style, you still need to be able to obtain a full spectrum of color, from thinly applied brights to earth tones. If you airbrush the primer, you should be able to control the thickness adequately. I can’t tell you the exact science of what makes a primer effective at what it does, but I can tell you that it does make a difference. Reapply another layer matte finish to the areas you didn’t gloss. Cut away one side and place the miniature inside and then spray the miniature inside. You can buy primer in black or white. Also, forgive the fleck of dust on the finished trooper’s cape. I am new to miniature painting and after washing and drying the miniatures I applied a coat of black spray primer. Naturally, you don't slide as easily on a rougher surface. This is generally how I’ve finished my figures: 1. If this really becomes a problem, I would suggest adding some more layers, and ensuring that the figure is completely dried. You’ll want to add the water to your palette, mixing it in with whatever paint pool you’ve made for the color you’re using. In my opinion, the best best is to just buy one of those brush packs that you’ll find in the painting aisle of Wal-Mart. Imperial Assault is a hot game right now, so it’s possible that many of you reading are doing so with the intent to paint this very game. In recent years, Krylon developed a primer dedicated to spray painting plastic. If it’s too little, just add some more black paint into the mix and you’ll get more visible results. Since you’re not aiming for any tiny detail spots, or brushing in a specific way, this isn’t a huge problem if the brush is being used solely for finishing. If you want to paint on the cheap, head to your nearest hardware store and pick up a can of white automotive primer. On this mini, you can see a tiny bit of shine on the white paint in places. There are various degrees of thinned paint. It’s obvious, then, that if a bunch of it is in one place, that it will bind together all the same. If you try to hand paint all of the shading, you’ll probably have a bad time. Alright, so you’ve got all the painting done. The short answer here is yes. To dry paint quickly you can use hairdryer on lowest setting for like 10s, so this doesn’t actually take much longer. Many resin miniatures are either cast in gray material or are primed gray. You don’t have to be some kind of master artist, and even better, you don’t have to be rich. Knowing that yours started out looking bland helped me to power through and trust that the end result would be as detailed as I imagined. I found the same 50 cent paints you presumably used, and they worked quite well for me. 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. Additionally, I’ve used Vallejo Surface Primer to great effect for preparing cardboard terrain wargaming terrain pieces. A black layer is useful if you’re painting figures that are darker in nature, but I’ve found that, when using lighter colors, you have to use more layers over a black layer than you would with a white one. Great question! Your plain speaking no frills blog shows exactly what can be achieved on a shoestring with a little time and effort. I myself used white, though it’s up to you. 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