Brushes are too thin and round to be comfortable
for large chunky fingers. Either buy a triangular pen grip
from Amazon or the like, or use three matchsticks taped to the handle
with masking tape, to make it easier to grasp.
Another thing is to cut off a fair length of the handle of the brush,
I dont like having a foot long brush when all I need is 6 inch
near the front! ;)
- Holding minis for painting can be a pain: a great tip is to take
a small plastic, flat-topped bottle (like a Tamiya paint tub, or old
Ral Partha or Gamesworkshop or similar), and put Blue-Tac on the top.
You can thus stick your mini on top for painting, and hold the empty
paint tub below, keeping fingers out of the way of the mini.
I also put scrap lead or steel nuts etc in the bottle to give it a good
counterweight, so the mini wont get knocked over.
- I like using a dark wash to add shading and dark edges to areas (to
delineate them). Use an empty paint pot, and mix a dark brown and black
paint for the wash. You do not want to use just black as that tends
to look too artificial, some brown makes it look more natural. Once
mixed, add water, to make a wash. A wash is a thin mixture
designed to flow over an area, and gather in lower areas, such as folds
(Gamesworkshop and Vallejo sell empty paint tubs for mixing by the way)
- Hard to figure out exactly what paint colour is in each bottle, isnt
it?! Damn, that drives me nuts, when the colour of the paint isnt
obvious on the bottle.
So what I do is paint the top white, then paint the bottle colour over
the white. There after, its easy to see what the colour of the
- Paint tends to evapourate and congeal. Remember and add a few drops
of water to the pot if youve had it open a while. To help stir
up paint, you can get small stainless steel nuts or bolts, drop them
in a pot, and shake to stir the paint. Note metal paints are extremely
bad at clumping up, due to the metal flakes used to give colour.
- To paint gems, make the top of the gem dark, the bottom light, and
add a highlight to the top. This resembles the way in real life that
light refracts through gems. Add gloss varnish over gem when model is
varnished, to make it look lustrous.
- A browny-orange wash or ink is a great way to make metal look rusty.
- Real steel has a bluish-grey look to it, so using such a wash colour
is nice way to get realism.
- The standard method to paint metal is to undercoat black, then drybrush
metal over the top. If you do not put a wash over the metal it wont
look so good. You can also paint metal with non-metallics (non-metal
metal, as its called - NMM), so for steel you could work
from almost blackish grey blue, to blue grey.
- For drybrushing, what I do is take an old brush thats a bit
worn, chop the hair down straight to half length of the brush or less,
to have stiff bristles thats great to drybrush with.
-Drybrushing, for those not familiar with it, is taking a brush with
just a small amount of paint on it, wiping most of the paint off, and
lightly painting over the highest surfaces of model, to leave a highlight.
Remember to wet or clean your brush now and then when dry brushing or
the brush gets stiff and damaged, but before starting dry brushing again,
make sure most of the moisture has been wiped off again.
-A wash canblend in drybrushing, stopping it looking too chalky, etc.
- I always undercoat white, as it provides the best colours. However
black is nice for doing lots of armoured figures quickly. The new Foundation
paints from Gamesworkshop cover over black quite nice, so can be used
to do reds/yellows (which usually demand a white undercoat, and I still
preffer that even with Foundation paints).
- For basing, what I do is superglue or epoxy the mini to base (Superglue
likes flat clean surfaces so I sand the base down, but epoxy likes scored/scratched
rough surfaces to bind to).
-Then I use plaster (the kind that comes in a squeezy tube for filling
in house wall cracks), to fill in slots in the base, or add shapes etc.
When plaster is dry (the fast dry stuff is great), on top I then add
a mix of white glue (PVA) and water (50%/50%), and sprinkle on stuff
like very fine sand.
When dry, tap off any excess. I then usually paint another coat of watered
down glue on top to hold it all down, let that dry, then add a thin
wash of dark brown/black to darken it a bit, and when that's dry, drybrush
it. My current favourite colour for basing is "bubonic brown"
from Gamesworkshop, a sandy brown.
-You can also add magnetic plastic or tiny magnets onto the bottom base,
for use on metal or magnetic game bases, or to stop minis moving in
tool boxes etc.
-Static grass is another nice touch to a minis base,
it looks like grass, a spot of PVA glue mixed with water, drop some
static grass onto it, tap off excess.
- To glue parts of a metal model together, I use superglues (cyanoacrylate),
if there are few gaps or it's a flat simple join. Note that superglues
only work good on flat surfaces that are clean and flat, tighttogether,
so I often sand surfaces flat. For areas with gaps, I use superglue
and/or epoxy. For large pieces I often pin the two halves
to add strength.
-Pinning is where you insert a steel pin into one half, that matches
with another drilled hole in the other. To do this, add a small drop
of paint to one half where you want a pin to be, and put them together,
leaving a neat guide on both halves that matches up. Use a pin
drill to make a hole, and I use panel pin nails, cut to fit, for
the actual pin. Then epoxy them and the model together. Gamesworkshop
sells pin drills, not sure on other suppliers.
-"Green Putty", a form of epoxy, is great for filling the
gaps. Keep tools/fingers wet when working with it, so it doesn't stick
- There are very fine tipped permanent ink pens from Staedler (pigment
liner) which are great for doing eye pupils!