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SILVERBLADE'S MINIATURE PAINTING TIPS

Various tips I've came up wiht over the years :)



  1. 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 don’t like having a foot long brush when all I need is 6 inch near the front! ;)

  2. 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 won’t get knocked over.

  3. 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 of skin.
    (Gamesworkshop and Vallejo sell empty paint tubs for mixing by the way)

  4. Hard to figure out exactly what paint colour is in each bottle, isn’t it?! Damn, that drives me nuts, when the colour of the paint isn’t obvious on the bottle.
    So what I do is paint the top white, then paint the bottle colour over the white. There after, it’s easy to see what the colour of the bottle is!

  5. Paint tends to evapourate and congeal. Remember and add a few drops of water to the pot if you’ve 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.

  6. 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.

  7. A browny-orange wash or ink is a great way to make metal look rusty.

  8. Real steel has a bluish-grey look to it, so using such a wash colour is nice way to get realism.

  9. 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 won’t look so good. You can also paint metal with non-metallics (“non-metal metal”, as it’s called - NMM), so for steel you could work from almost blackish grey blue, to blue grey.

  10. For drybrushing, what I do is take an old brush that’s a bit worn, chop the hair down straight to half length of the brush or less, to have stiff bristles that’s 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.

  11. 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).

  12. 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 mini’s base, it looks like grass, a spot of PVA glue mixed with water, drop some static grass onto it, tap off excess.

  13. 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 on you.

  14. There are very fine tipped permanent ink pens from Staedler (pigment liner) which are great for doing eye pupils!
 


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All original art, writing on this site, copyright of Steven James, "Silverblade the Enchanter" ©2012