Top 14 Best Paint For Miniatures : Reviews 2020
You have painstakingly 3D printed your favorite game characters, wishing to get on with the game you had to abandon earlier. But before you resume, you realize that your new figurines and models need to be painted. Otherwise, how can you enjoy the game when the characters are not in “character”?
For those who are into the world of virtual games, it ceases to be virtual-only. They want the characters and the related paraphernalia to come alive. Thanks to 3D printing, nowadays it’s possible to hold your dream heroes in your hands. However, after 3D printing, there’s another step left – painting.
It’s very important to choose the best paint for miniatures as a great paint job will be the most satisfying part for you. You need to be sure that hours of painting miniatures will result in rich and long-lasting colors.
In this post, we have compiled the finest paints you can find in the market. With reviews from experienced users, we’re here to help you pick the right paint for your treasured miniatures. Read on to find out the details.
What To Look For Before Buying A Miniature Paint Set?
You have your mind set on buying a miniature paint set. You’ve seen your friends creating fantastic miniature figurines and scale models and painting them to perfection. So what’s stopping you from doing the same? Well, before you loosen up your purse strings, consider some things key to miniature paints.
Acrylic Versus Oil Paints
An acrylic polymer is combined with color pigment and mixed with water for emulsification to make acrylic paints. These paints dry faster, can be thinned for transparency or changed for consistency. Yet, they don’t lose color saturation.
Besides being non-toxic, they are easy to clean up. You can apply acrylic paints with a brush or a sprayer. With a range of options between matte and gloss finish, acrylic modelling paints give you more choices.
On the other hand, oil paints are made by mixing the pigment with an oil such as linseed oil. The oil in the paint reacts with the air and results in a hard and dry finish.
Such a hard finish translates to the durability of the paint on the miniature. You also get a nice shine on the finished project.
To thin the oil paint, turpentine oil can be added. This also improves the flow of the paint. Because of its sheen and the ability to create a strong bond with any type of surface, many miniature painters prefer oil paints.
But, if you’re in a rush to complete your project, oil paints may not be the thing for you. They take a long time to dry completely. Plus, you need to clean up using turpentine oil, which is a hassle and the oil is toxic.
Depending on your requirements, you can choose either oil or acrylic paints. However, never use the two to layer your model as these two paint media don’t mix together.
Paint Application Technique
Try to figure out which paint application technique you would be most comfortable with. You can purchase liquid paints that you can use to spray color with. It can also be applied with a brush.
Available in both acrylic and oil paints, liquid paints for miniatures can be mixed with additives to change the consistency or transparency. These can also be applied through airbrush technology.
Paint markers give you another application technique. They have acrylic paints in them. However, they are not the most apt choice as they don’t give you the accuracy you could be looking for. But, they are convenient to have and can be used for layering on colors or for small touch-up jobs.
Spray cans with paint is another option for applying paints. Using these cans is good for applying the base coat or painting the model with a single color. It won’t give you the desired precision. If you use masking and spray cans, you can achieve some effects.
How light or dark the tone of the color is its opacity. The more colors you layer on, the greater will be its opacity and the color depth. The opposite of opacity is transparency. A light and diaphanous color tone mean it has more transparency.
The opacity of the miniatures paint will determine the effects you would like to have on your models. For surfaces with dark colors, use opaque colors to create the right dimension and depth.
Choose transparent colors for light surfaces to maintain a contrast against dark colors.
A thick or thin consistency will affect the flow of the paint, and consequently, the effect it creates. For a thin, watercolor-type effect, many prefer using thinned out paints using an airbrush system. Conversely, an opaque paint that is rich in its pigment content will have very little water in it.
To get a 3D look or achieve textures, it’s better to use heavy paints. When you thin out paint with water or any other additive, it will affect its consistency, especially if it’s acrylic paints. Additives are recommended for specific effects.
To find the best miniature paint set, consider the rating regarding its lightfastness. This rating will indicate how the paints will hold up to exposure to light and their tendency to fade. If you choose paints with a high rating of lightfastness, these will ensure your project lasts for a longer time.
Artist-Grade Versus Miniature Paints
There are no big differences between model paint and artist-grade paints. However, the latter has the finest quality pigment and other ingredients. Miniature paints contain additives so that the drying process is sped up. It’s debatable which one is better for model painting.
If you already have artist-grade paints, then you can use them instead of investing in a brand new set of acrylic paint for miniatures. However, if you’re a beginner, then it’s better to buy acrylic modeling paint. These come in a variety of colors and give good effects.
It’s better to thin artist-grade paints before using them on figurines and models.
Shifting Of Color
After you have applied the paint, it takes a while to dry. During this drying process, the color darkens or shifts. If you’re using artist-grade acrylic miniature paint, then you won’t notice the color shift so much. That’s because these use a clear resin.
Due to the surface material and color opacity, there can be color shifts. It’s advised to practice on a scrap piece before painting your final project.
Top 14 Best Paint For Miniature Reviews
1. The Army Painter Miniature Painting Kit
For any beginner or seasoned model painters, this miniature paint kit is the stuff dreams are made of. It consists of a whopping palette of fifty paints for miniatures, along with a detail brush.
Choose from 39 non-toxic miniature paints, 4 Quickshade washes, 5 metallic paints, and 2 paints for effects to make your wildest gaming dreams come alive. And it will all be possible with the enclosed painting guide to give you all the minute details. Plus, the detail brush with a triangular handle.
Now let’s look at the insides of these paint bottles. Each bottle contains 18 milliliters or 0.6 ounces of acrylic paint. These paints come in the perfect consistency – neither too thin nor too thick. This saves you from the headache of adding thinners.
The right viscosity of these paints for miniatures makes it easy for you to glide your paint on the surface with ease. Moreover, you can effectively achieve the right coverage of the surface area with easy flow and consistency.
These acrylic paints are packaged in dropper bottles with caps for your ultimate convenience. Since these bottles are easy to squeeze, you can control the amount of paint flow. Without opening the lid every time, just use the dropper.
With the ergonomic design of the bottles, you can be sure there won’t be any wastage. These bottles also prevent the paint from drying up even if you leave a few of them open while you’re working.
Use this miniature paint set for games like battletech and reaper miniatures. You won’t be disappointed with the application and the results.
2. Vallejo Basic USA Colors Paint Set
This set of 16 colors for painting models and miniatures come in 17 milliliters bottle each. The paints have been specially formulated to adhere to surfaces made from plastic and metal. For any miniature painter, the range of paints offered by this kit is enough for most projects.
Colors in this set include primary, secondary, flesh, black, white, and a few metallic ones. Hence, you get the core set of colors in one kit.
The ingredients of the paints are high-quality permanent pigments. This ensures that the colors are opaque and lightfast. These are important features for any acrylic paints used on models. The opacity will lend rich color to the models and the lightfast feature will ensure the color lasts for long.
Sometimes you can see traces of brush strokes when you paint miniatures. But these paints have the correct consistency to make sure your paint films are uniform and even.
The fine pigment in the paint makes for an application that feels as smooth as applying butter. You may want to thin these paints a bit. For the finest results, it’s been recommended by veterans to use 50% water, 49% washer fluid, and a couple of drops of glycerine.
If you thin the paints well enough as advised or by using acrylic paint thinner, you can even use an airbrush system to paint your models. However, for beginners, it’s better to use this paint with a brush.
It’s one of the best paint for miniatures that is easy to remove in case you made a mess. Just use a rag dipped in rubbing alcohol to wipe the affected area. The bottles with droppers make it easy to control the amount of paint you need.
3. Castle Art Supplies Acrylic Paint Set
One of the highest value for money can be had with this miniature painting starter kit. It offers a wide array of 48 acrylic paints. These come in tubes of 22 milliliters each, making these last for a long time.
With a range of beautiful colors, you’d be motivated and excited to use them on your miniature painting projects. It’s also suitable to give it as a gift to fellow artists. A perfect kit to ignite your creative side.
Painting miniatures and models can be frustrating sometimes when the paint dries out on you while you’re working. But with this brand, you can rest assured that you won’t face any such issues. It has the flexibility to allow you to work and do the touch-ups when you need to.
These water-based acrylic paints have been certified by relevant authorities for their quality. They come in aluminum tubes and are 100% non-toxic, thus completely safe for use.
Only the highest quality pigments have been used to keep the colors vibrant. In addition, the colors have a smooth texture and are completely lightfast. Hence, you can be sure you’re investing in paints for your miniatures that will last for a long time.
Explore your creative side with these paints on all kinds of media – paper, fabric, wood, or canvas. The consistency of these paints is such that you will find it smooth when you’re painting. The results will vouch for the paint quality.
The packaging of these paints has been done according to each paint family for your convenience. Each tray has the colors in a designated area and covered by foam.
4. Games Workshop Citadel Shade Paint Set
These are rightly referred to as shades because that’s exactly what they are great at. This set of shade paints are used to paint shades and shadows on miniatures. For example, you can paint a miniature grey and throw some shade tint for the right shadow on the figurine.
This set of paints comes in pots and in eight different colors. These shades are great for shading over any base color you have painted your model with. However, don’t try it on something that should look shiny. These shades can turn them into dull-looking and dirty objects.
But, if you want to do a good painting job on the figure of a monster, it’s the right paint. It glides smoothly over larger figures easily. Where too much shade painting is involved, these shades spoil the effect.
Although it may be a little difficult to open the bottles, the lids close very well. This prevents the paint from drying up and is also anti-spill. So, don’t worry about having spilled paints all over.
A wash brush is included in the kit, but for a better application and outcome, a brush of size zero is recommended by veteran miniature and model painters. The brush that comes with the set is a tad too large for applying shade in nooks and corners that require a very little amount of paint.
You’ll enjoy the right consistency of these shade paints. Neither too thick nor too runny, they are easy to apply and achieve the right tint you want.
5. Reaper Miniatures 08906 Learn To Paint Bones Kit
A perfect kit of paints for beginners who have just started out on model and miniature painting. It contains colors specific to MovieStarPlanet or MSP games. With 11 bottles of MSP core colors, MSP Bones paints, and MSP HD colors, this starter pack will teach you the basics of miniature painting.
Included are two paint brushes – size zero rounded and size 2 flat. These will help you apply the paints correctly and get the desired effects. To make things easier for beginners, a detailed guide on how to use these paints is enclosed.
Reaper miniatures come unpainted with this kit so that you can start the job of learning to paint these as soon as you have the set. You might need to work on assembling the miniatures. Also, some gluing of parts may be required.
The paints in this set are enough to cover the miniatures enclosed with it. However, if you buy new paints, you can store them in this box as it has plenty of space. Read the instructions guide carefully to know exactly the amount of water to mix with the paint to thin them out.
Do keep in mind that it’s better to prime the minis before you apply the paint on these. This will help the paint to stick on these figurines properly. The Bones figures definitely need a primer with undiluted paint for the finest results.
Be aware that this product does not include any shade of red or any flesh color. You may have to buy these separately if you’re planning to use them.
6. Americana Dazzling Metallics Fan Favorites Sampler Set
This dazzling set of metallic paints is multifunctional in nature. You can use these dazzlers to paint your monster and fairy figurines. On top of that, you can paint with these on any type of craft. Even for home décor buffs, this kit provides great metallic colors to add some extra sheen to your home.
These metallic acrylic colors have been made with the highest quality pigment so that the colors are lightfast and opaque. You’ll discover that they last for a long time on your works of art and other crafts.
The fine particles of metallic flakes make it easy to apply. You will literally feel the smoothness of the paints as you apply the strokes from the paintbrush. The coverage provided by these paints for miniatures is excellent. Unlike other metallic paints, you won’t need to apply several layers.
This set of paints score high on the safety quotient as these are absolutely non-toxic and water-based. The resultant bright colors are sure to add a new dimension to your project. Choose from a wide variety of 18 metallic colors to take your project from mundane to magnificent.
With only one layer needed to do a standard job, this is the best miniature paint you can get for real value for money. There won’t be any brushstroke traces left when you apply these paints.
The fine pigment in the colors makes sure it doesn’t happen. You’ll be surprised at how tiny the metallic particles are. So, if you need a touch of elegance on your Christmas decorations, reach out for this set.
7. Liquitex Professional Soft Body Acrylic Paint
This set of 12 acrylic colors make for an amazing addition to your collection. Each color has been formulated individually, using only pure pigments. Beat that! The results are incredibly vibrant and unique.
Each paint has a soft body owing to the latest resin technology used. This makes it pliable and easy to apply. Plus, accurate viscosity facilitates the easy flow and application of the paints. The resin keeps the paint stable and prevents it from drying too soon on the palette or on the miniature.
The consistency of these paints makes it suitable for various application techniques. Feel free to pour, print, glaze or use a brush with them. For covering wide areas, this is the perfect solution. In fact, you can use it easily as paint for model cars.
As approved by authorities, this product is safe to use for both educational and studio purposes. Moreover, these paints are of archival quality. That’s something few other acrylic paint brands can boast of. Completely lightfast, your work will be preserved for 50 years and more.
The bottle has been designed ergonomically with the artists’ convenience in mind. Paint is easy to pour directly from these bottles. As there are no edges or corners where paint can get stuck, these bottles guarantee that not a single drop of your precious paint will be wasted.
With a nozzle that has been pre-cut and lids that are simple to open and close, close attention has been paid to the design of the bottles. Thus, these are both easy to use and won’t dry up your paint.
8. 40 Fantasy Monster Unpainted Miniatures
A really fun set of 40 miniatures to prep you for your next gaming action! It includes Ooze, Fairy, Orc, Imp, Lizardmen, Goblin, Hag, and Blight. Aren’t they the perfect minions for your desktop gaming quests!
These miniatures are not painted, so that’s the perfect excuse to go out and get a great set of paints for miniatures. Each figure has a duplicate of five. These are further color-coded into dark and light green.
With a scale of 28 millimeters, you will have loads of fun painting and playing with them. Make sure you choose a set of acrylic paints to do the painting job well. Only then you will taste the real fun of playing with your 3D figures.
The miniatures in this kit come in a low polygon style. As no assembling is needed, you can start playing with these instantly or after you have put a coat of paint on them.
If you are a big roleplaying gamer, then these miniatures provide the finest models. With a circular base measuring 25 millimeters, these are easy to move around on the tabletop. The next time you play Dungeons and Dragons, you can try roleplaying with these minis as these are perfectly made to scale.
Seasoned tabletop gamers have praised these minis for their simplicity and proper scale. Other figures made for kids turn out to be too large for these games. They are basic in that you can differentiate them from the characters they represent. However, these don't come with a high degree of detail.
9. Dungeons and Dragons Official Paint Line Adventurer's Paint Set
Another delightful set for those into role-playing games on the tabletop. This is especially for those who are nuts about Dungeons and Dragons. Here’s a chance to go all the way!
Bring alive all the characters of heroes and monsters of this popular game with the touch of a paintbrush and these paints. Your adventures need not be confined to your screen any longer!
The palette includes basic colors to give a realistic paint job to the D&D characters. What’s more, two already-assembled miniatures of Minsc and Boo are included in the set.
The acrylic paints have been formulated specially to give details and depth to the characters of D&D. The highest quality of pigments and other ingredients have been used to make these paints. As a result, you’ll see that they give a rich and deep color to your minis.
With a consistency that’s as creamy as it comes, it’s a breeze to apply these paints on your favorite minis and figurines. In the end, your characters will proudly wear a matte finish. On top, as these are completely non-toxic acrylic paints, you are perfectly safe when using these.
You won’t need to do much thinning of these paints before you apply them. For thin paint coats, all you need is a drop or two of water and you’re all set to paint away.
The colors have been made with special attention to suit the D&D characters. Each pigment, therefore, is bespoke, so to speak. All the heroes, monsters, and villains you see on the screen will look the same when you apply these paints as per the character.
10. The Army Painter Zombicide Paint Set
The set of 10 acrylic paints are specially meant for miniatures of Survivors and Zombies from the renowned board game – Zombicide Black Plague. Also applicable for your Wolfburg extension, these paints will save you hours of painting. Hence, you can get on with the actual game as soon as you can.
Get a high-quality finish with these paints on your favorite minis. Without applying any primer, you’ll see that these paints stick to the surface without any falling off. With no need for putting on multiple paint coats, the whole process is sped up for your convenience.
The ergonomically designed dropper bottles are excellent in controlling the paint amount. Thus, there’s no scope of paint wastage. Shake the bottles well before use so that there’s no sediment left at the bottom. Made from highly pigmented colors, the outcome is a rich and deep hue on your minis.
Each bottle contains 18 milliliters of paint. They are very easy to apply as the consistency has been tested to be such that it’s neither too thin nor too thick. Thus, you can pour the paint with comfort.
A Hobby Highlighting brush is included in the kit for you to start off painting at the soonest. Apart from creating highlights with this brush, you can also give details to your models with it. For example, if you want to give details to decaying zombie or paint blood-splattered figures, these paints are the finest.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or a pro, with these paints, you can bring the character alive as each paint matches exactly the real game characters.
11. Vallejo Game Color Washes
Choose from a set of 8 washes for your models and miniatures. If you’ve been painting models for a while, you can move to the next level with the help of these washes. The color palette has been carefully selected to give you the maximum scope without being overwhelming.
The amount of wash in each bottle is 17 milliliters. The bottles are easy to squeeze and come with eyedropper each. Application is easy as you can either put the wash directly from the bottle or put it on your palette.
You can use them as stand-alone washes or mix them together to get a variety of colors. A color chart is also included for guidance.
Some of these may be too thick to be used as a wash, but there’s nothing that a couple of drops water can’t do to fix it. With the right consistency, these are great for painting figurines of monsters and other minis that only need some highlights.
The pigments in these washes are fine and hence, result in smooth application and outcome. Users recommend washing only certain parts of the model or miniature for emphasis. Others have praised this set for the variety of washes it provides.
For a polished look, these paints are just what you need for your minis. In addition, the shades and shadows that are accentuated by these washes add depth and dimension to your project.
Cleaning up after use is also quick and fast. Just wipe off with a wet cotton bud and your workstation is clean.
12. Reaper: 08907 - Learn to Paint: Layer Up! Bones Paint Set
You can test your miniature painting skills on the 3 enclosed miniatures that come with this kit. Also included are 11 acrylic paints, an empty bottle for water as a thinner, brushes, and an instruction guide. This guide elaborates on the techniques of layering and has been written by a renowned painter.
In the package, you’ll find Reaper miniatures that are perfect for playing a wide variety of tabletop games like Castles and Crusades, Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, Savage World, Hackmaster, Dragon Age, and Frostgrave. All the miniatures need to be assembled and painted.
Each bottle contains 0.5 ounces of acrylic paints. These are water-based and non-toxic, making them safe for use. They also provide excellent coverage as they have been made with pigments that are very high in density. Hence, you get deep colors without applying multiple coats.
Adding thinning agents will make these paints applicable with an airbrush system. Otherwise, they come in the right consistency for you to start working on your projects.
This kit is great for those who want to learn step-by-step on the basic skills of miniature painting. Even if you don’t use the miniatures for gaming, you can still paint and display them.
The amount of paint in the set covers all the miniatures. Plus, you will still have more left over for additional models.
There is also a case that’s included in the package. It can contain 36 paint bottles so that you can store more paints should you decide to add to your paint collection.
13. The Army Painter Wargamers Complete Paint Set
Everything you could ever need for miniature painting is right inside this package. You’ll be nothing short of being overwhelmed to find that there is a total of 124 paints here. Out of these, 96 are acrylic Warpaints, 11 Quickshade Washes, 8 Metallic Warpaints, and 9 Effects Warpaints.
That’s not all. Along with the free painting guide, there are 5 Wargamer Brushes. Now that’s what every gamer and model painter yearn for. With this set, you get great value for money as you don’t need to splurge on individual paint bottles and brushes.
There is 0.6 ounces or 18 milliliters of acrylic paint in each bottle. All the acrylic paints are non-toxic. Their creamy formulation makes it easy to apply and achieve a polished finish.
Due to the high-density pigments in the paints, these provide very good coverage. The paints blend easily and adhere to the object.
The bottles have been designed to provide close control over the amount of paint you squeeze out. The dropper cap system ensures you have total control on the paint flow.
There is no need to open and close the lid all the time. These lids ensure the paints don’t dry up and the overall design prevents wastage.
Those who indulge in wargame model painting will find in this the miniature paint kit of their dreams. It’s suitable and enjoyable for both amateurs and veterans. Apply on any resin, plastic, or metal Wargame mini to turn them into true-to-life figures.
Add fantastic effects like blood, slime, mud, or rust perfectly with the Effects brushes.
14. Molotow One4All 227 HS 12er Set
Make way for acrylic markers! These could be more convenient to use for some people as you don’t need to use a palette and a brush.
Each marker has a 4-millimeter nib attached to it. These markers have a high capacity to paint and contain only acrylic paints. The pigments are bright, giving a vibrant finish to any model or miniature. In addition, they are resistant to the ultraviolet rays, thereby keeping the color intact for a long time.
The patented capillary technology ensures the paints flow smoothly throughout and reaches the nib without any clots. With the Flowmaster valve, you can control the amount of paint that comes out from the markers.
The acrylic paints are hybrid in nature, enabling them to be thinned by mixing with either water or acetone. This is a new technology that other brands are yet to adopt.
Think of any type of surface and you can be sure that these paints will adhere to them. Try on canvas, ceramic, wood, paper, and even on stone. The colors are opaque, resulting in deep hues that give the right sheen and texture to your miniatures.
As these markers are refillable, they won’t ever go to the trashcan after you’ve used up the paint. That saves your money, time, and energy.
You can rely on these markers to provide a professional look to all your projects. These are reliable, consistent in quality, and always ensure the colors are bright.
Choose from the array of 12 vibrant colors to make your miniatures and models shine bright.
Benefits Of Using A Miniature Paint Especially
Although you can use either oil paints or acrylic ones, there are several benefits of using paints that are specially meant for miniatures. Meaning, it’s best to use acrylic paints. The following are the benefits of acrylic paints for painting miniatures.
Acrylic paints are by far the most easily available. You can find these in all stationeries and supermarkets. Even your neighborhood game store will have acrylic paints. It’s the most popular and the most used kind of paints. Anytime you run out of paints for your models, you can access acrylic paints easily.
Change In Consistency
You need to thin out paints for miniatures with water or other additives. This will make the flow of the paint easier if that’s what you want. The consistency of acrylic paints can be changed easily with water.
On the other hand, it’s not easy to change the viscosity of oil paints. You’ll need linseed oil to thin out oil paints. It’s not usual to store this oil at home, whereas water as a thinner for acrylic paints is always close at hand.
Acrylic paints for miniatures have a high concentration of pigment. Look for the artist-grade acrylic paints for the finest quality ingredients and pigment. With such a high concentration of pigment, your models will look much better when painted with acrylics as the colors are richer and more opaque.
Low Amount Of Binder
Oil paints contain linseed oil as a binder and a very little amount of water. Whereas, acrylic paints for models and miniatures have a lower binding agent. So, if you want to apply the paint in thin coats, you can simply thin the acrylic paints with water. Such thin coats cover the model without hiding the details.
With acrylic paints for plastic models, you don’t need to be very skilful. They are easy to apply and are more user-friendly than oil paints. On the other hand, you need an artist’s skill to play with oil paints.
In addition, acrylic paints are easier to clean up after use. Unlike oil paints that need rags and turpentine oil for a thorough clean.
Miniature Painting Tips For Beginners
If you’re toying with the idea of taking up miniature painting as a hobby to de-stress, there are several factors you should keep in mind. Starting from prepping the model to how to keep the brushes clean – these are important considerations for beginners. Read on to find out more.
Prepping The Models
For starters, you must wash the model you want to paint. Washing should be a thorough job, leaving no residue. Most models are made in a mold made from resin, plastic, or metal. To make the extraction of the model easier from the mold, release agents are used. These help to keep the mold and model intact.
When you wash the model well with soap and warm water, these release agents are removed. Then you can comfortably loosen the mold. Make sure the water you wash with isn’t too hot. It might de-shape the model. If there’s grease, add some vinegar to the water and soap solution.
All you need is a soft toothbrush to clean the model properly. Besides the surface, clean the crevices with the toothbrush.
Removing Flash And Lines
Extra material that gets into the lines where two parts of the model meet are called mold lines. Inside the mold, there are holes to let the material vent out and to prevent the formation of air bubbles. Sometimes, extra material also gets into these vents. These are called flash.
Such flash and lines do not make a model look good as these are materials that shouldn’t be there. Part of your work is to remove these. You can do so by using clippers and a hobby knife. As a result, your model will get a better and smoother finish after you paint it.
Filling In Gaps
Sometimes, you may come across gaps in the model. Such gaps are there when two lines of the mold don’t meet properly, or when air bubbles formed to cause imperfect surfaces. Under these circumstances, you must fill in these gaps. Otherwise, you will end with models over which the paint won’t hold.
To fill these gaps, use a 2-part putty for large ones. Most companies make the models well and you may find small, not large gaps. For these small gaps, you can use white glue. Make sure the glue has dried completely before you go to the next step.
Any surface needs priming before you apply paint on it. The same goes for miniatures and models. Priming ensures that the surface is ready to receive the paint. It’s important because priming will make the paint stick to the model. Also, a primer gives the basic color to your model, making your job easier.
The key to good priming is to layer the model with several thin coats. You must be sure that each coat is dry before applying another one. At all costs, control the urge of applying a solid, thick coat of primer. This will cover the details of the model, making the painting job hard for you.
For beginners, a black primer is recommended. This will cover the hard-to-reach parts of the model. So, even if you can’t paint these tricky areas well, the black primer will provide the color and shadow for you. Just remember to team up the black primer with a base coat.
You can also choose a primer in other colors to match the predominant color of your model or miniature. This is particularly relevant for models with bright colors and heavy armor.
To make the models free from chips and crack, after painting, you must seal the model. Models made from metal are prone to chipping. For sealing, use at least two thin coats of varnishing with a gloss. To matte it down, use a spray lacquer to complete the sealing for you.
Since you are likely to play with the models and that means a lot of handling, a sealer will protect the paint from losing its luster after all the handling. Our palms release oil and the sealer will protect the model from getting affected by these oils.
Shake The Can
During priming, painting, or sealing, if you’re using an aerosol spray, remember to shake the can constantly. This will ensure the contents of the spray can is being applied consistently. Don’t let the residue at the bottom of the can ruin your project.
When you’re using a spray can, try to do so in a room that has low humidity. This will help the content settle on the surface and dry fast. Because there are fumes associated with these sprays, it’s advised to use these in well-ventilated rooms.
As mentioned earlier in the post, for beginners, there’s nothing as foolproof as acrylic paints. To thin these paints, simply use water. Thin the paint to the consistency of milk or a wee bit thinner for all types of applications. But this consistency won’t do for the dry brushing technique.
To check if the consistency of the paint is right, draw a 1-inch line across your palette. There should be no beading. The paint should look like a puddle. Use this consistency to spray several thin coats on the model rather than one thick one.
Washing The Brushes
For beginners, another important tip is how to take care of and wash the brushes you use for miniature painting. It’s important to wash your brush before you paint on it. Equally important is to clean up your brushes after you’re done with the painting.
Take room temperature water in a container and swish around your brushes hard to get rid of all the paint and residue. Every brush has a meta part where it joins the bristles with the handle. This is where the paint accumulates. Such accumulation will damage the handle and the brush.
Safety Issues To Consider When Using Paints For Miniatures
Although miniature painting is a great hobby that’s relaxing, you should also be aware of the safety issues that come with it. The following elaborates on some of these issues and how to deal with them.
You may use acetone to remove paints from models and miniatures. If you think wearing simple latex gloves will protect you, you may think again. Such gloves are only waterproof. The acetone will permeate right through from the gloves to your hands. Your skin will feel irritated.
The best thing is not to wear gloves at all and be careful while using acetone. If you do get some on your hands, wait till they dry and then rinse it off.
If you are using an airbrush system to paint your models, do wear a mask. The airbrush system gives out fine particles of color pigment into the air. It’s better not to breathe these in, hence the need for a mask. A mask with an active coal filter will keep out the resin dust and paint particles.
For the same reason, it’s advised to use protective glasses. These glasses should close at the top, bottom, as well as the sides. Such glasses will prevent fumes from the spray can or airbrush system from entering your eyes.
Pets And Small Children
Put all your paints, glue, thinner, etc. in a place away from the reach of young children and pets. They are more vulnerable to the negative effects of paint chemicals. That’s why don’t use the primers, paints, and sealers in a room where there are pets or small children.
1. When using putty to fill in the gaps in your model, always wear gloves. Putties can be a skin irritant and your hands won’t feel comfortable. However, it’s advised not to wear gloves for more than four hours at a stretch.
2. Wear glasses when using pliers to remove extra bits of plastic or metal from your models. Small parts can fly away and damage your eyes.
3. Never lick your brushes after cleaning them with cleaners or paint thinners as these contain chemicals.
4. Don’t test the paint on your thumb or any part of your skin. Use it directly on a small part of your model you intend to paint.
5. Paints that contain cadmium are toxic, so read the labels on the paint. Don’t use paints with cadmium in the airbrush as that will make the air around you toxic and harmful for your health.
6. Handle hobby knives and scalpels carefully as they might make deep cuts. Be careful when you need to replace the blades. While using this tool, make sure you don’t have pets or small children around you.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. What’s The Finest Paint For My Miniatures?
Answer: Acrylic paints are most appropriate for plastic or metal models and miniatures. It’s made by combining an acrylic polymer with color pigment. For the final product, it’s emulsified in water.
Acrylic paints take less time to dry and you can change its consistency without affecting the color saturation. Moreover, they are non-toxic and won’t leave a mess, making it easy to clean up.
What’s more, acrylic paints can be either sprayed or brushed on. Even the paint markers contain acrylic paints. You can choose different finishes from matte to glossy from a range of acrylic paints.
2. What’s The Best Paint For Doing Touch-ups?
Answer: When you need to do minor touching-up jobs only on your miniatures, the right thing is to use an acrylic paint marker. That’s because you can do a lot of layers of painting with these markers for jobs that don’t need much accuracy. Besides, paint markers are convenient to store and use.
3. When Is It Good To Use Spray Cans?
Answer: A spray can be used to give a base coat to your figurines or models. Although they can’t provide you with the finest precision, they are still good for the first coating.
Using spray cans also works well when you want to use a single color only. It’s better to use it alongside masking to get the effects that you want.
4. Why Is A Black Primer Recommended For Beginners?
Answer: A black primer is recommended for beginners so that it covers the parts that might be difficult to paint. The black primer gives some color to these parts and it provides a natural shadow also.
5. How Thin Should The Paint Be?
Answer: You should apply several thin coats of the paint on your model. The paint consistency should be like milk or a bit thinner. To check for the right consistency, draw a 1-inch line on your palette. If it forms a puddle and doesn’t bead, then it’s the right consistency.
6. Why Is Priming Important?
Answer: Priming your model is important because it prepares the surface for receiving the paint. Also, priming helps the paint to stick to the surface. Hence, you have models that have paint on them that last a long time.
Moreover, as priming gives a basic color to your model, you’ll find it easier to apply the best miniature paint. The primer will show you the parts of the model that need to be painted.
Miniature painting is a popular hobby and many gaming enthusiasts have taken to this leisure activity. With a growing online community of gamers and miniature and model painters, it’s grown to be an attractive DIY option for many people of all ages.
For beginners and seasoned hobbyists alike, the choice of the best paint for miniatures is the key. The paint quality will affect the process as well as the results. Equally important are the painting techniques and tools. Last but not least, the maintenance of the tools also adds to the painting quality.
The market offers a host of many high-quality paints for miniatures. In this article, we have tried to cover only the finest ones available. The reviews of users have also been taken into account.
Whether you’re just setting out on this creative journey of painting models and miniatures, or you’ve been at it for a while, we wish you a colorful and fulfilling hobby!