Getting better at painting gaming miniatures

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I wouldn’t think of "gaming in the nude

Probably a good idea…


Isn’t t easiest to paint them when they’re life-size, and then shrink them down?


Wet palette - where were you 30 years ago?

Also, good band name.


You haven’t seen him nude yet. * Waggle waggle *


It’s called tossing money at my nephews. They’re cheap–for now. :wink:


This is amazingly timely @garethb2!

Just got laid off and decided to do a career change / soft retire, and one thing I want to use my spare time for is FINALLY learning to paint minis. I have three Kickstarters worth of Bones to paint. . . .

(Or re-learn; I was passable at putting enamel paint on lead & pewter but plastics and acrylic paint are a whole new ballgame.)
Coincidentally, I got one of those illuminated magnifiers, and a master painter I follow on Twitter just recommended a wet palette. Never heard of those before!


Practice, practice, practice… and remember the guys who paint for the magazines that is their day job. I will have to look through the videos but there are a lot of simple tricks and techniques that will give great results and level up your work to where it will definitely look quite nice on the game table.

I still think I suck but I regularly compare myself to guys who win competitions so it is relative. I am definitely way better than I was 30 years ago though.

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Oh that gives me the hibbly jibblies thinking of having that kind of backlog.


Definitely swearing off of Kickstarters for Bones and anything else.

The #3 box is still in my living room, waiting to be looked at.


If you haven’t done it yet give them a bath in soapy water to clean off the mold release as it will prevent the paint from curing to the models properly.


What ever happened to metal miniatures anyway? Back when I used to miniature game in the 1980s, they all were metal. Now they all seem to be plastic. Is it just cost?

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well lead cause duh… pewter replaced that and got expensive, and now with the new processes for CAD and other advances the plastic kits are way better at detail and dead easy to customize over metal as well.
anything with smaller runs is done with resin.


I use a salad spinner! :slight_smile:


Mice and Mystics got me to try painting minis. I never got around to the actual main characters because they required more than dry brushing and minor detailing.

It is really fun. Maybe your article will help me with shading because I have no idea what I’m doing.

fire painted plaster & cotton nicked from friend’s dnd shelf.


Although I have friends who paint miniatures, I’ve never done it. Come to think of it I’ve never really painted… I’ve always been too afraid to mess up the paint job. but this piqued my interest! It seems… relaxing.

pfft just paint over it again. or strip it down and start over. but seriously it mostly has to look decent at arms length for tabletop play. also anyone who says your work is crap isn’t someone you wanna play with anyway cause all of us have ways to improve.


Yeah, those Bones KS’s were amazing. I’m using a lot of Bones minis for Frostgrave. Really decent for the money and fun to paint.

That’s a great tip, Stefan. I might use that in my weekly Tips column on Make:.

Yeah, the details on today’s digitally sculpted minis are insane. The new Primaris Space Marines for WH40K have tons of details and incredibly dynamic poses.

But there are still metals. I have a several dozen really wonderfully sculpted and cast pewter minis for Blood & Plunder (a highly recommended pirate skirmish game), waiting to be painted. This game was basically a basement operation, so it makes it even more impressive that the minis are so good. And, OMG, the resin cast pirate ships they did are incredible. Some of the cleanest casts I’ve seen. Gorgeous models.

I’m also currently painting (and painting and painting) a bunch of troops for All Quiet on the Martian Front, another really cool game of 15mm Earth vs. Martians in the early 20th century. That range has all metal troops and some vehicles and plastic tank and Martian tripod kits. I’ve never painted 15mm before and that’s really fun. Quick, so more instantly gratifying.

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