Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Steps to Being a Better Miniature Painter – Part 1

Essentially, I will be breaking this topic into a series of posts.  So, I would be lying through my teeth if I said I was the best miniature painter out there. But, I do consider myself to be above average, perhaps above the crowd. I have won best painted awards at several Warhammer 40k tournaments, for my Ork and Tyranid Armies. I have even been hired a couple of times to do some commissions for people at my local gaming club.

Now, many of the tips I will be giving may be considered to be “obvious” or “basic” to some, but this blog is designed to help painters of any level, including novice painters, or those new to miniature painting.

Section 1) Preparation (1 of 2)

Proper preparation of a model is the foundation of any excellent paint job on a miniature. Many inexperienced miniature painters do not understand how important the preparation phase of model painting can be, and therefore are ultimately at a “handicap” before they even begin painting.

Cleaning the model- if you are painting metal or resin models, it is very important to clean the model before painting.  Many of these models have residue remaining from the molding process. This residue will prevent the primer and paint from sticking to the model, making the job of painting an uphill battle from the start. In my experience, simple dish detergent and a sponge or cloth works fine.  Make sure to use warm water (not boiling, especially if you are using resin). Also, ensure that the drain is covered so your models/parts do not accidentally fall down the drain. You would be surprised at how often this has happens, even to the best of us.

Remove extra molding/ mold lines – With the introduction of Games Workshops Finecast range, as well as the push for companies like Privateer Press to release plastic miniatures, this step has never been so important.  When painting miniatures, it is imperative that you remove all extra molding and mold lines.  Later in the painting process, products like washes will expose even the slightest mold line. This step is becoming increasingly important in the tournament circuit, where painting scores are being worth more and more.  I was recently competing at a tournament, where one of the criteria on the score card actually read “No mold lines visible on miniatures”, which I recall was worth 2 or 3 points out of the 20 point painting score. Plus, mold lines just make the mini look less AWESOME!!!!

The easiest way to remove these pesky lines is to use a sharp modeling knife. These can be purchased at pretty much any modeling store.

 Thank you very much for reading part 1. In the next part, I will cover pinning and gap filling miniatures. 


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