O.K. I’m going to give this blogging another try. Will attempt to post a few pics with this post to facilitate any newcomers with one of the most daunting problems, (actually, the first problem, IMO) facing new miniature painters after initially choosing to join the ranks. Of course, the absolute first thing to decide is “what” you want to paint. At some point I will attempt to give a rundown of various miniature makers ranging from Skirmish to Boardgame mini manufacturers. But the focus of this post will be the medium you wish to use…. in other words, the PAINT.
When I initially started my foray in this hobby, I was “innocent” and picked up a starter Warhammer 40K box, and asked the clerk at the hobby store what was required as far as paint. He enthusiastically referred me to the “BEST” paint rack they had in store. Now “best” is the term the clerk used, I believe he confused best with “only” because the Citadel paint rack was the only paints they had in store.
Now, I was correctly advised to pick up a can of spray primer, a selection of 4-5 brushes, 8-10 different paint colors and a couple of washes. Wow!!! My WH40K box was $80.00 and those paint supplies ran over $100.00. O.K. such is the beast, I now have supplies to paint this box and more. I need to state VERY clearly that Citadel paints and products are very very good. For my initial attempt these worked very well, beautiful strong colors, the brushes lasted very well, and the washes applied very well. BUT>>>>>>>, oh yeah there is a but….. Citadel have these little paint pots that no matter how hard you try to seal them will let air in and dry your paints after a while. This coupled with a high price point almost made me give up on the hobby. Nothing worse than investing in paints, only to have them dry out after 1 year and make them useless.
I invested a lot of time researching paints and have concluded the following:
1. There are many GREAT paint companies to choose from, as long as they are model acrylics, they will work. No need to buy a specific paint for a specific model line… ex citadel paint for citadel miniatures.
2. Although more expensive, stick to paints designed for OUR hobby. Miniature paints are designed to bond better to our plastic,resin or metal miniatures. Not to knock the craft paints from the Dollar tree, or Michaels or similar stores but those paints are better for more porous materials like plaster,ceramic,paper,cloth etc. Yes we all prefer the pricing on these, but generally these paints need to be thinned to be usefull and again I have never had good enough results to warrant the $1.00-$2.00 savings. These paints seem to “rub” off much more easily during the painting process.
3. Dropper bottles are the way to go. Companies like P3, Reaper Master Series, Vallejo, and Army painter all have wonderful paint ranges that come in dropper style bottles. This style of bottle seals tightly, and you simply squeeze out “drops” of paint to use at a time. I personally will not deal with paints that do not come in dropper bottles.
4. Definitely choose a good spray on primer, again all the previous companies have them, but since the primer is your base layer, spraying thin layers will leave the details from the miniature nice and crisp compared to brush on primers.
5. Do not fear, or fool yourself into believing you need to buy, paint and use only one paint company. You can mix and match without any problems as long as they are all acrylic. Mixing acrylic and enamels is a bit trickier though. I personally own and use paints from Reaper,P3,Vallejo,Army Painter,Badger, and still have a couple citadel washes laying around.
So…. just a very simple what’s what I guess for those that might be new to the game. There is so much info online that I hope this is helpful and simple to follow.
Now here is my 2 cents worth for everyone: I truly,TRULY enjoy Reaper Master Series paints, definitely my preferred paints at this time for all the right reasons. Perfect coverage, wonderful tints, great bottles, perfect color triads for shading and detailing, inexpensive.
Miniature Market has the BEST price for Reaper MSP right now $2.59 per bottle. Yup 1/2 the price of citadel, and lasts years without drying. www.miniaturemarket.com
Hope this helps… and till next time.