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New to miniatures - What you need :

Discussion in 'Just starting...' started by gordy, Mar 2, 2007.

  1. gordy Well-Known Member

    I wanted to start a thread on what are the basic necessities for those starting out/wanting to start painting miniatures, tools, paints, etc.

    Include links when possible too.

    Off topic posts will be removed, I want this to be beneficial and informative -

    AlbertD, SimonC, Steve and 1 other person like this.
  2. KeithP Active Member

    For me and in order of usefullness...

    1.) High quality brushes that maintain their tips on Rounds. No substitute for WN Series 7 Mini's for both oil and acrlylic. I have some Escoda red sable that are as good.

    2.) And to clean those expensive brushes... The Masters Brush Cleaner.

    3.) Higher quality figures. Why waste time painting DML or VL when you can get a high quality Pegaso for ~$25.

    4.) Good light source.

    5.) Magnification (I am old and the eyes are going...)

    6.) If you go with Oils, then decent Artist grade paints ie WN artist grade.

    1.1) Good support from pF

    I'm sure there is alot more that others will add...
    AlbertD, Fantomas, clrsgt and 2 others like this.
  3. AJLaFleche Well-Known Member

    In addition to what Keith said, files and blades to remove mold parting lines.
    If you can find a real life mentor (or several since each will have his/her own style) you will be well ahead of the curve.
    A reference to color theory and the color wheel
    Expanding on magnification, the opti-visor is the preferred magnifier for the painters in my club.
    Patience. You are not likely to paint a masterpiece your first time out. Maybe not for a great many times out. Painting's a journey.
  4. megroot A Fixture

    It is almost be said.
    But i cannot say it again. Buy a good figure. that is the first thing to get painting.
    For me the second thing is a place where you can sit and paint in a relaxed atmosphere. No TV, talking etc. For me concentration is important.
    Third. Optivisor, color wheel, good paints, good brushes, again it is all mentioned.
    Planet figure is very very important for the support and answers to the questions.

    clrsgt, anstontyke and Steve like this.
  5. Jim Patrick Active Member

    If you are trying to paint with acrylics, THE article by Mario Fuentes is a MUST for any newcomer. Select "Model Color" in the drop dowm menu, then scroll to the bottom of the page intil you see "PAINTING FIGURES WITH MODEL COLOR". Just click on the introduction and you'll find the "secrets" to acrylic paints unlocked.


    Jim Patrick
  6. Sambaman Well-Known Member

    What do you say here that hasen't been said in the first post! I for one would recomend some practice, practice, practice, oh, did I mention practice..... with the various paint mediums. Although I agree a good figure is the way to go, I personally used a "second-rate" figure to practice with in the begining. I chose an easy to piant 65mm full figure and went to town on him with both enamel and acrylics to get a feel for the techniques. Then, once I decided oils were the way to go..............he he, I grabed a better figure and really started to paint! I would be more concerned with "technique" in the begining rather than being perfectly accurate, or correct with color choices and such. Accurate color mixing, and "period" correct colors will be something you can concentrate on as you get a feel for mixing colors and your technique comes into it's own. Please remember, there is really no WRONG way to paint a figure, you'll get a feel for how it's most comfotable for you as you practice. Did I mention practice before, I can't remember.

    I think the most important thing to remember is......HAVE FUN! Once you settle into a medium and a figure you enjoy it should flow like butter. Don't assume your first, or even your second figure will be a mastrpiece. I learn from every figure I paint! Don't be afraid to experiment with mediums, techniques, figures etc. And NEVER be afraid to ask questions!

    I would also add that one of my greatest sources of information was my "local" club. If it weren't for some of the guys willingness to help me I would be lost! If you have a local organization, drop by and visit. I have to say, I have met some of the nicest and friendliest folks through this hobby and owe them a tremendous thanks for all the help! Oh, and did I mention, it's a HOBBY people, have FUN!

    Jay H.
    anstontyke, Steve and LouisCV8 like this.
  7. PJ Deluhery Active Member

    In addition to the above, practice (practice, practice!) and observe the work of others. Ask questions. Finsh what you start. Be open to constructive criticism. Read all you can on the subject.
    clrsgt, anstontyke and Steve like this.
  8. vergilius New Member

    a lot of patience for the newcomer and the teacher. It was very frustrating every time to hear that you have to buy this and that. You have to buy a lot of stuff but not everything is necessary to start painting. One brush or one tube of paint isn't expensive but if I add it all up what I bought in my first year it's quite a sum.
    Like I said not everything is necessary, just be patient when you start and be happy with the 'growing'
    anstontyke likes this.
  9. pylgrym New Member

    Thank you, gentlemen! I painted my first club figure this year and am inspired by the passing of Bob Knee to continue.
  10. Hank57 New Member

    1. Good reference books
    Modeling Waffen-SS Figures by Calvin Tan
    Modeling Fallschirmjager Figures by Jaume Ortiz
    Getting Started Painting Diorama Figures In Acrylics by Brett Avants
    ( These are artist/modelers that use acrylics)
    Primary subjects here are WW2
    2. Acrylics or oils or enamals?
    3. A decent figure ( i would get a plastic styrene and a resin) DML and Warriors are good figures. Resin figures have crisp details.
    4. Good brushes in the various sizes: 00-000-0-1-2-3-10/0 Windsor/Newton are the best choice but pricey.
    5. Files, blades, sanding sticks, tweezers, optivsor ect....
    6. Pick the brains of the experienced modelers at your local shop. Accept positive criticism and learn from it. Internet support groups.
    7. Join the local model club.
    8. Attend local model shows to see the work of others
    9. patience
    10. practice, practice and more practice
    11. have fun
    ** A good place to work at with a table and a good light source is essential.
    anstontyke likes this.
  11. EasyOff Member

    In case your not happy with the results:
    I like to have a can of EasyOff oven cleaner for stripping the paint off the expensive figure I just mangled. EasyOff won't hurt your resins, metals or most styrene plastics. Put the figure into a plastic container, spray the EasyOff oven cleaner all over it, a good coating, cover the container and wait a few hours. When you see the paint flaking off, its time to get an old tooth brush that you'll never again use for your teeth, some rubber gloves and plenty of fresh water and start washing off the flaked paint.

    Things to remember:
    Be sure to use the original version, the odorless type doesn't work as well.
    Be sure to have ventilation in the room you're using it in.
    Mark the container with a marker, NOT FOR FOOD USE so later on you don't poison yourself.
    Because you'll be spraying into the container, you'll get blowback, use protective glasses and if possible, a respirator. KEEP YOUR FACE AWAY! EasyOff can burn your eyes, your skin and the sensory hairs in the back of your throat.
    I'm just giving you some basic safety warnings, please read the EasyOff can for the rest, its smart to be safe!

    John (AKA EasyOff)
    Jim Lawrie and Mongo Mel like this.
  12. Bluesking Active Member

    Buy the best quality kit you can afford and of a subject that interests you - remember you'll not become expert overnight - some of us have been plugging away for 45 years and still are well short of expert - we ENJOY it. Remember it's a hobby not life or death.
    clrsgt, anstontyke, DEL and 2 others like this.
  13. deaglesham New Member

    I have a #4 and 10/0 brush that are 'shader' type, but are flat brushes. I was wondering of the listed sizes which ones are rounds.

    Also, and sorry for being naive, but would it be prudent to have a couple of each?
    anstontyke likes this.
  14. megroot A Fixture

    It depends on what you are painting with.
    If you paint with acrylic i shall go all the way for round's.
    If you paint with oil's you can go for flat's. The size 00 isn't needed, because you have the 0 and 000. With acrylic it is important that the brush can hold the load of paint.
    What i have: (i'm a oilpainter).
    flat: 0,1,2 and 4.
    round: 0,000 for detailing.
    From every brush i have about 4-5 of it.
    I don't use Windsor No7 because i find them to expensive. At the moment i use Kolinsky form JR produkts and it is also a good choice.
    Hope you can do something with it.

    Jim Lawrie and anstontyke like this.
  15. Einion Well-Known Member

    Many modellers only use rounds.

    I mostly use rounds but I do like to use a couple of flat brushes for larger areas - flats, brights and langue du chat (similar to filbert). The last shape I find particularly good, I just wish they were more common.

    Sizes and shapes of brushes are up to a point a matter of taste, plus of course the size(s) you'll be painting at.

    Often larger brushes are recommended over smaller sizes by experienced painters, particularly those painting with acrylic or vinyl paints, for a couple of reasons. You will often find it's possible to paint something equally well with the fine tip of a good 1 (sometimes even larger) as you can with much smaller brushes like a 000, but the larger brush holds a lot more paint so doesn't need to be recharged as frequently. It's also more versatile, being larger, and they can last better than teeny brushes too so you get a lot more bang for your buck - there isn't a lot of hair on a 000 or 0000, especially if the tuft is short.

    If you can afford it, definitely. I'd suggest you buy maybe three of the most-used size, one each of any larger or smaller sizes you think you might need. Quality Kolinsky rounds are not cheap, although buying online from people like Dick Blick helps a lot.

    Worth mentioning in case you don't know this already: try not to mix paint with your brushes. You have to do this for custom mixtures for small touches here or there but if you're mixing a fair amount use a cheapie synthetic brush, a painting knife, cocktail stick or a piece of sprue.

    anstontyke likes this.
  16. Einion Well-Known Member

    For basic tool selection check out the Tools of the trade thread.

    As for brushes, there's more to good-quality Kolinsky rounds than Series 7! Options to keep an eye out for here.

  17. gothicgeek A Fixture

    my first post ( blushes )

    fantastic advice, but i'll add my two peneth

    1. light! setup somewhere and keep adding lights till your able to see properly

    2. less is more! you can always add another layer .....

    3. finish it! even if your not 100% with it, finish it and get the next one going.

    4. show your work! getting online and showing my stuff was the best thing ever :)

    those are my tiny pearls of wisdom



    oh and hi all!
  18. TWOMOONS Active Member

    I would just add these, taken from my experience:

    a) money

    b) understanding wife or girlfriend or whatever

    c) TV in your painting studio to refocus your eyes now and then

    d) a dog

    e) about 500 reference books

    f) unquenchable curiousity and a passion for history

    e) knowing that you are involved in the greatest of all "hobbies"
  19. TWOMOONS Active Member


    Great post Blues, I agree with you 100%...but , sometimes, unavoidably...it can become life or death. Sort of, almost.
    anstontyke likes this.
  20. seansdaddy New Member

    housecarl likes this.

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