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New to miniatures - What you need :

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

  1. Infinite Monkey New Member

    This is a very useful article - but the web site has changed. The current location (April 2014) is

    Scotty and Jim Patrick like this.
  2. Alexand96 New Member

    Thank you, gentleman, for this extremely informative thread. I am absolutely new to the hobby, and am currently trying to acquire enough materials to start on my first project (white model from Andrea's Roma series). So far, the only thing I've purchased was a soldering iron, as I read someone highly recommending them for white model miniatures instead of traditional glues/cements. However, that was before I found PF.

    Next up, I'm assuming I'll need to acquire the necessary items to clean the pieces before I begin assembly, correct?

    I'm considering purchasing a file set and some steel wool, would anyone have any specific suggestions? Or perhaps alternative suggestions? Many thanks.
    anstontyke likes this.
  3. Helm A Fixture

    Make sure the soldering iron is controllable as it won't take much to melt the white metal, personally I use superglue and epoxy to glue as it's much safer tack it with the superglue while the epoxy sets. get some files by all means and decent knife with a selection of blades as well (y)
    anstontyke likes this.
  4. Eludia A Fixture

    A fibreglass pencil is also quite handy for removing mould lines and polishing out blemishes on white metal models. It offers a lot of control and is good for removing "just enough". Just don't touch the fibres, it'll itch for ages.

    Hope this helps,
    Billy :)
    itsonlyakit and anstontyke like this.
  5. garyhiggins A Fixture

    I suppose the best advice I could give to a begginer is don't spend lots of money on stuff until you know why you want it and how to use it.
    Best wishes, Gary.
    anstontyke, napoleonpeart and Eludia like this.
  6. Eludia A Fixture

    Good advice, I've spent a fortune on stuff that's been locked in my toolbox since I bought it (sometimes I forget I have it to be honest but that's just my age)

    Billy :)
    anstontyke and garyhiggins like this.
  7. Alexand96 New Member

    Thanks guys, I'll definitely consider these items. I too am worried that I might go and splurge without enough thought or care...this stuff is more expensive than I originally thought (such is life). Especially the paints that I've been looking at (Andrea as well).
    anstontyke likes this.
  8. Jim Patrick Active Member

    Echoing all the previous comments (except one about Germans, lol) you need to spend more time in the initial prep of the figure, as someone new, than you do in the painting process. Why? This is where the foundation is set for a beautiful finish and until the "muscle memory" is developed, you're never going to get the finish you're after.

    1- spend a lot of time in the figure selection. Time and skill (which needs to be developed) will allow you to correct or convert older figures that aren't sculpted or cast like today's standards.

    2- follow all of these suggestions as far as clean up. No ones advice will be "perfect" for you. Develops your own skills and tools that work for you. Often times, our tools come from neccesesity. Not because its a perfect tool but because its what we have and we learned how to make it work for our tastes.

    3- pinning and glueing. If your figure is destined for a shelf or display case and NEVER to be moved? Then glueing will suffice for you. If you're going to move it around or take it to shows? Then you better learn a hard lesson (that we learned the hard way) and pin it. Lots of opinions and thoughts out there on pinning. Read them all and develops your own way for pinning. Glues? Whatever works best for you. I personally have never used solder not because I don't like it but because I don't have it. Super glue (both fast and slow drying) and epoxy are all I have ever needed. Play with them all to determine what works best for you.

    4- this should actually be #3 but I'm too lazy to fix it. DRY FIT EVERYTHING!!!!! While doing this check for fit and study the figure to see how hard it will be to paint it with the part glued on. Often times its easier to paint a part or a particular item BEFORE attaching it to the figure.

    5- washing and priming. After a figure (especially metal ones) is cleaned and pinned, it is very important to wash it with dish soap and an old soft tooth brush. All dirt, grease and grime need to be removed before ANY paint goes on. Ignore this step and watch what happens to your finish. Hint- it ain't pretty, lol. Priming. There are a lot of schools of thought out there in reference to which color you should use (white, grey or black) and how it should be applied (brush, airbrush or air can). I personally use a grey by Tamiya applied by airbrush. As far as color, develope your own tastes to see which color you like (yes, the primer can change to intensity of your base coats). Regardless of your choice for applying the primer, APPLY IT IN SEVERAL LIGHT COATS!!!! Thicker coats will only cover up detail.

    6- after the figure is primed, place a lamp directly over the figure (one lamp) and STUDY the figure rotating it in circles. If you have a digital camera take pictures all the way around the figure. You will see every shadow and highlight. This is why my choice for a primer is grey. Grey shows shadows and highlights better than black or white. But this is my tastes. Developed your own.

    7- painting. Get what you feel are the best brushes and follow everyone's tips for cleaning. What is the point in buying a brand new car if you never change the oil? Clean and take care of your brushes! Paint. Spend some time reading paint tutorials (the Vallejo one by Mario Fuentes is PERFECT!!!!!) before you ever apply paint to a figure. Learn their properties and qualities then you're ready to paint!

    Notice there's a LOT to do before you ever paint? These are the foundations to achieving nice results. You'd never build a house without a foundation would you? Then don't paint a figure without the foundation. Take your time, develops the "muscle memory" and you will be pleased with the results as you progress in your abilities.

    Jim Patrick

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk
    anstontyke, Reccymech and garyhiggins like this.
  9. Alexand96 New Member

    Jim, thanks for the fantastic advice. I will definitely head what you say.
  10. elgreco A Fixture

    clrsgt, anstontyke, Mongo Mel and 2 others like this.
  11. Eludia A Fixture

    Good article Celine. I remember reading it a few months ago when I was returning to the hobby (y)

    Billy :)
    anstontyke likes this.
  12. garyhiggins A Fixture

    Thanks Celine, only a fool thinks he has no more to learn:).
    Best wishes, Gary.
    anstontyke likes this.
  13. Alexand96 New Member

    Thanks Celine! Your site is one of the instigating factors behind my interest in miniatures.
    anstontyke likes this.
  14. Dime New Member

    Hello to all. But.. why a dog? (I have dog, but she doesn't help me at all, on the contrary, she hinders and distracts:)
  15. itsonlyakit Member

    My contributions:
    Use a food dehydrator to speed up drying or curing of oils or acrylics.
    Use your freezer to keep a palette of open oils last longer, or if you get interrupted.
    anstontyke likes this.
  16. elgreco A Fixture


    Since we changed the website, and several people seem to be checking in on this old thread, the tutorial in question can be found here: https://www.elgrecominiatures.co.uk/pages/preparing-a-white-metal-figure-for-painting and all other tutorials here: https://www.elgrecominiatures.co.uk/pages/tutorials
  17. itsonlyakit Member

    This item is meant for the real-car-paint-chip-fix-it people I believe, but works well in our hobby applications. Please beware the fibre-glass particles can irritate, do not put your fingers in you eye after using with this tool. Cheers
    anstontyke likes this.
  18. s.e.charles New Member

    I didn't see "figure holder" mentioned. too basic?
  19. Nap A Fixture


    Hi there

    Certainly not too basic , many versions available from pinning and pushing into a wine cork ( used !! ) , bulldog clips , to the more expnsive market types

    Others like me also mount the figure on a base cover that and use as a grip

  20. megroot A Fixture


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