Painting Warhammer figurines isn't just a matter of grabbing a brush and slapping on some paint. That may work, but won't produce the kind of results you're probably looking for. To make your work look as good as you'd like it to, follow these tips to get it done.
Clean up your miniature by scraping off mold edge remains or other casting mistakes with a scalpel or pen knife, or use modelling files as these give a much better finish.
Decide on a colour scheme, keeping it simple. Decide on two/three bright colours and one balancing dark colour (e.g. red, green, black or rich yellow, bronze, dark brown).
Apply a layer of undercoat to the model you are wishing to paint. Use either Chaos Black or Skull White. Use white if your miniature will be colourful, or black if you’ll use lots of metallics. Use spray paint, air brush or simply paint it by hand. Spray painting will give you the best results fastest - the undercoat gives subsequent coats of hand painted work something to adhere to, and is much faster than setting up the airbrush. Painting the base-coat of a model by hand can work, and is good to do if you miss a spot with the spray paint, but is best done with slightly thinned Black or White paint. Keep the coat thin so you don’t cover the detail. Let dry.
Get a pallet to mix the paints with some water. This loosens the solution and makes it easier to work with.
Paint larger areas with single colours. Let each colour dry before you paint on top of it. Paint smaller and smaller areas, but there’s no point painting tiny details yet.
Paint darker areas – shading, crevices etc. Ink any textured areas (fur, chain-mail etc). Inks are the solution to realistic shading – they will run into areas that should be out of the light.
“Dry-brush" on highlights. Mix a lighter colour, dip your brush and wipe it so that it won’t drip, and softly brush the protruding areas of the figure, starting the stroke at the top. For example, for painting a Caucasian face, you’d start with flesh colour, then put darker shades under the eyebrows and jaw, and finally mix some white with the flesh paint and dry brush the forehead, nose, upper lip and cheekbones. On metals, mix metal with a little black/brown first, then use ink for the grooves and dips, and dry-brush highlights in unmixed metal colour.
Paint the fine detail on the model, diluting the paint to prevent clumping. For painting on gold, apply a layer of Bestial Brown first, then Shining Gold.
Finish the job by painting the base carefully and neatly.
Wait for the whole figure to dry, then get a brush and put glue on the top of the base, and dip it in sand. Shake off the excess sand.
Let it dry.
Paint watered down PVA glue over the sand to fix it firmly and wait for it to dry.
Paint the sand Bestial Brown or any other colour you wish.
Allow to dry, then brush the base with a lighter colour, such as Bleach Bone.
Put little spots of glue on the base, pick up static flock and stick it on.
Protect the miniature (once it's dry) with matt varnish.
Diluting the paint with a little bit of water helps you to paint neatly and saves a bit of paint.
Alternatively, you could glue the sand to the base before painting the model. After spray painting, the sand will be easy to dry-brush any color you like. The paint will help hold the sand in place as well.
Ideally, you should use an acrylic primer rather than white or black paint to undercoat the model.
Try not to use really bright colours, unless your figure is intended to be a fop or a slanneshite. Warhammer is a semi-gothic game, try using the darker colors instead of paler, brighter ones..
Red and black work for any Chaos champion. Darker greens and blues work for just about any figures.
You can get a similar effect from inks that you can from some watered down paint (usually black or brown). If you don't want to spend the money on a bottle of ink, just thin out a brush full of paint in a small cup or palette. Experiment with thickness of the ink on a model that you don't mind possibly over or under inking.
Try painting with a friend who also enjoys painting miniatures. You can share techniques and pass judgement on each others painting.
I hope all the above has been helpful in some way.
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