If you want to learn how to paint Warhammer miniatures, either to play or to have them shining as an exhibition, but you don’t know very well where or how to start… pay attention during the next few minutes… because you are about to discover how to do it in a practical, simple way and in the shortest time possible.
In this article I’m going to give you a guide where I’m going to show you step by step how anyone, with no previous knowledge about painting, could start painting Warhammer miniatures from scratch, and when you finish reading this, you can put everything you’ve learned into practice and make your miniatures stand out like no other in the display case or on the gaming table. Shall we start?
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This guide about how to paint Warhammer is a crash course in painting where you will discover how to judiciously choose and design the most stunning and impactful colour scheme to make your army a real eye-catcher both in the display case and on the gaming table.
Tools for painting Warhammer miniatures
How to paint Warhammer miniatures can be a challenge for many, but with a little practice, following the steps I’m going to show you below and using the right tools, you will see how you will be able to achieve really impressive finishes yourself.
The first thing we’re going to need are some tools. So here is a short list of the basic tools you need to get started:
- Brushes: Different sizes, but you can start with a medium sized one for most areas and a small one for details that require more precision.
- Paint: In the miniature painting studio we work with acrylic paint, this is the one we recommend for beginners. There is a wide range of colors available, from bright to opaque colors.
- Water: Essential to dilute the paint.
- Wet palette: Very useful for mixing and to keep the paint much longer fresh.
- Absorbent paper: Believe me, you will need it….
- Varnish: Recommended for after painting to protect the paint and give it a matte finish.
- Work mat: Nothing better than a flat place where you can work and keep all the tools you need at hand.
- Modeling knife or cutter: Necessary to smooth imperfections on the surface of the miniature.
- Primer: It can be applied either with a spray or in case you don’t have it in thin coats with a brush.
You have everything? then you are ready to paint!
Preparation of the miniature
Before we start painting we must prepare the miniatures. This is a very important step and one that is often overlooked.
The first thing to do is to clean the miniature we are going to paint and make sure it is completely clean, free of dust and grease. To do this, we will use a dry cloth or a soft brush.
This also includes removing any excess plastic or residue from the print, so it will be necessary to use the modeling blade to smooth the surface and soften any irregularities that may be present…
Once the miniature is completely clean, we can apply a coat of primer, this helps to improve the adhesion of the paint and get a better finish. Our recommendation is to use a neutral gray primer, because on the black it is difficult to get the rest of the colors to adhere well.
How to paint Warhammer miniatures: Selecting the right paints
When we start painting Warhammer miniatures, it is a bit dizzying to see all the variety of paints that are available on the market.
Which one is the most suitable?
In the studio we paint with AK 3GEN acrylic paints, and these are the ones we recommend.
Why do we recommend them?
Because we find them much easier to work with as they are quick to dry, non-toxic and easy to mix.
How to apply the paint for painting Warhammer miniatures
Now we have everything ready and the miniatures ready to start painting. The first thing to do is to choose the colors and design you want for your Warhammer miniature.
There are many options available, from bright colors to darker tones, so it is important to choose a design that reflects your personality and style, and of course, that helps you to capture what you have in mind.
Once we know what colors we are going to use and the design we want, the next thing to do is to mix the paint well in the can to make sure it is completely uniform. This is when we use the wet palette.
Pour a small amount on the palette and when we have all the colors, we will begin to apply the different layers.
I recommend that you apply the paint in thin and uniform layers, allowing it to dry well between each of the layers. This will help to avoid stains, lose sculpting details and improve the quality of the paint as if you were a professional miniature painter.
Miniature Base Coat
This base coat will serve as a base for the top coats of paint and will allow subsequent colors to look brighter. It is advisable to choose a light color, but with good coverage for the base coat, such as an ochre or light gray. This way it will be easier to paint dark colors over light colors than the other way around.
Intermediate layers of the miniature
Once the base coat is dry, it is time to apply the intermediate layers. These layers are what will provide depth and detail to the thumbnails. If you use color theory well, you can create a richer, more nuanced look. For example, use reddish tones to shade greens.
Use an appropriately sized brush and apply the layers smoothly, allowing each layer to dry before continuing. You can apply several layers until you achieve the desired color intensity.
Final layers and details of the miniature
Finally, once you have applied all the color layers, it is time to add the final details and finishes. These layers will help to bring out the details and create a more professional finish.
This includes eyes, armor wear and any other details you wish to add. You can use paint with a lot of white to achieve a more dramatic effect on these details and make them stand out as highlights.
You’ve seen that it’s not as hard as it looks.
It is clear that the hardest thing is always to start. But you will see that with a little practice and patience, you will be able to achieve incredible results and have an army to admire.
The key is to practice regularly. With a little effort and dedication, you will soon be able to paint Warhammer miniatures that will be the envy of your friends.