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Panoply of Paint2020-06-08T17:52:54+01:00

“Miniature painting is as much about the journey as it is the destination. Experiment, try new techniques or materials and you might just surprise yourself”

MY WEAPONS OF CHOICE

A disclaimer: The items below are my own preferences from the panoply of hobby brands. The range of paints, tools and materials available for miniature painting is probably the best it has ever been and everyone will have their personal favourites. These are the ones I use because I have found them reliable, I like their particular properties or just the because they fit the way I work.

They are not intended to be an exhaustive list, but to give a little insight into why I use them and what for. I also recommend researching online and getting advice from other painters, especially those who inspire you.

Paints & Materials

As an army painter for many years I used Citadel Colour as my paint of choice and still do, but more selectively than as a range in its entirety. Games Workshop’s Citadel painting system is still one of the most user friendly there is for new painters and I use a number of colours from across their range for base colours, mixers, glazes and effects. In addition to these I am also a fan of Vallejo’s ‘Model’ series for the density of pigment and coverage, frequently mixing these in with more transparent paints when I need a smooth base. Vallejo’s Game Colour and Game Air also have their strengths, especially through the airbrush. Finally for acrylics I also use Scale Colour including their metallics and inks, the latter which I use to ‘boost’ the saturation of airbrush filters or deep shadows. Scale colour paints are not the easiest to use for newcomers needing to be applied thinly and in multiple light coats, so I recommend trying them first before investing.

Specialist paints

I’ve singled these out separately as they are thinned differently to the standard acrylic paints above. Although technically an acrylic Tamiya are isopropanol based and are fantastic through the airbrush. I use Tamiya extensively for pre-shades and military schemes, or for specific effects like scorching or soot deposits due to it’s fine pigment and super flat finish. I also use artists oils from Windsor & Newton as filters, for profiling and weathering effects. Oils have the advantage of a fine pigment and long curing time so can be re-worked or adjusted over time.

Finally enamels from MIG and AK Interactive which I use purely for environmental and weathering effects. Similar to oils these require more careful handling and preparation so as not to damage existing paint layers, but can produce stunning effects similar to what you see in scale modelling.

Brushes & Airbrushes

Asking an artist what is the best airbrush will probably get you several different answers, and all will probably be right from their perspective. All I can say is over the past few years an airbrush has become a significant part of my arsenal and in partnership with traditional brushes helped me paint more efficiently. There are many really good airbrush manufacturers and models on the market, but my personal preference is Harder & Steenbeck which I’ve used for several years now. My go to are the Infinity CR plus and Evolution, both which have been solid workhorses being easy to maintain, reliable but most importantly comfortable for me to use over longer sessions.

Brushes

Brushes can be almost as contentious as airbrushes when you ask “what is best?”. Again it comes down to personal preference, budget and what your own personal brush care routines are. I’ve used brushes from multiple manufacturers over the years and nearly always end up returning to Windsor & Newton series 7 as I just like the profile of them and how they work for me. My only recommendations would be choose a good quality natural bristle brush like a Red Sable for acrylics. They can be a little more expensive but if you take care of them are a worthwhile investment. My preferred brush soap is ‘The Masters Brush Cleaner and Restorer’. If you are additionally going to use oils or enamels as well as acrylics then I recommend also getting some synthetic bristle brushes just for that purpose as they are much cheaper. The mineral spirits used to clean oils or enamels will quickly strip the oils from a natural bristle damaging them over time and making you sad. You can probably delay the inevitable using a moisturising hair conditioner but my preference would be just buy some cheap brushes for the job and protect your investment.

“The ‘work in progress’ posts are a window into how I approach miniature painting. Alternatively they just show how chaotic building an army can get. Both are equally fun.”

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