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How to paint miniatures?

This will be a short guide to the essentials of miniature painting, particularly relevant for those who want to know how to paint citadel miniatures with a view to creating their own painted Warhammer 40k or painted Warhammer army.

Prepping the model

Most painting figures are either made of plastic or soft metal. They have been cast in a mould and in the case of fantasy figurines from the Warhammer miniatures games, often require assembly. There will be thin plastic seams around every part from the casting and packaging, and these seams should be scraped off with a sharp knife. Once the paint model or fantasy figure has been assembled, there may be threads of glue that need cleaning off in a similar manner. Now you're ready to start painting.

Painting the model

Colour scheme The first task for the painter is to decide on what the colour scheme will be. In a broad sense, this means determining two painting colours in advance. If you are painting an army of figurines, you will want an army paint scheme in order to make them look uniform. By choosing the two colours for the largest flat areas on the model, one can achieve this easily while adding individuality by using a variety of different colours on different models for the smaller details. Choice of primer If you want the model to have dark, muted colours, you can achieve this by slapping on a coat of black primer prior to painting. To achieve bright, vibrant colours, use white. The primer covers the scrape marks from the area where you cleaned off the seams. Once the primer has dried, apply your first choice of colour to the largest areas - generally the figure's clothing or body. Use the second colour for the medium areas. Already, the model will be looking less like a statue and more like a member of the army which you are aiming for. Adding the details Use the rest of your paint palette to fill in the details - eyes, weapons, belt buckles. You can add some real character to individual models by using different paints for different models at this stage. Don't be afraid to leave the primer showing if you want something to remain black or white. Putting the finishing touches A good trick for finishing off the model is to mix a small quantity of black paint with water to create a black wash. Painting this all over the model can really bring out the lines and make the sculpting stand out. It also tends to make weapons look more realistic - weapons painted pure silver often look too shiny. Your model is now finished!

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