How to Paint Fantasy Miniatures

Bring realism to your fantasy miniatures, which will spring to life under your skillful hand.

You will need

  • Poster board
  • Desk or workspace
  • Desk lamp
  • Fantasy miniature
  • Small vise
  • Magnifying glass or jeweler's loupe
  • Craft knife
  • Small files
  • White and gray primer
  • Acrylic paints
  • Small paintbrushes
  • Spray sealant
  • Lighted headband magnifier (optional)
  • Awl (optional)
  • Tweezers (optional)

Step 1 Set up workspace Place a piece of poster board on a desk or workspace to catch spills. Use a desk lamp in addition to any overhead lighting.

Step 2 Examine and remove imperfections Clamp your miniature in the small vise, and examine it with a magnifying glass. Remove any imperfections with the craft knife and a small file.

Step 3 Prime Cover the miniature with a thin layer of primer. Keep a light hand to avoid filling in finely detailed areas. Use white primer on light-colored models, and gray on darker ones.

Step 4 Paint from inside out Start painting the deepest, most recessed sections first and work your way outward, covering the highest, raised areas last.

Step 5 Create shade Create depth and shade by going over some areas with watered-down black paint on a dry brush. It will catch in the recesses and bring out details, like musculature, hair, and clothing folds.

Step 6 Add highlights Add highlights by adding some white paint to the color of the area. For example, if your miniature has a silver helmet, add a bit of white paint to silver paint and dab it on to create the illusion of a metallic shine.

Step 7 Spray seal Spray the finished miniature with a matte spray sealant in a well-ventilated area to keep it looking fresh for years to come.