Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tutorials: Prepping and Cleaning Minis

I'm going to do a series of posts over the next bit asking for or presenting info on various topics on how to do miniatures painting etc. Partly I'm looking for more information because I am looking to improve but also I've found links that I think could be useful. No I'm not going to be giving tutorials, I'm not that good. ;-)

So, if you have an favorite links or articles on the topic of preparing a miniature for painting, let us know. For my part, I actually don't have any links on this topic, and the reason I'm looking for more info is that I know the basics, and am fairly decent at it but I've seen minis that are much better prepared than mine and I'd like to know what tools and tips folks have. My biggest problem is dealing with things like mold lines in tight places and rough surfaces on large expanses (like on cloaks). What tools, tips, tricks, or even special materials do you use?


  1. Ooooo... I most certainly can pontificate on these kinds of topics! :)

    Overall Links:
    This was a VERY popular group for a few years. It's dropped off considerably in volume, but a bunch of great people still answer questions and most anything can probably be searched on there.
    If you are a better visual learner (as I am) and don't have a local option to watch, this may be a great answer. I purchased them immediately on sight at GenCon 2008 and have watched them twice all the way through. I understood wet-on-wet blending in ten minutes WAY better than reading about it and looking at still pictures for a year.
    Great place for miniature tools and related equipment. I've had impeccable customer service from them over the six years I've been their customer.
    I'm not going to debate that there may be better brushes, but so far these have had a dramatic effect on my painting. I thought using cheaper brushes while starting would be good, but I was definitely wrong. The link is to the Miniature line of Series 7 - NOTE: the regular Series 7 is significantly larger for the size categories (i.e. a 00 size mini-S7 is smaller than a 000 size S7)

    Specific to prepping:,6787.html
    My basic needle file set coupled with X-acto knives.

    Hard to reach places can use these:,7751.html.

    The problem I've always run into is gouging with any of those tools. Using some "green stuff" two-part epoxy, you can fill in and smooth out large sections of cloak and the like that you transformed into a jagged mountain range with a heavy knife hand. Wetting your finger helps smooth out the epoxy putty quite nicely. Takes practice, of course.

  2. Thanks for some of those links. I have a set of needle files, but the rifflers were just something I'd never seen.

    On the subject of brushes. I've tried various brushes, and while I haven't tried the Windsor and Newtons (I will eventually) I'm not at a level of painting yet where I think it would matter. That, and I find that I can get perfectly good results with just about any brush if it is the right size/shape/length/etc. The type of brush seems much more important to the task than the brand/mfg.

    Speaking of tutorials, has anyone here tried the Miniature Mentor series?

  3. One of the reasons I like Micromark so much is because they always seem to have awesome items that I just never saw anywhere else. :)

    Like this:,7752.html

    I thought the same exact thing about my brushes for the first few years. I finally ordered a couple just to see what I might be missing. To my surprise, I found that I had been completely wrong about them.

    While what you mention are important, a good quality brush lays paint more precisely, flows better, and doesn't deform nearly as much (unless you like hook tips...). YMMV, of course, but that's my experience.

    They are not my only brushes by far, but I couldn't live without them now.

    I have looked at them, but a bit too pricey for me after having already purchased the Hot Lead set. Top-notch painters doing those demos, though.

  4. I bit the bullet and picked up the "complete series" dvds from Miniature Mentor. I'll let you know my thoughts after they show up.