15 Paintbrushes That Are Great For Painting Miniatures

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paintbrushes that are great for painting miniatures
paintbrushes that are great for painting miniatures

best paintbrushes for painting miniatures

There are many paintbrush options on the market that have been specifically designed for painting miniatures. With this in mind, it is important to understand that not every paintbrush is created equally. Read all the way to the end of this article and consider which paintbrush will best suit your needs so you can get started painting miniatures.

PreviewProductProsPrice

series 10 da vinci maestro

Series 10 – Da Vinci Maestro
  • Great for watercolors
  • Great for fine details
  • A broad range of sizes to choose from

series 7 winsor & newton

Series 7 – Winsor & Newton
  • Tip retains shape
  • Great spring and snap
  • Hold an ample amount of paint

mk3 paint brushes by broken toad

Mk3 Paint Brushes by Broken Toad
  • Large belly
  • Fine tips
  • Variety of shapes and sizes to suit any painting or detail need

golden maple

Golden Maple
  • Multiple brush sizes
  • Great for beginners
  • Varying tip shapes that allow for greater diversity on projects

the army painter

The Army Painter
  • Perfect for beginners
  • A great combination set that allows for versatility in your projects

detail set by d’artisan shoppe

Detail Set by D’Artisan Shoppe
  • Plastic organizer and dust cover included
  • Handles are coated with 7 layers of paint to ensure there is no flaking

artbrush tower

Artbrush Tower
  • Comes with protective covers for the bristles
  • Great for beginners

brushes made by games workshop

Brushes made by Games Workshop
  • Brushes are labeled to easily comprehend what each brush is used for

8404 series by raphael

8404 Series by Raphael
  • Long-lasting tips
  • Great for any artist regardless of skill level

series s by artis opus

Series S by Artis Opus
  • Different sets to choose from
  • Comes with a nice wooden case for storage
  • Brushes can be cleaned properly

paint brush set by daco

Paint Brush Set by DACO
  • Comfortable handles
  • Easy to clean
  • Comes with a carrying case

transon watercolor set

Transon Watercolor Set
  • Great for artists of all ages and skill level
  • Wooden handles that are covered in metallic paint
  • Bristles hold water and paint very well

micro detail set by nicpro

Micro Detail Set by Nicpro
  • Dust bag included
  • Varying sizes to allow for diversity
  • Triangular handle for comfort

fine paint brush set by virtuoso

Fine Paint Brush Set by Virtuoso
  • Comes with a deluxe carrying case
  • Double crimped ferrule to help with stability
  • Multiple brush size and bristle shape

professional detail set by crafts and colors

Professional Detail Set by Crafts and Colors
  • Carrying case made of canvas
  • 90-day money-back guarantee

Different Types Of Paintbrushes

  • Synthetic bristles
  • Hair from mongoose, sables, camels, badgers, squirrel, and oxen
  • Bristles from hogs

Hair from various animals provides artists with different results. Therefore, it is important to familiarize yourself with the sort of results you will get from different types of hair that are used to make paintbrush bristles. A very important factor to consider when choosing a paintbrush is the fact that sable hair will outlast all other fibers that are used to make a quality paintbrush.

When choosing a paintbrush it is very important to consider the types of paints and cleaners you will use because each fiber will break down differently. For instance, alcohol-based cleaners are great for cleaning synthetic brushes but will quickly destroy a sable brush. Therefore, it is pertinent to consider every factor that can affect your brushes before making a decision in regards to what will work best for your project.

The list of brushes provided is not meant to rank the quality of paintbrushes, but rather it is presented to provide you with helpful information that will help you decide what will work best for your creative endeavors. Without further ado, let us look into the top 15 paint brushes that will work great for painting miniatures…

Contents of this Page

Best Brushes for Painting Miniatures

1. Series 10 – Da Vinci Maestro

series 10 da vinci maestro

This series of brushes is composed of red sable fur. They are great for painting with watercolors and allow for any artist to add great detail to their miniatures. The price of these brushes outshines all competitors because they are affordable yet they are high-quality paintbrushes. As well, these brushes come in many sizes. Therefore, they will meet just about any need you may have when painting miniatures. The Da Vinci Maestro brushes will certainly allow you to paint on the fine details that make your miniature stand out.

Pros
  • Very durable
  • Affordable
  • Considered to be the best in their class
  • Great for fine details
  • A broad range of sizes to choose from
  • Great for watercolors
Cons
  • Thin bristles that are short and do not hold much paint

2. Series 7 – Winsor & Newton

series 7 winsor & newton

The Winsor & Newton paintbrush is a brush that was originally made for British royalty. These brushes are handmade and they are said to be the most talked-about brushes for painting miniatures. The brushes are made of sable fur that comes from the Kolinsky. This brush set offers 4 brushes that allow any artist to present their best work. The W&N series is great for beginners because the brushes offer a paint flow that is predictable which helps keep lines smoother.

Pros
  • Tip retains shape
  • Great spring and snap
  • Hold an ample amount of paint
  • Long-lasting quality
Cons
  • Can be a bit pricey

3. Mk3 Paint Brushes by Broken Toad

mk3 paint brushes by broken toad

If you are looking for a paintbrush that has been designed specifically for painting miniatures, then you have found exactly what you are looking for with the Mk3. These brushes are made from high-quality sable fur, and they are guaranteed to last any artist for a long period of time provided they are cleaned and stored properly. The set listed offers 4 brushes that will be a great starting point for any artist that is new to painting miniatures.

Pros
  • Large belly
  • Fine tips
  • Variety of shapes and sizes to suit any painting or detail need
  • Affordable
Cons
  • There is a possibility that they will be hard to find due to high-quality sable hair shortage

4. Golden Maple

golden maple

The Golden Maple set is very versatile. These brushes are perfect for watercolors, acrylic paints, and oils. The bristles are made of synthetic fibers, but they still offer the ability for any artist to paint on even the smallest details on their miniatures. There are multiple size options so you can easily glaze or paint on minute details that will make your miniature stand out. The Golden Maple offers a triangular handle versus a round handle. Therefore, you are offered a brush that allows for better comfort and control. With the triangular handle, you can rest assured that you will no longer have to search around for the paintbrush that rolled away.

Pros
  • Multiple brush sizes
  • Varying tip shapes that allow for greater diversity on projects
  • Very affordable
  • Comfortable handle
  • Great for beginners
  • When cared for properly they retain their shape
  • Sharp points for fine details
Cons
  • Can be hard to clean
  • Paintbrushes will not maintain great precision without proper cleaning

5. The Army Painter

the army painter

The Army Painter set comes with 10 brushes that vary in size to ensure that you can accomplish just about any type of detail. These brushes are ideal for wargaming figurines as well as Warhammer figures. The handle is made of wood and crafted in Germany. All brushes have sharp tips and retain their shape over time. The brush has been designed in such a way that the handle offers flexibility to allow artists comfort while painting the day away. The sable fur ensures that you are choosing a great quality product that is made to last. If you are looking for a paintbrush set that will allow you to paint details as well as terrain, then The Army Painter Set is exactly what you are looking for.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Perfect for beginners
  • A great combination set that allows for versatility in your projects
Cons
  • The smallest brush that is used for detail has a tendency to split at the bristles
  • Brushes are triangular as well as round and artists have said this can affect comfort (this con is a plus if you are wanting to see which type of brush best suits your needs)

6. Detail Set by D’Artisan Shoppe

detail set by d’artisan shoppe

The D’ Artisan Shoppe detail set has been designed in such a way that you will not have to worry about the handle flaking off paint while you add minuscule details to your miniatures. The company thought to add 7 layers of paint to ensure that any artist could complete their artistry without any disruptions due to the product that they offered. The tips are composed of synthetic fibers, and the brushes have been designed to fit into even the smallest nooks and crannies. If you have miniatures that need extreme detail, then this brush set is right up your alley.

Pros
  • Plastic organizer and dust cover included
  • Great for small and tight places
  • Handles are coated with 7 layers of paint to ensure there is no flaking
  • Brushes are formed well to offer extreme flexibility and quality
  • Affordable
  • Triangular handles to eliminate brushes from rolling around
Cons
  • Must handle with care to ensure the brushes last
  • Brushes may split at the bristles

7. Artbrush Tower

artbrush tower

The Artbrush Tower is an enamel set that offers a Korean nylon hair bristle that is double colored. These brushes are ideal for painting miniature figurines, but they can be used for any project that requires fine details that require a sharp edge. They are offered at such an affordable price that they are ideal for all levels of artists. If you have been looking for a brush set that offers durable and lasting bristles, then The Artbrush Tower is worth taking a look at.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Comes with protective covers for the bristles
  • Great for beginners
  • Great quality brushes
Cons
  • Not versatile in bristle shape

8. Brushes made by Games Workshop

brushes made by games workshop

Games Workshop offers painting guides with every brush set that they sell. The added bonus tends to make up for where the lack of quality may exist. Many artists say that these brushes are ideal for starters, however, the quality is not as superb for those who are far more advanced in their craft. With this in mind, it is important to understand that when it comes to Games Workshop you will get exactly what you are paying for.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • A variety of shapes and sizes
  • Brushes are labeled to help any amateur be able to comprehend what each brush is used for – For instance, the base brush is labeled to help clarify that it is used for painting the base
  • Great for beginners
Cons
  • Not long-lasting
  • Bristles fray easily
  • Handles may split at the ferrule

9. 8404 Series by Raphael

8404 series by raphael

The Raphael 8404 Series brushes are said to be better than the Winsor & Newton Series brushes that were discussed earlier on this list. Artists have claimed that the Raphael brushes hold more paint than the W & N brushes, that tips last longer, and that the tips are a lot more reliable. These brushes are considered to be very affordable when you consider the quality that they offer. The brushes have sable bristles that offer the best results when they are used with watercolor from Raphael. They may be slightly cheaper than the Winsor & Newton series, but according to what many artists have claimed they offer better quality than their competitors.

Pros
  • Great quality
  • Long-lasting tips
  • Great for any artist regardless of skill level
Cons
  • A bit pricey
  • Work best with watercolor made by Raphael

10. Series S by Artis Opus

series s by artis opus

The Artis Opus brushes have a beautiful and sleek design that makes them look very elegant and easy to handle. These brushes are crafted in London, and artists have only positive things to say when it comes to this set of brushes. With every purchase, you are given a lovely storage case that will help ensure that your brushes stay in great shape. Artists also have the option to choose from different types of wood finishes for their storage case as well as choose which engraved artwork best suits their personality. If you’ve ever wanted to stand out and show an air of sophistication, then the Artis Opus may be a paintbrush set you want to consider investing into.

Pros
  • Different sets to choose from – the main set offers 4 exquisite brushes that will help any artist get off to a great start with painting miniatures
  • Each order comes with a nice wooden case for storage
  • Each order comes with a pot of soap to ensure brushes can be cleaned properly
Cons
  • Brushes can be quite costly
  • The largest storage case can only hold up to 5 brushes

11. Paint Brush Set by DACO

paint brush set by daco

DACO has designed a very versatile and unique set of paintbrushes that will work with any paint medium or ink that you desire. These brushes have been designed to ensure that they do not slip through your fingers while you are painting even the smallest details. The bristles are acrylic which helps ensure that they will keep their shape over time. They are quite affordable in comparison to other brands, and they offer a triangular design that allows artists to paint comfortably for hours on end. Bristles are held in place by a copper ferrule to help ensure that the brush does not shed over time.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Comes with a carrying case
  • Easy to clean
  • Comfortable handles
  • The set comes in varying shapes and sizes to ensure that artists have whatever they need to successfully complete their miniatures
Cons
  • Artists have said that the carrying case does not protect brushes very well if traveling

12. Transon Watercolor Set

transon watercolor set

The Transon watercolor set comes with 8 round brushes that are ideal for adding detail to any miniature. These brushes differ slightly from any other on this list because the bristles are made of goat hair. The brushes are meant to be used with watercolors, but artists have stated that they work well with other media such as tempera, oil paints, acrylic paints, and ink. Every brush has a nice pointed tip that will allow for the precision necessary to make your miniatures pop. These brushes are quite versatile, and the set offers a range in sizes to ensure that you have every tool necessary right at your fingertips. These paintbrushes are great for any artist regardless of their skill level.

Pros
  • Great for artists of all ages and skill level
  • Wooden handles that are covered in metallic paint
  • Great quality
  • Priced affordably
  • Durable ferrules that are double crimped so they are steady
  • Bristles hold water and paint very well – allows for artists to create steadier lines
Cons
  • There have been complaints that one of the brushes sheds excessively

13. Micro Detail Set by Nicpro

micro detail set by nicpro

Nicpro has designed a set of brushes that is great for projects that require a lot of fine details. The brushes are round and offer a variety of shapes to help ensure that you have what you need regardless of if you are trying to paint a flat line or a simple dot. These brushes are great to use with acrylics, oils, or watercolors. The triangular handle ensures that you can hold your brush steady and will not have to look around to find roll-away brushes. The synthetic bristles help to ensure there is little to no shedding or splitting after multiple uses. Each purchase offers a money-back guarantee as well as a storage case and dust bag. These bonuses help ensure that your brushes stay clean in between uses. The brushes are small which allows for even the smallest details to be successfully added to your miniatures.

Pros
  • Comes with a plastic case for storage
  • Dust bag included ensuring brushes stay fresh and clean
  • Varying sizes to allow for diversity within projects
  • Synthetic hairs that help eliminate shedding and splitting of bristles
  • Triangular handle for comfort
Cons
  • Brushes do not last as long as many artists initially believed they would

14. Fine Paint Brush Set by Virtuoso

fine paint brush set by virtuoso

Virtuoso offers a brush set that has 15 different brush styles and sizes. The set helps ensure that you will have any and every brush needed for painting your miniatures. The handles are short and thick which helps to ensure that artists can get up close and personal with their miniatures. With this set, there is definitely not a task that can not be achieved. Bristles are composed of Korean fibers to help minimize shedding. The company offers a lifetime guarantee so you really can not go wrong with a fantastic set such as this one.

Pros
  • Multiple brush size and bristle shape allows for greater versatility with projects
  • Comes with a deluxe carrying case
  • Double crimped ferrule to help with stability
  • Lifetime guarantee
Cons
  • Brushes may begin to shed
  • Brushes may need to be trimmed over time

15. Professional Detail Set by Crafts and Colors

professional detail set by crafts and colors

If you are an artist that likes to travel around, then this brush set is perfect for you. The canvas case allows you to pick a spot, pull out your tools, and work on creating a masterpiece that will mesmerize just about anyone. The set includes 15 brushes that have nylon bristles that will help ensure these brushes last for more than just a week. With so many brushes to choose from you can rest assured that you will have any shape or size needed for every project you work on. The 90-day money-back guarantee is a great bonus that allows you to try the brushes to decide if they are a great fit for your needs. Brushes are lightweight and can hold a lot of paint in comparison to their size.

Pros
  • Great quality
  • Carrying case made of canvas
  • A variety of brush sizes and shapes
  • 90-day money-back guarantee
Cons
  • Some artists suggest that lightweight brushes do not allow for stability

Tips For Cleaning and Maintaining Brushes

Remember that not every brush can be cleaned with turpentine or mild dish soap. If you are using a brush that has natural bristles such as sable or mongoose fur, then it is ideal to use a mild mixture of warm soap and water. This will help ensure that the bristles do not deteriorate quickly.

If you are using a synthetic bristle brush, then you can use a solvent such as turpentine to clean your brush. This is a powerful mixture that would easily destroy delicate bristles, but in the instance of stronger fibers, it is safe to soak and rinse brushes in this solution.

If you have left your brushes sitting out too long, then you may want to consider using mineral spirits and then rinsing with a warm water and soap mixture. Once you have completed this step, rinse your brush with water until it runs clear.

If you are just taking a break from painting but intend on returning shortly, then you can wrap your paintbrush with cellophane to retain moisture. However, do not make this a habit and understand it is just a temporary solution that is meant to be utilized if you are coming back in a short period of time.

A great rule of thumb is to keep water or cleaning mixtures in your crafting space. You do not have to wait until you have finished your project to clean your brushes. Instead, consider letting them soak while you cycle through different phases of painting your miniatures.

It is not recommended to leave any brush in any cleaning solution overnight unless you are trying to remove dried or gunky paint. If this is the case, then you may find it is better to replace your brush and ensure that you take better care of your tools.

Remember that you must take great care of your brushes if you intend on using them for an extended time period. It is easy to get distracted and walk away from a project.

Distractions happen, but these distractions can become costly if you do not find a stopping point. It is also important to note that if you do not properly clean your brushes, then you will see less quality in your work.

If you are using watercolors, then you need to simply rinse your brush with warm water. However, if you are using water-based paints such as acrylic, then you will need something a little stronger to clean your brush.

A brush covered in dried latex paint can be salvaged, but just know it is going to take time and patience to restore your paintbrush. You will need to soak the brush in warm soapy water and gently rub the bristles with your fingers. Continue this process until the brush has been thoroughly cleaned.

You should never rub the bristles of your brush vigorously. If you heed this advice, then you can rest assured that you will not loosen bristles and cause the shedding of your bristles.

Buyer’s Guide To Buying Paint Brushes

Keep in mind that the shape and size of the bristles will affect the outcome of your work. You will also want to consider the shape of the handle. If you are looking for extreme comfort and do not want your brush to roll off of the table then a triangular handle will be a wise decision. However, if you are accustomed to the feel of a pencil, then you may want to opt for a round handle.

You will want to familiarize yourself with the different fibers used for bristles, and how these fibers will allow you to do different things. For instance, a brush that has sable fibers is great for blending paints, whereas synthetic brushes are great for anyone who wants to paint fast. With so many fur and fiber options, it is important to consider your needs before diving into any purchases.

The weight of your brush can affect stability. If it is too light, then you may not be able to utilize it in such a way that you can create the fine details. On the other hand, if it is too heavy, then you may find yourself struggling to even enjoy painting your miniature. Do not get overwhelmed, and when you find a product that works for you stick with it. This is not to say do not ever buy another brand, but find what works with you and add to your tools from there. It will take time and money to build a quality collection that is just for you, but with a little patience, you will have all of the tools necessary to help you create finely detailed work that others will smile upon.

Brush Shapes and Sizes

The size and shape of brushes are basically the same across the board, however, the quality will vary from brand to brand. To get a better understanding of which brushes you will need we will take a look at what each brush is used for and the effects you can expect from the different shapes and sizes.

Size of Brushes

On average brushes range from triple zero to a 12. When it comes to painting miniatures you will want to stay to the smaller end of the scale, and do not use a brush bigger than a 2. If you are using a 2, then it is helpful to understand that this size brush is used for painting a base coat. The smaller the brush is the finer the details will be. If you need to get into tight spaces, then you will want to opt for a 000 brush that can get into all of the tiny little spaces that may be overlooked if you were to use a larger brush.

The shape of the brush will alter the effects of your work. For instance, a flat edge will allow you to draw on fine lines, whereas a fan brush is ideal for brushing on wispy effects that bring that extra wow factor to your art. If you are just starting to paint miniatures, then make sure that you have at least one brush that has bristles that are 8-12mm, size 1 and 2, and at least one brush that has a round shape that is pointed. You will need to add to your collection over time, but this is an ideal starting point for anyone interested in painting miniatures.

When you are buying brushes it is important to consider what each brush has to offer. You are looking for a brush that will allow you to tackle your project with great precision. You will also want to consider how much paint the brush will hold because all paintbrushes are not created equally. The materials used for the bristles will affect how often you will need to reload your brush, and when you are painting this situation can lead to uneven paint that may leave your miniature lacking in the area of quality. Consider if the brush is efficient for your project.

Do not consider cost when it comes to buying a great paintbrush, and do not think just because it is the most expensive brush out there that you are buying the best brush on the market. Each artist uses different tools so it is helpful to understand that what works great for one artist will not mean that it works well for you.

Tips for Maintaining The Quality of Your Brushes

Take your time when you are painting a miniature. The faster you paint, the greater risk you are taking with breaking down the bristles. Practices such as painting too fast can become costly because your brushes will shed and split over time, and we know brushes with this type of breakage allows less than satisfactory work to be achieved.

To maintain the quality of your brush it is important that you do not get paint under the ferrule. The understanding of this idea is that the paint will dry and disrupt the bristles and you will lose the fine point you once enjoyed. When you are loading paint onto your brush, it is important that you do not work too fast and make sure the paint does not go any higher than ¾ of the way up the bristles. Another helpful tip is to make sure that you keep throw-away brushes handy. These brushes are great for mixing paint or getting paint out of a pot. You will find that by keeping some of your trash brushes that you actually save money over time.

Always clean your brushes thoroughly and allow them to completely dry before putting them away. If your brushes come with protective tips, then make sure that you always put them back on before storing them in their protective cases. Do not ever place brushes bristle side down in any container, that is unless you are soaking them. If you make a habit of storing your brushes face down, then you will find that you will destroy the nice pointed tips and reduce the quality of work that you are capable of achieving. If you do need to store your brushes with the bristles facing down, then make sure that you put on the plastic protective covers to ensure that the brushes are not putting weight on the bristles.

If you have a lot of brushes, then you may want to invest in a paintbrush organizer. This investment is well worth it if you are always searching for just the right brush or find that you are always misplacing your brushes. If you do not have the money to invest in an organizer, then you can consider keeping the brushes you use frequently stored safely on a towel or napkin on your desk.

Tips That Will Help You Generate High-Quality Results

  • When your water looks dark or dirty, then it is time to change it. You will be amazed at how this simple step will allow you to get the colors you are looking for as well as clean your brushes a lot more efficiently while in use.
  • Use more than one pot of water. Consider rinsing your brushes according to the shade of paint that you are using. This concept may sound a bit ridiculous, but it will help keep your brushes from cross-contaminating one another.
  • Do not let the paint dry on your brushes because this will diminish the quality of your bristles. You will either have to replace the brush or accept less than acceptable results while painting, and we all know that there is not one single artist who is okay with less than great work.

Frequently Asked Questions And Answers About Paint Brushes Used For Painting Miniatures

What Do I Need To Get Started?

All you need to get started is paintbrushes, paints, and some miniatures. Do not worry if your first project does not turn out very well. Instead, continue to practice to strengthen your skills. Remember that practice will help you get better, and the best way to enjoy your projects is to relax and go easy on yourself. If you do not have a lot of money to invest into practicing, then consider removing old paint and using the same miniature again. This method will allow you to see your progress as well as perfect techniques such as painting on the fine details.

What Is The Best Paint To Use For Painting Miniatures?

This question can provide you with different answers, but it really is a matter of who you ask. However, any response would simply lead you to the answer that the best media is either enamel or acrylic paint. The difference between these paints is the fact that enamels are oil-based paints, whereas acrylics are solvent or water-based. If you are using enamel paint then it is necessary to keep some sort of paint thinner around. If acrylics begin to dry out you simply need to add water to help restore it to a usable state. To make sure that you find the best paint for your project simply read the labels to see what type of results you can expect from the product.

What Supplies Do I Need Besides Just Paints, Brushes, And Miniatures?

If you plan on painting miniatures often, then you will want to invest in some good lighting. If this is not a possibility, then consider placing your desk or table near a well-lit window. You will need a plate or sleek flat surface to mix your paints. If you are limited on funds, then you consider covering a piece of cardboard with foil. You will want to keep plenty of paper towels on hand so you are prepared for any spills, and they also come in handy for wiping your brushes after rinsing between uses.

Make sure that you have a way to vent your area or you may find yourself with a headache due to the noxious fumes that are emitted from the paint. A few extra items that can be beneficial are a magnifying glass, an X-acto knife, toothpicks, and accessories for your miniatures.

Is It Necessary To Prime Every Miniature?

Make sure that you prep your miniature before you spray on any primer. Start by washing the miniature in warm soapy water, and then use your extra tools such as an X-acto knife or sandpaper to ensure there are no rough edges or dull lines. Once you have thoroughly cleaned your miniature glue it to something that you can safely handle but will be easy to detach once you’re finished. A corkscrew or popsicle stick would be ideal because it will allow you ample hand room to handle the miniature without needing to touch it while you are painting.

You should always start with using a primer when you are painting. This is crucial because it will help your paint adhere to the miniature that you are painting. The only time it would be suggested to skip this step would be if you plan on removing the paint and repainting the figurine later. Many artists agree that a spray-on primer such as Krylon is the best way to prime a miniature, however, you must approach your miniature with a light touch if you wish to keep all the fine details visible for painting.

If you use a primer that is white, then your colors will be brighter, a black primer is great if you are needing help with shadows on figurines such as soldiers or skeletons, and a gray primer allows for bright colors to stay bright while allowing for shadows with the darker colors. Consider what your end goal is when choosing which color of primer will work best for your project.

What Do I Do Once I Have Primed My Miniature?

Once you have cleaned and primed your miniature it is time to have a little fun and start bringing your miniature to life. Take your time and pick the colors that will best suit your figurine. Once you have decided on colors, work your way from the top to the bottom of your miniature. Take your time and apply paint in layers. There is no need to worry about all of the small details, but it is very important that you make sure your paint is smooth. When you finish this step it is time to use your skills to bring the miniature to life. You can do this by using different techniques such as glazing and shading.

What Are Different Techniques I Can Use To Bring My Miniature To Life?

  • If you are new to painting miniatures and figurines, then you may not be aware of what drybrushing is and the results it can bring to your work. Drybrushing is a technique that will add some amazing results to your miniatures, however, this method also has the ability to destroy a good paintbrush. Therefore, it is essential that you use an old paintbrush that you are ready to throw away.
  • Washing is a useful technique that will allow you to create depth and make your figurine seem alive. This method is great for making folds in clothing pop. It is important to take your time with this step and wash your miniature until you have achieved the look you are going for. Once you have washed your miniature you can move on to drybrushing. It is important that you drybrush while the paint is still a little damp but not too wet.
  • Your final details will come from highlighting all the little details. Use lighter colored paints to help illuminate your figurine, and use darker ink or paints to outline so you can really make the folds in clothing noticeable.
  • Learn to blend your paints to ensure that all of the details mold together in such a way that you do not have too many fine lines. If you do not blend well, then you may end up with a miniature that seems lifeless.
  • If you want to slightly alter a layer of paint, then glazing is a step you will take. This method will add to the saturation of the color and has the ability to completely change the look of your figurine.

It is helpful to remember that each one of these techniques will take time to perfect. Do not give up and take it easy on yourself. Keep in mind that practice will only help you get better and trial and error is the way we all learn. Try to have fun and allow your miniatures to speak to you in such a way that you are dressing them and bringing them to life one brushstroke at a time.

What Should I do If My Wash Dries Badly?

If you find that your wash does not seem right due to it drying in high places versus low places, then you will want to consider the density of your paint. Look at the surface to see if your figurine is smooth because there is also the possibility that the surface was not smooth, to begin with. If you can see that the surface is smooth, then consider thickening your wash so it does not creep. If it is already too thick, then add a little rubbing alcohol or dish soap to your wash to thin it out. If those methods do not help, then consider adding your wash slowly and let each layer of paint dry before adding the next layer.

When Should I Use Inks On My Miniatures?

Inks are generally used for shading miniatures. Make sure you purchase inks that are pigmented versus transparent. It is important that you always thin your inks unless they are being used for outlining. If you plan on using inks for washing your figurine, then you will want to make sure that you thin them out a lot to ensure the best results. When you opt to use inks for glazing it is pertinent that you mix them carefully, the best mixture is 50% water and 50% ink.

Do I Leave My Base Bare?

As with any artistic endeavor, what you choose for your base is completely up to you. Keep in mind that your base should reflect your miniature. For example, you may want to consider adding a mossy look for a soldier. Get creative with your base because this will add to bringing life to your figurine. It is important that you paint your base before you add any materials to your base to help ensure that it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb. You will need to dilute your glue with 50% water, and for the best results, you need to paint the glue on. Use tools such as tweezers or toothpicks to help you strategically place materials where you want them. Once you have applied the glue and materials allow the base to dry for at least an hour before handling your miniature. The final step is to shake off any excess materials into a tray.

What Do I Need To Do To Strip Paint From My Miniature?

There are different methods that work well for different types of figurines. For instance, you can soak a metal figurine in Pine-Sol for an entire day and then gently rub off the
rest of the paint with a soft-bristled toothbrush. If you are needing to strip paint off of a plastic figurine, then you will want to dilute the Pine-Sol solution with 50% water. To ensure that the plastic is not affected it is ideal that you only soak the figurine for up to 8 hours. If there is any leftover paint, then you will want to soak the figurine in acetone and once again in a 50/50 mixture of Pine-Sol and water.

Believe it or not, brake fluid will help you strip paint. However, you will want to wear gloves when handling your figurine and do not soak it for more than 3 hours. This method has not shown any adverse effects on figurines and does not alter the details of plastic figurines.

What Are The Best Miniatures To Start With?

It is important to consider what you are capable of when you are choosing miniatures to get started. Look carefully at the miniatures that you are considering and evaluate how much detail is present. If you are just starting, then it is wise to opt for a miniature that has very little detail. You can practice techniques that we have previously discussed and perfect your skills. Once you get comfortable with the process you can consider investing in a miniature that has a little more detail. If you take your time and practice, then you will save money as you learn.

Of course the larger the miniature is, the easier it will be to work on. A great starting size is 25mm, this will allow you to see details far easier. Once you have successfully painted a miniature of this size you can move on to smaller miniatures to progress further in perfecting your detailing skills. When you can paint a miniature that is 12mm or 6mm, then you will know that you are on your way to becoming a pro at painting miniatures. If you want to make a minimal investment with your new hobby, then it is helpful to remember that you can always strip the paint from old miniatures and try again.

Here are a few helpful tips to consider when looking for the perfect starter miniature…

  • What size will best suit your needs?
  • Do you prefer working with metal or plastic figurines?
  • Would you rather have a primed or unprimed miniature?
  • What are your interests? For instance, if you like the military, then you may want to consider starting with a miniature soldier.

If you feel overwhelmed starting with a miniature figurine, then consider starting with something a little bigger such as a citadel. You will be able to get comfortable with the painting and detailing before investing further.

How Does Pinning Work?

If you have a miniature that has more than one joint, then you will want to pin it to ensure that it does not fall apart. You will need a small vise, drill, glue, and wire to complete the task of pinning. Cyanoacrylate is an epoxy glue that is recommended for this project. If you can not find this type of glue or it is a bit pricey, then you can use an epoxy adhesive instead.

Start the pinning process by drilling a small hole into the middle of the knee joint. Start with a hole that is about a quarter of an inch. Remember you can always make the hole larger, but it is very hard to make the hole smaller. Therefore, take your time and see what works best for your project. Insert the wire into the hole and cut it off so that it is slightly sticking out of the hole. The wire should fit snugly into the hole, but you should not have to force the wire into the hole.

After you have completed this step you will want to line up the piece you will affix to your miniature. Press it against the wire to create a small indention that will be your guide for drilling the next hole. You can then remove the wire from the hole. Drill a hole into the piece that has the indention, and then cut another piece of wire and stick it into the hole on the miniature. Attach the two pieces together. You will need to trim the wire until you have the two pieces lined up exactly how you want them. Once you are satisfied you can add the glue and use the small vise to hold the pieces together until everything is dried.

What Else Can I Use For Details?

If you do not want to use paint or ink for detailing, then you can use a permanent marker, decals, or a technical pen. There are a variety of decals to choose from so find what best suits your miniature. If you use a permanent marker for the details, then it is recommended to coat the area with a light layer of Elmer’s glue before adding any type of lacquer. This step is crucial if you want to ensure that the marker does not bleed when you apply lacquer to your miniature.

Why Should I Apply An Overcoat?

A clear coat, also known as an overcoat is necessary if you want to protect all of your hard work. Keep in mind that the overcoat you choose will affect the outcome of our painted miniature. If you choose a glossy overcoat, then your figurine will have a somewhat shinier finish. You will also have to decide if you are comfortable painting on the overcoat or if it would be easier to spray it on. Apply at least 3 coats of the overcoat to ensure that you have safely protected all of your great work.

Quick Reference To Compare The Best Brushes For Painting Miniatures:

1. Series 10 – Da Vinci Maestro – The Size 1 paintbrush made by Maestro is great for watercolors. The brush has a small pointed tip that makes it perfect for adding details or touch-ups to your miniatures.
2. Series 7 – Winsor & Newton – Series 7 comes with 4 different brushes that are great for watercolors. The kit is a great starter that comes with brushes that range in size from 0-3 which makes this a great starter set that has everything you need for painting miniatures.
3. Mk3 Paint Brushes by Broken Toad – The Mk3 brush set has 4 brushes ranging in size from 0-3. You will have everything you need to get started painting miniatures. You can use these brushes with paints as well as watercolors.
4. Golden Maple – The Golden Maple set comes with 10 brushes that range in size. The smallest brush is a 0 which is perfect for adding tiny details, and the largest brush is an 8. You can use watercolors, oils, and acrylics with these brushes.
5. The Army Painter – The Army Painter set comes with 10 brushes that range in size. You will certainly have a brush to suit every need when painting your miniatures. With this set you can use watercolors, inks, and paints.
6. Detail Set by D’Artisan Shoppe – This set offers 12 paintbrushes, sizes range from 0000 to 1. If you are just getting started, then this set is worth looking into.
7. Artbrush Tower – This 7 piece set is perfect for watercolors and acrylics. This would be a great starter kit that has everything you could possibly need to paint miniatures. With such a low price this set would be a great gift for a loved one.
8. Brushes made by Games Workshop – This set comes 6 brushes and 1 texture tool that range in size. This is a great set for any skill level and can be used with multimedia.
9. 8404 Series by Raphael – The size 0 brush is great for painting, but you would want to find a smaller brush for fine details.
10. Series S by Artis Opus – You will receive 4 brushes that range in size from 0000 to 1 which makes this a perfect set for adding details. You can use watercolors, inks, and acrylics with this paintbrush set.
11. Paint Brush Set by DACO – The DACO miniature set comes with 15 brushes that are great for watercolors, acrylics, and gouache. The brushes are not too expensive and have pretty much everything you could possibly need for painting miniatures.
12. Transon Watercolor Set – Included in this set are 7 brushes ranging in size from 4/0 to 3. You can use acrylics, watercolors, and oils with this brush set.
13. Micro Detail Set by Nicpro – There are 15 brushes in this set made by Nicpro. Sizes range from 4/0 to 0, therefore you will have everything you need for painting miniatures.
14. Fine Paint Brush Set by Virtuoso – The Virtuoso set has 15 brushes that are usable with acrylics, watercolors, and oils. This set is a great starter or great to give as a gift.
15. Professional Detail Set by Crafts and Colors – The color starter set has 15 brushes that are great for adding fine details and handling bigger jobs such as highlighting. The brushes can be used with acrylics, oils, and watercolors.

Before you purchase any paintbrushes it is wise to consider your needs. Invest into a brush set that is affordable, offers high-quality brushes, and will be easy to work with. If you are new to painting miniatures, then take your time building a great paintbrush collection.

Remember to keep old paintbrushes to use for projects such as mixing paint and drybrushing so you can maintain the quality of your good brushes.

The list provided is meant for educational purposes and does not rank brushes by quality. You will have to work by trial and error to learn which brushes work best for you. However, you can use this list as a starting point to find an affordable brush set that will allow you to get started painting miniatures.

Remember that not all brushes are the same and may differ from company to company. With so many options on the market, you are sure to find a brand that you prefer. Consider the fact that products are constantly changing and you can miss out on great quality brushes if you do not try a new brand from time to time.

Most importantly, remember to have fun and work slowly while painting your miniatures. If you follow this advice, then you are sure to watch your work progress over time. Do not allow negative feedback regarding your work stop you from pursuing your passion and you will surely see your work progress from amateur to expert in no time at all.

Final Roundup

Here is a list of the top 6 paintbrushes to help you decide which brushes offer the best investment:

1. The Army Painter
2. Paint Brush Set by DACO
3. Series 7 – Windsor & Newton
4. Detail Set by D’Artisan Shoppe
5. Micro Detail Set by Nicpro
6. Professional Detail Set by Crafts and Colors

5/5 - (1 vote)
JA Padilla is a writer and gamer by heart. Dedicated to helping people in both the gaming and tech industry, he spends his time writing informative, detailed how-to's, and in-depth guide articles since 2011.

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