Tutorials / Tools


There it is! A brand new miniature! Sparkling in pure silver... but totally covered with molding lines and unassembled! ;)

So first the miniature has to be trimmed and cleaned:

I use a very long and sharp cutter from Martor. The blades can be exchanged and because of the long tip it is no problem to reach even difficult areas.
From time to time I need fine files which I bought in a shop for model making.
Wire cutting pliers are necessary to remove CAREFULLY big amounts of tin or the pieces of tin under the feet of miniatures if you don't want to put them on normal slot bases.
A hand driller is very useful if you want to "pin" a mini:
That means, that the two parts are not only glued together. Instead they are connected with a pin.
You have to drill a hole in one piece where it will later meet the other part, insert a little pin into the hole and press the parts together. Now you can see a little dent on the other part, there drill another one. If you glue the parts with the pin together (with superglue, epoxy resin or green stuff) the connection will be much stronger.
Also you can fix a miniature with a pin in the foot to the hand driller to paint it from all sides (you will see that you can better move around the miniature with the brush to reach difficult areas).
I use steel pins which are 1.5 cm long to connect the parts.


Small parts can be glued with superglue, I use a gel because it will not flow over the miniature and ruin it and it is very strong. You must be careful not to use too much of it because than it will not hold.
I pin the heavy parts like dragon wings and glue them together with epoxy resin. This is a glue made of two components which must be mixed in equal parts. It stinks very much (so better open the window!) but it is stronger than the superglue and small gaps can be filled with it. The epoxy resin I use hardens in 5 minutes, so you can move the parts a little bit until they fit perfectly. After one hour the epoxy resin is totally dry.

Big parts that can not slip easily but may have larger gaps (like horse parts) are glued with Green Stuff. You can re-model the gaps if the parts doesn't fit properly together.

Modelling tools:

A pair of tweezers and a few modelling tools will help you to hold small parts during the gluing and to re-model the gaps which are glued with Green Stuff.


I was searching for very matt paint which should not be too expensive but with much pigments to make it possible to dilute them very much. ;)
By chance I found the Duncan paints during a painting workshop for ceramic figures. The paint is very thick and a lot of water is necessary to dilute them before painting, but it is so much paint (59 ml), that a bottle will last very long.
Because of the high amount of pigments it is possible to make washes and glazes, the flaw is that it is very hard to find them here in Germany. Maybe you can find a shop near you if you visit the Duncan homepage.

Paint mediums:

I use a Retarder made by Lascaux to slow the drying process of the paints. You can "push" the paint on the miniature a little bit longer around, until it is in the place where you want it to be.

To increase the flow and transparency and to gain a matt finish of the paints I use an "Acrylic Fluid Matt Medium" made by Winsor & Newton. I find it easier to apply the paints in a thin and even layer with it (the paint provides not so much resistance against the brush). Straight and very thin lines will be easier to draw with this medium (in my opinion!).

I make the following mixture out of this two mediums:
40 ml distilled Water
  5 ml Retarder and
  5 ml Fluid Matt Medium.
You must try your own mixture because I think that not everyone is painting the same style and with the same paints so it may vary. You have not to paint with it but it helps me very much!!



My favourite brush is made by "DaVinci" and comes from the line ĄMaestro Ė Tobolski Ė Kolinskiď.
You just have to follow a few hints to take care of your brushes. Only than can they stay sharp at the tip like my brushes and the bristles will not break too fast.
The paint shall never touch the end of the bristles where the metal part begins, if the paint reaches this point clean the brush immediately. If the paint dries in this place the bristles will stick together and the tip will split up. This doesn't matter if you use old or cheap brushes for mixing the paint. ;)
To clean your brushes: mostly it is OK just to clean them with warm water (not too hot!) after a painting session but your brushes will thank you very much if you use a little bit of soap to clean the bristles. Just make a little bit of foam in your hand and clean the brush carefully.
My favourite brush!
The DaVinci Maestro!!

To brush parts of the mini a harder brush is required, I use an old synthetic brush.

More useful tools:

- the small box in which you can buy a new film for your camera filled with sand or little stones is very useful if you want to paint miniatures when they are already glued to the base. You just have to fix the base to the bottom of it with double-sided adhesive tape (maybe you can find one with fabric in it, that can be removed without leaving marks), so you donít have to touch the mini while painting it (because that can damage the paint) and it is a very comfortable handle for long painting hours! The mini can be removed without problems if you are careful.
- paper towels come in useful if you spill water or paint and to remove spare paint and water from your brush.
- a washable strong underlay should cover your work space. Spilled paint will not cause panic and stress if you work on an expensive desk. ;) In addition to this it protects the table against dents and cuts (but nevertheless be careful with your fingers!!)
- only a few things are necessary to create nice looking bases! Sand and wood glue will do if you just start. But to make bases which look more realistic, you have to collect all kinds of stuff: small stones, different grass types, slaps of corc and so on. A shop which sells model railway accessories or a walk through a forest will be a very good resource for ideas and materials. Just look around you! What can be useful, what do you want to build?

The working space:

You donít need much space to get started! Something that I think is very important, is a workspace which you donít have to clear after painting, like a kitchen table. It costs lots of time to clear the space and is not so much fun and can get very boring.
Take care, that you have enough light! I paint with a daylight halogen lamp and a 60 watt light bulb. This gives a lot of light, which is not to bright and cold or to yellow.
All my tools are stored in boxes or drawers near the working space.They are near if you need them for a spontaneous idea but donít bother you while you need space to paint. One very important thing: NEVER place your drinking glass next to the glass with water, which you use to clean your brushes!! It happens very fast that you dip your brush in your coffee/tea! ;)
Do you feel comfortable, is it warm, bright, and do you hear good music, nothing important is waiting to be done?? Than you have the best conditions for a nice painted miniature! :)

Storage and transport of miniatures:

We removed our unpainted miniatures from the blisters to safe space in our cupboard and put them in labelled little plastic bags which can be relocked. We put a few boxes and drawers in our cupboard and stored the miniatures sorted after companies in them. Now we can find them very fast und each miniature does not need much space. I heard of a kind of tin-oxidation that destroys the miniatures and I hope that our method prevents them from being eaten by that because our bags are very airtight.
Painted miniatures are more difficult to store. You can put them in cardboard box that you cover/outlay with foam, or put them on a double sided tape in little glass showcases. This way you can show them in your living room. If the lid fits well and if there is no change that it will slip over the mini or drop off, you can transport the minis in the little glass boxes too.
The dice boxes made by Chessex come in very handy if you have small 2,5 cm miniatures. The problem is, that you canít buy them easily here in Germany, but they protect the minis very good against dust or too intrusively fingers! ;)
Tutorials / Tools