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How To Choose Your First Miniatures To Start Painting?

You are likely to love this comprehensive guide about miniature painting and the numerous benefits it offers if you are an avid pen and paper DND player and your group has decided to use miniatures. Or you’re heavily into Warhammer lore videos, and you’ve finally decided to take the plunge.

It is also possible that you’re a big Gunpla fan, and you’ve decided you want to take the next step.

Regardless, you’ve decided that you want to take a dive into your preferred hobby, and you want to start painting miniatures.

Often times during streams and under my posts, I get a bunch of questions about picking the first miniatures to start painting.

If you are looking for a quick answer, this may not be the post for you because I uphold certain philosophies for picking your first miniatures, especially when it comes to the first models to paint.

So, in my opinion, this is what you should keep in mind when picking your first models to start miniature painting:

1. It is your hobby. Your army. Your story. Your character.

Painting Miniatures

Models = Spend earned cash.

So, in my eyes, that leaves everything to you.

Dungeons and Dragons are very open in this, giving you all the freedom to create the character as you see fit. Find a fitting model, purchase it, obtain it, and throw a nat20 to seduce the shopkeeper. In regards to creativity, you are very free.

Warhammer 40000 and Age of Sigmar are different beasts. There is a lot of settled lore and so many Hosts, Lodges, chapters, dynasties, hive fleets, and knight worlds that have been fully or partly fleshed out that there’s a lot to pick from.

If you are new to painting miniatures and you choose these humongous universes to settle upon, my honest advice would be to start off with one of the existing groups that are more popular.

“Why?! You just to – “ Hole up, wait a minute. I know. But there are tons of tutorials on how to paint the more prominent names within the settled lore, and THUS a great way to start learning how to commence painting those miniatures.

Invest small, no more than 60 bucks, pick a faction you like the aesthetic of (how they look), and go with that. Get the most basic paints you would need to get started or use in a tutorial you’ve watched and copy first.

This way, you will get a hold of all the techniques, jargon, and styles. If you’re just into the painting miniatures part. Continue this each time until you’ve mastered at least the basics.

When it comes to playing games, get started with a friend or visit your local Warhammer shop or Friendly Local Gaming Store. They’ll be more than happy to get you into the hobby.

Gundam, I am getting started on that myself soon. So I owe you an answer to that.

2. Get a throw-away-models-mindset to practice

Whenever I get a box of models to paint for myself, it’s often times Warhammer and often times 3 to 10 models. I view at least a few of these as practice models to practice a particular technique or style within the miniature painting.

You’ve got a bunch. And especially Warhammer lends itself perfectly to this as long as you stay close to the original scheme you’ve picked.

Games Workshop has a mini of-the-month as well, which is free. Reaper Bones has cheap models, and 3D printing is always an option.

3. Give yourself time to grow.

Looking back at my first models, I puke in my mouth a little bit. But it’s a good thing.

It means I’ve grown from the ‘brush-hit-model-color-do-wew!’ to ‘How should I approach this?’.

This has taken me over six years and much trial and error.

I’ve misplaced highlights and edge highlights as thick as a four-lane road. Mastering mini-painting takes time, practice, and a lot of failures. Be open to feedback, join a discord, and paint with friends.

Allow yourself to screw up, sit in a corner and weep for a little while, reflect, learn, and try again until you’ve mastered it. I used to paint for an hour every day to grow. It was a hard demand for me. And I am not saying you should.

But time = experience.

So, devote a moment in your agenda to mini-painting if you wish to learn and experience more.

4. Pick a goal for a period

Painting Miniatures

Dedicate certain periods to mastering certain styles or techniques of miniature painting. There is a huge variety of resources online that you can use to master certain techniques.

One doesn’t work?

There’s bound to be more out there. Follow tutorials, and check out Patreon. Perhaps a certain creator is not your style. There’s bound to be another.

Go forth, look, and set a goal!

5. Get expendable tools when you’re starting

When starting out, get yourself some inexpensive stuff. Starting off with a €30,- brush would not be the way to go if you don’t understand brush care, for example. And you don’t need every paint available on the market.

Start off small and teach yourself the basics. As you paint, you get more experienced, and you’ll discover the countless questions you start to ask yourself. Listen to that voice (except the negative ones!!).

If you’re confident enough, you’ll be able to get more paints. If you’ve learned how to maintain your brushes, expand to better ones. And perhaps the tools that you’ve got in the beginning are good enough? Who knows.

I’ve been using Citadel S layer for ages simply because I’ve come to understand it.

Now! Go! Enjoy your mini painting and start your adventure!


What is a miniature painting?

Miniature painting is the process of painting different types of models and small sculptures. It is a popular hobby that you can master with practice over time.

How do you make a mini painting?

Miniature painting is often referred to as mini painting. You can make a mini painting with the help of brushes, miniatures, acrylic paint, paint thinner, and primer.

How to learn miniature painting?

You can learn miniature painting by following tutorials of experienced miniature painters. Moreover, there are various online resources available in the form of written guides, videos, and full-fledged courses that you can use to learn miniature painting. Most importantly, you must practice to become good at miniature painting.

Is there money in miniature painting?

Yes, it is possible to make money via miniature painting. If you are good at it, you can become a freelance miniature painter. You can also sell your own painted miniatures to make money.

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