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Published on June 26th, 2015 | by Luke Turpeinen


How To Paint Miniatures

Back when the first Bones Kickstarter launched, I felt that I would be pretty well taken care of for minis in the years to come. The plan was to start with some of the boring miniatures to use as practice and then get on to painting the cool ones after I knew what I was doing.

That plan works well in theory, but in practice that means that your initial enthusiasm is a bit curbed because you’re painting farmers with pitchforks instead of the colossal undead dragon. But such is life.  So far I’ve worked through a good chunk of the collection (that’s my Knight of Lordearon in the picture above), but there is still a lot left to go.

Last week, we got in a load of minis from two different Kickstarters that we backed about two years ago. As I got excited to paint them, I realized that I hadn’t touched my Bones minis in a while and I was still working my way towards that undead dragon.

I decided to go on a hunt for tutorials and YouTube videos about how to paint miniatures, and these are the videos that really helped me to understand certain painting concepts.

What’s it like?

Kristina Horner doesn’t usually vlog about tabletop subjects but in this video she shows what it’s like to paint minis with a mix of people of differing skill levels. She also has a mini painting party, which is something I’m going to have to start organizing for our friends.

The Basics

NPC Cast has what I feel is the best basics guide to painting minis. The video is easy to understand, gets to the point and gives a great example. These techniques are used on every model you paint, so pay attention.



Painting an Adventurer

This is a great video by Lester Bursley who goes over how he approaches an elf adventurer. While he base coats with an airbrush, most of the work he does is with a brush. While his videos are long, they are very in depth and you get to see his entire process. His tips that he gives over the top of the video are great as well.

Basing Your Mini

Basing has never been my strong suit, but I’ve always appreciated other people’s well done bases. I’m glad I have miniGirl here to show a bunch of different ways to base you minis. She’s done a whole series just on basing (including: crystal, snow, toxic waste, everything) but this one was my favorite.

Advanced Work

While the artist at SchnauzerFace uses an airbrush for laying down base colors, this video is still very instructive. Look at where he adds highlights and shadows, those principles are easily applied with a brush as well. I especially like his tips on rusty metals, and the way he uses washes not just to coat an entire mini, but with precision.


Do you have a favorite minis painting tutorial or series? Let us now on Twitter or in the comments below!

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About the Author

Luke Turpeinen

was raised by lava wolves deep in the Vesuvian sulfur jungles. He played board games with his family often. The discovery of games like Risk led him to the 1993 TSR classic Dragon Strike which fueled a life long love of games. Luke tends to like games that have high production values, quick-to-learn rules and hard-to-master strategies. Current Favorite Game: Argent: the Consortium.

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