Painting tips please

I am finally getting around to use my form2 for non work models, but things to paint.
Before I embark in a huge project I am trying to learn the ropes of painting models and so far all my tries are a huge fail.
For practical reasons (I have no workshop) I am limited to hand pain with possible using spray in the garder for a primer. but using airbrush is not possible.
So far I tried painting by hand test models in gray resin and … well they are horrible. I used acrylic pain (pure and diluted) and it is simply not attaching or showing granules or brush stripes. Probably due to all sort of newbie mistake.

Can somebody shares some tips with a painting newbie?


While I’m sure some will give you educated advice here, ultimately you should head up to wargaming forums which is probably where you’ll find the most information. For more “classic” information I would look at the Citadel paint guide (Citadel is a sub brand of GamesWorkshop), 15 years ago I learned to paint miniatures with these guides… unfortunately I don’t do any of that anymore, so I can’t give you direct advice.

Everything I print ends up painted- I mostly use airbrush now but I have done my fair share of brush painting. In general you will need:

  • Your models
  • Primer (either rattle-can or brush applied), color is not very important at this point but I prefer light grey. Be careful when applying it not to let it cake on, use fast passes and multiple coats to get good coverage.
  • Model acrylic paints - acrylics meant for canvass painting will not work well on miniatures. I like GW’s Citadel range, especially for their gold metallic and selection of washes. Vallejo, another option, is a bit cheaper and just as good for the most part linky but as long as it’s model paint it should be ok.

Once you have a model primed start simple. It’s pretty easy to add details as you improve, don’t try to take on everything all at once.

If you are seeing brush strokes, you are probably not watering down your paints enough. With only a few exceptions paint should not be used straight from the pot to the model. The goal is a mix that gives good coverage, but doesn’t pool or run. I usually start around 1:3 water to paint ratio and go from there. Use your brush to move paint to a palette, add water, mix, then clean your brush off before dipping into the mixture applying it to the model. You may need to do more than one coat depending on the color, but the result will be smooth and consistent.

If possible, while you are first learning, stay away from large areas of bright colors - these are more difficult to get smooth and consistent, especially on to a dark primer color. If you must end up bright, start with an intermediate color and layer up to it. IE black -> grey -> white, or black -> brown -> yellow .

Try youtube for some tutorials, everyone who has ever painted models started where you are, more or less,

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To add to what Sigmazero said, you really want use a primer first and foremost. Acrylics (and most other paints will not stick to the resin very well on their own. The primer is designed for that very purpose, help with paint adhesion. Also you should use a flat primer. Once dry, it will help you see any imperfections in the model (like small support connection points you may have missed), and you can fix them before you start painting.

I’ve used primers from Vallejo, Citadel and Armory with good success.

Something else to consider is the paint opacity. Some paints contain more pigment than others, and are designed to go onto the model as your base coat. They can be applied with great coverage in only a couple of layers. Citadel paints labeled as “base” are such paints, Vallejo makes a set called “Extra Opaque”, Reaper has their “High Density/HD” series.

Once your base color is applied, you can vary the color intensity and shading by using the other layering paints. Shadows are easily applied using washes, which are very transparent, thinned out paints designed to run into the recesses and crevices of the model creating darker shades.

Lighter versions of the base color can be used on the edges to apply highlights. There are a couple of techniques that are used for highlights, but one of the most common one is dry brushing. Use a fairly blunt brush, dip it into a paint, then remove most of the paint by dabbing it on a paper towel. with the paint nearly dry on the brush, you lightly “dust” the surface, and all the raised areas will pick up just enough paint to look like a highlight or edge reflection.

Citadel/Games Workshop has done hundreds of YouTube videos showing how to paint their models. Check them out under “Warhammer TV”

Good luck, and don’t get discouraged if the first models don’t look that great. It takes time to get it right.


I’ve painted a number of resin miniatures/models between designs I’ve created and printed on my Form 2 in addition to purchasing miniatures that were printed on an SLA printer by the seller.

I’ve found that traditional model painting techniques such as airbrushing, color washes for details, masking out markings and so forth have been very useful for larger mechanical designs. Luckily, there are tons of YouTube videos covering model painting techniques much like the miniature painting tips mentioned above.

I have a series of blog posts that have covered the creation process of some models from original concept art through painting the finished models that you might find useful. Here’s the first one in case you’re interested:

Good luck!

Thanks alll!

I have a similar question. I am happy with the primer and don’t wish to paint over it. Can I put a matte sealer straight over primer? Or is that a no no for some reason?

You should definitely be able to put a matte sealant over the primer to protect it. You will find that gloss sealants typically provide a thicker, more protective coat. You may want to consider sealing it with gloss first, letting that dry completely, then applying another coat of something like Testor’s DullCote to knock down the shine.

Thanks for the tip!