General Tools for Warhammer Painting

Written by alistair wilkinson
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General Tools for Warhammer Painting
Paints, brushes, knives and more--there are plenty of tools to get the job done. (Martin Poole/Lifesize/Getty Images)

The finely detailed models created by Citadel Miniatures for the Games Workshop tabletop battle games, Warhammer Fantasy Battle and Warhammer 40000, deserve lots of care and attention from your brushes. A well-painted army can bring your battlefield alive as soldiers in shining armour, green-skinned orcs and huge dragons or alien monsters stride across your tabletop.

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Plastic Cutters, Knives, Files and Glue

Warhammer miniatures come unassembled. They are made of either metal or plastic. For the metal models, you will need at least a file and perhaps a small razor saw as well. The models will have excess metal that needs removing and mould lines that should be filed down. To build metal models, super glue is suitable for most fixings. If you have a heavy model, it may require pinning. For this process, you need a modelling drill and a suitable pinning material, such as brass rods. Plastic models are supplied on sprues. To remove the many parts, you'll need plastic cutters and a craft knife. The file should be kept handy as well. Plastic glue is fine for all of the fixings.


Your models need to be undercoated before you start to paint them. An aerosol primer in black or white should be used to speed up the process. Several models can be sprayed in one go. Allow at least an inch between each model. You need a large box to contain the aerosol. Turn it on its side and arrange your miniatures inside. Move the aerosol up and down the line of miniatures until there is an even coat. Don't get too close, as this may cause the paint to puddle on your miniatures and obscure detail.


The fine detail of the miniatures requires a good quality brush such as those made by Citadel and supplied by Games Workshop. There are varying sizes from fine detail, which allows you to add detail to faces, clothing or weaponry, to the large brush, ideal for getting a quick coat onto larger models, such as monsters or tanks. There also are brushes for dry brushing and stippling, important techniques that provide a quick and effective finish to your models.


You should use water-based acrylic paints for your models, as these dry quickly are nontoxic and are waterproof once dry. There are plenty of paint sets available from Games Workshop; all of their colours can be bought separately. The colours vary from the well-established colour range and metallic paints to foundation paints, paints with extra pigment that are designed to be used in one coat and washes, a thinner inklike paint that allows you to "wash" your miniatures in colour.


The bases of your models shouldn't be forgotten. At the very least, apply a coat of a suitable colour, such as green. You'll need PVA glue and an old brush to apply it. Cover your base with glue and dip it into a suitable material. This choice might be as simple as salt or sand that can be painted to suit or specific modelling supplies, such as Citadel's Static Grass, Burnt Grass or Glade Grass.

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