Paints and Bases

Painting Your Own Miniatures

If you are looking to get started in miniature painting, there are some essential tools you will need. From one painter to another, these are the brands and tools I actually use and would recommend to anyone looking to get into the hobby.

Recommended Starter Sets

If you are looking for a quick and easy way to get started painting, a start set is a great option! These starter sets all include paints, brushes and miniatures along with detailed instructions on basic techniques. I have personally used all the brands listed below and highly recommend them.

The paints are excellent quality and hold well. The miniatures in the starter set will be lower quality, but that is okay to start with. You wouldn’t want to ruin an expensive piece while first practicing your skills.

Below are the best two options for learning to paint. I would suggest getting both at some point as they teach different skills and have different colors. They also come in a nice carrying case (which I still use!)

Reaper Miniatures: Learn To Paint Bones Kit

A basic starter kit, great for the beginner painter, with the following included:

  • 11 Bottles of MSP Core Colors, MSP HD, and MSP Bones Paints (Leather Brown, Pure Black, Dragon White, Blade Steel,Polished Silver, Mountain Stone, Harvest Brown, Naga Green, Desert Sand, Candlelight Yellow, Dragon Blue)
  • 2 MSP Paint Brushes (#2 Flat, #0 Round)
  • 3 Bones Miniatures (Skeletal Archer, Orc Marauder, Mangu, Evil Warrior)
  • 1 Easy to follow Instruction Guide by award winning painter Rhonda Bender.

Reaper Learn to Paint: Layer Up! Bones Paint Set

The next step up, this kit has even more colors for layering and highlighting. This kit includes:

  • 1 Easy to follow Instruction Guide by award winning painter Rhonda Bender
  • 2 MSP Paint Brushes: (08504) #1 Round and (08506) #3/0
  • Round 3 Bones Miniatures: Anirion, Wood Elf Wizard, Hajad, Pirate, and Ingrid, Female Gnome
  • 1 Empty MSP paint bottle
  • 11 Bottles of MSP Core Colors: (Marigold Yellow, Dark Highlights, Heather Blue, Dragon Red, Bleached Linen, Ebony Flesh, Scholar Flesh, Dragon Bronze, Filigree Silver, Brilliant Red, and Woodland Brown.)

As your skills increase, you will want to start experimenting with ink washes, metallic colors and effects. The next step is to upgrade your paint set and brushes.

Best Paints and Brushes

If you are ready to upgrade your paints and brushes, or simply want to try something new, these paints and brushes are my favorites. After trying many brands, both expensive and budget, I have found these are the best for the price.

Acrylic Model Paint Set with 50 Bottles of Non Toxic Model Paints - Mega Paint Set 3

This set includes 50 Warpaints:

  • 39 nontoxic acrylic miniatures paints
  • 5 metallics
  • 4 Quickshade Washes 
  • 2 Effects paints
  • 1 triangular-handled Regiment detail paint brush
  • A detail-rich painting guide

I love that these paint bottles have an easy squeeze top and the paint flow smoothly and evenly onto figures. The washes and effect paints in this set will really take your miniatures to the next level. This set is a great deal and certainly worth the money for dedicated painters.

Nicpro Micro Detail Paint Brush Set of 15

These are the brushes I personally use. This set of 15 miniature paint brushes are precise and high quality. Here are some of my favorite details about these brushes:

  • Ergonomic and Triangular Handles– Well balanced, steady control with precision point for detail painting. These handles keep hand fatigue at bay for longer stretches compared to normal skinny handles. No more aching hands means this will be your go-to quality professional brush. Plus no rolling off the table too!
  • Premium Quality Hair Brushes for Smooth Strokes– The bane of any miniature painter, fraying tips can ruin a good paint job. These 15 miniature brushes give the right fine detail brush for intricate jobs. Pointed rounds, flats, and liner/rigger from sizes 0000 to 1; that’s perfect for D&D miniatures
  • Free Brush Holder Organizer – Portable container plastic case sits nicely on your desk keeping your brushes organized. This miniature painting kit is convenient to quickly grab and go for traveling. Comes with a dust bag too for added protection.

Games Workshop Warhammer 40K Citadel Painting Handle

I have also found that having something to either hold or grip your miniatures as you are painting avoids messes and smudges as you paint.

This painting handle makes it much, much easier to hold your miniatures securely while painting them, allowing you to find the perfect angle with which to access the fiddly bits while avoiding the inevitable hand cramps that come when holding a base for a long time. 

Under 20 dollars and extremely useful if you paint miniatures, this handle is a must have!

Model Tools Kit

While technically made for model car adaptations, this tool set is really useful for miniature painting. Often times, miniatures will not be perfect out of the box. They will have mold lines, rough areas and extra plastic that needs cut. This handle tool set has everything you need to make sure your miniatures are in perfect painting condition!

Zap-A-Gap Adhesives

Got a crack or a gap in your figure? It happens more often than you might think, but if you have Zap-a-Gap, it’s a quick and easy fix. A great and easy secret to have on hand, Zap-a-Gap has fixed many an issue with my miniatures!