We used the Army Painter range of paints for this tutorial. They have great surface coverage and a wide range of colors. Make sure to shake the paint pot before you apply to your palette to make sure it’s properly mixed. Once you’ve applied the paint to your palette, you will need to thin your paints down with a small amount of water. About a 1:1 ratio will work for most paints.
Due to the size of this miniature, you are going to want to use a smaller size brush with a fine point. The majority of this miniature was painted with a Size 0 brush, going down to a Size 00 or even 000 for the ultra-fine details.
If this is your first time painting a miniature, then this probably seems a bit intimidating. No worries! You can stick to Step 1,2, and 3 and then base the miniature. Practice makes perfect and you’ll be up and running in no time.
The most important thing to remember when painting miniatures is HAVE FUN!
Step 1 - First Layer: Apply your Base colors
Fur – Oak Brown
Claws – Necromancer Robes
Armour – Rough Iron
Straps – Matt Black
We start by blocking out all of the different areas of the miniature with a dark basecoat. These colors act as the shadows for the final colors, and make them a bit easier to apply.
Trinket the bear is mostly fur, so this is where we will start. Block in all the areas of fur with Oak Brown. We want to apply a couple of thin coats of paint instead of one thick one so we don’t obscure any of the details.
After that we will start blocking in the other colors, concentrating on keeping them neat and as smooth and solid layers. Take your time here as this step is the foundation for the rest of the painting guide.
Step 2 - Second Layer: Brighten up your Base Coat
Fur – Dirt Spatter
Claws – Dark Stone
Armour – Gun Metal
Straps – Cultist Robes
Now that we have our different areas all blocked out, we will start to add depth to the colors by brightening them up. Concentrating on the raised areas and sections that would be exposed to more light, we start to apply the brighter versions of our base colors. For Trinket we want to concentrate on the raised areas of the fur, the muzzle and lip of the face, the top areas of the armour and the edges of the straps.
In this case we want to use these highlights to start adding to the texture of Trinkets fur. By gently dry brushing the fur with the Dirt Spatter, we are leaving some of the previous Oak Brown layer visible, giving the fur a more 3d effect.
If you’ve not done dry brushing before, check out our previous articles for an in depth explanation on how it’s done.
When applying these second layers, we want to be careful to leave a small amount of our basecoat in the folds and recesses of the area we are working on to act as a shadow. At this stage we don’t need to be applying as much paint to the miniature as when we did the basecoats, so be careful not to overload your brush.
Step 3 - Third Layer: Applying Some Washes
Fur – Strong Tone
Claws – Dark Tone
Armour – Dark Tone
Straps – Dark Tone
These washes will help to add shade to the miniature and increase the definition on highly detailed areas. Mix them well, but don’t water them down too much or they can dry leaving a very chalky finish.
The Strong Tone will really boost the definition of Trinkets fur, working in conjunction with the highlights to pick out all the texture.
Due to the nature of washes, they are much thinner than the paint we have been using and can be harder to control. Don’t overload your brush or allow the wash to pool in the creases as it can run into other areas of the miniature.
Step 4 – Layer: Re-defining the Highlights
Fur – Dirt Spatter
Claws – Cultist Robes
Armour – Plate Mail Metal
Straps – Cultist Robes
After we have applied the washes to add depth and enhance the details of the areas, we can do a layer of color to brighten it up again.
Just like before, we want to concentrate these colors on the raised areas/details of the miniature such as the very top portions of the fur, and the sharp edges of the straps and claws.
With the armour, we want to start brightening it up and applying this highlight to the areas that will catch the most light. A good way to see these areas is to hold the miniature up to a bright light. The areas that look the brightest are where you need to be painting the Plate Mail Metal.
Congratulations! You’ve just painted Trinket the Bear!
Step 5 – Final Highlights and Finishing Touches
Fur – Werewolf Fur
Claws – Castle Grey
Armour – Shining Silver
Straps – Filthy Cape
This is an extra stage where we can choose to go back to the miniature and do another layer of highlights on the uppermost raised areas or sharpest edges. We can also pick out small details, and add to things like the eyes and the teeth.
Eyes – Spaceship Exterior (small dot in the centre of the eye)
This is an extra stage where you can choose to add another layer of highlights or go back to the miniature and pick out small details, paint in eyes/mouth, or enhance the details by taking the Size 00 brush with Dark Stone to carefully paint in the lines between each different area. This technique is known as “black lining” or “lining in”. This will really add to the contrast for the black areas.
With your miniature painted, you can choose how you would like it to be based. It’s perfectly fine to leave the base black, but just make sure to clean up the edge and give the base a nice even coat of black paint to really help the miniature look finished. Alternately, you can use sand and glue or pumice gel to give the base some earthy texture and then paint it to match whichever setting you like. You can then add some static grass or grass tufts to bring the base to life.
If you plan to use this miniature for gaming, it is a good idea to seal it with either a spray-on sealer such as Testor Dullcote or Army Painter Anti-Shine. There are brush-on options available if the idea of using a spray can on your freshly painted miniature is something you’re wary of. In either case, be sure to follow the application instructions provided. Always test your sealer before applying it to your miniature to make sure it cures correctly.
We would love to see your results, so post them up on Twitter using #CrittersPaint hashtag!