Thinning Paint and Blending
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Thread: Thinning Paint and Blending

  1. #1

    Default Thinning Paint and Blending

    Hi I am currently new to the painting of miniatures and am seeking some advice on the subject of thinning paint and blending. On the first few miniatures that I painted I did not thin the paint, highlight, or blend. I currently just finished my third miniature and started to use highlights, but still haven’t thinned the paint or blended. I think I am starting to get the highlighting thing down but when it comes to thinning the paint or blending I am totally in the dark. Any tips on the subject of blending thinning paint or even highlight will be greatly appreciated, as I am trying to take my painting to the next level. Thanks

    (The first two pictures are my first ever painted miniatures and the third is the one I just finished)
    Attached Images Attached Images          

  2. #2



    Must say those are a better start than I got off to. I wasn't that clean for a good while.

    At your stage I reckon you could benefit from the basics. A general how to guide so those early steps are trod with confidence. I don't have a link for one I'm afraid, but I dare say a bit of Google Fu could uncover some don out of love of the hobby, and more exhaustive ones in pdf or printed form for a fee.

    On highlighting/blending in particular you're more in luck. There's a sticky thread here containing a helluva lot of links to threads on specific issues like those.
    If one of those helps but could inspire a question to post don't sit on it, post away, even if the thread is old resurecting an old thread doesn't seem regarded as a terrible thing here so feel free.

    In that sticky, the opening paragraph also has a link to the articles section on this site which would have some walk throughs for techniques too.

    I'll say this before anyone else has to though, you need to clean up your mini's before undercoating. The mold lines become all too visible after the painting goes on and it's a bit late then to scrape them away. On the Cadian they're quite visible along the helmet and backpack.

    As a seperate thing, that Cadian bloke looks like he's busy. With the sergeants sword, the specialists grenade launcher, and the comms fellas backpack. Rest of his squad might not have enough bits to go around.

  3. #3


    You seem to have the "painting inside the lines" down pretty well after just a couple of minis ... so congrats on that!! And, as you've no doubt noticed, paint straight from the bottle is thick and obscures a lot of detail. There are lots of ways to thin paint, I think for starters to avoid too many complexities, just use water and thin the paint 1:1 (paint:water), 1:2, and 1:3 and just apply it to the miniature and see how the various thicknesses flow in and around the detail of the miniature. When you thin the paint, just have a separate dropper bottle w/ water in it so that you can add a consistent amount of water and I just use some really cheap craft brushes to mix the water/paint. Controlling thin paint is the key to painting high quality miniatures. Once you've tried this on a few miniatures and start to get a sense of how to manipulate the thinner paint, then I'd worry about blending and more complex techniques.

    Good luck.

  4. #4


    Although not really addressing the 'thinning and blending' question. Take a look at Quickshade.
    You can take the base colors you have, and simply 'dip' them in the Quickshade. It does a really nice job of quickly shading and protecting the mini.
    There are some youtube videos too.


  5. #5


    I too am trying out painting with thinner paints, with some success, however when painting space marine armour I find the paint is drying very patchy. Is the paint too thin? Am I loading the brush too much? Answers on a postcard please (Sorry for the hijack-ish)
    "It is better to fail aiming high than to succeed aiming low. And we of Spurs have set our sights very high... so high, in fact, that even failure will have in it an echo of glory!"
    — Bill Nicholson OBE

  6. #6


    Thetecman: Thinner paint needs more layers to look "solid" and not "patchy". The first of a series of thin coats will always look patchy, this is expected, it's thinner. Two thin coats will look far more smooth than one thick one when they are done - the patchiness of each layer averages out, if that makes sense? Sadly, you do have to paint more coats with thinner paints, and this takes longer, but is well worth it for the lovely effect it has.

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