New to painting, request for paint recomendations
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Thread: New to painting, request for paint recomendations

  1. #1

    Default New to painting, request for paint recomendations

    I am new to miniature painting, just started this year. I have been painting my way through my copy of Massive Darkness. To get started, I began painting with cheap acrylic craft paint (you know apple barrel, folk art, etc). This allowed me to test the waters of miniature painting with little upfront investment and allowed me to start with a large pallet of colors. As you all know, I'm sure, these craft paints are less than desirable for miniature painting. The pigmentation is not as strong as I would like to see, which means I either end up with washed-out looking minis or have to put on MANY coats. I am ready to step into the work of actual miniature paints, however, I am intimidated.

    What brands do I try, which colors, which washes, etc.

    I love to imagine a day when I have a huge selection of hobby paints, basing materials, etc. However, I know I can afford that in one jump. What recommendations would you give a new painter? Which paints or materials should I invest in first? Is there a paint set or kit that makes a great starting place to grow from?

    Any recommendations are much appreciated.

  2. #2


    Get the colors you need for your projects from whatever company you want from.
    + some universally useful colors are good to have: black, white (or off white), dark blue/turqoise, dark brown, 2 skin colors (1 light, 1 medium), a silver and a gold color.

    There is mostly personal preference when choosing between vallejo/scale75/p3/gw/etc.
    Forgot, that it works again.

  3. #3


    Most brand offer sets, color groups or set design to achieve a desired look, militarily colors of select unit and time frame. Also paint brands have set for fantasy setting as well. So can be cost effective options and great way to expand collection.

    As, brand goes that’s huge debatable issue. But overall the key is research and see what the paint looks like and if you would like that look. Also there’s nothing wrong with mixing brands and color ranges. Most painter collections have mix of brands and colors.

    For me, my go to brand is scale 75. I also used AK extreme metals(air brush only), some games Workshop colors and reaper colors. I just added some mission model colors as well, liking their finish for selected looks.

    I like scale for pigment and color selection and finish, their fantasy offers hype bright colors that pair well with original line, the super Matt finished looks great with bright ranges. They are gel mediums so I highly recommend using their thinner, I used other brands and notice a difference I didn’t like. So I stick with their thinner. There inks are great for brighting or darking colors. That set is highly worth it regardless of brand you end up going with.

    As for colors primary colors are great to start with, than add colors you personally like. Research color theory too, as some colors are tough to get to work together and requiring you force the look, and clash and draw attention away from min. How the eye sees colors and how colors look on miniature is part of painting process, and can make or break the look.

  4. #4


    As the others said it's mostly personal preference, however I found games workshop and P3 to be quite beginner friendly but the pots they use aren't great, I love scale 75 ones but they take some getting used to and generally aren't as easy to get hold of without ordering online. I don't have many Vallejo paints but the ones I have are also good, I think the key thing when starting out is experimenting really, you want to find the brand that you like most, you'll find some brands do certain colours you like more than others (for example I find gw GW metallic paints to be far worse than Vallejo or scale 75) and as your collection grows you'll have something from 3 or 4 different brands.

    Something else which I briefly touched on, what's easily available where you are? I use a lot of GW even though they're not my favourite simply because I can get replacements in a 10 minute walk whereas anything else I have to order online, none of the big brands are particularly bad they're just slightly different but they work fine together

    As for which colours to buy, when I was first getting back into it I'd just buy stuff based on the project I was doing at the time, for example my first box was some space marines from GW that I wanted to paint red so I got a few shades of red, black, white, silver and a skin colour which let me paint that box, next time I got something I bought any extra colours I needed for that too, once I knew I would stick with it I got people to buy me scale 75 sets for birthdays and Christmas and so on, before you know it youve got 100+ paints

  5. #5


    Probably the easiest ones you will find in a local gaming store (assuming there is one near you) is either Games Workshop (about $4 - 5 a pot for paint and $7 for shades) or Reaper (about $3.50 a bottle). If there is a Hobby Lobby near you, they carry some Vallejo paints for around $4 - 5 a bottle and have some decent base colors available. Also, you could look up Secret Weapons paints and washes and you can get them off their site or google it and you will find some sites maybe a bit cheaper. I would say that Scale 75 makes some nice Metallics (a personal opinion that others might disagree with) and they have a US distributor that you can order from, just type in Scale75 USA and it should pop up in google. There is also Army Painter (not crazy about their washes though) for about $4 a bottle.

    Reaper does offer a "learn to Paint set" for about $40 and it comes with around 11 or so paints plus some cheap Reaper Bones figures to practice on.

    But I would echo what others have said and look at getting a few different shades of what you will primarily be painting.

    I would also add it can be useful to try a few bottles from different companies so you can find the one that feels best for you. (so maybe get a similar Red from GW and one from Reaper and you might notice that you prefer one over the other)

  6. #6


    Get what is easy to purchase near you and work with that then explore more once you have a good grasp on that brand and the basic skills. A lot of the time its the person not the supplies. Good brushes count for a lot but you can get great results with store brand stuff. I use everything from artist quality to mini paints to student grade. Have fun and make mistakes. Fail fast fail hard fail frequently. Its how we learn and grow
    "Remember, you can't spell paint without a little pain."

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