Since its release in 1983, Warhammer 40K has grown to be one of the most recognizable titles on the market for tabletop strategy games.
The Age of Sigmar line, which was only recently released, has caused the franchise to experience yet another rise in popularity among people who want to play the game as well as collect and customise all of their favorite figures.
Because of their small size and the high degree of detail required, Warhammer veterans are all too aware of the challenge of finishing every single figurine.
The greatest Warhammer miniature armies for beginning painters, the simplest miniature models to paint, or even how to begin painting them may be unknown to individuals who are just starting out or are new to the hobby altogether.
In this manual, we’ll discuss how to get started, what to look for and what not to look for in an army, how to make painting as simple and painless as possible, and which army makes the ideal beginner package for new painters.
What You Need to Get Started Painting Miniatures and Basic Tips for Painting
1. Figure Out Your Motivation and Base Your Goal Around That.
There’s no denying that painting Warhammer miniatures isn’t a picnic in the park if you decide to tackle it. It takes a lot of time, patience, and a steady hand. Knowing what drives you is crucial if you don’t want to lose interest in the endeavor.
If you want to improve your painting skills, whether that means learning new methods or becoming more productive, you need to first determine what drives you and then set a goal that reflects that. Having something to work for will make the entire experience more rewarding.
2. Choose a Strategy and Stick With It.
If you’re just starting out as a painter, it’s best to stick to tried-and-true methods and keep in mind that your models’ aesthetic appeal will improve the more you paint them.
Choose a manageable number of models that you find visually appealing, and avoid anything too complicated. After this is complete, decide on a color scheme, and don’t overwhelm yourself by using more than two or three colors for your project.
3. Tips for Choosing Which Warhammer Army to Buy.
The aesthetic appeal of your army should be your top priority. What will motivate you to complete a painting endeavor is purchasing an item that looks amazing in your eyes.
Choose an army that fits your desired play style, study the background if you’re undecided, and avoid purchasing a complete set. Always begin with a minimal initial setup. Collectors, tailor your set purchases to the specifics of your army roster.
4. A Note on Color Schemes.
Darker colors typically need more highlighting work to look decent from a distance, so novices may consider going with a lighter color palette. It takes less effort to make anything look great, and light colors are perfect for that.
In order to save money and time, it’s recommended that you choose two complementary colors and utilize them as the basis for all of your models. For everything else, including wood and metal coloring for armor and weaponry, use subdued hues like brown and gray.
Blue, brown, beige, and green are the easiest colors for beginners to paint, whereas black, purple, yellow, red, and white are the most challenging.
5. The Tools You Will Need to Get Started.
You should think about purchasing the following tools: a white primer, a cutter or clipper for the plastic pieces, plastic glue, a mold line remover or hobby knife, a wet palette because this keeps your paint moist, miniature brushes, a good soap for cleaning brushes, a base paint set, a shading/washing paint set, some texture paints, a starter set of models, and a cutting mat to work on. In addition, you should think about purchasing a starter set of models.
6. How to Cut, Clean, and Assemble Your Pieces.
The majority of starter kits include a manual that specifies the precise order in which various components must be assembled.
Find the parts you need, then cut them using the flat edge of the clippers. You’ll also need to carve out the matching glue-on section.
After you’ve detached the miniature from its plastic armature, you’ll need to clean off any leftover plastic and mold lines.
After this, you may “dry-fit” the parts together to check whether they fit perfectly; if not, you can keep cutting away plastic until they do. Finally, plastic glue should be used on all compatible components. Any time glue gets on your hands, wipe it off right away.
7. How to Prime Your Miniatures.
Always use a flat, firm surface, and line up your miniatures with a tiny amount of room between them. In order to prevent them from toppling over when you spray them, you might wish to glue them to the floor.
Slowly and carefully spray your miniatures from the distance you deem appropriate. Miniatures should not be touched until they have completely dried, but regular checks to make sure no areas were missed are essential.
8. How to Get That Base Paint Right
You can use a miniature holder or an adhesive like sticky tac to keep the miniature in place while you apply the basecoat if you haven’t already attached it to the base.
The interior of a cloak or the tongue of a mouth are two examples of difficult-to-reach areas that should be painted first. Always apply thin layers of paint and be sure to cover all areas of the model that will be the same color. Brushes should be rinsed often.
9. Shading, What’s That?
Once you apply a basecoat to your miniatures, they will seem somewhat unremarkable. Shading comes into play as a solution to this problem.
Use the same color as the basecoat and a brush that is one size larger than the brush used for the basecoat. If you’ve used a green primer, the topcoat should be green as well.
It is preferable to apply too little shade than too much, so apply the shade to the painted areas and move it about so that it settles in the creases. The shade will destroy your brush if it dries, so make sure to rinse it frequently throughout the procedure.
10. Adjust and Readjust Your Process
What succeeds for someone else may not succeed for another. Be flexible and paint the method that works best for you.
You might cover all your bases in one sitting, choose to use less shading, or experiment with other color schemes.
What To Look For When Choosing Your Beginner Army
It’s no secret that Warhammer figures are also one of the more expensive brands of miniatures on the tabletop market, especially the newest models, so you may be tempted to look for pre-owned or older models. Although you may avoid breaking the bank, there are several problems you may run into with this strategy.
The process of painting a miniature is time-consuming and becomes even more time-consuming with having to strip the old paint off of it first.
Provided you’re patient, this is more of an inconvenience than a problem; however, the real issue arises when the miniature is an older model. The older Warhammer miniatures tended to be much more complex, requiring significantly more attention to detail before and during the painting process.
This involved part clean-up, as parts were made in molds, as well as assembly, which was seldom intuitive, and posing, something that is often already complete for newer sets.
In the case of simplicity, bigger really is better, as larger models result in two major factors: less fine detail, and fewer miniatures to paint. Smaller miniatures can result in a lot of frustration for a beginner, as the level of detail becomes so fine that any and all mistakes become glaringly obvious.
Working with larger figures adds the benefit of eliminating most fine detail, making it easier to blend in small mistakes, all while still allowing you to practice these details via shading and highlighting.
In addition to this, larger sets include fewer figurines and as such, eliminate the dashing of hopes that comes with finally finishing a model, only to realize you still have 29 more to go.
Built like a Tank
As previously mentioned, fine details result in a lot of frustration for new painters, so eliminating as much fine detail as possible will, in turn, prevent a negative experience. One such method of achieving this is to look for sets covered in as much armor plating as you can find.
Armour is one of the easiest textures to paint, as they require minimal detail, and metallic paints are readily available and do most of the work for you.
As an added benefit, armor allows beginners to test out and hone new techniques such as rust effects and battle damage with minimal effort, making it great for practice before tackling more complicated figures.
Believable But Not Realistic
Anyone who has ever taken an art class can speak to the difficulty of trying to recreate a realistic-looking image. In essence, painting miniatures is no different, and you will quickly find that close enough, is good enough.
Try to look for miniatures with a more ‘cartoon’ feel to them, as once again, this will eliminate much of the fine detail that a realistic-looking figurine would have.
Additionally, cartoon looks make it much easier to blend in mistakes in order to make them look like they actually belong there, like an accidental blotch being blended in to look like skin discoloration.
What To Avoid When Choosing Your Beginner Army
Don’t Purchase High Volume Armies
Do not purchase armies that are considered high-volume; these will have many copies of the same unit which can make painting them feel repetitive and a chore, rather than a hobby.
Make sure that you will be able to finish painting your army before losing the enjoyment of doing so, to do this, purchase small-count armies to begin with.
Which Materials to Avoid?
In most cases, miniatures will be made out of some kind of ABS plastic which is great to work with, but there are some models and kits that will be made out of metal or resin.
The best practice for beginners is to avoid models that are made out of resin and metal as these are a lot more difficult to work with. For example, resin requires much more prep work, while metal has a more involved painting process. Additionally, both lack the amount of detail possible with ABS plastic.
Avoid Too Many Small Parts
Not only do small parts like weapons and shields involve a lot of intricate details, but they can also be difficult to work with due to their small, fiddly size.
Focusing on simpler models will save you the frustration that can come with painstakingly working for hours on one single piece per miniature.
Save the more complex models for when you have acquired the painting experience and advanced painting techniques needed to do them right.
Avoid Missing Hard-to-Reach Areas After Assembly
Remember to think ahead when piecing together your miniatures, as some may end up with hard-to-reach areas once they are assembled.
The easiest way to avoid this is to paint the pieces before piecing them together, and you can get a feel for what they will look like by using temporary adhesives, like a sticky tack.
This way, you’ll be able to make each part fit together seamlessly without the worry of accidentally painting over a part you’ve completed previously. Of course, once the painting is finished, you will need to seamlessly glue the parts together.
Here Are The Best Armies For Beginner Painters
There are many armies to choose from and each of them has its own quirks and perks when it comes down to painting them.
However, it should always be kept in mind that it is important to feel excited about painting your miniatures, so you should try to choose an army you genuinely like instead of just sticking with what’s easy. The following armies listed are those with the most pros and fewest cons from a novice painter’s perspective.
The positives include only newer models available so you won’t find any metal or resin-based options. Almost all kits come with entirely armor-covered units, have smaller armies to them, and are larger in model size. The only drawback is that they do have relatively intricate detailing.
The positives include small armies, easy work with colours, and require relatively simple techniques to make all models look unique. The drawbacks include no armor and require you to learn how to paint bark since these are tree people.
- Kurnoth Hunters
- Drycha Hamadreth
The positives include larger models, only newer models available, and are mostly armor covered. The drawback is that they are somewhat limited in variety.
The positives include that it is possible to create small armies out of them and they support a cartoony art style with bright colors. The drawback to these is that some models still come in resin or metal materials.
The positives include being easy to work with colors, and most are covered in armor. The drawback is that they come with a relatively large army count.
- Daemons of Tzeentch Starter Set
The positives include, larger models to work with and coming with portions or sections that are super easy to paint with little technique required (green goop, anyone?). The drawback is that while some of these models are easy to paint, some of them also come with intricate detailing.
- Daemons of Nurgle Starter Set
The positives include, it’s one of the quickest armies to paint using wet blending basecoat techniques. The drawback is that learning to use a wet blending technique can be a bit of a learning curve.
- The three best options include
- Dreadschythe Harridans
- Grimghast Reapers
- Bladegheist Revenants
Positives include the fact that you are not limited to actual colors and that, depending on how many soldiers you desire, this might be the game’s smallest army. They are restricted in diversity and feature larger, more difficult-to-paint models as downsides.
The advantages include the ease with which green and brown paints may be applied. They lack diversity, which is a disadvantage.
The advantages include more armor, bigger models, and no need for fine detail. Their limited diversity and potential for difficult-to-reach locations during post-assembly are negatives.
Any artistic endeavor may be intimidating and challenging to begin when first starting out. As with any ability, though, practice, consulting manuals like this one, and working at your own speed will ultimately enable you to create and decorate the most exquisite miniatures on the market.