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How to prime your models with spray paint #2


I have to admit that what was going to be a short article with some general information regarding using spray paint primers is now a two part series. In Part 1 – you can find it here – I talked a bit about why priming your miniatures is a good idea, what color to choose and what options of spray paint and primers you have. Now, let’s talk about how to use those spray paints and primers.

Weather is important

As obvious at it may seems, I keep forgetting about that. Weather is quite important, as it have a huge factor of how the spray paint is going to behave. If it is too hot outside you might have problems with paint drying too quickly before reaching the miniature. This will cause something that looks like, and is very often called as, ‘frost’ or ‘frosting’. Small dots of paint, that dried midair and reached the miniature almost fully dried, or almost dried, and just stuck to the model surface. It can also happen, when you hold the can too far away from the miniature.

If it’s foggy outside or it’s raining the humidity is going to be high and that will affect paint quite heavily. The more humid environment the longer it takes for paint to dry. It might result in paint not drying and curing properly. In some places of the model you will find patches of accumulated paint, or the paint can dry, but remain sticky. In other words, better not to spray prime you models when the humidity is high outside. There is a trick how to avoid it, but we will cover that once a bit later on.

Before you start priming


Before you jump straight into priming your models, there are few rules of thumb to remember about, and few tips and tricks to use beforehand 😉 :

– wear personal protective equipment (PPE), mask, gloves and some protective eyewear. This is a must in my opinion. If you don’t have a more professional face mask with filters, try to at least cover your nose and mouth with a scarf and wear glasses.
– always spray outside or in a well-ventilated area. If you can’t spray outside try to do it with open doors or windows and preferably use a spray booth if you can.
– try to prime your miniatures with a spray primer with optimal weather conditions. When it is not too hot or too humid. Do not spray prime when it is foggy, very hot or raining heavily.
– read the instruction on the spray can and try to follow the guidelines as much as possible. It will make your life easier 😉
– store the spray cans in room temperature, not in a cold place as the paint doesn’t like it. Yeap, storing your spray cans in a garage is not the best idea.
– shake the can before using it for around 2-3 minutes and shake it from time to time while priming.
– start spraying paint slightly above the miniature or next to the miniature and with a slow and steady motion pass over the model covering it with a thin layer of primer.


– try to spray around 25-30 cm away from the miniature. A lot of people, myself included, are talking the can and put it next to the miniature on around 45-60 degree angle. This will give you an idea of the distance that is right for spray priming.
– spray in one direction. Don’t make uncontrollable movements or circle like moves while spraying. If you are spraying from right to left, or top to down keep on that controlled motion and direction.

Few Tips and Tricks

– make sure that the can you are using for priming is not cold, but warm or at least warm-ish. If the can feels cold when you hold it, try to warm it a bit in your hands. One trick to do here is to put the spray can in a bucket of warm water. Warm means NOT HOT or BOILING water! Remember that spray cans are very flammable and they can literarily explode when exposed for heat for too long. So how to define if the water is not too hot for your spray cans? If you can hold you’re your finger or hand in the water and it’s not uncomfortable or painful the water should be fine for the can as well. Leave the can in warm water for 10-15 minutes (some people leave it even for 1,5h!), shake it for 2-3 minutes and try to prime your miniatures.
– when you really need to spray prime your models when it’s raining or cold outside you can try to use a simple trick with a hair dryer or a heat gun. Place it directly above the top of the spray can and turn it on before you start spraying. This is warm the air in front of your spray can and lower the humidity level. It should allow you to spray primer your models and ensure that the paint is going to dry properly.
– when you are doing a lot of spray painting you can quickly clog the spray nozzle. In order to avoid it when you finish painting, or every now and then when you have a long spraying session, turn the spray can upside down and push the button. Keep pressing it until you see that the nozzle is clean of paint.
– some spray cans allow you to swap their nozzles (this is the case with MONTANA series). It is a good idea to grab few clean ones when you buy the spray cans. It will give you an option to change the damaged or heavy clogged nozzles and just continue spraying.

What is a spray booth/tent and how to make one

A spray booth or a spray tent is an enclosure or a semi enclosed area used for spray painting. A spray booth keeps the overspray from going everywhere and it’s a place where you can spray paint when you cannot do it outside. More professional spray booths will also have a build in ventilation, also sometimes referred to as extractor fan system, which will absorb the overspray and in some cases even ventilate it outside.


I am sorry for the quality of the picture, I was more into priming than photographing 😛

I am not going to show you how to make a spray booth with ventilation system, but I will show you a quick way to do a spray tent. It will keep the overspray away from everything else that you do not want to put the paint on 😉

1. Just take an empty cardboard box, big enough to put your miniature in it.
2. Take some tape and make sure there are no holes in the cardboard box
3. Attach the miniature to something and put it in the spray booth

That’s pretty much it, you can start priming your models and do not worry about the overspray 😀


Can Montana black paint be used as a miniature spray primer?

In the first part of this very short ‘series’ I mentioned that I am going to try Montana Black as a primer. I also mentioned that I absolutely love the Montana Black series of cans and their color palette. Let’s see if this paint is as suitable for miniatures as for MDF/HDF.
The results are as follows:

Montana Black series Black Matt

As Montana spray cans are a premium, high quality paint for artists with high pigments density I was a bit concern that the paint is going to be too thick for miniatures. I was not exactly right here. The paint, when fully dry, is a bit thick. However, I did a quick one coat primer here. So, maybe, when being more careful it could get better results. I need to experiment a bit more with it and we will see.

I also asked few friends for their recommendations of a cheap, but relatively good, spray can primer. I ended up buying this:


It’s a spray can primer available here in Poland in almost every Auchan supermarket. I paid for it around 3$/2.5EUR/12PLN. In comparison Montana Black paint is for around 4$/3.70EUR/17PLN. The difference is not great when you buy two or three cans, but can make a difference if you need a lot of cans.


As I had to test the Montana Black spray paint and was also testing the new Kameleon Spray Primer I decided to try Den Braven Universal White Primer a second change. Here are the comparison photos:

Den Braven Universal White Matt
Kameleon Primer White Matt
From left to right: Kameleon Primer White Matt, Montana Black series Black Matt, Den Braven Universal White Matt

For me this time Montana is number 1, even though the paint is slightly too thick for my taste. However, it might have been my fault. Number 2 is the Kameleon Primer White Matt. I got a feeling that this primer might be very good when you know how to use it, will definitely give it a go in the future. With the last one, honestly, I wouldn’t even use it for terrain. Straight to the bin.

Final thoughts

For all future MDF and HDF projects I am going to stick with the Montana Black and Gold series spray cans. I really love their colors, high density of pigment and how they seal the MDF/HDF and prevent it from soaking more paints.

While for priming miniatures I will probably use a mix of cheap and dedicated spray primers. For the most part I am going to stick to the cheaper ones. Why? You may ask. The fact they work. I simply see no reason and need to change them. Maybe for more ‘collectible’ and really expensive pieces I am going to use the dedicated spray primers. The same goes for painting big armies and using a specific color of primer as my base coat.

My final advice is to try some cheap spray can primers and test them on few broken models. If you are happy with the result, use it. If you prefer dedicated miniature spray can primers, stick to them. In the end each of us, gamers, prefer different tools and use different techniques. If something works for you, that is all that matters 🙂

If you have any questions just write them down in the comments section or on our Facebook page. I am more than happy to answer them or just have a nice chat about out hobby 🙂

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My take on a limited palette – part 2

1 1

We already talked about the concept of a limited palette (check it here). Now it is time to give it a go and try the theory in practice 🙂 If you want to have a peak on my take on the idea of a limited palette read on.

Try to answer some questions first

First thing I would recommend is to try to answer some questions first. Your limited palette will quite heavily depend on the model(s) and current project you are working on. Try to determine how you want to paint the model first:
– Do you want to follow a specific color scheme?
– You need cool or warm colors?
– How many colors you want to use?
– How much mixing you are comfortable to take?

After answering at least some of these questions it is time to choose your color palette.

2 1

In my case it is one of the plastic Frostgrave Barbarians from northstarfigures. I have around five of them. They are going to be a part of my warbands for Frostgrave and Rangers of Shadow Deep. So, let me answer some of the questions:
– No specific color scheme, will determine it on the go.
– Probably cool colors – Frostgrave = Winter is coming 😉
– 6 is the maximum (excluding the primer)
– As much as it will take to finish the miniature. I want to learn as much as possible from this experience.

Ok, let’s have a look at our paint collection.

3 1

Choosing your palette

When you know what you are going to paint and how you are going to paint it, it is time to choose paints for your limited palette. Painting skin and flesh tones is not my specialty, so a color for skin is a must in my case. Barbarian without some fur is not a barbarian 😛 In such case I need some browns. Red – to mix some red-ish browns and darker brown mixes. Let’s try to paint some ice weapon or maybe some NMM (don’t really like it, but maybe I will give it a try). Blue it is then. Green is the last one. Ok, so why green? Just because xD I liked the color and was curious what mixes I will get with it.
No idea how it will end for me, but I hope to have some fun mixing all those colors together.

4 1

Know your colors

I am still learning how to use a limited palette. Sometimes I am choosing wrong colors and struggling to get a satisfactory result. Next time, I am forgetting how I mixed a particular color or shade and have no idea how to do mix the highlights. So as you can see, it is a constant learning process for me. So what I learned so far?

Know your colors.

5 1

I start with making a quick color mixing guide. Just take a piece of paper, write down the name of each paint, and start mixing them together in 1:1 ratio. When you have a general idea what secondary colors you can get, try to make one or two simple color wheels to get some more secondary and tertiary colors. Now you have a starting point and a reference of available colors. You can and certainly will get more different colors, but you can now see what colors to use to get a desired shade and tint.

6 1

I created a very simple and quick color wheel that you can use for your own projects. The link to download the PDF should be at the end of this article.

What have I learned so far?

As I mentioned before, using the limited palette is still a constant learning process for me. However, I can give you some tips and advice how to make this process easier and more user-friendly:

– Make notes on your mixes. I cannot stress it enough. It will be much easier for you to determine how to mix relevant highlights, shadows or just get back to the basic color.

– Don’t be afraid to experiment. Using a limited palette is just another tool and learning step in becoming a better painter. It will help you understand the color theory better and how all that mixing works in general.

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– Washes. This is a second ‘paint’, that I missed in my palette. Washes are an easy way to get shadows, and to unify the whole painting altogether. This is what I missed. You could potentially use any paint as a wash or glaze by using different techniques and solvents. The question is, how much of different ‘painting chemistry’ you want to include in your limited palette.

– When choosing paints for your palette, remember that most of paints that we use for miniature painting are not a single pigment paints. It means that when you are mixing them together it is harder to predict what result you will get. As in fact, those paints, are also a mix of different pigments in various proportions. While, when you are using single pigment paints, you can easily predict what color you will get when mixing specific colors together. This is a very important factor to take into account when selecting paints for your palette as you might find using primary colors and single pigment paints much easier, in the long run.

– White and Black should be a part of your limited palette. It is just my opinion. This is how it works for me, at least for now. I found out that I can easily work without black, but working without white was a bit difficult at times. With the set that I choose to work with it was hard for me to get the highlights that I wanted. By adding some white to some mixes I would probably achieved better results. Also, white, would end up as my final highlight in few places.


– If you don’t like what you see, just paint it all over again. If you are not sure if the highlight you just mixed is right, try it on the miniature. However, prepare a wet cloth or a clean wet brush to wipe the paint off if it is not what you are looking for.

– Sometimes strange color mixes, might work brilliantly when put on the model. So don’t be afraid to mix 3 or 4 colors together and use such mix as a highlight or shadow. In some cases it can make wonders, even if you feel that it will look odd. I for example, used some blue for the beard in few places, followed by green-ish grey. I really like the final result.
The same goes for the helmet. I started with dark violet mix of brown and red, and highlighted it with pink-ish brown. In my opinion it worked quite well. Which was not as obvious for me 😉

My mistakes

First of all, please keep in mind that this miniature was painted in just one short (around 1-1,5h) painting session. It is still a WIP (Work in Progress), as I haven’t finished painting the skin, the axe and armguards.
What mistakes I made:

– I really like to turquoise color mix that I managed to get. However, when I am looking at the miniature now, it doesn’t look good compared with other brown-ish leather and cloth elements. In other words, wrong color scheme.

– I struggled a lot with highlighting the turquoise tunic. I changed the mix three to four times, but was never happy with the final result. I should have repainted it


– I forgot what mix I used to paint the fur around his neck, and had no idea how to get proper highlights. Now it doesn’t look to good to be honest. I should have repainted that area using a fresh mix, wrote down the recipe for that mix, and then try to get better color for highlights.

– Overall, I very often used too bright colors as my base colors. I should have used darker mixes and leave the brighter ones as highlights. This simple mistake forced me to use far brighter mixes as highlight than I really wanted. It also made the whole process of mixing much more difficult.

– Contrast. I should have used much more contrast. I am constantly struggling with this, so it is another.


When it will work and when it is a bad idea?

I got a feeling that using limited palette is a good idea with display pieces and more artistic work in general. While, obviously, it is going to be a nightmare when used for army painting. Mixing paints is a fun idea until you are too overwhelmed and too tired to make another batch or the same color for the 10th time during the same painting session.


At the beginning, when you are trying out mixing for the first time it can be quite difficult to properly paint a miniature during more than one painting session. For me, a limited palette works ok, as long as I manage to finish the model during a single painting session. The more sessions I need to finish painting, the more difficult it gets to make relevant paint mixes. Even with notes on recipes.
I do know that professionals are using limited palette ‘tool’ all the time and have far better understanding of colors and how they work. However, for me it is quite difficult at times to get the mix that I want and that will work well on the miniature.

Try it and figure out your own way of using it
Please remember that all information contained in this article are just my way of using a limited palette. Simply speaking, it is my opinion and my try on this subject. It does not mean that it is the only and right way of doing it. What I am trying to say is that you need to experience it in your very own way, do it as you want and as you need. Painting miniatures is a hobby, and as such is supposed to be relaxing and fun. I hope that your adventure with limited palette is going to be exactly that, relaxing and fun.

limited color pallete

Limited Palette

It is safe to say that almost all of us, no matter which miniature game…

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What to print for wargaming? – Miniature Bases #3


So far in our series of ‘What to print for wargaming?’ I covered the topic of horses and weapons. You
can find the last one here.This time I had a look at miniature bases for our beloved models.

It was a bit tricky how to manage the categories. In other words it took me some time to decide
whether I want to follow my usual ‘list’ or make it more themed based: ‘desert bases’, ‘stone bases’
etc. Hope that I did it right 😉

City bases – cobblestone, ruined streets, sewers, debris
In this section you will find all kinds of different street type bases. Building an army for Warhammer
40k? Here it is – imperial city theme! Want more cracks in the concrete street and/or more metal
parts? Got you covered. What about simple and traditional cobblestone? Yes, it is on the list.
If you are playing Frostrave, Watrhammer or even Batman Miniature Game you can easily find
something suitable for your game.

Stonework textured Oval and Round bases and movement trays by KalFoxx –
25mm City Base by 01architekt –
City Base Project by johnthewarlock –
32mm Base Urban 02 by Michalmrozplsl –


Science Fiction city, barracks and factories
Any Infinity or Necromunda players out there? I got something for you. Sci-Fi city streets, barrack
floors and factory grounds. All is here. You want to play a quick skirmish in the HiveCity, or on some
kind of a drilling platform ? Have a look on the list below.

1″ & 2′ Round Bases – The Ignis Quadrant by ecaroth –
Sci Fi Miniature Bases (Open Panels) by Fatdogjackson –
40mm Starship/Manufactorum Bases by johnthewarlock –
25mm sci-fi road tile bases by Lesley_Van_der_Veen –


Graveyard and death!

Skeletons, Undead, Zombies and all that Necromancer business… Graveyard, skulls, bones and much
more! If you were looking for some suitable bases for your Undead or Skeleton army you have it all
here. However it will be just fine for a Bolt Action team attacking or defending a Church 😉

Decorartive Bases by thebata –
40mm Base MUD 02 by Michalmrozplsl –
28mm Undead Skeleton Warrior Grave Bases by BigMrTong –
Skull base 32mm by Guybrush_Treepwood –


I have sand in my shoes!
Yes, you got it right. I am going to present you some sets of desert themed bases. Desert wasteland,
ruins and stone roads covered with sand and plenty of cracked earth. Plenty of possibilities here!
Ever wanted a skeleton ‘Egyptian’ like army (Tomb Kings anyone)? Not your cup of tea, ok, what
about some Fallout and Wild West theme games? If the answer is yes, you will find something for

Desert Wasteland Mini Base by aburnier –
Empire of Scorching Sands – Round Bases Part 2 by ecaroth –
32mm & 40mm Desert Base 01 by Sinnerds –
28mm Cracked Earth / Ice Miniature Bases by NoodleB0y –


What about board gamers and D&D players? – no worries, I found something for you

I managed to find some interesting solutions suitable for board games and Dungeon & Dragons
players out there. I present you with flying/climbing solutions and health counters!

D&D Miniature Base Expanders by Sienna –
Stackable Tabletop Flying/Climbing Base by ShadowDrakken –
D&D Flight Stand (Huge) by Dasmon –
Board Game Miniatures Health Counter (1″) by ssuhy65 –


I have to admit, it was a bit of a challenge to find something special

When I was looking for bases for miniatures it was quite easy to find a theme based set. But how to
find a base that you can call ‘special’? I managed to find bases suitable for your commanders, heroes
and serve as scenic base.
Base by 40k, 50mm by tabular –
Tentacles – JOIN OUR Monster Miniature PATREON by rocketpiggames –
Four Elements 28mm Miniature Base by neb139 –
Large scenic base by El_Mutanto –


Sometimes when I am looking for some specific theme I tend to check ‘strange’ tags# and search by
not so straightforward ‘search entries’. For example, under ‘banner’ you can find really cool looking
‘bases’ 😛

FreeFolks Banner by Toczys –

In other words, from time to time it is good to check tags that are not directly related to the model or
theme you are looking for.

Are you looking for something specific? Let me know!

Let me remind you that if are you looking for something specific or simply need help finding some
bits just let me know. I am more than happy to provide you with a list of files suitable for your
project. All you need to do is to let me know by writing a comment below! I will make an article
around the theme chosen by you 🙂

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What to print for wargaming? – Weapons #2


In our first article of the series of ‘What to print for wargaming?’ I covered the topic of horses. You can read it here.

Today, I would like to present you with a list of various types of weapons that you can 3D print for your minis. This might come in handy when you are missing some weapons or simply want some variety and are planning to make some conversions. I did tried to include something for everyone. Starting from so called cold weapons and ending on Sci-Fi firearms. You will find some swords, bows, daggers, war hammers, Sci-Fi power swords, laser guns, plasma pistols and much more.

Please note that in many cases models that were listed under one section ex. ‘Swords, spears, maces […]’ are suitable for most Fantasy, Historical and even Sci-Fi systems. However, I wanted to avoid listing the same link twice. That is why you will find them in different sections of this article, even though they would suit many different settings.

Let’s start with something suitable for D&D

I do realize that in most cases historically accurate weapons are fine for most D&D campaigns. However, spells can also produce magical weapons and this is what you will find in this section today:

28mm Spell Markers by Curufin –
D&D Spiritual Weapons by doesntfearzeus –
Spell Effect – Spiritual Weapon – Scythe by Alonicus –

If you are looking for some swords and other cold weapons (also called white arms), you can find them in the section below.

Source Thingivers/ A flying sword anyone?

Swords, spears, maces… you name it! It’s here.

If you are playing some Fantasy or Historical systems you will find something suitable for you here. Different kind of swords, bows, spears, shields and other kind of white arms can be found among those files.

Fantasy Arsenal (28mm/Heroic scale) by dutchmogul –
Ranged Weapons for 28mm Minis by ClayRade –
Fantasy Swords – Vol 1 by ClayRade –
11011 miniature Swords! by Snorri –
28mm Kama weapon by Codyad –

Any looking for a war hammer?

Fantasy and Steampunk

I have to say that recently I got into steampunk and those flints would fit in that setting perfectly! However, I can also see some Dwarfs from the Warhammer Fantasy Battle ‘Old World’ being equipped with a weapon like that.

28mm Fantasy Arsenal of Muskets Percussion / Flintlock Firearms and Guns by BigMrTong –
More 28mm Fantasy Arsenal of Muskets Percussion / Flintlock Firearms and Guns by BigMrTong –
Squall’s Gunblade Final Fantasy 8 by ryanrybot –

Firearm combined with an axe? Why not!

Sci-Fi weapons

This section will please any Warhammer 40k fans out there. Plenty of options and firearms to choose from to cover all you space forces needs:

Cog-Boy Plasma Thrower by Mkhand_Industries –
Bolt Rifle 1-1 28mm by BREXIT –
Lasgun, snipers, gear –
Fancy Power Sword by jimsbeanz –
Pulse Rifle “Veteran” by the23Flavors –
Sci Fi Turret – AA – AT by JoeSnuffie –
28mm Mech Chainsword (5.4 inches/137mm Long) by johnbearross –
28mm assault rifle by Forpost_D6 –

For some reason that sword is the most appealing for me 😉

Modern and WWII firearms

And finally something for all of you who are into more post-apocalyptic, modern or World War II related systems. I present you a list with AK47, Thompsons SMG and much more:

Scoped AK47 by ChrisM112 –
Handgun History – A 3D Tour by danlovy –
FAMAS Ver.1 by Zeta_Gun –
Gatling Gun in parts by korm –
BREN Light Machine Gun WWII by Milhause –
Thompson SMG (WWII) For GI Joe Figures by kruzal –

Any stalkers in need of an upgrade out there?

Still not satisfied? Let me show you something…

Ok, I do know that you might still be looking for something unusual to what I have just showed you. I managed to find some quite interesting firearms for you:

Duck’s foot gun by Snorri –
Flintlock Grappling Hook by PLAparts –

However, here you will need to spend some time assembling the weapons as they are provided in parts. Which also mean that the files need to be edited and adjusted before printing.

Source Wikipedia and Abdeen Palace Museum/ They look scary enough for me 😛

Few TIPs

If you are still looking for something different for your models, try the Tags cosplay and cosplay_weapon.

There are plenty of really cool weapons available tagged like that. However, they will need to be pre-assembled and prepared for 3D printing, which might need some basic CAD software skills.

Even though you will need to spend some extra time preparing those files, looking at the prints, IMO they are worth the hassle.

Are you looking for something specific? Let me know!

Once again if are you looking for something specific or simply need help finding some bits just let me know. I am more than happy to provide you with a list of files suitable for your project. All you need to do is to let me know by writing a comment below! I will make an article around the theme chosen by you 🙂

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What to print for wargaming? #1 Horses

what to print for wargaming

Last time I tried to answer the question how 3D printing is changing our hobby – you can
read about it here.

Today, I will give you an example how you can use your 3D printer if you are missing a horse, or two… 😉

I recently bought a box of some cavalry for my Easterling army for The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle game. After assembling all my raiders I was left with some bits and pieces that could be used for conversions. I quickly figured out that I have enough bits in my hobby box (with pieces from other projects) to make some extra raiders. Unfortunately I have no horses to spare for my newly planned raiders.

Personally I do not own a 3D printer, but a lot of my friends have one and they offered to help me out. So if you own a 3D printer or have access to one, lack of any models or parts is not going to be an issue at all!

I present you with a list of selected freely available horse models that you can print and use for your wargaming projects!

What does a horse looks like…

As I was looking for some realistic horse miniatures, I will start with ‘normal’ looking horse models. They would probably be best for most Historical and Fantasy wargaming systems out there:
Knight Cavalry Miniatures Customizable by Ilhadiel –
Sisterhood Cavalry Miniatures by Ilhadiel –
Horses at ease 28mm heroic scale by BREXIT –
Hussars_Horse/pistoliers_horse by Evil_frog –

print for wargaming
Did someone mentioned historical wargaming?

What about some more Fantasy

German_empire_armored_horse by Evil_frog –
dragon prince steed – high elf – tm by jimjimjimmyjim –
Armoured horse – Alliance pvp mount, resized and smoothed by ahriman01 –
silver helm steed – high elf – tm by jimjimjimmyjim –

A ny Empire players out there?

Grimdark and WH40k

Grim Dark Horse by BREXIT –
War Horse – Action Pose – Tabletop Miniature by M3DM –

what to
Source Thingiverse, by M3DM/ What a magnificent beast!

What about D&D fans?

If you are planning to include some actions for raiders during your next D&D campaign, you might find those horses very useful. No conversions needed. Just put your not-mounted models on their horses and you are ready to go!

Horse Mount for D&D Miniatures by Talismancer –
D&D – Horse mini by 3DPModder –
Horse for D&D figures by JimmerJammer –
Armored Horse Mount with Lower Saddle for 28mm Miniature by JayHardball –

Source Thingiverse/ Everyone will find something for themselves

I want to make my cavalry models special

What if you have enough of casually looking horses and are not looking for any Fantasy, Historical or Sci-Fi horses? No worries, I found something that suits your needs:

Shark horse by nolive27 –
Banana Knight – Mounted Horse Bananas by BigMrTong –

Source Pinterest/ Special enough? 😛

Are you looking for something specific? Let me know!

Are you looking for some specific bits or models? Need some upgrades for your miniatures and vehicles? Want to print yourself a new hero for your current army? Let me know! I will make an article around your theme and do my best to find something really special

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Limited Palette

limited color pallete

It is safe to say that almost all of us, no matter which miniature game one is collecting and/or playing, end up with tons of paints. Whole walls and desks covered with all shades imaginable. Starting from pure black and ending on mummy brown. But what if you were to use only a handful of your paints? Which one to use and why to limit yourself anyway? Let me introduce the idea of a Limited Palette in the first article in a series regarding this interesting topic.

Why we have so many paints?

Before explaining the idea behind a limited palette, let’s have a look at why we tend to end up with so many paints? In most cases, while painting one can use as many as 20-30 (sic!) different paints to paint only one miniature. This incredible amount of used colors is a result of using sets of paints for different parts of the figure. For example, one can use as much as 5 colors for painting just the flesh, not to mention clothes, armor, leather and all other elements of the figure. And let’s face it, using sets is simply very convenient. Instead of wasting our time to mix the shadows and highlight colors, we have all those shades and tints premixed and ready to use straight out of the bottle! No mixing, no tinkering if this is the right shade, etc. Simply speaking – no hassle, just pure joy of painting.

limited pallete
When too much choice is simply ‘too much’.

What is a limited palette?

The easiest explanation would be that you are limiting yourself to use only a handful of paints when painting. By a handful I am thinking about around 5 to 6 paints at most, to paint the miniature. No separated sets for painting flesh, clothes, leather or any other element of the figure.

 Personally, as far as I am concerned, each time you are using a predetermined number of colors for a project you are using a limited palette. The way I see it, it doesn’t matter if you are using 5/10/15 paints, you are limiting yourself to a specific number of paints.

Examples of  a ‘limited palette’.
Examples of a ‘limited palette’.

Which colors to choose for a limited palette?

Each artist will give you a different answer to these questions, as there are several factors to consider here:
 – Your personal preference
 – project you are currently working on
 – number of paints you have or can use
 – how much mixing you are willing to do
 – how much space you can spare for your hobby

 Those are only the most general and important factors and it all heavily depends on your preference and your current situation. If you travel a lot and don’t have a dedicated hobby space your limited palette paint list will probably be short. However, if you have your workbench and are mostly staying at home your paint list might be slightly longer as space is not your concern. It all depends on your needs, space capabilities and the purpose of why you are going to use a limited amount of paints.

When you have all of that figured out it is easier to choose colors for your limited palette. You will know if you want to stick to primary colors with some minimal additions or need to select a more specific and wider range of shades and tints. The complexity of your project and your experience with mixing paints will also determine the number of paints you will end up with.

Are there any must-haves?

Another hard question, that do not have a definitive answer. Most artists seem to start with three primary colors (red, yellow, blue), and take it from there. Then black and white follows, together with raw umber interchangeably with burnt sienna. Sometimes both (raw umber and burnt sienna) are included in the must-have list of paints for a limited palette. 

colors of limited pallete
What if I need all of them? Choices, choices, choices…. 

The list looks as follows:
 – red (primary red)
 – yellow (primary yellow)
 – blue (primary blue/Ultramarine blue)
 – black
 – white (Titanium white)
 – burnt sienna
 – raw umber

 The above list seems to be considered as the best and most multipurpose limited palette that you can start with. Personally, I started my adventure with a limited palette with as much as 14 paints (including inks and washes), but after a while, I ended up with a very similar list of paints, like the one above. I will talk more about my approach toward the limited palette, together with some tips & tricks in another article 😉 

 What are the benefits of using a limited palette?

The main advantage is the color harmony. With fewer colors on your palette and mixing those limited colors results in better harmony. It is less likely that your color scheme will look off and out of place.

 Better understanding of color theory and color mixing.

As strange as it may sounds, by the necessity of doing a lot of mixing, you will get a better understanding of color theory. By mixing, with time, it will be easier for you to see the shades and tints. To determine shadows, highlights and choose color schemes. Simply speaking, you will be choosing and using colors more intuitively.

If you are traveling a lot, a limited palette is going to make your life easier.

Fewer paints mean easier packing and a smaller amount of equipment needed for paint.

Our hobby is expensive enough, and a limited palette will make it cheaper. Less money spent on paints means more money for models and your new miniature carrying case from A-Case 😛

 I hope that you enjoyed this short introduction to the idea of a limited palette. That it helped you to see the benefits that such a limitation might give you. Getting out of your comfort zone is scary, but is a fun way of learning new skills and techniques. I will talk a bit more about my approach toward a limited palette together with some tips and tricks in another article 🙂

Feel free to leave a comment. What you think about a limited palette? Have you already used one? If so, how was it? If no, would you give it a try?

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