Painting Tiny Miniatures

I'm often asked how anyone can paint tiny miniatures. Most of the arguements either centre around "what's the point you can't see what it is anyway" or "my eyesight won't allow me to paint anything that small". However I often find the same people happily paint a 28mm figure right down to the eyes and any equipment they are carrying. Most of which are often smaller than most 2-6mm miniatures.

Going to show how to paint a 1/900th (or 2mm) scale sci-fi tank. The miniature is one that I sculpted (you can see the rest here). This miniature of a super heavy tank is 12mm long and 8mm tall. For these miniatures that I sculpted in an Anime style I like to use less conventional military colours. Often using red, blue, green and in this case a sort of yellow-orange scheme.

First up I sprayed the miniature with a white undercoat being just as careful not to put it on too thick as with any other model. Next the base coat I used for this miniature was Horse-Tone Bay (Coat d'Arms colour 224). I made sure the paint was a little runny, a little thicker than applying a wash.

Once that coat was on I then applied an ink wash to the whole miniature. I used ink wash Brown (133) watering it down to about one part ink to two parts water. This wash would help to bring out the miniatures detail. Make sure you let the ink dry completely before moving on to the next stage.

Next I dry brush the whole miniature with Buff.(228). Don't worry if the miniature looks a bit blotchy after this dry brushing. The picture is a close up showing warts and all. From the normal gaming table distance the drybrushing will show up as breaking up the flat base colour. Now we have dry brushed the miniature we can move on to some detail painting.

For painting detail you can do as much or litle as you want or can manage.What I would say is concentrate on the parts of the model that need some distinction i.e. cockpit, gun barrels, tyres or tracks etc. This miniature has a clearly visable hover skirt and twin gun barrels. So I painted both using Dark Leather (534). I felt black would have been to harsh where as the dark leather fit better with the base colour of the miniature.
But I did use black for the muzzle part of the tanks gun. Now you could stop at this point but I like to paint a few of the other detail bits of the miniature. You can see in the picture that I have also painted some of the tanks panels. One I've painted using the dark leather the other I used a lighter colour (in this case Pale Sand 522). You will also notice that I have used the dark leather colour and drawn round some of the panels rather than paint them. This is just to highlight them in a different way.

And so there you have your finished miniature. Just to show off I've painted a number onto one of the larger panels, drawn some stripes on another one and done a very small bit of highlighting on the edges of the tanks hull and turret. As I mentioned previously you do not have to go into this kind of detail. The pictures shown are much larger than you will normally view the miniature.

Here is a picture of the finished miniature from the sort of distance you might have while gaming. You can see at this distance that the miniature is still recognisable as a tank and how the original dry brushing doesn't look blotchy but breaks up the base colour as desired.

So give it a try yourself using different base colours, or for more inspiration of painting tiny miniatures check out my galleries.