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
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
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.