Plan to Win with a Painting Plan — MM33

It’s Mini Monday, where I share customizing, scratch building, kitbashing, and miniature painting projects for your roleplaying and tabletop gaming. This week we’ll look at what a painting plan can do for your next painting project.

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I feel like I’ve come a long way since I painted my first Adeptus Astartes some 20 years ago, but I also feel like I’m just scratching the surface of what we might call the basics of miniature painting.

For the Emprah! My first Space Marine.

Below are some of the Space Marines I’ve painted since my very first. While painting the ones on the left I learned about varnish, brush selection, dry brushing, edge highlighting, and making my own transfers. And that’s on top of learning better brush control. Now we’re going to talk about something that will improve your painting, save you time, and help you assimilate everything you’ve ever learned about model painting: writing up a painting plan.

Get Organised with a Painting Plan

Abraham Lincoln is often quoted as saying “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.” Drawing up a plan puts this wisdom into practice. A plan sets out your paint scheme for a mini, while breaking it down into steps. It can also guide you when batch-paint many models at once, so that you can have a table-ready army in less time than it would take to paint each miniature individually.

My plan for my Angels Encarmine has evolved with each model I’ve painted so far, and now looks something like this:

  1. Clean mould lines.
  2. Glue fine beach sand onto the base.
  3. White base coat, with a spray can.
  4. Red coat, with a spray can.
  5. Black parts.
  6. Balor Brown (was Snakebite Leather) on base and scrolls.
  7. Skin tones.
  8. Hair.
  9. Red touchup.
  10. Silver dry brushing.
  11. Edge highlight grey on black.
  12. Dry brush skin tone over the top of the base.
  13. Flesh wash on red and skin.
  14. Freehand company and squad markings.
  15. Add transfer for chapter markings.
  16. Glue on dry tea or flock.
  17. Glue on banners.
  18. Final touch-ups.
  19. First coat of matt varnish.
  20. Second coat of matt varnish.
  21. Do the dance of joy.

I have a painting plan for my Orks, Genestealer Cults, and for fantasy races like drow. But you don’t need to follow the plan step-for-step every time. The plan’s more like a set of guidelines, and breaking the rules is often a great way to improve your plan.

Guidelines GIFs | Tenor

Do you use a painting plan, or do you like to do it off the cuff? Let us know in the comments!

Christmas at Aurora’s

Christmas is almost here, and Aurora has a whole emporium full of goodies for your Dungeons & Dragons 5e party.

You can find Aurora’s Whole Realms Christmas Catalogue on the DMs Guild.

Aurora's Whole Realms Christmas Catalogue

Aurora's Whole Realms Christmas Barbarian Gifts

Until next year, keep improving!