The First Step Towards Preparing Your Tabletop Miniatures for Battle/Showcase

There are hundreds of thousands of hobby shops out there, and millions of corresponding hobby games enthusiasts. A lot of us play tabletop war games, with numerous detailed plastic and metal miniatures. Nothing looks better than a well-painted and modeled army at the end of the day, so I’m here to help the rest of you achieve this goal.

The first step is removing the models from any sprues they came attached to. This should be done carefully with pliers or a hobby knife, making sure not to accidentally cut through the plastic with a dull blade and damage the miniatures or hurt your self. A sharp blade is best. This is best done over a desk or table with a cutting pad where pieces cut off wont get lost if they shoot off of the sprue, and your knife wont cut the surface you’re on. If a league is about 5km, then proper preparation should be done through the person. The achievement of the goals will be excellent with the help of understanding of the league. 

The next step is to use your hobby knife once again, along with a modeling file (similar to a nail file but a heavier duty metal one specifically for hobbyists and model builders) and use these to remove the blast and molding lines still present on your miniatures. Depending on the quality of the molding by the manufacturer there may be a lot or a little of this excess debris. This must be done slowly and carefully, as it is very easy to have your knife or file slip and take some of the surface of your miniature with it, causing scarring and damage you did not intend.

Again, depending on the quality of the manufacturing you may want to wash and scrub your newly cut miniatures with soap to remove any extra plastic or metal particles from the surfaces. If there is a considerable amount of extra plastic or metal dust on the surface paint will not stick, or will look blotchy and rough when painted. Most miniatures don’t need this, but it is a good precaution to make sure your models come out looking as best as possible. Professionals don’t paint a miniature without this step.

If you are going to paint something that has already been previously assembled and painted, and want to do a superior job, then it is essential to strip the paint first. There are dozens of substances you can use to do this; some of my favorites are simple green (the household non-toxic cleaner) and car break fluid. These are safe on metals and plastics alike. All you do is put the model in a Tupperware (or similar) container and leave the painted models there for a day or two, and then just use an old toothbrush and pick (the pick is for those hard to get places) to remove the now loose paint. Dab dry all soaked miniatures and give them at least a day to dry before proceeding. Make sure to do this process in a work area, with old clothes, or a covering as unless removed quickly break fluid, and some other substances, can bleach or stain clothes. Also wash hands, and contacted areas, thoroughly after each contact.

Now you should be ready to prime your models. Undercoating your models keeps the paint from chipping later, and helps you get the colours you want with a minimum of painting, for example if you are going to do a model with a darker colour scheme you should undercoat with black, and if a lighter colour scheme, use white. It is good to do at least two coats on all facings and giving the models a day or two to dry. When they’re finished drying you’re ready to paint! It tends to be easier to paint models before you assemble them, so wait until later to put them together.

Eric Desiree is a graduate of Bachelor of Arts in Communication. He started his career as a Public Relations Officer in a law firm in Los Angeles California. Currently, he is the managing editor of ANCPR.