Buying Supplies

First thing’s first, if you’ve never painted miniatures before you’re going to need to spend some initial dollars to get everything you need. Don’t worry though, most of these things last for a long time and you won’t need to replace them very often if you are careful with them. So load up the kids and head out to your local arts and crafts store, or scoot across the room and hit the internet! The good news is that you may already have some of these items.

Here’s a shopping list:

  • Hobby mat (purpose built or any durable surface suitable for enduring cuts from x-acto blades and can handle spilled paint).
  • X-acto blade, for cutting, chopping, etc. A must have tool.
  • Pin-vise hand drill, also made by X-acto. (For drilling holes for spears.)
  • Small snips for clipping wire or bits of metal.
  • Small jewelers file.
  • Zap-a-Gap glue.
  • Elmers (PVA) white glue.
  • Craft sticks for mounting your figures for painting.
  • Sand or some other gritty material (for texturing your bases).
  • 1-2 small lamps with high watt bulbs.

Setting Up a Hobby Space

Now that you have your supplies you need to set up your hobby space. You don’t need an entire room, a 4’x4′ space will probably do. I simply use a corner of the kitchen table. The most important thing as that you keep the area clean, and mobile if necessary. I use an art supply box to keep all my tools and paint in, so when I have to go mobile it’s ready to go.

Here is a picture of my area:

I use two lamps to try and cancel out shadows, and to use for photography. Notice I have my hobby mat out with my most frequently used tools. I keep the paints I don’t use, or at least not using at the time, in my art box. Sand for basing is kept in a small convenient box.

Please also take a look at the hobby guide over at Deep Fried Happy Mice.  It’s really well done, and is more comprehensive.  It’s not strictly DBA, but it’s well worth your time to read it.

O.k., so now we have our supplies, our army, reference materials…what else do we need? Oh yeah, paint!

Next: Selecting the Right Paint