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Working with miniature 3d Printed Parts - tips, tools and ideas : Part 2, Painting the parts

In this part of the tutorial I paint some 3d printed miniatures. I use a variety of techniques to help you when painting your miniatures.

This is one of the great things about 3d printed minis - They are paintable.


I painted the parts using several different techniques.

First I primed one piece with an acrylic primer (Model Master Gray Primer) And I kept the layer of primer thin so as not to lose details. It worked pretty well but some of the green plastic still showed through. So I did a second coat of primer.

Priming the miniature


Then I painted it with acrylic paint. It came out pretty good and because it was primed it didn't need two coats of paint to cover things. But you can see that the primer was a little bit of an issue. Especially being two layers. There is definitely a little bit of roughness to the final paint job. Although it still looks good.

Painted with acrylic

In this next picture I painted the sacks with the fruits and vegetables using enamel paints (And no primer). It definitely has a richer look to it. And it particularly pops with the colorful vegetables. This is a big deal with miniature parts. You only have very small parts so sometimes brighter color pop works well.

Painted with enamel

And let's take a closer look at the sack that I didn't use acetone on. It still has the 3d print lines in it. The enamel paint covered the sack well with color and didn't hide all those lines. Which is actually a good thing. This means we can get a lot of really good detail painting using enamel paints. Although if you want to get rid of these lines I would say that a second coat of enamal would cover them up.

Closeup of the enamel paint

Finally I painted the table with straight up acrylic paint and no primer. I only did a single layer but I made it a thick layer.

painting with straight acrylic

And you can see it came out pretty good. Although there is definitely an overall green tint to the table. So, a priming or a second coat of paint could possible reduce some of the details it would make for less green tinted miniature.

The miniature painted with acrylic

This effect of a single layer of acrylic paint with no primer really shows in a very detailed piece like the Grand Treasure chest. You can see a lot of green here. Some of the green is because I didn't get into the small crevices with paint. And some of it is simply because with light color paints the green shows through.

Painted miniature treasure chest

In Summary

When it comes to painting these miniatures you do have a lot of options. If you are a beginner to painting miniatures you will be happy with any of the above procedures because they all work reasonably well. If I had to pick a winner it would be enamel paints with no primer. That gives us the richest look and particularly with bright colors. And we lose very little detail.

A potential good second choice would be a single layer of acrylic primer with a layer of acrylic paint or two layers of acrylic paint.

Next Okay, One more part to this tutorial. I added an LED to the cauldron. Lets take a look at how I did that.