Miniature Mondays is happy to announce the start of a new blog posting series called "Miniature Mondays" featuring gaming minis painted by artist (and GeektGear Co-Owner) Alisha K. Ard with tips on painting miniatures. To kick off this series, here are some pictures of 3 minis she was recently commissioned to paint for Tim Brannan.

Miniature Painting Tip #1: A Good Base Coat

Whether you are painting plastic or metal miniatures, you are going to have to give them a base coat of primer. Primer is a paint product designed to adhere to surfaces and create a binding layer between the surface you are painting and the finishing paint.

There are different options when it comes to priming your minis. You can choose between brushing on a primer (such as this one by Reaper Miniatures) or using a spray paint primer. There is much debate over whether it is best to use a black primer or white primer, and we'll tackle this topic in a later post. For now, we are going to focus on what makes a good base coat.

1.) Make sure you are using a primer - not regular paint. You will find, especially on metal miniatures, that regular paint will not adhere to the surface very well. It will bubble up or run into the crevices. Which leads us to point #2.

2.) Don't gunk up your miniature with a thick base coat. These are small figures with fine details. You don't want the crevices full of paint or the eyes filled in solid with primer. If you are using spray paint primer it is important not to just point the can at the mini and spray it directly. Instead, spray it in sweeping passes. If the base coat appears too thin in areas or you missed places, turn the mini and spray from a different angle in another sweeping pass. If your miniature does lose a lot of detail because the primer is applied too thick, strip the miniature and start again. No painting technique is going to make the finished mini look good if the base coat is too thick.

If you have additional tips for priming your miniatures you would like to share, or questions about painting miniatures, we welcome your comments!

Painted miniatures and Article by: Alisha K. Ard


  1. Awesome! Not only did I get some really awesome minis painted, I get to read how.

    Thanks so much.

  2. They are cool. My wife and I were going over them with a magnifying glass to admire all the detail.

  3. Tim - You're welcome! I'm happy you are so pleased with the miniatures :)

    Kris - Thanks!