Wednesday, December 26, 2012

How To Paint Miniatures - Airbrushing

The first step in painting a bronze miniature is to seal the bronze. The reason for this is that bronze is over 90 percent copper, which can patina easily. This means that the paint can actually cause the bronze to turn colors or darken. To prevent that from happening, I dip each figurine in an acrylic sealant and heat with a hot air gun. This sealer melts into the surface sealing the bronze and giving a perfect base to paint upon.

The next step is to mount each bronze figurine onto a painting stick so it can be airbrushed and painted. This is what I call a painting tray. Holds 19 painting sticks. The round tray allows me to place it on a Lazy Susan and spin to each stick as needed.

The airbrushing begins. I use white enamel paint and carefully spray the paint as to not fill in the detail. This is a very tricky step and must be done correctly.


Here are the finished airbrushed pieces of "Ice Cream" and "Blast Off." Now they must sit and dry for two days before painting can begin. The white base coat must be completely dry before the oil paints and glazes can be applied.

The white base coat is essential to painting miniatures because it allows the colors to show the detail. Any kind of darker color would hide detail and make a miniature hard to see. The light actually shines through the paint layers and reflects off this white base coat giving the miniature an almost porcelain look.

Next step is mixing and painting colors. That will be in the next update.

Thanks for looking,
Randall Zadar
Sculptor/Zadar Studios

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