Friday, 8 February 2013

A Step by Step Guide, part 1; Tools & Materials

This page is the first in a series of guides which will lead you through each step in painting a group of Landsknecht miniatures.

Before we begin painting allow me to introduce my painting desk as it's a rather important piece of kit.

Whilst painting I like to have a number of images at my disposal as reference points, no more so than when painting Landsknechts as I find it helpful to have some visual cues as to how their clothing was made and also I find it helps me to select a palette.

This desk is an IKEA 'Vika' combination, the feature that really helps is the raised glass top with room to slide reference material underneath which is great as books remain flat and don't get splashed with paint or water, plus you can leave the material there when you're not working ( a bonus for cat owners such as I !)

I also mix paint on the glass which wipes off easily. There are a number of lid and leg combinations, it really is an excellent addition to the painting armoury.

Now lets have a look at what's on top of the desk.

Most importantly is a decent angle poised desk lamp with a daylight bulb, I also like to keep a spare bulb in stock. To the left of the desk is a window for more light, I find this gives less glare from the sun which can be problematic if you place your desk against a window.

Next to the lamp is a rack of Foundry paints, 78 in all, that's 26, 3 step palettes, along with 2 Games Workshop inks (black and brown). They are arranged from red through to purple then browns with flesh, canvas (white) grey, black and metallics at the front, you can read more about selecting a palette via the page label on the right.

Nestled within some jars are a selection of brushes; I use a mix of Foundry brushes for fine detail work and Pro-arte Prolene artists watercolour brushes, sizes 0-2 for general work along with a couple of larger acrylic brushes for basing and varnishing. There are also a few palette knives which come in handy when basing.

The big box next to that is filled with unpainted figures and spare parts, bits n bobs etc.

As well as books I have taken to keeping my most used tools under the desk lid for quick access, namely;

needle files
sculpting tools
pin vice & drill bits
green stuff
mixing palette
scalpel & spare blades
steel ruler
kitchen paper
stout foil (they type you may find from the top of whisky bottles)
short and beak nosed pliers
cutting mat

Throughout the course of these tutorials most of these tools will be used at some point but if you're just starting out the items listed in bold should serve you well in addition to brushes and paint.


  1. That is without doubt the tidiest wargamers painting table I have ever seen. It perhaps explains why your painting is so damn good.
    Thanks Robbie

    1. Ha, it sort of has to be clean so I can see through it!

      That and I like an organised workspace - though the interior of my car does not give the same message.

  2. Great idea with the glass surface :-)

  3. Very good idea to use the glass surface. So good in fact, I'm going to hunt one out at Ikea next time I go!!

  4. Those two books under the glass, which one is it on the right.