In this article, I will set out some of my top beginner tips for painting 15mm miniatures for Flames of War. I will be focusing on achieving good effects for playable models, and not trying to get you winning painting contests. When one paints hundreds of tanks per year like I do, the focus really is on getting those miniatures on the table top. I generally ink my figures, so I will assume you are doing that too -- it really does save time and give a good effect.
You have your models purchased, so now what? I recommend painting a playable unit like a platoon all at once. The next thing to do is to pick your color scheme and gather your paints. The books published by Battlefront usually have a good guide - with specific paints - in the back for infantry and tanks. I would also search out the Osprey books, which have really good color plates that you can match up to your paints. Here are some prep tips:
- Use cheap black spray paint as primer - sue me, white primer fans! $1 at big box stores. Black lets you make mistakes on small infantry figures and have no one notice.
- Take the time to really trim all the flash off of your figures! Nothing ruins a paint job more effectively than horrible flash lines. Take the time up front and clean those figs!
- Brush off the white-ish dust (release agent) on the figures, if present. I have never really had much of a problem with this, but when I do see the stuff I use a stiff brush or a quick wash with soapy water before priming.
- Paint a platoon at a time. This will give you a sense of accomplishment and encouragement to continue. It will also help tie the platoon together as a unit. Even if using the same techniques and materials, it is difficult to exactly replicate a paint job.
- Order/buy everything you need before starting!