My First Painted Miniature

Last Sunday Gareth and I embarked on a road trip to check out a small Xwing event hosted at FLGS (shout out to Game Quest). Unfortunately there wasn’t enough space for us to play Xwing that particular day. However as luck would have it Game Quest is well known for their used video game selection and trade in deals, and we happened to bring along an assortment of long neglected PS3 and PS4 games to trade in. After some intense bargaining, which involved us staring at the guy price and sort our games, and chatting idly about some of the titles, we came out a $100 richer (or $69 for you Americans). We promptly, turned around and purchased Star Wars Imperial Assault, and the expansion Twin Shadows.

And with that we had unknowingly entered into the world of painted miniatures. But we like to think of ourselves as the frugal type, and I was not prepared to invest in a complete palate of Citadel Paints and high end paint brushes.

I browsed a few Imperial Assault painting guides and started to feel fairly confident that we could indeed paint a miniature, maybe not well but we could do it. Then I found the perfect guide on reddit. Not only was this a guide written by someone who had never painted before, but they had even done it with supplies purchased from WalMart. This is was it. We were going to do it.

And so it began with the AT-ST.


Many guides recommended sanding and filling small imperfections left behind during the moulding process, but I went ahead and skipped this step, for no better reason than I didn’t feel like doing it.


I did however understand the importance of priming. Just some good ol’ rattle can primer used here.


Here we can see the *gasp* “paints” I used for the first of many grey washes.


Using those very same paints I did a black shadow wash and dry brush for highlighting purposes.


And finally I sealed the piece using water based satin varathane. Nobody in Canadian Tire really knew what to recommend for a project like this but assured me it would be okay to paint over acrylics with the varathane. I chose a less glossy finish to hopefully hide some of the imperfections and mistakes in my brush work.

There you have it. Anyone can do it, and hopefully with practice one day we’ll be able to do it well.

– Jen

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