Build and paint your first Warhammer model: perfect for beginners

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hi there my name's guy you're watching

midwinter minis

and in this video i'm going to cover all

the steps you need to know to build

and paint your first ever warhammer

miniature and guide you

every step of the way from this to this

i've been doing this for years and years

and i've painted hundreds of models

probably over a thousand i've made tons

of mistakes

but in this video i'm gonna do my best

to help you avoid them

so you can hit the ground running truly

enjoy the process of painting

and end up with something that you can

be really proud of we're also going to

be joined by my nieces

erin who's 11 and kristen who's 15 and

they're going to be building and

painting their first models right

alongside you

i'm erin and i'm 11 years old i have


painted or made a war

thing hello i'm kristen and i'm 15

and i've never heard of warhammer i'm

sorry guy

in the video description you'll find

useful time stamps to all the different


just in case you want to skip to the bit

you're looking for or watch it again


okay let's get started let's cover the

things you'll need for a basic

miniature painting setup you want a nice

flat surface

to use as a painting area either on a

table a desk

even a tray table will work nicely if

you're painting in the daytime

sitting next to a window to get some

nice natural light is a great idea

but if you're painting in the evening

you might want to sit near a lamp so you

can see what you're doing more closely

white daylight bulbs or leds are usually

the best

as you'll be able to see the colors much

more clearly than warmer softer bulbs

if you want to paint models you're

obviously going to need some paint

there are loads of different brands that

make acrylic paint for miniatures

and they all have some good points and

bad points but for me personally

the best balance of quality price and

good paint coverage

is vallejo i would also recommend

getting hold of a can of spray plastic


for most paint schemes i would recommend

getting a gray one

and we'll talk about why you need this

in a minute to get things going you'll

also need a paintbrush

i would recommend grabbing a set of

cheap synthetic brushes if it's your

first time

lots of companies make gold taklon

brushes in good sizes for the hobby

i do about 99 of my miniature painting

with synthetic brushes like this

they give you good control of your brush

but they're cheap enough that you don't

have to be too precious about them

in the video description i've linked to

a cheap brush set that'll give you a

good range of sizes

it's also quite important to have a few

tools for assembling your models

some models are push fit but others will

need to be put together with glue

plastic glue sometimes called plastic

cement is the best thing to use for

plastic models

super glue will hold anything together

but the pieces may eventually break

apart if you drop them or hold them too


you'll need a sharp knife to clean up

your model before you glue them together

maybe you or somebody in your house

already has a craft knife or a scalpel

be very careful when using something

like this i cut right into my thumb when

i was about 10 years old trying to build

an imperial guard tank and i've still

got the scar

to get the models out of the sprues they

come attached to a pair of hobby snips

will be really useful

if you don't want to buy a dedicated

tool like this just yet

nail clippers make a pretty good

alternative you'll also want a little

jar or cup of water

i prefer glass jars as you can more

easily see when your paint water needs


and there's a much smaller chance of you

accidentally cleaning your dirty

paintbrush in your lovely coffee

or worse drinking your gross paint water

it's also handy to have a couple of

sheets of kitchen paper on hand

to wipe your paint brush and clean up

any spills you might have

you're also going to want a simple

palette to mix your paints on

a lot of experienced painters use a wet

palette which keeps your paints usable

for longer

but i just don't like them i find it

much easier to use a little plastic cup

palette like this

and the best part is this is the

cheapest type of palette too

finally it might seem obvious but you're

going to need some models

for your first mini painting experience

i would recommend a normal

infantry unit from an army you think

looks cool i'm going to be painting one

of these adeptus mechanicus qatari


kristen is going to be painting a space

marine and aaron is going to be painting

a necron warrior

right so you've got all the bits you

need let's start building your model

most of the time warhammer models come

on these plastic frames

these are called sprues now each model

is made of several parts

if your sprue has several miniatures on

it and is a part of a squad of similar


sometimes parts are interchangeable

meaning you can choose whatever arms or

legs or head you like

but often you'll find specific arms go

with a specific torso

and some hands or weapons only fit on

specific arms

make sure to check out the instructions

your model comes with just to make sure

you're using the right parts

once you've identified the bits you need

to build your model it's time to snip

them out of the sprue

using your hobby snips or nail clippers

carefully cut out the parts you need one

by one

if you cut the model parts with the

snips right against the piece

you might accidentally cut into the part

if you cut just a little bit further


we can remove any rough bits later

without damaging the model

double check to make sure you've got all

the bits you need and then we can spend

a minute just making sure the pieces are

nice and clean and looking their best

using your sharp knife carefully cut

away any of the little sprue connection

points that might have been left behind

on the model

it's better to cut away little by little

than too much all at once

otherwise you might damage the model you

might also notice that the pieces of

your model have a very

fine line running all the way around

this is called a mould line

left over from when the two halves of

the mold pressed together

this can really easily be removed using

the back of your hobby knife

you don't need to use a lot of pressure

just gently scrape away

any really obvious mould lines and your

models will look

much better when they're all painted up

after you've cleaned up your model and

removed sprue connections

you might notice that some areas have

these little white marks this will be

hidden when we prime and paint so don't

worry too much

okay now we've got all the loose model

bits and we know they're nice and clean

now it's time to attach them dry fit

your parts together to see where they

actually contact each other

and then add a little dot of plastic

glue on one side

hold the parts together for a couple of

seconds and the parts will start to bond

if the parts are small you can usually

let go after about five seconds

if the parts are a bit bigger or heavier

you might want to hold them together for

a little bit longer

some push fit models go together without

glue and they have these little posts

and holes

but i find they often need a very tight

squeeze to fit together properly and

sometimes you can damage your models by

doing this

i prefer to snip the posts off and glue

them together as though they were normal


when you dry fit your model sometimes

you'll see things that will obviously be

really tricky to paint in the future

for example on this guitary model i'll

be painting it'll be

really hard to paint the inside of the

coat without accidentally painting the


in cases like this it's sometimes easier

to leave them off

paint them separately and then glue them

together after you've painted them

this is called painting in

sub-assemblies and this is very useful

for bigger more complicated models

for this demo though i'm going to fully

build this model just so you can see

that it's not the end of the world if

you've glued everything together before

you started painting

oh it's pretty easy like gluing it

because like you just put it in the

little holes

and then you just like stuck in yeah

it's good

now your model is all built and prepped

now would be a good time to add some

detail to the base before we prime and


there are loads of different options

some bases already come with sculpted

details in the plastic

lots of companies also make cool texture

paints that dry with a rough rocky look

and some crack like dry earth erin

decided to use one of these cool texture

paints on her necron base

using an old paintbrush or a coffee

stirrer apply the paint to the base

and if you get any on the model's feet

by mistake just use a slightly damp

brush to wipe it away

another easy method of adding texture is

by using sand and little stones

this is what kristin wanted for her

space marine's base

apply a thin coat of pva to the model's

base place the bigger rocks by hand

and then sprinkle sand over the base

until the surface is covered

after this has dried you can do it again

to add even more texture to the surface

and make it natural and uneven

and if any sand dried to the model's

feet or legs no problem

just scratch them off with something

like a cocktail stick

if you don't have any sand little rocks

or any cool texture paints

you can use literal dirt for my guitari

i'm just sprinkling over some dirt and

dust i scooped from my driveway

again pva glue is great for creating a

strong bond over time

but super glue will make things stick

instantly why not experiment with both

methods and i'm sure you'll find one you


after an hour or two your bases will be

dry to the touch

and it'll be time to prime your model

now i never used to prime my warhammer

models and i only realized what a big

mistake this was when the paint on some

of my older models started scratching

and chipping off

priming adds a thin layer of paint that

sticks really well to the plastic

model but it also acts as a really nice

surface to lay your paint down on

not only does the paint behave better

when you actually paint but it would

also make your finished paint job

much more durable there are loads of

fancy model holders on the market so you

can get more control as you spray

but i just use blue tack or poster putty

to stick my models to a strip of

cardboard from a pizza box

it's free and it works

give your spray can a really good shake

for at least two minutes

shake and flip shake again

swirl flip swirl and a good shake to

finish it off

this mixes the paint up well with the

propellant inside the can

so you should get a smooth stream of

paint with good coverage on the model

the aim of the game here isn't to

totally saturate the model in paint

it's to give it just a light dusting we

don't want to accidentally fill in all

of that lovely detail by mistake

now head outside and holding the model

about 20 centimeters or 8 inches away

from the can

pull the trigger on the spray can while

you sweep left and right

as you do this rotate the model with

your other hand trying to hit from above

and from the underside too this is what

you're aiming for here

all the areas of plastic that were

scraped white the model itself

and the base should all be a uniform


it doesn't matter if there's a tiny bit

of plastic showing through here and


priming is always a balance of covering

the model as best you can

while preserving the detail and not

firing too much paint at it

here's a quick tip i also prime my paint

palette too

that way i can test exactly how the

paint is going to behave on my model

but on the palette itself now when your

primer is dry

it's time to paint if you're following

an official color scheme

now's the time to get all of your paints

together that you're going to need for

your project

if you haven't quite decided or you want

to make your own scheme

just use whatever colors feel right with

you there aren't really any rules here

the most important thing is that you

like it

i would recommend choosing a main color

and then an accent color that works well

with it and isn't too similar

if you need some inspiration don't be

afraid to look through a few books or

jump on instagram to see what color

combinations other people are using

kristin wanted to paint her space marine

as a hawk lord so she chose purple and


hawk hawk fly hawk hulk

erin wanted a spooky grim look on her

necrons so she chose a really dark gray

and a light bone color

well i just feel like it would be very

like creepy if you like saw that walking

towards you

you wouldn't expect it to be like

rainbow now i want a traditional look

with my skittari so i went with red

gray and corroded metal it's also useful

to attach your models to something

that'll make it easier to hold and turn

while you paint

as i said before loads of companies make

fancy holders but warhammer is quite an

expensive hobby

and i like to save money wherever i can

so i just use these little plastic cups

with a bit of blue tack under the

model's base

okay let's get painting the best place

to start is usually with your main color

and generally you can paint this

everywhere you don't have to be that


as we can paint our other colors over

the top of this one

to make sure your paint doesn't go on

too thick and obscure details

or dry with weird streaks and texture

you'll want to make sure it's thin to

the right

consistency paint straight out of the

pot is often much too thick to use

straight on the model

but by adding water bit by bit it

becomes smoother to work with

and covers much better and it flows from

the brush more easily

be careful you don't add too much water

though as the paint will be really hard

to control

and runs everywhere just add a little


bit by bit until it looks nice and silky

like this

when you're base coating it's important

to use a brush that's big enough

you might think that you need a teeny

tiny brush to paint small models

but actually i do the majority of my

painting with size two brushes or bigger

they carry more paint you can paint

faster and you can still be pretty

accurate with them when you need to be

using a tiny detail brush for base

coating will take ages and it'll drive

you mad

once you've got your first base coat

painted on it shouldn't take too long to


most acrylic model paints dry in just a

couple of minutes

if you think it looks a bit see-through

or it's not really a nice solid color

you might want to apply another thin

coat just to reinforce it

now we've got our main color down and

before we start adding our accent colors

painting the weapons and stuff like that

at this point you might want to do

something called dry brushing to add

quick highlights to your main color

before we actually start dry brushing

we'll need a lighter version of your

main color

you can obviously buy a dedicated paint

just for this but don't be afraid to mix

your own on your palette

so for erin's necron we mixed a slightly

lighter grey by adding a bit of white to

the main color she used

for kristen's space marine we added a

bit of white and a tiny bit of red to

the purple to make a warmer pink

and i'm adding a bit of yellow to my red

to make it a little bit brighter and


now we've got the right color let's

start dry brushing

grab a large brush like this with big

soft bristles

and dab it in the paint on your palette

now start

wiping it on your kitchen paper working

the paint into the bristles

and moving it around until almost no

paint is coming off on the paper

now start sweeping your brush gently

back and forth across the model

the lighter paint will only catch on the

raised and prominent areas

leaving your original base color in the


as you can see this is a really quick

way of adding texture

and bringing out detail it might seem

funny doing it now as we've only got one

color on the model

but as you can see this is quite a messy

step and if you'd already painted some

other colors

it would be really hard not to paint

over them accidentally while you do this

the dry brush in it made it look so sick

it was really good

but don't use too much dry brushing was


it looked really cool when you put it on

obviously it was 3d but it looked like


real kind of now you've got a nice

textured main color on your model

let's go back to our standard brush and

start blocking in the other colors we'll

be using on the model

for the legs torso and face of my


i'm going to paint them a military gray

color again

get the paint on your palette so it's

nice and thin and workable not too thick

not too runny and now because we're

going to be trying to be a little bit

more accurate with our paintbrush this


let's make sure the brush has a nice

point and that there isn't too much

paint on the brush

you can do both of these things in one

easy motion

simply wipe your brush on your palette

and twist it around in your fingers

there we go the bristles are now in a

nice point and we've got just the right

amount of paint on the brush

now start blocking in your secondary

colors paying a little bit more

attention on how you hold

and where you aim the brush it's really

easy to accidentally touch a bit that

you don't want to with the wrong paint


either with the edge of your brush or

just if your hands are a little bit


and don't worry about making little

mistakes i do it all the time too

if it's a tiny mistake we can just go

back with your first color and tidy up

the paint once it's dried

if it's a bigger mistake you can use a

clean brush dampened with a little water

to draw the paint away while it's still

wet if there are any smudges left over

tidy up with your original color again

every model painter does this back and


making sure the colors are in the right

place even though base coating might

seem like the simplest part

it often takes the most concentration so

don't be afraid to relax

and take your time if your hands are a

little bit shaky

don't forget to breathe normally and sit

in a relaxed position

be careful not to hold your breath it

can also help if you rest your elbows on

your table

and touch your wrists together to make a

sort of anchor point

every model is obviously totally

different but the process of base

coating will be the same

just go around your model with whatever

colours you want for that particular


do you want your weapons to be silver go

for it pouches and bags and boots to be


now's the time kristen painted the trim

on the armor a nice gold color

made the weapons and aquila on the chest

a nice dark gray

and then picked out some little bits and

pieces with silver erin made the head on

her necron warrior a spooky bone colour

and then painted the gun and cable

silver we also painted our bases too

both erin and i wanted a few areas on

our model to be a cool

blue glowing colour but we're gonna

leave that just for now

because the next stage will darken

things down a little bit more

so far we've covered base coating fixing

mistakes dry brushing

and painting a little bit more

accurately now let's learn how to use

shade paints

sometimes called washes to add quick

definition to your models

i use either a brown wash or a black

wash or both

on pretty much every model i ever paint

they're much thinner and runnier than

normal paints

and they're designed to seek out the

recesses so when they dry

the creases cracks and crevices are

darker than they were before

they also stain the colour they're

painted over a little bit too

but if you're using the right colour

shade paint i think it makes it look

more grungy and realistic

to apply them load up some wash on your

brush and paint it over any of the parts

you want to add shading to

it seems quite simple and it is as i

said i usually use a black wash and a

brown wash

the black wash is applied over cooler

colors like grays blues

purples and silver or metallic parts i

use a brown wash on anything i want to

give a warmer or dirtier tone to

reds browns golds even greens look quite

nice with a little brown tinted shading

if you leave lots of wash on a model

that has big armor panels or large

smooth areas it might start to look a

bit streaky when it dries

you can avoid this by when you finished

applying your shade paint

swapping out to a clean slightly damp

brush and just

tapping the brush on the part where you

want to remove the wash

the shade will be drawn up into the

brush and you can wipe it away on the

paper towel

rinse and repeat literally until you're

happy with how your models look

and then leave it to dry this will take

a little bit longer to dry than regular


but after about half an hour it should

be dry enough to add a little more

detail if you want to

but if you just want to paint your

models to a nice tabletop standard

this is a great place to leave them if

you like

if you want to push it a little bit

further let's quickly talk about


as you can see the wash stage has muted

the colors a little bit

so you may want to bring yours back up

on the key parts of the model

just to add some vibrancy and help

define some of the details

let's quickly mix up a highlight color

that's slightly lighter than our

original base color

for example i'm going to mix a tiny bit

of white into the gray that i used for

my schitari's legs

and then using my detail brush i'm going

to carefully pick out a few of the sharp

folds and details around his legs being

careful to stay away from the recesses

we don't want to ruin all that lovely

shading we just did this would be a good

time to use a slightly smaller brush

and remember to make sure your paint is

the right consistency on your palette


not too thick not too runny and swirl

the brush to bring it to a nice tip

and then paint you can do this wherever

you like on your model

this pushes the contrast between light

and dark on your model too

making it look a bit more impressive and

helping it stand out a bit more on the


let me show you this process again but

this time to make this cool blue

energy glow first i'll base coat this

small area of coils on the gun

and also the eye lenses on this katari's


then i'll mix a tiny bit of white into

that blue paint to make it kind of sky


and then paint just the raised areas

making sure to leave some of the normal

blue visible underneath

then i'll mix a tiny tiny bit more white

in and do another

very small highlight now if i'm feeling


i might want to just do a single dot of

white just on the sharpest parts to make

it look really bright and shiny

i'll also do the same thing for the eye

lenses and aaron also did this effect on

her glowing weapons too

you don't need to go overboard with

highlights often just a few here and

there will really sell the effect

and make the miniature look a lot more

striking now that you're done painting

let's give all our paint brushes we used

in the session a nice thorough clean in

our water

and then dry them off on the paper towel

now as you can see we could definitely

call it a day here

a cool looking model that's been nicely

built neatly base coated

dry brushed with texture shaded and


definitely a model to be proud of your

box of models might have come with a

little sheet of cool designs though

these are called water slide transfers

basically they're just fancy stickers

that activate with water

let me show you quickly how to use these

just in case you want to add some to

your models

choose the one you want to use and cut

around it carefully using some scissors

or your sharp hobby knife

now add a few drops of water on your

pallet and lay the transfer in the water

after about a minute give it a gentle

tap with your paintbrush

and you should see that it's come loose

from the paper

lightly moisten the area of your model

you want the transfer to go on

and then very gently scoop the transfer

up with your brush

now carefully lay it in place on your

model and while everything is still a

bit wet

gently poke and prod the transfer until

it's in the right place

now dry your brush off on your paper

towel and lightly press on the transfer

this will absorb some of the water and

stop it slipping around as it dries and

fixes on

now this is a notoriously fiddly process

but you've got a lot of working time so

just be patient and you'll get it


it'll be dry to the touch after about

one hour but because they're very


they may break or flake off if you touch

them too much

to make sure the transfer holds for

years and years you might want to add

some stuff called matte

medium over the top this is basically

paint but with no color in it and it

dries with a nice dull

matte finish so it also hides some of

the shine on the transfer too

helping it blend in and that's basically

all you need to know

to start building and painting your very

first warhammer model

here's my skittari model i've painted

during this episode but as i said before

i've been painting for years and i've

painted a lot of models

but here's 15 year old kristen's space


and 11 year old erin's necron warrior

both of them are their very first

painted models and i think they did a

fantastic job

if you look at the box art for your

models the fancy photos they use on the

website or instagram accounts of

professional mini

painters it's easy to be put off when

you're just getting into the hobby

your paint jobs definitely won't look

like these the very first time you try

and that's okay painting models is a

skill you develop like any other

playing an instrument writing stories

playing a sport

the more you do it the better you'll get

to show you what i mean here are some

pictures from our awesome patreon


showing their earliest models compared

to their latest models

just so you can see how you really do

improve over time

and while you check them out i'd also

quickly like to thank our newest patreon


sean mayan james captain carnage martin


danny moore ukrainian smuggler paint me

like one of your minis

killarat john who streams matt lee

daniel morris dan orter james vaughn

henrik waddell

strichy poo chris r tyler blair

joe brackenborough brendan stevens

hayden cordell

devin danny mcelroy stuart brown darren


thought for your thoughts chris harris

edward pemberton

james louch brandon danger scott h

anonymous contributor

and bat flashes i really hope you found

this video useful

if you're looking for any of the tools

or equipment i used in this video

there's a list of my recommended stuff

in the video description

thank you so much for watching if you

made it this far you might like to check

out some of our other beginner-friendly

painting and crafting tutorials

and i'll catch you next time bye for now

thank you so much

guy and i hope you've enjoyed me putting

it together and painting it

and making it look cool bye thanks for