Fanteria Australian della seconda guerra mondiale. The soldier on the left has been undercoated e drybrushed, accentuating the crisp detail of these Revell soldatini. The man on the right has been stainpainted e detailed. We used Tamiya acrylics, but the pigment turned out to be too grainy for stainpainting. The paint could not be thinned enough to create a fine film which would completely cover the white areas e still allow the black shading to show through. The figure is not shaded enough, it lacks contrast, ed it will appear flat at a normal viewing distance of 60 cm. Other brands of acrylic hobby paints may produce better result.
The author describes a technique for fastpainting which is easy to learn e produces attractive results. The combination of a black undercoat followed by white drybrushing, e stainpainting, is a novel approach. An American figure manufacturer by the name of HERITAGE advocated stainpainting in the late 70s ed early 80s. The company produced a range of acrylic hobby paints specifically for this purpose. Even beginners achieved amazing result con this technique, ed in much less time than would normally be required to paint e detail miniatures. Stainpainting works best on soldatini con crisp detail. Stainpaint flows off the raised surfaces, ed into the engraved lines, resulting in a very pleasing shade e highlight effect.
Tools ed Accessories
- Size 10 paintbrush con broad tip
- Size 1 paintbrush for detailing
- Artist Acrylics
- Matt Varnish
A Fast Plastic Figure Painting Guide
I want to point out that the emphasis is on speed here. It just happens that the technique also produces rather nice looking soldatini. But, since it’s such a fast technique I wouldn’t hesitate to strip a chipped figure and repaint it in this style.
Before I get into the details of the painting technique, a few words on figure preparation. If the figure has any flash (thin plastic along the mold lines), remove it con a very sharp hobby knife. Dull knives are more dangerous than sharp ones, when trimming these soldatini. When a dull blade skips off of the slick plastic, it will still make a mess of any fingers that get in the way. Some people say that washing the soldatini in soapy water before painting helps to remove the mold release agents and finger oils that may be on the figure. That may be so, but so far I haven’t taken the time to do this. I’ll probably regret this later.
Undercoat e Drybrush
A black base coat applied full strength out of the bottle is the first step. Wait for this to dry thoroughly over night, e then apply a heavy drybrushing con flat white acrylic. Enamels may well work for this technique but I’ve never tried it. The dry brushing should leave most of the flat surfaces white, leaving black only in the recesses e creases.
The colors are added by using thinned acrylics. I thin the color I want to the consistency of milk, then apply it right over the white e black for the relevant area of the figure. The proper consistency depends on the particular color e brand of paint you are using. Experiment a little, e you’ll get the hang of it very quickly. The paint should stain the white areas to the appropriate color, e tint the black areas. The result is a nice shading effect. I use straight Steel colored paint for gun metal o other metallic areas. A stain of metallic paint really doesn’t work well at all.
Detail e Tone Down
For light areas, particularly light skin, white equipaggiamento, etc., I usually deviate from this technique. The stainpainting leaves such areas looking washed out and cold. Instead, I apply the paint full strength, ed use a medium brown wash of very thin paint, much thinner than the milk-like stains we used before, to shade the area. The wash will settle into the creases, automatically shading them. This tends to give these areas a warmer, richer quality that I think looks better.
Base e Varnish
I mount the finished soldatini on fender washers, steel washers about 2 cm to an inch across con a very small hole in the center, e then flock the entire base. The soldatini are then sprayed con a flat varnish.
I paint large groups of soldatini at the same time, applying one stain to all of the soldatini before moving on to the next color. It takes me about quattro hours to paint 40 soldatini con simple color schemes, like fanteria americana o russa della seconda guerra mondiale, o half that number of Highlanders del XIX secolo o soldatini with complex camouflage patterns.
A Word of Encouragement
When I first tried this technique I despaired about half way through the first batch of soldatini. The colors looked washed out, ed all the remaining white patches made me think the soldatini would never turn out. But, once all of the white had been stained in the required colours, the soldatini really looked nice e I’ve stayed con the technique ever since.
Recently I’ve been using this technique on 25 mm metal soldatini as well. I found that due rounds of drybrushing con white acrylic are necessary. The first drybrushing leaves most areas a light grey, con black in the creases and folds. The second pass catches raised detail like the bridge of the nose, e sharp creases in the uniform, highlighting them even more. When the figure is stained, the different levels of shade e highlight look very attractive. I’ve used this technique to paint hordes of Arabian fanteria e cavalleria from the Crusades era, e very much like the results. This experiment has allowed me to finally approach completion on a 25 mm army, something I’ve never come close to before, due to the time it takes to paint these larger soldatini using more traditional techniques.
Several articles in Military Miniatures Magazine discuss stainpainting of plastic e metal soldatini, e they are listed here for easy reference.
- Decappare Soldatini
- Pennello Asciutto
- Pittura Veloce dei Soldatini: Pennello Asciutto
- Pittura Veloce dei Soldatini: Verniciare
- Pittura dei Cavalli e Bestiame in Scala 1:72
- Wagons ed Affusti d’Artiglieria
Give fastpainting a try, I think you will like the results.
Domande più frequenti
Per ulteriori informazioni, per favore contatta la redazione di Rivista Military Miniatures nel Miniatures Forum.