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Author’s Note: Check out the original article on Helium!

Here you are, a newly recruited General for the armies of Warhammer Fantasy and/or Warhammer 40,000 and/or some other war-game that I haven’t mentioned, and you need to assemble your army for glorious battle. But, you don’t have the faintest ideas as to where to begin with all of your various sprues (unassembled plastic models) and metallic warriors.

First thing’s first, take a deep breath and remember that you are not required to have the best painted or best converted army right out of the gate. This will require three things from you: rudimentary knowledge of colour theory and lighting, as well as a lot of patience for both yourself (you’re learning) and the process (it takes a while). It will also require you to pick up the following materials from your local hobby store:

  • Plastic cutters, to separate the pieces from the sprues and to snip chunks of flash off of your metal miniatures
  • Super glue and/or plastic glue
  • Modelling putty aka. Green Stuff (use the GW (Games Workshop) stuff, if possible, as I’ve found it to be the most pliable)
  • Exacto knife with some extra blades (use with caution!)
  • A set of small files to get rid of flash and flash lines
  • Black Primer, from GW
  • ‘Ardcoat, from GW
  • Paintbrushes: one for base-coats, for medium detail, and fine detail
  • Paint (use Vallejo or GW)
  • Cup and saucer for the mixing of the paint

Find yourself a large table to set up shop and tell anyone and everyone in your house (including your pets) to stay away for fear of your wrath. I made the mistake of leaving my miniatures out around my dog when he was a puppy. He thought they were toys. I lost a squad of Space Marines to his tiny, gnawing teeth. Set out your shiny new tools and bust out the box that your army came in. You ready? Let’s get started.

Definitions You’ll Need to Continue

Sprue – all of your plastic and metal bits that are attached to one another, due to the crafting process

Flash – extra bits of model that are left over after you extract them from said sprues

Flash lines – ever present on your models, since no models are made in one piece. These lines really detract from the finished product, so make sure you get rid of them!

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