Creating a painting station to allow you to produce beautifully painted model miniatures is the perfect way to bring your army to life. Whether you specialise in sci-fi, fantasy or historical modelling, having the right selection of tools can be the difference between an average and a spectacular model. If you really want to take your painting to the next level, there are some fantastic products on the market now that make the hobby far more accessible. Here are some essential tools that will help you to create incredible results every time.
Airbrushing is a popular method of painting models because of the incredibly smooth finish it can create, the speed at which it allows you to paint and the ability to blend colours with ease. A good airbrush will consist of a duel trigger brush that allows you to control both air and paint flow and a gravity feed cup that will allow you to work with both large and small amounts of paint depending on the coverage needed. A compressor with a tank is your best option as it will provide a continuous stream of air without pulsing. Compressed air cans and tankless compressors are available and are less expensive but might sacrifice quality. Whenever you're using any type of industrial equipment that involves fumes, make sure you wear a protective facemask and operate in a well-ventilated area.
A good selection of brushes will always serve you well, and you should keep a selection of old worn out brushes for pasting on PVA and gravel. Get a variety of sizes from fine brushes for details like eyes and smaller features, to larger brushes to ink wash and paint large vehicles and terrain. Quality brushes will be made of horsehair and will need to be carefully cleaned with soap and warm water, re-shaped and laid flat to dry after each use. Synthetic bushes are also available but are best used when precision isn't required.
A selection of gravel, stones, moss and flock will allow you to create great scenic bases for your models. Make sure you have PVA glue because it is strong and can be cleaned off easily if you get some of it on the model. PVA glue can be purchased at most craft stores.
Always save your modelling sprue. A bits box full of odd weapons, limbs and pieces of plastic will allow you to customise your models to make them look unique. It also means you can replace any bits that break or are lost.