Miniatures Painting Materials Cost Guide

Materials and their Costs

Note: I use high-quality craft paints, and I have had great luck with Ceramcote paints, which I can find on sale for $.89, and which are only $1.50 full price. I find that the amount of pigment in them is almost as concentrated as expensive paints by Citadel/Games Workshop, Reaper, and Vallejho, which can run up to $4 per .5 ounce bottle. Ceramcote comes in 2 ounce bottles. You're paying about 4 times as much for official miniatures paint, for a quarter as much paint.

Do the math. If you find that using official miniatures paint is 16 times as good (or you have an unlimited budget), then it makes sense to buy them. They are slightly better, in my experience, but for me, it's just not worth the extra cost, and when you're first starting out, and you're still learning painting techniquest, you're really not going to see any difference.

Myself, I'd rather have many more colors from which to choose than to have just a few, but the following are the colors I'd buy first.

Item Cost
Necessary to Start?
Red $1.50/bottle yes
Yellow $1.50/bottle yes
Blue $1.50/bottle yes
Black $1.50/bottle yes
White $1.50/bottle yes
Flesh $1.50/bottle yes
Gold $1.50/bottle yes
Silver $1.50/bottle yes
Brown $1.50/bottle yes
Green $1.50/bottle no
Purple $1.50/bottle no
Orange $1.50/bottle no
Opalescent $1.50/bottle no
Armory Metallic Paint Set $16 (6-pack) no
Inks, Pellican Drawing (not pigmented) $2.25/bottle no
Drying Retardant/"Extender" $1.50/bottle no
White Enamel Spray Paint $2.00/can yes

Tip: Make sure to spend your money on quality painting materials.  Don't worry so much about brands as you do about overall quality.

Tip: I like natural bristled brushes. I find that with proper care, they can last a very long time. If you're on a budget, camel hair will work fine, but if you can afford sable, I think it's worth the extra cost.

If you have an unlimited buget, Kolinsky sable brushes are the best, but they can cost up to $20 per brush, and I don't think they are worth it when you are first starting out.

Item Cost
Necessary to Start?
10-pack of camel or sable brushes (Department/Craft Store or Walmart) $10 yes
If bought separately, buy the following:   (single brushes not necessary if you buy the 10-pack, which shouldinclude these or similar brushes)
Size 4 flat $3.50/brush no
Size 2 flat $3.50/brush yes
Size 3 round $3.50/brush yes
Size 2 round $3.50/brush


Size 0 round $3.50/brush yes
Size 00 round $3.50/brush yes
Size 5/0 (00000) round $3.50/brush yes
Size 10/0 round $3.50/brush no
Plastic Paint Palette $1.50 yes
Matte Spray Fixant/Sealer $4.50/spray can yes
Xacto™ Knife $3.50/knife yes
Tweezers $5 no
Wire cutters $5 no
Jeweler's Files $15 (6-pack) no
"hands free vise" $10 no
Super Glue $2 yes
Craft/Household Glue $3 yes
2-Part Epoxy Ribbon ("Greenstuff") $2.75/ounce no
2-Part Epoxy Glue $4 no
Sculpey Modelling Compound $1.25/ounce or $7 for a 2 pound box no
Sand, common free (find it anywhere) yes

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Next Topic: Color Mixing Guide