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How To Paint Plastic Soldiers :The Basics

Updated on June 22, 2012

What You'll Need

So you fancy having a crack at Painting Plastic Soldier figures for yourself. No problem, I myself am not what you would call artistic . If you have a lot of patience, time to spare and a steady hand them you too can produce Painted figures to a reasonable standard like mine.

First steps are to choose your figures. I use mostly Airfix 1/32 scale from WW2 era . Original vintage figures are available on Ebay and prices can vary depending on condition and rarity .Italian infantry and SAS figures are probably the rarest and can demand a high price .

The original figures from the 70's are made from a softer plastic, recently Airfix reintroduced many of the popular figures but they are made from a much harder plastic, similar to the plastic found in their aircraft model kits.

The next items you will need are paints and brushes. I use the water based acrylic paints mainly because they dry quickly . I use Revell Aqua Color and Vallejo paint there are a wide range of colours and finishes available in matt and silk . I will indicate which colours I have used later in the Hub.

Airfix 1/32 Figures Available on ebay  14 figures will cost around $11 (5)
Airfix 1/32 Figures Available on ebay 14 figures will cost around $11 (5)
I use Citadel brushes from Games Workshop a Wash Brush for base coats and then a Fine detail brush
I use Citadel brushes from Games Workshop a Wash Brush for base coats and then a Fine detail brush
Revell Aqua Color
Revell Aqua Color

Preparation Is Everything !

As the title says "preparation is everything" . If you get this part right the painting becomes a lot easier . All plastic moulded figures will have a thin layer of releasing oil on them this is a bi product of the injection moulding process. IT IS THE MODEL PAINTERS ENEMY to remove it wash the figure thoroughly in warm soapy water rubbing it between your fingers and rinse off. At this stage you may find that some of the weapon tips have been bent in transit to reset them Place in a cup of very warm water for 10 seconds and then remove them from the water and bend back into position. You're almost there now , one last thing to remove is any plastic flashing or excess plastic from the moulding process this can be remover with a scalpul , however I have found a pair of nail clippers and tweezers can do the trick , finally sand down any rough edges of imperfections being careful not to remove any detail on the figure, my wife nail files have come in handy on many occasions

Base Coating

More too follow.................................................


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    • profile image

      ruffridyer 6 years ago from Dayton, ohio

      You obviously love your work. A nice hobby.

    • PDXBuys profile image

      PDXBuys 6 years ago from Oregon

      Nice work!

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 6 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      Good detailed tips, I don't have the time for such a hobby, but I'm sure that these tips can help others.

    • Plastic Soldier profile image

      Plastic Soldier 6 years ago from Cheshire England

      Thanks for the vote of Confidence

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Did you mean to say "How to Paint Plastic Soldiers" or "Painting Plastic Soldiers." Otherwise, voting this Up and Useful.