Ideal Hobby start – What would I recommend to someone just starting out after 26 years in the Hobby?

Since this is often a discussion, as a lot of people start new and ask the question what paints and tools to get, I thought I’ll give my Opinion.  Fair warning this is not going to be the cheapest way to start, but rather the best way to start without buying tools and paints in bulk and giving you everything you need to start out.

So lets start with Glue:

You will need a a PVA glue for basing and Terrain. I personally buy my PVA glue cheap via Amazon, but a good brand would be Gorilla. But basically any old woodglue would do, however I recommend not getting a bucket and going for a bottle instead. Next is Plastic Glue. I personally prefer the GW one here with a needle. (you can free up the needle easily with a lighter if it gets clogged) but Tamiya or Revell; are also good brands.

For my metal and resin needs I go with the Army Painter glue together with the Activator.

Warning: do not go with the dollar store gel glue that stuff sucks and will ruin your fun in the long term as it crystallizes out and gets very brittle and is not good for model making.

Moving on to tools:

Again we’ll go with Quality. I like using the GW Paint-handle which is actually fairly cheap, but there are other alternatives\ from other brands.

For a knife I would recommend any scalpel from Amazon, important is a good amount of replacement blades, as you will want to switch those out regularly.  For a drill I recommend the GW or Army Painter one, for drill bits, I’d recommend a set from Dremel. The Mould line remover / scraper from GW is quite useful as well so despite the price I do recommend getting that one.


If you work wit resin get a pack of jewelers detail rasps.

You can either build yourself a wet palette or get one from Army Painter or one of the other companies. Personally i have one from P3, but would not get that one again.

Also for the Washes get a normal palette as well.

Lastly get yourself a decent cutting mat from Amazon in at least A3 Format.

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\Now for Brushes:

First of all do stay away from GW and Army Painter brushes, both are utter crap.  Depending on where you are you have different availability, Windsor and Newton are very good but tend to do not last long. Personally I recommend getting a set of red sable ones from Da Vinci in particular this set, it comes with a good collection of different sizes and importantly Brush soap. Da Vinci 5246 Series Multipurpose Red Sable Brush Set

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So we now have the Glue, tools and brushes covered, so next on the list are paints, and I’m actually gonna recommend a mix of Brands here. Namely Citadel and Vallejo. There are other good brands like Reaper, Scale75 and Greenstuffworld, but they all are catering more to the advanced painter.  I’m gonna go and say do not get Army painter as they are the cheapest but by far the lowest quality. I have several of them and after experience besides the glue, drill wet palette out of the army painter products I would only use their Quick shades.

Ok so for Primer, I will go and recommend getting Citadel ones, I know they are expensive, however, they do work reliably and you do not risk ruining your miniatures with automotive primer or bad primer.  I recommend getting Lead Belcher, Wraith-bone and Chaos black. Note:  This depends a bit on your army, but I would say go with Wraith-bone and then either one or both of the other ones. Note: this is due to the paints I’m recommending here. If you can get a pistol grip for spray cans (usually around 3 bugs) as it will make handling easier and cleaner on your hands.

So for our custom paint set I will start with the basics:

Get the basic Vallejo Game Color paint set. It contains a good selection of different paints, and I would only advise to get a Gloss Varnish on top. The Paint set is the 72299 Acrylic Colors For Fantasy Figures one.

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Continuing with Vallejo I will advise to get a set each of their Game Color Extra Opaque and Game Color  Washes from the Game Color Range as well. Set numbers are 73998 & 72290


Next on the paint list is again Citadel. Here I’m gonna say get  a pot of Nuln Oil and Agrax Earth-shade, however you might want to get another Wash depending on the color-scheme, like a green red, orange, blue etc.  So 3 pots here. On top of that I will advise to also get the Contrast paint range which is about 30 paints, and will be actually the most expensive part on this list, so, depending on your paint schemes and needs, my advice would be to get the ones you need for your paint-scheme. Also get a pot of the Medium to be able to thin those bottles down.

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Optional for the Citadel paints but highly recommended:

A bag of Dripper bottles and some small funnels. I would also recommend for all paints to get some Glas Agitator balls, one per bottle is enough.


On top of these things, I would advise to get a pack of Latex gloves, (obviously once Corona is over) a roll of Kitchen-towels and a decent Breathing mask for priming and if you work with resin this is also highly recommended. If you work with Resin or Metal miniatures also do get a decent Eye protection glasses, those do fit over normal glasses and are cheap enough.

I would also recommend getting a Dremel if you work with metal and resin miniatures and for the paints a cheap nail polish shaker from China (via Amazon).


Final Thoughts:

As said in the beginning this list is not to be the cheapest but to give you an, in my opinion, with 26 years of hobby experience, perfect start into the hobby. In total if you shop around and buy with discounts this should run about 120-150 euros for the paints, however if you get all paints it will be more like 220 euros. 12-36 euros for the primer, 20 euros for the brushes, and about 50-60 euro for the other tools.  The optional stuff would be another 100 euro all in if you get a cheap off brand Dremel or hunt for a bargain.. However you will have everything you need for a good while and will have good and time tested and proven tools and paints.  I have not included things like lights here, but I would recommend getting at least two decent lamps as well. I have cheap ones from Lidl, which I bought years ago, plus a macro light ring on the DSLR that is mounted on top for my streaming. As Lighting will highly depend on the time of day and where your painting desk is located I won’t go into that. The same reason why I’m not going into a desk and chair, an ergonomic set up is highly recommended and lights chair and desk easily each top the tools and paints cost by themselves.

I hope this helps & please feel free to share and let me know your thoughts as well.


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