How to Paint

We are often asked how we paint our figures. Like many things in life there are a hundred different ways to do the same thing. The method described below is how I paint my figures for my layout at home. Although we are experts at creating miniature figures I do not claim to be an expert figure painter, in fact I’m far from it! This guide has been put together to show that anyone can take one of our figures and turn them into something special for their layout or diorama.

Our figures are supplied attached to their bases with their printing supports. To remove the figures from the supports we use a small pair of side cutters before trimming any remaining pips with a sharp scalpel. The models can then be filed smooth if work is still required.

Once removed from the supports we start by spraying a coat of primer to give the paint a good base layer to adhere to.


We have always used acrylic paints for our figure painting. There are many brands to choose from including Humbrol, Games Workshop, Lifecolour, Vallejo and many more. Several of these firms also produce washes which we use to help bring out the definition of our figures and add subtle variations of shades and weathering.

I always start by painting the flesh over the face and hands. Several thin coats can be applied using slightly differing shades to help show the definition.

I then move on to painting shirts and other light colour objects again using several coats as required with a fine brush.

The bulk colours can now be added. The colour of footplate overalls in real life can vary from blue to purple and fade to very pale colours.

With most of the painting complete attention can be turned to details such as hats, hair, boots, bags or oil cans.

When the painting is complete I treat the model to various washes, flesh coloured and sepia for the body parts, with browns, greys and blacks for the overalls and other parts. Finally the model is given a coat of Testors Dullcote varnish to give an even sheen and seal the paint.

Once dry its time to add the figure to your layout or locomotive!