2015-03-24 19.44.43

Tutorial: Painting Grain Sacks

Hi all,

Today’s tutorial is for our grain sack/sandbag line of resin terrain accessories.

There are a lot of companies making buildings for our gaming table.  You can find options in MDF, resin and plastic for most historical eras and fantasy stings.  With all the work we do paining our minis, we deserve table tops that finish the settings we are creating.

As you probably can tell, we love gaming and our goal is to create accessories that are easy to get on the table and compliment existing terrain you may already have.  Today’s blog focuses on our grain sack line.




2015-03-24 19.09.28



The grain sacks are a great addition to tables from a lot of eras.  Whether it be fantasy, old west, historical or modern, grains sacks have their uses.

The first think we did was clean up any flash that may be on the model using a sharp hobby knife.  When cleaning resin, it is best to do it in multiple steps instead of trying to cut everything off in one go.  Resin is hard but can snap if you apply too much force.  What I normally do is do a rough clean with a knife and then go back with a file to smooth off the last bits.  CAUTION: keep resin models away from your mouth/nose when sanding as the particles are fine and are not good for you inhaled (just like most sanding projects).  Even better, wear a cheap face mask that you can find at the dollar store.  I use these even when I’m priming miniatures.

Speaking of priming, that is the next step.  Choose your favourite black primer and lightly coat your model.  With any priming project, it is best to do 2 light coats than “soak” a model to get full coverage.  By doing multiple passes from different angles, you will get a nice base colour and you won’t obscure any details.

2015-03-24 19.15.43

The next step is to put down you base colour: Milk Chocolate. I applied this by loading my brush with paint and wiping it across some paper towel before applying it to the model.  They I run my lightly across the model so that the high areas get covered with the brown but the deeper recesses are left black.  How much black you leave is up to you.  The more black you leave, the darker the overall end product will be.  For me, I like my terrain to be pretty light so I just left the deep creases of the grain bags and the tops of the open grain sacks black.

Like all our painting tutorials, I use the Americana brand paint that can be easily found at international craft stores like Michael’s and Hobby Lobby.  They are cheap and, even better, often on sale.  Most craft acrylic paints are fine for your terrain projects.  The thing to remember is that the difference between these paints and miniature paints such as the one Reaper Minatures produces is the thickness and pigment density.

Thickness is only an issue when you are using techniques such as  wet blending, glazing and regular application of base colour as thicker paint can leave brush marks on your model.  Just like priming, multiple thin coats is better.  Since we are basically using a dry brush technique for most of our painting, we don’t have to worry as much about leaving brush strokes.

Pigment density is how concentrated a colour is.  all paints are made up of pigments and their suspension medium.  The more pigment in a paint, the more opaque it is.  I find that the Americana brand has good pigment density and even tricky colours like yellow and red have good coverage with one or two coats.

2015-03-24 19.27.25

My next step was to apply True Ochre paint to the open parts of the grain sacks.  Again, I used our dry brush technique to leave black showing.  This step is where you can let your creativity fly.  If you don’t want the sacks to be filled with grain, you can choose other paint colours to represent sand, coal or unobtainium crystals.

2015-03-24 19.37.28

The next step is to add a dry brush of Camel onto the grain sack surfaces.  The trick here is to think about where the light is and covering most of the Milk Chocolate areas where the light would be the brightest.  Since we are working on terrain that will be used in many different places on your gaming table, I would suggest that the light is always coming from directly overhead.  That way all your terrain will look uniform no matter where and how you place it on your table.

2015-03-24 19.44.43

The final step is to do a light dry brushing of Desert Sand on the top and edges of the gain sack surfaces.  Light tends to catch at the corners of items and this final step will make thinks pop.  Make sure that you do a LIGHT dry brush (i.e. wipe most of the paint off your brush before you start brushing your model).  You want this to be an accent to highlight the edges, not change the colour of the overall grain sack.

There you have it, painted grain sacks for your gaming table.  I hope you found this tutorial helpful and it encourages you to paint up some terrain for your miniature games.  Please share pictures of your work with our terrain community on our Facebook page.

Peace out, eh?

Minicannuck Kevin