How to Prepare a Citadel Miniature for Painting

by Hamish Turnbull

Painting miniatures is a fun and fulfilling hobby, but before one can be painted, it must be properly prepared. Although this too can be enjoyable, doing it well is more difficult to learn.


  • A Citadel miniature
  • Round file
  • Extra thick super glue
  • Paintbrush
  • Black primer
  • 1 Citadel round slotta-base
  • Modelling putty (Green Stuff)
  • Wire cutters
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    This is a standard plastic sprue. Select the miniature you want to paint next. I've chosen to use a sprue of Moria Goblins for this guide, but you can use anything.

    Step 2

    Use a pair of wire cutters to remove the model from the sprue. Be very careful when doing this, however. You wouldn't want to damage the miniature in the process.

    Step 3

    Be sure to cut from this direction - not the flat underside of the sprue - so as not to damage the model.

    Step 4

    You'll usually have to cut near the actual miniature at some point so be extra careful here.

    Step 5

    Now that the miniature is detached from the sprue, it should look something like this. There are still mould-lines to file off, and then it'll be ready to attach to its round slotta-base.

    Step 6

    If you look at this model, you'll notice a number of things. First come the mould-lines. These are easy to trim, but the place where you severed it from the sprue is the first thing you must soften.

    Step 7

    Gently file this blemish until it is gone using the round file. Be careful not to damage the details on the model when doing this.

    Step 8

    Here I have softened the mould line on the coat arm but not yet the hair.

    Step 9

    File the mould-lines on the rest of the miniature until they can be neither seen nor felt. A file like the one shown here works well for this job.

    Step 10

    All plastic miniatures have some sort of releasing agent to help them slide out of the mould. It will also have a small amount of oil from your skin.

    Step 11

    Wash the model with soap in lukewarm water to remove all oils. Rinse it well before letting it dry.

    Step 12

    Apply super glue to the strip below the model's feet.

    Step 13

    Don't get any on the model itself and be quick. If the glue bonds before you've glued it to its base, it'll be a lot more difficult to do so.

    Step 14

    Slide the model into the slotta-base. Hold it for a minute and let it dry. This will take around two hours.

    Step 15

    Mix a ball of Green Stuff (modelling putty) and mix it until it is a solid green.

    Step 16


    Step 17

    Green and ready for action

    Step 18

    Use the Green Stuff to fill the gaps in the model's base.

    Step 19

    Use a file to flatten the green stuff. Make sure you clean the file afterwards.

    Step 20

    More of the same.

    Step 21

    Step 22

    Notice the dip in the centre of the base. Fill it as you did the gaps.

    Step 23

    Step 24

    I'm using a pair of flat tweezers to flatten the putty even further, but it doesn't really need to be perfectly smooth.

    Step 25

    Again, clean the tweezers. Leave the green stuff to harden overnight.

    Step 26

    Paint the model with a black primer. I use a Behr premium plus ultra interior and exterior beluga black primer, although you could just use the one from the Citadel range.

    Step 27

    Apply several thin coats to the model until it is a solid black.

    Step 28

    Keep working on priming the miniature until no grey remains. Make sure you don't give it too thick a coat or it might lessen the detail.

    Step 29

    Once you've finished priming the model, leave it to dry. This should take at least 5 hours before you begin painting, and it's best to leave it overnight.

    Step 30

    Once it's done, start painting the model. For tips on how to do this, please see my blog at