From 1d4chan

"Thin your paints."

Duncan Rhodes

"Remember to thin your paints."

– Duncan Rhodes

"THIN YOUR PAINTS" is far and away the most commonly offered painting-related criticism seen on /tg/, mostly seen in reference to some new Warhammer 40,000 player's fuzzy photographs of his first attempts to paint a model. The second most common appears to be "YOU PUT THE FUCKING PAULDRONS ON THE WRONG WAY ROUND", since new players are inevitably playing Space Marines. Trolling or not, "thin your paints!" is almost always good advice to give a new painter. However, the phrase has reached the point where it gets posted whenever something badly painted is shown on /tg/.


In all seriousness, the most basic paint thinner for your miniature needs is tap water. Really, that's it. Thinner paint basically means lesser consistency. The less the paint's consistency is, the less messy it looks and the easier it is to manipulate while brushing. Alternatively some window cleaner (the blue stuff) works equally well whilst being quicker to dry.

The water-to-paint ratio pretty much depends on your preferences and needs; painting a single, normal-sized mini would probably just require you to dip your brush into a cup of water every time you apply a stroke of paint, while painting entire squads or armies may warrant a bit of experimentation with the ratios and the creation of some sizable batches for convenience. Also, note that more water means thinner paint and a longer drying time, and too much water can ruin your paint's consistency entirely, so be careful when thinning large amounts or else you could be wasting time and money. It's a good idea to apply the water to the paint with an eye dropper one drip at a time so you can carefully control how thin it gets.

The more intermediate thinners for painting minis are extenders and flow improvers, which are available in most art stores. They'll also cost you quite a bit if you're planning to paint an entire army. But on the upside, those products warrant much better results than ordinary tap water.

Regardless of how you choose to thin your paint, an important step people always forget to mention is that you should go on to use your palette to control the amount of paint on your brush. This way, you avoid putting too much paint on the model all at once.

As a last resort, you may actually save some of the details of an over-painted mini by using Nuln Oil shader or something similar. Ultimately if you feel like it's not worth the effort, some first aid alcohol and a toothbrush may help you bring your mini back to its unpainted state without destroying it in the process.

Alternatively, a good option is Castrol Super Clean (You can even pretend you're manlier than you are and say it's for your car. Look in the automotive section), since it doesn't harm the plastic, and even dissolves super-glue (For those times when you go "Ill just put a little bit here on the ar-FUCK!) Be careful though and wear gloves - it causes blisters. Otherwise you might get hands covered by Grandpappy Nurgle's gifts.

Alternatively, alternatively, methylated spirits (AKA Denatured Alcohol in the US) is perfectly safe for plastic and metal, and has no real harmful side-effects if occasionally handled with bare hands. It does dry out and crack skin over time, however, being a highly pure alcohol, so try not to handle it with bare skin too much. Pop your minis in, pluck them out with a glove or a clothes peg, then give them a scrub with a brush. Vastly superior to alternatives like Castrol or Dettol as it's harmless unless you chug it, and it's so foul-tasting you'd never want to swallow any anyway. You can also re-use it literally infinitely, so long as you filter out the paint flakes! You'll only ever run out after several years, as a result of natural alcohol evaporation while in use.

And now we bring to you the 1d4chan's Assembling, Painting and Basing Guide

Games Workshop Agrees![edit]

As of 7th Edition, Games Workshop has begun a series of "How to Paint" tutorials with their newest models and factions, helping newcomers into the art of thinning their paints. Everything in the videos are, of course, GW equipment, but at least Duncan Rhodes, the painter in question, shows the audience how to use it properly, and what paints need a little work to get to work well. The videos are fairly simple, but utilize a lot of different paints to get a great result (and earn some money for the Man).

Duncan is also a great believer of THINNING YOUR PAINTS, as his mantra goes: "Put sum paint on ya palet, and then add a lil' drop of water, ya dun't need very much, just a lil' dip, just. Like... that." and: "You don't need very much, that it goes nice and smoothly on your miniature."

The real reason for this belief has finally been revealed, thanks to the new Warhammer Community website: Duncan botched up the first model he painted (a custom chapter called the Void Knights) because "Clearly, I did not thin my paint, nor did I apply multiple thin coats!". Duncan also made a tutorial on how to thin yer feckin paints!

Painting Protip[edit]

Don't know how much you should thin your paints? Unsure how a pair of colors will layer? Having trouble controlling your hands from drinking too much Mtn Dew? Practice painting on sprue after you cut out your models.


This article is about something that is considered by the overpowering majority of /tg/ to be fail.
Expect huge amounts of derp and rage, punctuated by /tg/ extracting humor from it.

This wonderfully crafted video depicts the correct way to react to these works of art.

Post your own fails here!

See Also[edit]

Model Making
Modeling: Guide to Assembling Models - Green Stuff - Model Alternatives - Casting - Photo-Etched Brass
Painting: Guide to Painting Models - Paint - THIN YOUR PAINTS - Duncan Rhodes - 'Eavy Metal
Scenery and Technical: Forthcoming...
Related: WIP