I recently purchased (and love) Zombicide Black Plague , but found the drab grey zombies and odd bronze-colored hero miniatures broke immersion and required painting. For me at least, I’ve always been the type of person, that to start something, I need to have everything laid out in front of me and prepared. That was the case when I decided to try painting miniature figurines for the first time.

I was pleasantly surprised at the level of enjoyment that I got from attempting this new hobby, and have a better understanding of the relaxing nature of adult coloring books.

These were the steps I took as a complete novice.

Disclaimer: None of the companies mentioned have paid me for any of the products shown/recommended, it’s just what I used in my personal experience.


Things you’ll need:
The Figurine(s)


Spray Primer
– Note: the primer comes with a REMOVEABLE nozzle, take it off first, THEN shake
– the primer allows the paint to stick to the figurine easier
– there is a liquid primer that you can apply by brush, but I think that is far too much work, but can possibly be more precise than a spray
An empty cardboard box
Exacto knife/scissors
– use the exacto knife to cut the flaps into long strips that are atleast 4 figurines wide
– shake the spray primer for 1-2 minutes, and apply it to the strip of cardboard until you see a wet layer

NOTE: preferably spray outside or in a WELL ventilated area (if indoors, use a fan: it smells)

– stick the figurines on the wet layer and let it dry
– once dried, they’ll stick to the cardboard and allow you to spray them without fear of them falling off
– leave it to dry (in a well ventilated place, preferably with a fan)for at least 15 minutes

Acrylic paints
– you can buy a paint set and not have to think about what colors you’ll need (along with getting a small amount of Quickshade)
– or you can save a ton of money and get it at any craft store or even Walmart
Napkin/paper towel
Plastic cup/ (half a finger of) water
– when using an acrylic paint for the first time, there is this transparent liquid that needs to be dropped onto the napkin, kinda like the water in ketchup/mustard after not using them for a long time. If you don’t remove this extra liquid, it changes the consistency of the paint to something to doesn’t stick to the figurine
– shake the acrylic paint vigorously for about 15s

Desk lamp
– to better see your subject

Let’s paint!!
– it may look like nothing, but only add 1 or 2 drops at a time into the palette; figurines like the one from Zombicide are incredibly small and requires a very small brush

– use your brush and dab a small amount onto the brush; too little (paint) is better than too much as too much can remove detail on the figurine
base paint.jpg
– I bought additional brushes “detail brushes” in case my original one got frayed, always check if your local supplier has coupons

– remember all those years ago when the teacher taught us about how colors mix to create other colors? Well you’ll finally get to use that in real life; most new people (myself included) might be apprehensive to spending on a large paint kit, but smaller paint kits do not have ‘that’ many colors. By applying 1 drop of two different colors, you can create other colors

– when it comes to figurines like Zombicide, it might be good for novices to do batch painting: work on one color on many zombies, e.g. apply brown on every zombie’s shoes, THEN switch color and area. It may be tedious and boring (to only paint part of each zombie) at first, but it is easier than switching colors constantly, and eventually becomes very exciting to see a line of figurines that are almost done (per the banner).

– one of the last steps is adding highlights/shading/tone to the figurine, I used Quickshade to my figurines (per below) by basically using a larger brush and applying it generously and letting it dry overnight
– it is a little hard to see, but Quickshade gives it a grungy look and enhances the shadows/crevasses of the figurine, and darkens the look of both the skin and clothing of the zombie (which is a good thing in this case)

Cleaning up
– don’t press the brush hairs against the water container when washing the brush, simply shake the brush side to side, and apply light pressure to the cup to let the excess water and paint drain off

Extras once you find you enjoy this:
Magnifying glass
– squint less!
– I saw one at Michaels for about 40$ CAD

Empty tomato paste can
– when (preferably empty & clean) turned upside down, they are the perfect handheld size to put a figurine on IF you want to work on them, one at a time