Miniature Shipping Crates

I made some miniature shipping crates for my son’s “warhammer” games.

This is the first time I paint one of the miniatures and I’m relatively happy with how it came out.

But it did take longer than I hoped to paint it. I think the whole process would be easier if I had a Paint Sprayer. Does anyone have any experience with those, and if so, could you recommend one? Also, does anyone know of a good youTube channel that explains how to use paint sprayers :slight_smile:


Do you mean paint sprayers like air brushes? Or do you mean like rattle can spray paint?

I think you did a great job on the paint.
There are a few tricks I use when base coating with spray paint but if you’re looking for air brush tutorials I found Next Level Painting on youtube had a ton of tutorials


I mean like air brushes I guess. The ones that use a compressor.


Wow! That box looks amazing! Your son has one of the coolest dads ever!


Very nice work. The design and finish look great. I think your paint job is right on.


First airbrush was a harbor freight special, $10. or so, hardly even “toy” quality. All I used it for was spraying a cupric solution on hot metal for building a patina, for which it was functional.
I did a ghost flame job on my '66 mustang with a real airbrush I got at a hobby store, around $70. World of difference in performance.
There is a bit of a “touch” you will develop as you familiarize yourself with the tool, between PSI, nozzle size and viscosity - there is a lot of adjustability.
A fingertip push button controls airflow depending on how far you depress it, and the stem of that button pulls back to control how far the nozzle opens controlling paint flow
A good investment for a creative space.

That Steel dragon I did was done with the good airbrush, and is an example of a large project. Most are small items.

The ‘touch’ I describe is something that comes with experience, I have seen street artists using full size spray cans do stuff that I would struggle to produce with an airbrush.


I think it turned out great! Have you thought about using a little rub n buff on the edges?


May have taken awhile but looks great.

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Now those will add nicely to the game. Your son is luck to have a cool dad like you :smile:

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This is my channel

The gun I used in these is from Harbor Freight. It comes with 2 guns and is actually a very decent hobby gun. Think it’s under $50. They have cheaper ones that are crap.


I bought the better airbrush from Harbor freight and I’m happy with it. It has adjustments for the amount of air and paint mix on the fly like the pro ones.

I saw a review after purchase by a pro. He picked it apart pretty well. Essentially it’s good if you are a hobbies and don’t have the bucks to invest in a high end pro.


Here’s a brutal review of the HF that includes a lot of information about what to look for if you have $100 or more to spend on a better brush


I do a lot of air-brush work and have done commission painting for Warhammer armies.
I also occasionally do model kits and these are almost all airbrushed.

I use an Airbrush for my base coats and even some finishing work, as well as the varnish layers.

I can make 2 suggestions:

  1. Do NOT go cheap with the brush itself, a cheap airbrush will make you waste too much time trying to get the flow right. I live in Australia so i could not suggest manufacturers, talk with a local Hobby Shop (preferable model kit enthusiasts as they know airbrushing!)
  2. Get a Compressor with an Airtank… this is a tank that sits between the compressor and the moisture trap and it ensures you get a clean steady flow of air. If you get a compressor without an airtank then you often get a put-put-put of air that leads to beading and drips

I use airbrushes…alot…lol. My company sells them in fact.

You want a double action brush (push down trigger for air flow…pull hack for paint flow) with a bottom feed for large projects that you need alot of coverage or a top feed for small amounts of paint.
Single action is more like a spray can where you cant control air/ paint flow.
If you plan on doing alot of airbrushing, a better quality one will last you alot longer than the ones you get at harbor freight. If you are in the states, Micheals crafts sometimes has sales but if you are in the midwest, Hobby Lobby always has a 40% off coupon.
Senco pc100 is a good cheaper compressor with a tank for around $100 good for larger projects, and comes with a proper regulater and an auto shutoff…the ones at harbor freight are ok for small stuff but will over heat if ran too long…
edit I just noticed you are in Canada so…no Hobby Lobby up there…:unamused:

Good ones to look at are the iwata eclipse series - pricy but will last a long time and parts are easy to get.
Badger Omni…less expensive easy to get parts.
Paashe VL. Solid brush…parts generally available.


Yup, i have 4 of these… 1 large & 1 small top feed and 2 large bottom feeds. They are great airbrushes.


I use the iwatas and badger Omnis myself for body painting. Some of my iwatas are over 20 years old…

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LOL, i have been doing a lot of body-painting over the past few years too! Airbrush is perfect for it.

I agree with you about the Iwata’s i have run body-paint, various types of Vallejo acrylics and even oils through them (i had an idea for oils spray-painted on prepped glass… lets just say it needs more work) and they have cleaned up well each time and run perfectly still… love them

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Painting the wood before laser cutting works really well and is much quicker as you can use a massive brush and house paints. Then, after cutting and assembly, do some drybrushing/weathering to your tastes.


I don’t want to come off as a Safety Sally or an MSDS Mathias, but there has been some concern expressed about the safety of lasering paints, and whether certain colors/pigments might not be safe (regardless of suspension media). I have not heard any definitive answers here. I would like to think that acrylic paint is just acrylic paint, but I know that there is pigment that in some cases is toxic. It is well documented that certain historical pigments were not at all safe for the artists who worked with them.

Golden Artist Colors has all their MSDS here, and does list Aditional Hazards for specific pigments. Under Fire-Fighting Measures they list “UNUSUAL FIRE AND EXPLOSION HAZARDS:Decomposition and combustion products may be toxic.”

Toxic is bad. But the tube of acrylic paint I am looking at states that it is “Non-Toxic”. What does this mean? Apparently nothing. While the Federal Hazardous Substances Act does define “Toxic”, it does not define “Non-Toxic”. So technically the word “non-toxic” could be printed onto any product, including substances which require the label “toxic.”

I agree with @adclark that it would be much quicker to pre-paint, so I think I will avoid pre-painting with any color that I have doubts about: mainly those colors with a toxic element in the name like Cadmium Red.

(I found a list, but I have no idea how accurate/complete it is:)

Highly Toxic Pigments

  • antimony white (antimony trioxide)
  • barium yellow (barium chromate)
  • burnt or raw umber (iron oxides, manganese silicates or dioxide)
  • cadmium red, orange or yellow (cadmium sulfide, cadmium selenide)
  • chrome green (Prussian blue, lead chromate)
  • chrome orange (lead carbonate)
  • chrome yellow (lead chromate)
  • cobalt violet (cobalt arsenate or cobalt phosphate)
  • cobalt yellow (potassium cobalt nitrate)
  • lead or flake white (lead carbonate)
  • lithol red (sodium, barium and calcium salts of azo pigments)
  • manganese violet (manganese ammonium pyrophosphate)
  • molybdate orange (lead chromate, lead molybdate, lead sulfate)
  • naples yellow (lead antimonate)
  • strontium yellow (strontium chromate)
  • vermilion (mercuric sulfide)
  • zinc sulfide
  • zinc yellow (zinc chromate)

Moderately Toxic Pigments

  • alizarin crimson
  • carbon black
  • cerulean blue (cobalt stannate)
  • cobalt blue (cobalt stannate)
  • cobalt green (calcined cobalt, zinc and aluminum oxides)
  • chromium oxide green (chromic oxide)
  • Phthalo blue and greens (copper phthalocyanine)
  • manganese blue (barium manganate, barium sulfate)
  • Prussian blue (ferric ferrocyanide)
  • toluidine red and yellow (insoluble azo pigment)
  • viridian (hydrated chromic oxide)
  • zinc white (zinc oxide)

Thanks for the info.

This time, I glued everything before painting it. That was a big mistake. But I wanted to see how it fit together, and I did not plan on painting it for a while.

Next time I will paint the individual parts before gluing them together. I don’t see a lot of time saving to paint them before I laser them, especially since I will have to go back and paint the edges that were cut.

I think once I have an airbrush, I’ll cut all the parts, spray them, then assemble them. With that done, I’ll brush on some details.

I also noticed that Inventables has colored MDF.
It looks really cool, but it is not recommended for lasers without proper ventilation. It would also really increase the price.