Remember the Mechwarrior model we shared a few weeks ago? So. Good. We’re in the process of printing up one of our own and can’t wait to paint it.

Gambody, the same place we bought the model, has a interesting little operation going. They started as a marketplace for 3D prints of video game models. Now, they’re preparing to launch an online workshop with video tutorials and step-by-step guidelines on everything from printing to painting your 3D printed miniatures in home conditions.

The first glimpse of this is the paint process on a TAU XV109 Y’Vahra battlesuit from the Warhammer 40k miniatures game, perfectly sped up to catch all the detail in a short amount of time.

YouTube video

Slick, eh? I would have opted for an airbrush or a few cans of Krylon before hitting it with a brush, but this is a bit more economical, I suppose. One thing they don’t go into however is prep and materials. First, you want to give it a good sanding. A rotary tool (Dremel or Proxxon) comes in handy for this. Next clean with paint thinner or acetone, then spray with a good primer–I recommend Rust Oleum Primer for the consistency and other paint color options or Tamiya primer if you prefer a gray primer. (Tip: drill a small hole in the bottom to stick a dowel rod in to make the spray painting go faster.)

After that, you’re off to the races and ready to paint up your model. Remember, mask off any moving joint areas and mask off your face so you’re not sucking down bits of plastic dust whilst sanding.

Have a 3D print paint tip? What paint do you use?






Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.