• Tutorial: Prepping and Painting a Micro Mini by Janet Bonney

    I am going to go through the steps of prepping and painting a micro mini model. I am using the Breyer Mini Whinney pulling draft horse. I will be painting him to a bay sabino using pastels and acrylics.

    First of all, the supplies you will need for prepping the model are:

    1) Sandpaper (I use the wet/dry kind that you can get at Walmart), in both fine and medium grit.
    2) Acetone (can be purchased at Sally's Beauty Supply)

    3) Carbide Scraper (purchased from Rio Rondo---this is not a necessity, but it really helps with the bad seams on the mini whinneys---if you don't have one, then you can use the medium grit sandpaper).
    4) Bondo (bought from Walmart in the auto department)
    5) Micro mini horse



    I start off by getting rid of the seams on the micro mini. The seams are always very noticeable, even on some of the newer ones. I will use either the carbide scraper or medium grit sandpaper. Underneath you will see the brand/seal, and I will usually scrape those off first. Then I will do the legs, under neck/chest area, underneath the head/chin, and along the top of the nose. I also check the mane and tail for seam lines, which sometimes you won't notice until you have sprayed the model with primer. After getting rid of the seams this way, I will go back with the fine grit sandpaper and re-sand over the areas to make sure they are smooth. Sometimes there will be indented seams (along the back) that will need to be filled in. I use Bondo spot putty for this. Smooth it on (wear gloves when using bondo), and I use acetone to smooth the edges of the bondo, so there won't be a ridge there. After it dries, you can smooth it down again with your fine sandpaper. When all of this is done, I take a q-tip, and dip it in the acetone. Rub around all of the seam-smoothed areas with the acetone, and this will help to smooth down any roughness that is left on the model.

    Next: Your model is ready to primer! If there are any questions on the prepping part, please ask!
    Comments 5 Comments
    1. RedHorseArtworks's Avatar
      RedHorseArtworks -
      Has anyone tried stripping them before repainting? I've used Citristrip in the past but wasn't totally happy with the job it did. I've also tried Homestrip and oven cleaner; again, not 100% thrilled with the results.

      I've been out of the hobby loop for awhile - does anyone know if unpainted ones can be purchased from Breyer?
    1. RobinHoodFan's Avatar
      RobinHoodFan -
      Quote Originally Posted by RedHorseArtworks View Post
      Has anyone tried stripping them before repainting? I've used Citristrip in the past but wasn't totally happy with the job it did. I've also tried Homestrip and oven cleaner; again, not 100% thrilled with the results.

      I've been out of the hobby loop for awhile - does anyone know if unpainted ones can be purchased from Breyer?

      you don't need to strip the OF paint on breyers in order to re-paint them..but if you do want to, a q-tip and some acetone (nail polish remover) will work just fine...just be sure to get it all off...i used acetone to smooth down my sanding job and the paint that didn't get taken off was bumpy under the primer..so i have to take it all off now. Just dont soak them in acetone because it does melt the plastic.
    1. RedHorseArtworks's Avatar
      RedHorseArtworks -
      Thanks, I'll give the acetone a try! I think I might even have some pure acetone in the basement. I want to remove the paint because the original paint is on so thick and hides details - adding more paint just makes them look even blobbier.

      The ones I want to strip are the old Creata ones - LOTS of paint on those. I wonder, are the Breyer Mini Whinnies better in that regard - paint not so thick? If so, I might just have to sell the Creata ones and get some Breyer ones instead.
    1. RobinHoodFan's Avatar
      RobinHoodFan -
      Quote Originally Posted by RedHorseArtworks View Post
      Thanks, I'll give the acetone a try! I think I might even have some pure acetone in the basement. I want to remove the paint because the original paint is on so thick and hides details - adding more paint just makes them look even blobbier.

      The ones I want to strip are the old Creata ones - LOTS of paint on those. I wonder, are the Breyer Mini Whinnies better in that regard - paint not so thick? If so, I might just have to sell the Creata ones and get some Breyer ones instead.
      Yea, that makes sense...although there's not much detail under there to begin with..i usually have to break out the apoxie to sculpt some details or my scrapers to carve some. Not sure about creata vs breyer...i only have breyer ones
    1. Janice's Avatar
      Janice -
      Quote Originally Posted by RedHorseArtworks View Post

      I've been out of the hobby loop for awhile - does anyone know if unpainted ones can be purchased from Breyer?
      There are little Breyer painting sets that you can buy. They come with a few blank micro minis, paint and a brush, but I'd use "artists" acrylic paints instead.

      I don't completely strip painted ones, as I find that by the time I've gone over them with my needle files (I use them instead of a scraper) and sanded them, then a coat of primer is all I need. I've got Creatas, but haven't CMed any of them. They appear very similar to the Breyer ones, though. I find that I can spend an amazing amount of time on prepping micros, even though they're so tiny, because they tend to have such blobby feet and ears! So I whittle away at them, trying to make them more realistic.