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Book Review
Painting Miniatures
Painting Miniatures by Danilo Cartacci
  • paintminia

by: Engin Kayral [ GRAYWOLF ]

Originally published on:
Historicus Forma


Believing the best person to introduce this book is the author himself; I decided to add Cartacci’s humble words here.

The aim of this book is that of introducing this particular ‘art’ to the widest possible public. I’m aware that there’s much to write on this subject, and even more to learn. The techniques I have been developing are the result of a great number of experiments and precious advices that I’ve been putting in practice in a constant and mutual exchange of experiences with fellow modellists. Particularly, the help from my wife Angelina had been precious during the realisation of texts, since she took notes while I was at my workbench, helping me to develop a reader’s point of view. A thank you goes also to all authors, the sculptors and the companies that have been driving the production of soldiers to unbelievable levels, to the editors that promote them and, above all, to all the collectors who widely contribute to the growth of such a fascinating world.
book properties

The book is written by Italian master painter Danilo Cartacci and published by Auriga Publishing in 2 languages –Italian and English. Printed in high quality paper in full color, it consists of 128 pages. The page design is very well with text explanations next to almost all photos. Besides the useful descriptions of step by step articles, the book offers a great number of hints and tips addressing to experienced painters as well as beginners.
book in details

Painting Miniatures consists of 12 chapters.

  • Materials : The book begins with a chapter which most classical tools like files, cutters, scalpels, sandpapers,drills, brushes and putties are shorty described. The characteristics of acrylic and oil paints are also explained here.

  • Preparation and Assembling : Besides pre-painting procedures like cleaning the figure with blade, files,sandpaper and metal brush, using suitable glue, removing glue excesses, filling with putties;the author explains how to add pins and metal rods to give strenght to the figure for safely handling and transporting.

  • Flesh : After a short explanation of zenithal light and oil colours to be used;a step by step face painting article is represented in 25 photos with explanations describing Cartacci’s top to bottom technique. Another photo feature to paint arms and legs explains how to emphasize the volume of muscular mass by marking shadows and lights.

  • Draping :An excellent chapter describing how to paint clothes. Cartacci explains painting of an 54 mm Highlander Clansman figure in 61 photos including how to paint tartan. Painting white and black clothing are also described in this chapter.

  • Metals : Chainmail painting, gold, bronze and copper metal effects are noted besides the explanation of using figures’ own metal by polishing technique.

  • Chevrons : The author tells how to give metal texture effect to chevrons, epaulettes and braids. They should not be glossy as metal nor matt as fabric.

  • Heraldy : Two SBS articles to paint lion heraldy and Roman shield form this chapter. Some examples of painted flags and lillies are also shown here.

  • Natural Materials : Painting a leopard design horse mantle, fur, natural or colored leather and wood are explained in step by step photos.

  • The Setting : Cartacci gives excellent examples to coherent settings to display figures. In this chapter; he explains how to make ground, mud, water and snow effects, how to paint stone texture, marble and carpet designs. A very informative chapter with 49 photos.

  • Painting a Bay Horse : Besides a detailed SBS with photos for painting a bay horse, techniques and tips to paint white, dark bay and Isabel(blonde) horses are noted here.

  • Weathering : The author tells a good weathering blends the figure to its environment and explains how to simulate dust and mud on your figures.

  • Complex Figures : In this chapter, painting of a mounted figure;another excellent sculpt of Mariano Numitone; Officer of II Hussar Regiment carrying a captured Austrian flag is shown in steps. This chapter is like a summary of the former chapters with photos showing every painting step of horse, figure and flag.

  • Chapters are followed by a Gallery section full of photos of Danilo Cartacci’s masterpieces that won many BOS and numerous awards in high standard model shows like World Expo, Euromilitaire, Le Petit Soldat, Leon Ramparte, Rome, Catania, Celanzano and Athens.


    Texts : Book is written in a clear, simple and easy to understand text. Good explanations and descriptions make it easy to understand the step by step features. Acrylic paint codes are given in some demonstrations.

    Photos : Photos are of excellent quality and very demonstrative. 6 or 9 photos in every page format gives a good chance to check the painting steps.

    Practicality : The author explains his technique in a way that even a beginner can try or an experienced modeller can improve.

    This is a very informative,fastidiously prepared, extraordinary well presented and inspiritual book . I am sure all modelers will find something useful for themselves in these pages and latest pages –Gallery is really a festival for the eyes with Cartacci’s masterpieces.

    Very Highly Recommended

    Thanks to Marco Ganghini of Best Soldiers for providing us the book and special thanks to Danilo Cartacci for the cooperation on the review.

    Highs: High quality photos supported with informative and useful texts addressing to all levels of painting skills.Huge number of photos and the gallery part make the book very attractive
    Lows: A few grammer and typing errors can be easily tolerated.
    Verdict: Excellent addition to a figure painters library.
      Scale: Other
      Suggested Retail: 23.00 EUR
      Related Link: 
      PUBLISHED: Nov 01, 2007
      THIS REVIEWER: 92.20%
      MAKER/PUBLISHER: 90.89%

    Our Thanks to BestSoldiers!
    This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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    About Engin Kayral (Graywolf)

    Born in 1962,married and having 2 sons. I started modelling about 8 years old building USS Fletcher with mom. It was a model dad brought from USA., I think in those days only a few people in Turkey had info on scale model kits. Grown as an AF officer son , I built many aircraft models in years. Som...

    Copyright ©2021 text by Engin Kayral [ GRAYWOLF ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


    Terrific review, Engin. Really excellent. I have read the odd comments here and there about this book but was kean to see a complete and thorough review - and your comprehensive review does not dissappoint. 23 Euros is not that expensive for such a good looking book. I had thought it priced around the 40EUR mark, but I'm glad to see I was wrong Thanks again for an excellent review!!! Will place my order soon Rudi
    NOV 01, 2007 - 01:36 AM
    Hi Rudi, Italian version of the book is priced 22 EUR and English version is 23 EUR. I checked Best Soldiers and Mhobby online shop. Colorado Miniatures price is 42.50 USD. ...also available on ebay with a £20.00 ( approximately 28.72 EUR) price.
    NOV 01, 2007 - 02:08 AM
    This book could soon become a "Bible" for figure painters. It looks really impressive... Engin thanks for a very informative review. What is the best place to buy this book from? Mario
    NOV 01, 2007 - 04:34 AM
    Why not support Best Models since they supported us in providing the review sample I know that's who I will buy from
    NOV 01, 2007 - 05:26 AM
    To be honest ; it was not sent as a review sample. It was a pre-order from best Soldiers website but Marco Ganghini, a good friend whom I had the pleasure to meet in Saint Vincent last year made a nice gesture and presented the book. But I fully recommend Bestsoldiers as a very good online shop with great customer service. Best regards
    NOV 01, 2007 - 06:08 AM
    Very nice review Engin, thanks. As the reader of this book I must say that it changed my ideas on painting figures. Some methods I was trying to do and thinking that they are unnecessary now seem to be perfect. And some others seem now just time consuming. The very nice taken pictures, lots of them, and very easy to understand texts makes this book really a great information source for all miniature painting enthusiasts. As Engin says, Marco Ganghini's fast and efficient service made me one of the first readers of this book, so thanks to him from here again.
    NOV 01, 2007 - 07:51 PM
    Thanks for all the info guys... I'm just in process of ordering the book from BestSoldiers; I also somehow misread the price before as I was thinking the book is closer to 40EUR. Can't wait to get my hands on this marvelous book. Mario.
    NOV 01, 2007 - 09:22 PM
    Fantastic book! I bought it at the last St.Vincent contest, in 2007. Very helpful for every modellers....also for whom like me is not only a figures painter. For 22 EUR I think it's one of the best bargains I've ever done with books Tom
    JAN 14, 2008 - 05:21 AM

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