Help support TMP

"Spears and shields - assemble before or after painting?" Topic

21 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Ancients Painting Guides Message Board

Back to the Ancients Discussion Message Board

Areas of Interest


843 hits since 13 Apr 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

ScottS14 Apr 2018 5:18 p.m. PST

Like it says in the title, what's the best procedure?

I can see leaving them off, painting them, and gluing them on later. But will the glue mar the paint?

How do you do yours?

princeman14 Apr 2018 6:03 p.m. PST

I used to glue after painting but now I glue all weapons on before painting.
Shields though are another thing. Depending on the pose and pattern or if I am putting decals on will determine if I glue them on first or after painting.

VCarter Supporting Member of TMP14 Apr 2018 7:14 p.m. PST

Weapons mounted – shield no.

Yellow Admiral14 Apr 2018 7:19 p.m. PST

I glue before painting whenever possible to improve adhesion. If you glue after painting, the glue is sticking paint to paint instead of metal to metal, plastic to plastic, etc.

There are specific cases where I might paint before gluing, e.g. if I'm gluing plastic weapons into lead hands, the plastic primers and paints around these days probably bond to the plastic better than superglue, so I might paint the weapons first. HLittle metal hands can be drilled out to provide a bare metal interior surface for the glue to stick to so the primer and paint on the metal aren't holding the weapon in place.

As you mention, the glue can also corrupt the paint job. Many glues dry shiny and sometimes cloudy, which might require touch-up after gluing to correct the appearance.

Sometimes in cases like shields or cavalrymen, the pieces are mated by a post fitting into a hole, so I only make sure the post and hole are clean of paint before gluing. It can be much easier to do a nice paint job on separate shields and riders.

In cases like chariots or howdahs where several crew figures are going to stand touching, of course the crew have to be painted before gluing them in place there's no way to reach a brush into the 'tween spaces.

- Ix

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP14 Apr 2018 8:29 p.m. PST

I glue them before painting, I do the shields and weapons last so I don't mess the body and hand paint jobs.

Markconz14 Apr 2018 9:34 p.m. PST

Glue before painting.

Prince Rupert of the Rhine14 Apr 2018 10:38 p.m. PST

I glue before painting. I normally use a black undercoat technique so I don't try and paint any really awkward to reach areas blocked by the shield but just leave it black. Chances are if I can't reach it with a paint brush you want see that area of the miniature without really close inspection so I don't let it worry me.

ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP15 Apr 2018 2:29 a.m. PST

Generally glue before painting.

The Last Conformist15 Apr 2018 3:09 a.m. PST

I've been moving from paint first to glue first.

I still paint first in the case of big shields that will render much of the body hard to reach.

Prince Alberts Revenge15 Apr 2018 4:22 a.m. PST

Spears are attached after prepping miniatures (removal of flash and mold lines) and before priming. I rarely paint figures bigger than 15mm, but when shields are separate and require intricate brush work, I will paint them seperatey and attach before I ink or varnish them.

HANS GRUBER15 Apr 2018 4:59 a.m. PST

Glue weapons.
Glue shields.

Vigilant15 Apr 2018 5:13 a.m. PST

Depends on the pose for shields. Weapons I always glue 1st.

Big Red Supporting Member of TMP15 Apr 2018 5:50 a.m. PST


Personal logo RelliK Sponsoring Member of TMP Inactive Member15 Apr 2018 5:59 a.m. PST

Clean any mould lines.
Wash & dry
Add transfers
Dremel paint off glue contact areas with a diamond bit or wire wheel. Be sure to dust off any ground paint with a dry brush before next steps.
Glue parts together where the paint has been removed.
Touch up, Dry brush, Washes, fine lining and highlights.
Matt coat.
The world is easier with two wireless dremels ;)

Forager16 Apr 2018 9:08 a.m. PST

I'm in Prince Rupert's camp for pretty much the same reasons he mentions.

catavar16 Apr 2018 9:37 a.m. PST


Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP16 Apr 2018 1:41 p.m. PST

If adding decals- after.

VVV reply Inactive Member03 May 2018 7:20 a.m. PST

Glue before you paint otherwise you are gluing paint to paint.

Jack Burton07 May 2018 9:31 a.m. PST

Spears before, shields after.

wmyers07 May 2018 4:18 p.m. PST

Weapons glued into hands before priming.

Shields glued on after they are painted.

It is true that paint glued to paint will not hold as well as base material glued to base material – but you can just scrape the paint away from the areas to be glued OR just put a tiny bit of "sticky tack" onto the areas to be glued and that will mask off the area so when you prime it you will not get glue on it. (Mr. Masking Sol and other similar products work, as well.)

Of course most 28mm shields are separate, but even many 1/32 (54mm) and most 1/72 scale figures have shields moulded to the figure so you have no choice but to paint them on the figure but due to the nature of the 2 piece mould, most are quite easy to paint and do not cover the figure (Caesar Miniatures use a 3 piece mould, instead).

Bandolier07 May 2018 7:35 p.m. PST

I glue both spear and shield before painting. For the best bond.

Then it's either:
1. I paint everything (for a basic plain shield) OR
2. I paint everything except the shield. Then base, then apply transfers. Easier to apply transfers holding the base, instead of the shield or figure.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.