Do you know a miniature hobbyist who you’d like to buy something for during the holidays or for a special occasion? If so, then you’ve come to the right spot! I’m here to help you get the kind of gifts a miniature hobbyist wants and needs while avoiding those gifts that may not get you that excited response you were looking for.
A lot of these gifts I’ve covered in more in-depth articles that I’ll link to if you would like a lengthier explanation. For this though I’ll try and keep it short so you can hit the high points.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. The commission earned helps maintain this site.
I’m not ranking these gift ideas, but if I were I would put this at #1 hands down.
Most newer miniature painters tend to buy really cheap brushes – like detrimentally cheap. Even a lot of veteran hobbyists will stick with low-end brushes because of the cost and they know they’ll need to replace them eventually.
While it’s true all brushes will eventually need to be replaced, having higher-end brushes will last you a lot longer and in turn save you money. It’s the old adage of you get what you pay for.
Not only do good brushes last longer, thus making them a more economical choice, they just work better, in turn giving that painter you know a better paint job and an easier time doing it.
The top brushes I personally have used and recommend are the Windsor & Newton Series 7 and Raphael 8404. There are 3 common sizes I suggest for any painter:
Windsor & Newton Series 7
- Size 2 on Amazon or Size 2 on Blick
- Size 1 on Amazon or Size 1 on Blick
- Size 0 on Amazon or Size 0 on Blick
Note: I’ve included links to both Amazon and Blick where I could. When I can I prefer buying brushes from Blick because they are a national art supplier with great quality control.
The size 2 is your base coating brush. Size 1 is for detail and highlighting. Lastly, the size 0 is great for tiny details.
Those 3 brushes will cover 95% of what a miniature painter needs.
If you would like some more information on paint brushes, then check out that article. It covers everything more thoroughly as well as offers some other alternative brushes.
Here’s an affordable gift idea that any miniature painter can use. I will be honest and say not every painter thinks they need a painting handle, however, after using one for a few hours they will come to love it – as I did mine.
The painting handle I recommend is the Citadel Painting Handle. This is a very economical choice and it’s something that will last for a very long time.
I would consider buying a few of these if you can swing it. One handle is perfect for the person who tends to work on a miniature at a time, like for painting showpieces.
Most hobbyists though are working on multiple miniatures at a time and having them all setup on a handle makes life easier so you aren’t constantly swapping them out.
You can buy a 5-pack of these and you can’t go wrong with that.
I also did a review on the Citadel Painting Handle if you’re really curious.
Whether the person you know is a painter, modeler, or sculpter, a good light is mandatory.
Having a good light is essential to not only seeing things well, but also for seeing things accurately. Nobody paints by candle light because it’s a poor source of light and it also doesn’t show colors correctly. A bad light with a typical light bulb is essentially the same.
I recommend getting a fluorescent or LED light for hobby work. The big thing you’re aiming for is a 5,000K color temperature. Anything less than that will give off a yellow light and anything more than that will give a blue light. The 5,000K color temperature is what we consider daylight and is the most accurate to work with.
If you want the economical approach then you can buy some good LED bulbs. Those will go into any typical desk lamp like a normal bulb and give a daylight color. These are the LED lightbulbs I use and they work great.
You can step it up as well and buy a light as well. There’s a few good choices here.
OttLite makes some great desk lamps that don’t take up a ton of space and you can find those in varying price ranges. This particular OttLite gives lighting settings, takes up little space, and is affordable.
You can also find more OttLite options on Amazon as well.
My preferred method, and what I use, is a light that clamps on to a hobby desk/table. These give you a range of motion to move the light where you need it and have the added advantage of not taking up valuable table space.
This is the light that I own and love. I’ve had this for 5-6 years now and I swear by it. You can find some other alternatives like this as well on Amazon.
If you want a cheap gift idea that any miniature hobbyist can use, then you can’t go wrong with super glue!
There’s no shortage of places to buy super glue, including retail stores like Walmart, or even Home Depot, but I would recommend getting super glue intended for a hobbyist.
My favorite glue I’ve used is Zap-A-Gap. This glue holds amazing well and offers other benefits like filling in tiny gaps. There’s a few choices for it but I always use the medium – it’s the middle of the road and good for almost any application.
Gift Ideas to Avoid
There are a few things I would avoid when buying gifts for a miniature painter, hobbyist, or gamer. There’s not there’s anything wrong with the gift idea, only that there are some things that unless you know specifically what that person needs, then you are wasting your money as they may not need it.
I’m sure I could think of more of these but these are my top recommendations for things to avoid buying unless you know exactly what someone needs.
The first thing that comes to mind are the miniatures. While you may know what game someone plays, you likely do not know what miniatures they actually need.
Games offer a variety of armies, warbands, units (miniatures in general) and unless you’ve heard the person you’re buying for say they want X miniature or Y unit for an army, then odds are you’re getting them something they don’t want or need.
However, a gift card to a local gaming store is a great idea so said person can go and buy the stuff they do need. It’s not a cope out getting a gift card in this area – trust me.
Miniature paints is another thing that all miniature painters need, yet like the miniatures you probably don’t know what paints they need. If the painter in question is a beginner and just getting started collecting all the supplies they need, then you can do well to buy some painting sets to jump-start them.
For this I would recommend a few brands who sell paint sets: Citadel, Vallejo, and Army Painter. Those are top brands who sell some amazing paints.
While I could come up with some more gift ideas I feel this covers the essentials that any miniature hobbyist could use. I also don’t want to bombard you with so many choices that you feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to get.
So, these choices are my top recommendations that you can’t go wrong with.
If you would like some more ideas though, then feel free to check out my articles on essential miniature painting supplies as well as hobby supplies. Those will give you a lot more information and choices of things I feel every hobbyist should have.
Hobby Supplies, Tips & Tutorials
Various tutorials and guides for common hobby supplies.
Citadel Painting Handle
DIY Foam Trays
DIY Light Box
DIY Wet Palette
How to Use Liquid Green Stuff
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