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When preparing a miniature for painting the first thing we need to do is remove the mold lines. When a model is cast the most common method used leaves a small amount of material where the two part mold comes together. If we want the best results we need to remove these as they will interfere with some of the painting techniques and create awkward shadows.
The easiest way to remove them is to use a hobby knife and carefully trim them away. By holding the blade at a slight angle and following the raised line a sharp blade will leave a flat surface behind while preserving detail. Try not to apply too much pressure as you may damage the model and will need to use putty or super glue to repair it. Any type of hobby knife is fine, as long as you are comfortable with it. Many people like a scalpel handle and a 10A blade as featured here and make a good general purpose hobby knife.
Mold lines always form a complete loop on each peice cast, some times this can be along the edge of parts or down the center of large areas or hidden among detail. With this Imp model from the Doom board game you can see the mold line on the shoulder spikes and muscles. The easiest way to find all the mold lines is to look for a point and then follow the trail all along the model until it returns to the origin point.
With the mold lines removed we’re now able to make the most of techniques like Dry brushing and using inks. Some of the most effective beginner techniques that will give us much higher results faster than painting each piece in layers.