Ignite your minis with realistic fire effects & master wet blending

Spellweaver Gloomhaven painted

Realistic fire effects with wet blending

Bring the heat to your miniature painting with the dynamic and captivating effect of fire. Whether you’re looking to add a fiery sword to a warlord or a mystical flame to a wizard’s staff, mastering the wet blending technique is your ticket to impressive, lifelike fire. Not only will this guide help you paint stunning flames, but it will also serve as a practical lesson in wet blending.

What you need for wet blending fire

Gather a few key supplies to begin your fiery journey:

  • Acrylic paints: Start with vibrant red, orange, and yellow hues. Army Painter Dragon Red, Lava Orange, and Phoenix Flames are excellent choices.
  • For a twist: Ice fire can be achieved with shades like Electric Blue and Crystal Blue for an otherworldly blaze.
  • White paint: For the brightest parts of your flame.
  • Acrylic retarder: An optional but helpful medium to keep your paints workable for longer.

Step-by-Step Guide to Painting Fire with Wet Blending

Step 1: Prime with White

Coat the fire area with white paint as a primer to ensure the subsequent colors pop. Mix a bit of retarder with your white paint if you prefer a slower drying time.

Step 2: Illuminate with White

Reapply white paint, now mixed with retarder, to the areas you want to glow the brightest.

Step 3: Layer with Yellow

Introduce yellow, working from the top of the white area down. The white and yellow will naturally blend to create a smooth transition.

Step 4: Deepen with Orange

Add orange, allowing it to merge into the yellow but leaving portions of pure yellow visible for depth.

Step 5: Accentuate with Red

Finish with touches of red, letting some orange remain untouched to maintain a gradient effect.

Troubleshooting common wet blending issues

  • Working time: Retarder extends your working time. Without it, you must blend quickly.
  • Retarder ratio: Too much retarder can be problematic, especially on smaller details. Experiment to find the right balance.
  • Layering: Mistakes can be corrected by layering more paint until you’re satisfied with the effect.

Tips for achieving realistic fire

  • Embrace irregularity: Fire is naturally chaotic, so imperfections can add to the realism.
  • Use photos as a reference: Observe how real fire behaves to inspire your blending.
  • Practice: Wet blending is an art that improves with each attempt.


With these techniques, your miniatures will boast flames so lifelike they’ll almost emit heat. Embrace the challenge and watch as your figures become a beacon of awe on the battlefield.

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