Buying art supplies online is a good way to get discounted quality materials in bulk. When painting sci-fi or fantasy models it's important to not only save money, but also purchase the right materials that will provide high-quality finishes and help to create realistic features. For any new tabletop gamer there are a number of essential items you should have in your possession that will help you to model effectively and create customised miniatures.
Your Own Workshop
Having your own dedicated workspace will help you to organise all of the different tools and items you'll need to create your personalised miniatures. You can buy ready-built paint stations that are designed to hold paint brushes, paints and glues as well as providing a large area to build and paint the models themselves. These are great, however if you find that you are a little low on funds a cheap craft cutting board and some newspaper will work just as well. As long as you protect any table you use from damage you'll be fine.
Regardless of what you use a set of plastic clippers, a cutting board, a blade and some modelling files should provide the basics to clean up the resin on the models. The plastic clippers will have a fine point so that you can remove small parts of the model from the sprue, the cutting board will protect your work surface and the blade can be used for trimming larger areas of excess plastic. Finally, the files can be used to remove mould lines so that your heroes don't have excess plastic running down their bodies.
Bits for Kits
With many plastic model kits you'll find that the components are attached to a large plastic frame called a sprue. This protects the model and ensures it remains flat in the packaging. Saving this sprue is a good idea because it can be used to create scenery, such as tank traps or debris within ruined buildings. Sometimes if there are leftover components such as alternative heads or weapons, you can clip them off and store them in a 'bits box'. A 'bits box' will house lots of bits and pieces, which you can use to customise scenery and other models.
Paint, Glue and Putty
Finally get yourself a good selection of modelling brushes. Any good hobby shop will sell them in a variety of sizes, and there are also different shapes to assist with technique painting such as dry brushing. Modelling putty can be used to fill in gaps in your model where the component may not have fit together properly and PVA, plastic and superglue will allow you to glue just about anything together. PVA is great for basing with gravel and flock, plastic glue works well for resins and superglue is best for metal miniatures.