Non-Metallic Metal (NMM)

Non-Metallic Metal (NMM) is a painting technique used to create the illusion of metallic surfaces using non-metallic paints. This technique can be used to paint weapons, armor, jewelry, and other metal objects on miniatures. NMM requires a bit of patience and practice, but the results can be stunning.

Here is an in-depth guide for Non-Metallic Metal (NMM):

Materials needed:

  • Miniature
  • Paints: A base color, a highlight color, a shadow color, and a mid-tone color
  • Brushes: A small brush for details, a medium brush for base-coating, and a large brush for blending
  • Palette or wet palette
  • Water and paper towels for cleaning your brushes

Step 1: Prime the miniature Start by priming your miniature with black or white primer. A black primer is best for creating deep shadows, while a white primer is best for bright highlights. Make sure the primer is fully dry before moving on to the next step.

Step 2: Base coat Using a medium brush, apply the base color to the area you want to paint. Make sure the coat is even and opaque. Let it dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Step 3: Create mid-tone Create a mid-tone color by mixing the base color with a little bit of the highlight color. Use this color to paint the areas where light hits the object.

Step 4: Create shadows Create a shadow color by mixing the base color with a little bit of the shadow color. Use this color to paint the areas where the object is in shadow.

Step 5: Begin highlighting Using a small brush, begin highlighting the raised areas of the object with the highlight color. Use thin lines or dots to create the illusion of light hitting the object. Take your time with this step and make sure the highlights are not too thick or overpowering.

Step 6: Blend Using a large brush, blend the colors together to create a smooth transition between the shadows, mid-tones, and highlights. Use a light touch and blend the colors together until you have a smooth gradient.

Step 7: Finishing touches Add any final details or touch-ups as needed. Use a small brush to add small highlights or shadows where needed.


  • Use a wet palette to keep your paints from drying out too quickly.
  • Take your time and build up the layers slowly. Rushing can lead to mistakes and a less polished result.
  • Practice on a test piece or spare miniature before attempting NMM on a valuable model.

With practice and patience, Non-Metallic Metal painting can elevate your miniature painting to the next level.