Tutorial - Creating realistic arrows

by Roman aka jar

posted by Roman, Jarhead, kong

Creating realistic arrows in 28 mm

Just imagine a wounded Giant, picked with arrows or a barbarian fighting hordes of his enemies, his shield picked with arrows from cowards with bows and no skills in aiming. This little article is about arrows and how you can made them look cool for your 28 mm miniatures instead of using those bulky plastic ones you can find in some gaming sprues.

I did write this article for the german magazine Tabletop Insider
It was published in german languaged in Issue 06.

You can also use accupuncture needles to achieve other effects, explained here.


As told I don't really like the big plastic arrows from gaming sprues that look more like a crossbow bolt. To get your arrows way more thinner I recommand using accupuncture needles. You can get them easily in a high number by searching for them on ebay for example - IMPORTANT: when working with those needles take care, you can hurt yourself and they are not to be used for jokes or making fun with your friends.

When you open such a needle from its package, please take care - the needle is very, very dangerous. That is why you open it up from behind. Don't play around - I have warned you.

When you look at the needle now you see that you can only work with the thin front part. For sure the lower back might be good for something else too someday but not for arrows. I have used a calliper to cut off some arrow pieces in the size that I prefer.

The model on where I placed these arrows was painted a while ago.
Before I did place the arrows I already started painting the model and went further in the paintjob to have the overview about the overall composition in the end while adding the arrows. A tiny driller (0,2 mm) was used to drill into the painted model to create little holes where the arrows will be in the end. Make sure to drill a little deeper as if you won't the arrows can easily break.

I am not a fan of sculpted fletching when I already have so tiny arrow shafts. I want the fletching fit well to the delicate overall look. There is a little trick now. I just use thin paper that you take to roll cigarettes and cut out the pieces that I like to place. I use this kind of paper as it is even thinner than usual office paper.

I placed these tiny pieces by using matte varnish. After everything was dry the arrow shaft was painted and a gentle wash was applied to the fletching.

After this step I have finished the model. The model comes from Spherewars and is named "Hombre Toro". The fur on the back of the bull was done in this way.

I hope you liked this little article. Now aim well while shooting your arrows!
As always feel invited to leave a comment
and if you want to say thanks in any form
never forget that you can donate to the jungle!

Keep on happy painting!
Best Wishes


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