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Topic of the Week - Painting Speed 
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Greetings Tyrants!

This week's topic continues on the hobby but we move back to the models. We all know the excruciating effort it costs to paint a complete army, at least by the fantasy battles standard. And we see different approaches. Some players go for a quick base colour and done.
There is always the skillful method of dipping your models which does produce great results in a short time. Others paint their miniatures in large batches and some paint their miniatures in small batches, or even one at a time.

So the question, and topic of this week is: what is your preferred painting tactic? Do you work in large batches or small ones? How much time are you willing to put into a single model, or unit of models?
Do you prefer a quick result, so you can play quickly with lovely looking models, or do you make long term investments in getting every brush stroke right (playing be damned!)?


Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:21 pm
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Rotting skull on the Glottkin trail
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This is a topic quite close to my heart. I always am searching for the quickest way to paint, but once I dive in, I'm a perfectionist and have a hard time letting flaws slip by in the name of speed. To combat that, I've recently tried to paint in large batches to try and pry myself away from those perfectionist feelings. At the end of the day, when the unit is done and on the table together, you don't notice the flaws as much. I find that on a smaller but similar scale, painting them all at once has the same effect. When you look at the unit next to each other on the painting table you don't notice that you got a little purple on the armor of figure #6.

I recently painted a batch of 9 Cold One Knights to a high tabletop standard in what worked out to about 3 hours per model. I'd like to get that down, but the level of details on Dark Elf models really prevent the speed that some other races allow for. (daemons, skaven, lizardmen, etc.)

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Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:44 pm
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My painting speed is glacial although after over a year of trying to get better, I think I have gotten slightly faster. I do one model at a time, and while I sometimes get dirty looks for having unpainted stuff I'd rather try and do the best job I can on each one because I feel they look much better with more effort invested. After having painted some much more quickly, they look terrible and trying to strip the paint off is a pain in the ass since I don't feel there is anyway for me to 'touch them up', just polishing the proverbial so to speak.


Tue Sep 01, 2015 12:04 am
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Malekith's Personal Guard
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When I started in this hobby...holy crap...over 20 years ago, my goal was to play the game. Painting minis was a necessary evil and generally I just did what I needed to do to get the guys on the field. The FLGS where I played (RIP, sadly) had a rule that you could only field painted minis in games there. Without that rule, it's possible I would have let laziness and my fear of complete incompetence keep me from painting them at all.

Anyway, that changed a long time ago. I saw some great work by others, and over time, I wanted to get better. I also eventually realized two very important facts:

- I spent (and still do spend) a LOT more time painting the models than I do playing the game. If I'm going to put that much time into something, I should probably at least TRY to get better and not totally suck at it.
- It turns out I actually ENJOY painting. I can go into my little man-cave basement, put on some music, and relax over some minis and paint bottles, and when I'm done I have something tangible to show for it, as opposed to a lot of my other hobbies.

So, now I paint because I want to. I have played precisely 2 games of Fantasy this year, both last winter. I have enough minis done that I don't have to paint another dark elf ever and can still field pretty much whatever I want. There's no deadline and no pressure. My goal now is to improve what goes onto the board (if and when that happens). So I'm painting up some of my unpainted stuff, in the goal of eventually retiring some of my older stuff from the line (so I can either strip and repaint it, or put it on eBay).

Side note - Yes my PLOG is very much overdue for an update, and I do realize that. The holdup is not my painting progress, it's my computer. I bought a new PC in April, and my old copy of Photoshop won't install on this one, new OS and all that. I have a friend that has an extra license and PROMISES me every time I see him that he'll get it to me next time he sees me. Well that was in April, and now tomorrow is September...anyway, when I get some software to edit down my photos, there will be updates. I have a new manticore done, 2 pegasi, and some other goodies. They will go up as soon as I can.

Anyway, to segue into the actual answer to your questions:

Do you work in large batches or small ones? It depends. For characters and monsters, and RPG characters and such, I do them solo. For infantry blocks, I do them by 5s or 10s, usually 10s.

How much time are you willing to put into a single model, or unit of models? It depends. :) I'll spend as much time as it takes on characters. For infantry blocks, I'll put extra effort into front line people and any unit types I really like. The guys that don't turn out as well, or the ones where I just can't quite get a certain detail right, aren't fussed over too much - they just go into the back row.

Do you prefer a quick result, so you can play quickly with lovely looking models, or do you make long term investments in getting every brush stroke right (playing be damned!)? As I was saying, I used to be all about getting stuff on the board. Now, that's not an issue, so I spend my time to do it right.

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Tue Sep 01, 2015 12:10 am
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Death Night Survivor
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I took over a ten year break from the hobby after high school. When I came back to those old models a few years ago, I decided to strip off all the paint and actually put some effort into having some decent looking models.

In those few years I have completed only one full unit (to a quality I'd say is satisfactory - seems to be my plateau for now), and have a whole bunch of others that have one or two ranks of painted models. I keep thinking to myself that I ought to finish the other ranks, but I just can't seem to stick with one thing for long - something else always seems more appealing, and given how rarely I paint these days I don't feel bad for taking inspiration in whatever shape it comes.

I've tried batch painting a few times - I did 10 dreadspears at a time once, which was torture. And in a more recent experiment I decided to paint all 30 of my Avatars of War witches at once. After many hours of work I got a base coat and a wash done, and haven't picked them up now for many months. The problem with batch painting to me, is that it doesn't feel like a creative process at all. It just becomes this mechanical slog of putting a lot of one colour on a bunch of models, then picking another colour and doing it again. With my corsairs I've been slowly doing groups of 2 or 3, and that seems to be a good balance between quantity and quality.

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Tue Sep 01, 2015 5:29 am
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Painting and modelling brought me to the hobby 15 years ago and only started to play with other than brother & family in 2015. Especially the modelling / converting part kept me swifting from project to project. Since playing this year I started to structurally paint units to field armies.

I found working in batches of 5 models at a time work best for me. I always paint a first model to tabletop standards and re-paint things I don't like on the first test model. Some months ago I went to a tournament for the first time and there is nothing more satisfying to kick ass with a completed unique army. However, I really have difficulties to keep painting in a structural way instead of one full day with hyperfocus.

When working in batches I paint in layers, so all 5 first layer, then second etc.

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Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:08 pm
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Shade
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Since I have started I have checked countless pages of guides , tutorials , blogs etc. , watched so many videos, took notes. This has been a routine ritual for me, when I decide on a unit to paint next for example, it takes me days to even settle on one color over another. I check other guides for color guidance, check their vallejo equivalent and if possible try and mix some paints, take a blank page to compare each result etc.

My progress is usually soo slow- even when I am rushing:)
I like coming to the room, sitting there, opening some music and lose myself in the work. Its a slow and careful process for me and it starts from the assembly part. I still make some mistakes and miss some parts, I try to correct them as much as possible.

And about batch painting: My thoughts are in line with Scythe. I have tried it with warriors and didnt enjoy it much. I clean and half assemble a unit (for easy painting), then prime them all but paint only one at a time.
I also like doing the bases much. I slowly "build" them and paint seperately.

Edit: its hard to post via mobile..:)

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Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:31 pm
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In painting, I know only one way: trying to do my best. The end result has to make me proud, and make me want to show my model. That feeling is more important than the time invested.

I guess, what I need above all, is a drive and desire for the end result. I think that's why I'm so fond of large batches lately. It offers me some real practice on a single step or coat. And by the time I grow a little tired of the batch, it progressed to a stage where you can see the end and really want to finish it.

But with large batches I have to lock my mind on the project and avoid distraction. Because the "new shiny" idea tends to be a killer :P

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Wed Sep 02, 2015 9:43 am
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I usually do 5 at a time for rank and file models, I recently painted 40 Saurus warriors at once.

All my models are primed with a colour that will suit the end result, i.e Saurus were primed blue this save loads of time rebase coating models.

I usually miss detail out on rank and file and maybe spend 3/4 hrs total per model.

Monsters and characters I tend to do in pairs and spend 10ish hrs doing these, I have yet to try and do a display standard model.

I'm very flirty with projects and have maybe 10/15 on the go at the same time which stops me getting bored but some models have been 50% complete for weeks maybe months.

At present I'm doing a scratch built tower, Manticore, AOS Khorne, Old blood, Stegadon, Ogre display board, Hydra, Cold one knights, Dark riders, Mounted Scar Vet.

Still to start-- too many to mention!

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Thu Sep 03, 2015 6:10 am
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Crowsfoot wrote:

I'm very flirty with projects and have maybe 10/15 on the go at the same time which stops me getting bored but some models have been 50% complete for weeks maybe months.


I do the same thing. Whenever I get "stuck" on a mini in some way - not sure what color to paint a bit, not sure if I like some detail or another, or just maybe bored with it - I set it aside until inspiration strikes, and work on something else.

So yeah, sometimes that's later the same day, sometimes that's a year. I have this Pathfinder Cleric lady that's been 80% done for at least 18 months, but can't decide how to do her hair. Sad but true. I really like the mini, and I'm very happy with what I've done on her so far, so I want to get it JUST right, but I can't figure out exactly what that is. So she sits and waits.

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Thu Sep 03, 2015 12:48 pm
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direweasel wrote:
Crowsfoot wrote:

I'm very flirty with projects and have maybe 10/15 on the go at the same time which stops me getting bored but some models have been 50% complete for weeks maybe months.


I do the same thing. Whenever I get "stuck" on a mini in some way - not sure what color to paint a bit, not sure if I like some detail or another, or just maybe bored with it - I set it aside until inspiration strikes, and work on something else.

So yeah, sometimes that's later the same day, sometimes that's a year. I have this Pathfinder Cleric lady that's been 80% done for at least 18 months, but can't decide how to do her hair. Sad but true. I really like the mini, and I'm very happy with what I've done on her so far, so I want to get it JUST right, but I can't figure out exactly what that is. So she sits and waits.


I Have a scratch built Goblin hot air balloon about 70% done started it in 1988ish so another 20 years and it might be finished!

(I did have a 25 year break from the hobby before Feb 2015)

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Thu Sep 03, 2015 1:20 pm
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I set myself a project each year painting towards Armies on Parade (held in October). I try to paint at least 3000pts and spend a bit of time researching the army, units, acquiring the models, planning the terrain I will use etc. I then take a regimented approach painting each unit at a time.

If its a small unit like 10 I normally can knock it out quite quickly (couple of weeks) and it keeps my interest. I find it difficult to paint larger units, I tend to loose enthusiasm and weeks turn into months to finish them. I also find it helpful to paint a core unit of 10 or 20 and then focus on a couple of lords or heroes to break it up a bit. I also get distracted from the main army by anything that looks good at the time - I often find I have gone off on a tangent and started another army.

I always try to paint my models to the best of my ability (core units, I'm not overly fussy about, but will spend the time to get them looking good). I love building new models, that's why I have a pile of boxes with complete armies built, base coated but not painted - lol. I especially like terrain projects, but lack the room to store them. My main focus in this hobby is building great looking armies, with supporting terrain, having more of a show piece rather than playing with them (I average about 5 games a year)

Projects at the moment include my Corsair themed army for Karond Kar, but I think I am running out of time for this years AoP. My next army I am thinking of something Slaanesh based.

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Thu Sep 03, 2015 1:48 pm
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Cultofkhaine wrote:
I set myself a project each year painting towards Armies on Parade (held in October). I try to paint at least 3000pts and spend a bit of time researching the army, units, acquiring the models, planning the terrain I will use etc. I then take a regimented approach painting each unit at a time.

If its a small unit like 10 I normally can knock it out quite quickly (couple of weeks) and it keeps my interest. I find it difficult to paint larger units, I tend to loose enthusiasm and weeks turn into months to finish them. I also find it helpful to paint a core unit of 10 or 20 and then focus on a couple of lords or heroes to break it up a bit. I also get distracted from the main army by anything that looks good at the time - I often find I have gone off on a tangent and started another army.

I always try to paint my models to the best of my ability (core units, I'm not overly fussy about, but will spend the time to get them looking good). I love building new models, that's why I have a pile of boxes with complete armies built, base coated but not painted - lol. I especially like terrain projects, but lack the room to store them. My main focus in this hobby is building great looking armies, with supporting terrain, having more of a show piece rather than playing with them (I average about 5 games a year)

Projects at the moment include my Corsair themed army for Karond Kar, but I think I am running out of time for this years AoP. My next army I am thinking of something Slaanesh based.


Your terrain pieces look great, were do you display your AOP at your local store?

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Thu Sep 03, 2015 1:52 pm
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Quote:
Your terrain pieces look great, were do you display your AOP at your local store?


Alas they have only come out on display on the day each year. Then I plastic wrap the board and store it. I box all my armies up and bring them out to play with now and then. Would be great to have a permanent display, but dust can kill them (especially the terrain pieces)

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Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:55 pm
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Cultofkhaine wrote:
Quote:
Your terrain pieces look great, were do you display your AOP at your local store?


Alas they have only come out on display on the day each year. Then I plastic wrap the board and store it. I box all my armies up and bring them out to play with now and then. Would be great to have a permanent display, but dust can kill them (especially the terrain pieces)


That is a shame they deserve to be seen. :cry:

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Thu Sep 03, 2015 3:03 pm
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Do you work in large batches or small ones? It depends. If I'm first starting a unit I'll paint the minimum strength in one go, and then I'll bolster it by one rank at a time.

How much time are you willing to put into a single model, or unit of models? For characters and one off models I'll put extra effort into them so that they stand out from the rest of the force. I fell into the trap of wanting all my Dreadspears to look perfect when really I could have gotten away with a faster paint scheme. I just started a beastmen army and I'm trying to keep the pallet simple with a focus on a quick but tabletop standard.

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Tue Sep 15, 2015 7:31 pm
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I like to paint a unit at time. I have just got into the hobby an after months of looking at different models and trying to decide what I wanted to get, it got some COK. Then I spent 40 hours or more watching youtube, trying to figure out how to paint them. Then the time had come for me to have a go, and I'm not very good. I think that I am going to face and I need to slow down. My mate that got me into the game, says he spends 10 hours on a model, whether its rank and file or not. I spend about 4-5 hours a unit. so i could be going too fast.

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Tue Sep 29, 2015 11:30 pm
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A lot of it depends upon what you are aiming to achieve with your painting.

For me, getting models painted to a gaming standard has always been the core goal. That means painting batches of miniatures for units (usually about 5 models at a time, any more and I go mad) and one or two at a time for character (I will sometimes do both a unit and a character at once, for variation). Typically, I probably spend about 4-6 hours - spread out over one or more days - for a unit of 5. In that period, I apply a base coat, then add the primary layers of paint to the different parts of the model, then add washes/inks, and end with dry brushing for highlights.

My models aren't bad, but they're not great either. That's okay by me - I'm looking more to generate a sense of identity and uniformity rather than win any beauty contests :)

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Wed Sep 30, 2015 2:39 am
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