40 Models In 15 Hours, Batch Painting Armies

By BrassScorpion | November 12th, 2013 | Categories: Daemons, painting miniatures, Warhammer 40k, Warhammer Fantasy

If you have a large modeling backlog and like to get a lot of models painted in a short time, then quick batch painting methods are a tool for conquering that pile of kits. Here’s how I painted forty models in about fifteen hours.

Keep in mind these were never intended to be extreme high quality paint jobs or stand up to high-res photography with an enlarged view. They were only meant to look decent as a unit at actual size. These were painted with a minimalist batch painting job, but hopefully still a good overall visual effect for the unit as a whole.

Of course there are those model painters out there who never feel they can compromise in this way and I don’t expect they’ll be impressed with or interested in quicker techniques. Overall, I’ve had a highly positive reaction to this quick batch paint job so I thought I’d share it for the sake of those struggling to get many models painted more quickly. I also have a massive backlog and so you have my sympathy.

First, I began by spraying the models with the base color. Spraying always saves a ton of time over hand painting and it’s economical. It also gives a nice clean coat. Here I used a nice light grey color from Krylon.

Next, I washed and painted right over the grey. The fleshy parts got a dark blue Citadel Drakenhof Nightshade wash, the claws and corset Carroburg Crimson. I deliberately put some of the blue wash on the lower part of the claws to create a transitional look when the red was applied afterwards. The tabard (loin-cloth) was painted black. To maximize your progress in the minimal amount of time finish each color step on all the models in a batch before moving onto the next step.

I then dry-brushed the whole model with a light grey color. This highlights the entire model no matter what color is already on it, red, grey and black.

I painted the hair on these models a teal color to brighten their overall look. The hair actually got the most time devoted to it, it’s shaded and highlighted a bit more meticulously than the other parts of the models. Notice the nice color transition on the claws from dark at the wrist to light at the tip. This was achieved simply with careful wash application and a little selective dry-brushing for highlights. It’s a way of getting a nice visual effect without spending a lot of time blending.

A few parts like musical horns, earrings, and banner poles were painted silver. The horn on this model was then coated with a purple wash.

This model is now nearly finished. Everything including the hair has been highlighted. Now the bases need to be finished.

Here is a completely finished model. The colors on the basing were chosen to contrast with the mostly subdued greys of the model. I used black (Vallejo) and yellow-brown (Citadel) textured paints to finish the base. 

The unit begins to come together as the models are finished one by one.

The banner was painted with the same color palette and techniques as the rest of the model. Completed models have depth and color without a lot of time invested. Of course, these models could be taken to a much higher level of detail painting, careful blending, etc., but the idea here was to get a unit of forty done quickly with a decent unit look. I will save more elaborate and time consuming techniques for more unique and prominent models in the force like Heralds, chariot crew, etc.

I’ve used “focus painting” to get this project done with alacrity. Focus painting means focusing your efforts on the things that observers will focus on when they look at your models. I focused on the hair on these models to give them a colorful splash that would help divert from how little time was spent on the models overall. If I was painting humans I would have focused on the faces because observers tend to focus on that. Spending more time on prominent features means a pleasing overall result to the observer without them focusing on what you didn’t do in other less noticeable areas.

Here’s a photo of the completed unit. It’s hopefully not too bad looking for an investment of less than 30 minutes per model.

It’s always a hobby morale booster for me to finish a large batch of models somewhat quickly. It helps balance out those projects on which meticulous and careful hours of painting are required. I like painting both ways, meticulously sometimes and quickly at other times. It all depends on the project and what I want to achieve with it. If you’re painting armies, it’s good to be able to do both if you hope to get large collections done in a single lifetime.

About the Author: BrassScorpion

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