Friday, January 14, 2011

The Assembly Line.

For regular followers here I don't think this will be a big surprise but every project I do involves me "assembly" line painting my entire army. What does this mean? It means I will assemble and prime every model in my army at one time. I will then paint every model of that type at once. One color at a time. Why would I paint like this as it is soul destroyingly tedious.

1) It is faster. I have a very short attention span and the only way I can ever truly get a project done involves cranking something out (usually for a specific event or tournament). By sticking with one brush and one paint I save time switching around finishing one model. In the case of washes I also rarely have to wait for them to dry because I am working of the other models of this type. For example, I was priming 42 Space Marine scouts yesterday. By the time I was finished washing the flesh on the skin the first model I washed was dry enough for my to start work on the fabric of his uniform.

2) I don't forget steps. Sometimes when you are painting legions of toy soldiers you can be painting something and realize that something got skipped on a model (a pouch, a highlight etc,,,). I find that when I assembly line paint things I do this less often. I line up my models and a paint and work on one til it is done then I grab the next one.

3) Consistency. When you paint everything together using the same paints and mixes of paints everything matches. All 115 of my imperial guardsmen match (including their camo) because they were painted at the same time. I am a sticker for this. I recently finished my old pot of flesh wash and used Devlin Mud on my Sons of helvis troopers. It is a much different animal than the old washes and now the Gold on my non-noise marines doesn't look anything like the Gold on my noise marines. I am in the process of trial and error to fix this BUT it means that since I am out of the old inks that half of my army will not match the other half. NOT GOOD especially if one of the painting questions for a tournament is "Does this army look like one consistent force."

Yes it is boring, but I fight this with good music, movies and audio books. Some people who do this reward themselves with character models and vehicles in the middle of their painting sprees. I don't even bother with this. I know it is a horrible way to paint and it is why I have at least 4 projects sitting in drawers mid-paint but when it works it works. It just takes discipline and the ability to do something else with your mind. Not to mention nothing in the world feels better than looking up and seeing a finished army after the last coat.

Hope that helps....



  1. I often do the similar thing, for basically the same reasons. Where I differ is I pick a particular range of colors, and paint the minis in groups of 10 to 15, going all the way through that color range. Typically three colors from the range at a time in my pallete. Glaze Medium often helps with making my thinned paint last a bit longer.

  2. Good tip. I tend to mix large batches of mixed colours because I really hate colour matching.