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Thursday, January 12, 2012

One Color at a Time: Maximizing Your Painting Efficiency

By Brian

Looking back over the emails I have received about painting figures the biggest complaint I read is that
it can be hard to find time to get any painting done. We all know that this is a hobby and that 99% of
the time it will take a backseat to life, work and family. I know that painting up a new army can seem at
times like a formidable task especially if infantry are involved. So what I would like to address in this post
today and over the next few months is my technique for keeping an infantry paint job moving forward
and maximizing limited time. In bold will be my recommendation for what you should try to accomplish
each time you sit down to paint. So let's begin.

Day 1

In my last post I showed the first step in building an OSS raiding company and a FSSF company. My
personal choice has always been to paint figures on the bases. Alternatively you can use the traditional
method of popsicle stick. These are a great help since they can easily fit 4-5 guys per stick and you can
later transfer them onto their respective bases.

First session: Open your blister, clean any flash, organize which guys will go on each stand then either
glue them on the stand or on a popsicle stick. If you decide to glue them on their bases now would be
a perfect time to add your PVA and sand mixture or spackle to fill out the bases. The PVA glue has to
dry overnight anyway so let the downtime work for you.

Day 2

Day two should greet you with an organized group of figures waiting to be painted. Before the colors
come out you need to prime. Spray primer (flat black is best) will be a quick way to get things moving.

Second session: Spray prime your figures or brush if that is what floats your boat. Then let everything
dry overnight.

Day 3 to infinity...

This is where things get challenging. You now have a horde of little black painted figures looking back at
you all sad waiting to be fully painted and placed on the game board. You start to think, "oh crap how
will I ever get this done?" What you need now is patience, perseverance and possible a solid kick in the
ass. The trick is twofold, first every time you sit down to paint focus on getting a single color over all of
the figures. Second try to maximize your time by starting with colors that will cover the most area on
the figure. Avoid at all cost any areas that will cause you to have to go back and repaint any color you
have already done. So now here is an example to help add some clarity.

The pictures below represent two nights I had this week to paint. I had 47 stands of infantry with 2 to 4 guys per stand. They were previously based and primed and waiting for some color. Since the base color

of my bases was the same as the helmets (brown violet) that is where I started. This allowed me to cover a fair bit of area on each base relatively quickly. Since I was going to paint up the bases the areas I did not want to paint were the boots and pants. These areas will get hit with the colors of the base and it is much quicker to go back and touch them up in black than it would be to repaint their respective colors.

On the second night I decided to finish up painting the bases. I left the edges of the bases unpainted since my grubby little hands will be all over them while I paint up the figure. I will paint the edges of the bases last. The bases will require two applications of dry brushing the first in khaki and the second in buff. While I will be using khaki later on for shirts and jackets I decided to hold off since these areas can be time consuming and dry brushing goes much faster. Also after I finished my second dry brushing application I can go back on another night with black and touch up any areas that got paint on them while I was dry brushing ( I tend to be a quick and dirty dry brusher).

So to recap. Pick one color a night and apply that color to all your figures. If you are doing a quick
technique like dry brushing you can probably do two colors that night. This rule will apply for each color
you decided to use. Also try and maximize each color below is you will find my color list as a guide.

1. Brown Violet (helmets and bases)

2. Khaki/Buff Dry Brush (bases)

3. Black (touch up)

4. Khaki (shirts and leggings)

5. USA Tan Earth (pants)

6. Basic Skintone (Faces and Hands)

7. Sepia Wash entire figure

8. Highlight with base colors (khaki and USA Tan Earth)

9. Green grey (webbing and equipment)

10. Beige Brown (wood, rifle stocks)

11. Gunmetal grey (rifle barrel)

12. Brown (boots and that little strap on the top front of the helmet)

13. Any other details (patches ect)

14. Matte varnish.

My next post will show my progress and which colors I used. Good luck and happy painting.


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