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Monday, January 19, 2015

Bolt Action - The Pros of Batch Painting

For regular followers here I don’t think this will be a big surprise, but every project I do generally involves the “assembly” line painting process of painting an entire army at once. 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. So for example, I will paint the boots of every model in my army at one time. 

Why would I paint like this as it is soul destroyingly tedious? Wellll…  Besides the fact that I am occasionally (stop laughing LRDG guys) a glutton for punishment and I do not believe in doing things the easy way... Hmmm... Except that maybe this IS the easy way.  Read this through and please let us know what you think on our forums. 



Anyway, back to the list of reasons WHY I think that this a is a good idea.

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 what I am doing to finish one model. In the case of washes I also rarely have to wait for them to dry because I am working on the other models of this type. For example, If I was washing the white on 50 plus Finnish white camo suits. By the time I was finished washing the last model, the first model that I had washed was dry enough for me to start working on panel painting the white back over the washed areas.  

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 I paint and work on one item until 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 85 of my IJA match because they were painted at the same time. I am a stickler for this. When I was working on my Germans I finished a pot of GW wash that they no longer make. I bought a newer wash that was supposed to do the same thing but it didn't. It was a similar but different animal than the old washes and now not all my uniforms match. I am in the process of trial and error to fix this BUT it means that, since I am out of the old inks,  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.” Then again that might be a hold over from my GW days. 

Yes this process can be boring, but I fight this with good music, movies, audio books and… Wait for it... Podcasts (plug plug!). 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 horribly tedious way to paint and it is why I have at least 4 projects sitting in drawers mid-paint (when I abandon projects because I need a break) but when it works, it works. It just takes discipline and the ability to do something else with your mind. Besides, nothing in the world feels better than looking up and seeing a finished army after the last coat.  

Til next time,

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