Painting Miniatures Figures Made Quick And Easy
The purpose of this page is to teach new painters the techniques for painting large quantities of rank and file figures in the least amount of time. Individual figures that you want to paint to a higher standard will use the same principles but require more care and time. There is no reason that anyone, after a little instruction, cannot paint to a high tabletop standard. I'm actually getting back into painting, in part because my 5-year old sons are interested in them, so as I go back and revisit techniques, I thought I'd update this page as I go and learn new things. The miniature you'll see here come mostly from the Warhammer Fantasy, Warhammer 40K, Confrontation, and Warmachine games, but the techniques can apply to miniatures from any range and from any scale.
News and Updates
First project of the new year, a Death Guard Land Raider. I went for something that is closer to the Death Guard's original colors, so I primed Camo Green, overbrushed with Rotting Flesh, then sponged Polished Bone (Reaper) over it. The whole model was given a very thin wash of Hunters Green (Liquitex) to give it a bit of a green tint. The side doors and front ramp (top) were given a trim color of Dark Green, then I started weathering and aging to vehicle. Next step, weathering powders.
Well, I don't anticipate getting anything else really finished this year, so this is the recap of the year.Total models: 193
Total points: 7571
3 Tyrant Guard
1 Trygon Prime
3 Killa Kan Mob
9 Fire Warriors
14 Gun Drones (not in picture)
9 Stealth Suits
1 Death Strike Launcher
1 Land Raider Redeemer (magnetized)
1 Baal Predator (magnetized)
1 Venerable Dreadnaught
1 Baneblade (magnetized)
1 Skyshield Landing Pad
1 Necron themed objective
4 Heavy Destroyers
1 Skull Taker
1 Demon Prince
1 Chaos Lord (Lord Zhufor)
WIP (not done, but good enough for the table top)
2 Battlewagons (magnetized)
Still in Assembly
1 Chaos Landraider
The results of 4 hours of frenzied painting ... actually 3 hours and 53 minutes.
My LGS had held a painting comp last night, where each contestant had 4 hours, in store, to paint a fully assembled and primed figure. The only requirements were that the figure be purchased at the store and that it be primed black, white, or grey. I chose to submit a Nurgle Soul Grinder. The 4 hours was pretty intense, but I had a blast and learned a lot about speed painting. I'll write up an article later. I'll touch it up in a week, after I get it back from the store.
I decided on the Soul Grinder because it was a figure that didn't have a base, was big enough to use some very large brushes on, and Nurgle because a little bit of sloppiness actually looks better. Prior to paint day, I tried out a test scheme on a spare leg from my last Soul Grinder to see what sequence of colors worked best and then worked up a detailed sequence and schedule. I'm glad I did, because it really helped keep me on schedule. I finished with very little time to spare. Overall, I was very pleased with the results and my ability to push myself.
I wanted to make a general comment about weathering powders. This has been one of my great experiments/goals for this year ... learning how to weather my models better. I offer up the tank above as a simple example of what I've learned over the last 5 months. I started weathering at the beginning of this year and they really are super easy to use.
In general, I really like weathering powders, whether you get them from Forgeworld, MIG, or someone else. I think I found some from AIM Products at my local train store. A note of caution though, I would experiment a little bit to understand the following:
- What brushes are best (I stole make up brushes from my wife)
- How sealer will/can change the color of powders (my models tend to get darker, so I compensate accordingly)
- How you can combine powders with other materials (e.g., my mud recipe) to get nice looking, but very easy to execute results.
If you are in the market for weathering powders, my advice would be to invest in a couple of powders (2 tones of brown, a rust, and black) and then invest the time to play around with them a bit. I think you'll be happy with the results. I know I have.
By the way, here is the sum of June's completions: Vindicator, Deathstrike Missile Launcher, and Lord Zhufor.
This month's assignment is Troops ... so I cranked out 89 Necron Warriors. What started out as a mixed bag of miscellaneous Necrons I had picked up through trades and Ebay transactions, ended up being close to 2,000 points of uniform looking Warriors. I'm pretty happy with the way they turned out. Here's what I started out with:
And here's how they finished up. The Monolith was done in February. Cumulative progress YTD is 151 models and 4950 points. Now it's onto the Battlewagons.
I picked up the new Imperial Guard Manticore/Deathstrike kit late Friday night and finished it on Sunday. Overall, I was pretty happy with the way it turned out. My initial goal was to magnetize the kit to make it swappable between the Deathstrike and the Manticore, but that was going to turn out a lot more difficult than I first anticipated, so I just built it as a Deathstrike. I figure I can use it as a game objective or break it out for Apocalypse games. I am really liking the weathering powders. They make things really easy.
I also finally broke out the light box again, so I'll take some pictures of other projects I recently completed, such as my Killa Kans and Space Marine vehicles.
Biovore brood completed, starting to work on my mob of Killa Kans. I'll get these to at least tabletop by the end of the month, which will cap off what is becoming a very good painting month. I've really come to appreciate a well prepared and assembled figure. A lot of the models I've been working on, the Tau and Tyranids, were obtained second hand. They were already assembled and painted without much additional prep. In some cases, the figures were assembled without much care. Some were just cast badly. In any case, I'm glad I've finished those off and can move on.
This was the month of red. I finished by Land Raider Redeemer and 3 Dreadnaughts. I should be able to finish off a brood of Biovores before the end of the month too. Additionally, I took some step by step photos when I did the mud on my Land Raider and posted my notes. You can find them at: Basic Mud. So far, I'm on track to deliver just over 3,100 points in fully painted units by the end of May.
March and April projects successfully completed. In March, I turned in 9 Stealth Suits and an Imperial Bastion. For April, I finally finished off 11 Pathfinders that had been in the basecoated/washed stage forever, 14 Gun Drones, and the new Baal Predator kit.
Finished my first Necron Monolith. It was an experiment, on several fronts, that I think worked out pretty well. I was trying to get away from the dark green with extreme highlights look that you see in the codex. Instead, I wanted something that looked like old stone. In any case, I got to try out sponging, stippling, some antiquing waxes, and weathering. Hope you like the results. I plan to write up a how to in the near future.
January's commitment completed. I finished my Trygon and Tyrant Guard brood in addition to the details on my Baneblade. Next up, a Devilfish, a squad of Firewarriors, and a Necron Monolith.
I live!!! After a 7 month break (mostly spent playing Wizard 101), I have picked up my brushes once again. I got 'suggested' into a 2010 painting resolution challenge. The goal, to paint one force organization unit each month for the year. I think I can do that. With the release of the Tyranid codex, I picked up a Trygon and need to finish off some other Tyranid units I've had in the project box as well as a couple of Tau units. So, stay tuned. Hopefully we'll see some new stuff soon.