Monday, 27 February 2012

Speeding Up Painting - Part II

Last month I set myself the task of getting my Space Wolves painted up to 600 points so I could take them to the Magnificent Seven tournament.  I wrote here about the techniques I intended to use to speed up my painting, and you can see below that I made my goal to attend the tournament with my Space Wolves.

However I did miss out some techniques that were also instrumental in making my goal:


There are a vast number of sprays available now, and using a coloured undercoat can really speed up the painting time.  Army Painter [link] do a wide range of colours, but you can also use sprays used for other model ranges such as Humbrol.

If the colour you want to base coat your models is not available as a spray, an alternative is to use a spray gun.

These are getting much more popular and it means that you can base coat your models quickly in any colour available. - thanks to Neath Leanan for the spray gun tip.

Because I have always used standard sprays to base coat my models I have not purchased a spray gun yet, but I have always been tempted to try one out.  For the spray gun novice like me there are loads of tutorials on the web (eg. from blogs and youtube).  I will probably buy a spray gun once my last spray can of Space Wolves Grey runs out.


The standard of washes has really improved since I first started painting.  On my space
wolves I use the red wash over my red base coat, and it does wonders for evening the colour, and giving the model good shading.

On my necrons the black wash over a silver bas coat, gave the models a nice dark metallic colour to the models while adding shading

And lastly people swear by the Devlan Mud wash.  If you don't already I definietely recommend that you experiment using washes.  I'm sure you will be greatly impressed.

Bigger Brushes

Apart from when I worked on tanks I used to the fine detail brush 95% of the time.  Although this meant that I achived neater painting, it made my painting very slow and shortened the life of my best quality brushes.

I have started to use the standard brush much more now.  The best way would be to use a standard brush and then auto correct each area by area with the fine detail brush.  When rushing to finish my space wolves I had to miss the correction stage with the fine detail brush to get the models done.

What this means it that I was able to get the models painted up to a stage I could take them to a tournament (and not be the worse painted there).  I will go back to neaten up the models later, but this tactic did allow me to get a painted army on the battlefield quicker.

So Where Are my Space Wolves Now ?

I have a painted 600 point army, great for combat patrol and other small games.  I've made on all the decisions on how I'm going base my army, and what colours to use.  However I do need to go back and add some details to some of the models.

Now the decision I have now is whether to go back and add more details and highlights to my existing models, or do I move and get a larger army painted up to the same level of my 600 point army.

I have all the vehicles (apart from one predador turret, and couple of rhinos which need transfers) painted, so it would be mainly the infantry I'd need to get painted, so I've decided that it would be nice to have a choice on what army to take to my next local tournament, which is Rapid Strike in May.  It's a log way off, but with the large number of models to build and paint I need to make sure I keep on track.  With that in mind I've undercoated the remainder of 2 long fangs squads I need for my a draft 1500 point list.

 [note the thunderwolf that I broke off it's base and now needs repair :( ]
Have you got any further tips on speeding up painting ?



  1. Painting quickly, or the processes used, does not always mean that your painting quality has to suffer. Usually it does, but not always.

    I agree that coloured base sprays are one of the best things that I've used to help me out... Particularly as my tanks use a desert yellow colour which would otherwise take me a minimum of 2-3 coats were I to use a pot & brush!

    I used Army Painter, and decided to also try out their Quickshade. I'd highly recommend this as the effect it gives is pretty smooth and seamless. Plus, the gloss coat it gives provides a perfect foundation for applying decals or adding weathering. (I then matt varnish over this and you lose the shine anyway!)

    I like to think that my tanks are an example where you can use fast techniques without compromising on quality. I mean, the stuff I've mentioned are all associated with "dipping"... I don't do that but I still get a great speed:effect ratio.

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  3. Another tip I've heard (and used) is to paint inside out; ie paint the deeper parts of the model first (such as body suits or armour joints) before moving to surface features (such as armour plates and cloaks).
    This means you can be a little sloppy to begin because you paint 'higher' over your mistakes afterwards.
    So goes the theory anyway.



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