Monday, December 7, 2020

Ruthless Painting - Napoleonic Bavarians!

This will probably be first in a series of blog posts as its something I want to encourage more people to try when painting models for army sized games. Recently, I got back into painting 10mm scale fantasy stuff (more on this at a later date) and I really tried to be as ruthless as I could when it came to the time I spent painting them. I only painted the entire figures in the front rank of units. Ranks beyond that only got painted from the waist up. The backs of the models were just darkly shaded and left. All this was done to maximize the amount of time and energy I had to spend on units that had at least 50-75 little mans in them. I was super happy with the result and wondered if I could get away with it on ranked units for a 28mm game. 

This brings me to four infantry battalions of these cats. 

Enter a unit of Napoleonic Bavarians that I had sitting in my lead pile. These sculpts by Front Rank Miniatures are just awesome - the perfect blend of cartoony and realistic. And crawling with detail. I wondered how I could knock them out with the least amount of effort possible. 

Bavarian troops are some of my favorite Napoleonic units, but they are time consuming to paint!

A game's eye view of the rear of the unit.

Looking close, you can see I skimped on details like coat tails, water bottles, and cartridge box insignia.
Also, the priming was a little rough. However, this is the side of the unit nobody ever photographs or pays
attention to!

The first step in my plan was how to handle the priming coat. Priming is SUCH an important step in miniature painting for armies. The right color can knock out so much time and the wrong color can add hours. For these guys, I choose a spin on zenithal priming. I wanted the back of the models to be dark and wasn't concerned with layering colors to get a bright finish. Conversely, I wanted the front of the models to really pop and again didn't want to spend time layering up from a dark color. 

A black spray was used to prime the back of the model.

The front, where I wanted bright saturated colors,
was primed white. 

Then I painted the flesh and gold on the helmet. As these
colors dried, I painted front of the boots black.

Next, the flesh and gold were washed with GW Reikland
Flesh Shade wash. As this dried; I painted the green facings,
the musket and the backpack with their base colors. The pants
were given a coat of GW's Apothecary White Contrast paint
-focusing only on the front.

A view from the back. I only did the backpack - 
everything else was neatened up with black. 

Everything but the pants and face were given a wash
of Army Painter Strong Tone Ink. One pass was all I'd do 
at this point.

Once the ink was dry, I highlighted some of the green and
filled his jacket in with some GW Lothern Blue. The helmet 
was then painted Black and a wash of thinned down
GW Kantor Blue was used to shade the jacket. A few
remaining details were picked out and

Using this method and painting two guys at a time, I managed to knock out about a guy a day. So a unit that might have taken me four weeks only took 2 or so. On the board with 800 of their friends, they look great. Painting your models to a gaming standard doesn't mean laboring away on each of them like they were individual competition level figures. It means looking at them as a whole and deciding what you can get away with - what will draw people's eye and focus their attention and what can just be allowed to fade away. A big part of painting an entire army is figuring out what you need to lavish attention on and what you don't. Both are skills that need to be developed. 


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