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
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.
|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.
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.