More thoughts on painting

I’ve been working on the AB French several times per week for a while… things are going OK, but I’m not currently satisfied with the look I’m getting.  I’ll post some pics once they’re done.

48 figure batches are way too many at a sitting.  I get lazy after a while and start getting sloppy.  In the future, 24-30 figs for 15mm will probably be my limit, at least for periods where I’m painting more than just a field drab of some sort.

I tried doing some subtle highlighting and dry-brushing on these figs, and I’m not happy with the look.  it looks sloppy more than anything else, especially in the lapel/small clothes area in front.  I think I’ll try to use a wash of some sort over the top to smooth things out and also highlight more of the detail on the figures.    I used to have a bottle of Future for the magic wash, but either misplaced it or threw it out.   I can make a decent wash with Citadel inks and Liquitex Flow-Aid if nothing else… that’s how I used to do it.  

Next batch I will experiment more with blocking in the basic colors and then using a dramatic single highlight.  For the smaller scale figures, I like the look this presents.  Examples of this type of style can be seen here.  Some may not care for the look, but at 3 feet distance it looks pretty sharp to me.

For larger scale figures, I’ll probably continue to do a multi-highlight job, relying less on masking washes and more on techniques with the paintbrush.   I paint far more often than I game, so spending more time on nicer-looking figures is OK.

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2 Responses to “More thoughts on painting”


  1. 1 Mike R October 9, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    I have the same problem with distraction. I’ve never attempted more than 20 figures at a time, even with 20mm figures.

    I find that if I want to get minis done in quantity, I need to idiot-proof the process as much as possible. I think in terms of “dry” or “wet” techniques. Dry includes brush techniques like the “Foundry-method” layering, blending, drybrushing, etc. Wet is anything with a wash, dip, or inks.

    I think the dry techniques look better, but because they require care and thought about where you place the paint, I can’t maintain that level of concentration for a large group. The wet techniques are more idiot-proof for me. Even if I’m distracted, I can manage to block paint and then dip. The highlights are not as sharp, but in scales smaller than 25/28mm, it doesn’t matter that much, IMO.

  2. 2 Bart October 9, 2008 at 8:40 pm

    Yeah… the dry techniques were a bad choice for the figures… though it gave me a chance to try some new things and work on techniques again. The biggest thing I need to work on is maintaining brush discipline; not just slathering color all over the place even in the early stages.

    For future 15’s block & dip… for larger scale stuff, I think it’s more on the highlighting side. We’ll see how things go with the warmachine & Sash/Saber Russians.


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