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Below are my five most recent miniatures related photos. These used to be freshly painted miniatures only, but now include game photos as well.

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Tiny Tin Men :: Archives

Work in progress figures, and musings on army painting

July 19, 2009 10:15 AM - Posted by Robartes - Category: Painting

Just a quick entry to show that I’m still alive and painting figures. These, except for the 9 infantrymen in buttoned up coat in the rear left corner, have been painted over the last few week or two:


There’s two regiments of Musketeer Miniatures Swedes for the Great Northern War project (Dalcaria in the back and Närke-Värmland led by Colonel Roos in the front), and a unit of 16 Warlord Games Romans, cousins of these guys. This batch has Little Big Men Studios shield transfers - the first time I’ve used them (I have used their flags before, viz the flags of the Närke-Värmland regiment), and they work a charm.

And if you’re thinking that this seems like a lot of output for me, it is - I’m up to 35 Olley Points this month, and the next 19 should be finished tonight (except for the basing, obviously). I’ve discovered something (thanks to the new Foundry Napoleon book, of which a review is forthcoming) which I’ve always thought was not good for my painting morale, but which turns out to work very well. What is this magical motivator you ask? Simply the thing that every single ‘fast painting’ guide on the net touts as gospel: paint big batches. In my case, with the Närke-Värmland I decided to take a gamble and do the regiment in one batch (19 figures, well 18 and a horse). And it works.

Before, I used to do them in about batches of 8, but ran the risk of running out of steam halfway through, and then you’re stuck with half a regiment. Now, it takes longer to finish a batch (I think around 8 to 9 hours in total - still well below half an hour per figure) but when you finish them, you’ve got a finished regiment, a playable unit. And I find that that motivates me to keep painting them.

There’s also a few other factors at work here: on a micromanagement level, I tend to paint in increments of colours. In a painting session, I might do the flesh highlight, the blue coats and the leather for example, and then stop - but I stop when a colour is done. On 19 figures, when a colour is done, it’s obviously done on all 19, and it seems that psychologically, the treshold that needs to be crossed to keep on painting instead of stopping after the colour, lies somewhere in between 8 and 19 figures. I find that if I paint a layer on 19 figures, it is (perhaps paradoxically) easier to start a new layer than with 8 figures.

Anyway, I’m currently one painting session away from finishing a third regiment of Swedes (the Västerbötten regiment this time, they need 4 colours finished, of which 1 is very minimal in abundance). I hope to finish them tonight, bringing my Olley Points total to 54 - a record! Unfortunately, although I’m on a roll, I need to stop painting Swedes after that, for the simple reason that I’ve run out of figures :).

Comments on this entry

Hi Bart Glad to see the site is still in use. I am gearing up to start a two week painting binge, once wife and daughter leave for UK. I have not been able to pick up a brush since March. Travelling and then Beth has been with us here, in occupation of the painting room. Back in Europe in 2 weeks time, hopefully to pick the first chunk of my Waterloo figures, Alten’s, Jerome’s, Pire’s, and Kellerman’s divisions plus of course the Dutch Belgian Cavalry. Should keep me quiet for a year.

I have always painted in Units. I just found that as I got older the units got smaller. When I was doing the Macedonians I painted the pike in Ranks of 8 which also made it go quite fast. I realised that one brushload would do 8 figures in most cases, but as you say one runs the risk of losing steam part way through.

I too am very interested in the Napoleon book. I reckon that it will provide a most entertaining evenings game without the loss of too many braincells but am not convinced that the reccomended unit sizes add anything to the mechanics. I may well use them as an alternative to SHako. I also have rank and file which I intend to try out on my AWI collection. WIll let you know how I get on. Best Graham Somewhere in Africa

July 21, 2009 3:20 PM - Posted by Graham K