Sunday, 31 May 2009

Batch Painting

I don't write a blog about cycling, but if I did, this week I'd be talking about cleaning my bike. For Christmas I got a cleaner called 'Muc-Off' (geddit?) which you just spray on and then wipe off, making your bike all lovely and shiny. It doesn't end up as clean as if you did a full scrubbing with brushes and sponges, but it only takes a fraction of the time. I was a bit snobbish at first, but you can't argue with very good results for a lot less effort. But like I say, I don't write a cycling blog, this is a Frugal Gaming blog and I think the bike cleaner story is very similar to my attitude to batch painting and washes, but more of that in a bit.

The big news this week was that my terrain has all sold (hooray!) it sold as a lot to a trader on ebay who is going to stock them in his shop. There was quite a bit to send so I packed it all up in a box and arranged a courier, this meant I had to take a day off work (my estimated pick up time was 'Thursday'!). As I was stuck in the house all day, I decided to put my time to good use and get some terrain making, mini prepping and painting done.

Batch Painting
I'm a bit of a perfectionist, it's not that bad, I just think that if I'm painting a mini I want it to look as good as possible. This is fine when I'm working on a small number of figures for my Necromunda gang, but not so good when I'm going to be starting to paint a full Imperial Guard army in a couple of months.

When I attended the Bristol Table top sale a few weeks ago I decided I wanted an 'ancients' figure to show that my terrain could be used for ancients gaming. I found a plastic Roman that I'd got free with a wargames magazine and quickly stuck it together. Deciding to paint it as fast as possible I quickly threw some base colours on, let them dry and then gave the figure a wash with the 'Ogryn Flesh' wash from Games Workshop. To amazement, it looked brilliant and the total painting time (not inlcuding drying) was less than ten minutes!

Now this worried me, all the time I've spent in the past, getting my figures to look as good as possible, has it been wasted?

I since decided to try and speed up my painting a bit by batch painting, my first effort was my Blood Bowl dwarves, I primed them, basecoated them and then gave them a couple of steps of highlight and that was about it. I added some runes on the shoulder pads for team numbers and sprayed them up with some 'Purity Seal' satin varnish.

I was really happy with the way they came out and they didn't take long at all. I've just got the rest of them to do now...

It felt good to get a group of minis finished in a reasonable time and they still look pretty good. Of course, the sooner I get them all painted, the sooner I can get playing Blood Bowl!

I'm now a lot less snobby about washes and quick highlights, I've even been having a look at the range of 'Dips' available, I've heard good things about them, but it feels like a big step! Have you tried them? Let me know. All the best, happy gaming!


ADB said...


Have a look at Stu has just been through the dip discovery phase for WH Orcs and love it going by his latest purchase.


Mad Carew said...

Great news on the terrain deal - are you going into business?

Out of oblique interest, what frame is your bike? I have a lovely Trek gathering dust in the shed that I MUST drag out one day!

Dave said...

Well, like I said, this isn't a cycling blog. But if it was I'd tell that it's a Dawes Giro 300, (58cm frame), the Grey one at the back is my Kona Paddy Wagon Single Speed, great fun!

Steve said...

I've just tried dipping today for the first time on some HaT WWI British. They are still drying and will need matt varnishing but they look a lot better than I was expecting and the section of ten has taken about 15 to 20 minutes all told (frightening!)

John Price said...

Glad you managed to close your terrain deal. It's always fun to make a buck from a labor of love, eh?

"The dip" is indeed a wonderful, time-saving technique. As it happens I just did a tutorial (complete with how-to video) on my own blog, The Screaming Alpha. I hope it encourages you to take the plunge, er dip!

Mad Carew said...

Good job its not a cycling blog or I'd be asking you all sorts of boring questions about which group set you're using, and how mad you must be to use a single speed!

Getting back to the painting, I slap on a brown or grey wash and it works wonders for my poor painting.

Dave said...

No no no! I'll not have all this talk of 14-speed shimano sets with integrated brake/gear shifters, and I certainly won't be saying that riding single speed is the best thing since sliced bread, even if you live on top of a steep hill, like me.

So there...