Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Question of speed....


A term a friend of my mine coined in reference to slow Warhammer players… either deliberately slow turns to stall in a tourney, a classic “chess” style player that ponders every move, or the dreaded indecisive player who wants to take back a move 3 back, and re-measures 6 times…. But what about slow painters?

Being new to the hobby and trying to pick up higher level skills quickly to make my conversions shine brighter I am finding I am getting slower the more time I paint, not faster.

This whole train of thought (a bit stream of consciousness due to a 16+ hour work day) is brought on but a comment a player made at a team tourney I played in over the weekend. When asked how much time I spent on a figure I quoted 60+ hours, painting and converting, he looked shocked. Then when he inquired about my more recent projects he insinuated exaggeration.. He told me how he painted 3 figures in one night and I lauded him, but after spending 3 and ½ hours painting just the gold trim on 3 of my Terminator conversions (pictures coming) I am more confident that my numbers are spot on… I do most of my brush work with a 00 – 1 as I learn control, take the time to thin my paints, mix them well, and all of this adds up to long paint sessions that result in little progress but figures I am “satisfied” with. I do it between the other demands on my time (work 50 – 60+ hours a week, fiancé, dog, house etc) which means I don’t have a lot of long sessions, just an hour here, 2 hours there, etc…

I guess the real point of this thread is to ask, is anyone else out there a slow painter or is it just my personal drive for an ever increasing level of perfection that’s dragging projects down? Comments please….

Someday I hope to be at Golden Daemon caliber, both in quality and speed, but until then I will keep slowpainting…


  1. Don't worry, I'm tremendously slow at painting too. Though I don't use the tiny brushes all the time, it is all about control over where the paint goes. I suspect proper illumination would also make me faster...

    But then, it's a hobby that you're supposed to enjoy, so take your time and enjoy it the way you want to.

  2. I'm slower than you! I was painting MTD's Mad Dok and it took me two hours just for the skin!

  3. I do suggest proper illumination =-) I got a very nice adjustable table lamp... helps with the eye strain...

  4. Me, I'm fast and I've gotten faster with doing so much over the last year.

    Things still take time though and adding lots of little details is time consuming.

  5. I'm reasonably fast...could be faster. It helps to develop methods for painting that you can reproduce quickly. For example, in painting my blood angels, I have 5 stage process for painting red that I simply repeat over and over. its gets quicker with practice. I have a basic method for gold, bone, cloth, leather, guns...this cuts down on the decision making process with models. However, on a character or a model I want to really stand out, a display piece like my tau Ethereal, I want to slow down and think as I paint. with army painting, I develop methods for colors and simply repeat them from model to model.

  6. @ OSH, My army so far has a pretty cohesive theme, and I try to paint assembly line style, which are all supposed to help.... Do think your increased speed is because of experince or a tech. your using?

  7. Not sure. I think it is experience. I've been painting miniatures since I was 12 years old and I am now 29. of course there were some big gaps in that due to college, girls, etc. I think the speed comes from the methods I use. One big thing is not starting out with black and building the color from that. I spray my models in the main color I want. For example, my Tau: I spray everyone in the tan color that i use which really cuts down on painting time.

  8. @ OSH, The single color base coat would save alot of time! I tried that with my blue, but it changed the tone of the gold I use as a secondary color too much for my tastes... maybe if I pick a new palete

  9. I have to disagree with OSH, I use black as a base coat religiously since foundation paints came out and made putting lighter colours on black easy when necessary.

    I'm doing a tale of four gamers thing which keeps my paint-rate up. I'm doing Orks, and my first squad of 12 boyz took me 12 hours... I'm onto my fourth squad now and I seem to have shaved a little off the time. I've found extensive use of washes to keep the number of stages down has increased my speed of painting. I can't directly compare as I don't know to what level of detail you go, but feel free to look at my blog for some of my stuff. It does help that Orks are meant to look ramshackle, it makes for a very forgiving messy paint scheme ;oP

    For what it's worth, my painting buddy is like you, perhaps even worse. Over our painting sessions over the last few months, he's painted Queek Headtaker, half painted a couple of wood elf characters, half painted a wraithlord and done the base colours on some plague monks. I meanwhile, have done 36 boyz, 10 stormboyz, 10 lootas, 10 burnas, 4 truks, 2 battlewagons, 20 penal legion troopers, and a couple of other characters. Different strokes for different folks, to mis-quote something ;o)

  10. @Ginge,

    I have been looking at washes, but hard to wash blue or gold=-)

    Glad to know I am not the only slow painter!