Building/painting models faster

Post and discuss your modelling projects with fellow modellers.
User avatar
Temennigru
Shas'Saal
Posts: 439

Building/painting models faster

Post#1 » Feb 12 2018 04:55

Since I have very little time on my hands, I've found myself buying more models than I am building/painting.

I can take 4 hours to build a single strike team since I spend so much time removing mold lines and injection gates, and I've taken 2 months to paint a single stormsurge, since it takes a long time just to set up the painting station.

What suggestions do you have to make the process go faster?

User avatar
Lostroninsoul
Shas'Saal
Posts: 323

Re: Building/painting models faster

Post#2 » Feb 12 2018 05:03

The more you paint, the faster you get at it. I'm a slow painter myself. I thin my paints very thin, but when I'm trying to nail a color quick I paint thicker. A hairdryer helps dry paints on non resin-models (resin warps with heat). I also like to prime in a base color so it's easier to paint. Remember:The price of perfection is prohibitive. (Prohibits quantity to get done). This is what I have learned this past year since starting the hobby myself

nbsp
Shas
Posts: 6

Re: Building/painting models faster

Post#3 » Feb 12 2018 06:02

Oh my god, 4 hours for a strike team? Jealous, it takes me like 30-40 hours to do a single fire warrior :(

pilky
Shas'La
Shas'La
Posts: 341

Re: Building/painting models faster

Post#4 » Feb 12 2018 06:37

It all depends what you're trying to achieve. If you want a really high standard with lots of blends, details, edge highlighting, etc. it's going to take a lot of time. I'm currently painting up 5 Thousand Sons Scarab Occult Terminators. I've probably put 30-40 hours in so far for building and painting and I'm only part way through base coats and washes. I'm probably 20-30 hours away from finishing them.

Now part of that is because the models have a lot of details and I'm using a lot of colours (gold trim, blue plates, yellow stripes, green eyes and gems, purple & cream robes, white tabards, black and silver weapons with glowing runes). I could do them a LOT faster if I had simpler colours. If rather than edge highlighting I use drybrushing. Rather than trying to shade and blend I just use flat surfaces. I could use washes without layering back over.

I know someone who made a fantastic guard army with the rule “each model should take under an hour to paint”. He sprayed the tanks with a khaki spray paint, put some weathering powders on, and then sealed with varnish. You don’t need to extend to weathering powders, a bit of torn sponge can do a good job too, but weathering can be a quick way to get great results. I use it on my 30k Imperial Fists and it looks amazing and ends up taking next to no time (most of the time is airbrushing the yellow to get a nice colour).

Another techique is painting with shades. Spray a modal with Corax White primer (has to be Corax White, or a similar chalky white spray), then use shades to colour parts of the model in. You can then layer over if you wish or leave it as is, but it's a great alternative, especially for anything with cloth.

I'd also maybe see if you can get a tray that you can paint on, I'm lucky to have a desk and drawers close by which I can leave everything set up on, but if you have a tray set up with your models and paints on, you can quickly and easily put that away in one go when finished, and pull it out again when you next start. It won’t help with stuff like your water but that's one of the quickest bits to set up. It's how I used to manage before I got a dedicated desk

User avatar
Temennigru
Shas'Saal
Posts: 439

Re: Building/painting models faster

Post#5 » Feb 12 2018 06:41

I've been thinking of getting myself a quickshade. Do you think it's worth it?

User avatar
khayman
Shas'Saal
Posts: 105

Re: Building/painting models faster

Post#6 » Feb 12 2018 07:05

Hey man, don't worry about it, it took me 40 days to paint a Devilfish. Just don't worry about it, it takes what it takes, there's people with newborn kids that have extremely minimal time out there but they keep at it whenever they can. Here's some tips that have worked for me :

1. You mentioned about setting up the paintstation. I suggest getting a portable lamp and one of GW's portable paintstations and keep them both at arms length. I play the guitar and it works the same way, if it's too far away or takes too long to pick up, you're probably not going to do it.

2. Make sure your paints are stored and organized in a way that you can locate a specific paint pot without having to dig through a bunch of them.

3. Base your minis in temporary holders. Cork, pill boxes, anything that lets you get a grip on the thing and rotate it. GW has a paint handle they sell but you don't really need a specific product. I use cylindrical pill boxes with some white tac to hold the miniature base.

4. Paint in subassemblies when possible, i.e. for a fire warrior I'll glue torso, legs, grenades/pistols and backpack together and keep the head and arms separate. I can't even imagine how people can paint a decent miniature with everything glued together.

5. Paint in batches but try to find the optimal size of the batch. Trying to paint 10 firewarriors at once is probably going to make you want to kill yourself. I usually paint 2-3 firewarriors at a time and 3-4 drones.

6. Obviously, prime, basecoat and varnish with a spray or an airbrush. Airbrushes don't just save time, they also lay down a far superior basecoat in terms of surface smoothness. Varnishes in particular are a no-go for me if we're not talking aibrush or spray can as they will almost always end up in a horrible brushstroke hell. If you don't have an airbrush and you consider buying one for speed of operations, consider the following. a) you don't need an expensive one, b) you do need a compressor with a tank, and that may cost you 3-4 times what the airbrush itself does, c) they do take time to figure out, d) you always need to thouroughly clean it. It will eventually become a time saver, but it requires some investment. Short term it will slow you down and you may end up with some ruined models so, short term spray cans are cheaper, both in time and money. Long term, no comparison.

7. After basecoats have been layed down, seal your miniature with a satin varnish. This will allow you to do two things. Perfect panel lining with pin washes (yes, even with acrylics) and, perhaps more importantly, it will provide you with a save point. You can erase minor mistakes with some acrylic thinner, water or even your own spit if your paint is thin enough. Washes for example can easily be removed with a wet finger. Be gentle with the thinner, obviously, it will eat through the varnish if you poke on the same spot obsessively for too long.

8. Try to paint a little each day if possible. Even 30 mins is *some* progress. This is where a portable, quick to set up paint station pays off. If it takes you 10 mins to set up and 10 mins to pack it back down, you're obviously not going to invest those 30 minutes in between.

9. Don't strip badly painted models if you can afford it. Keep them around as test dummies, e.g. "I wonder how GW's gloss washes look over metallics".

10. This one's going to sound a bit weird because it actually takes time. Write your recipes down. Like, really write them down, step by step. Not because you might forget what you did (which some people do, I definitely do) but because you can then reorder them in the most efficient way. Once you've done that, you can just execute them like an algorithm. For instance, if one step is varnishing with an airbrush or spray, you want that to happen before you lay down your metallics. If you're washing, you might want to group your washes together, so you don't sit there waiting for a half wet model to dry. Having an efficient order of operations pays off. Obviously another benefit of this is that you don't need to remeber your mix ratios. 3:2 Dark Reaper to Abaddon Black, by the way, such an awesome colour for rubber tubes, cloaks etc (highlight with Dark Reaper, further highlight with Thunderhawk Blue, pin highlight with Celestra Grey, awesome, awesome stuff). Try to see if you can recall that from memory after a year or so.

11. Don't underestimate the drybrush. If you're gentle and patient enough with it you can end up with perfect highlighting. You can then clean up the dirtied area by reapplying the basecoat (or, if you've varnished, with thinner).

12. Edge highlighting becomes a lot easier with a good brush. Bascially, everything becomes a lot easier with a good brush. Invest in a couple, they're not that expensive and they last a long time. Another thing you need is either a wet palette or some retarder fluid. Both of these will keep the paint from drying on your brush when you're highlighting.

13. Washes can be feathered out with some thinner on your brush. This allows you to remove that distinct coffee stain look on the edges of where the wash has dried out. Obviously this is a lot faster over a coat satin varnish.

14. There's a thing I often do that I call inverse drybrush, doesn't work on every surface but it's awesome for anything with deep creases, an ideal example is the Lord Of Contagion's upper cloak. What you do is you drown the surface with Nuln Oil, wait for it to dry, drown it again, wait for it to dry. Once that's dry, you go back and drybrush heavily (like, really heavily) with the basecoat colour. This will give you a great blend which I sincerely doubt I could do faster with traditional blending techniques. Can't really find a place for it in Tau Empire models though.

15. Get a flat angled brush and basecoat with that. A lot faster and a far smoother surface. GW has some but Army Painter has two distinct sizes and are overall better.

16. Get a small flat brush, the smaller you can get, as long as it's flat. I use that primarily for feathering washes and to clean up with thinner but it's overall a very versatile tool.

17. GW's gemstone paints are better than they look on first sight and they're great timesavers if you don't want to spend a lot of time with your lenses and scopes.

18. To basecoat metallics, a rather loaded drybrush (some people call it an overbrush) produces the best results and you don't really have to worry about the paint drying on your brush, brushstrokes etc.

19. Don't shoot yourself in the leg by priming black when you're aiming for a bright/pale/light basecoat. If you can prime with the colour of your basecoat that's even better. In general, when in doubt, prime white or light grey.

20. The best basecoat for gold is silver.

User avatar
khayman
Shas'Saal
Posts: 105

Re: Building/painting models faster

Post#7 » Feb 12 2018 07:10

Temennigru wrote:I've been thinking of getting myself a quickshade. Do you think it's worth it?


For Tau, absolutely not. For Kroot, yes.

Definitely worth it if you're going for horde armies or for really dirtied up models, it takes some investment (you can't just dip it and leave it, you either have to give the model a few good shakes or wipe the excess off of it with an old brush) and you need to spray with a matte varnish afterwards because it's the glossiest thing you've seen.

Here's a good video of what I think is its ideal use : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xxm7Y0IJ10U

User avatar
Temennigru
Shas'Saal
Posts: 439

Re: Building/painting models faster

Post#8 » Feb 12 2018 07:49

Good tips.
What about building?
It takes me days to fully build kits, and even more time to get all those bits loose.

Nitrogue
Shas
Posts: 101

Re: Building/painting models faster

Post#9 » Feb 13 2018 04:43

pilky wrote:I'm currently painting up 5 Thousand Sons Scarab Occult Terminators.


Sorry initially misread this as 5000 models, man you must have a lot of money to dish out :D

User avatar
khayman
Shas'Saal
Posts: 105

Re: Building/painting models faster

Post#10 » Feb 13 2018 04:50

Temennigru wrote:Good tips.
What about building?
It takes me days to fully build kits, and even more time to get all those bits loose.


Actually, the whole prep stage of cutting from the sprue, drilling, cleaning up, gluing etc is one area where I wouldn't recommend trying to save time on as anything you skip here will end up showing in your final product. I think you're doing a good thing by taking your time on it.

The other area where I would not try to save time on is decals. You really need to respect your decals if you want them to look ok and that means multiple coats of decal fixer/setter, a proper varnish on top etc. All of that needs drying time so it's really hard to skip.

Oh, by the way, some people use low spin hairdryers to speed some processes up but I haven't really found them to be very useful.

comm_nagrom
Shas
Posts: 33

Re: Building/painting models faster

Post#11 » Feb 13 2018 03:23

I find if I'm trying to get a bunch of guys done at once an assembly line is usually a good way to go. This goes for both building and painting, cutting all the pieces I need off the sprue then cleaning all of them up at once, then glueing them all together at once. The benefit to this is that once you get the hang of it you can usually have the last model done by the time the first one is mostly dry and can begin clipping the next set of pieces (I actually just used this method last night to build 15 fire warriors in about 2 hours counting drying time)

Return to “Modelling”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest