Life’s a batch!

Greetings, fellow humans! This week, I have mostly been back to painting Age of Sigmar models. I’ve not quite finished these Ardboys, but they’ve all been basecoated and washed – so I don’t have too much left to do.

Ardboys - WIP.JPG

After all of my ‘painting Death Guard as individual models’ nonsense, it was great to get back into batch painting, and seeing much quicker results. Consequently, I thought I’d put together a short guide to batch painting, which may be of interest to some of you.

Firstly, pick a decent sized batch. While the thought of painting a unit of thirty horde infantry at once might seem appealing for output purposes, you’ll soon regret your decision. I tend to stick to batches of five to ten models, depending on what they are. Over the next few weeks (and months), I’ll be working on Ardboyz in batches of five, and Moonclan Grots in batches of seven.

Secondly, put similar models into your batches. What I mean by that is: try to pick models with similar components, so that you can repeat things easier. For example, the Ardboyz kit contains five unique bodies (A to E), so I’ll be painting a batch of body A, a batch of body B, and so on. I find that if you’re painting the same pieces one after the other, you’ll get a bit faster as you go, and you won’t be constantly having to decide what colour slightly different details should be.

Which leads me onto my third point – reference models. Always have a reference model to hand, whether it’s a test model, or a previously painted one. If you’ve followed my second point then you’ll always have the first model in your batch as reference for the subsequent ones. I often have a copy of White Dwarf or a Battletome/Codex to hand too, especially for deciding what colour to do minor details. The GW website is great for reference as well. Particularly as most models now have a 360 degree option.

Finally: always have your recipe handy! Write down what colours you use and refer to it as you go. Having a mixture of colours might work for some armies (such as Destruction), but most armies will have some kind of uniform or standard colour scheme. Because I’m very organised (some would argue that I’m too organised), I keep a printout of the recipes for my existing armies on my paint station; so, if I feel like painting a random model from a random army then I can easily find out what colours I need.

I think those four points cover most of the ‘hobby’ aspects of my batch painting advice. In addition to those however, I’d also add that getting yourself comfortable and ‘in the zone’ is also important. My preparation for this involves picking a bunch of CDs to listen to (because I’m old school), and having drinks and snacks to hand. That way, I can sit myself down and crack on with my batch painting.

One of the benefits of listening to physical CDs is that they need changing, so it gets me up out of my seat every hour or so to stretch my legs/rest my eyes. Health and safety, and all that…

7 thoughts on “Life’s a batch!

  1. Cheers, really good points for batch painting and very much on time for my personal painting. I recently started my 40 Night Goblin archers (what is a Moon Clan Grot?). First step was re-painting black on the robes after spray-painting them. Did this for all 40 in a row, was fairly quick (because it didn’t need to be perfect) and ok. Then was basecoating the flesh green, did that also for all 40. Took something like 3 hours or so 😀 at that point I realized my folly and broke it down to 10 model batches for the rest. Now I have my first 10 finished and decided to apply all the other basecolors (well, I set up my color scheme so that the only other basecolor is brown and some metal) for the remaining 30 in a batch again, for washing and everything else I will break them down into 10 again. I think for the bases I will go with 30 again, these texture pints take very long to dry anyway. So all in all I think it also depends a little bit on what exactly one is doing.

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    1. That tip with sorting them according to the different bodies is very good and definitely next-level though! My problem would be that I tried to assemble them in a way that I never combine the same head with the same body and legs (these are older night goblins where torso and legs were separate). So i would need to decide by which item to go 🙂 after them will be 80 of the “new” ones though, I will definitely use this trick with them, my OCDness is already enjoying it.

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      1. Cheers! I tried to mix and match as much as I could, so each body A has a different head and mostly different weapons. The bodies are the biggest part though, so that’s how I grouped them. With snap-fit models like the old Battle for Skull Pass gobbos, it’s a bit easier as there are full-on duplicates.

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  2. OK, I’ve run into a drawback with the whole paint-in-batches-approach: I now have finished 3 of 4 10-grot batches Night Goblins. I really like them and 10 is a decent number to tackle. But now I have to start again with the fourth batch 😦 I think the 80 spearwielding grots will kill me. I think I have to mix it up, a mix-and-batch approach if you will.

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    1. 30 Gobbos is an impressive amount. Rewarding yourself with something different after a big block is always a good idea. Have you got any of the new kits to paint?

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      1. Nah, at least not yet. But I very much dig the new kits. My problem is, I actually declared my Night Goblins finished already months before the new kits were announced. Eventually I might get the new Squigs (Hoppers, Herd and Mangler) because, well, Squigs! I also firmly believe that you can never have enough Fantatics. And that Loonshrine would look nice on any tabletop! But I have lots of plans before I would do that.
        But I am still highly motivated to finish those 40 ‘Arrers, because I promised myself the sweetest of rewards. Well, to be honest, originally I promised myself that reward once my whole Night Goblin army is finished, but – laughs hysterically – that’s another 150 miniatures or so, and I am neither that fast at painting nor disciplined at waiting, so I already conceded significantly to “finish the first unit”, but once that last drop of paint is on the model, I’ll send Forgeworld something like a month’s salary and in one giant swoop will get the greatest Chaos Dwarf army east of the channel, something I am dreaming of since 1994’s “White Dwarf Presents: Chaos Dwarfs”. But I can totally justify that, I need to do it before stupid Brexit kicks in and I really cannot afford it anymore. Right? RIGHT? Yes, yes I think I do.


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