Sunday, June 24, 2012

Progress on the Workbench

The Entire Anglo-Allied Force

Waterloo progress of a rather 'dull' sort.  There are generally two ways I approach painting:  
One way is to paint up a unit and complete it, then start another, then another, until it is all finished.  The other way is to paint like a production line, doing the same thing on a whole pile of miniatures (all the coats, all the boots, etc) to bring the whole lot towards completion.

For a fair time, I used to try to always do one or another, and typically wound up feeling guilty when I found myself sacrificing one method for the other.  I have however recently been pondering things and am now much more forgiving of mixing these two methods up.  This is really down to me belatedly recognising that each one has distinct advantages and disadvantages, which vary whatever one is most suitable, depending on the state of the 

Option one is quite good for getting a sense of progress, and correspondingly gives a little boost of enthusiasm - very valuable in a big project, where it's easy to have the initial spark of inspiration begin to wane after a time.  However, seeing a unit through to completion over and over again can also kill off the 'big picture' of a project, and encourages a bit of tunnel vision to creep in.  Also, after seeing a fully-finished unit complete it can be a hard thing to go back to another group of undercoat-only models and start all over again.

Option two is unquestionably faster.  It moves large numbers of figures towards completion in 
a few bold moves, and keeps the whole force moving forward (i.e. cuts off the temptation to dump parts of the project and scale back.)  However, it's painfully thankless for long periods.  Who ever walked away from a painting table after 2-odd hours of work, with precisely no completed figures to show for it, and felt happy?  

Closer view - mainly Cavalry & Artillery

After a bit of pondering (this wasn't some high-minded intellectual musing, I should add - more 
like some daydreaming which went on a bit too long) I decided that the general rule should be the option 2 'production-line' method, but regularly broken up with bursts of 'through to completion' painting to keep enthusiasm high.  I've recently finished a burst of 'option 1' painting which has produced my first try-out bases for all arms of my Napoleonic Waterloo army, and even my first full division of infantry.  However the box of base-coated models on strips of card is alarmingly vast, so I think it's high time that I knuckled down for some 'production-line' painting to try and get all the models with at least the base-colour of their uniforms in place.  
The whole lot

The end result:  behold!  The entire Anglo-Allied army coat-coloured at last, and now only the painful process of doing all the black areas.  Covering heads & shakos, shoes, cartridge boxes, Brit backpacks, bayonet-sheaths & various other straps here and there, it's one of the most infuriating paint-colours to apply.  Still, once this is done it gets progressively easier, I'm happy to remind myself.  

20mm Generals!  Wellington, Orange, Hill & Uxbridge

The finished articles, including some artillery & cavalry I didn't get to photograph before!


  1. I salute your bravery in the face of SO much painting. March on!

  2. Thanks, Max - it is a personal wargaming 'Everest!' I think in future I'll stick to smaller scales and probably 'modern' wars where the uniform is a nice, consistent spray-once-and-you're-done sort of thing!