Friday, 28 August 2015

The Phases of a Miniature Painting Project

Tomorrow I will be participating in one of four simultaneous battles from the Waterloo campaign. Slight problem is that the rules will be Black Powder for which I have little love, or any ruleset of its ilk. I go there to meet some really nice people. And because I bought a bunch of figures. Which has become a bit of a circular argument.

As I progressed with the painting last weekend, I started to recognise a number of phases in my painting. Whilst I have enjoyed preparing the miniatures and spray painting them, the painting itself became increasingly discouraging. Trying to follow the Army Painter philosophy you should refrain as much as possible from highlighting. I did a few highlights in blue, put a layer of light gray under the white trousers. Once I got to the white leatherwork, the many mistakes started to get me down. Although I persevered in the belief that Army Painter dip would solve all my problems, my religion was sorely tested when a came to the piping of the Landwehr field caps.

My hand may have been less steady, or I was starting to get irritated by not being able to reach the miniatures as easily when individually mounted. I was disappointed in the result and I resolved to go over all the caps again to redress the mistakes. I went over most colours. That made me feel better, but it also required extra time.

But what a difference the army painter dip made. It is very forgiving! By this time I was pretty happy with the look of the miniatures. The hardest part still had to come: basing them. I got a lot of useful suggestions from my facebook friend at Dutch Miniature Wargames, but I was being stupid and didn't have the right tools to hand for applying the plaster, but when I improved a sort of plastic spatula my aggression levels dropped off a bit.

I still believe that basing is the worst kind of job and psychologically at the toughest time in the process as you try to finish the project in time. I also am happy to go on record to say that re-basing miniatures is of the devil and a clean waste of time. No ruleset is worth that kind of shit.


  1. After finishing the basecoat of my 15mm musketeers I also felt the urge to repaint, but I kept telling to myself: FIRST the Army Painter, THEN the corrections. That saved my soul from the 'let's do it again'-hell.... (Jur from A6S)

    1. How does that work, corrections after the dip? I would think it would stand out.

    2. You have to get rid of the gloss of the army painter anyway, so after you've sprayed it with matt varnish you can still correct, drybrush or highlight. In my mind it is never too late for a light dust-colored drybrush.
      By the way, it is much easier to add (green/brown) paint to whatever you are using as filler so you don't have to paint your base afterwards. Saves time. Sprinkle with sand or static grass and 'ready is Charles'/ klaar is Kees.


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