If you are someone that likes the idea of the horde army or running a large historical army, but the sheer thought of all that painting is a bit daunting then here is 3 tips to help you get started. I found that these have helped myself get into the grove and try to employ them now with most gaming projects that I take on, the last one being when I completed the Warlord Games ACW epic release.
Know your limits.
Its very easy to over extend in the amount of figures that you think you can get through. While standing instore and looking at all of those shiny new boxsets it’s easy to get carried away. Also some of the larger games company’s will have starter sets that give you great value for money but also a ton of plastic to churn through. So your thoughts should be on how much really you’d be able to do. Now we are all different so this will be different for each of us, also, like exercise we need to push ourselves to be able to take more and more on. But the road to hell is lined with plastic of failed army projects. For the sake of keeping things on track try not to bite off more than you can really get through.
Planning, planning planning.
You need to have a plan! Good planning will give you every chance to keep the project on track, you need to look at how you can get them finished as soon as possible. Start with a good understanding of what you need to be able to play the game. You don’t want to waste time and effort painting stuff that you might not need to get gaming. So plan well, if you have a choice of army’s, look for colour schemes that you know you can paint well and quickly. Could you undercoat with a main colour and then just pick out details for each figure. Look to try and get the basic foot troops painted as quickly as you can, yes look to spend some time with HQ and specialist troop choices but it will be the main core of troops that will take up your time. Also as part of the plan consider the time it will take to build the figures and base them. Can you speed things up using different basing options. If you are using a system for basing that you use already have you got enough to be able to complete this project. There is nothing worst that running out of something like flock and then finding out that the company have stopped making them.
I recently painted up the Warlord ACW pre-order box set, as part of the release they gave away a sprue on the front cover of WI. I was able to get my hands on one and used it to sort out the pallet I will be using to each side. I like to use the foundry paint system and off the back of the test sprues I had was able to drop the middle colour for each set and reduce the time it took to get he project completed.
Stay on target!!
This one is now the hardest part, hopefully you have enough to paint that you feel confident you can churn out, you have planned how you can paint them nice and quickly so the hard work starts now. What can you do to keep it all on target. Some people like to batch paint but how many would be classed as a batch. What happened to me before is that the batch size was to big and the time scale it took to complete and section of the army meant that progress was slow before i could see some real results and i lost interest. For me its about time scale, the batch size is more to do with the time scale it takes to paint them. using the ACW sprues again I found that i could paint one in about a day so that was my batch size. I then started to understand how quickly i could paint stands and when to keep them on the sprue to get them painted quicker and when to remove and paint the details. I then would batch the basing when i had done five sprues.
So off the back of my plan I tried to spend at least 30 mins each day on them. The feeling is then you are keeping to push the project on to the next step and that keeps that momentum that is needed to keep things track. The last thing on this is the end goal, I’d try to get enough done so I can play a game with fully painted figured. have that end goal in mind and it makes it easier to stick at it.
So to conclude, it may take a while to get through each project but nothing feels better than using a fully painted army.