View Full Version : motivation to paint disposable units

15-10-2007, 09:52
how do you motivate yourself to paint disposable units such as skaven slaves? I just have absolutly no motivation to paint hundreds of miniatures that are simply canon feed.

how do you do that?

15-10-2007, 10:26
Don't spend alot of time and effort on them. If you're painting slaves, just drubrush them light brown and pick out their swords and faces.

Whenever I have to paint a bucketload of similar models, I just force myself to sit down and paint. I don't always manage to do alot, but something is better than nothing. The trick is to just do it. Well, that works for me anyway. :p

15-10-2007, 10:37
Just a thought (I have no idea if this would work or not) - could you spray-paint them brown then after they dry, just do a tiny bit of detail like Rotten suggests? When it comes to huge numbers of disposable units, I think the important thing is to just get that 'living tide' feeling down; rather than individual details.

I don't know how well that would work though - my army is much smaller, mostly Chaos Warriors and a few Marauders >.<

15-10-2007, 12:08
I have the same problem with Slaves and even Clanrats. Your best bet is to not take too much time on each model and focus more on finishing the unit to make it unified and decent looking. Slaves I'll spray or drybrush a main color (brown for rat slaves, black of gobbo slaves) and pick out any obvious details (weapons, faces) in the relevant color. Same goes for Clannies, but with a little more effort on the shields, armor, and cloth.

Most importantly, keep it quick so you won't get bogged down painting all 120 of those rats :D

Sephtar II
15-10-2007, 12:11
Personnaly I never relly think of the models use on the tabletop while painting it, I just paint the detail thats there. Characters and such endup looking more detailed as there is more stuff to do and as the core fellows are less detailed models ayway it all works out fine.

15-10-2007, 14:06
I don't use cannon fodder units, however my friend does.

80 goblins. How?

He pays me :)

15-10-2007, 14:31
Time and patience comes to mind. I just can't paint something to sub-standard rates. This is probably why my armies take so long to paint. I'm currently painting 150 night goblins in blocks of 50 and you have to treat it like a production line. Hats one night, swords the next. It really does look great and is worth the effort IF you have time.
OR...Drybrush and concentrate on the front rank and command models. That's all that anyone usually looks at anyway.

15-10-2007, 14:37
I definitely agree with zak. You just spend a decent amount of time on the first and maybe second rank and then paint the rest with dry brushing.

Also I would just taking small bits out of it daily. Just paint like an assembly line while watching tv or something, and then switch to something more interesting ever once in a while. If you paint even 3 a day in a month thats 90 minis!

15-10-2007, 16:06
I'm currently painting 150 night goblins in blocks of 50 and you have to treat it like a production line. Hats one night, swords the next.

I cant work like that. Too many half done models lying around.
That and the pure and utter boredom hits me.

I'm currently painting up yet another box of marauders.
Heres how i do it.

First i do all the bases and a movement tray
This is the only 'production line' part I do because its quick.
Slap on the glue and base.
Spray them
Dry Brush
Static Grass

A few reasons i do this first.
I like my models to stand ON the terrain, not glue them to the base then add sand around them. All the grass patches match up when in formation. It also means when i finish painting they are all complete with movement tray and ready to use.

For the models i take 1 model off the sprue at a time.
File all the parts individually.
Glue the legs and torso together but nothing else
Start painting as if its the best model in your army.
When hes done glue him together and pop him on a base.
Put him on the movement tray, sigh and say 'X more to go'

I usually paint 1-3 a day this way.

15-10-2007, 16:11
Just think. Spending the time on the detail may get you that extra point or two on your painting scores in a competition, which may put you over the top.

Besides, painted models always perform better.

15-10-2007, 16:58
You might try painting 3 at a time rather than 1. It's not such a production line, but atleast you will get more done. I find that if I'm highlighting then 3-5 models is about right or the paint dries and is wasted. Doing one model at a time would take me years!!!

15-10-2007, 18:30
production lines don't have to be 50 models. just paint between 5 and 10 models at a time. that way, when you've done one bit on the last one, the paint is dry on the first one, so you don't waste time waiting for the paint to dry. so much more time efficient.

and when you're done, you got a nice part of the unit done already, so you get more motivated to do the rest (or less demotivated :p )

15-10-2007, 18:40
I find making a production line works best.
Painting with some decent music on in a comfortable place with plenty of sunlight(or light if its dark when you feel like painting).

I assemble the models into their appropriate units and then make my way through them rank by rank, model by model one specific detail/colour at a time.
I make sure that I re-assemble the unit model by model so I can see clearly how much of the unit I have painted, and how much I have left to paint, as well as how much better the current layer looks on the models.

Drybrushing and inks are the best way to feel your getting somewhere really quick. Then just pick out teeth and eyes after your done drybrushing.

Above all(amusing that this is usually the last thing listed at the very bottom....) dont stop midway through, even if your bored.
Keep going untill you've finished the current colour/detail.
Then at least your models look all the same and some arent worse than others.

15-10-2007, 18:41
I get the same paint drying system on my one model because i paint each part separately. The only thing makes me have to take a break is doing an ink wash. They always take a while to dry.

What about your gluing techniques?
Assemble then paint?
Paint then assemble?
Paint on the sprue!?

15-10-2007, 18:57
I usually assemble then paint. Mainly because it takes me so long to paint a unit I usually play a few games with black undercoated models 1/2 painted. Would rather have a 1/2 painted model then an empty stand on the battle field.

As every one knows there is a order of performance on the battle field:

empty base < unpainted model < painted model

16-10-2007, 01:30
After a while, skaven go pretty fast. I painted about 100 slaves. I used brown primer, drybrushed the fur, painted the flesh with a base coat, then hit it all with a wash of brown ink, then went back, highlighted the flesh, painted the belts & weapons... then based them up. After you paint a few, you really get the hang of it and it goes by quickly. Besides, it's fun fielding big units of slaves and watching the horror on your opponents face when his knights or other expensive unit gets beat and run down by them. :D

16-10-2007, 04:32
I wont let myself paint things I really want to paint till I get so many other units done. I can't paint the doomdiver till the gobbos are all painted

16-10-2007, 04:41
Just get on with it is the only advice to mind, plus why paint back rankers to the same quality as a character. if you have the front rank done to the stanard you want the rest can be done to a lighter degree of detail yet the unit will pull off the same visual effect (i.e. table top standard)

16-10-2007, 07:17
for my slaves and clan rats, the trick was regiment bases. for the larger units, I made custom regiment bases (the larger units are seven figures wide), with loose models for the front and back ranks. once you got that done, all you have to do is paint a rank at a time.

the trick is to make sure you are as comfortable as possible while painting. good light for your eyes, good chair for your butt, and good TV shows for your mind. (my skaven are always painted to buffy the vampire slayer for some reason, I've watched all seven seasons of buffy and five seasons of angel three times so far for the army.) after that, just paint in whatever time chunks you can stand.

I painted 100 slaves in a week, followed by clanrats in units of 25, 25, 30, 35, and 42 in the next two weeks. all my core done in under a month. I like to get the core of my armys done first, then paint the fun toys after the drudge work.

16-10-2007, 10:02
It helps if you dont think about it as 'painting hundreds of minitures' but rather just setting easy goals. Like with my Bretonnian Men at Arms, I just think 'okay, just do one rank to start' and if I approach it like that I prevent myself from getting overwhelmed.

16-10-2007, 10:34
how do you motivate yourself to paint disposable units such as skaven slaves? I just have absolutly no motivation to paint hundreds of miniatures that are simply canon feed.

how do you do that?

Don't paint a model: Paint an army!

The trick is to establish a painting scheme that will allow you to apply a basic coat of paint to a large number of miniatures quickly.

I suggest "staggering" the batches: Don't try to complete a whole batch of 10 models in one go.

1. Apply paint scheme A to batch 1.
2. Apply paint scheme A to batch 2.
3. Apply paint scheme B to batch 1.
4. Apply paint scheme A to batch 3.
5. Apply paint scheme B to batch 2.
6. Apply paint scheme C to batch 1.


This way you get to vary the work process, you get new models into the pipeline and you get a lot of models that are "just about done".


16-10-2007, 12:59
honestly, after spending all that money on those models, it would be a real injustice to myself if i do not paint them.

and that alone is motivation for me to finish them bloody all.

16-10-2007, 13:48
Just spraypaint them brown, then dip them in Minwax wood stain.
Then all ya gotta do is pick out some tails and snouts and rusty swords.

17-10-2007, 04:32
Just spraypaint them brown, then dip them in Minwax wood stain.
Then all ya gotta do is pick out some tails and snouts and rusty swords.

Personally, I spraypain brown, slop some paint on the flesh areas and the sword, then dip them. Metal and skin look awesome dipped. The metal comes up looking really rusty and crap, which is great. I prefer my dipped slaves to my hand painted clanrats.

18-10-2007, 13:07
I'm currently painting my Night Goblin horde, and you could say that all Night Goblins are basically expendable ... they will run, sooner or later :p

I use an "assembly line" too : I assemble everything for a unit, then paint them all "color by color" (all the robes, then all the spear shafts, then all the "flesh", etc).
I usually paint a single color on 5 to 15 minis during a single session (I'm not a quick painter, that takes me something like two hours), and I won't start on a new unit until I finished one.

Like others have said, having a nice setup to paint helps a lot (good light, good seat, music/TV in the background), but what I found as the most helpful thing is this : a simple paint scheme that you can paint quickly and reliably on a lot of minis. Makes for a really good "horde" impression when it's done.

111 Night Goblins done, only 80 more to go ...

18-10-2007, 19:32
I've just started with the BfSP set and am painting the night goblins there. I do it almost the same as Lorcryst but I do all of their flesh first. It seems to help since now you have expressive little goblins that need to be finished rather than just blobs of plastic. I then do the base color on the spear shaft, then a highlight on the spear shaft, etc.

18-10-2007, 20:14
The reason I start with the robes is that I use a heavy and messy drybrush on them ... keeps the tidying to a minimum, since I'll repaint other areas anyway :p

Still, each of us has his own techniques, and all are equally valid.