View Full Version : How long do you spend painting each model in your 40k army?

19-03-2013, 12:55
I wanted to post here to avoid getting a skewed answer in the painting forum.

How long do you spend painting each model? I find myself spending a long time, maybe 5 hours per marine and I think its time I sped up a bit.

19-03-2013, 13:08
i used to spend an age painting each individual model. now i just plough through them, unless its a specific squad or character that i want to stand out. ive come to the opinion that a large, painted force will always look more impressive than an individual model painted really really well, so long as it is viewed as a whole.

HOWEVER, thats for army painting, if its a display piece, i might spend up to a month on it, maybe longer.

19-03-2013, 13:18
It's really a personal preference sort of thing. I tend to speed through my marines that are just part of the tactical squad, and just get the basic colours on them so that at least they look like a uniformed army rather then then being all grey. Finishing a marine in around 30 minutes to 1 hour.

However like buddy_revell said i would spend more time on pieces that I want to stand out and so that i can be proud of them, such as my commander, land raider, and terminators. For these ones I can sometimes spend to around 3 weeks, but even then I would still come back afterwards to do a check up on one detail so that I am happy with it, so it is an on going process.

19-03-2013, 13:21
I spend a few days on an HQ usually (about 2 hours each day), and if there is a cool aspiring champion or sergent, I'll take a few hours on those too.

Regular CSM models (black legion) I can knock out a unit of 10 faster than I might spend on a single HQ. But basic CSM do not have too much detail.

When I got the new raptor models, I loved them, so for a unit of just 5 I spent about a week. However then look intimidated. I like when an opponent is unfamiliar with a unit's abilities, judges them based on how scary they look, and acts accordingly.

19-03-2013, 13:27
about ten minutes (for infantry), but then I use an assembly line sort of process. a little longer for the larger models.

19-03-2013, 13:29
I have now 65 cultists for my CSM army, and if I spread the time out for each model, I spent maybe 15-20 minutes all in all on each model. I got a squad of CSM made using FW mk.V armour and CSM bits, and I probably spent maybe 2 hours on each of those. Then I have characters and other models I really want to look good, where I spent maybe 10-20 hours painting them all in all.
I dunno, I seldom paint more than 2 hours in a row, so it's hard to tell how much time I specifically spend on each model. Sometimes I really like a model so much I spend say three nights painting it, which might be around 15 hours. Other models might get an hour paint here and there once a week, meaning it might take a month or two to get it done. Both have the same mount of time spent on them though.

19-03-2013, 13:30
Necron troops with silver spray, little bit of details and color and a generous dip I'd say probably about 10-15 minutes per model give or take. :) Vehicles take way way longer. A Ghost Ark with all its details and small crevices I'd say 10 hours is not too far off.

With marines it used to take a while longer, but once I got the Wolf Grey spray they now usually take about 2 hours per model, maybe even less. Depends on the amount of details. This is for a clean tabletop quality paintjob that stands a closer inspection as well. Not masterpieces by any means obviously.

I have to agree that a fully painted army to a reasonable standard is way more impressive than an army with a handful of masterfully painted models and a bucketload of grey minis.

19-03-2013, 13:32
Depends, atm, my Deathwing termins are taking 2-3 hours each.

19-03-2013, 13:46
I tend to take a long time as well. This is not a bad thing at all as I get better with practice and memorizing techniques over and over again. Don't worry about time, you will know when to advance.

19-03-2013, 13:55
I spend wayyy too much time on painting each figure. I have this ridiculous urge to give each of my minis an individual look, and I try to make every little detail stand out. Most of my time goes to re-painting the "mistakes" I've made with the details. I seldom paint because at the end of the painting session I'm just plain frustrated when the figures don't turn out the way I want them to. I hate painting the heads with them tiny eyes and mouths and details on helmets.
It's silly because I'll only use them to play, not to put them on display anywhere. But I don't want to play with a half-ass-painted army either.

19-03-2013, 14:24
I normally paint my imperial grunts in batches of 20, donig the same layer on each model before moving onto the next layer. It takes me about a week to do a batch of this size includinging all the layers, washes and details. With characters/specials I usually paint 2-3 at a time, grouping like models for example - painting 2 commissars and Yarrick together. This way I get a consistent look to my little toy soldiers.

For me, after forking out increasing s on little bits of plastic, I'm going to spend the time on the wee fellas to get them looking good. It's not a race to get them done for me, painting/modelling is part of this hobby and is considered 'my quiet time' in an otherwise busy lifestyle.

I will also never play with unpainted models. I can't stand seeing an army of grey plastic which is ironic as I paint most of the armour on my models grey anyway :)

19-03-2013, 15:05
I find it really varies for me. Chaos cultists, I could knock out a couple in one evening (an evening being about four hours), whereas a single plague marine might take a couple of evenings. I tend to assign time to models based on the frequency with which I'll use them, their own status, and of course size. Just for reference, I'll just list a few variations from all of my armies below.

cultist - 2 hours
plague marine - 8 hours
grey knight purifier - 10 hours
warp spider - 10 hours
dire avenger - 4 hours
grey knight terminator librarian - 20 hours
karandras - 15 hours

rhino - 8 hours
wave serpent - 10 hours
grey knights contemptor dreadnought - 20 hours
helldrake - 20 hours
forgefiend - *sigh* I'll let you know when it gets done - taking ages.

buildings - two weeks with basing.

I should add that this time includes basing. And I've noticed that the time I spend on models is taking longer, especially if parts of them require specific techniques. What's more, I'll often revisit old models and see if I can incorporate new techniques into their paint schemes. I feel kind of guilty looking at my Eldar (my oldest still used army) as they don't look nearly as good as my new stuff and I'm fond of them. I'm planning to go back over them all soon, add highlights and introduce new variations to all of them.

I think it's so important to have a painted army - I can't stand seeing bare plastic on the table - and investing time in learning the skills is a great way to spend your time and you'll learn new tricks and techniques as you go. And that's one of the few transferable skills that comes out of the hobby. If you can paint a kick ass miniature, you can paint a canvas. You'll learn how to blend tones, highlight, see true colour, define light source, dilute and thicken pigment... along with the quick maths skills, it's one of the best things GW can give you.

19-03-2013, 15:11
I used to spend 3/4 hours per model and that was my speed painting but i have decided to use the Army Painter system to try and get my new 40k army done quicker, as i just don't have the time to paint all of them to my highest standard anymore, especially as im sure my opponents don't want to be looking at grey plastic for the next 6 months.

19-03-2013, 15:15
Hour or two for infantry, more for characters and vehicles. As for my titans- The Warhound is coming up on 3 years, and the Reaver on 2.

19-03-2013, 15:40
My GK paladins took about 2 hours each if I broke down the total time painting them. I tend to paint my squads in an assembly line type fashion - everybody gets their dry brush layers at same time, everyone gets gold pieces and weapons painted together etc..

My DKoK (considering they are small figures) are taking about 45 mins each. This is largely because I'm experimenting with layered washes starting on a white primer. The washes take time to dry before I can apply next layer and because it is a darker scheme, it takes time to build the shadow/colour and then reduce the shine with a regular dry brush.

I could never bring myself to rush a model (even in a mass infantry army) because I enjoy the hobbyist aspect more than the gaming.

Reasonable Commissar
19-03-2013, 15:43
Depends what Im painting. Im doing a HH FW army so spend a bit more time on those than I would normally but I usually batch paint a group and base coating is usually the longest. Depends how much extra detail there is as a MK3 marine will take me quite a bit longer than a MK2/4 marine. The same with Cata termis taking even longer.

19-03-2013, 16:00
I spend far, far too long on models (especially for the results I achieve). I would guess that a model takes me at least 8 hours to complete spread out over a long period of time. Some parts I can get done quickly but I find near the end I really struggle to get motivated, when all I have left is a few wires or tubes to paint and the eyes or some other small detail I just find it hard to get motivated. Also if I'm trying out new techniques (which I usually do on every model) it can take me longer to experiment with these.

19-03-2013, 16:37
I use an assembly line method, 3-5 models per group and just for the painting and basing take about 4 or 5 hours for the group.


19-03-2013, 16:51
Depends on the model:

Guardsmen, about 15 minutes each. Step 1, place them into spray box. Spray them with base tan color. Wait three 3 minutes, flip, spray again. Take out the 20-40 guards in three minutes. Place under light. Wait 2 minutes. Slap brown on the chest plate, and helmet, a flash of gold on the Aquila, bronze/tin bitz on the rifle, with leadbelcher on the barrel, black to the boots, and flashtone on the face. Next. I have painted a LOT of guard, and I can do it virtually in my sleep. Guy paid me to paint him a whole guard army, and the next day, he had all 200 of his guard, and two of his sentinels done.

Sentinels take me about 30 minutes each. I spray them all the base coat, then do details.

Tanks of any kind, Eldar, Guard, etc... take me three-four hours because of their size. Lack of detail on a guard will often be to small to notice. Don't detail or weather a tank, people notice. So they get FAR more attention to detail. (Not saying my guard don't look good, just I am more concerned with them looking uniform and clean, ie not sloppy.)

Marines: Right now I am new to painting marines, and have not established the assembly line process yet, and am doing a lot of experimenting with how I want them to actually look. Currently 20-30 minutes up to an hour, per marine.

High Elves: I do an insane amount of detail on these guys. I mean insane. I do semi-professional painting, and my High Elves are the ones I use when people want to see a sample. There is an insane level of detail, and each elf can take up to four to five hours. (With exception, due to the uniform pattern, if I can get into the groove, I can assembly line sea guard, sword masters, and white lions, averaging 10 models per four hours, or how I time things when painting, "Full DVD of episodes from Stargate, Scrubs, DS9 or Firefly.)" My High Elf Dragon, which has won awards, was painted in one day, during an 18 hour session. I painted for a total of 22 hours that day, the other 4 were spent in an insane blitz to finish my sea guard for an event the next day.

And there is the secret to my turn around times. I can, and have, painted for up to 36 hours straight with just little stand up and walk breaks, meal breaks, and wrist exercises. Being that painting models for other people is my only income at this moment, it is a requirement often to meet deadlines.

19-03-2013, 17:06
I paint the more basic guys in groups of 100, takes about 15 hours. So 1.5 each. IG tanks i can bust out in 8-10 hours.
Display and centre piece models get much more attention. DV ChaosLord took 25 hours. My two flying princes to about 20 hours each. My heldrake consumed a whopping 50 hours of my life.

19-03-2013, 17:53
It really depends on the model.

For my Chaos Marines, they took a lot longer due to the baroque edging that I wanted to get right enough to look good, and then going back over again to touch up the mistakes, then going over again to touch up the mistakes caused by the touch ups (first time painting).

For my DIY Templars, it's not so long. Most of the model is black, so right leg, arm, shoulder and head are one color, eyes, should trim and chest device are another. Light grey on top surfaces to provide a "shine" and go back over with PP's Thamarite. Weapons are Boltgun, with Bronze for Power Weapons. Fur trimming (Grey Hunter packs for Knight Initiates) are in Bloodstone. A little red for plasma, and done.

What takes a long time with them is that I have 28 of them in process right now, and want to add 10 more Initiates plus an additional 10 Scout/Neophytes to complete my Troops starting point.

The Chaplain I did for the recent B&C Templar challenge took a bit longer due to all the extra bits involved. And I'm still working on the Chamion's sword, that lettering...

19-03-2013, 17:54
it's really hard to judge how long I take. I try do 5 at time, but even then some nights I might get more done then others.

Sometimes distractions like my wife set the couch on fire again kinda slows things down

Once in a while I'll get a commission that stops the process on my pieces

raygunsand rocketeers
19-03-2013, 23:35
Having started with miniatures of a napoleonic nature, i tend to paint my 40k stuff a squad at a time,
with only command squad, and characters ('front rank') geting special attention.....
i usually spend as much time on a character as i do on a squad.
I also only paint characters on tues. and thursdays....
squads on mon, wed, and fri....
this helps to prevent monotiny, and allows me to get more painting done....

19-03-2013, 23:55
I suffer (?) from trying to make each model the best one I've painted so far, coupled with only really doing an hour or 2 of painting a week. My current record for "longest time to paint" is my waveserpent, which took a mere 11 months from purchase to completion...

20-03-2013, 00:54
I only paint when I feel inspired to do so.
But when I do paint it usually takes around 3 hours to paint, funny enough no matter how big and how many it is

20-03-2013, 01:04
As per most of the responses, it varies from model to model. I do squads in batches, with about 4 hours for a squad of Guardsmen/Cultists and about 6 for a Tactical squad. Thousand Sons have a lot of fiddly detail, so they take longer, and fleshy things like Possessed take a long time as well. Part of that is due to using a lot of inks and washes, which needs to dry in between application. Vehicles take for ever though, especially my Night Lords will all the lightning bolts on them. The Warhound...Yeah, probably took me the better part of 3 weeks, 6 hours a day to paint to my satisfaction. I am dreading the time when I finally get around to painting the Baneblade and Shadowsword.

20-03-2013, 01:14
6-7 hours on regular infrantry. 10 on elite, 2-3 weeks on centerpieces/special characters, 20 hours on a transport tank maybe. Everything is "per model".

20-03-2013, 01:15
for my nids, for the most part its 1 monstrous creature or 3 warrior size figures or 10-15 small modles in an evening, marines normally take 2-3 evenings per 5 man squad.

Friedrich von Offenbach
20-03-2013, 03:34
I suffer (?) from trying to make each model the best one I've painted so far, coupled with only really doing an hour or 2 of painting a week. My current record for "longest time to paint" is my waveserpent, which took a mere 11 months from purchase to completion...

I raise you one white Templars land raider, currently 13 months and counting.

20-03-2013, 05:35
I paint them in batches, but it probably comes out to be around 3 hours a marine, from primed model to painted and based.