This is an post on learning about the time and effort of painting 28mm Napoleonic miniatures. I will try to squeeze in some tips and highlight how you can plan your painting (listen to podcasts and record the number of episodes so you know how much time it actually takes). It will take the form of a painting diary. My method is very close to what Jonas does, so check his post French Line Infantry Part 2: Painting at this very blog.
Miniatures prepared, sprayed black and mounted on bases. This part of the process is more or less pure joy so I don't count the time. There's 16 of Perrys Grenadiers/Carabinieris and a NCO up on the desk.
I painted green jackets to the sound of episodes 3.3-3.4 of the Revolutions Podcast (The French Revolution of course!) and experimented with washes on them. Wash diluted with water did horrible things with the miniatures, even though it's Vallejo paints, so they should be waterbased and safe? They were not!
Listening to podcasts is a very good way to get something more out of your painting!
I painted the rolled up greatcoats in base colour and inked all jackets and rolls with undiluted black wash. Listened to Watain's "The Wild Hunt" and episodes 3.5-3.6 of the Revolutions Podcast.
Decided to get Jonas into a challenge of painting at least 16 Napoleonic miniatures (28mm) in a row. Is that too many to stay sane? Will it get boring? Frustating? Fabulous? We will see. Actually it will be 18 as I need a NCO to make these two groups playable, and I had a Jäger drummer who got too close to the action to not got suck into the painting (next batch of Jägers will have two NCOs among them, so it would be nice to finish the drummer so that I don't need to paint three different types of miniatures later on. I'll do it now instead...).
Waited to get Jonas on the painting train as he was away working - of course he was up to some friendly competition! Painted layers on the rolled up greatcoats listening to Graveyard's "Hisingen blues" twice.
Seeing in the gaming group's chat what Jonas was up to, I got into a hurry! Apparently, when I was out drinking beer, Jonas had been painting all night. And he paints fast I tell you. I therefore began painting before breakfast, and to the sound of Revolutions Podcast's episodes 3.7-3.9 I highlighted the jackets, experimented with gluing my models to sticks (as Jonas does - didn't work out well, I think the more "frontal" plastic models are more suitable for this than my carabinieris…?), basepainted and washed/painted shadows on the trousers. I tried some different techniques here as I think the white trousers are the thing that's hardest to paint easily with good result.
During afternoon, and episodes 3.10 and 3.11 (The Tennis Court Oath and The Storming of the Bastille - things are heating up in Paris now!) the seven first pairs of trousers were finished. Three episodes more and these damn trousers should be done!
After some beer at a friends place I saw that Jonas was almost done! I quit my partying and got home 21.30 to paint trousers to episode 3.12, then someone came crashing on my sofa so I stopped painting and spent time with this fellow. Nice but unproductive!
With the sofa-crasher still in my living room I started to re-paint all black things (shako, belts, plumes etc) as my Vallejo paint was way too matte, almost grey. This took quite a time, maybe 1.5 hours. Productivity had me in its grips.
Later, after coming home from an anti-austerity protest and hanging out at a café, I started with grey edges on all things black. After the white trousers, this is the least favourite part of the Jägers. But it needs to be done.
I continued with base flesh and stocks and barrels of the muskets (finished half of the muskets). Blood Cermony's "The Eldritch Dark" and periods 3.12-3.17 of the Revolutions Podcast accompanied me during this. Heard nothing about Jonas command more than that his regiment had left their Regimental Eagles in Paris. What does this mean?
Tip 1: If you test out different things during the painting process to see how to get the best results, put a note on the bases to remember what you did! Here one is done with black GW wash (and some brown wash - maybe for the trousers?) and the other with black Army Painter wash. I chose the Army Painter wash since it was a little lighter.
Finished metal on the rifles to episode 3.18. Jonas was stuck in an ordinary Swedish train chaos, so I doubt he got his command painted today.
During episodes 3.19-3.22 (including 3.21a) and an one hour phone-call to an old friend I managed to come this far (the tassels are quite a pain but makes marvels for the neatness of the miniatures!). Jonas was giving up the command to paint voltigeurs instead - is he out of competition or just thinking he can't get behind?
Tip 2: As these and most miniatures comes in a couple of different poses (This Perry Miniatures pack has six different ones), you will end up painting several with the identical sculpt. I paint the bases so I can easily take the same ones after each other. This makes things easier when you come to details as shako cords, sword knots and other small details that are easy to miss.
Episodes 3.23, 3.24 and a phone call with my father saw me do blue and red (missed blue on the sword knots though…) and beginning on brass details. I almost see the end now. Wash on weapon and skin and some skin highlight and dirt on the trousers is maybe all that is left. Now I start to wonder - will I be able to do the rest of my waiting infantry before the French Revolution Poscast episodes are done?
No news from Jonas.
Jonas has started on 16 NEW soldiers, but what I know not finished his FIRST 16. So blatant. I have washed the muskets and faces, putting some extra glitter and layers on them. The NCO has got his pom-pom and NCO plume. The only thing really left is some dirt… could it be that some dirt is the only thing left? I will check tomorrow. Maybe red noses could be something? Much sun the summer of 1812. During this painting sessuin, episodes 3.25-3.28 were done.
Only basing left, and I will do that for all the infantry at the same time. I finished to episode 3.29 with a little blue on the sword knots and other details like some dirt and dust (I use a bigger brush and go over the miniatures with a mix of black and brown dry pigment. Makes the miniatures a little less parade ground)! Hugah!!
Music: 2 h
Telephone: 2 h
Entertaining man on sofa: 1,5 h
19 hours of painting to do 18 miniatures (this excludes some hours of preparing and basing). Quite a nice job for 11 days, I am pleased!
Now I will paint an officer as a reward and a break from the mass production. Then I will do 16 Jägers with two NCOs - another batch of 18. My aim is to do them in 15 hours painting!
"Glory is fleeting,