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Soap opera painting – The 32nd Regiment takes shape.
warlord figures, assembled & primed

warlord figures, assembled & primed

Last week I started painting the 32nd ‘Cornwall’ Regiment. I am going to paint the rank and file of 18 troops in one batch – quite a large number for me – I usually paint in batches of 6 or 8. I’m going to use the blog as a means of keeping motivated whilst painting! I hope that the stage by stage pictures will be a help to any newcomers to the hobby and perhaps to anyone looking for ideas on painting in general. There are advantages and disadvantages to ‘batch’ painting. On the one hand, you do get a large number of figures finished in one go but this is off set by the time it takes to get to the final stage and see that the figures are table ready! A degree of patience is required to stick with the process. I think that there is also a drop in quality when painting a large batch as opposed to individual figures. However, as these will form the main bulk of the unit I don’t think that it will be quite so apparent and I will of course spend a bit more time on the officers.

My other name for ‘batch painting’ is ‘soap opera painting’… Basically, when Emmerdale or East Enders start on the TV it’s time for me to head out to the garage to do some painting. That is another advantage of this method. It is easy to paint in short bursts as you know exactly where you are in the process and it allows me to use any free time to keep things moving. I find it difficult to paint for long periods of time any way – my back seizes up and my eyes get tired, so batch painting is a good way for me to keep producing units.

Hair and black equipment  painted.

Hair and black equipment painted.

After assembling and priming the figures I blutack them to temporary bases to make handling easier and then start the painting. I try to paint from the ‘inside to outside’ of a figure and I always start with the flesh. I mentioned previously that I had left the back packs off to see if this made the painting any easier and you can see from the picture above, that they were primed in black rather than grey to save a bit of time on painting. Once the flesh is done I paint the hair on the figures – usually I choose three or four shades of brown and mix this up randomly. If I am feeling particularly lazy, they all get dark brown hair! The next stage is Vallejo Black 70950 for the hats, Boots and Bayonet scabbards.

Iraqi sand for the linen food bags

Iraqi sand for the linen food bags

The next colour is Iraqi Sand 70819, for the linen food bags. You could use a lighter colour or even a white but I think this looks about right and these bags were likely to be discoloured with use. You will notice that at this stage I am not too fussy about how accurately the paint is applied. My general rule is not to worry about over runs, particularly when another colour will be applied adjacent to this colour. I do try and be fairly tidy where I have already painted a colour though. I’ve also painted the wooden bits on the rifles in Flat brown 70984.

Red coats on!

Red coats on!

The next colour is Flat red 70957. Now I know from the chatter on the forums that I could write a book on what colour red the coats really were. Any shade from brick red through to dark pink would do it. However, these are war gaming pieces and the coats need to be red, so no surprise, that’s the colour I’ve chosen. If you prefer something different, feel free to use which ever shade of red you think appropriate on your figures.

Work starts on the equipment.

Work starts on the equipment.

Once the red was finished I moved onto the steel, 70864, for the musket barrels, bayonets and pans on the back packs. I also painted the water bottles 70901 in pastel blue. It is also worth mentioning at this stage that I will be using the army painter dark tone quick shade and I know from experience that this will alter the colours that I have used very slightly, as well as providing the shading and lining.

The 32nd battalion of foot starts to take shape!

The 32nd battalion of foot starts to take shape!

The next colour is the white straps, facings, cuffs and lacing. I’ve changed brushes from a ‘1’ to a smaller ’00’ for this job. I’ve used Vallejo off white 70820 – I prefer this colour to the Vallejo pure white as it is a bit softer. The unit is beginning to take shape but still looks a bit rough around the edges! Just to give you an idea of how long it has taken me to get this far; the White takes about 10 minutes a figure. So 18 figures represents about 3 hours of painting! To be fair some of the other colours are much faster but I estimate that so far I have spent 7 to 8 hours on this batch and I am about halfway there before basing! This means that I have missed the wedding heartache on Emmerdale and will never find out if a family fallout will ruin Ashley and Laurels big day… But Hey! That’s the price you pay for having a hobby like ours!

If work, family and life in general permits, I should get on to the next stages in the coming week and I will have more to show in the next blog!

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