Monday, 23 August 2010

Painting Sticks

Ever since I started the blog I've been inundated with literally no requests at all about how I batch paint warmaster figures quickly. So in order to satisfy these fictitious people I thought I'd post an explanation.

It's best illustrated with a picture;

Once I've cleaned up the models and filed the bases flat, I group them together into poses, sometimes grouping very similar poses together, you can see in the picture above (click on it to make it larger) that the champion and standard bearer of these Carthaginian "Hannibal's Veterans" at the right end of the row are just variations on one of the standard infantry poses.

The sticks themselves are 3mm MDF cut into thin strips that I made myself, but I have seen lolly-sticks used as well.

I use a small amount of blu-tack to attach them to the stick and then spray them black, before painting them. The main advantage to this method is speed. You paint the same detail on the models at the same time, but I've found an even quicker method is to move the models as little as possible. For example if you are painting the hem of a robe it would take typically 3 or 4 brush strokes to go all round the model. Instead of painting the robe on each model in turn (which on the above stick would involve moving it 54 times!) - paint the same brush-stroke on each model in turn, then move the stick to another angle (moving it just 3 times instead).

I'll admit that this method can get boring, but ultimately if you have to paint 15-30 of the same figure in the same way it is going to be a bit boring anyway, so you may as well do it in the most efficient way!

I normally only use this method for homogeneous infantry blocks. Skirmishers I tend to base 5 to a stand, so there is enough room to paint them, same with light cavalry. If I am creating small dioramas for my command stands (as I'm doing with my Carthage, Viking and Persian figures) I also paint them on sticks so I can have more room and do a good job on them.

I've seen several similar examples on the internet of batch painting, if you have any thoughts please leave a comment.

Thanks for looking!


  1. "Ever since I started the blog I've been inundated with literally no requests at all about how I batch paint warmaster figures quickly"
    That made me laugh!
    I used to use the same method but found it killed the joy of painting. So now I use smaller batches and with varied poses - not as quick bu more fun :-).
    Best regards,

  2. Thanks for the comment! My first one ever!

    I've tried to comment on your blog recently, but my comments won't submit? :/

    Agree about the fun factor - if I can I try and get as many poses as possible, that's why I went for "mix and match hairy barbarians" for the Gauls.

    Sometimes though, as with these Carthage Infantry there is no choice but a boring slog through 15 of the same figure.

    I've been collecting a few Viking odds and end from Ebay recently, hoping to have enough eventually for a small army, but with loads of different figures/poses. Should be more fun!

  3. Comments are great, sort of makes you feel you are not talking to the screen :-) (There shouldnt be any problem commenting on my blog - if you continue to experience this let me know again and I'll see what could be causing this).

    A slow slog - yep! Especially ancient infantry with few interesting equipment details are frustrating. I normally paint half an infantry unit and then something else - maybe half a cavalry unit or an artillery piece.
    BTW, the shields on the skirmishers look great, nice job on the "runes" but I actually think the "animal" hides look better, or more realistic.
    Have fun,