Batch Painting Vs Single Painting
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Thread: Batch Painting Vs Single Painting

  1. #1

    Red face Batch Painting Vs Single Painting

    Hi All

    I am wanting to know peoples opinion on which is better depending on your experience and also what do you think gives the better result on a large amount of Minitures, I am currently working on about 150 minitures i need to paint for my army and im looking for the best way to get a great result against the amount of time it will take as i work full time and doing it on my days odd and in the evenings when i can.


  2. #2


    Painting copies of the same mini in batch can save a lot of time. Say you've got 20 zombies to paint. Do the really easy stuff to all of them first, ie clean/prime/basecoat. Then move on to the large areas like pants/flesh/shirts etc. You can easily vary the color of these areas without slowing down. So you could do the pants of all 20 at one time and say change color every 5 zombies. After the large areas are done break the details up into segments and do those in batches as well. Throwing a wash wherever you want and end doing highlights and you're set.

    The major benefit of batch painting is that if you're doing the same thing 20 times in a row doing the pants of the 20th mini will be significantly faster then the 1st. The tricky part really is when you get to the details (assuming you're painting them at least) as if you do too many you're not getting the benefit of the repetitive process and if you do too few in a pass you don't save much time.

    Just a word of warning about batch painting. It can feel like you're not making much progress simply because it can take forever to finish a batch, especially if you're doing complex highlights, a lot of details or simply due to scale. While a lot of progress is being made, you don't have a finished product to feel good about until the very end and if you only do one pass or two every time you sit to paint it can take amlong time to finish. Just be careful not to burn out and have a group of unfinished minis staring at you with those judging incomplete eyes from your display case because you got bored doing the same thing over and over and those kickstarter minis that just came in look like so much fun...

  3. #3


    Great idea, hope that I can submit my own painting.

  4. #4
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    I would definitely do batch if you're painting heaps of them for the tabletop.

    I do between three and five zombies at a time for Zombicide. I usually base coat them all at the same time, but after that I start concentrating on finishing them up individually.

    However, I'm really just painting them for fun and to practice. If the gaming was more important than the painting, and I didn't care about learning painting techniques, I'd just use the quick wash or "dipping" technique with Army Quick Shade. If you do that, then just basecoat up to ten at the same time. Give them some really rough highlighting (even dry-brushing with an obvious colour separation is fine because the Quick Shade will sort-of blend it for you, good enough for tabletop anyway). Just make sure you get a good matt varnish to finish them with, I hear that's what really makes it "work". I've never used it myself but some of the results online look almost too good to be true.

    For more info on that:

  5. #5


    Most manufacturing process engineers will tell you one pice flow is best. Check out the Lin I have provided for a nice visual example of why.

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by unszene View Post
    Most manufacturing process engineers will tell you one pice flow is best. Check out the Lin I have provided for a nice visual example of why.
    and still most successful companies go the batch way. That video doesn't take a few important things into account.

    Also for painting the one-piece-flow does't take account of the off-time you have when waiting for paint to dry.
    So while in theory it sounds good, but in reality doing batches is much faster at least for 2 reasons:
    - the mentioned drying time: while piece 1 dries, you can paint piece 2
    - when painting only one part in one color you do the same movement automatically which reduces worktime a lot (you don't have to mix the paint again, look at the Nth figure where you need to apply it again, etc etc)

    why I still hate batch painting is that until the end you feel as you don't progress at all, which makes the whole thing boring and the motivation suffers.
    Forgot, that it works again.

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by unszene View Post
    Most manufacturing process engineers will tell you one pice flow is best. Check out the Lin I have provided for a nice visual example of why.
    That video has pretty much no relevance to painting miniatures. In addition to Max's points, that video breaks down when one step takes longer (ie, prepping paint, cleaning brushes etc.) When one step takes significantly longer then another, with batch you can set up multiple stations for that process so that there isn't a delay for the others faster steps. The video just isn't a good example of most real world production. Sure, there are some situations where once piece flow is better, but that assembly line type production really works best with very simple things like filling bottles, punching/shaping metal etc.

  8. #8


    I do batch painting if they are all using similar colors, but singles if they have unique colors I will need to put on my wet palette. However, I do have a hairdryer handy that I use between coats to help speed up painting singles.

  9. #9


    Batchtpainting an army to tabletop standard or to your own standard is almost mandatory, you can single paint command units, generals and monsters as a prize to finish a regular unit.

    It is a "must" because I also agree on what Splorch and Maxxx had exposed.

    At 28/32mm scale doing batches in between 3-8 figures will work, if the miniatures (or your painting) are super detailed you can reduce it close to the 3 if they are more simple you can up it to the 8 or even 10, you will find your magic number depending on the models complexity. At 15mm or 5mm scale you can increase the batch size to somewhat between 10 and 15.
    If you are entering the army to a contest or just want to do a really good job you can do it by singles but it will take a looooooong time be prepared for it.

    At least this is how it worked for me.

    When you start working on it, always do a single sample mini to test colours and the best order of applying them it will save you work afterwards.
    Last edited by Maenas; 11-16-2015 at 05:00 PM.
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