Friday Quick Tip: Speed painting for large units.

Hi, Thomas aka Goatboy here to help out those people that have a ton of units lying there unpainted and find the task of finishing off their army daunting. My methods for painting have helped me finish most armies within 3 to 4 weeks to a good table standard. Today I will just be talking about how to start the process and plan it out. So let's get started.

1. Plan out your color scheme with a test model. I normally like to take just one basic model and bust out with a color scheme on it. I write out each color I use and any changes I might do with it in my little paint journal/random notebook I get from work. I like to do this so I won't forget the methods I used when trying to finish off squads.

2. Once I complete a test model and find a scheme I like, I go about setting up blocks of units to paint. Most of the time, 10 man units work out pretty well, and once you get the hang of that you can move onto larger blocks of models (like orks who are normally in blocks of 30 or 15, depending on the unit).

3. I have the amount of plastics dudes set aside, I go and grab all the colors I used and set them up into rows based on what they are used for. I separate my skin tones, my armor tones, etc out into their beginning to end color phase. I also do this with my washes, to ensure that every model has the same look as I move through the unit.

4. From there ,I start the unit with putting down base colors first and then moving on from there. I slowly go through each level of color for the section I am painting. You can normally paint one layer and go all the way to the end with the same color and have the first one be dry by the time you get done. From there you can move onto the next layer and go from there. Washes, take a bit longer to dry, and that is why I normally leave the washes towards the end since a lot of the time I use the same one to unify the entire piece in a shade of color.

5. I move through each color set until the model is done. This is a way you can finish large batches of models in a small amount of time. Usually after a model of two you can start to move faster as you know how to lay the paint down since you are doing it over and over again.

Next time I will go through the use of washes and how you can use one color to help create a unifying shade throughout the model. It adds a nice bit of depth to the model and is really a quick way to get a finished piece for your army.

If you have any questions about the list or want to know more, shoot me an email. And again, the link below takes you to my art and miniature commission site.


  1. An army finished in 3 to 4 weeks? God how I envy you! Im getting faster but that is still well beyond me!

    Thanks for the tips though, I'll be sure to put them in to practise at some point...

  2. I can't imagine having so many models to paint that I would have to use this approach.

    Maybe that's why I stick to the small forces. I can see where this makes a huge army manageable by breaking it down into smaller blocks to paint.

  3. my problem isn't so much the methodology behind painting large armies, it's the ability to concentrate on the task for long periods of time. I find the most units I can do in a batch is 5-6, I can't imagine trying it on 15!

    Good article though, batch painting is a staple for any player with a horde army!

  4. This is really helpful thanks, how anyone can complete an army in 3-4 weeks is beyond me though

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