Painting an army in 15 minutes
We have all seen unpainted armies. Perhaps some of your own armies are unpainted. Heck, perhaps your entire army is unpainted. If you're like me, finding the time to paint can be a challenge. Don't despair, for salvation is in sight. In this article I will show you how to paint an army in 15 minutes...a day. We have all seen people who belly up to the table each week with an unpainted army claiming, "I don't have any time to paint". Well, that is about to change.
I present to you an easy way to get your armies painted. I have used this method on several armies and thus have 3 fully painted Warhammer 40k armies, 1 that's in progress, a fully painted Warhound Titan, 1 fully painted Warhammer Fantasy Battle armies, 1 fully painted BloodBowl team, and another team that's in progress. I have high painting standards as well. In the 2001 Chicago GT I placed runner up for best painted army (this was before placements for 2nd and 3rd existed). In the Chicago 2002 GT I placed 3rd in the player's choice category.
The method I use to get my armies painted is 3 fold. 1) Select a simple but clean and crisp color scheme. 2) Set a timeframe goal. Set yourself a goal telling you when you want to have the army painted by. 3) Paint/assemble what you can when you can; hopefully for at least 15 minutes each day. I'll describe each of these points in further detail.
A simple but clean and crisp color scheme does not mean it is poor quality with low detail. It means it is one that is fast, easy to paint, and looks great. Creating such a scheme speeds up the painting process greatly. Try to choose a two-color scheme; a main color and another for trim. Some people like 3 colors but the more you choose, the longer you'll be at it. Make sure the colors you choose are harmonious and work well together. Use of a color wheel will help with this. Complimentary colors work well because they provide good contrast. Alternatively, you could choose black (or white) and any other color. You can use any other colors for fine details like belts, hoses, lights, weapons, etc. Just try to paint the majority of areas on the model with one of the two main colors chosen.
Setting a timeframe goal keeps you on track as far as steps toward completion. Try not to think of the army in its entirety. Doing so makes it seem overwhelming. Instead, break the work into smaller chunks. I usually give myself 6 months to paint a 2000 point army. Yes, that means a new one every GT season. Give yourself a 6 month window to paint an army then break the army down into equally sized (model wise) 500 point blocks. Then give yourself an amount of time in that 6 month window for each 500 point block. A 2000 point army should take about 1 1/2 months per 500 point block
Painting/assembling what you can when you can is just that. If you're waiting on your significant other to get ready for dinner and have 10 minutes, use it. In that time you can highlight one level on a 10 model squad. Sure, it may seem stupid to get only one level highlighted, but it's a step you won't have to take later. Any extra time you have (and I mean any) can be used. You may also be able to make some time to paint. If so, good, but if you can only come up with 15 minutes total a day to paint/assemble your models, army completion is inevitable. If you multiply 15 minutes a day times 1 1/2 months you get 11 and a half hours. This is plenty of time to paint a 500 point block (remember this accounts for a solid 11 1/2 hours of painting, no breaks). Multiply those results by 4 (6 months) and voila, you have a fully painted 2000 point army.
Following these simple steps you can have your army fully painted. You will be able to breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy the feeling of having a painted army that looks great on the table. Remember it's a game, have fun with it, and may your paints never dry out.