Top Image

Top Image

Friday, March 30, 2018

How long to paint a model?

Some of my friends outside the hobby have asked me just how long it takes to paint a single model.  The usual answer is "I don't really know", as I rarely paint just a single model, and when I do, it usually is not a very intense project and I usually spread the work out over weeks or even months. When I'm painting Battletech, which is much of what I've been working on lately, I tend to paint several units at once, so it's hard to break it down.

So when I decided on a last minute addition to my Smoke Jaguar force (I swore I was done with them...), I thought it would be an interesting experience to time each part of the process.

I'm not sure how accurate it is as an indicator of my usual time per model, as this particular piece is a bit bigger than most of my Battletech stuff, and it had some additional challenges (those propellers) that took more work than usual. Further, this wasn't "rush a model to a table-ready state" either, but an attempt to make it about as good as I'm currently capable of, in as long a time as needed.  Further, many of the steps involved stuff that would take the same amount of time whether I was doing one model or ten, and so my "average" time must be significantly lower than this. Further, I spent a lot of time on this one with unnecessary experimentation, so most of my models must have been a good bit faster. At least, that's what I tell myself in the cold watches of the night.

Here's the breakdown:

Day 1:
Filing and trimming, washing:  10 mins
Drilling: 10 mins
Assembly: 10 mins
Priming: 3 mins
Total for Day: 33 minutes

Day 2:
Airbrushing preshade, base coats: 26 minutes (incl cleaning between colors)  preshade black, dunkelgrau, barley grey highlight, us grey camo stripes, dunkelgrau corrections).
Airbrush cleaning: 3 mins (light cleaning)
Total for day: 29 minutes

Day 3:
Detailing: (base coat for all details – US light grey and gory red) 60 mins
Wash: “pin wash”, black into cracks only. 35 mins.
Total for day: 95 minutes

Day 4:
Glazing (part 1): red details and blue cockpit glazing – 30 mins

Day 5:
Glazing (part 2): grey/white, propellers – 25 mins.

Day 6:
Repair after unfortunate feline encounter – 5 mins
Shading correction on propellers – 10 mins (blending highlights more neatly)
Adding missed details: 10 mins (armaments) due to mistake and fix.
Reapply wash to propeller and a few details to deepen the shadows for contrast: 10 mins
Paint base: brown craft paint – 2 mins
Total for day: 37 minutes

Day 7:
Final blending on propellers and obsessive unnecessary corrections and highlights: 30 mins
Drybrush (white): 23 mins
Drybrush (steel): 2 mins
Stupid obsessing over the propellers: 15 mins
Basing: 5 mins (if that). Just flocking, a little bush and some pebbles.
Total for day: 45 minutes

Day 8:
Satin varnish applied via airbrush: 7 minutes
Gloss Varnish brushed on cockpit: 1 minute
Total for day: 8 mins

Grand Total: 302 minutes or just over 5 hours.

Based on this, I'd venture to guess that a Battletech model takes me about 4 hours if I go all out.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Trial of Possession

Clan Smoke Jaguar vs. Clan Jade Falcon - at stake, the rights to invade a particularly valuable Inner Sphere world.  For Fritz and I, a chance to try out some new clan hardware, including this Carnivore Tank and assorted battle armor.

The enemy is sighted! Jade Falcon mechwarriors supported by Elementals.

Long range shots mostly fail to connect as the Madcat tries to flank the concentrated enemy.

Relying on its heavy armor, the Carnivore leads the way, dropping battle armor into cover. 

The Dragonfly, carrying Salamander battle armor, bides its time. 

Meanwhile the Carnivore proves unlucky.  Damage concentrates almost exclusively on the left side, eventually wearing through the armor and knocking the tank out. Unfortunate!  I was counting on that tank to sit there for another round or two...

Meanwhile the Madcat gets into it.  Things get hot as the Falcons disregard Zellbrigen rules and go for back shots.

The Jade Falcon Warhawk takes a pounding but somehow hangs on...

As the Jaguar's Daishi advances supported by Battle armor, it's forced to back off in the face of enemy Elementals it can't cope with on its own.

Meanwhile the Dragonfly makes its move, dropping its Salamander riders into the forest the enemy is using for cover. They immediately turn the whole forest into an inferno.

The Dragonfly tries in vain to keep the enemy off the Madcat.

With the forest ablaze, the Salamanders turn their flamers on the two units of elementals, wiping them out.

Meanwhile, the other elementals supporting the Daishi tear up the enemy trying to transverse the open plain.

Damn that Daishi is pretty!  Some of my best work if I do say so myself...

With this, the enemy Elementals are wiped out to a man.

The enemy is finally falling before the Jaguar advance, but at some price. The Warhawk finally goes down in the face of the Madcat, but the Madcat isn't long for this world either. It's taken damage everywhere.

Finally, it's Gyros give out and it falls to the ground.  But dropping the mech isn't enough to save the Jade Falcons, which are forced to surrender in the face of the nearly undamaged Daishi with is now free to approach. The Jaguars have earned the right to take the offensive to the Inner Sphere!  Stay tuned to see how that goes.