Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Painting a Phalanx in 21 Easy, Easy Stages

I'm using the below method to paint pikemen in groups of 12 or 16 for my big pike project.  Although there are a lot of steps, each one is pretty quick and I can finish a batch in around a week.  I've tried to rationalise the process and include lots of shortcuts such as Army Painter and the use of spray primers and varnishes.

Stages in the Mass Phalangite Paintjob
1. Spray prime minis brown (I’m using Montana Gold “Palish Brown”)
2. Paint linothorax and sword hilt white
3. Block in tunic and plumes in various colours; highlight
4. Paint coloured trims on some linothorax
5. Block in flesh tone, then highlight
6. Paint leather straps brown, and retouch brown around tops of boots, base and back of shield
7. Highlight leather straps
8. Paint hair black or brown, highlight
9. Paint helmet cheek guards black
10. Drybrush base in earth brown.
11. Apply army painter “soft tone” dip (except over shields)
12. 1 coat gloss spray varnish
13. 1 coat matt spray varnish
14. Paint shield facing, helmet, greaves, cheekguards Vallejo brass
15. Highlight with brass mixed with a hint of silver
16. Apply army painter “strong tone” to shield and helmet
17. Spray paint pikes “Desert Yellow”
18. 1 coat gloss spray varnish on pikes
19. 1 coat matt spray varnish on pikes
20. Paint pike heads black, then dark silver and highlight.
21. Attach pike; retouch

The sample figures at the top are at different stages; the first is at stage 3, the second is at stage 16 (I just need to paint the cheekguards on his helmet).  The third is finished, except that I need to matt varnish him as I skipped the spray matt stage.  Bronze-faced shields are the easiest thing in the world to paint!


saxon dog said...

Fantastic info! Made me think about the way I batch paint. Love this blog!

BigRedBat said...

I thank you... needs to be a fast system to roll out the numbers.

I calculated that 4 deep, with 15mm per mini frontage, there are 256 pikemen per metre. A legion of Romans as fielded at our Zama game is .5 metre wide; so a phalanx, wide enough to face a 4 legion consular army, would be 512 strong.

DeanM said...

Okay - now where are the 21 pictures? :)! Great work, Dean

Caliban said...

Hi Simon, I've calculated that if I buy and paint two units of 48 Argyraspides, I'll have exactly 512phalangites. Assuming that work calms down sufficiently, I could still come down and contribute.

Keep up the good work!


BigRedBat said...

Phew Paul, that's a few phalangites!

Not sure what or where any event will be, yet...