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"How long to paint 100 miniatures?" Topic

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Stew art Supporting Member of TMP16 Aug 2022 8:25 a.m. PST

hey folks,

back in January in a sort of hobby funk, I set a goal to paint 100 Dark Ages miniatures (Vikings and Saxons) and to ONLY paint Dark Ages miniatures until the 100 were done. I did it in batches of 10-16.

The last 12 being done this week;

It took me 8 months to finish.
I know to some 100 miniatures is not a lot and to others it is. Also no idea if 8 months is quick or slow..

It also doesn't really matter of course because we each have our own lives and rates of production: but I am a little curious for a comparison.

How long would it take you to finish 100 miniatures?

and if so inclined: link to the blog post below:

Hooray for goals being achieved!


pzivh43 Supporting Member of TMP16 Aug 2022 8:37 a.m. PST

I work in the same manner as you---about 10 minis at a time. But would probably take me about a month to paint them all. Yours look a bit better than mine.

KeepYourPowderDry16 Aug 2022 8:50 a.m. PST

I too was interested in how long it took me to paint a 34 man unit. Which gave an interesting answer. The problem was the first time I sat down to paint the next batch – the realisation that I had 6 1/2 hours work ahead of me was quite off putting. Took a wee while to get that sense of foreboding out of my head.

marmont1814 Sponsoring Member of TMP16 Aug 2022 8:50 a.m. PST

A week

gbowen16 Aug 2022 9:16 a.m. PST

A week here as well

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP16 Aug 2022 9:20 a.m. PST

I can paint 100 3mm infantry figures in an hour. 15mm figures would take me 15 or so hours, and 25s would take me 20-25 or so hours. I paint from 0 to 6 hours per week, with the 0-2 being the most common but, for a new project or something that I am excited about, I will lean towards the 5 or 6 hours per week. If I wanted to crank out 100 25mm figures, I could do it in 3 or 4 weeks. I read much more than I paint, so I would use my reading time to paint.

Doug MSC Supporting Member of TMP16 Aug 2022 9:21 a.m. PST

It takes me about 3 weeks to paint 100 54mm figures.

wpilon16 Aug 2022 9:37 a.m. PST

I painted 112 28mm figs for Chain of Command between 3 March and 15 August of this year (165 days).

Stryderg16 Aug 2022 9:47 a.m. PST

At my current rate, a few years sounds about right.

Just a painter16 Aug 2022 10:07 a.m. PST

I don't do more than batches of 10, more than that seems like work. With a wife, kids, work, I only paint 20-25 per month. 100 4-5 months to complete.

Just a painter16 Aug 2022 10:07 a.m. PST

I don't do more than batches of 10, more than that seems like work. With a wife, kids, work, I only paint 20-25 per month. 100 4-5 months to complete.

OSCS7416 Aug 2022 10:19 a.m. PST

It all depends on the detail of the figure. It took me 3 weeks to paint 88 late Romans because of all the trim. Only 5 days to paint 36 dark age archers.

Col Durnford Supporting Member of TMP16 Aug 2022 10:28 a.m. PST

Depending on the figures, I would say 3-4 months per 100.

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP16 Aug 2022 10:39 a.m. PST

I am doing 15mm figures at the mo, and do them in batches of 32. It takes about 2 days all in if doing nothing else, but if working about 2 weeks!

Grelber16 Aug 2022 11:10 a.m. PST

I've painted 114 figures since the beginning of February, so it took a bit under six months for me to do 100. When I look back over my painting records, I notice that irregular figures, like Vikings or Afghans, where each one is painted differently, take longer. Production dips to eight to twelve a month. Or fewer. Like four in June or eight in April. When I do uniformed units, British or French colonials, for example, I try to do entire units, so it is usually 20 or 21 a month.


Forager16 Aug 2022 11:17 a.m. PST

I'd say it would take me about 2 months, start to finish, for 100 28mm Dark Age figures. My goal is to average a modest 1 figure per day, but can usually do more than that. I too like to work in smaller lots of 8-12 figures. I can complete that amount in about a week and I've found the satisfaction that comes with finishing a lot helps keep me motivated to continue painting more!

advocate Supporting Member of TMP16 Aug 2022 11:58 a.m. PST

My plan for a French Napoleonic force is 24 foot / 12 cavalry per week. I'm retired, so ought to be able to manage that, but my standards are pretty low.

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP16 Aug 2022 12:03 p.m. PST

I average 10 minutes of brush-time, per 28mm figure, so actual painting time for 100 figures would be 1,000 minutes or 17 hours. How long that translates into real time, in weeks, is hard to say. My painting goes in spurts. Best I've ever done was to paint 15 28mm Gnome figures in three weeks.

I do simple block painting, followed by The Dip/Magic Wash Techniques. This enables me to only need 10 minutes of actual painting time, per figure. Example of block painted, next to Dip'ed, painted the same, same casting. Shot of same figure after dull-coating.

I also game with green and tan 54mm Army Men figures. When I paint these, I only paint the bits that differ from the plastic's color. I finish them with The Dip Technique, so they require <5 minutes of brush work, per figure.

I also use a dedicated Slow Cooker/Crock Pot to cure the Minwax urethane-stain, heating at 175 F for 30 minutes. Plastic figures melt at 300-400 F, metal mini's melt at 800 F, or higher, so curing the Minwax at 175 F is no issue.
I've done this on 1,000+ metal and plastic mini's, for 10+ years, without issue. Matte Clear Coat after that, to dull the shine, and they are table ready.

Some food for thought. Cheers!

BrockLanders16 Aug 2022 12:05 p.m. PST

Depends on scale but also on whether they're troops all wearing the same basic uniform or each one is uniquely attired, as your Dark Age troops appear to be. I recently painted up about 100 German WW2 figs in about 3 weeks in occasional 30-60 minute chunks. I always paint the base uniform color with an airbrush, which speeds things up considerably. I really have no idea how long it would take me to paint up something like barbarians or similarly irregular troops, but it would probably be a pretty glacial pace

BrockLanders16 Aug 2022 12:06 p.m. PST

Forgot to mention, fantastic paint job on those figs!

Titchmonster16 Aug 2022 12:12 p.m. PST

I do mine assembly line style for uniformed troops. So that might be between 18-24. Those can take a few days to a week and a half. If I'm doing irregular troops without a uniform then I do batches of 12. Officers and side bar scatter figs are done along the way as drying time or momentum stabalizers. That's 28mm, 15's go much faster and in larger batches.

Tom Reed16 Aug 2022 12:17 p.m. PST

I once…ONCE, mind you…painted 250 40K Orcs for a friend. I painted 20 at a time. IIRC, it took me 3 months.

Timbo W16 Aug 2022 1:07 p.m. PST

I'd estimate about 2 months for 100 figures. Seems to depend on time of year though. Winter is good for painting, rain and dark evenings likely explain UK pre-eminence in miniature gaming! summer not so good as more options for leisure time.

14Bore16 Aug 2022 1:12 p.m. PST

I do at best 12 a week as a guess 15mm figures

Rotundo16 Aug 2022 1:24 p.m. PST

I did 235 Dublin-Norse in 15mm in a week. Sunday to Sunday. Things to consider, I am not a great painter so I strive for a Block look or group look. I go in spurts. This is not uncommon for me. The next week, (this one) I was much more busy. Trying to do an Anglo_Dane army of similar size. About 54 guys finished.

Personal logo Virtualscratchbuilder Supporting Member of TMP Fezian16 Aug 2022 1:40 p.m. PST

A lot depends on what I'm painting. If they are uniformed painting goes faster because I can make a pass of one color on a whole unit at a time. But if it's some thing like dark age or medieval where there's a lot of variation from figure to figure it takes longer. But in general I can paint a 24 man unit of Napoleonics in two evening settings. But that does not include prep time primer time harn and flocking.

Stew art Supporting Member of TMP16 Aug 2022 1:54 p.m. PST

thanks for all the responses so far everyone.

It seems that I am a pretty slow painter with taking 8 months to finish 100 figures. That's doing them in batches of 10-16 (usually 12 ish) from bare metal to flock on the base. You guys who can bust out 100 miniatures in a few weeks or less; i expect you must have HUGE armies. :)

With work, family (including little children), chores, and guarding against zombie attacks usually only muster a few hours of paint time a week; after everyone has gone to bed. But such is the life for now.

I think such information is useful to have; because the next time I want to start a new genre/project I can remember that it might be months or years before everything gets off the paint desk and ready for the game table.


Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP16 Aug 2022 2:25 p.m. PST

It is really a question of motivation. Those Gnomes I shared, were on the table three weeks after I received them in the mail. They are the current record-holder. Most mini's languish in my painting queue for years (35+ years for some…). I was motivated to get the Gnomes done ASAP, so I made the time commitment to get them done.

I don't have much painting time, even with grown children with their own families. I spend a lot of my free time, which could be spent painting, with my wife of 24 years, doing other things. I would not trade my time with her for anything, not even gaming with friends. Gaming is a fun hobby, but it is not the core of my life -- that is for my wife and family. I get enough "Me" time. Cheers!

nickinsomerset16 Aug 2022 3:21 p.m. PST

about a week, good time management and understanding wife. Paint as we watch TV, see "Tales from the Wargames Shed" on FB for a few progress reports,

Tally Ho!

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP16 Aug 2022 3:43 p.m. PST

Like the Sarge said – for SYW about three weeks, for the Boxer Rebellion 15 years and counting

SBminisguy16 Aug 2022 4:48 p.m. PST

At my speed -- about 4-5 years…

Perris070716 Aug 2022 8:05 p.m. PST

You could cut the painting time by at least 50% and more like 66% realistically using Army Painter speedpaints. I have cranked out more models in the past 3 weeks then I had in the past year and finished projects that had been waiting for over a year. I think they are amazing!

HansPeterB16 Aug 2022 10:26 p.m. PST

I find this quite interesting -- we all do have very different painting speeds and styles. I typically work on at least three different projects at a time, and, in my old age, don't usually paint more than a six or so figures at time. But, if I focused on just painting 100 dark age figures… using contrast/speed paint, maybe 12-16 weeks. As other folks have pointed observed, depending on life cooperating.

Londonplod17 Aug 2022 1:18 a.m. PST

I agree with Perris0707 on the AP Speed paints, l finished a 28mm pirate project in less than a week, my first time using these paints. I finished 24 miniatures, normally that would take me a month.

mildbill17 Aug 2022 6:39 a.m. PST

a week in 15mm.

Norrins17 Aug 2022 7:14 a.m. PST

A week or two, painting a batch of 10 at a time using Contrast Paints.

williamb17 Aug 2022 8:29 a.m. PST

28 mm about two weeks. 6mm up to 500 in a week. Uniformed units painted in an assembly line process. one color for a batch then the next.

LPGallagher Supporting Member of TMP17 Aug 2022 11:14 a.m. PST

My goal is to paint 100 28mm figures per month during the winter months, and I usually reach that or a little more. Summer, I'm lucky to do 50 per month.

advocate Supporting Member of TMP08 Sep 2022 11:20 a.m. PST

So I painted 96 28mm French infantry in four weeks, largely using speed paints. I still have to base them. Can I keep the pace up? I'm moving on to cavalry, in groups of 12 or so. I hate painting horses, so motivation may slip.

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