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Tuesday 13 February 2024

An Experiment with Speed Painting

 My nephew Will has been impressing me with the number and quality of painted figures that he manages to turn out.  He can paint a battalion in a fraction of the time that I take.  His secret is speed painting.  He uses Contrast Paints upon a matt white undercoat.

Now, I have a heap of SYW figures to paint, consisting of many 24 figure battalions and I wondered if speed painting might be the solution.

I invested in a box of paints from Army Painter and set about experimenting:

Essentially, in a single coat they provide a dense wash over the matt white base coat.  It is a bit like watercolour painting in that you do the lighter bits first.  It took me about three hours to paint 24 figures.  The paint dries very quickly so as you come to the end of one colour the first figures are already dry. 

The only time consuming part was painting the white belts and lace - that took longer than painting the base coats. Here is the result:

In my view the quality is not as good as the traditional way of painting, but if you want to get battalions onto the table quickly this is a good way of doing it.


  1. A fine job. I have found that I am not happy with contrast alone, so I block in contrast paint and then go in with traditional paint to tidy up and do cross belts etc.

    1. Thanks Norm. You have probably found the right solution. White seems to be a bit of an issue with speed painting and like you, I had to go back over the figures using standard paint for all of the white bits.

  2. Hi Bob, I use contrast paints and Vallejo's equivalent on stuff that has fiddly highlights like skin, backpacks, trousers and horses tails/manes. I tend to use the standard paints for the 'bodywork' and belts etc.