Sunday, 10 July 2011

Steps to Being a Better Miniature Painter – Part 6

Is it better to Paint Your Miniatures Assembled or Parts Separately?

Hey Everyone,
I know I have not posted any tips for the last few posts, so today I would like to answer an age-old question that I get all the time, "Should I assemble my minis prior to or after painting?".  My answer is "Whatever you want". Look, I know my answer is a cop-out, but I will now address pros and cons to each painting strategy:

1) Painting before assembling

Pros: The first benefit to painting prior to assembling is that it is easier to paint every small detail of the miniature.  You can literally paint every inch of the mini with ease, as there are no awkward angles to paint through.  Therefore, I typically recommend this strategy to anyone who wants to paint above and beyond the tabletop standard.  This strategy is also better if you start painting before you have completely decided which wargear (e.g. weapons), the mini will have or the exact pose you want the mini to have.

Cons: There are definite cons to painting prior to assembling.  First, though you will know that each section is painted, many parts will be hidden from view when assembled.  Therefore, this technique can be considered to be a bit redundant. Another con is that you typically cannot play with the mini prior to it being painted, which for many wargamers, will be a problem.  If you are anything like me, you want to play test miniatures before deciding which weapon, or wargear options are truly optimal. Lastly, when painting individual parts separately, it can be easy to lose sight of the overall picture you want to paint. Therefore, it can be very hard to incorporate shading or highlighting onto the model if you do not have a lot of experience painting miniatures.

2) Painting after assembling
This strategy, therefore, has the opposite pros and cons from the first strategy.  If you have watched any of my painting tutorials, I typically assemble my miniatures prior to painting if I am painting to a tabletop standard (e.g. Ork Deff Skull Tutorial).

: Typically faster, easier to paint. This strategy is better if you are painting to a tabletop standard.  Plus, you can play with a whole bunch of unpainted miniatures!!!! I also recommend this strategy for anyone using green stuff, for obvious reasons. It is also easier to incorporate shading and highlighting on the model.

Cons: It will be very hard to paint the entire miniature, especially the hidden parts.  Therefore, some may say that this style is not as great as the other one.

So, that is, in my opinion, the pros and cons to painting prior to and after assembling your miniatures.

Thanks for reading and talk to you again soon.

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