Thursday, May 26, 2011

Speed Painting Ghouls

Alright so back in the mists of time I produced a post on speed painting, with a unit of Goblins finished in about 5 hours. Given that was now close to five years ago,I was inspired to have another pop at this knowing that it would be suited to my Undead . I've opted for a unit of Ghouls with a Necro/humanoid Ghast as leader.

The models are made from 10 Mantic and 10 GW Ghouls (cheers Craig!) mashed together. They work quite well with a little trimming and filling of the middles. The Necro is a Heroclix model who I scrounged, that looked well, like a Necromancer to me.

The models were given a light spray of white undercoat, as this will suit the following technique best. Fine sand was then glued to the bases. None of this prep will count towards the painting time, but allowing for drying, assembly and priming probably accounted for about 90 minutes.

So we begin; Hour One:

First job was to seal the bases with a brown emulsion. This got an extra coat on the sides. Within this time , flesh, with a little army green mixed in was applied to the first half dozen ghouls.

Hour Two:

Keeping the basic flesh colour 'live' by adding lighter flesh tones and then a touch of blue and a different green, I continued to paint three or four ghouls at a time in various tones, so the unit as a whole has lots of variety. The next job is to start on the clothing, a little slower as it requires some neatness. I started with a brown base and added reds and other colours to it to make up muted tones.

Hour Three:

In this hour all the cloth was completed, including some alternate colours. A start was made on the Necro. All the bone was painted an off white mix, then the teeth, then the hair which was mainly on the GW parts.

Hour Four:

In the finish of the base coating, all the metals were done, and the eyes on the ghouls were given a dot of red. The Necro got a half hour of attention now, which included putting life into his robes and his fussy breastplate-cum-necklace.

In crude terms they are as good as painted at this stage. But not all that attractive to look at. So it's time for some shading and basing.

Hour Five:

Time first of all to mix up some 'Dip'. Though I only ever paint it on. I use the following three ingredients in the indicated proportions...

This is then applied with a large soft brush to the models. Any large areas of pooling should be dealt with after a few minutes to avoid too dark a finish. Models with flowing robes like the Necro need care to avoid excessive pooling; one option is to allow the model to dry upside down, which tends to produce more realistic shadows.

And so finally, still in the fifth hour (excepting a pause of half an hour to allow the varnish to dry) I apply a drybrush of sand-brown to the bases and then glue on some static grass and turf, mixed together. At this stage, within just about five hours of painting, the models are ready to go on the tabletop:

I grant you, fairly easy models, lacking uniforms, armour or shields, but nonetheless, a speedy job. The other key thing to consider for this sort of project, is 'Choose your subject carefully'. This is not the method to produce great results on all subjects; but used wisely it is a time saving and effective technique.


  1. They don't look like goblins to me.

  2. Hah... the last time i spent five hours painting i was left with one finished model...almost, gotta go back and touch up a few things :(

    Still nice to know that it can be done.

    Back left corner looks like a genestealer wannabe.

    Happy painting.

  3. Pretty darn cool considering the time taken. Very good.