About This Blog

Xenophon's Ghost covers military history and wargaming from the ancient period to modern times.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The French Rapidly Advance

French Line Infantry - painted 15mm and primed 10mm figures
I have finished the first phase of a painting time test, comparing the paint time for 15mm and 10mm infantry figures.  I will use the test results to help in choosing a scale for my Napoleonic armies.  I don't have a lot of time to devote to painting, so the time test and the cost analysis shared in the last post will be important.  Of course, I will also consider other factors, such as my preference for the looks of the two scales.

Test Conditions

I will track painting time for eight 15mm figures and ten 10mm figures.  Because I had already cleaned up and primed the 15mm figures before deciding to perform a test, I won't compare this part of the work.  All figures are primed in white paint and mounted on craft sticks.

Eight 15mm figures is enough to create one double row-based stand or two single row-based stands.  The Old Glory 10mm figures are cast in groups of five, and the ten figures are enough to create one double row-based stand.  I plan to play Lasalle and DBN with the armies.

Based on the results, I will project the total painting time for four Lasalle armies, using the same armies as used in the cost analysis.  I plan to estimate the additional paint time for cavalry, probably applying a 15 percent time increase for each cavalry stand.  I welcome thoughts on how much longer three cavalry figures take to paint as compared to eight infantry figures.

15mm French Line

For the 15mm test, I chose four French line infantry figures and four French Voltigeurs. The figures are Battle Honors Line Infantry, 1809-1812.

I aimed to paint quickly, so these figures are not my best work.  I didn't perform much highlighting, and I kept the details simple.  If I'm ever going to finish a couple of Lasalle armies, I need to advance rapidly.

The painting and wash was completed in five sessions.  I made a few tactical errors on the paint order, such as forgetting to paint the hair until the last session.
Session 1 - 33 minutes - Flesh, boots, ammo bag, shako, pants, small clothes, jacket front
Session 2 - 21 minutes - jackets (blue)
Session 3 - 39 minutes - backpack, rifle, plume/pompon, canteen, bed roll, collar, epaulets
Session 4 - 55 minutes - base, yellow on Voltigeur pompon, rifle barrel and bayonet, hilt, hair, touch-ups
Session 5- 8 minutes - light burnt umber wash

Total Paint Time: 2 hours, 36 minutes

The Results

I'm satisfied with the results even though I was painting faster than normal.   Overall, the figures were easy to paint.  Here's a shot of the Voltigeurs:

I used a medium grey to shade the shirts near the cross belts, providing some contrast.

The line infantry were even easier to paint because of the rifle positioning.  I didn't need to fiddle much with cross belt shading or details on the front of the figure.

Here's another shot.  The 1st company of a French battalion wore green pompons on the shako.  I chose to paint  1st company soldiers to speed things up because I needed to use green for the Voltigeurs' plumes.

Scaling Out

At this painting pace, I could paint one double row-based French battalion for Lasalle in 10 hours and 24 minutes.  With single rows, a battalion would take 5 hours and 12 minutes.  I recognize that this test may not represent actual paint time precisely.  I normally paint more figures at once which is more efficient.  However, I also normally paint when in the same room as my wife while she is watching TV.  We chat during the painting which also slows me down. For the test, I was down in my hobby room and uninterrupted. Overall, this estimate seems reasonable.

Mark Severin ran a test speed painting British 15mm figures which is posted on his website, www.deepfriedhappymice.com and his result was consistent with mine.  He cleaned up, primed, painted, and based 24 figures in four hours.  The painting time was 2 hours and 30 minutes.  I was not trying to paint as fast as possible, and I don't plan to do so when I work on my armies.

Up Next

I'm anxious to see how the paint time compares for 10mm .  I bought a pack of Old Glory French Flank Company figures for the test.  They are cleaned up and primed.

As a relatively new wargamer who hasn't had the chance to attend any conventions, this was my first time seeing 10mm figures.  I was impressed with the level of detail at this scale.  For example, the figures have a plate and braiding on the shakos.  Clean up wasn't too bad, but I had to be careful when trimming the flash on the plumes and bayonets.  I managed to break one half of a plume off...

We are in the midst of moving, but I plan to use my birthday (today) as an excuse to hide in the basement and paint for an hour tonight after the packers have left.  I hope to share a post with the paint results in a day or two.

Comments Welcome!
Dave in Ellicott City, MD, USA

No comments:

Post a Comment