Work in Progress

96 Zulus-Batch painting

Posted by PaulRPetri on 04 Oct 2020, 21:14

As a way of keeping me motivated to finish this painting effort I thought I would put a post up hear to hopefully keep my nose to the grindstone. Why 96 figures? Well my Zulu units are 16 figures each so this will give me 6 finished units at the end. I wanted this project to be as close to 100 figures as I coud. I have never painted this many figures in one go. But I figured zulus would be a bit easier than say SYW or Nappy figures.

So step one. All figures are removed from the sprue, these are Hat married Zulus, and spears are glued to the figures. They are then mounted 6 figures to one craft stick with hot glue.
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Everyone is glued down and ready for the first step. HarryFaversham gave me this tip. The figures are already brown so I coat the entire figures in a black wash which serves two things. It finish the skin and primes the entire figure. Below is the stuff I use, it is a form of the "Dip".
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The next photo shows the figures after the wash.
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The next step is to paint the front of the shield white.
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This is then followed by painting the inside of the shield.
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The next step is putting the spotting on the shields.
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So this finished my first day of painting. I have decided that I will paint one item at a times as opposed to painting lets say all of the black on the figure. Also my days of 6-10 hour marathon painting sessions is a thing of the past.
I hope my next post will be on Tuesday with a few more stages painted.
PaulRPetri  United States of America
 
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Posted by Peter on 04 Oct 2020, 22:01

I will follow this with great interest! ;-)
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Peter  Belgium

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Posted by lobo on 05 Oct 2020, 06:03

Me too!
Antonio.
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Posted by PaulRPetri on 06 Oct 2020, 22:16

I have just completed session two of my batch painting experiment. Of course this process is not for everyone. For me I decided that I would paint one item at a time even if the color could be used on other places on the figure. So today I painted all of the shield stitching black. Below are two shots, one of the each group of 8 sticks.
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I must confess I felt a little defeated trying to get through painting that stitching. But I took a few minute break and pushed on. So next I painted the inside shield brace and any weapons the figures had in their left hand. I finished all 96 figures then started all over painting all of the weapons in the figures right hand. I used the same brown for this. For me this process went faster in my mind rather than if I had painted all the weapons at once. Don't ask me why it just felt that way. Next I painted the thing on top of the shield yellow. I did all 96 figures then started over and painted all of the monkey tails loincloths both front and back yellow. I then got the black paint out again and painted the married headring and the hair. Still feeling it I pulled out the silver and painted all of the weapons. Here are two shots showing the figures up to this point.
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So I am very happy with my progress so far. My next painting day will be Thursday. I have some hope I can finish them up. Thanks for having a look.
PaulRPetri  United States of America
 
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Posted by Susofrick on 07 Oct 2020, 11:21

Wow! Have some old ESCI Zulus lying around somewhere. Maybe I'll try with them someday.
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Susofrick  Sweden
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Posted by PaulRPetri on 08 Oct 2020, 00:57

Hello Susofrick thanks for the kind comments. I have a pile of ESCI zulus myself. My problem with those figures are two fold. First shields and weapons all have to be glued on which always takes me time. You have to fill in the front of the shield because of the hole. I use thin super glue and baking soda to close the hole, which works well enough for me. And secondly they are all dressed in full regalia which takes way longer to paint. But I have too many of them not to paint up at some point.
PaulRPetri  United States of America
 
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Posted by PaulRPetri on 08 Oct 2020, 21:48

Okay I was able to finish the 96 Zulus in my third session of painting. I would guess I spent 10-11 hours of total painting time. In my final session I added the white cowtails on the legs in one step followed by any cowtails hanging fom their arms in a second step. I then black lined the monkey tail on the top of the shield followed immediately by striping the front and back loincloths. I then used some shiney brass to do any necklases and arm bands. I let this dry then used a brown wash of the dip over the entire figure. You will notice they are shiney. Once I base them I coat them in Testors Dullcoat to flatten out the paint job.
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My bottle of the Dip.
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All finished!!! Just need to base all of them!!!
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Close ups.
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After action thoughts. Well I must confess these figures painted up much faster than I thought they would. For me doing one action through all 96 figures really allowed me to keep going. This may not work for everybody. Also I did not paint any of the leather thongs letting the dip do its work. Obviously these figures are painted to a basic wargame standard. They will never win any painting awards but they will look good in mass on the tabletop.
Well thats all for now. I will up date my Zulu War total forces pictures in the next week or so. Thanks for looking.
PaulRPetri  United States of America
 
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Posted by Rich W on 10 Oct 2020, 12:07

Thanks for sharing Paul. That looks a very quick way of amassing a Zulu army! Not sure I could have the patience to paint 96 of any figure at the same type. Hopefully you will share some more photos once they are based and together on the war game table?!
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Posted by Peter on 10 Oct 2020, 16:42

Fantastic work Paul! :thumbup:
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Peter  Belgium

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Posted by PaulRPetri on 11 Oct 2020, 21:28

Here are the 96 zulus all based and ready for action.
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This gives me the confidence to batch paint another 300 or so zulus. After nearly 40 years of wanting to game this period I am on the edge of completion. Thank you veryone for your comments and views!
PaulRPetri  United States of America
 
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Posted by PaulRPetri on 23 Oct 2020, 21:11

Having reported on the good I must also report on the bad. After completing the first batch of 96 figures I felt I would have no problem proceeding with this method. Before I started another batch I first finished off some mounted infantry, 12 figures, a few officers, and 48 Esci zulus firing rifles for my skirmish units. With these figures out of the way I started another 96 zulus but this time they were Hat unmarried zulus. Now for whatever reason the Hat unmarried zulus are much larger figures than both the Esci and Hat married zulus. I am not sure if this was the complete cause of my failure, the figures being larger, but I was only able to complete three stages before I had to break it down into two groups of 48 figures. This may cause me to alter my batch painting method. I may just black wash the 96 figures then break them into two groups of 48 each and do them one at a time. I have lots of zulus to paint and I need to keep myself motivated to finish them. So any brave people who wish to try this method you may have to change course to keep yourself going.
Happy Painting
PaulRPetri  United States of America
 
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Posted by OwenChpw on 29 Oct 2020, 02:26

I think the batch painting results turned out great, but doing 96 models of the same kind would seem to be a kind of insanity at some point.
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