As a beginner I won’t recommend anyone trying to do what I did; painting over a hundred 28mm miniatures from scratch. In my youth I used to paint one off, large scale (54mm plus) figures. In fact the Italeri 1/72 scale AWI French infantry were the first small scale figures I’d ever painted here. Seeing all those blank figures in front of you can be intimidating (just like the real thing - if you’re scared by tiny little people with big hands armed to the teeth, that is).
After a fair bit of research I purchased three boxes of Perry miniatures directly from the manufacturer (very good service). This provided me with one hundred and eight figures in total. Equally divided between the Union and Confederate armies this gave me one command group of six figures and twelve blocks of four figure groups for each army. Using a CAD package to work out figure basing and ‘deployment’ I was surprised how much this preparation helped me later on.
The miniatures only require a small amount of assembling but this also enabled me to carry out a few modifications. Initially I went for a mass production line approach trying to paint all figures in one go i.e. all the jackets dark blue then all the trousers light blue and so on. With the Union figures this proved too daunting as progress seemed painfully slow and demoralising. Further down the ‘line’ progress improved rapidly as the figures were finally completed one after the other.
I’ve refined this method to block paint between six and eight figures at a time and then finish the highlights, shading and detailing etc. From a practical point of view this also helps prevent paint from clogging up my brush but it also prevents me from getting bored too quickly.
Overall I’m pleased with my first 28mm project and I’ve learnt from my numerous mistakes. In particular I need to improve on painting faces; most of my miniatures so far tend to look like they’ve just smelt something rather unpleasant, been given a severe wedgie or have turned into zombies.
Onwards and upwards.