Time Challenge: Painting an Infinity Mini
I’m often asked how long it takes me to paint a mini and it’s always been a question I’ve struggled to answer.
Mainly because I never just sit down for n hours straight, instead doing a couple of hours here and there over the course of many days or weeks.
Also, my painting speed has considerably sped up in recent months. I probably paint twice as fast as I did a couple of years ago.
So I thought I’d set myself a timed challenge with my latest Haqqislam mini. I set up a countdown timer and recorded how many one hour chunks I needed to completely finish. After each hour I took a photo to record my progress.
How many hours did it take me to finish a Ghulam HMG-toting infantryman? Place your bets, now!
It helped that I was painting a mini for which I knew the colour scheme in advance as that’s something that can take a little time – ie figuring out what colours to put where. As I’d already done a couple of his squadmates I had the scheme nailed and I could just get straight to the painting.
First up the base colours of the trousers and shirt. I knew I could be a bit slap-dash about them as I’d be coming back for camo at the end. They probably took about twenty minutes. The rest of the hour was spent fully shading the red armour and boots.
When the clock rang I had just finished all the red bits. A bit untidy but good enough to move on.
In the first hour I’d covered quite a large area of the mini and decided that black/grey shading would get me around 80% done – well on track for a three hour finish.
Thing is I kinda got bogged down on that big gun, having a bit of fun with the shading.
Still, when time was called I only had a little bit more to do on the black bits.
Anyone who’s familiar with the Pareto 80/20 rule will not be surprised to hear that I still had plenty to do, particularly as I hadn’t tackled the flesh tones yet.
Painting the face is one area I usually spend a lot of time on as it’s such a focal area and so important to get right. Then there’s all the other fiddly little details and also that camo pattern.
Regarding the face, at this point I must say that this particular mini – an early sculpt from the Infinity range – is one of the worst I’ve had from them. Slightly odd proportions throughout and a bit of a lop-sided face. I’d normally stay clear of such a mini but he’s just so damn useful in game that he’ll probably see a lot of table time.
Agh, the bell caught me out with the base yet untouched, camo unfinished (at the back) and a few more details left to do.
I’d missed the three hour target but surely I could get him done in four hours!?
I finished off the camo quickly and did a few touch ups here and there. The beauty of the wet palette is that the paints are still there for me to go back like this, which also is something of a safety net and helps with confidence: knowing I can always go back and re-paint something if it doesn’t work out.
Quickly got the green lights done and then cracked on with the base. The base probably took about forty minutes in total but I guess I cheated in that I effectively paused the timer to let the glue dry for the static grass. So maybe the elapsed time was a bit longer, but in terms of man-hours of effort I wrapped up in almost exactly four hours.
So now I have an answer!
This guy was rushed a bit for this timed challenge but it probably means that it usually takes me 4-6 hours to paint something to this level. I guess I’d call it “tabletop plus”, or maybe “premium tabletop” standard. A fair way off showcase standard but something I’m proud to see on the battlefield amongst some nice terrain.