Sunday, December 3, 2017

Speed Painting Blitz

30 British Sepoys are ready for action. Indus Miniatures figures.

So here I was last Thursday evening, having a game to play on Saturday at Chez Protz and feeling like I was short quite a few British Sepoys on my game roster. I had 60 Indus Miniatures British Sepoys divided into two battalions of 30 figures. A 60-figure unit would  be ideal for one of our BAR rules games, but 45 would do in a pinch.

So what could I do? I knew that I had a small pile of unpainted Indus Miniatures SYW in India figures on hand, so I decided "what the heck, let's try to paint them all in one day!"

Tomorrow's game would be a scenario based in SYW India with the British versus the French and their respective allies. You can read the back story to the game  on Bill Protz's blog:

There are some basic rules to successful speed painting: mainly, not putting too much detail on the figures and try not to shade/highlight the figures; and no eyes or buttons. Keep it simple and the finished figures will fly off of your brush.

Accordingly, on Thursday evening, I cleaned and glued 30 Sepoys to 3/4-inch fender washers and took them out into the garage to spray them with grey primer. It was about 2AM when I completed the primering, so technically I was already into friday at that point.

I went to bed and was woken upat 8AM by the sound of chainsaws going to work in my own front yard. It seems that the local homeowners' association had plans to trim all of the  trees in our subdivision and they were going at it in my front yard. Needless to say, that was the end of my night's sleep (an afternoon nap around 4PM would be essential today). 

So I pitched into painting the first batch of 15 figures around 8:30 to 9AM. My plan was to paint one batch of 15 with blue facings and the other batch of 15 figures with yellow facings. This would allow me to increase my two existing Sepoy battalions from 30 to 45 figures.

By 10AM most of the basic colors were blocked in on the figure: red coat, dark skin, blue lapels, black crossbelts (usually buff in color, but to save time they were going to be painted black), and grey turban. Things looked like they were going fairly fast at this point. 

The next step was to paint equipment, hair, muskets black. This takes about 5-10 minutes per figure and becomes very tedious after the first five or so figures. Brown colors look better over a black undercoat as do things like cross belts and haversacks.

At any rate, the first batch of blue facing Sepoys were completed by Noon, so it took a little less than four hours to paint the first 15 figures. The absence of much equipment on the Indus Sepoys helped to cut down the painting time.

The first 15 figures of the Painting Blitz are done.

Then I took a two hour break from painting to recharge my batteries and stretch my legs by walking our dog. The dog thinks that the walks are for his benefit, but little does he realize that they are really for my benefit.

The next batch of 15 figures started at 2PM and I did another two hour session to 4PM, and then retreated to my den/library for my afternoon nap. What with watching the evening national news broadcast and fixing dinner with Mrs. Fritz ( we have been making Blue Apron style dinners from kits lately which gives us a good chance to do something together. Little did I know that I could actually cook a great tasting meal.

I even did the pots and pans so as to earn som brownie points with Mrs. Fritz. I would need them to finish the Sepoys.

At around 8PM I took my seat at the painting table and finished off the second batch of 15 Sepoys by 10PM - Bingo! I was finished with all 30 figures. I just paint the fender washer bases a dark green and go Old School by not bothering to terrain them. The figures are then placed on magnetic sabots/movement trays and I am done.

The second batch of 15 figures.

Mission accomplished with plenty of time to spare. I could even make it to bed for a good night's sleep so that I would be ready to get up bright and early for the drive to Chez Protz for our game: SYW in India.


  1. Amazing but I know you can manage this kind of fun production Jim. I can't let my 60 French Sepoys be outnumbered next time.
    Bill P.

    1. If that gives you incentive to paint more Sepoys or natives, then the end result is good. 😀

  2. Yeah, I'll second that. Highly impressive too. Speed painting, or not, the finished figures simply look amazing.

    Best Regards,


  3. Hmm. I think I'll buy cavalry from INDUS. Jim, you don't have any. Shabash.
    Bill P.

    1. From what I've been reading, native Indian armies had more cavalry than infantry, so that would be a good choice.

  4. What cracking sculpts Jim and well done in painting them up.The war in India is a fascinating period in British history with some villains and also some heroic actions.

  5. Hi Jim,

    Quality and quantity with the figures.

    I am going through the list notifying those who have shown an interest in my book, to send an email to if they still want to order.