How long to paint miniatures (1 Figure To An Army)

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Painting miniatures is a hobby. Then again, between work, daily life, and other commitments, it may seem like it is taking forever to get detailed paintwork done. 

The truth is that the painting timeframe will differ depending on the individual skill and technique. But, there’s always a general rule of thumb when considering the amount of time needed to paint miniatures. 

How long does 1 miniature take to paint?
30 Minutes to an Hour Will Give You A Decent Result

Technically, you will spend different amounts of time on a kit depending on what you want to accomplish. 

Painting one miniature usually take about 1-4 hours for decent results. A kit with many details takes 5 to 10 hours, but if I want to get perfect results or want to go full shading, it takes 20 hours.

However, for a tabletop mini, 30 minutes will give close to acceptable results. 

How long will it take to paint a miniature army?
Months!

Some armies are a lot easier to paint than others. Hence, the paint time will depend on the army

I have fully painted a 1,000-point army of 40k in less than a month and another set of armies in 18 months.  

Still, for 30 guys or 3 vehicles, painting time will take between 11 to two days. My Necrons army took only a week, but my 6th-ed WHFB Skaven collection of 20 slaves, 20 storm vermin, 20 plague monks, 2 rat Ogres, 5 plague censer bearers, and 5 poison wind lobadiers has probably taken me 18 months to complete

Waiting Between Coats Also Takes Time

When applying your paints, one to two layers of paint is enough to get accurate details, but you will have to leave between 10 to 30 minutes for each coat to dry before applying another. 

However, to ensure the paint adheres fully, you want to leave the paint to cure fully for 2 to 4 hours before adding the second coat. 

How to paint miniatures faster – tips for saving time and working faster

I’ve been painting miniatures for a while and have used lots of tricks that helped make my painting faster. Then again, no knowledge is final, and I’m always on the lookout for ways to improve my skills. 

If you need a quick route to paint miniatures and save time, below are my favorite tips and tricks to try.

  1. Always clean your model before starting. This way, you won’t find paint mot adhering well troublesome and need to start all over. 
  2. Keep your painting tools arranged well before painting the miniature. 
  3. Good lighting will make it easy to see small details and paint faster. 
  4. Use a black primer. It makes applying highlights and contrasts with dry brushing and zenithal technique easy. 
  5. Choose spray primers than brush-on primers. It gives you a lot of control so that the paint does not produce bubbles and allows you to do thin, even coats faster. 
  6. Always apply primer at room temperature between 70 to 72°F and with relatively low humidity. It makes the paint dry well and faster.
  7.  Always use large bristled paint brushes. You’ll get faster results with a #2 brush than one of #000 light hair brushes
  8. Use a dry palette to save time. It allows you to blend and mix paint with less work and gives consistent blending results. 
  9. A magnifying glass, light, or lamp will help you see small details clearly and paint faster. 
  10. Use a paint you are more familiar with it makes the painting process easier and faster. 
  11. Invest in an airbrush. It makes painting thin layers quick. 
  12. Waiting for the paint to dry can be frustrating so use a hand dryer. 
  13. Restrict your color schemes to paint miniatures faster. 
  14. Always take a break when you feel less motivated. Pushing yourself to move on will only slow the process. 

Airbrush Or BrushWhich will take longer to paint

Regular paint brushes are cheap, but they take longer to paint with than airbrushing. 

Brush painting requires hands-on input, while an Airbrush uses mechanical tooling. Hence, painting with a brush will take longer.  

The difference between mechanical objects and using your hands is that a machine is faster. 

An airbrush has a push-and-pull trigger function, different-sized nozzles, and an automatic mixing space, unlike painting with a brush that requires you to do these tasks yourself. 

Can Army painter speed paint really speed up the process?

Yes, it can. 

Speed paints don’t really need thinning, unlike regular paints. So, you won’t spend time getting milky paint texture. 

Let it dry first before applying the second coat over it. Then, finish up with varnish. 

How long does it take to paint a Warhammer model

A Warhammer model will take 5 to 12+ hours to paint, depending on how large the model is. 

An infantry Warhammer model takes two to three hours to paint with a 5 color scheme, while larger models take up to 12 hours. 

How long does it take to paint a space marine

It takes about 3 to 5 hours to paint 1 space marine and up to 10 hours with detailed work. 

Most miniature painters like to go into details when painting their miniatures, especially extra details like skulls and wings. 

If you love detailed work and paint in batches, between 4 to 8 models at a time, it will take 2 days or three to complete. 

How long does a DnD miniature take to paint

Dungeons and Dragon miniatures are the easiest to paint. 

Painting a single 28 or 35-mm DnD mini, like the Hero Forge or Furry and the Beast takes between 2 to 4 hours to complete. 

Conclusion

Often, the details on the miniature, the type of figure, and the need to get perfect details to make your figure showroom worthy may make the painting process slow. 

However, painting miniatures, whether a single mini or a Warhammer army won’t take much time with determination. 

Then again, painting miniatures is a hobby that helps you relax. So, just focus on having fun.