Hey Ranulf, I've recently returned to the hobby (one I have been involved with for 25+ years) and have already found myself torn between batch and individual and my approach to both..
The 4 projects I have worked on since April have all been quite different and mentally challenging for different reasons.
1. 30+ RTB01 DA beakies: (7/10 experience)
This was a passion project I thought lockdown would give me time to complete, I knew what I wanted from them so organised my setup that was essentially limited to the paints I knew I'd need (I was short on space and using the dining table)
I methodically hand primed them assembly line style, followed by the bases, built up to more detail through metallics, eye-lenses, helmet stripes etc. Typically 5 at a time. Then got into the details. I got them to about 80-90% but stopped for a few reasons, one of which was running out of steam, the other was the daunting prospect of freehanding 30+ DA icons..
I found that I needed something else to keep me occupied throughout the mass assembly so watch all of the expanse while doing so..
Jumping back on the B&C and sharing my progress through the PCA forum also really helped keep motivation up.
I will get back to them but found the assembly line style gave me a very consistent output and therefore a great looking en-masse force, however it was somewhat disengaging and mechanical for something I wanted to be more passionate about.
2: inquisitorial kill team: (5/10 experience)
This was a mix of old and already painted minis that needed a rescue, some stripped minis and some raw, a few conversions etc. The idea was that having a variety of essentially 10 characters would be more fun and diverse and therefore more enjoyable than the mass production of the beakies.
What I found was that I didn't really go in with a plan, and this meant I was very inefficient because each model required some thought as to how it would both be individual but tie into the team. I had to experiment with a few of them before committing and i ended up splitting the team down into smaller groups of similar types to get through them.
With none of them really being similar (other than some arbites who were already painted) I had them all on the table but was only really painting one at a time, or one colour at a time across multiple models.
It was the opposite of the bulk painting but I was frustrated by being constantly spoiled for choice from not having a clear direction. They were completed to a point, some more than others, but I'm still not happy with them and again will need to return.. I also had an impending house move on the cards so felt rushed to complete and ultimately didn't.
It was part of a special project here that also fizzled out a bit with the arrival of 9th so I never really shared it and perhaps that would have helped with motivation.. I foolishly posted one on CMON for my own records and was getting sub 5 scores which also seriously demotivated me.
Having to pack and unpack them because I was painting in a shared space was also frustrating and not conducive to consistent work.
3. RT Farseer (9/10)
Having moved house this was the first mini to be painted in my new setup. Thanks to the B&C's aeldari event I had an excuse to bust out a classic and was excited to do so.
Focusing on one strong character I found to be really helpful. I spent some time planning what I wanted from it, and organising my setup to accommodate (I like to arrange the specific colours I'm planning on using in front of me with their associated highlights/ shades etc behind them)
The overall scheme was tied to my 2nd ed. Army so I knew the palette and I was able to push it further since my skills had improved from way back when. I got it to a point I was happy with but found myself enjoying it so much I kept going and started playing with decals and varnishes and some of the texture paints. I also had new brushes I had asked for as a birthday present and wore my recently required reading glasses the whole time (turns out I should have done this with the previous 2!)
The only frustration I had with this one was the time it took between layers setting and the flimsy 90's decals that crumbled under my brush on multiple occasions - all in all very happy.
4. (Current) striking scorpions + exarch (8/10 so far)
This one is currently.hitting the sweet spot between mass painting and detail. I knew I wanted them to be different from my other traditional scorpions so did a few test palettes, settled on one and went for it.
I began assembly line style, always using the first of the squad to test the extent of each block colour and then if I was happy rolled it out across the others or revised them and then updated the first to follow suit. I kept the exarch in the mix but always last in line once I had confirmed my direction.
The start was challenging because it was a scheme I had in my head but no real reference other than a photo of an Indian red scorpion (not the marines! Although it turns out they have the same palette too) once that was locked in it's been a case of applying the similar details in a batch without it getting tiresome.
I have experimented here as well, getting them to a point I'm happy with and learning from the farseer that it's always worth pushing further. I tried to do something new again and I think that really helps with motivation rather than going through the motions.
In summary, each experience has reminded/taught me something that has forced me to change tack slightly the next time. Mostly that it's worth pre-planning somewhat but don't let that stop you from taking it further and going off script.
Having a variety of options is great but I found too much variety distracting and overwhelming when not planned for. Being able to focus on a somewhat known outcome really helped.
A consistent setup and dedicated workspace has also really helped, as has time management/ allocating time for painting. Having a young family i paint at night when everyone's alseep and try to get an occasional hour here or there when I can use daylight (so much better). When I'm on a roll night can become the morning but it usually means time we'll spent!
I also found that working the bases hard is a great option while waiting for batches on the mini proper to dry, I had previously kept them basic to give the mini prominence but as good base makes a big difference. Each of the above projects had a very different base treatment (mars style, hive/hulk industrial style, arid wasteland and snowy rubble)
Ok sorry for the massive rant but hopefully someone finds this interesting/ useful
Edited by Sandalphon, 17 October 2020 - 10:04 PM.