Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ancient German Shield Assembly Line

Shields seem to be my bane. I seem to spend more time on an individual shields than I do on the figure holding it. With about 20 more ancient germans to go to finish off a pair of understrength warbands I decided to attack their shields with a painting system to churn them out as quickly as possible. My system after the jump.

First step was priming the backs of all the shields brown. The shield faces got either a coat of brown or bone white primer. I gave the wood grain backs a quick drybrush of desert yellow and bone white, while the bone white faces received a quick highlight of white.

Next I laid out a grid of wall-tac putty, 4 columns wide and 6 rows deep. Keeping my earlier shield design file handy I chose one color for each column: red, blue, green and black.
Starting at the top of each column, I moved down each row painting a unique design on each shield with that column's chosen color. I found that using three colors per shield gave them a bit more visual interest so most shields got an accent color as well.
With a ton of minis to get painted up for a game later this month, I strived for a tabletop standard rather than showpieces. The last time I attempted hand painted shields they took my close to a week to finally get finished.  With this system, moving rapidly, and not stressing about the fiddly little details I was able to knock all two dozen shields out in a night. They could still use an ink wash to pop the center spine out and some weathering on their lower edge, but overall these are done.