Takeways from this:
- the fact that AP now do paints that are 100% matches for their sprays makes the 'spray on the sprue' trick a major win
- being able to use two different shades of ink (rather than dip) made this look much better
- I still can't paint for toffee, but Army Painter lets me bluff well :D
4:30pm: start assembling the horses from a box of Fireforge mounted Sergeants (I already used three as command in my El Cid army, so there were 9 left)
5.05pm: Horse done. Blutak to painting stick, spray undercoat in AP Matt Black, leave to dry.
5.10pm: assemble first four riders
5.30 pm: pause to consider cloaks, realise I've put the heads on too soon. Swear, remove heads before glue sets. Stop assembling riders. Remove rest of bits of riders *except* cloaks from sprue. Spray cloaks AP Dragon Red *on the sprue*.
5.40 pm: Dad's Taxi Service to take son to tennis
6.10 pm: return from dropping James at tennis, assemble rest of riders sans heads
6.30 pm: blutac to painting stick, spray undercoat AP Daemonic Yellow - two coats about 2 mins apart.
6.40 pm: find spare kite shields without arms from left over Conquest Games Normans, satisfy myself I have nine between these and the non-heater shields in the Fireforge box. Spray backs AP Leather Brown, leave to dry while finding wife's pin box, spray fronts of shield AP Daemonic Yellow, again on the sprue.
6.50 pm: Paint shield designs with AP Dragon Red
7.05 pm: try sticking pins in heads. Discover they won't go in. Heat pin on gas ring, NOW they do. Arrange line of heads on pins on painting stick. Feel like a very angry Sheriff of Nottingham making an example of some miscreants. Wish I'd photographed it.
7.15 pm: Discover I'm out of AP Plate Mail spray. Swear. Spray heads with AP Human Flesh instead (and the can ONLY just lasts).
7.20 pm: brief moment of panic as I can't find glasses to drive to fetch James. Find them upstairs by dressmaking box. Pass wife (on way back from work) on garden path on way out to be Dad's Taxi again, whistle innocently (what me? steal pins?)
7.50pm: Return with son. Greet wife properly. Hide evidence. Supper.
8.20pm: Start painting horses. Three black, four bays of various shades (mixes of AP Oak Brown and GW Dark Flesh), one chestnut (GW Dark Flesh/AP Monster Brown mix, Vallejo Khaki mane and tail), one grey (AP Ash Grey using an AP stippling brush). A couple get white markings with AP Matt White and a touch of Vallejo Khaki on white-socked hooves)
8.50 pm: Start on horse blankets (AP Dragon Red, saddles/tack (Vallejo Red Leather - I pick this because I *never* use it as a horse colour, so my tack always stands out).
9.10 pm: brief pause to say goodnight to son.
9.30 pm: finish horse tack. Glue riders in saddles, start painting mail, axe head, swords, spearpoints on riders, mail coifs/helmets (AP Plate Mail). Re-glue the riders that don't stick first time.
9:55pm: start on spear hafts, axe handle, standard (Vallejo US Field Drab)
10.15pm: Start assembling cloaks/heads/shields. Retouch cloaks where needed with AP Dragon Red
10.30pm: Start basing: Tamiya Desert Sand textured paint and straight into a tub of Javis Desert Sand mix, knock excess off on sides of tub.
10.45pm: realise I forgot to do stirrup leathers and sword scabbards: Out with the Vallejo Red Leather again, being careful how I handle the bases!
10.55pm: Deep breath. Ink washes. AP Strong Tone first, on the mail, claks, standards and shields (just to back off the brightness of the yellow a bit). Then AP Soft Tone on the yellow surcoat.
11.15pm: mix 50/50 AP Matt White/AP Barbarian Flesh, try and retouch highlights on faces a bit.
11:20pm: AP Dark Tone ink wash on horses (except for the grey which gets AP Strong Tone.
11:27pm: poke head outside back door, realise it's close to zero outside. Decide varnishing is probably a bad idea :D
11:30pm: photograph, upload, start typing ... :D
So, that's nine figures to passable wargaming standard in 5 1/2 hours (ignoring two trips to the tennis club and a break for food). Setting aside the time for assembling (about 90 mins) that's four hours of painting, actually made easier by the fact they were plastic figures.