I went with 10mm figures from Pendraken for price and, hopefully, speed & ease of painting and was pleasantly surprised with how much detail there was on the figures. So as usual I painted up a test figure and was pleased with the results. It was fairly easy to paint and although I wasn't being too careful with the details the end result looked ok. Sadly my camera isn't good enough to do decent close ups of 10mm figures but it gives you an idea of how the test figure looks.
I went with Austrians because I can just prime the figures white and paint in the facings, packs, helmets etc. I gave the finished figure a coat of Army Painter 'Soft' dip to pick out some of the detail and was pleased with the overall effect. When I get a regiment done I'll give them a quick spray of matt varnish to finish them off.
Normally I paint larger figures and mount them on individual squash bottle caps for painting. But I came across an excellent guide to painting 10mm Napoleonics on the Bend Sinister website. He has a guide to mass painting 10mm figures that I thought I'd give a try. A quick trip to the garage for a suitable piece of wood and I was all set.
I'd already primed the figures so I just glued them to the pice of wood and got started. The guide says start with one colour and then just do one brush stroke on each figure (eg the front of the right leg) and then go back to the first and do the next stroke (eg the front of the left leg) and so on until you're finished with that colour. Not the way I'd usually do things but he claims to be able to paint 30 figures in an hour doing it this way so it's worth a try.
So the photo below shows my progress after 30 minutes. I have 20 figures mounted on the piece of wood and I've done the bases and all the black areas such as leggings, scabard, helmet etc. As you can see doing it this way means you miss some spots that you have to go back over later. However it doesn't feel particularly quick but as black is the main colour on the figure after the white base colour, I may be farther along than I feel.
I managed to finish the 20 figures in under two hours. I'm not sure it was that much quicker this way as I had to keep going back to touch up areas I'd missed. Also I found it hard to get to some places with the brush so I may go back to the old way of doing them. Anyway here's a photo of the finished figures. All I need to do is give tham a coat of dip to bring out the detail.
So 20 down only 700 or so to go ;-) Then there's the Malburians and the Normans and Saxons and Vikings and I'll stop now before I depress myself. ;-)