I recently won a painting contest by exploiting one of the lesser-known rules of competition painting. If no one else finishes their entry, then you win by default. Out of an admittedly small group of 7-8 participants, I was the only person who finished painting a ‘Start Collecting’ boxed set in a month.

This was a bit of a shock for me, as I am not the world’s fastest painter; it had recently taken me around six months to finish the last starter set that I bought. I don’t use any special practices such as dipping my models in quickshade, and my tiny, tiny house doesn’t have room for me to swing a rusty spotted cat (look it up), let alone run an airbrush and compressor.

As I was collecting the first, second and third place certificates, I looked around to see tables full of half-painted or bare plastic miniatures. A quick straw poll of the surrounding people revealed the following reasons for the poor show: not enough time, and too many distractions. According to Dakka Dakka’s (an online forum) monthly painting challenge, less than 20% of entrants managed to paint an entry every month last year.

This brings me here. If you want tutorials on “how to paint models”, you can find plenty of them online. Today however, I’m going to present my plan on “how to finish painting models”. Behold, my checklist for maximum painting efficiency:

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