Compaing two methods for painting Stormtroopers for Star Wars legion

My objective was to compare a couple of methods for painting Stormtroopers to see which gave the best results and how long each method took. In my miniature painting backlog I had at least 2 units of 7 Stormies waiting for attention!

The two methods I tried are as follows:

Method 1 – Black undercoat and successive layers of white

This method comes from the Geek and Sundry website.

The steps are roughly as follows:

  • Undercoat in black
  • Drybrush with white
  • Add layers of  vert light grey
  • Touch up with white

The article is entiled “speed paint Stormtroopers” but I didn’t find this method especially quick.  The layering stage took me ages as it needed to be done at least 3 times, using thinned paint (but not watery).  I think perhaps I could have done more dry-brushing at stage 2 which would have helped.


  • Gives a great final look (I love the results!)


  • Doing so many layers is time consuming
  • A little fiddly since you want to avoid painting near the armour edges

The photos below show you some of the stages, from under coating to completion. I focused on getting a single mini done completely so that I learned the method first, and then did the other 6.

The finished Storm Troopers can be seen on this post.


Method 2 – White undercoat and grey washes.

This method comes from the Spikey Bits website.

The steps are roughly as follows:

  • Undercoat in white
  • Base coat in very light grey or white
  • Wash in grey
  • Touch up with white highlights

This method was quicker than the one above, but wasn’t the walk in the park I’d expected. It’s easy for washes to look a mess: I’d recommend using a flow aid when making the washes to help minimise the tide marks on the white armour.

Also, painting the back in between the armour on the limbs was a pain in the arse – you don’t get this problem when initially undercoating the models in black.


  • Realively quick, depedning on how much touching up you want to do after the washing


  • Looks nowhere near as good as method 1
  • Fixing any errors
  • Still has some fiddly bits where you need to paint black between the pieces of armour

The photos below show a few shots I took during painting (sorry I didnt take more – doh!)

The finished minitaures can be seen in this post.


My Recommended Method

It largely depends on your personality as to which method you want to use. The black undercoat method (Method 1) gives better results and, while it takes longer to do, it doesn’t take a horrendous amount of time longer. I prefer this method as I want to end up with better painted miniatures, however, for any miniatures I want to sell, this method simply takes too long to do.