The SlapChop Painting Guide for Warhammer and Miniature Painting

What is the SlapChop method of painting?

SlapChop is a method of painting miniatures quickly while achieving a satisfying result.  It was popularized by The Honest Wargamer on Youtube.  There have been many variations of the SlapChop method since the original was released.  The standard method is as follows:

  1. Prime your miniature in black 
  2. Heavy dry brush your miniature in a light grey (Vallejo Light Grey 70.990)
  3. Light dry brush the miniature in white along the edges (Vallejo White)
  4. Apply Citadel Contrast Paint for color (Example: Plaguebearers Flesh)

Once the Miniature is Primed and dry brushed you can add any type of Contrast Paint, Speed Paint, or Xpress color paint to achieve the color and look you want.  The dry brush work adds initial contrast, and the paints provide color and while preserving the work you did.

Directions and Definitions:

Prime:  Apply a primer to the miniature.  This is typically done by brush, airbrush, or spray can primer.

Dry Brush:  Use a rounded, soft, large brush to apply small amounts of paint over the higher points of your miniature through light back and forth sweeps over the miniature.  Heavy dry brush means applying more paint to cover more of the surface.  Light dry brush is a more subtle effect that typically covers less surface.

Contrast, Speed, and Xpress paints:  These are different brands of  specially formulated acrylic paints.  They are translucent, and partially transparent, allowing you to see layers underneath.  The darker pigments run into recesses and the effect is a lighter shade on top where light would hit, and darker recesses giving the look of shadows.  

Citadel Contrast Paint: The original of this type of paint.  They are made by Citadel who is owned by Games Workshop.  High quality, huge range, multiple versions released.

Army Painter Speed Paints 2.0: Competitor to Contrast Paints, these have been released in 2 ranges.  Good quality, value range.

Vallejo XPress Color: Vallejo’s version of Contrast is the latest entry.  Very high quality, smaller range, great value.  

Can I do SlapChop with just a brush?

Yes.  SlapChops original version is done with a simple dry brush and paint brushes.  No special equipment is needed.  

You can use a very simple dry brush designed for miniature painting or use an old make up brush that works just as well.  As for the paint brushes, a simple synthetic would be fine for this process.  A higher end brush of course works really well too but isnt necessary if you’re on a budget.

Can I do SlapChop with an Airbrush?

Yes.  You can use your airbrush for the first 3 steps of priming and shading.  A paint brush is ideal for the 4th step of applying contrast paints.  It is a variation of the original, but a very similar result.  The Airbrush version of slapchop would be as follows:

1. Prime your miniature in black with your airbrush

2. Zenithal Prime the miniature in light grey primer or acrylic paint.

3. Light zenithal spray of white primer or acrylic paint.

4. Apply Contrast, Speed, or XPress paint as needed by section with a paint brush.

Note that you absolutely can use Contrast and other paints through the airbrush, but they lose the properties of flowing into recesses.  You will just get a filter of one color rather than the contrast you see when applying with a brush.

Why is SlapChop Painting so Popular in the Miniature Painting Community?

SlapChop is a form of speed painting.  It is a quick and enjoyable way to get your miniatures painted, while keeping a relatively high quality look.  The miniature painting hobby spans a spectrum of very intricate and detailed artwork that takes many hours to achieve, down to a very quick application of paint on miniatures to get them ready to play a game.

Many tabletop wargames like Warhammer 40k, Age of Sigmar, Kill Team, Dungeons & Dragons, Malifaux, Star Wars: Legion, Marvel Crisis Protocol and more have a lot of miniatures involved.  Even a small scale game of Warhammer 40k involves 20 or so miniatures.  They are often swapped out for other units.  

Getting your miniature army painted for a game is sometimes challenging.  So speed painting is a very common question. 

The other benefit of SlapChop is it eliminates a lot of the tedious work needed for other techniques of painting.  Methods like layering, wet blending, feathering, edge highlighting, black lining or panel lining, can give great results but are time intensive.  These methods are also a higher skill level. 

What is the original SlapChop miniature painting video?

This was the first video to call the method SlapChop:

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