There are two (possibly 3 if you include sub-assembling boltguns, etc) main methods that I know of for basecoating your models:
1) Once fully assembled (sub-assembling kind of goes under this too), so basically just giving the whole mini a nice coating.
2) On the sprue - quite literally taking the bare sprues out of the box and coating them with spray (or however you do it)
The advantages of the first method are that you can make sure the models are well covered, but sometimes leads to parts being difficult to reach with the brush. Personally I prefer this method.
The other method is actually better in some ways (surprising as it may be). It takes less time, for example if you bought an IG battleforce you can cover it in one go and enjoy painting and assembling almost simultaneously as you take stuff of the sprues. It also gives you time and the freedom to make adjustments to models as you go along and works a bit like sub-assembling as you can paint things as you go along, so no hard to reach areas. Oh and also it is easier to paint individual pieces before sticking them on (e.g. lasguns and arms) because you can hold the sprue while you paint, without having to come up with complex ways to hold your bits while you paint (believe me, I've seen many intriguing configurations).
|some of you may recognise these photos - yes fellow bloggers|
Right, now onto my thoughts. I assembled my Ultramarines using method 1. It is the traditional method and seems the "right" way to do things, so I just like it. My Cadians, were (and still are) being assembled using method 2 because I wanted to try something slightly different and having lots of stuff to paint thought it would be quicker and save me individual visits to basecoat stuff, as well as allowing me a more comfortable way of painting small separate parts of guardsmen, which would be hard to reach later.
So what about you guys? Anything I missed?