Well, I've leapt into the painting. I got a bit of feedback from my previous post, and went for a very slightly darker grey for the Rebels, and stuck with the darker blue for the Union. Then I just sat and painted. I took all the shortcuts- no buckles or buttons, few straps, no beards, horses and hair all the same colour, etc. And I've churned them out. The base painting is finished: all they need is dipping, flocking, varnishing and base touching-up. And the sticking on of flags. I intend for them to be done by lunch tomorrow.
For a purely gaming project, I've been impressed with the speed this has gone down. I'm hoping I don't muck up the dip. I'll post detailed pictures when they're done.