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Painting on figures on the sprue

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I have never painted a model while it is attached to the sprue. I always cut it out, clean the lines, glue it together, and then paint. But that then gives me troubles reaching places behind different parts of the model. So I am going to try and paint my next model on the sprue. I am of the painting level of table top quality and maybe slightly better. If you have seen my bugs you know they don't suck but could be better. Can people give me advice on how best to paint and assemble while on the sprue?

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I tried it and it was, for me, a disaster. I spent far more time cleaning up after damage from glue, scratches during assembly etc. than I saved. I've found that subassemblies work better for me. For example, on Tor Garadon, I assembled the model but left the cloak, head and Gravity gun off to paint separately. This allowed easy access to paint the whole model, but with relatively few assembly issues... I just had a couple of places where highlights didn't line up and stuff like that, and they were easy to fix.

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I’ve had some success with this method in the past for “bulk” troops, the sort of faceless masses that aren’t ever going to get much scrutiny from viewers: Guardsmen, Necron Warriors, zombies, skeletons, et cetera.

Avoid this method for “centerpiece” models like heroes, elite units, dragons, and so forth.

What I recommend is to cut away as many of the joints where the sprue meets the model as you can without wholly clipping it out. Then do your primer, base coat, and block in your major base colors. Then clip everything out, assemble, and continue to paint as normal. You cannot properly highlight or use shades/washes on a disassembled model — nothing’s in the right place! 

Also, plastic glue will not work through paint. You’ll need to use proper superglue.

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