Well, the 48 are painted and sealed and ready for orc-y mayhem, all within the time allotted, so it's all good. Now it's time for a bit of "lessons learned."
Pacing: Overall I think the pace I set worked well. A dozen a week sounds like a lot, but really it was just 3-4 nights a week for a couple hours. Also, "rack-painting" 3-4 of them at a time goes faster per figure than painting them individually.
Color scheme: Planning out the colors ahead of time helped a lot. Likewise, the initial test-fig made me more confident of my color choices. That said, the next time I paint a large group like this, I'll probably try some more variation in the colors. Maybe having a couple of choices for the cloth or leather, etc. There were a couple of these minis that ended up with a lot of the leather color dominating the color scheme. If it had been a smaller project, I would have been tempted to re-do them, but I pressed on. Which bring up my next point.
"Get it on the Table": This was the mantra I had to repeat. I'm no Golden Demon painter, but I do like my figs to look nice. I'm what I like to consider "tabletop+" quality. Sometimes, I had to sacrifice some fiddly detail to keep moving on the overall project. As I looked at some strap or buckle that I wanted to make stand out, I would often stop myself and just pass it by. Part of it was the nature of the GW plastic sculpts, but I don't want to blame the materials. The simple fact was I wasn't going to waste the time and energy puzzling out each individual model's details. I still did things like put a touch of metallic on the belt buckles, or a little bleached bone on the teeth, or a spot of orange on the eye. So I guess I didn't jettison ALL the details. =)
I'm not a big wargamer, so despite having painted minis for years, most of the figures I've painted were for RPGs. This meant I was trying more for variety than quantity. So this was a neat exercise for me and gives me confidence to try getting more of the little hordes of minis crowding my table painted up.