My Love/Hate Relationship With Army Painting

 Ron over at ++From the Warp++ put up a post on how to "stay motivated" when trying to paint up and finish your 40K army. He had made a request for input several weeks ago from everyone in the From the Warp Bloggers Group, for the purpose of making this particular collaborative post.

 There's a reason I didn't contribute on this one - I have great difficulty in maintaining motivation myself to finish even a 500 point force, and forever seem to get sidetracked. I've "officially" gone through 3 different races/armies (well, I'll hedge and say "at least two") in my efforts to field an army of my own on the tabletop since I got back into painting. I blame this on a number of things: limited time, easily distracted by my environment and new ideas, finding myself doing other things during time I've set aside for painting, and so forth.

 Primarily, though, I think it's my tendency to get thoroughly immersed in whatever project I happen to be working on - I put so much thinking into what I could do that I tend not to get a whole lot done. When I first got back into the hobby and figgered I wanted to play in earnest, I settled on Tau as my "army of choice" and started right in with a Battleforce set. I decided that they would be Fire Warriors from the Vior'la Sept - a group more "fiery-tempered" than most Tau and inclined towards greater numbers of warriors than other Septs. I picked a paint scheme that I thought would be "cool"... and everything went downhil from there. Not being so familiar with the hobby yet, I didn't realize that red acrylic paint generally has poor coverage; I painted with a great many color steps and to a high level of detail; I painted them in a tricky and striking "magma" scheme; and I painted each one individually, not being so familiar with "batch painting."

 Well, the squad I finished looked nice and in taking them in 2007 to my first time at the Golden Demons ever, received an Honorable Mention for them - they didn't work out quite so well as an army, though. I then moved on to Necrons with specific plans on how to speed things up - spraypainted basecoat, use of washes, etc. Silly me, I caught the conversion bug with Necrons! They're still a work in progress... Right now, I've got a collection of Orks from the Assault on Black Reach in progress and being painted up as part of the Bad Moons Clan in an "Old School" style- just 500 points' worth, and they are primarily painted with washes. I'm also working on a Chaos Warband (by way of an initial start with a converted "Shriven" renegade Guard force, now to be allies when I get back around to them with some new ideas). In trying to join in with the "500 Club" at the local GW Hobby Center, where the goal was to assemble & paint up 500 points of troops and accessories in a month, the Chaos Warband I had on the back burner while getting into the Black Reach Bad Moons sort of took preference as it seemed (logically) easier to paint up 500 points of CSM's than to paint up a slew of Boyz to total 500 points.

*raises fist and curses at the sky*
"I'll finish 500 points' worth of a fieldable army that I painted myself, eventually!!!1!1!!"

 I specifically didn't contribute to the collaborative post because I am by no means a role model or a source of advice on this one - more a poster boy for "what not to do." If prepping figures wasn't such a slog for me, maybe I'd get things done quicker, but nobody's ever seemed like they'd be inclined to file and scrape plastic on my behalf. (I'm still holding out hope, though!)

 No, there's a very good reason I seem to focus more on painting single display-quality miniatures and would preferentially accept those as commissions. I just seem to have better luck with 'em, if nothing else!


  1. Tin, I feel your pain. I have some serious gamers ADD and play far to many gaming genres. It has taken me two whole years to get my Chaos marines to a 1000 points of painted minis.

    During this same time frame I painted some WWII Americans for FOW, some French Indian war mins, and started a new WFB Chaos army.

    Just recently I only have one unit from any given project unpacked and on the painting table. In stead of a bunch of random minis from 4 or 5 projects cluttering my work space. It seems to be working.

    So I'm gonna stick with the outta sight outta mind way of getting stuff done.

  2. Lower your standards, dude :D Honestly, that's my best advice. To paint an army, you have to be ready and willing to make some compromises unless you're one of those special people who can paint well at speed. It sounds like you've gotten the idea: using sprays and washes when possible and always batch painting. However, it's important to stick to the plan!

    If the batch painting starts to wear you down, drop in a character model and ratchet up the quality level. Then, when you've gotten your fix, hit the batch painting again.

  3. At this point, I don't set aside time to paint because of family commitments and so I've been spending hobby time strictly working on converting/building figures. I'm about ready to prime my Renegade Psyker, though.

    As to finishing a TT army, yeah, I'm thinking it'll essentially boil down to no conversion and quick paint jobs to get something playable, and then work in "better" figures as time allows. My Ork scheme is fairly "quick" 'n' easy, my Chaos scheme not so much. I bought a compact sprayer, though, for $5 and it accepts any kind of paint when properly thinned down, so I'm thinking I'll use that as a basecoat method for my Berzerkers and mask off the areas for non-reds.

    Good suggestions, though. I cleared my work area a bit tonight and I have enough "character" models I can use as "carrots" to keep my "painting donkey" on track.



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