Writing this article I’m struck with the choice between an honest assessment of
how I normally prepare for a big event and how the preparation for this years
Most of the rules of thumb on preparation have been thrown out of the window,
partly due to this being only my second tournament in 9 th edition after an 8 th
edition playing and refereeing at the highest level and partly because, unlike
usual this army build started over a year ago!
Coming into the event as a fairly novice 9 th Ed player feels quite surreal, having
been playing since Rogue Trader (yup, OAP gamer blog), iterations of the rules
are not unfamiliar but the lack of games under the belt certainly is.
Normally a speed painter who churned out armies last minute both for myself and
the Scottish WTC team (eyes on you Neil Powell, thank the Omnissiah that your
fatherhood has given me a break from the desperate pleas for last minute rush
jobs) I challenged myself over lockdown to see if I could paint an entire army at a
display level. What better hobby project for all the time with no need to meta
chase or paint for team events.
This challenge brought with it an acceptance that good enough would never be
enough, that painting single miniatures would take as long as a squad and that
sourcing basing components, learning green stuffing, scouring the web for 3D
printed SFX and stencils would become an obsession.
Lessons have been learnt, mistakes made, paints spilled and need for skitarii
blobs cursed over the months in between but finally events are open again and
the LGT is back! The knock on of painting slow and detailed is that the army is
too time intensive to paint for flexing rapidly to meta changes.
Turning that frown upside down was the decision to play with units and
miniatures for love rather than the exact meta picks. This has brought the most
relaxed run up to a big event ever. Thankfully the Adeptus Mechanicus Codex
also makes it hard to put together a truly bad army and Sicarians, my beautiful
choppy chaps, are in a good place right now.
Inevitably efficiency crept into the paint project as you can lead the speedpainter
to water but you can’t make him clean his brushes with soap.
Some top tips for budding army painters looking to go from tabletop to beyond.
1) Airbrushing is not a crime and not a panacea. Used sparingly and appropriately
results are possible that would take longer and be almost impossible by hand.
2) Masking tape is incredibly useful, If you get into it you will however use more
masking tape than an environmentally conscious individual should admit to.
3) Pre-shading is King, Queen, Jack and Ace. The vibrancy that is achievable with a
monochrome preshade followed by application of colour is a game changer.
4) Glazing sounds scary but isn’t all that hard.
5) Basing is as important as the miniature that sits on it – Find a theme and roll with
it. I went for a true Martian earth (based on pictures from the surface) with
Roman/Greek ruins. To achieve it there were many experiments with Sienna
6) Dremels are great when you do stupid things like try to mould pillars and affix
them to custom bases – do not, and I repeat, do not use a normal drill, you’ll be a
sad panda if you do.
I hope this has been a fun read, if you want to know anything about the army,
paint techniques or just talk toaster boys come and say hi over the weekend.
You can see more on Instagram @tangenticool_miniatures