Category Archives: Tutorials

Warlord Games Bolt Action US Infantry

15-01-13 002I recently got hold of a US Army Box from Warlord Games for their 28mm miniatures game, Bolt Action.

I think the figures are great! In true middle aged man fashion the first thing I did was discard the instructions and get on with painting and assembly only to find that nothing fit properly. One digging of the instructions out of the bin later and things went much more smoothly. In true Warlord fashion the sprues come with kitchen sink-esque assembly options; bazookas, tommy guns, grease guns, Springfields, sniper rifles, pistols, BARs, Garands, in fact pretty much everything any self respecting Europe liberating GI would need.

Paintwork is in my regular speedy style, although this time quite leisurely just doing half an hour per day or so. It soon adds up! Not wanting to spend ages researching to find just the right shade of olive paint I simply bought the Flames of War US paint set by Vallejo and went with that.

Here’s how I did it:

1) Spray sprues with Halford’s Matt Black Primer (a really good spray, comes in really big cans).

2) Paint base colours with models still on the sprues. I find this works really well for me as I have full easy access to every part of the model.

3) Assemble miniatures, adding more basecolour to bits where the sprues attached as required.

4) Paint base with some of GWs brown textured paint – a really good idea from the sheriff, does take some practice.

5) Wash with brown ink, in this case the vallejo stuff.

6) Drybrush with Tamiya Weathering Master Light Sand – this stuff is amazing!

7) Spray with Army Painter Anti-Gloss Matt Varnish.

8) Stick static grass to base with PVA glue.

When doing this kind of thing though I always do a couple of test models, as there is nothing worse than finding out that you don’t really like the finished result but you’ve spent all afternoon painting an entire platoon. There is more stuff in the box to do besides infantry, there’s an M3 Halftrack, some infantry support weapon teams and a venerable Sherman. I’ll try to keep you googlespiders up to date!

Skaven eXtreme Speed Painting

6InchMove brings you the latest in extreme speed painting, from sprue to finish in under thirty seconds!

We do this kind of stuff so you don’t have to. Remember kids, servitob is a trained speedfreak / moron, your mileage may vary.

Don’t try this at home! (unless they’re not your miniatures)

40k Space Marines: Mr Lazy Has Been Painting Death Company Blood Angels With The Army Painter Quickshade Part 2

Not so long ago I wrote about my initial experiences with a painting system called ‘The Army Painter’ (here)

Well, I’ve been experimenting further with this system for the benefit of all of our regular reading and painting googlespiders and I think I’m beginning to get the hang of it. So without much further ado or fanfare may I present to you my latest speedpainting creations:

The actual technique hasn’t changed much:

1 ) Spray sprues with ‘The Army Painter’ dragon red (ooh I love these sprays)
2 ) Paint bolters with mithril silver
3 ) Assemble models
4 ) Paint details in base colours (eg skulls, seals, badges, black bits of armour etc)
5 ) Dip the whole model into the pot of ‘The Army Painter Quickshade’ (dark tone)

6 ) Shake off excess Don’t bother with shaking it off as per official instructions. I have learned that this often leaves a fat coat of dark tone in inappropriate places. I have taken to (much to the amusement of Mrs Serbitob) attaching the model to a long shoelace and spinning quickly it around my head in the garden to remove the excess. A five second spin seems about right. Any more and too much quickshade ends up on the house and not enough on the model.

7 ) Leave to dry for at least 24 hours

There’s a real close up for your inspection. Again, they’re never going to win Golden Demon, but this technique is super fast. I reckon a total time of 5-10 minutes painting per model. Regular marines are even faster because you can paint the bolters seperately and you don’t have so many fiddly emo black bits / emo skulls / emo seals / emo gold bits that the death company are so fond of to paint in.

When I figure out how to speed base I’ll let you all know!

Space Marines: Mr Lazy Has Been Painting Blood Angels With The Army Painter Quickshade

I’ve always a fan of speed painting, as you regular reading spambots will be aware. This week I decided to try a system called ‘The Army Painter’ by some guys form Denmark. I visited their website by chance and noticed they had a tutorial on painting Blood Angels and cooking bacon. Seemed simple enough, so I bought the stuff and gave it a try.

Overall impressions: Great! Bearing in mind I put zero effort whatsoever into these, they’ve turned out to a decent gaming standard. Yes they’re never going to win Golden Demon, and yes all the pro painters will sarcastically say ‘Hur hur yeah it looks like you put no effort in…’ and no, the bases aren’t finished, but heck, I got five miniatures for about fifteen minutes work, and these are above some of the standards I’ve seen in my gaming adventures.


1 ) Assemble marines without bolters.
2 ) Spray marines with ‘The Army Painter’ dragon red (really impressed with the spray)
3 ) Paint bolters with mithril silver
4 ) Assemble models
5 ) Paint details in base colours (eg skulls, seals, badges etc)
6 ) Dip the whole model into the pot of ‘The Army Painter Quickshade’ (dark tone)
7 ) Shake off excess
8 ) Leave to dry for at least 24 hours
9 ) Apply decals with decal solvent, paint base
10 ) Apply two coats of ‘The Army Painter Matt Varnish’

Things I have learned –

– You’ve got to be good with spray techniques for best effects. I think I overdid it a bit and applied a big fat coat. The instructions specifically say spray at point blank range but in future I will probably take more time and apply two or three light coats.

– Games Workshop shoulder pad decals are not fit for purpose. I’ve always had problems with these. Nice flat decal, nice rounded shoulder pad. I thought I had conquered this problem by using decal solvent, but it’s still a pain in the butt. Are moulded shoulder pads the future?

– Spray varnishing is very technique sensitive. I went for the point blank heavy coat approach and ended up with some wrinkles on the models. I will be spraying long range and lightly in future!

Overall, I think ‘The Army Painter’ system has massive potential. The products are of very high quality and work as described. However, getting the best results seems to be very technique sensitive so lots of practice is advised. I will continue to use this system as it allows me to get my forces looking decent with minimal effort. More time for gaming!

Tyranid Tactica 1.01

After my rather uncomfortable game last Saturday, I have thought long and hard about how the new Tyranids work in battle.  I have also managed to get another game in in the week (2000 pts), and I’m starting to get a picture of how they work.  So with this I have decided to talk about some of the new tactics that can be used with the Tyranids.  I’ve heard that there is some fuss over the Swarmlord and the Doom of Malan’tai, and for now I will not be adding my voice to these debates.  As my gaming friends can tell you I have a slight aversion to using special characters.  I can see the negative comments coming in right now, but I find that most of the time they are over priced for what they do, and almost never make their points up.  This might be because I tend to play games no larger than 2000 pts; in which case a 250pt character is a bit too much, or that they have been used badly by my opponents.  Also throughout most of the Tyranid’s history there have never been special characters to use.  But this is off topic; back to Tyranid Tactica.

I know I have only managed 2 games with the new codex, but I have spent the past 16yrs using this particularly nasty alien race and feel like I’m in a good position to comment on their latest evolution.  From the two games I’ve played with the new edition I’ve walked away with 1 draw and 1 win (just) and I can tell you now that they fight in a very different way.

The first is the Synapse Creatures.  This has always been one of the defining features about the Tyranid army, that the will of the Hive Mind overcomes that of the lesser creatures.  There are now more synapse creatures than ever before (Hive Tyrants, Tervigons, Tyranid Primes, Zoanthropes, Tyranid Warriors, Tyranid Shrikes and Trygon Primes), giving you at least one synapse unit for each of your unit options.  The new Tyranids however are less dependent upon the synapse creatures than before.  In previous editions any creatures beyond synapse range would have to take a leadership test (LD 5 for most); if they passed then all was well, if they failed then they fell back automatically.  This ment that synapse was both a strength and weakness to the Tyranids, as the loss of synapse creatures caused your army to run away.  In the new edition this is less of a problem.  If the lesser creatures fail their leadership test then they will either lurk (sit there and shoot at the nearest enemy target) or feed (move and assault the nearest enemy).  I’ve found this works really well, as the stuff you want to get into combat will still run forwards and hit stuff.  You do however have less control over your swarm, and your units are no longer fearless.  Loss of synapse is still a pain in the butt, but it no longer means the end of your army.

Secondly is the way Tyranids fight in combat now.  Most of your units are not equipped with assault grenades (in fact only 3 have them – Lictors, Harpies and Carnifexs).  This means that assaulting into cover is often a very blood affair.  I’ve found that you can no longer just throw units in there (that and the Know No Fear rule for Space Marines is a pain) and expect to win.  You have to think more about your options.  There are ways to overcome this; 1. send in a LARGE unit of something expendable (Termagants cost 5 pts each, use them!) to soak up the attacks, and then follow up with a smaller unit of better fighters (Warriors or Genestealers).  The downside to this is that it leaves one of your more elite units open to enemy fire. 2. send in one of the units that does have assault grenades. 3. send in something that has a high toughness and armour save that’ll survive getting hit first.  In combat just make sure that you don’t do what I have done the past 2 games; forget that scything talons give you a re-roll (yes I did forget it again).

Thirdly (and perhaps most controversially) there is the very real option of a shooting orientated Tyranid army.  The Hive Tyrant, Zoanthrope and Carnifex have been the main source of high powered ranged weaponry for the past 2 editions.  Add to that the new Hive Guard, Pyrovore, Harpy and Tyrannofex.  Plus Warriors are BS 4 if you add a Tyranid Prime.  The Hive are fantastic models, with 2 Str 8 shots they pose a threat to infantry and tanks; their T6 means that they don’t get instant deathed and they don’t need to see their targets to hit them.  The only down side I’ve found is that with a 24″ range you wont be able to hit the vehicles you really want to kill (i.e. barrage artillery).  But this is where the Tyrannofex comes in (I’ve yet to try this model) with its 48″ S10 Assault 2 cannon.  The only problem with this tactic is that you are lacking in AP3 weapons, so you’ll still have to get up close and rend those marines.  The other problem is that some of your more powerful ranged weapons (Warp Blast & Lance, Paroxysm, Leece Essence) are psychic powers and are thus vulnerable to psychic hoods etc.

One of the things that is lacking in the Tyranid army is Invulnerable Saves.  Only the Zoanthropes, Swarmlord and Doom of Malan’tai have one.  This can be a bit of a problem as lascannons wound your monsters and Warriors get instant deathed by krak missiles.  But this is where tactics take over.  In second edition one of the ways to overcome this was the way you deployed your army.  Use your units to provide a 4+ cover save to each other.  Make sure that the units at the front are large and expendable (30 Termagants is only 150pts), place the medium sized creatures behind those (4+ cover save against krak missiles!) and the monstrous creatures behind them – remember that real line of sight applies for the cover saves for monstrous creatures.  Add to this a unit of Venomthropes (I would recommend a full sized unit of these) and a Tervigon with Catalyst to give Feel No Pain to either the unit at the front or to a monstrous creature thats out on its own, and there you have it, your entire army has a 4+ invulnerable save.

For my closing comments, a thought on monstrous creatures.  I’ve heard some people moan about the increased points cost for these beasts.  I will admit I was taken back with it myself.  In previous editions I would never have had a Hive Tyrant that was over 200 pts, now I have little choice.  I personally feel that the Hive Tyrant is worth the points; it’s a powerful commanding model and is capable of taking on tanks and infantry; especially if you have Hive Guard with it.  Paroxysm is a fantastic psychic power for use against Ork mobs and Assault Terminators.  The Carnifex is a lot of points for what it does, and for the first time I’m coming up with army lists that don’t include one.  I used to always use them as there was little else that could take out a tank, but now there are so many other choices.  I wont stop using them totally, and I’m looking forward to using a brood of them, but I’m just going to try other options too.  I’ve found that the Mawloc is great for initial impact as the best part of a unit is swallowed up into the whole it’s just dug, but with only 3 attacks it can get quickly overwhelmed if not supported; especially if the enemy is armed with a powerfist.  After using it in both battles I’d recommend sending it off to take out small squads by themselves, tanks or artillery – especially if these vehicles have been left un-supported.

Well those are some of my thoughts for the first of my Tyranid Tactica articles.  I’ll write more as I come up with ideas and try out new combinations.