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!
Servitob tried to steal my thunder, but I shall carry on regardless of his efforts to deprive me of quality posting material. I don’t think anyone can really argue that Games Workshop is the largest and most well-known miniatures gaming company globally. Most of us grew up playing their games before we branched out into the busy niche hobby we call our own. Yet despite this bid for global domination there is a facet of their hobby that continues to provide me with more than a modicum of amusement. Servitob touched on this this morning when posting about the Blood Angels, I am not going to be pigeon-holing my acerbic comments to just a single release though.
The easiest way to sum up this phenomena is the “My Dad can beat up your Dad” axiom.
I don’t know whether this is down to the main demographic that GWs games are aimed for, there are many others whirlpools out there in Internet land where you can read about the trend for marketing Space Marinehammer 40,000 at an ever youthful target market, thereby increasing the possibility of immaturity within the hobby. Be that as it may, you cannot normally strike up a conversation with someone regarding Warhammer ( the one with Elves or the one with Space Elves) without eventually someone piping up with ” Well my unit X (Dad) can beat up your unit X (Dad)”… and this will go back and forth in a never-ending death spiral of paternal combat as comparisons go back and forth like a game of Top Trumps.
I am in no way suggesting that this is present only in the product of the beast of Nottingham, I am sure these conversations do occur with their competitors, however, I tend to find communities for other games to be more mature, perhaps that is due to the fact that we grow up with GW and then move on to other games as we find ourselves distanced from the core group the erstwhile Sherrif is trying to appeal to. I know that we can get very attached to our forces and we want them to be good and come out on top in the hypothetical scraps we enact upon our dining tables. Yet I believe there is another reason for the heated fratricidal debates and this is where Servitobs observations come in… the humble Codex or Army Book.
In every other game I play the forces for the games are all released together, in the rulebook, perhaps being personified as the Robin Hood to our dastardly money-grabbing Sherrif. GW release a rulebook every few years for which we fork over some hard-earned green and then wait eagerly (in no way do we wait patiently) for an updated army book, thus in an infinite feedback loop of rules/army book recycling that continually parts us from our lovely money that our wives would rather see spent on gifts for themselves. No other games system that I see in mainstream production goes with this approach. I imagine the only reason that the northern behemoth gets away with it is due to their size as a company.
Then we also have the fact that each book ends up written by a single chap, often with help from others but there is one name that stands out as the main author of the book, they will also almost inevitably be connected in some way to that army. Rather than having a development team look at the whole thing and work together, they lock a chap who loves his army into the development “closet” and months later out he comes with a fanboy style uberforce ready to decimate all that stand before it. While this may be a very whimsical look at how they do things it may not be far from the truth. Each army book does tend to be written by someone who harks on about how good they are, possibly not the best person to trust with delivering a balanced final product. There is also GWs much maligned playtesting procedure or apparent lack of one, here at 6 Inch Move we readily believe that each army is tested against Space Marines, one of the Horde armies and maybe the Tau, job done, go home, release book to market.
Judging by the quality of armies picked in White Dwarf battle reports Games Workshop’s own staff might not be best placed to deliver what little testing is done. Thus each new book is released to the cries of Internet doom-mongers decrying the dairy based nature of this heinous abomination, how it will break the game and deliver up the spawn of beelzebub himself upon the gaming tables of the nation. As of yet I have not heard of anyone spontaneously combusting due to the brokeness of an army, no, not even Daemons players!
However, once this all calms down the next release is on the horizon and the nerdrage starts again. I know that if GW were to release their armies in the same format as other companies we’d be paying £100 for the core rulebook I believe that at the least they really need to have more than one guy put his name to the Codex rules writing. Although the maxim “too many cooks spoil the broth” I think a few more people lending their talents would be better than the current “lone pillock cocks up an army book” that we have right now. I too will be looking forward to seeing what happens when Servitob fires up his Edward Cullen marines, I might even get him some paint effects that sparkle when they catch the sun. My only hope is that GW try to reign in the creep. Other people manage to crank out balanced and enjoyable products and while I do still enjoy my forays into either Hammer universe, there is still vast room for improvement compared to the competition.
I’m sure every player has heard of it, a phenomenon called ‘Codex Creep’. Whether it is actually true or not is a mystery, but it goes something like this: Every new codex is slightly better than the last. The cynics say it’s so Games Workshop can sell a load of new models. The moaners moan that it is soooo unfair that now their army is obsolete. The people who welcome the new codex are generally the ones who play the army in question, and insist that it’s perfectly balanced and fluffy. Codex: Blood Angels however has caused some controversy in that it is supposedly very overpowered and unbalanced.
I have heard some of the rumours, and even got a chance to look at the hallowed tome. And yes, it does seem a trifle ludicrous in places. I get the impression that the troops are the same cost as the standard marines but are slightly better. Same with vehicles, slightly better. So expect to see a lot of marine players suddenly turn red. Now I know that these statements may invoke some Blood Angel fanboyism. But fanboys, ask youselves – do you truly want a codex which is so overpowered that suddenly your lovely fluffy red marine obsession becomes a group activity? Do you want hordes of Blood Angels power players ruining your immersion? If it is truly as good as rumours would have us believe then potentially most Space Marine players (which seem to be most 40k players anyway) could suddenly be buying red spray paint.
Personally though, I put very little stock in rumours. Sure, some codexes are more powered than others. I’m not sure powered is the word though, maybe easier to play is more appropriate. Most tournament players pack plenty of AP3 so Dante and chums won’t be a great threat to the pro-players. Most weekend warriors such as myself simply lack the will to field a broken army. I don’t think our gaming circle would be as quite as friendly if things started getting cut-throat relying on imbalanced mechanics. A lot of people simply lack the skills and experience to properly use an overpowered army anyway, and the dice tend to level the playing field to an extent.
That said, my red spraypaint and book is on order, just out of curiousity obviously!
To the casual observer the power armoured brothers of the loyalist and chaos space marines seem similar. But which is superior? 6InchMove takes a definitive look:
Armour: Loyalist 4/10 Chaos 5/10
The power armour is what makes the space marine. Unfortunately the average loyalist is happy to wear whatever he can get at Walmart 40,000. If he’s feeling adventurous he may stick a purity seal to his leg. His chaos brother is meanwhile busy adding fashionable tonnes of dangerous spikes, plates, ridges, skulls and helmets of defeated foes to his armour which wouldn’t look out of place on any catwalk. A definite win for the chaos boys.
Team Names: Loyalist 3/10 Chaos 5/10
With names like ‘World Eaters’ and ‘Thousand Sons’ you know that the chaos boys were built to party. The loyalist chapters have either boring or frankly rude names like ‘Crimson Fists’. ‘Iron Hands’? How do they wipe? Imperial records also show a chapter named ‘Rainbow Warriors’. Enough said, the forces of the dark gods win this one!
Close Combat Ability: Loyalist 4/10 Chaos 7/10
Your average loyalist is happy to thump his opponent repeatedly with his bolt pistol, which works when squishing small things like frogs and newts. The chaos boys are ready for a good punch up at a moments notice, and have been known to take clubs, knives, chainswords and brass knuckles on bouncy castles, the rebellious lot! Yet another triumph for the forces of chaos.
Musical Talent: Loyalist 4/10 Chaos 6/10
Loyalists are happy with chanting and the occasional barbershop quartet number, which frankly is never going to get them anywhere on American Idol. On the other hand, chaos marines are like perpetually power armoured Metallica fans, ready to headbang and form a mosh pit anytime their noise marines wail on their stupendously big guitars. A rocking victory here for the spikey boys!
Vehicles: Loyalist 5/10 Chaos 6/10
The average chaos warrior gets to ride around in the spikiest tanks in the universe, which has got to be cool. They also get help from Defilers, which essentially are demonic kick-ass ants on steroids. Loyalists get to ride in melta magnet Land Raiders and four hundred Rhino variants. Beep beep!
Ability To Know No Fear: Loyalist 10/10 Chaos 0/10
Even faced with certain painful death or being eaten by a carnifex your average loyalist will still be thinking about tax returns, kittens, puppies and onions. Faced with similar peril, a chaos marine will be busy thinking about soiling his power armour, running away and screaming like a little girl. Wussies. A resounding win for the loyalists in this category!
Overall: Loyalist 30 Chaos 29
So if you are a busy Emperor Of Mankind and have an uprising of orks or influx of bugs to squish, then you don’t want to mess about. Our definitive assessment shows that the guys to send are the loyalists. Despite ‘talking the talk’ the chaos boys will not be ‘walking the walk’ in the heat of battle because they will be too busy squealing and running away from everything. Wimps.
So this weekend I thought I would branch out a bit and explore, and decided to paint my very own Imperial Fist. My advice to anyone who wants to travel this path is… Don’t! Seriously, yellow is one of the hardest colours to get right. Here is the fruit of my labours (painted whilst watching a really dull England v Scotland rugby match):
1) Undercoat Chaos Black
2) Basecoat Foundation Iyanden Darksun
3) Another Basecoat Iyanden Darksun
4) Wash Gryphonne Sepia
5) Heavy Drybrush / Highlight Sunburst Yellow
6) Gloss Varnish
And I still don’t think it goes beyond a muddy looking gaming standard. All in all, pretty hard work for not much satisfaction. I think if I were to do this again I would simply get some gloss yellow spraypaint to use as an undercoat / basecoat and work up from there.
On a positive note, I did use some decalfix (decal solvent) to stick the decals on with. Games Workshop produce some nice flat decals to fit a nice curvy shoulderpad and I’ve always had trouble getting them to fit. Decalfix basically melts the decal into the pad giving a much better fit. I think in future I will be using a lot more decals to add details.
Now here’s something to get excited about!
It’s not going to be released for a long time yet, but from what I’ve seen so far I am speculating and hoping it plays like the Gears of War series!
Hey you at the back, quit drooling!
How Many Halo Spartans Does it Take to Kill a Space Marine?
Find Out For Yourself! (click here for flash game)
I never knew Berk from The Trap Door was such a badass!
After the recent spat of a few short and not gaming related topics I sat here today wondering what to write about to try to bring the snarling beast that is 6 Inch Move back on topic. After sitting here like a lemon, staring at the screen for hours on end. Then, like a starry ray of light an epiphany came my way a topic so amazing in its scope that it is far greater than the few readers we scrape by with day on day.
What I want to know from you, dear readership, is just what got you into tabletop gaming?
For myself I have to cast my mind back almost 20 years. I can remember the day when I was in the Merry Hill shopping centre, Dudley, in the West Midlands of sunny (yeah right), old England. I was out with my parents and my Dad and I went into the Games Workshop there (it’s now a bank, the store has moved to another section of the mall). I can’t remember too much about that particular visit other than we came out of it with a Space Marine Captain for me (shocking how things haven’t changed over the years isn’t it?) I also remember that my Dad didn’t let me paint it, he painted the dude and I managed to smuggle the backpack with cloak away and paint that. From that first initiation I started reading White Dwarf and grabbing models here and there. Once 2nd Ed 40k was released I purchased that and it was my first real foray into miniatures gaming. I’d played Space Crusade with my family but that doesn’t really count I feel (we always made my mom play the bad guys and I took Imperial Fists as they had access to Suspensors so they could move and shoot heavy weapons).
I played with a guy I knew from school every now and again and that was the only real gaming I did. When I was at High School thing quieted down until a club started up during lunchtime and I went along and we played games of Necromunda. The rest really is history.
Although I have gone through periods of gaming drought I have to say that I now have a stand-out group of friends who make my hobby a joy and spending time playing with them is a time that I heartily look forward to and I hope that they feel the same about me. I’ve branched out into more games than just the Games Workshop fare over the years and there is some cracking stuff out there and I think we really are spoilt for choice.
So, Interwebz, how did you get into the hobby?
*Fiction Based On A Night of Playing Mission III*
It had been a wild party. Sergeant Thumpy was entering his 51st year of service in the Blood Angels, and frankly everyone needed an excuse to have some fun. They had been stuck on this derelict space hulk for the best part of three months and things were getting boring. When Thumpy thought about it, he quite liked his job. But the hours could drag on a bit, and the seconds themselves could be quite dull, but on the whole he was content to be a Space Marine Sergeant of the first company. Mind you, he wasn’t so sure joining the Blood Angels had been such a good move. They were forever posted to these damned space hulks. It’s all they ever seemed to do nowadays. Not like those Imperial Fists who generally spent their days polishing their uniforms and relaxing in some ridiculously luxurious palaces under some weak cover story they were guarding the place. Thumpy had a pen friend in the Ultramarines who often sent him post cards from sunny seaside towns and glorious beach worlds. But not the Blood Angels. More space hulks, more multilimbed corpse nibblers to bash.
The party had reached a frenzy over the course of about three days, and one thing was now certain, the place was a mess. Not a normal alien infested type of mess, but a real booze and curry type of mess only achievable in the absence of females. Not that anyone really cared, except Sergeant Colin. However, tidying up was yet another way to relieve the boredom and satisfy his OCD, so Sergeant Colin had left his quarters with a squad two days ago in search of cleaning supplies.
The radio crackled into life.
“Thumpy, come in, this is Colin.”
“Report, Sergeant.” “Brother Steve has found a janitors closet on deck 3 west, he reports he has found an operational vacuum cleaner.” “Good work Colin, I will tell the men and bring a squad to assist. Thumpy out.”
Thumpy immediately got dressed and assembled a squad from the space marines who were no longer passed out. He picked up his massive thunderhammer and storm shield. This truly was an awesome weapon. He had used it for several years, and it’s mighty power had trashed many hotel rooms and wrecked many hire cars whilst on deployments around the galaxy. Why on terra did the quartermaster issue it to him for hulk duty he had no idea. Within the tight confines of a corridor you barely had room to scratch your armored butt, let alone swing a six foot hammer.
“Sergeant Colin, report.”
“I hear you, Sergeant. Brother Billy Bob is showing us his latest dance moves.” “What type?” “Latin jazz, will keep you posted.” “Keep up the good work, but keep an eye out for xenos.” “Will do.”
Between Sergeant Thumpy and the vacuum cleaner stood a horde of unco-operative genestealers. He would have to bash his way through. Luckily, Brother Keith had remembered to bring an assault cannon. Soon the walls were pasted with purple blood.
“This is Sergeant Colin, we are now at critical dancing mass, and we have you in visual. Brother Phil has found an old set of disco lights and a Girl’s Aloud disc relic and we are really getting down.” “I see you Sergeant Colin, you are quite a mover. We will look for refreshments on our way.”
Thumpy opened a door off the corridor. He could hear the bass bumping and see flashing lights ahead. Behind the door lurked a stinking horror. The stench was appalling. He retched in pain as his nostrils filled with toxic gas. He could smell fried chicken, combined with peri-peri. It was obviously coming from an ancient blocked drain which had had thousands of years to fester. Immediately the music down the corridor stopped as marines stopped dancing and clawed for fresh air. The party was over for now. It was at times like this that Thumpy really wished Sergeants could wear helmets. With only a vacuum cleaner to clean up this mess it was going to be a long night.