Pimpcron explores some things you could be doing wrong.
Let’s burn some holy incense, don our robes, and jump right into that confession booth! It’s time that you and Bishop Pimpcron had a little talk.
So, it should be no surprise to any of us that this hobby is a lot more intensive than many others. Magic’s cards are already printed, Heroclix and Attack Wing are already painted, and Pogs come decorated as well. (Geez, does anybody remember Pogs? I had a sweet metal Slammer.) Meanwhile, we literally have to assemble our game long before ever playing it. (Check out 40K: The Hobby That Hates You) But obviously not everybody is willing or interested enough in hobbying to be on the same level. Here’s some sins that I’ve seen in my travels and how you can repent:
This is the most obvious and common one you’ll see. I’m not talking about an army in progress, with some models painted and some unpainted. I’m talking about the owner of said army not even knowing which way to hold a brush. It could be argued that you are making a social contract when your opponent when you play a game of 40k. You both are agreeing to try to simulate a semi-realistic strategic battle using miniatures and terrain. Of course it’s your hobby and you can either paint or don’t paint how you want, but it is really kind of a letdown when you show up with a fully painted army and face a Gray Tide. Here you’ve poured hundreds of hours into your army and end up having the mood killed by someone who has literally put no effort into his. His gets the benefit of seeing a really cool spectacle fighting against him and you get to see unpainted metal and plastic. Obviously, just because you might spend a ton of time on your army doesn’t obligate everyone else to do the same, but it’s a letdown nonetheless.
How To Repent: Nobody can tell you that you must paint your army, but I think the least everyone could do is pick a base color you like and spray paint the whole army that color. At least at that point you have the base colors down and that will make it that much easier to paint if the mood strikes you sometime.
I have been to so many gaming stores that have only a few foam discs of barely painted, unflocked “hills” for terrain. I know that terrain can be expensive in an already-expensive hobby, but what is the point of even painting your army if you put them on a bare board? Or spending all of the time to assemble and paint your army just to have them fight in a landscape that looks like a cartoon? I don’t want to come off as a “terrain snob” but I have the same feeling about people who don’t even try to paint their armies as I do about people who put zero effort into terrain.
How To Repent: I know that money is tight for a lot of people and putting money into their army is the top priority, but it really does kill the mood when your terrain is crap. I would say at the bare minimum you should buy a hill or two, at least one area terrain piece like a woods, and two buildings for terrain from some terrain maker on eBay or something. This will give you the bare minimum of different terrain types that will make your game look better. Of course there are countless discussions on how to make your own terrain (Trash Into Objectives!, Project: Underground Bunker) if you want save some money. As for tips on how to set up a sweet battlefield with terrain theory, check this one out Terrain as the Third Player. Okay, enough website pimping from the Pimpcron.
No Army Transport
Let’s all face it, at some point we’ve done this; or continue to do so. Just have some sort of box or container with a mound of abused miniatures in it, rolling around in there. For my models that aren’t painted yet, I don’t really care if they roll around just a tad because my painted models get first priority in the transport. If there is room after the painted ones are in, then sure the bares ones get in there. But I’ve seen so many people just toss fully painted models into Tupperware containers. Then they just tumble around in there during transport, chipping paint and snapping off spindly bits. Ugh. And while R. Kelly may not have seen nothin’ wrong with a little bump and grind, it makes me cringe. I mean, at the end of the day I guess it’s your funeral if you don’t want to take the time or money to buy or make an acceptable transport for your painted minis.
How To Repent: The very least you could do to keep my heart from hurting when I see you mistreat your models is to buy some bubble wrap for your Tupperware. Put one layer down, cover it in minis, then put another layer down, etc. This will mostly keep your stuff from being damaged and you might look slightly homeless with your ghetto transport. At least you can say you tried. Not very much, but tried nonetheless.
Priming With White
I’m sure many of you “white primers” are gawking at this notion and about to disagree, but hear me out. For experienced painters white can be very helpful, and it obviously can help as a base coat for lighter colors versus black. But for the vast majority of regular skill-level hobbyists, white is a bad idea to start your paint job. I’m not going to get into a huge diatribe about this because I’m sure you can find hours of opinion on it on the web. But suffice it to say, there has been more than one new player that I see them paint their army white, I warn them not to, and they don’t listen. Then three months later they come back and say, “Wow, I started priming with black and it is so much easier!” The reason for this is shading. When you prime black and dry brush color, the color doesn’t get far into the recesses of the model and simulates shading. But when you prime white, then paint your color you want, you have to then add shading through washes, etc. Why go that extra step if you’re new?
Another thing I would not suggest for the average hobbyist is mixing colors for your main army color. The problem is, unless you are very meticulous with measuring different pigments, you will have a very hard time making the same color in the future. Then your army won’t be consistent. One of my closest friends did this with his Tau army and now regrets the fact that his army looks a bit different unit to unit. I know there are plenty of different ways to do it right, but it is definitely not suggested for “regular people”.
How To Repent: Do yourself a favor and create your army’s look around pre-made colors offered by GW or someone else. That way you can always go back and get more. That is, until GW wants to rebrand their paints again and change everything slightly. Psshhh. I still miss my Asurman Blue wash. Some would suggest using P3 paints or Army Painter because they supposedly don’t discontinue paints.
This is also probably something we’ve all done at some point. This shoe box counts as a Land Raider. This salt shaker is my Commisar. These Raisinets count as my Fire Warriors. You get the point. But the problem is when things take a ghetto turn and you never buy the model you are proxying. Like I’ve said in other articles, proxying a Dark Eldar Raider for a Ravager is really no big deal. Or a Rhino for a Razorback. But I know many people who have just never taken the initiative to get the real models that they have proxied for years. And while you really can’t hate on anybody in this hobby who may not have the funds to buy these awfully expensive models, there should be some sort of time limit on proxies.
Grey Knight Paladins
How To Repent: Um, try to get the real models eventually. Or at the very, very least make sure your proxies are good imitations of what you are trying to represent. Try to make sure they have roughly the same size profile for line of sight purposes, and absolutely put them on the correct size base for template reasons.
Not Listening To The Pimpcron
Any person I see not listening to my warnings will be mailed an angry letter and a picture of me looking at the camera all stern-like. I write these things for your own good; Papa Pimpcron is just looking out for you. And even though I know I’m not your *real* father, your mother and I care about you and want you to be happy, Slugger.
What other lazy stuff have you seen?
Want to witness my slow descent into madness first-hand? Check out my blog at www.diceforthedicegod.com