Pimpcron: Rookie Mistakes in 40k Hobby

Pimpcron has some tips for new hobbyists, only some of them relevant.

Hey there, slugger. Uncle Pimpcron has been around the block a time or two, and I have made my fair share of mistakes. Like my first through fourth robot marriages; what a waste of time. And don’t even mention my stint as a saucy puppeteer. I even have some advice that is on topic with wargaming! I’ll list some of the things I see new people do that all of us experienced players wince at.

Buying Too Much At One Time

I see Facebook posts all the time of people diving right into the hobby by dropping $600 at one time. [insert “one-box costs that much” joke here, I’ll wait while you chuckle] While we all applaud your enthusiasm, ya gotta pull it back a little, buddy. There is something in this hobby that you aren’t familiar with just yet. It’s called Workload Overload and is the culprit for a lot of wargamers getting burned out or stressed out over the hobby. We’ve all done it, and nearly every wargamer I know has a shameful pile of unpainted or unassembled model sets tucked away somewhere.

We all have a shame pile, though my contains less fleshy humans and more metallic alien horror.

This may seem odd for a thing like a hobby you do for fun, but most of us get overwhelmed with the sheer number of hours that needed to get all of that on table for gaming. The more time that passes, the more you feel guilty for not doing it, and the guiltier you feel, the more you avoid it. It’s just like the struggle you have with those talons you call your toe nails.

Going Cheap

Dude, don’t paint your stuff with Apple Barrel craft paints; it just isn’t worth it. When I first started I figured that paints from Michaels Hobby Stores were just as good and much better deal volume-wise. But it turns out nearly everything came out semi-gloss and required like three layers just to get a solid first coat on. It is 100% worth it to buy real model paint versus some crappy craft paint.  Now, which brand of hobby paints is entirely up to you with everyone finding the brand they like best. I use GW paints because they are the easiest to get in my area and minus the occasional dry-out due to not sealing right, they do just fine. Vallejo is the other big brand that comes to mind and I love their brush-on primer a millions times over GW brush-on primer. There’s really no wrong answer here unless you ignore my advice and choose crappy craft paint.

See? Two coats of red and the grey still shows through.

Getting Married Four Times

I know it isn’t really 40k related, but I feel it needs to be said. I’ve found that in life, there is a rule of four. So just skip the first four people you are really interested in and settle for the fifth. Also, there was like no time for 40k juggling all of those marriages. So there’s our tie-in to the topic! I pulled it off. It feels good.

Pick A Simple Color Scheme

This also helps avoid the whole Workload Overload disorder. I have seen so many friends fall to the frustration of starting an army with a difficult scheme and then not finishing it or wanting to work on it because it is so difficult. Whether you decided to mix your own paints and now can’t remember how you mixed the first ones, or just chose an insanely complex layering scheme for your army. When starting out, go simple. It can still look good, and I don’t mean cut corners unless you want to, just don’t go overboard. More than likely whatever you pick will need to be painted on dozens of models.

Image result for rainbow 40k

Pretty much anything less than this is good.

The Chicken or The Egg?

Some will tell you that you should build models the way that looks coolest to you, while others will say make sure it is a decent build for the model. My advice is to read the rules and try gauge how effective a weapon loadout is (maybe check online or ask for help) before assembly. Or maybe leave the weapons off if you are playing friendly games and try both ways. But honestly it doesn’t matter how fluffy and non-competitive you are, if you load a model up with silly options you will have a harder time enjoying the game. I once had a new player give his character a Powerfist and a Lightning Claw, which at the time you could only choose to fight with one, and having both only gave you an extra attack. He built it that way because he thought it looked cool. But we all said that it is was way too expensive points-wise to be worth running. He soon realized this too from playing and changed it later.

Saucy Puppet Shows Are In Decline

I have to add that the adult puppet show industry is in serious decline and you probably don’t want to go pro with it. Just stick to amateur puppeteering and stay out of the hustle and bustle of professional adult puppeteering unless you really have a gift for it. Talk about a college degree in something I can’t get a job with.

Related image

I just had to do, didn’t I? Had to google it. I knew it had to be a thing.

~What is a hobby mistake you made when you first started?

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  • Snord

    Not bad – not bad at all. And there’s even some good advice buried in there. I’m not going to ask about the saucy puppet thing…

  • Fergie0044

    yeah the problem about that first point is the wonderful big box sets GW bring out at Christmas. Last year I got the big Ad Mech one along with 2 start collecting sets (seemed to altogether give me a decent ad mech force).
    13 months later and I’m still painting them up. (just one dunecrawler and a half finished dragoon to go!)

    • Hussein Alobaidi

      Good on you for sticking to it!

    • euansmith

      Blimey, just thinking about clipping all of those fiddly little bits off the sprues is enough to give me the shivers.

      • Fergie0044

        The dragoon and rust stalkers are currently tied in my personal ‘worst kit to assemble ever’ list. Eeesh.

        • Mr.Gold

          best thing i have found for assembling AdMech is a pair of Needle-nose tweezers – just what you need to put all the fiddly bits onto the model (as well as getting those transfers in the correct place) – e.g. the steps up the side of the Dunecrawler…

        • Spacefrisian

          Everything is a blessed kit once you successfully put a Privateer Press Cryx metal Harrower together, that thing will fly during assembly and you do need to wash your mouth afterward, cause foul language will be spoken.

    • Frishman

      Oh, good now I don’t feel so bad having not finished mine yet XD

    • PrehistoricUF0

      Did you buy the Extermination Cohort or the Battle Maniple? I bought the Cohort and loved that box – if I had found the Maniple I’d have bought it too but my local store was out.

      • Fergie0044

        I don’t recall it’s name now. It had one of every Ad Mech kit not in the start collecting set and was £100.

    • Muninwing

      i decided to do a whole clan of Iron Hands… then i decided to make every model have bionic conversions or parts… then i decided to use the FW style of painting them… then i decided i wanted to use my custom bases (created with happy seppuku base stamps)…

      long story short, i started this army in 6th. sure i got a Masters, a house, and a child in there, but i’m just now gluing models on their bases. i might be able to play with them by spring…

  • orionburn III

    Good article, Pimpy. After I don’t know how many years in this hobby I still carry a lot of hobby shame. Not quite Cersi parading nekid through town in front of everybody levels of shame, but close enough. I’ve still got metal Kroxigors that have been waiting for nearly 20 years to get finished (This will be the year!!!).

    #2 is also a big deal. We all know this is not a cheap hobby and do what we can to save a buck here and there. Paint isn’t the place to do it, though. I bought my first ever spray can GW paint last month. I had always balked at the price and refused to burly it, but it was for a buddy’s project and it was going to make my life easier to buy it. And you know what? It was worth it. Won’t be a regular thing but sometimes itis worth spending a little bit more.

    • bobrunnicles

      Not all craft paints suck, though – I’ve been using Delta Ceramcoat for years and I’ve won painting contests with models painted with them. You just have to accept that not all colors are going to come out the same and where necessary augment them with more expensive paints (I use GW paints for metals and Vallejo for my Flames of War stuff for example). Oh, and unless you are getting confused and picking up gloss paints by mistake I’ve had no issues with craft paints drying with a shiny finish. Biggest problem I have is with GW paints drying up in the pot!!

      • Darkjedi

        I also use craft paints quite often – Folk Art, Americana, Anita’s, Ceramcoat – and there’s nothing wrong with using them on miniatures. Like any paint, they can be thicker or thinner right out of the bottle, depending on the color. It’s advised you mix on a palette if it’s a bit thick, or use several thin coats (see what I did there?) if the paint isn’t covering completely.

        • memitchell

          Yep, I use paints from Michaels. I do like GW’s Metallics. THE big hint here is to somehow remember what color you used, for when you come back a year later and try to add a new model or two. Or, repair damage.

  • Coltcabunny

    Rookie mistake number 1- you called it the “40k hobby”. It’s called wargaming, which 40k is part of.

    • Pimpcron

      Be careful with labels man, they’re like, your opinion or something man.

  • autonoise

    I can add another one (which I am guilty of), dont be drawn in by the new shiny toy GW has just released, you will either spend a boatload and suffer from no.1 on the list, or you will just have bits of armies that never see the tabletop (or boxed games that never get played). Pick a game system/army and follow through. Once you get further into the hobby a bit of variety can be good but early on it is best to concentrate on one force/game system.

    • eMtoN

      I’m not sure about this one. I bounced between several armies until finally settling on one I really like. Unfortunately my kids did too… which means our gaming area looks like the exhibition center at Warhammer world.

      On second thought sticking with something does have its advantages.

      • autonoise

        I can see that a bit of variety might be useful early on, until you settle on your army. It was based on my experience back when I started at about 10 I ended up with a ragtag of miniatures across various game systems, spending my money on the latest cool thing rather than completing a force (although I had a pretty epic Chaos epic army). Recently got back into the hobby and trying desperately to stick to my 40k force, and have only strayed a couple of times!

        • memitchell

          The opposite of “shiny new syndrome” is trying to be different from everyone else. Yes, NOBODY else has pink Space Wolves, but this can lead down a rabbit hole.

  • tylran

    When it comes to picking the colour schemes, remember that some colours are much easier to do.

    Blue, green and red are the easiest to layer and drybrush and you can just basecoat the model with black, which is the most forgiving basecoat colour. Yellow, very light colours, black and white are the hardest/more time-consuming, first two because you need multiple layers and black basecoat makes things harder for you, the latter two because you need to do a lot of edge highlights and smooth layering.

    • Snord

      Absolutely right. I picked the Dark Angels for my ‘returning to WH40k” Primaris army because there is a nice set of customised pauldrons (no transfers needed) and because dark green is easy to work with.

      • memitchell

        Yeah, but… I chose Dark Angels, and a wonderful dark green base with red highlights. I didn’t’ choose the right red to go with the green. My son calls them Christmas Marines. Some wonderful colors don’t go together perfectly.

  • Simon Chatterley

    All those wasted years mastering the art of adult puppeteering.


    Like sand through Kermits hands. Which took 2 years to learn…

    • Snord

      Nicely put…

    • usGrant7977

      A pupeteering degree? You must be pretty good with your hands. I haven’t heard of anyone having puppet work, but San Francisco has a lot of guys with hand jobs.


  • Marco Marantz

    You should start a relationship advice blog. That was ruthlessly efficient.

    • Pimpcron

      Thanks? Haha. I’m interested in exactly what ruthlessly efficient means. I’d like to know.

      • Marco Marantz

        Well your paragraph on ‘Getting Married Four Times’ basically boiled down to one sentence. It was as succinct as you could get…if you have read any sites, blogs, or articles in mags, including relationship advice, they often blather on and sometimes dont even recommend anything concrete….so your para cut out all of the crap, even any reasoning, and just gave a decisive solution.

  • Bakvrad

    Selling models
    There comes a time, when you think, that you don’t want that one army or maybe just one unit anymore. You might even think you want to quit the hobby for good (ha, you pitiful fool) and you sell the stuff. Mostly with a loss, because no one buys painted models (or even grey ones, just assembled) for full retail price.
    And then it happens: rules change, the new army you bought sucks or your buddies start playing. And you want your models back. But they are gone. So you buy the models again and actually paid more then before (adding the loss and material used on the old ones and needed for the new one)

    Of course this doesn’t happen often, but if you are a new player I feel the chances are higher.

    I myself try to trade armies. If I don’t need something anymore but need something else I love the trade, because I can minimize the loss through the trade (because it’s used modells vs used. So it’s Original price vs Original)

    • orionburn III

      So much this. I have a buddy that is kicking himself in the butt for getting rid of his Ad Mech and Grey Knights models. While he didn’t have a huge collection he wishes he could play them again with 8th edition changes. It’s one thing to get rid of some surplus (how many of us have way too many Rhinos or Pods now thanks to 7th?) and trade for other things, but I for one won’t ever sell an entire army again. Part of why I put so much time & thought into starting anything new.

      • euansmith

        Wait ’til 9th comes out with Rhinolanche and Pod-rain.

      • memitchell

        Ten years ago, I bought a painted Ultramarine Army from a buddy. Sold it back to him last fall. He remembers he sold it to me for $25 less than I sold it back. I don’t remember, he’s probably right. I told him it was a storage fee.

  • vlad78


    • euansmith

      That is always the answer. Now, what was the question?

      • vlad78

        How not to buy 53 times the same unit and be able to adapt to each edition changes without having to break your minis.

  • LordKrungharr

    You know for a huge subset of lazy cosplayers, the puppeteering would come in real handy!

  • Frishman

    Picking a white color scheme. DON’T DO IT. I DON’T CARE HOW AWESOME METALICA LOOKS.

    • Ryan Miller

      White color schemes are easy if you know which shades of white compliment (read this as “know when to use off white and stark white”), and use a thick enough to cover the gray but thin enough to not clog details primer.

      • Mr.Gold

        yes but sooo many layers….

        • Ryan Miller

          Two thin coats!

          • Spacefrisian

            Ask yourself, will i see this detail at 50+ cm distance (you wont). Than not apply it, waste of time. Looking at you lens maniacs with 50 shades of red but only seeing red and a whit dot.

          • memitchell

            First, think cream instead of white. Second, you can actually wash white. Then, go back over the main part with watered down white (consistency of milk). Leave the wash in creases and corners.

      • Frishman

        Also we’re talking about Noob mistakes. White should not be your first attempt.

  • marxlives

    Good advice here. Instead of buying a bunch of models. Buy some and the spend money on good tools and paints. Because if you got those items and with practice you can make decent sculpts looks amazing.

  • The8foldpath

    i used humbrol paints on my first minis

  • SiberianVI

    Lion El Johnson was here.

  • memitchell

    Some Newbs are naturals. Their very FIRST minis put the rest of us us to shame. DON’T be that guy!