Brent posted a really interesting article before Christmas, simply with his top tips about anything and everything! Time for a few of my own…
It’s been a while since I last posted, my ‘normal’ everyday life has been rather frantic and pretty much negated my hobby time in the last few months. But, it’s a new year and things are on the up, so following Brent’s lead, I thought I would just add a few of my tips, admittedly some may seem a little obvious to the veteran gamers out there.
Speedy Squad Identification
When you are deploying a large army with a lot of similar units, being able to easily identify which models go in which unit is a good idea. I’ve got a full battle company of Raven Guard, so to distinguish them, the squads are coded using letters A-J, and then 1-10 for each model in the unit. They’re also colour coded, so it’s even quicker to tell them apart in a hurry. The case I keep them in is also coded, so I know which model is missing if I am one down when packing them away!
Quick Urban Basing
Model railway enthusiasts use model ballast regularly. There are different colours and grades at different companies, but a ‘mixed’ one offers a fantastic way to speedily base urban themed forces. Paint a bit of PVA on, dunk the model in, and hey presto. For these models I used Woodland Scenics Medium ‘Gray Blend’.
If you have a little extra cash, and you want something more than just a textured base, then there are a staggering number of people producing resin bases. This hastily painted Kharn uses the Concrete Rubble set from Dragon Forge.
There are more primers out there than Chaos Black and Skull White! For a centrepiece model, I would almost always start at black and work up, but for batch army painting a coloured primer is a godsend. GW used to produce them, but the main leader in this field are now The Army Painter. Here in the UK, I use Halfords primer all the time, it produces perfectly good results and it is cheaper than both GW and Army Painter. Again, this Kharn model was undercoated with Army Painter’s red primer, and him, a Khorne Lord, 5 Terminators and 16 Berzerkers were painted in two hours (which does admittedly show!).
To re-emphasise something that Brent said, pin your models. Really, it is always worth it. You can get really fine brass rod with drill bits from people like FormulaP3 that you can get through the middle of weapon hilts. The WIP Rune Priest shown here has a pin running through the whole length of his rune staff, which would be far too delicate without it.
Buy some spare gaming aids. A spare set of templates, dice and a tape measure sit in one of the little storage compartments in my car since I always seem to forget my main set. They cost next to nothing, take up no room, and can help with that impromptu game you might have one day. Alternatively, I know one guy who keeps a separate set in each of his army cases, so he can just pick up the case, and he knows everything is in there.
Get some different coloured dice. On two levels this, firstly, have a mixture of colours so you can speed roll large squads (for example, “The 16 white dice are my 8 rapid firing bolters, the red is a meltagun and the black is my missile launcher”). Secondly, get different colours to your regular gaming partners, so you don’t get dice mixed up during a game. There are hundreds of places on the net to get odd coloured dice. Also, get ones that it’s easy to see the spots on, it will make life easier for both you and your opponent if you don’t have black spots on dark blue dice!
Shop around when you are buying from new. Some sites offer 10-20% off, but with free postage. Others offer 15-25% off, but you might have to pay a postage fee. Whatever happens, it is cheaper to buy this way than through GW. I’m not going to recommend one site over another as I have yet to have poor service from any of them. There’s a load of links on the BOLS ads on the right of this very page, get exploring.
Let’s face it, Forgeworld make some truly beautiful models, but they can be quite pricey. The price is even higher when you consider the 12-15% delivery charge. However, if you spend over £250, you get free delivery, so if you fancy a Land Raider Achilles, or an Eldar Warp Hunter, see if any of your local gamers want to club together. Something a lot of people don’t know is that if you are ever at Warhammer World, they stock a large quantity of Forgeworld goodies right at the counter, and if they don’t have it, you can order it with free postage. So if you know someone around Nottingham, you could always get them to order it for you!
Weighing down bases
Brent suggested using washers, ideal for plastic, but the ‘slot’ in slottabases can get in the way. The way I’ve done it before is to mix up some sand and a bit of PVA into a paste, and fill all the voids under the base with the mixture and once dry, give it a covering of varnish or superglue to toughen the surface. Alternatively use fine-surface filler (still cheap), milliput (cheaper than green stuff) or fishing weights flattened and cut to shape (hit with hammer and trim with clippers).
I’m currently working on a pre-heresy Space Wolves force for 40k Doubles, and an Executioners force ready for the Badab War campaign. IA10 has landed on my doormat and I can’t wait to get a force up and running. More on that next time.