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Hobby: Rehabilitating Your Old Armies

3 Minute Read
Jul 21 2011

Hey there readers Psyberwolfe here to discuss with you about getting your old armies looking spiffy and breathing new life into them. Whether you’re doing this for sentimental or financial reason rehabilitating your old armies can breathe new life into your gaming experience.

The Tac Squad Deep Striking into the soak tub

Of the gamers here in Austin Bigred is probably one of the few here who has been playing 40k as long as I (read since Rogue Trader.) I’ve played the Dark Angels the entire time. My models are beginning to show their age. I’m not just talking about old blocky bolters and shoulder carried heavy weapons, but the paint job and basing scheme is really showing its age. When I started collecting Marines GW was basing with sand and painting it green to look like a grassy field. At that time I knew about flock so I decided to save a painting step by using green flock. Over the years this style of basing has become passé especially with awesome resin bases and the grass tufts from Silflor. (Army Painter packages and sells these for a reasonable price.)

#17 X-acto Blade

To remove the old flock off of my bases I just filled a candy tin with water and let it soak for five minutes. Once I let it soak I use the #17 Xacto blade to scrape the flock of the base. Now I’ve done this with bases that have been based with grit/sand. Something to know is that you can only soak flock/sand off of bases where PVA/white glue was used. Once the base is scrapped clean you now have a clean slate. I’m going with the Army Painter Jungle Tufts pack on light brown colored dirt. I was inspired by my trip down to Corpus Christi, Texas and by reading “The Purging of Kadillus”.

Finished Base

The next thing I need to do to this army is fix some frosting issues that have cropped up over the years. My two oldest painted squads have developed this problem and the only common denominator was that they were clear coat protected with some crummy spray on clear coat. Frosting like this is usually from clear coat and thankfully this is an easy fix. I use Liquitex Matte Varnish. I thin the varnish with some distilled water and paint it on the figure. Sometimes it requires multiple coats but it will get rid of the frost. Sometimes the deepest recesses won’t lose the frosting so you can use a little black paint to fix the spot.

Before and after using Liquitex Matte Varnish

The final bit of rehabilitation is paint chipping. When you repair chipped paint try to use the original paint you used or as close to the original. For example the squads I’m working on were painted with the oldest formulation of Dark Angels Green which is different than the current formulation. Thankfully the current formulation is close enough. I fix the chip by painting not only the area of the chip but I also paint over the edges of the chip to help blend the chip out.

So get cracking with your old models.  Just a little work will have you up and running with a revitalized army in no time.

So what army rehabilitation projects have you taken on? Share with us your tips & tricks for breathing new life into grizzled old models.

  • Wargames Gallery 7-19-11