As every member of the 40k hobby experiences, life has a way of hampering our efforts to get our armies of plastic models painted up and ready to go for the table. Recently I have made it an effort to try and get in at least 30 minutes of brush/modelling time a night.

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I own over 5000 points worth of fully built Blood Angels. The purchases were made at a time when my local group of gaming friends and I were playing nearly every weekend. Lists were being made in spare time and models were being put together in an industrial fashion. This was great for being able to field lists that I wanted to play and actually be able to have the models on the table in lieu of having to proxy load outs and using “counts as” units.

This is all well and good until you get an army on the table that is completely gray, or just a few simple base coats. I am by no means a master modeller or painter, so believe me, the quality of my painted models is not close to the highest standard. I do put enough effort into them so that they at least look decent though.

Anyone who has ever played this game can agree that two fully painted armies, playing on a board with fully painted terrain just gets you into the game so much more. I’ve played many a games where certain movements, situations and combats have caused a pause in the game for everyone to pull out their phones, lean in and snap some dynamic pictures of the battle that was unfolding on the table.

It’s for those reasons why here and now I am making an effort to start getting my armies fully painted. As I stated in the beginning of this post, I own over 5k points of Blood Angels, 750 points of Eldar, Over 4k in Orks and a little over 1k of Tyranids. While just about all of my Tyranids are still on sprues, the remainder of my models are pretty much assembled. The idea of getting that many models all painted and table ready is a pretty daunting task. So how do I go about getting started?

The first thing is I am committing myself to spend at least a half hour a night on hobbying. Whether its doing a little assembly, priming, base coating, adding some highlights or applying some shades. Just that little bit of work a night adds up. Just after two weeks I was seeing the progress accumulate even though it didn’t feel like I was really getting uch done. Being as how I work in the structural steel industry, the majority of my work year consists of long hours, working weekends and the general feeling that I’m at my job more than I’m home. Then once I’m home family takes up most of my attention, especially now that I have a little one running around the house who takes up a lot of what used to be my free time, it can be quite difficult to make doing this a priority. What I had to do was force myself to do a little bit before I get to bed at night. It turns out it’s actually better off for me, it gives me at least a half hour to myself to unwind. Thankfully I have a wife who is very understanding of my geeky hobby interest.

Once I was committed the time to it, I needed to come up with a plan that would be an efficient use of that time. I took 3 of the 4 armies (since that is what I have mostly assembled) and designed small 750 point “patrol” lists for them. Luckily, the group I play with is not competitive power gaming (not that there is anything wrong with it, I do enjoy that aspect of it as well). We tend to run fluffy lists and play maelstrom most of the time. So the lists I was able to build didn’t necessarily have to be super point efficient. This gave me my first “milestone” of goals. (I will be doing future posts on each one as well!) Now I have a clear goal of what I need to paint, and from there on it’s just breaking down the method of getting the army done. As I said, I’m not a master painter. I basecoat, shade spots with washes, add some edge highlights and then eventually symbols, insignias and transfers. I won’t be getting featured in White Dwarf any time soon with them (I tip my hat to you guys and gals that do, your work is INCREDIBLE), but they look good on the table and helps get me more immersed in the game.

While painting or modelling I’ll usually have a podcast going on in the background. Ironically, as I was working on my Blood Angels Patrol the Independent Characters Podcast did an episode all about the things I just discussed, and Carl and the gang pretty much talked about the same things I did as well. They go into a lot more detail and describe techniques and methods for mass painting and such, definitely worth a listen for anyone who is caught in the rut of painting or is interested in learning some new ways of doing things. Check them out at They are one of, if not my favorite podcasts to listen to about the hobby.

What all are some of your methods for keeping yourself progressing or getting out of a rut? Feel free to share in the comments!




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