How to win a painting competition by default

I recently won a painting contest by exploiting one of the lesser-known rules of competition painting. If no one else finishes their entry, then you win by default. Out of an admittedly small group of 7-8 participants, I was the only person who finished painting a ‘Start Collecting’ boxed set in a month.

This was a bit of a shock for me, as I am not the world’s fastest painter; it had recently taken me around six months to finish the last starter set that I bought. I don’t use any special practices such as dipping my models in quickshade, and my tiny, tiny house doesn’t have room for me to swing a rusty spotted cat (look it up), let alone run an airbrush and compressor.

As I was collecting the first, second and third place certificates, I looked around to see tables full of half-painted or bare plastic miniatures. A quick straw poll of the surrounding people revealed the following reasons for the poor show: not enough time, and too many distractions. According to Dakka Dakka’s (an online forum) monthly painting challenge, less than 20% of entrants managed to paint an entry every month last year.

This brings me here. If you want tutorials on “how to paint models”, you can find plenty of them online. Today however, I’m going to present my plan on “how to finish painting models”. Behold, my checklist for maximum painting efficiency:

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Bargain Hunt “40k Edition”

I’m waiting for a nice new painting and photography lamp recommended to me by the guys at Siege Studio to up my painting and camera game, in the meantime here are some Imperial Guard painted by Morat over at Morat’s Miniatures. I purchased these from him a couple of years ago back in 7th edition when Guard had a terrible reputation in the game and he was having trouble selling them on eBay. Times have changed and due to the need for screening units, these are now extremely viable in competitive play.

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Maligning my Malign Portents entry

So as the final armoured Stormcast Eternals get shown off it’s time for a mega post on the entire range so far…  Let’s start with the timeline of events:

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Blanchitsu Stormcasts – Part 3

The Prosecutor below photographed better than expected, I think its something to do with the angle of the miniature and the varnish not reflecting as much. I really should have cleaned up the front of his hammer though.


They really are huge, if I had the time I would go full Dieselpunk on them and add 40k heresy era jump packs instead of golden wings. They are just begging for them.


This guy is a massive failure, I tried to fix the model by removing the excess detail and adding a new head and thats pretty much where the mistakes started. Not only did my greenstuff skills fail to make it look like he’s wearing an ancient helmet but the photo gives the face no definition for some reason.


The highlights for the black I added to him now make him look out of place.

  • Mechanicus Standard Grey has failed me.
  • All hope is lost.
  • Maybe Eshin Gray is the answer.
  • I should have just blended it.
  • Forgive me John Blanche, I have disappointed you.


The sword is photographed in a way which makes it look glowing white in the below photo. I don’t even know how satin varnish works. As far as i can tell it seems to be some kind of photographic Mandala Effect.


God that black background is messy.

I wonder how everyone else did.



Blanchitsu Stormcast

Its done. The Start Collecting box has been painted within the month allotted. I think its about 40 hours work but i’m including mistakes and test colour schemes that were quickly painted over.4BEC917E-713B-4595-8344-C75CE54A2E1B_polarr

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Lets do Stormcast Eternals… Blanchitsu style

For the Malign Portents painting competition I’ve been painting up some Stormcast Eternals. This is a competition to paint up a Start Collecting box in a month which is surprisingly hard given the amount of stuff in one of these boxes. Rather than go full gold and shiny with these guys I’ve gone grimy and dirty in an attempt to create a more Blanchitsu style.


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Imperial Space Marine – Imperial Fists style

I wasn’t sure what to make of this miniature. As a recreation of an “Iconic” miniature in plastic it is a success. As a stand alone miniature it’s a bit of a mess.


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More Imperial Fists

Painting yellow is hard, it took around 10 test pieces to get the base colour and wash right.


The Eavy Metal tutorials are woefully terrible when it comes to painting yellow, either starting with the spray that’s too light or the base yellow that’s too dark. The trick is Yriel Yellow as the base with Agrax Earthshade in the crevices.


Of course the brutal truth of this army is that now Games Workshop have “changed” Space Marines to the new Primaris true scale the older versions don’t look that great when standing side by side. I suspect they will be making the old sculpts end of life over the next few years.


On the brighter side we have a new gloss version of Agrax Earthshade which in theory might make the painting easier if anyone wanted to try this out themselves.IMG_3062

There are painting mistakes here. I probably shouldn’t have done the transfers on the inside of the cloak. and the loin cloth needs to to be cleaned up. He also could have done with the highlights the rest of the squad are missing.IMG_3140.jpg

Not bad for a unit with no highlights on the yellow.

Imperial Fists – Part 1

Note to self: Don’t burn yourself out on your own blog.
Never mind, I’m back now. Have a space marine or five.
The moustache on this guy was pure whimsy on my part.
Note, no squad markings as I couldn’t decide between tactical or devastator squad:
I’m quite fond of the squad number on the lower leg, probably impractical from battlefield purposes but it does fit with the 40k vibe.
The veteran sergeants helmet really breaks the colours up. The Imperial Fists logo is a transfer cut slightly at 10 and 2 o’clock to conform to the shape of the shoulder pad.
Sternguard shoulder pads on the vet means he can be added to almost any squad type without looking out of place.
The blue gradient was created on photoshop and printed out to use as backdrop for the photo. I wanted the retro Eavy Metal photo look but by accident the blue and dark yellow face each other on the colour wheel so really make the figures pop out.
Any questions about the colours used, transfers, colour theory or whatever else you have just pop something in the comments and i’ll get back to you.

Iconic Miniatures: The Pulsa Rokkit

In 2nd edition 40k if there was one model that summed up the role of Gretchen in the Ork army it was this one, the Pulsa Rocket.

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