Why I failed to complete my last army

The Tempest Hawks and why I couldn’t complete an army of them

I have an all too familiar problem. I can’t finish an army.

It started off as a single model for a competition. “Quartered liveries are fun and really pop.” I thought. “People will like this”.

The first one is front right

They did. Not enough to win the competition, but there were a lot of positive comments towards my freshly painted Tempest Hawk.

After finishing the rest of the squad and a unit of Hellblasters the cracks started to appear, and like any good painter, I plastered over the top of them.

Captured in sunlight

In my haste to start painting I had forgotten the lesson I learnt while doing my Imperial Fists. The squad markings only come in white.

I’m still not sure on the red helmet for the squad leaders

This small detail meant that I had to add freehand black markings onto each model. The tactical markings were easy, then came the assault squad logos…

Hours of fun

“But at least I’m getting practice with freehand”. I thought.

This, at least, was true.

I continued plodding through them, getting a squad of Inceptors, a Redemptor Dreadnought and a Sicaran Venator finished before a few sturdy thrashings at 40k convinced me that I should have built the army on paper first.

My second go at trying to make the flight stands work. I didn’t fancy a third.

“But the fun is in the playing not the winning” I thought.

As the Venator I had spent weeks painting was one-shotted for the second game in a row I realised that the key was actually getting to play with them rather than quickly scooping them up.

It’s hard to pick my least favourite experience. It could have been watching models I had spent weeks painting getting wiped off of the board or the dawning realisation that I needed multiple units of Hellblasters and Inceptors (and their complicated markings) in the squad to make them useful.

The transfers were the Reikland Reavers team markings. Painting it on while trying to make it not look goofy was a real issue.

So I remade the army on paper. Adding in powerful units and characters with area buffs to augment its firepower.

Then I realised that only 10 of my painted models found a place in the new army…

Yeap, the unpainted models just blended right in with the scenery.

The final straw was the airbrush.

Image from https://www.theatermakeup.de/en/airbrush/airbrush-evolution-solo-gravity-feed/a-1000126/
The final frontier for miniature painters 

After assembling all the new models ready for a giant batch painting session I discovered that the same paint came out several tones lighter due to being thinned down so much. Pallid Wych Flesh was a pain to airbrush, separating and splattering all over the place. It would need to be undershaded in order to make work.

The quartered scheme also meant that each model would have to have a mask of silly putty painstakingly applied to it before.

Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!

I haven’t touched them in months now.

It’s back to the drawing board for me. I need to hack my painting skills so I can paint faster and better. Without losing interest.

How’s your painting motivation? Have you ever bitten off more than you can chew? How did you fix it?

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2 Responses

  1. I really like the look of your red’s, whats the recipe? Whats the Pallid wcyh Flesh colour like, some kind of offwhite/beige?
    As for the red helmets, I know what you mean. Maybe a dark blue would be better The Fang/Dark Reaper?

    1. The best way to describe Pallid Wych Flesh is that it’s a white grey brown mix. I love it but I had a travel a long way to find an airbrush version to replace it with. The red is a white basecoat (Corax White) with a couple of coats of Khorne Red and a thick highlight of Evil Suns Scarlet. It’s just high contrast enough to stand out on a battlefield. I think you’re right about the blue

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