The Hobby Trinity

Dom reflects how a non-painter can still enjoy Warhammer

The wonderful world of miniature wargaming is filled with different ways to enjoy yourself.

There is

  • Building / modelling
  • Painting
  • Gaming

Collectively known as “The Hobby ” it is amazing and inclusive. It means a wide variety of people can be attracted to the hobby and enjoy it in their own way. For me, I’m very much a gamer. I love playing hard and being challenged on the tabletop to come up with tactics to overcome my opponent and emerge victorious. I will willingly get sucked into the list building strategy – trying to find as much bang for my buck as possible whilst squeezing as much synergy as possible out of my units.

Is there a more cost-efficient way of getting my gaming fix, which eliminates my least favourite aspect (painting)? Yes there is. It’s called X-Wing by Fantasy Flight Games.

A game of X-Wing from Fantasy Flight in play
Zero painting, maximum gaming.

It’s then logical to ask, “Why continue with Warhammer 40k, or Age of Sigmar?” The answer is the entire package of the game. It’s not simply the mechanics of the game – it’s the hobby in its entirety. The lore, the models, the game, your opponent, the numbers of available opponents, what your friends are playing. They all form pieces of the puzzle that make up my enjoyment of the hobby.

It’s true that I dislike painting, but I love the feeling of placing down a fully-painted army on a good gaming table with an opponent who also has a fully-painted army. Quite the conundrum. Practically this requires me to paint armies, so I try to work out a system that means I can get models done quickly and efficiently.

Dom's Crimson Fists battle Ross' Sisters of Battle
For friendly games, I have no issues playing with unpainted toys – my Crimson Fists on their way to losing against Ross’ Sisters of Battle.

I’ve been lucky in that all my gaming friends are excellent painters and they’ve been imparting their wisdom to me over the years; Use of washes, how to base models, how to hold a brush, what light you should be working under, basic colour theory etc. All these tools and techniques mean that I’ve got better over the 24 years I’ve been involved in the hobby. I like to think that I’ve helped them on the table top with list building and tactics advice for them to put their opponents to the sword – although that may well be wishful thinking!

Side-by-side comparison of two painted warhammer 40,000 models
Left: A Drukhari Archon, my first ever character model I painted over 20 years ago. Right: Terminator Chaplain a more recent character model from last year.

So what tactics do I use for my painting? Well, as mentioned in my earlier post for my first 500 points of this journey, I’m not a session painter. I will do 20 mins here and there to slowly advance. I also know I will never win any best army / model prizes so therefore I follow the 2-foot rule.

Fully-painted Crimson Fists space marines army in Warhammer 40k
My 5th Company Crimson Fists deployed ready for battle and all following the 2 foot rule!

What is the 2 foot rule? It’s simple; don’t worry about how each individual looks – just worry about how a unit looks as a whole from 2 foot away. Have a good basing scheme, don’t make any obvious mistakes, and keep a limited pallet of colours so everything looks tied together and there you have it – a cohesive army that looks good all together on the tabletop.

By Dom

P.S. Why 5th Company Crimson Fists? Simple. The 5th company has black trim on their shoulder pads, so 1 less thing to paint!

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