Archive for July, 2010

Dark Elf Black Guard Musician Step-by-Step

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Some people asked me how I paint Dark Elves so I got some blank DE mini (a Blackguard Musician) from an old box, painted it up and documented the procedure as closely as possible.

Step 1 – Building, Basing:

Clean the miniature with soapy water and a toothbrush, clean of ANY soap residue. For the most of you, this is old stuff but I still want to mention it. Clean the miniature of any “flash”, mold lines etc. with a modelling knife. In this example, I primed the miniature before glueing it to the base and sanding the base. I usually don’t do that but this thing was rather unplanned and so was I. ;-)

As you can see, the primed miniature is put onto the slotta base (I had to cut the base a little to fit the metal tab into the slot. No big deal.), applied a little drop of superglue and a pebble, then applied PVA glue (mixed with water. Not too thin because I prefer the stuff not to be runny so I go for a mix of about 70%glue 30% water) and sand. Watch out for that superglue. Even your unglamorous PVA-applying brush will take damage when the bristles are clogged up with super glue so wait until the superglue underneath the pebble is totally dry.

I basecoated the face with Foundation Dheneb Stone while the PVA glue dried. This takes a while and you don’t want to paint or prime the base while the PVA is still wet.

[b]Step 2 – Basecoats:
It looks like quite a lot happened here but it’s all pretty basic stuff. The base was primed. I prefer to have bases primed as well after applying rubble/sand/etc. because it makes the sandy surface much harder and you need that when you drybrush it. Nothing worse than drybrushing over the base and having 50% of all the sand on your brush. So prime the base, wait until it’s dry.

Then I applied the basecoat for the base. For grey bases, I like using VMC German Grey mixed with a little black. The basecoat on the base usually takes quite a while to dry. Again, you have to wait until it’s really dry because the moisture of the new paint tends to weaken the PVA layer again. Next thing I did was drybrushing the base in two layers, both mixes of German Grey and White.

The silvery armour parts were basecoated with Boltgun Metal, chainmail parts were drybrushed with Boltgun Metal and the skull-on-a-stick and the skin on the drum were basecoated with Dheneb Stone again.

Step 3 – Washes:
Now we’re applying shadows to these relatively flat surfaces and give the lighter parts their base colour.

The metal parts got a wash of black. I made this wash myself using black paint, water and some dishwashing liquid. Main reason: I was out of Badab Black and my LGS didn’t have any left. Secondary reason: It’s a bit stronger a wash and doesn’t take the shine away from metallics as much as Badab Black does.

The Skull was washed with a mix of Devlan Mud and Black Wash, the skin on the Drum was washed with pure Devlan mud, watered down of course. I water down everything I paint with so if I forget to mention it, just imagine that I added “(watered down)”.

The face was washed with a mix of Devlan Mud, Gryphonne Sepia and Leviathan Purple. It gives the face a very nice, not quite healthy colour with a purple tint that makes it go better with the rest of this rather purple miniature later on.

Step 4 – Gold:

Now it’s time to apply the basecoat for another prominent colour on this guy – gold. Rather often, people ask how to paint Gold and of course there’s not one proper way to paint gold but there is the one golden (hurhur) rule: It’s all about the basecoat. GW Gold of what ever shade doesn’t cover awefully well so you should always use something as a basecoat underneath the gold.

Some like to use brown or even red, I prefer to use metallics to make the gold more shiny. Because if there’s gold, it better be shiny. So for a Gold I want to have look darker and maybe worn in the end, I usually use Tin Bitz for the base and just highlight it with gold which gets you a very stark contrast. I did that on that big Warriors of Chaos army I did earlier this year. On my Dark Elves, I prefer the gold to be more red and more shiny so I use VGC Brassy Brass. It covers very well and overally is a neat brass colour to use.

Step 5 – Gold 2:

After applying the Basecoat of Brassy Brass, I just took some Shining Gold and painted over the brassy Brass. Then I mixed a little bit of Mithril Silver into the Gold and carefully placed some highlights with this mix. This I did two times with more and more Mithril Silver with each highlight. But be warned: Mithril Silver is a powerful colour. If you mix it with Shining Gold 50/50 or something it will just swallow the gold. Don’t mess with Mithril. Just take care that you don’t overdo it with these mixes. If you have too much of those or try to have a very, very smooth transistion between layers on the gold, you’ll end up with pale-looking gold. Really just point out highlights.

The next thing that had to be done was adding a little depth to the gold. For doing this, I mixed some Gryphonne Sepia with Leviathan Purple and inked the deeper parts of the golden sections. You have to take care with this step so you keep that ink strictly on the golden parts. You don’t want some red/purple shade on your silver parts of the miniature (unless you really want to “set a mood”, use “limited palette”, etc. but in this case you won’t really read this anyway), it will make the whole job look messy.

I hope the pictures of the metallics look good enough to get the point I want to make across.

Step 6 – Mithril!

O noes, we upset mighty Mithril Silver by mixing it with a weakling colour like Shining Gold and now it has come to take revenge on the whole miniature!

Well, at least on the metallics. Maybe you wondered why I didn’t do anything with the silvery metallic parts and went straight to the golden parts. That’s because everything get Mithril Silver highlights now and it would have been kind of a waste of time not to do this in one step. So basically, all the armour parts get some edge highlighting and the chainmail parts get very, very, very subtle highlights as well, only on the most exposed/most reflecting parts (or just parts you make up). The most important thing is that you keep your mithril silver watered down. You can get sophisticated now by paying attention to some imaginary source of light off of which you base the reflections on metallic surfaces but this is just a straightforward paintjob so it’s mostly edge highlighting.

it’s not perfect but it suits the purpose and we can repair terrible parts lateron.

Step 7 – Purple Cloth:

Now we’ll start with what we’re actually here for. I started off with a mix of Chaos Black and VMC Royal Purple for the basecoat of the cloth:

Nothing fancy, just a very dark Purple, to serve as deepest shadow, painted onto the cloth surfaces.

But wait! First, I fixed the front armour things a bit using black wash. As you can see in the picture of step 6, there was a little blob of Mithril silver on the lower end of the second to last armour piece on the font of the miniature. The part of the blob I didn’t want was toned down with a glaze of black wash. Just put the wash onto your brush, mix with water and then pull, starting at the point we want toned down the brush from the lighter to the darker areas. Just swipe from the lighter area into the darker area where the wash won’t do any harm. With each stroke, the overly light part will be darkened until it looks okay.

Then, I applied a layer of purple with only a bit of black mixed in followed by a layer of pure Royal Purple.

I tend to choose a colour from a pot to be the mid-colour, in this case Royal Purple, then I add either a darker colour or just black to it to create the shades, add less and less of the darker colour, then the pure colour, then I start adding a lighter colour like Bleached Bone or white (Bleached Bone gets you much softer tones than white, which gets you more vibrant tones). I rarely use one colour for the base and another one for highlights because these colours usually don’t correspond that well, especially with GW’s range of paints. So I mix all shades and highlights.

Anyway, it’s important that these layers of paint are very, very thin. You want them to blend with the layer underneath as well as possible.

Step 8 – Purple, Purple, Purple:

So we just continue highlighting the cloth..

I just added a little LUKAS Acryl Vanilla paint to the purple. Frankly, I couldn’t decide wether I wanted to use Bleached bone or White so I settled for a colour in between these two. I got that paint at a sale at my LGS recently and wanted to try it out. So I just kept on highlighting. Now the cloth looks pretty good already. At this point, you can decide wether you want to use a wash not to tie the single layers together a bit more and strengthen the shades or not.

Step 9 – Finishing the clothes:

As mentioned before, the next step was giving the purple cloth parts a wash.

I used a 70/30 mix of black and purple wash and as always, it looked better after the wash. It’s not an overly thick wash, just a bit to make it look a bit glazed. If this coat dries a bit shiny, nevermind. We’ll apply matte varnish in the end anyway.

So after this wash, I did the final highlights using an 80/20 mix of Vanilla and VMC Royal Purple. This may come a little late but when I’m writing up ratios of mixes… these are all estimations. I don’t use any sort of measurement but from visual judgement.

So I called the clothes finished and started detailling by basecoating handles, leather straps and such with VMC Chocolate Brown.

Step 10 – Detailling:

This step is pretty basic again, just some edge highlighting on the brown parts using two mixes of VMC chocolate bown and bleached bone followed by a little wash.

It doesn’t look perfect but it’s perfect enough for our purposes. If needed, I can fix that later.

Step 11 – The Face:

Now the real fun starts. This is the point where this guy really gets his personality. Is he happy? Is he sad? In pain? Plain stupid? We’ll see. To be honest, I never really know how a face turns out. I usually start with a basecoat and a corresponding wash, as done in earlier stages. Now it’s time to set the final colours and highlights of the face. It’s a Dark Elf, so he better look pale and, as mentioned before, should have a “not quite healthy” facial colour. That’s how I like them at least.

Highlighting was done with basically three colours: Bleached Bone, White and Vanilla. I can’t say much about this stage apart from: Keep your layers thin but don’t load much water onto your brush so take up some of the paint and water onto your brush but wipe all excess off the brush before applying the paint. Try your best not to get the light face colour paint into the recesses (where you do NOT want them) because touching up/”repairing”faces without messing up even more is hard.

What you want to start with is the eyes. An eye can be tricky to paint but the trickiest part is that there are two most of the time. It’s a bit like with…

at this point I just spent a long time trying to think of some popcultural reference about some video game in which at some point you have to fight two bosses at once but the only ones I could think of were these dog-daemon things in Ninja Gaiden and they were actually pretty easy to beat. Then I thought of that Bond movie in which Connery is attacked by these two crazy chicks in swimsuits (Bambi and …the rabbit from Bambi one). This made me think of Kitana and the other chick from Mortal Kombat but I couldn’t think of the other one’s name and you actually never have to fight them both so I had to google something and ended up listening to Mega Man stage music on Youtube. So please, just insert some popcultural reference that makes you feel like we’re all of one generation and have something in common by knowing about trashy tv shows or video games. I really couldn’t think of anything.

Yeah, it totally is like that, eh? Ah, nostalgia. Anyway, paint the eyeball black, paint it white and leave a small portion or “frame” of black around the white part so you have a conture around it. This usually is pretty hard to do but once you get a grip of that, it goes fairly well. Remember, you don’t need a small brush for that, all you need is a good tip. The smallest brush I use is 0 and I only really use it for very small freehands or eyes.

Alright, now we got a white eyeball. Glowy-white eyeballs may look good on certain miniatures but in my experience, eyes with pupils look way better. This is the really tricky part about painting eyes and I’ll be honest: There are days on which it works and days on which you won’t be able to paint a single halfway decent-looking eye. Some people suggest using needles to do pupils. I tried it once but it doesn’t really work for me. Some suggest to use really fine pens or stylos but that’s not painting. Anyway, painting a black point in a more or less appropriate size can be achieved. Next problem: The direction the guy looks. Have a look at the miniature and find out where it probably is looking. (the way heads, swords or guns point usually are an indicator :-) ).

Here’s something important I learned and which helped me a lot for painting eyes: Make them squint. If you want to make two eyes seem to look in the same direction, make the one that’s on the opposing side of the face look stongly in the direction and the eye that is closer to the point the miniature is looking at should aim less in that direction. It doesn’t make much sense but it looks way better, believe me. When painting GW Dark Elves from the 2000 range, you’re really lucky because they have very nice faces with BIG eyes. They’re rather slitted but they are big.

I like painting lips because you can play around with various colours and you can change the facial expression a bit. For this guy, I went for really purple-looking lips. He might wear lipstick which I think is a thing male Dark Elves would do in their vanity. Anyway, when this mini’s face was just basecoated and washed, I never would have guessed that he’s sport such an evil smirk later on. I don’t want to brag because I really didn’t do that much apart from just highlighting the exposed parts but I really like how this guy’s face came out. And I was really lucky that the face worked so well on this step-by-step dude.

Other stuff I did with this step: Highlighting the skull (Bleached Bone, white) and painted the drum’s torso (this one was a bit trickier. VMC Chocolate brown, chocolate brown/Rackham Kanielle Yellow [wtf?, got it in a sale and wanted to try Reckham paints], later highlights with bleached bone mixed in and lots of layers of washes of devlan mud, gryphonne sepia and black).

Step 12- The Black Parts:

As we all know from experience, highlighting Black is tricky. The main reason for that is that GW black dries quite shiny while greys or black mixed with white usually dry pretty matte AND tend to get pretty obvious “borders” when drying (lighter Greys also tend to change colour when drying which makes me not like painting light grey very much). All this could be solved if I used not white or grey to highlight black but blue or something like that.

But I don’t. So I started off with a mix of black and VMC German Grey. Nevermind if the first – in my case usually darkest – layer is applied a bit sloppily with very visible borders and such. I tend to use this first layer mainly to find out where I really have to paint the highlights i.e. where they work best. It’s all trial and error. Especially on a black basecoat you can make up for mistakes pretty easily.

Here you can see the state of the black parts, just the inner cloak really, after the first two layers. It looks messy as you can see.

Step 13 – Finishing the black surfaces:
In this step, a lot got done but nothing especially tricky or clever was employed. It was just plain olf “highlighting black surfaces of different kinds”.

So let’s see. First, I finished the inner side of the cloak by applying two more layers of successively lighter greys followed by a black glaze (very thin black paint, not too much on the brush, with the layers pulled from the lighter to the darker areas) to merge the different layers a bit. Highlighting black is tricky and I think that everyone works out his own way to do it properly over the time.

To be honest, each time I highlight black surfaces larger than let’s say a small pouch, I have to make up a whole new recipe or way to do it so explaining doesn’t help much there I’m afaid. I mean, it’s just adding white to the black and painting the exposed parts with these mixes followed by a struggle to merge these layers lateron. And while you’re doing all that, you have to take care that the surface still looks black in the end rather than dark grey. It’s tricky and some days are just better for highlighting black than others. But with some practice, it’s possible to figure out ways to make it look okay.

Now that I got that cloak off the table, all the other black bits on the miniature had to be highlighted. The shaft of the dagger was pretty easy. Just regular edge highlights with two mixes of black and white, that’s it. It’s not really correct (t should be way lighter on the upper part and darker on the lower part) but we’re not painting for Golden Daemons here, we want to get this guy painted to a respectable tabletop level.

The drumstick was similarly simple to paint. Some time ago, I figured that it’s utter ******** to try to do classic highlighting on black staffs. Rather than doing that, I just painted a lighter stripe along the stick where the light might be reflected (= from where people will regularly look at the miniature) with a mid-light grey followed by a thinner stripe in the middle of the first stripe with a lighter grey. Some edge highlighting on the end of the stick, done.

Now for the hair. Black hair is tricky to paint as well and I haven’t quite figured it out but I think I’m on the way. The thing about painting hair is that you shouldn’t drybrush it unless it’s got a really, really strong texture (like the furs on the backs of chaos warriors or the manes of plastic horses). Take a brush with a fine tip and paint tiny little stripes. They don’t necessarily have to go with how the hair is actually modelled as long as it looks right. So much for hair in general. So why is black hair tricky? Because, like all things, you have to avoid making it look like it’s just dark grey. So you have to take a very light grey or just plain white and paint only where the hair actually reflects light. That’s on top of the head and on the ends usually. The hair as I painted it on this guy is far from being perfect. I think I should have gone for an even brighter tone for the highlights. Oh well, I guess I can fix that lateron. But so much for the theory of painting hair.

Last thing I did was the eyebrows. Dark Elves from this range have beautiful faces but weird, HUGE eyebrows and at first I refrained from painting them all black. I was afraid of getting this guy a huge mono-brow so I looked at to see how others did it and what it looks like finished. This is always a good way to see or estimate how stuff’s going to look like if you’re not sure wether you should do it or not. So I looked at a few pictures and it actually looked good to have the whole sculpted brow painted so I went for it and I like how it came out.

Step 14 – Drum:
Time to take care of the last few bits. I went on to face the biggest of these bits first – the skin on the drum. This was fairly classic layering using mixes of graveyard earth, bleached bone and white. These three are a very good combination and they will help you get most light things done. Prachment, bones, skin, teeth, horns. The layers on this one don’t merge very smoothly because the darkening in the middle is meant to stem from this guy beating it with a stick. He may be a well-trained drummer but he won’t always perfectly beat the middle of the drum skin so the darker parts are a little uneven. If that makes sense.

The sides of the skin were painted in a similar manner with simple edge highlighting of more exposed or elevated parts. The little knobs that keep the skin in place were painted with boltgun metal, black wash and got a highlighting dot of mithril silver. Same with the rings that connect the drum’s torso with the leather strap and the tiara-like ring on his head.

Step 15 – Final Details:
I had a look at my other Black Guard miniatures and noticed I had given them green, crystal-or-something-looking bracer decoration things so I went back and repainted these on this mini accordingly. I painted the little gemstone on the handle of the dagger in the same colours.

There are sooo many tutorials on painting gemstones out there and all of them are good because all of them are basically the same. This article has everything you need to know about painting gemstones I think.

As for the green razor…spike….bracer add-on things, here’s how I painted them: Dark Angels green basecoat, black wash, highlights with a mix of DA Green and VMC Deep Green (lighter than DA Green, less spinach-green, more of an emerald green), highlgihts with a mix of Deep Green and white, final highlights using white. I want this to look shiny. The same colour have been used for painting the gemstone in the front.
Okay, everything is painted now, time to varnish. I use these two products to varnish miniatures:

Vallejo matte varnish and GW’s glossy ‘Ardcoat. (both brush-on) First, I applied a layer of gloss varnish.

After this layer completely dried, I painted the borders of the base black. That’s a thing I only started doing in the past months. I think it looks tidier than using the base’s basecolour and it goves the miniature a kind of “frame”. Then I applied a rather thin coat of matte varnish over the whole miniature. I’m pretty pleased with Vallejo’s matte varnish, it has a nice finish and doesn’t change colours a lot (almost not at all) but be cautious not to apply too much and always water it down. I had to apply two to three thin layers to the back of the cloak until it was really matte again.

Now for one not too good photo of the finished piece:

….and that’s it. Thanks for reading, it’s been fun to make this whole point-for-point guide and I hope that maybe it was of help or inspirational to someone. Please send questions, comments and criticism to The same goes for painting and modelling commission requests.

All of the above material (with the exception of single titles and names that are trademarketed by Games Workshop Ltd., Lukas Acryl or Acrylicos Vallejo) are ©Battle Brush Studios, 2010

Dark Elves and Space Hulk, yay!

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Heya guys,

I just finished painting that new unit of Repeater Crossbows elves:

….well, apart from the Shields and the snow on the bases but both I have yet to acquire. Overall a paintjob I wanted to finish as quickly as possible I have to admit.

So now I’m stuck with the minis I don’t really proceed that well with: Space Hulk (it just gets tedious) and these Death Korps of Krieg Guardsmen which still scare me like no good.

Anyway, here’s the news in terms of Space Hulk. Battle Brother Elvis is finished:

….and the next WIP dude:

Apart from all that, there’s not much to report really. There’s new stuff coming up as always. Some Khorne Chaos Space Marines, a Nightbringer and a large army of Space Wolves which will be painted in a level you have not seen me doing on an army scale before. So stay tuned!

Updates on various fronts!

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Hey guys,

I have been less busy than I should this week but still, I have some nice new pictures of stuff I painted the past few days.

First, I finished two Nightgoblin Fanatics I painted mainly for fun:

These might show up on ebay some time soon.

Then there’s C.A.T. from Space Hulk. I don’t know what C.A.T. does but it’s a cute and weird little thing. You gotta love it:

And another Space Hulk Oddity; Battle Brother Elvis:

He’s still quite a bit WIP but I hope to finish him today or tomorrow.

I also finished the Salamanders Drop Pod:

….aaaand I got some miniatures I want to paint up for myself. As I wrote, all this bruhaha that went along with the release of 8th edition Warhammer Fantasy somewhat made me want to play again so I did what every sensible “GW hobby enthusiast” would do. No, not packing up my army, travel to the next gaming place and just play, no, I bought more miniatures first. ;) So here’s first WIP pictures of my new Dark Elves Warriors With Repeater Crossbows And Shields (shields not included)™ regiment:

Those won’t be painted to some really outstanding or spectacular level because I don’t have that time to invest into these and I want to make them fit the rest of my army. By the way, let me know if any of you has 16 spare DE Warriors shields, either blank or with the “Serpent” icon glued on. :)

On the more bloggery side of things, I had a very nice evening of playing Dominion at the gaming space of my local gaming store (Damage Unlimited in Vienna. GO THERE and BUY STUFF). Dominion is an awesome cardgame which got legions of followers within less than a year.  It’s got three expansions out as well already. The first one is pretty cool and we played with the second one for the first time last night. This one’s really got some nasty cards in it but only adds to the fun. I really haven’t spotted any really game-breaking or totally inbalanced card combinations yet but let me know if you know of any. ;) Apart from that, I was asked to be one of the representatives of Gamezone (that gaming space next to my LGS) at this year’s games festival in Vienna (Nov.19 to Nov.21 2010 at Austria Center Vienna) which I’m sure will be a really cool event.

So, that’s that for now. I hope this update had a little bit for everyone and I’ll try to keep you supplied with as many pictures as possible. See ya and have a nice weekend! Oh, and always let me know how you think I could improve the miniatures I post here. Your feedback is very important to me.

Austrian Warhammer 40,000 Championship [Days 1 and 2]

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Sorry for the belated update, I was pretty beat after the tournament. Here’s a rather long written report of the craziness that went on the past weekend, with lots of (more or less pretty) pictures for you to have a look at:

As you may have read earlier, I was one of the painting judges at the Austrian 40k Championship which took place on the past weekend and went on for two days here in beautiful old Vienna.

At this point I have to clarify somthing because the name “Austrian Championship” is misleading in some ways. First, you didn’t have to qualify for participating, you just had to pay the fee. Second, participating in the tournament didn’t require you to be from Austria. There were lots of Germans one of more guys from Swizerland and some Hungarians were said to come but sadly didn’t.

Day one was just crazy. The room, which originally had been marketed as being air conditioned… well, wasn’t. About 60 dudes, one dudette and almost a 100,000pts worth of miniatures in one room for about 10 hours at an average temperature of about 33°C. Fun times! No, it was alright. The gamers were all very disciplined, there were no outbursts of emotion what so ever, just mumbling on a very loud level and the rolling of dice. This actually was a bit of a problem for one of the people present. To explain this, we have to go a few days back in time…

About three days before the tournament took place, a friend of mine, who is doing an awesome internship at an awesome radio channel, contacted me, asking if I knew of any good “stories” taking place these days and I, more or less jokingly, mentioned the 40k tournament and surprisingly, she was pretty fired up about the whole thing. So were her superiors and that’s how the lady-quota at the tournament went through the roof! She showed up on day one, right at the start of things, stayed for 8 hours at the first day and for six more on the second. That person showed real dedication to her dream job and stamina, running around for all that time without knowing anything about the game initially, trying to get interviews and just good sound snippets throughout these two days to do her 2 minutes and 30 seconds audio report. Quite a task given how much of a visual thing Warhammer is. I was also glad not having been there on my own otherwise I probably would have left pretty early on. Let’s be honest, 40k isn’t the most stirring game to watch if you don’t know the people who play and if they both try to play it cool because it’s a tournament. The organizers were also happy to have “the press” around, rising the profile of the whole event (theroetically at least).

My job as a painting judge wouldn’t require me to do anything before the lunch break in which the contestants eat and us, the painting jury, ran around having a look at the the armies. Until then, there wasn’t anything to do for me. I spent most of the time taking photos of random games, trying to memorize especially interesting armies and sweating.

There were some things I noticed like some teams being present, most of them wearing team shirts. There was a very good mix of armies around. Of course there were quite a few Space Marines of all colours; blue mostly, two Space Wolves and god knows how many Space Marines of various colours who used codex BA. None of them was painted as Blood Angels though. So you could say that I was surprised at how many Blood Angels armies there were but at the same time I was surprised how there was no Blood Angels army at all.

I was glad to see a very nicely painted Dark Eldar army, one or two Grey Knights armies (one of them disguised as Adeptus Custodes), two very nice looking Sisters of Battles armies which looked like identical twins, one being red, one being blue, the list was essentially the same. They even played a game against each other on day 2, which made for a very nice visual experience. Apart from that, there was two very cool-looking Daemons armies. One had the FW Great Unclean One (Pictures: 1, 2, 3, 4; it also had pretty awesome objective counters) the other one had the FW Nurgle Daemon Prince (pictures: 1, 2).

Of course I was especially interested in IG and Ork armies (apart from SoB), that being the armies that I play. Army Choice regulations outruled more than two 5″ template weapons on the board so there were no hordes of Russes or such. Vendettas/Valkyries were very popular of course as well as Chimeras and Hydras. The Orks armies present were pretty mixed. Most had Nob bikers mobs but Army Composition rules outruled having more than 8 of those in your army. The armies had civil numbers of boys, some deffkoptaz, some looterz, some Kans (one list was pretty bot-heavy) and some Meganobz. SoB were mechanized, had three Exorcists each and sister-heavy. Can’t blame them. One of them had a little Stormtroopers gunline as well and I think I even spotted an Inquisitor somewhere.

So after the first few rounds of gaming, most people set up their armies to be looked at by the painting dudes and went for lunch. The organizers had worked out a pretty nifty point system for painting in which points were awarded in various categories (overall style, detailing, basing, conversions, army cohesion and “drool factor” [for especially nice conversions, army generals, centerpieces and such]). The points from all categories combined led to the overall score for painting which ranged from zero (I never awarded zero points to any army, I think the least overall score I gave to an army was eight or so) up to a maximum of 35 (highest score I have was 33 I think).

I tried to do my job really well, having a very close look and thinking hard about each score I awarded. The result was that I was terribly slow so I wasn’t finished when the lunchbreak was over and the next round of game commenced. So I had to run around between tables during the games, judging the rest of the armies that way. Wasn’t much of a problem and I don’t think it affected my judgement but it was a bit irritating.

Day 2 was very different. The weather had cooled off a lot after a rain shower the night before and I didn’t have anything to do there but taking photos and waiting for the final awards. My presence for that wasn’t required but I figured it would be more correct to show up there. I also wanted to see the “spectacle”. So I came to watch the last games and the award ceremony. The last games dragged endlessly but the last few that hadn’t ended in time were much fun to watch because there was some more emotion and good-natured ribbing involved (at least in the games in which both players knew that it wasn’t about making points anymore because they weren’t top of the list anyway). That one last game between Necrons and Night Lords was real fun to watch as the Night Lords player struggled in the last turns of a very bloody fight but managed to turn it into a Draw in the end.

The real final between the leading players took very long and had a referee and one guy to take the time each player takes for his turns (one player has a reputation of stalling). It was Orks vs. IG and was a long and hard-fought battle. Here’s a few impressions in chronological order:

A downed Valkyrie; the looting commences immediately:

After the battle:

…it ended in a Draw.

At some point before that, the prizes were hauled into the room (about 600€ worth of GW stuffs. Guy in the white shirt is an organizer, not a prize of course) while a whole lot of packing-armies-away and post-game banter went on.

Again, everything was very well organized, everything went seamlessly but this event definately is designed with the gamers in mind, not any possible audiences so everything went quickly and orderly but a little anticlimactic. Still, it was a nice (quick) little ceremony with winner’s certificates, handshakes and applause:

As usual with these events, the press was all over the winner to get background info on this player who is rather new to the game:

…the winner of Best Painted Army wasn’t too keen on being interviewed though:

which brings us back to the painting side of things and my observations in this regard: First off, I was pleased to see that really every army was at least 40% painted. some units were just primed though, especially some tyranid units. On one SM army, you could clearly see that it had undergone some design and army theme ideas before the player found his scheme eventually:

…to make up for that, he had some interesting OSL effects on two of the dreads:

The overall level of painting was alright. There were three of four outstanding armies though. Here’s some (sadly not too good) pictures of the winner of Best Painted:

And thus ends my report of the 40k ÖMS 2010 (yes, with an Umlaut, because it’s HARDCORE). Thanks to the organizers and all participants for this impressive event. I made tons of pictures more, so if you want to see them all, have a look here for the events of the first day and here to see the exciting events of day 2. Sorry for the bad quality of many of the pictures. Thanks a lot for looking! :-)

Austrian Warhammer 40,000 Championship [Day 1]

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

Hey guys!

Yesterday I attended day #1 of the Austrian 40k Championship in Vienna. I was part of the painting jury there, which of course was a honor. It also was the first 40k tournament I ever visited (weird, I know) so it was interesting on two levels.

Unfortunately for everyone, day #1 was about the hottest day of the year so far which doesn’t go awefully well with about 60 people in a room with no air condition and little ventilation. On the other hand, this experience once again proved that I’m the only person on earth who sweats. Took a lot of pictures as well, I hope they come out okay. I’ll upload them later tonight along with today’s pictures.

Anyway, it was very interesting so far. Today’s games have already started around 9:00. Yeah. On a Sunday. After playing from about 9:30 to 7 pm something yesterday. These people are beasts! :p I will attend the last few games and the award ceremony today and will report back to you later.
See you then!