As a wargamer I believe it is important to play with fully painted models.

As players, and friends, we are setting aside time from the day to build a new reality when we play our games. Through the interaction of rules, models, and terrain we are creating a simulation of another place and time.

Everything should support this simulation, perhaps even going as far as damage effects and thematic gaming music.

Or is that taking things a bit far?

Painted models, since they are the biggest part of the game help push this created reality, or help kill it fast.

Have you every played a game against somebody what has a half-built and unpainted army?

Is that a fair use of the time?

NOW I do realize that one size-does-not-fit all and we all approach this wargmaing hobby with different real life pressures of time and ability.

Barring certain circumstances most of us can get our armies up to tabletop standards- three colors, a wash, and some details picked out. I always advice to start with tabletop so you can play painted, and then over time as you have time- maybe over the coming year go back and bring up each model or unit standard.

That aside, regardless of your painting ability and time, there are TWO BIG hobby elements that you can make sure you have covered that will improve the look and visuals of your model independent of painting them…

…and they are easy to mass produce and turn out army wide.

Basing your models is the first hobby-easy upgrade.

Bases, depending on the system show angles of fire, reach of the model, and real-time table space it occupies. Many players just glue the model to the base and play…

..which works.

But you are missing on an easy chance to upgrade and frame the look of your model.

Easy basing options are some sand and rocks on the base, followed by a primary color, wash, and drybrush/highlights.

Another option is just flock and static grass for more traditional gaming models.

Glue, static grass, flock, and done.

Upgrade on the upgrade are bases that have some built up features- like stacking cork board, or battlefield ruins, or even going with scenic bases for your models- which while a bit more costly save a ton of time and just require basic painting.

Next hobby upgrade- a simple simple one is to drill out the gun barrels on your models.

Plastics make it easy, but even metal models are soft enough to drill.

Of course if your army doesn’t have any “guns” you will be skipping that part.

Your thoughts, tips, and ideas on some EASY non paint hobby upgrades for your models?

Simple things to take the visuals to that next level?

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Categories: Blog Post: Hobby


David · November 3, 2017 at 3:13 AM

The biggest tip I can give to making your models look better. Try new things. Don’t be scared to mess up. There are so many videos and forums out there to learn things. So try them. You’ll be so glad you did. From wet blending to dry brushing these all help and the how to is out there. Just have to try new things.

    Wargamer Fritz · November 3, 2017 at 6:42 PM

    Another paint tip that I have found helpful is to have a few test models to experiment on- so if one is painting Space Marines, trade or buy a few used ones, even if missing bits so you can explore on them, and THEN paint your models.

David · November 4, 2017 at 6:28 PM

This is a tip a lot of people don’t talk about enough. I myself completely forgot to mention it. Warped plastic models can be fixed very quickly. Do not try and force the warp back into place by bending it. This will weaken and or break your model. Use a cup of hot water. Be VERY CAREFUL and do not burn yourself. About the temperature a cup of coffee would be. Not boiling but still very hot. Place the bent section of the model in the hot water for about 10 sec. You will see the model unwarp slowly. Now the plastic will feel soft to the touch till it cools down. You now can bend the model back into position and let air dry for a few seconds in your hand and your done.

SanguinaryGuardsman · November 7, 2017 at 5:24 AM

I think a more proactive approach is better. Before painting a single model there are a few simple rules for newbs to follow.

1. Never use pure white for anything except edge highlights.
2. Matte varnish on everything, no exceptions. This way your paint jobs dont get worse.
3. Remove all mold lines before assembly! I hate seeing models with mold lines… makes me want to claw my eyes out.

    Wargamer Fritz · November 7, 2017 at 7:14 PM

    Prime white or black?

    I always prime black.

    Prime grey?

Silas7 · November 12, 2017 at 1:42 AM

I tend to prime grey unless I’m using a color primer.

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