Tuesday, May 14, 2013

WIP: Border Patrol

With the release of the High Elf book, I have fallen back in love with Fantasy. There is an element of Fantasy that I really enjoy, and that is deploying a full army painted and nicely ranked up in their formations. It takes me back to those days when I first spotted through the glass panel of a store in Bangsar Shopping Centre, Malaysia a full Empire Army with the original steam tank.

Saw a unit very similar to this fully ranked up. I was 14 years old and that seed stuck in my head

A fully painted steam tank of the 90's
This idea stuck in my head for the longest time so I started Warhammer Fantasy in 1994 with a few friends. My first army was of course the High Elves which was part of the starter. In my mind I wanted to collect an army that I could lay out similar to this picture:
Ranks and ranks of men, fighting for their lives
When I first played the High Elves I realised that I could never really get a horde going at the 2000 point level. Thankfully, Fantasy has escalated to 2700 points these days. With the starter that Sam generously gave me back in 2004, the Orcs and Goblins were assembled. If you have been a follower of this blog, you would have seen other previous posts getting my army ready for the Blood for the Badlands campaign last year. Unfortunately that campaign suffered the same commitment issues most game groups encounter and was not able to go beyond 2 turns.

Nonetheless, the recent High Elf release has brought me back to Fantasy in a long about way. My wife loves them. The High Elves are beautiful and some say a little girly. I was more than happy to share them with her and take the ugly Orcs to battle once more!

To start, I wanted her to learn the basics so have built two 500 point armies. Coincidentally, our gaming group is keen to get back into Fantasy so have all agreed to build 500 point armies to clash.

I am using the blog to again keep track of my progress and serve me targets and reminders to get me to finish this army up.

This is the full 500 points, assembled and in various stages of completion. 
I went with 3 main units, one to distract, one to hold and one to hit.

Have just started base coating the Savage Orc Big Boss

Distraction unit ready to go. Just completed their rebasing

Working on this unit in tandem with the Warboss. I have completed majority of the miniatures to Level 1 while I work to get them to Level 3 for the front ranks. I have loads to do but I love the detailing bit, working in the colours to the raised muscles and teeth.
On the subject of time and effort, I believe many of us are busy adults with children and work. I find that I work best when I allot myself a fix amount of time, say 1 hour to hobby. I called it Hobby Hour. In this hour I make the best of the time and never procrastinate since I know I only have one hour. As I paint the first guy, I ask myself, what is the next step and what is the step after that - ensuring I never waste one precious moment. It also helps that you build the army list as that becomes your target.

Remember, you want to get the army on the table. Here are my top tips to get them ready fast:

  1. Base all your minis with sand BEFORE you basecoat your minis
  2. Basecoat your mini black - it will save you a lot of time shading
  3. Go in with the a lighter colour and then use WASHES. They are every gamer's dream come true. These washes save time and make you look pro fast. 
  4. Paint in batches of 3 to 5, depending on how much you can finish before the first mini dries out - this is important so that you can feel the sense of completion
  5. Break down your levels of painting - tabletop quality (Level 1), detailed (Level 2), full highlights (Level 3)
  6. Reward yourself with characters and unit champions, musicians and standards to break the monotony of painting 30 men. Every 5 men rewards you with the right to paint a unit champion. 
Hope the tips above help. That's how I got through the unit below! 

Remember to come up with a simple scheme that you can work quickly to raise the army of your dreams


  1. Many thanks for displaying my Steam Tank on your article! Glad you like it as much as I do! I have lost most of my photos since then due to a catastrophic format, where did you find the picture?

    1. You're welcomed! I found your picture on Google actually. I was looking for a good steam tank and yours stood out. Do check back regularly

    2. Thanks again! you really woke up some great memories here... enough to make me reconsider picking up my Empire army. I will definitely check back! Cheers!

    3. Then come share your Empire army with us!

  2. Thanks Ray, for the touching and inspiring article.

    Looking forward to your battlerep this Saturday! Have fun, guys and gal :)

    1. Lol thanks Krom! Hopefully your girl will learn warhammer too



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