Friday, July 4, 2014

Back to Basics, Part II: Completed Tactical Marines

It's been just over a month since I started my "Back to Basics" campaign. On average, I've finished one Tactical Marine a week, which is downright speedy compared to my usual pace. I tried to work on two Marines at a time, but I ended up taking two weeks to finish both, so I've gone back to working on one model at a time.

I think the one model at a time approach may have finally beaten my real problem; i.e., modelling burnout. Excluding the month I lost thanks to a tonsillectomy and the resulting complications, eight Close Combat Terminators took me nearly four months to complete. A lot of that time was spent wanting to paint or planning to paint instead of actually painting. I just couldn't face painting another pair of legs or another set of arms. When I work on one model at a time, I lose the efficiency that comes with mass production, but I actually enjoy painting and look forward to it as a pastime and not a chore.

Only a few months ago, I wondered if I really needed
meltaguns in my Tactical Squads, then 7th Edition came along...

I've finished four models thus far. Although I have several more primed, they're all equipped with special or heavy weapons. Since I need bolter Marines to fill out my Tactical Squads, I've spent the past week or so preparing to prime about a dozen more.

Sadly enough, these four completed models were primed long before the release of the 6th Edition of C:SM, so their bits are almost entirely from the old Tactical Squad kit. The major exception is the cluster of missiles carried by one of the Marines; this bit comes from the new Tactical box and includes a flakk missile alongside the classic frag and krak missiles:

I didn't really need another Marine with a missile
launcher. I just wanted to build one in a kneeling pose.

For variety, each of these four models uses bits that aren't included in the Black Reach or starter paint set. Specifically, one is kneeling, two of them have Mk VII torsos decorated with a lone skull rather than the Imperial aquila, one has a Mk V torso, and two of them have a studded left shoulder pad.

I can't believe I ever hand painted those logos

I continue to be impressed by Micro-Set and Micro-Sol, which have saved me a huge amount of time on each model. Now that I can confidently apply decals that will fully contour to the surface and completely blend in with the paint job, I'm constantly looking for opportunities to use them.

And as can be seen in the photos, I finally got rid of the old piece of cardboard that I've been covering my hobby table with for nearly three years. I've since replaced it with a nice Fiskars cutting mat my family gave me for Father's Day.


  1. Slow and steady, my friend. One model entirely complete in a week is actually quite a fast pace, if you ask me. Especially if this is being done consistently. I do minor assembly line of 2-3 models to keep some efficiency, but it often takes more than a week to get a batch done, and the opportunities to paint are sporadic.

    Rest assured you are painting at quite a decent pace, and you aren't alone amongst the slow painting crowd. If you ever need a motivation booster, just take out all the models you've painted in the past and line them up. Or even just take a peek in their storage case. I'm sure the amount will surprise you.

    I also chuckled at the ML caption. It may not be very efficient to spend an entire week on a model you won't be using, but this is supposed to be a hobby and a treat, right? You never know...ML devastators perhaps?

    1. Thank you for the encouragement. You find so many blogs and forums where gamers talk about painting up 1500 points in preparation for a tournament in two weeks that it's easy to think you're odd for struggling to paint 28 points in the same amount of time.

      As for the Tactical Marines with missile launchers, I already had one from the Black Reach kit, so now I have two. One thought I had was to take each as part of a ten man squad, divide the squads into combat squads, put half in Razorbacks, and keep the other two halves on backfield objectives. I would use the two missile launcher Marines to attack targets of opportunity and, along with flakk missiles, they could act as anti-flyer backup.

      But mostly I wanted to paint a model in a kneeling position and the missile launcher Marine was already primed.


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