A Dark Angels Update and Thoughts on Painting 40k

27 thoughts on “A Dark Angels Update and Thoughts on Painting 40k”

  1. I really do like the green on this guy! πŸ™‚ An interesting read as well! I get the impression there may be a lot of small minded people out there, who are no doubt best avoided and they’re the sorts that would pick faults with a mini either because they’re jealous or because they like upsetting people!

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    1. Thanks, John! It could very well be that those are kind of people voicing these opinions and sadly, a small number of people can ruin the fun for others. It is nice to not have to worry about any of that in this blogging/Wordpress community! πŸ™‚

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  2. Brilliant work mate. I do wonder how much a score on CMON is based on popularity of a sculpt compared to technical skill.

    As for the 40k (and to a lesser degree WHFB/AOS) and MESBG divide, I have seen it myself on numerous occasions over the years. Every hobby I have enjoyed over the years has had similar issues, it seems to be part of human nature. From historical re-enacting to competitive defensive handgun shooting and even sailing.

    And I am guilty of wanting GW to give MESBG more love!

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    1. Thanks, mate! I used to think that CMON was biased in terms of 40k because you often see well-painted Warhammer 40,000 sculpts get high scores but I think that I was wrong or not getting the full picture until recently. I realize now how complicated the sculpts are and how demanding they are. Even a commander or more elaborate MESBG mini doesn’t quite match up in terms of complexity. So if nothing else, painting this marine taught me something there!

      I imagine part of the divide comes from a somewhat selfish desire for someone’s hobby to be the best hobby and I know that is an issue in many hobby communities. I think the fact that Games Workshop makes and profits from all their games highlights how short minded of a way of thinking this is but I think that point has been well proven at this point πŸ™‚ I completely agree that tension between the communities is probably somewhat inescapable and I may just have to accept that.

      I am thinking I will give that new Eomer a go one day and there are a couple of things in the Made to Order that I want so I’m right there with you on wanting more love. GW has generally done great with the new sculpts so I can’t think of any reason why we can’t and shouldn’t get more! πŸ™‚

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  3. Nice post and plenty to comment on so apologies for the lengthy reply. Fristly the figure is coming along great and like John I love that green. I agree that doing similar figures will improve the skill level for that genre but it is nice to do other things too and variety will in my opinion improve your skills all round rather than on certain specifics. Edge highlighting can be tricky at times but dry brushing edges can achieve good results as well I find. Weathering is also a great way of covering the odd mistake here and there and can also make the figure all the more realistic, just depends on the finish you are looking for.

    Ours is a hobby where you have to be a little thick skinned due to the nerdy element of what we do. I certainly wouldn’t take any notice of what others think. What matters is I enjoy what I do and if others do as well then great. Perhaps being older has hardened me.

    Like everyone I like “likes”, who doesn’t? But I get greater pleasure from two other means. Firstsly, I sell some figures on Ebay, ones I can easily do again, not my collection pieces you understand. When someone is willing to pay Β£50+ for a figure it tells me they like my work and are prepared to part with there hard earned cash so I must be doing something right. Secondly, I enjoy entering competitions, well I did before Covid! This represents proper work comparisons with your peers. Win something and you know your work has been judged not simply liked.

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    1. No need to ever apologize for a lengthy comment with me (I was an English major and love to read and write) and I’m glad others are finding it engaging. I didn’t know how it would be received to be honest!

      Thanks for the kind words and I think painting lots of different things is one of the smartest things you can do and I commend you for actually following through on it! I do think I’ll do some weathering before it is all done so hopefully that covers up some of the rougher edges as needed too.

      In my experience, if you’re doing anything artistic, a thick skin is very helpful. You have to look at your work honestly too and look for ways to get better. I think that is something we all struggle with as we put a lot of love into what we paint. I try to have people who are better than me at painting give me feedback and take whatever they say to heart and that really helps too so I couldn’t agree more with everything you said.

      I didn’t realize you paint and sold things on eBay! A good painting friend (who gives me a lot of my feedback) does the same and it is always interesting seeing how his experience with that goes. I’ve had not the best luck doing that but I wasn’t a great painter when I was doing it and I didn’t buy figures that people would want to buy so that might have been my own fault. I do plan on entering in some competitions in the nearish future (Golden Demon 2021) because I think it will be invaluable to see where I stack up among peers and get feedback from high level painters too. At the same time, I’m almost positive that I will be humbled and not do as well as I would like and I’ll be prepared for that. I can and probably should write up an article one day about my experiences on social media and why I’m not keen on it but I’ll save that for a rainy day! Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. It is really great engaging in discourse on enlightened topics like this πŸ™‚

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      1. I enjoy the discussions too. There is always something to learn but that is another part of this fantatsic hobby which appeals. Going to shows is one of the best ways of picking up tips, sadly missing at the moment due to Covid. I’ve never met a hobbiest yet who wasn’t willing to talk about their work. 😊.

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      2. I couldn’t agree more. This is one of the deepest hobbies I’ve seen and there are lots of great people in it too. I think you’re exactly right on how we all like to talk about our work or we wouldn’t be furiously updating our websites/blogs every week too πŸ™‚

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  4. First of all that model is just gorgeous (and I say that as someone who really doesn’t like the stock miniature, it’s one of my least favourites in the recent space marine range and you’ve made it look jaw-dropping). Top marks there, it’s far nicer looking than a Dark Angel has any right to be πŸ˜‰

    I always say that you learn something about your old job in your first day at your new job and I think it’s the same with miniatures. What I mean by that is by going and tackling something outside your comfort zone you shake things up, you start to see things differently and you’ll gain new insights into why and how you were doing things before (and how you could do them differently). With the example about a job of course it’s too late but I suspect that next time you pick up a miniature for LotR or Fallout you’ll see things afresh and have some new techniques up your sleeve that you might not have had if you’d not taken a detour into 40k.

    I’ve got a bit of a stubborn dislike of both CMON and Instagram I’m afraid. With the latter it’s because it seems to be a bit hollow, “likes” are all very nice but I enjoy interaction and conversation, something that has a bit of soul to it. With the former I’ve not been near it in years but about a decade ago when I used to watch it quite closely I thought it was a very mean-spirited community, the whole idea of running hot-or-not for miniatures just seemed weird to me (mind you hot-or-not was pretty weird too…). I never put anything up there myself but I saw people who were really good being slagged off, insulted and given low scores simply because they weren’t already popular, whereas people who were already well-known would put up something and the sycophantic praise would come pouring in. I didn’t see the point in it, and I didn’t see any constructive criticism or encouragement for people trying to get better, just hate for not already being both perfect and famous. Plus the company behind it were dodgy as back then so I swore never to cross paths with them again and until now have stuck religiously to that.

    Aye, there’s some arseholes in 40k sadly (mind you there’s arseholes everywhere aren’t there?). Speaking on behalf of the Necromunda fanbase I can send completely sympathy to the LorR fanbase πŸ˜‰ Back at the start of the year they announced all kinds of awesome looking things, and it’s been radio silence since the Covid arrived, just one announcement to say that some of the things we were expecting have been pushed back (other stuff remains a big unknown). It’s frustrating but I know it’ll come someday and in the meantime there are plenty of people far worse off. I’m a 40k fan too of course (although Necromunda ranks far higher in my mind) but I do have to roll my eyes when I see 40k fans saying “Why do GW even bother supporting Necromunda/LotR/Bloodbowl/whatever? I don’t play it so therefore no-one else does either, QED! Plus it’s been almost half an hour since they released a new space marine, I’m getting withdrawal symptoms, what about me!”

    Anyway, I’ll stop ranting, get down off my high horse and go back to looking at LotR miniatures (now that you’ve got me thinking about them, and reminded me that I too love an underdog…).

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    1. This is really going to expose how bad I am at converting but I had intended to convert this miniature and give him a helmeted head and Dark Angels specific shoulder pads. I bought the Primaris Upgrade kit and didn’t even think to check the mini. He has a helmet on his belt and those shoulder pads cannot be swapped out! Needless to say I wasted some quid there!

      That is a great saying about jobs and completely true in my experience. I have certainly gained an appreciation of the skill needed to paint 40k and it blows my mind that GW makes these insanely intricate minis only for a large part of their audience who are mostly interested in painting them as quickly and easily as they can to get them in games. It is quite the contrast!

      CMON is really antiquated and quite frankly, its past its prime. They don’t update the site at all and the design is becoming more and more out of date. The WIP forums are really supportive and you can learn some new things there (I know I did for several years) but there are some weird interactions when minis get posted for comments and ratings for sure. Sometimes I think people comment and English is their 2nd or 3rd language is part of the problem but I’ve seen cases that run much deeper than that. I don’t know if I’ll continue to post minis there or not. I would like to be ranked there if I can but I think it might be nearly impossible to do so now because so people vote on minis and I think you may need 50 votes at minimum to start having a chance to be ranked. So long story short, I might be on a fool’s errand there but it is nice having a gallery of my better work for posterity.

      There are definitely jerks in every hobby and I would not categorize the majority of 40k players in that category at all. Most are nice and supportive. I think MESBG fans need to accept that COVID is the cause of the delays (other companies are struggling with releasing stuff too) and GW does not have any kind of grudge against their game of choice but having said that, I’m excited for some of the new LOTR sculpts and hope they release more soon.

      I know you’re plenty busy right now but I’d watch any LOTR work (especially conversions) with great interest! I think you’ll find the minis are designed to be as easily converted as Warhammer are but there are definitely possibilities for anyone with the skill πŸ™‚

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  5. The space marine looks fantastic to me, but where is his head? I guess I don’t understand why the head is left off.

    Waaaay looong ago when I went to tournaments for GW, I went for the lotr. There would be like 8 lotr players and 80 40k players. There was a little pressure to put on a good showing for our little game. But I can honestly say I don’t remember getting any flak from the 40k players. Everyone was nice. If anything I was the jerk because I’d be thinking in my head β€˜how can do many people like 40k, it’s such a stupid game.” πŸ˜€

    It’s true that the more you paint a genre or size of a miniature the better you get at it, and then we switch and get all bamboozled. I recently went from painting 18mm ACW (small and simple uniforms) yo 28mm AWI (big and very detailed uniforms) and it was initially quite a change. πŸ˜€

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    1. I don’t think you’re the only person befuddled by that πŸ™‚ I’ve been trying to paint him in “sub-assemblies” to preserve the paint jobs on other parts of the miniature/not lose access to parts that could easily be blocked. For the area around the head, if I glued his head in before painting all of those parts around it, I’d not be able to access them and paint them as well as I would like. I don’t usually use this method but its something better painters than I do so I wanted to try and use it for this guy and I’m glad I did as it has made the process easier and less stressful though gluing fully painted pieces together is a bit more exciting than I’d like it to be at the same time!

      That is great to hear that everyone got along. I think something like 95% of the wargaming community does and it is thankfully a very small minority who cause issues. I probably am giving those people more power or more of a voice than I should but there are toxic people out there sadly. For the record, I can’t see myself every playing 40k. I can’t get lost in the world and it takes way too many models to play so it doesn’t do enough for me.

      I can only imagine how tricky switching scales would be. I suppose I’ve done that a bit LOTR to Fallout or 40k is definitely a scale shift but 18mm just isn’t going to have the same level of detail as 28mm and that would probably drive me a little crazy πŸ™‚

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  6. You must have a very steady hand to do some of the details you do. Do you steady one hand with the other while you paint?

    If you think that LOTR and Warhammer players have comments about each other, you need to look at some historical blogs where people get nasty if you paint the belt the wrong color for the specific battle. πŸ™‚

    Overall, I have found LOTR blogs and places like the One Ring more supportive than just critical, maybe it is just the LOTR mindset/behavior.

    While I came here initially because you were doing LOTR/Hobbit, it doesn’t matter to me what you paint, paint what you enjoy painting. I enjoy reading your blog, it is well written and informative.

    (thanks for the kind words on my work on the onering)

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    1. I don’t have as steady hands as it might look sometimes. I do brace myself against my desk and try to control my breathing (kind of like how a photographer takes photos). Those Citadel paint handles can help you get a good grip on what you’re painting too if you haven’t tried using one before.

      Haha, I’ve heard about these historical wargamers but never had the pleasure of interacing with them! I didn’t address it but I find most LOTR players are very kind and welcoming because the community is smaller and the game has had some moments where it looked like it could lose support from GW.

      I don’t want to get you too excited but I ordered some MESBG miniatures straight from GW and am still waiting on them to arrive so they will be in my paint queue sometime soon. I appreciate your support and kind words as well. I would be happy to read your hobbying outside of One Ring if for some reason the site is taken down or you decide to take up blogging. I try to keep up with OR more to see what you and DaveT are up to than anything else πŸ™‚

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  7. That dark angel looks absolutely stunning. Extremely high quality. You can definitely be proud!

    The fact that most Warhammer miniatures are so intricately detailed has scared me away from picking one up and painting one for enjoyment. I am not a big fan of the setting or lore in any Warhammer game and overall I don’t really like the aesthetic. So I don’t think I’d ever be interested in the game from a collector or gamer standpoint. But I have always appreciated well painted miniatures from those games, especially because they appear to be quite complex. MESBG is indeed much simpler, though also more naturalistic which appeals to me. Warhammer mini’s generally look a bit too overproduced to me, which I think fits the over-the-top setting but that is exactly what puts me off. But I do respect Warhammer as a hobby and enjoy watching painted miniatures.

    MESBG, at least in its earliest inception, was intended as a beginner war/skirmish game, at least according to the designer. Personally I don’t mind, what I like about MESBG is the narrative, getting lost in the world of Middle-earth and I’m not looking for a hyper competitive complex game. But I’ll admit I also like the underdog. πŸ˜…

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    1. Thanks, Gero! Just got to finish him off now which is when it is easy to get impatient πŸ™‚

      I know what you mean about Warhammer and it sounds like we’re of similar minds. The lore is all made up and that is turn off for me because it feels like it doesn’t matter as a result. The models are great to paint but they can take forever depending on how well you want to paint them. I do see Warhammer having a big advantage in that they can be heavily customized even just within a single kit which MESBG doesn’t really offer. But I have no interesting in painting a massive army (especially if MESBG ended up burning me out) and I think Warhammer has wisely become streamlined and simpler because it was too complex in earlier editions and it scared people away so I’d say another point for MESBG. I like the MESBG really supports the narrative mode (even if it requires a massive collection of terrain and miniatures) whereas it has always seemed like an afterthought in Warhammer or that was my impression.

      With that said, I’ve learned quite a bit from painting something different so I’d say try painting a character model sometime as there is a lot to learn and it can be fun to try something totally different than what you’re used to too.

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  8. Great post and a ton of excellent replies to boot, so rather that retread ground already covered above, I’ll just lay in my opinions. The thing to remember is that as far as any kind of “rivalry” that exists, there really isn’t one.
    40k is the most popular, hands down. Everything else is small potatoes, including AoS. LotR/SBG is even smaller. it’s like the “rivalry” between, say, the US Olympic Basketball “Dream Team” and the Phoenix Suns. (and yes, I had to look up to see a lower-tier NBA team). It’s like, same general game played to a high level on both parts, but one is in an entirely different league to the other.
    Any SBG fans (or Necromunda, Blood Bowl, etc) fans who think otherwise are simple deluding themselves and should move past it and deal with the fact that there will be more Space Marines released “this year” (ie, *any* year) than SBG releases combined. Once someone gets past that, they can relax and just enjoy the hobby. It’s not about underdogs or respect. Step outside of the game rivalry for a moment and you’ll see that regardless of the game, non-gamer people will see us all as the same bunch of idiots playing with toy soliders and respect us (or not respect us) equally! πŸ˜€
    And I say this – as you know – as someone with eclectic tastes in toy soldiers.
    Of course, with 40k being so colossal, it also means that with any large number of people there will be proportionately more people who are ignorant and selfish dicks. Particularly on the internet where there’s the safety of distance – the same thing that gives us keyboard warriors in pretty much every hobby pasttime. Most of whom – in the same way as every other hobby wouldn’t say boo to a goose if they were face to face but have their big boy pants on through the net – or in your friend’s case a large enough pack of them to act like a gang of idiot coward bully teenagers. But then, would they say the same thing to you, today, as an adult in person? Or me?
    I doubt it.

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    1. This is a thoughtful response and I appreciate you doing some research on basketball too πŸ™‚ The Phoenix Suns are the perfect example of what you’re getting at!

      I think you’re right that rivalries are silly and should be ignored but it is interesting to see what causes them on social media, for me anyway. I think MESBG might have an even lower profile at GW stores over the last few years too since GW basically doesn’t stock it or they stock very little so any poorly behaved 40k players don’t even have to see it when they’re in a store. I do miss the old days where LOTR minis were widely available in hobby shops! I’d probably even trade a bit of heckling for that πŸ™‚

      With that said, loyalty to anything in a hobby (I think of Xbox or Playstation fans who put down Nintendo games/systems as a good example) is foolish as the company is just trying to make money off of you and nothing is worth blind loyalty. I identify strongly with MESBG (and probably always will) but I try to recognize the strengths of other game systems and the minis made for those games. I think your site is a celebration of being miniatures agnostic and there is always a fun variety of hobby projects happening. My site, especially before I finally dipped my toes into Fallout, was only fun to visit if you like MESBG and I think it hopefully appeals to a broader audience now things to my diversification in hobby interests. So I suppose the Bitz Box has rubbed off on whatever this site is even called at the moment πŸ˜‰

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      1. I think rivalries and loyalties are fine, as long as they’re not taken too seriously. I mean, my “loyalty” shifts from Microsoft to Sony depending on how consumer-friendly each is being at any given time (unlike Nintendo!) but I own all three systems and don’t for a moment believe that any of the three actually care about me as more than a customer and aggregate of consumer data. πŸ˜‰
        When people take them too seriously though is when issues arise, and a lot of it, as I said can be boiled down to immaturity and/or internet. It’d be easy to simply blame internet, but these behaviours predate the internet pretty severely for those of us who are old enough to remember. πŸ˜€
        On one hand, I’d like MNESBG to have a higher profile, but on the other hand, I’m actually pretty good with the release schedule being pretty sedate and not an all-consuming flood as with GW’s other games. We also need to remember that “support” is really interpreted as “new releases” by a lot of people. Despite GW still coming up with new stuff for SBG, and some of it being quite good the thing to remember is that a lot of it is pretty recycled, and aside from new models fleshing out minor characters (and re-releases) it’s been a pretty complete range for a long, long time.
        Just because Figwit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Figwit doesn’t have an official figure and statline doesn’t mean that the keen can’t paint an elf to look vaguely like him and call him that.
        I think the more things you have on your site the borader the appeal will be, but the most important thing is to create the site that *you* want to – and not for others. If I really wanted to smash up the views and hits, I’d almost exclusively be doing GW content, painting guides for GW models (especially new releases and Marines) and rants/commentary on GW’s practices, releases and armies. But that’s not the purpose of my site, nor what I really want to do… πŸ™‚

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      2. Well said! Companies only care when lots of us flock to a rival so you might as well play what you want to play πŸ™‚ The internet definitely enables bad behavior but to use video games again, I distinctly remember people would write into video game magazines just to express sentiments like Sega rulez and Nintendo is for babies! So tribalism is certainly not a new phenomenon and while it can be embarrassing, it is a problem that has been with us for a while…

        Regardless, I would like to see GW upgrade some of their troop kits but I have accepted that they probably won’t ever do that. Those molds are paid for so they’re just going to keep using them and making money. The new character sculpts are have been good to great and while the whole line could be upgraded due to age, it won’t happen so we have to accept what GW gives us. It isn’t a bad thing that the amount of new products is pretty manageable too.

        I couldn’t agree more that the line is more or less complete. Even the supplements they’re releasing are rehashes and updates of older ones. Which is great so long as they’re improving what has been done before (and I think they are). Extra credit for mentioning Figwit, a character I had nearly forgotten about too πŸ˜€

        I can think of Youtube channels that only create the GW-centric content you’re describing and they’re terrible in my opinion. While I’d love to have a really popular blog/website, I don’t think it likely (and I don’t know how you actually quantify that anyway) so I’ve tried to take to heart advice like you’re giving and just have fun with the site. I think it has been working as I always look forward to updating the site each week and it never feels like a duty or responsibility. The fact that yourself and others take time to read it, validates that approach and I’m convinced that is a big reason why I enjoy working on it so much too πŸ™‚

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      3. Yeah, but I mean, Sega does what Nintendon’t – so it makes sense, right? πŸ˜‰
        I think you’re right on the troops being considered done – unless the Netflix mini-series leads to a new resurgence – and I mean like a HUGE resurgence in ME-related content in pop culture, I don’t see it happening – and even then we’d have a new licence, new designs and new prices – in line with the newer kits from the Hobbit or even heading towards AoS pricing per figure…
        Good to see the new direction as well – nothing against MESBG at all, but it’s good to not feel tied down or obligated to stick to one system or game or whatever and have that freedom to take your bruish wherever you feel like!

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      4. Haha, exactly! If there is anyone I know who encourages and inspires others to be system agnostic, it is you mate! I appreciate that because I tend to follow “rules” too closely and need a reminder that it isn’t always a good idea to do so πŸ™‚

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