Friday, 14 September 2012

Clash of Kings! (Part 1)

Huzzah!  The family have been packed of to the Abyss for the weekend (Mersea Island...) and so I think it's high time I actually got around to painting my Orc army for Mantic's Clash of Kings tournament which is coming up in February.

Now, let me start by saying this:  The tournament requires a fully-painted 1800pt army.  I currently own around a hundred and fifty un-painted plastic orcs (unassembled in some cases!) and this will take me to about 1200pts.  Not a problem though because Mantic's minis are, despite being fantastic, some of the most inexpensive wargaming miniatures on the market.  I thoroughly plan on buying lots of Gore Riders soon to bulk up the rest of the force, but at the moment I only have foot troops.

But anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that this will be a big job to get them all done.

Now, the orc Flagger you see above took about two weeks to paint, but there is no way I can spend that much time painting rank and file to this standard.  Instead, I will be trying out The Army Painter's dipping method.  Obviously, for a gamer whose first love is painting, this may seem anathema to their hobby principles, and it is.  But this isn't an exercise in fine painting, it's an exercise in army painting.

My plan is to basecoat and dip the entire army (excluding characters, which will be painted to somewhere resembling the Flagger's standards) and then, should I have the time before February, I'll go back and improve on the detail, beautify the front ranks, add weathering to the metallics etc.

I'm going to dedicate pretty much 100% of my hobby time to this project from here on in, and the plan is as follows:

Today I hope to finish assembling the troops I currently have, and gravel the bases.  From tomorrow, I will basecoat all of the miniatures (testing the first few with the dip to see how they look).  If I can basecoat ten orcs a day, then in theory my current horde will be ready to dip in less than three weeks.  Hopefully, having a full day to paint tomorrow, I'll be able to make a significant dent in the numbers.  After that, I'll finish the bases on all of them before buying the remainder of my force.


So, onwards and upwards and all that...

Wish me luck!


  1. Well, I never managed to acquire those hobby principles that make Army Painter dipping anathema. I never figured out why some people don't like Quickshade, dipping and such. I have used Army Painter products on about a hundred miniatures since I first learned about Quickshade. I think it's great stuff. I plan to continue dipping every miniature I can get my hands on. I am incorrigible. I have no potential as an artist. There is no hope for me. Good luck with your army painting project.

    1. I think that the problem is that it can be sometimes hard for some miniature painters to recognise that spending forty-plus hours painting and basing a single miniature to perfection is a completely different discipline to painting an army. That's when you get people sneering at techniques such as drybrushing or airbrushing, or washes or dips. But the thing is, although you *can* (if you want to) blend your paintwork (for want of a better word) to buggery and completely eschew metallic paints in favour of NMM and individually model each base so that every miniature is painted to Golden Demon standard - you *can* do that - but nobody would ever have an army to play with because you simply would not finish it.

      This attitude of 'dips aren't painting "properly"' or are 'cheating' never really sits well with me. What counts is that the miniatures are *painted* when they get to the gaming table. That's the important thing.

      I think in part, that's what this particular project is about. It's about proving to people that you can get a great-looking army using simple and fast techniques.

      This is the first time I'll have used any sort of dips, so any advice would be much appreciated. I'd also love to see what you've come up with so far. Feel free to post a link to any pictures you have!

      And of course...

      Keep on dipping!


  2. I'm totally excited to see you take on an army project!

    Will you still use some of the same techniques like base coat them in mixed colours to keep the same tones then dip and only highlight the metallics with whites?

    1. Ah... Sadly not for the rank-and-file. I'm going to still go all-out on the characters (and hopefully a GIANT!!!) but for the rank-and-file troops, it just won't be possible to do all of that before February.

      The Flagger took about forty hours to complete and the problem with the techniques I used on him is that you *have* to spend that long blending them and working them to get the effect to work. If you take short-cuts on it, the effect is sadly lost.

      Glad you like it though - and keep an eye out in the coming weeks. I've recently painted one of Mantic's human Dreadball miniatures using the same technique, so there will no doubt be a blog entry all about him soon!

      His name is Starkiron Tony, and I'll give you three guesses as to his colour scheme...


  3. Get in mate! I did my kow undead army in record time, 3000pts of the stuff in 5 days... it looks a bit crappy up close but the effect of 300 skeletons, zombies and ghouls all done and based coherently is awesome.

    Ive not tried army painter dip but i do wash most rank n file troopers in badab black so it cant be too far off!

  4. Yeah, that's the beauty of fantasy miniatures. They look awesome when you've got a load of them ranked up.

    Not sure I'll manage five days though!