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I have a problem. I've purchased and stuck together the basics (feet, body, arms) of about 1,500 points of Imperial Guard. I've left heads and accessories off as I want to do some extensive converting, but wanted something to play with in the meantime. This includes 4 x Meltavets, 5 Chimeras, 2 Valk/Vends, 2 Standard platoons, 2 Leman Russes, 3 Sentinels and plenty of HWT's. The problem is that I'm finding it really hard to drum up enthusiasm for this army, let alone the motivation to convert and paint it.
I've played a dozen or so games with it and tried out a few configurations. It seems to perform reasonably well against my regular opponents. I'm not really sure what's wrong with it. Perhaps it's the daunting prospect of having to convert or paint well over 100 infantry models and a dozen vehicles. I'm a slow painter at the best of times and I just can't see this army ever getting finished. Hell, it took me over a year just to paint 1,500 points of Necrons. Necrons!
I'm in a real rut about it. I can't decide on a colour scheme, I cant' decide how to convert them. What do I know is that I don't want to do Cadians, I want to make them unique in some way but I'm finding it hard to get excited about.
So what do you do, fellow IG players? How do you get inspired and create unique, individual and creative Guard armies?
I went with a model range I adore, Orks. This gave me lots of conversion opportunities, fluff ideas and a fairly basic paint scheme. The most important thing is the models, what do you want them to look like? WW2 inspires a lot of people, some like savage trices, the list is endless with IG. Once you get the models, the rest becomes so much clearer.
Another reason I went with Ork models is painting, I'm terrible at it. Orks let me go with a drybrush scheme and a dip finish, very easy but looks perfectly fine. I just know myself well enough to not spend a lot of time painting, I hate it and it's not in my skill set.
There have been a lot of snags on the way for me as well, like going back on conversion ideas and model problems but I'm more happy overall than if I'd gone with Cadians. Worth it.
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You did however paint those Necrons white
I get stuck into fluff. If i don't have a theme or a background for the army i just can't do it. Painting the odd character here and there when i'm bored keeps me going. I also find that if i paint the Sergeant first and do a cool conversion on him i tend to do the Squad.
Another thing i do is run two armies at the same time. One i batch paint and knock out quick which gives me something to play with and the other army is the one i spend time on and convert. It's expensive but hey, doesn't bother me!
If I play with an army before it's finished being painted it doesn't get finished.
it's getting started that's hard
it's daunting to know you have to convert stuff before you can play(with finished models) and to paint so many basic units up to your own standards (which for most enthusiasts, is pretty high)
you just need to overcome the daunting feel you have about the converting and get to it.. once you start lining up 5 or so finished models it won't be so hard to keep going
it's similar for painting except for the basic troops it's best to find a technique for your scheme that lets you go at a faster pace such as ignoring trying to paint the grenades different colors or hitting the pins with metal.. just forget about it and move on.
When ever i'm converting or painting i like to pace the final parts out so that batches of models will be finished at the same time.. makes it seem like they get done faster. then i line them all up near where i'm working, lets me see my progress. this is especially helpful in fantasy armies because you can set them up in their ranks and files.
not that you didn't already know all of this but it is always important to remember that it's the thinking about doing it that's so hard. i always feel this way then i have lots of stuff to paint but once i actually start i have fun with it and time starts flying.
nope i am still as hyper about guard as ever, same for bt, if i had the money. well.. you wouldn't stop hearing me going on about how proud of my army i am. after spending god knows how many hours i ahve to spend to make it look decent and to my level of satisfaction.
Whatever gripped you first for guard just think back and hold that though and expand on it, it always helped me...but then again i never painted more than 15- models at once. within a 5 month period.
One Squad (10 mens) and/or one vehicule at a time. I don't assemble all of them at once and when i go on a buying spree i hide the other boxes/sprues out of sight. I start despairing when i stare at too many unpainted/unconverted.
Does mean i have to play lower point limits when i start a new army tho. But hey. At least that way i get them finished without feeling sheer utter despair while staring at 50+ unpainted troopers. (Tyranid friend assembled 4 full squad worth of gaunts/hormagaunts a few months back. He still can't get around to painting them. In his words "So many blank stares... it's... creeping me out!")
So yeah. One squad at a time. I keep the sarges/characters for last as a reward to myself...
Pig Iron Productions makes sprues of heads and helmets that should work well with Cadian models. That would give your army a unique look with little additional effort or cost on your part. Alternatively, you might convert sargeants and officers only; nobody looks at the grunts anyway. I use leftover shields and spears from my fantasy miniatures to make my sargeants stand out.I want to make them unique in some way but I'm finding it hard to get excited about.Use a base coat of medium green or brown, then use light green/brown for detail and then put a green/brown wash over the model. It's easy to do, a little variation will give you a reasonably good camo look and since the colors are close enough you won't have to do too much touch-up. I did this, only I used brown and red; my regiment fluff is that they usually retake lost ground, so they have 'camo' to help them blend in with the mortal remains of their predecessors.I can't decide on a colour scheme
What is your regiment's fluff?
"My tanks have names, my men have numbers." -Col. Edmund Grahvess, 23rd Kronecker Prison Guard
It's ALL about background/fluff/coolness.
Pick something that you thing works well, in the background of 40K, and run with that. Invent your own background, or take something that already exists, or simply modify something.
Run with that! And trust me, it helps if it's a little dark - this is the grim dark future, where some random passerby picked up that glass you'd just decided was definitely half empty and drained what was left. Then smashed the glass. And set fire to the table it was resting on.
That's the world of 40k - so run with it!
Eg: My current project, Ultramar PDF, sounds fairly plain up front. But now I digress - their general has just been executed by a chaplain for yelling at Marneus Calgar for not supporting his troops enough, and this is during the tyrranic war era.
But the catch for the boys in blue? The regiments IS very well known, and liked. They are called PDF, but aren't really anymore - they fight all over the Ultramar Segmentum, and even futher afield. Disbanding them would be a blow to morale, so instead? Keeping the execution secret, they assigned massive amounts of commissars to the regiment (for "training"), rounded up all the general's most loyal troops into penal legion units, and threw them at the forefront of the fighting, to hold of the tyrannid hordes.
Plan backfires a little - most of the commissars actually think it is for training, and thus: to hold off the hordes, they thought it would be a good idea to conscript every able bodied man, woman and child in the process. And were quite successful in the process (albiet with horrendous casualties).
So the regiments fame grows further, and the smurfs are secretly pissed 'cos they get to keep using the Ultramar symbolism.
So: Now I have an army I want to build and play with! Theme? Win whilst taking as many casualties as inhumanly possible!
Last edited by Cadaver Junkie; September 26th, 2009 at 03:25.
"Pickles, the drummer, doodily doo. (Ding-dong, doodily, doodily, doo.)"
Also, you should google "garfield minus garfield". Awesome.
I was really inspired with my IG by the Ciaphas Cain books, they're a great read, funny and full of fluff. You really get a feel for how the guard army operates and my enthusiasm bloomed when I finnished them.
As for the models themselves, I found the basic guardsmen actually rather easy to paint as they haven't got too much detail on them (unlike my empire footsoldiers- GAH!). Some fun conversions on characters/sergeants, a bit of fluff and voilà! a fun army. Mine is based on a small hive world force from a planet near cadia. They therefore use the cadian standard equipment as they have no supplying forgeworlds of their own draw heavily on the styles of cadians and valhallans.
As for your army, whay not catachans? You can do some very "in your face" armies, loading up on things like flamers, heavy flamers and other such jungle weapons. As for a colour scheme, how about having a black army, most armies I see are pretty caucasian so an entirely black army would be very cool.
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I personally play with Catachans because of the variability in their uniforms. This means that I can paint each trooper individually. I have a standard color scheme but the details of each model may be different. That way its not so monotonous.
Also if i get bored I try to make funny conversions with my guardsmen. For instance I absolutely hate putting together and painting heavy weapons teams because they take so long. So I've used the man-trap plant including in the sprue to do awful things to my guardsmen. I have the plants eating ammo, being used as a close combat weapon, and sneaking up behind unsuspecting guardsmen.
My personal favorite is a guardsman meeting a terrible end at the teeth of the man-trap but refusing to go down without first loading his mortar.