I love to paint. It’s a therapeutic thing for me. It gives me something to focus on other than the troubles of the world around me, it’s a creative outlet, it provides a sense of completion and achievement. It fuels the hope of in-person gaming on the other side of the pandemic. There’s a strong sense of community, a chance to teach, and chance to learn. That said… it can be overwhelming too.
Look, I get it. I understand. I want to be able to field a fully painted army of space marines against my pal Dave’s Adeptus Mechancus army, or Scott’s Orks, or Tyler’s Night Lords, or, or, or… but getting stuck into a huge pile of grey plastic with pauldron after pauldron after pauldron and all the edge highlighting just makes my brain thunk. Finishing my Flesh-Eater Courts army was a big project for 2020 and it’s a great feeling knowing how much I was able to get painted, but it took a long time, especially at the glacial rate at which I generally paint. Huge army projects are amazing, but they can be a grueling marathon to wade through.
This is why I’m fond of smaller, self-contained projects. Not just things like a Necromunda Warband or Company of Iron army, because those are things that can be expanded upon and, strictly speaking, can never truly be called finished. I’m thinking more along the lines of Guild Ball teams (may the game roll in peace) and Underworlds Warbands. Projects like these typically have up to half a dozen models, give or take, and once they’re done, they’re done.
Take, for example, the Crimson Court announced yesterday during GW’s preview livestream. Four models, each looking particularly gorgeous in their own right (click the pic to embiggen). Most of the warbands are somewhere around $40USD, so not an enormous investment (as these things go). For your money you get a finite, playable squad for the game and their attendant cards, that’s also playable in Age of Sigmar should you already have (or should you later build) an army of the same faction.
More to the point of today’s post, you get a small, characterful project. Each model is unique, so you don’t get the feeling that you’re slogging through infantry. They even come with sculpted bases. You get to experiment with color palates that may not be in your comfort zone, should you wish, without committing to painting dozens of models. Never painted goblins? There’s couple of goblin warbands. Curious about whether you’d like to paint Lumineth? There’s a warband for your to test your brushes on without committing to investing in the army.
More importantly, you can get that sense of completion, that sense of achievement, that can scratch the itch and give you that little boost you need to help you push through your bigger projects.
I painted the Sepulchral Guard awhile back (my beloved Skittles of Undeath) and the Grimwatch were painted as part of my Flesh-Eater Courts army… Maybe, once I’m done with the Warcry and Monsterpocalypse models I’m currently pottering with, it’ll be time to finally prime the Chosen Axes…