Monday, February 7, 2011

The Green Marine Conundrum

by SandWyrm

In preparation for last weekend's tourney over at Games to Die For, I decided that I would put most of my effort into finally finishing my display board for the Tallarn 13th. With the hope of pushing past the competition for the first-place painting prize.

This is a shot of my army on the board last November, for the prior G2D4 tourney I attended. I had finished the initial texturing, painting, and wash, but there was still much more that I had planned to do.

I took 2nd place to these Eldar. Hmmnnn... seems a bit drab to me. But Ok, I'll step it up.

Here's a shot of the new board, with the painting and flocking completed. 

And here it is with the building and sandbags. Which of course I forgot to bring with me on Saturday.


I was pretty proud of the display, even without the building and the sandbags. So how did I do in the painting contest? Well, looking at my competition, I saw 2 armies that I thought would give me trouble.

One was a snow-themed Guard army with nicely sculpted terrain and trees on it's board. But It's colors were kind of drab and the brushwork wasn't very tight.

The other army I feared was a large Ork Hoard with a nice, multi-level display board. The boyz were well painted, but the board was a bit too mono-hued for my taste. 

I figured I had the edge, but I also thought that both of these armies deserved to win if I didn't.

So how did it turn out? Well, neither of those armies won. Instead, I took 2nd to ScottyDon't's Vulkan Marines... Again. He also beat me 2 tourneys ago. When my display board was an unpainted white.

This is an old pic from that prior win, but it shows SD's colors. He had a Land Raider and a Rhino or two painted to match. All squeezed onto this small board, with the Raider hanging off the front.

Now, don't get me wrong, SD's army is solidly above table-top quality. I do like it. But I can think of four or five local armies besides mine that I would rank above his in a painting contest. Some with twice his model count. In fact, the last time this happened, ScottyDon't himself said I was robbed.

So... I'm not sure what to think. Does he win the votes simply because people like Marines more than Guard? Bright colors? His personality? I'm really perplexed. What would it take to push the Tallarn 13th over the top? Sure, I forgot to bring the extra scenery for my board. But would that really have been enough?


  1. Personally, I think you had the best army there. I didn't vote for your's since I voted for your army in the last several tournaments we've played in together. I honestly thought you would win anyway, and wanted to give another army I thought was decent some recognition. I voted for the snow themed guard because I thought his display board was very nice, and he had some cool conversions.

    I understand your pain. I thought my Eldar in the last tournament was at least as nice as the one that won, yet I didn't receive hardly any votes.

  2. you should have given out cookies for each vote. I like snickerdoodles, btw. ;p

    It might have to do with people having SEEN your army, and not wanting to vote for it. It could be a 'vote for a home store guy' thing, I dunno.

    The high contrast color scheme does pop, which is perhaps what more people go for.

  3. For me it was deciding between your amazing details and the cool conversions of the temple wolves. In the end the conversions and theme won out for the temple wolves for my vote.

    While your painting is amazing, your actual models are... plain(?) Its guardsmen and tanks.
    The salamanders have special shields on their terminators, and seemingly more variety.
    You need some cool conversion to grab peoples attention and bring them over to notice all of your detail.

  4. ???

    The custom Hellhound and Chimeras weren't enough?

  5. maybe they thought your Valks/Vends should match color scheme (lol)

  6. Maybe would have helped your case if it was specified as a -Painting- competition, not a conversion, stands.. etc..

  7. @Metrosh

    I suppose the Army Vets would at least get why the Vendettas are that color. :)

  8. Sandwyrm,

    For me your army was perfect...and then I saw the last Chimera that was a different shade and ....ugghh! I think the sandbags and building would have hid the Chimera as I barely noticed it the first time I looked thru the pictures. Green does tend to pop more. I have gone back and forth from your army to his almost every tournament. You add more, then he adds more. Painting a landraider takes a lot of work, and his matched perfectly. I am not as good as either of you, but I voted for you the last tourney in the store because of the detail on the faces you painted. This time he got my vote with the Crusader he had on the board and your Chimera situation.

  9. The voting is obviously being done with an entirely different idea in mind than any other painting or presentation contest I've ever seen. I don't have pictures of the other armies, but unless those Sallies jumped leaps and bounds, you got robbed.

  10. Sandwyrm, I meant no offense. Really, you converted too well. As a non IG player, they look basic enough to any other chimera hulled vehicle for me to know they are conversions.
    It's all about perception. More people play or have played against Marines, so they notice the differences more easily.

  11. when you cant tell you where the conversion is, yeah that wins it. i didnt know the frickin display board was judged....ugghh....back to the drawing board.

  12. I had asked before about your color scheme in person, and I love it.. Maybe not everyone gets it though

  13. Funnily enough I had left the two older Chimeras in the list, despite the color difference on one, largely because I wanted people to notice how different the converted Chimeras were.

    Guess I should have taken platoons with some Sentinels and a squad of Stormtroopers to liven things up. :)

  14. @Uberdark

    There wasn't a checklist or anything. The only rule was to vote for your favorite, but not for yourself.

    Display boards are just part of the arms race, so to speak.

  15. I don't get it... your army is AMAZING. Maybe do some conversions on your HQs or rank and file guys. Different poses using green stuff possibly...

    ... and suggest a score card for future tournaments.


  16. Honestly I think you have a beautiful army regardless if you won painting or not. However I really liked those shoulder pads and storm shields they make the army just pop, especially when they are painted well. Plus my favorite color is green.

  17. To be fair, the picture of the Salamanders does not do justice to the army. The camera quality is obviously different.

    That being said, Keith and Scott's armies are a toss up for me. Like I said, I normally alternate between the 2 as they bring new to the board. The Scout Speeder is incredible from Scott's army.

    The conversion work that Keith puts in is absolutely insane! If the Chimera would have been the same it would have won my vote.

    I think I would have voted for uberdark had his army been there. And yes you need a board Uberdark. I have one and it makes my crappy looking space wolves look decent. Escpecially with the new bases that match my board.

  18. I do believe that you sir were in fact robbed. I would like to see the other army in it's full effect before I go on record for this one. The models that I see, while yes yours do look 'plain', they, in my humble opinion, should look that way. Just the same way that Orks should be flashy, and not painted with nice neat lines, the Imperial Guard should look just like the warfare of Great Brittan in the Revolutionary war, that being guys who all look almost identical, walking in side by side to take the prize. That being said, you really paid for it when you forgot your scenery. I'll try to have my board finished here soon, and get down to Indy to show you guys the new World Eaters, pre-heresy, that I have been working on.

  19. Spags is right about the picture quality for the Salamanders. I KNOW that I got lucky to "beat" Sandwyrm's IG as anyone who is at least decent at painting and converting can tell that the army is overall leaps above my own. "If everyone were to be honest then you should have 23 votes and someone else would have 1" is the comment I made to Sandwyrm while the voting was taking place. I don't feel that it was a vote for the local guy kinda thing though. I know a few people that I recieved votes from were new acquaintances to me. As far as the other armies on display I feel that I'm well above the ork army you mentioned as he displayed UNPAINTED models. That = army appearance failure to me. But McGinnis does have an appealing traitor guard army. Sorry you got shafted again Sandwyrm. Honestly every time you are at an event that I attend I find myself saying so much for an army appearance award.

  20. @Scotty I wouldn't make any excuse as to why someone else didn't beat you. I think your army is freaking great and respect you or anyone else that puts the time and effort into an army. Fact is that it was a vote and you got it man. Congrats!

  21. @Nemisis

    Hmmnnn... those Eldar were green too...


    My HQ does contain a conversion. The commander didn't come with legs:


    I'm not mad at you, dude. You won the contest fair and square. I'm just trying to understand this from the perspective of the people that voted. As in, what more can I do to impress?

    Also, maybe we're not thinking of the same Orks. I was talking about the Loota swarm that fought Spag in the last round. I didn't see anything unpainted on his board.

  22. How about banners? seriously!

    I think your army is technically beautiful but it looks like an army, which is kind of boring.

    The bright colours and comic book stylings of armies like Marines and Eldar create drama which is a crowd pleaser.

    Flappy ostentatious colours for your platoons would allow you to get in a range of colours to create more drama while staying true to your gritty realistic look.

  23. Exactly. I don't think anyone would argue that your army is painted (and built/displayed) "better" in terms of skill and effort, and if it was a panel/judged thing, you'd have won by a mile.

    But in terms of what people "like," a realistic looking army isn't necessarily going to resonate with people the same way bright green supermen with shields made from dragon heads, but painted to a slightly lower standard, would.

    It's like asking if some random poppy music of the moment is better than Beethoven--one might be "better," but we also know who is selling more MP3s.

  24. Hey man,
    never went to the comp seeing as i live in Australia, but ill give my 2cents worth since its open forum.

    In terms of colour scheme, i like how you have seperated the imperial navy from the imperial guard. It has to be done, considering all the background infomation out there.
    What im not a fan of here is how the guard vehicles have no camo. Without the camo to break it up its a giant block of colour. Now i know first thought is 'but marines are blocks of colour', but these are guard vehilces. Personally a bit of camo wouldnt of gone astray, be it painted on or some mesh.
    Dont get me wrong, excelent job with the painting, definately worth a first, but just something to think about.

    With your tanks crew and infantry, i think they blend in too much with the tanks in the army. I would say they need to have more variation to them for 1 thing (think of infantry of today and ww2 compared to vehicle and ground crew), because as it stands you cant really see where the crew vehicle ends and crew starts, its just 1 mass of the same colour.
    Specifically with the infantry, while well painted, they dont catch the eye enough, it looks like a solid blob of colour on top of another blob. Well painted blobs, but not broken up enough to pick out detail without spending more time looking at them. Perhaps a lil camo here too would help, or more depth to the colours. Theyre just too flat, need more pop to them to show off your clear ability.
    Also, in terms of comparrison, your infantry look way too clean when put next to the tanks. What i think they need is to be dirtied up a bit more, like weathered soldiers rather than fresh recruits.

    I cant say anything about the display base, or the basing of your miniatures themselves. Its top notch work all round, and ties in the army to the area they are fighting on nicely.

    Now, please keep in mind, this was just my 2cents worth as to what 'may' be the case. The picture of the marines isnt the best, so i cant comment on his work. But hope that gave a diferent perspective to look at things from.

  25. being an avid fan of sandwyrms army. i believe its one that could clean my clock at a tourney, i actually like the muted colors and use of little to no camo. you have to imagine and i think sandwrym does too, that these are tallarn right? that brownish yellow, IS camo, in a world with deserts. i agree however that many times people will grade an army based upon appeal, and such, and many times in a critique, much like when you see a woman/man, for the first time, the first impression is key. looking at colors like yellows or browns generally don't draw the eye, such as a bright red or green. that may very well be your downfall. which in my opinion kinda stinks. if this was golden demon, yeah, yours would probably win, but in the end, players dont grade as much on technical appeal, as do the ones who see something that catches their eye and go WOW. im reminded of losing to dylan gauker a few years ago at gamesday. his tiny squig was painted so well, but mine was popping with bright reds and such, the people who i listened to as they walked by all were talking about mine, but not one person said anything about his, in the end i talked with the judges and they flat out said, look at his seamless blends, and use of zenithal lighting. mine obviously was not using that, and the blends werent as tight. so gauker walked home with the golden demon. i think if you entered this army at say, golden demon, you would clean up. my two cents. and keep goin man, i strive to paint an army as exact as yours one day. :D

  26. Judging from the pics your army is in my eyes something like a million times cooler and better painted than both the Eldar and Salamanders army. Yours is very themed, being a guard player who hate the current chimera design I know the work involved to "fix em" and your painting is very crisp!

    But it would be interesting to see some close ups of the Salamanders, from that single pic they look very basic.

  27. I think you'll have to take pics of ScottyDont's salamanders next time he comes over to the mancave.

    I think the high contrast eye-grabbing is what puts the Salamanders high on people's list.

    also, the vote system is prone to become an opinion poll of what's the most eye-appealing army. There's a lot of variables that can go into an opinion poll vs. a judged competition.

  28. If it's any consolation at all we've quietly saved a few of those images in our "Inspiration" folder.

    Not winning sucks but that's your army. You did that and if not winning puts a dent in your pride then at least you know that you've created something functional and impressive.

  29. Hey Sandwyrm I think alot of people don't know or realize what you do to get your army ready for the table top. Your conversions alone make it stand out. We did have several first-time or "casual" players at that event. And I agree with the others that this just happens in an player choice award. However I do feel that I'm getting better at painting/modeling. Ork guy that Spags played in rd3 is the same guy I played in rd1. During his games he had to use unpainted grunts, but didn't put them out on display board! BTW I didn't think you were mad at me or anything like that, but I do understand where you are coming from.

  30. Ah, he was hiding them! Sneaky Orks!

    We'll take some proper pictures of your army the next time you're over and put them up for everyone to see. I forgot to bring the good camera on Saturday (it was with the forgotten terrain), and my phone wasn't up to the task.

    Also, I never said that I thought you were a bad painter. Your Sallies are simple, but effective.

    However, I feel like a comic artist who did a nice airbrushed cover, only to have everyone in the room prefer a much simpler 3-color ink image from the bottom of page 5 because Spiderman was in it. Spiderman's cool and all, but look at the lighting and the blending on that cover! (...sigh)

    There's been some good suggestions made, which I'll try and incorporate as I prepare for Adepticon and the Nova Open. I want to make good showings at those events, which is mostly why I posted this article. I doubt I'll take best general at either event, but Best Overall (RenMan) at the Open would make me very happy, and painting is a large part of that.

  31. Don't judge me too harshly, my electric was out the night before, I goobed the list contents, and I'd rather be wsywig than sub in two shootas for two choppa/sluggas.

  32. Hmmmm...still learning this newfangled posting stuff. This Kevin Kirby, the ork player. Toby and I had a great time coming over to play. I'm glad to see my opponents all did well. I voted for Scott's Salamanders, though the guard was very sharp as well. I voted Nate my fave opponent, as we had the closest game I've had in a while, and he was very stand up about it, I was glad to see him get sports. Aaron's got a terrific army and is a thinking player. The 40k community in the Indy area seems very competitive, I look forward to coming back. Hopefully you guys can come over to Dayton and play as well.

  33. @ Sandwyrm

    I don't remember who said it but I agree that banners and the like would make your army pop and so make it more appealing to other players. When I as a player have to vote during my lunch I will simply glance quickly at each army and if there is something that looks new I will look closer at it. When I looked at your army I said "oh he fixed up the board” but the army looked exactly the same as it always does and I quickly moved on.
    I'm not trying to bust your balls or anything but for me you're just in a bad spot. You're already at the top with your painting skills so to really make a huge difference and make players really stop and look you are going to have to get creative. I voted for an army that caught my attention and made me look closer at the models. This reminds me of the old school way of doing tournaments it's all about playing the system. If the event is player voting and done quickly during lunch then it needs to say "hey stop and look at me" it still needs to be painted to a high quality but it’s all about the “POP” if it's a judges vote then I think you have it in the bag. Don't let it get you down. Take comfort in the fact that many other players respect you as a painter and would turn to you for advice including probably your closest competition.
    Keep it up.

    @ Kevin
    I just wanted to say it was a real pleasure to play against you. I feel as though you played your Orks with tactical precision while maintaining an Orky flavor by not holding back. As a fellow Ork player I find solace in the fact that my Blood Angels were defeated by the Green Tide. Thanks for a great game.

  34. @Uberdark - the idea of camo is to break up the outline of something. having the whole thing 1 colour isnt camo. if you stand in the desert in all yellow, you will be easier to see than if it were blotches and lines and blobs of varrying shades of yellow. go to your local military surplus/outdoors shop, ask for camo, and you will find its not 1 solid colour.

    look at the front 2 squads behind the sandbags, they have camo on them, where as all the rear ranks dont. that lack of uniformality within your infantry could be another part of it.

  35. I agree with Strung Muppet. If it is the players judging the paint, you aren't really being judged just on quality, except by those who have the eye to do so.

    You are being judged on the fact that no matter how detailed and tasteful your army is, at a glance it is dudes in beige/yellow with beige/yellow tanks. It isn't the most eye-catching base color.

    Pleasing the masses and pleasing aficionado is very different. For example, no matter how much we are taught about how great Monet or Picasso are, pictures of kittens and/or women in bikinis are always more popular. Lawrence of Arabia is just not as popular as Rambo.

    So it shouldn't really be a surprise if folks prefer bold-colored marines on lava bases or a fleet wicked-looking anti-grav tanks when they are sweeping through on their way to lunch.

    If you were going to paint an army specifically to win votes, rather than please yourself, what would you go with?

    It seems like bolder colors, banners, trophy racks and other wizbang elements are what folks go for. To this day folks still talk about my "Purple Pimp" marines, even though I have been playing solely my Tallarn for the last few years. But my marines were black with Purple and metallic paint, while my Tallarn are subtle shades of grays and browns and at a muuuuuuch higher standard.

    I wasn't there and don't know the judges, but I think that these might have been contributing factors.

    Either that you you are just a jerk in person and folks mark you down for that. I kid, I kid...

  36. Sandwyrm-

    Simply put you were casting pearls among swine. Few people know how to look at a model and see how much effort and skill went into the model. Marines I have found get higher scores on average. . . why? Simply put so many people are fan boys.

    Vehicles are a royal kick in the dick to paint correctly and the down side is that's mostly what your list was. However few people understand the extra effort it takes to shade and highlight a tank, weather, battle damage the works.

    Your conversions are minimal at first glance. Many people don't know the line of models that GW produces so they see a chimera and assume that's how they should look.

    Your painting has a lot of small details that require people to pick up the model or get down on the models level. Too few people are willing to stop and look. Not your fault sir.

  37. When I run an event I use the appearance checklist available from the GW website. It has 40 points and is pretty comprehensive. I ask each player if they have painted their own army, and if so, I run down the checklist. My experience is also that super punchy armies get the fave vote while technically perfect but low key armies get glossed over. Guard and natural scheme nids suffer, while the Eagle Warriors or Emperors Children stand out. I would rather have one or two judges score the painting than popular vote...

  38. @Kirby,

    Almost decided to type that whole name but changed my mind. The battle with you was the most challenging I have faced against orks. I was absolutely stunned by your model count and wasn't sure how I was going to tackle your tide. Thinking back on things I should have brought the scouts on the back table edge to take the unit in the woods and brought Ragnar towards the other lootas, but it was a match for the ages. I still don't get how everytime I face lootas or exorcists they always roll a 5 or 6. You rolled 5 or 6 everytime except once where you got a 4. Nice shooting! I look forward to coming to some of your events. Shoot me an email with the information and we will get it posted.


  39. It seems to me 90% of paint judges don't know anything about painting models, beyond "gee that looks cool!"

    I've been painting minis since I was 12. I read about it all the time. I paint everyday. I think about painting all the time. I scour the internet for information about painting. I try new techniques, and sometimes fail. I know how hard different effects are to achieve.

    I can see that you've used an airbrush to get a base color down, and you've used watered down paints to shade your tanks. I can see you've put a lot of thought into your color scheme. I can see you've done some freehand work and included markings on your tanks.

    All this amounts to a great level of realism...that's what I look for myself and I think you should be extremely proud of your army. I can see the amount of work you've put into it and on top of that, it's presented well and produces a wow-effect.

    How many paint judges can say the same thing? The problem with paint-judges is that they are fooled by bright colors like yellow and red. They don't understand that armies like that are kind of gimmicky in their color choice. (
    "gee, wow look at the pretty colors! Certainly deserves a trophy").

    Once you begin to look past the bright colors, you begin to notice things like paint strokes being visible, details drybrushed over, unrefined highlighting, lack of light-source highlighting, etc, just a general lack of refinement. That eldar army is a prime example (cockpits aren't even painted, they're just white) so is that salamanders army (WTF?). They use bright colors to carry the appearance, but once you look closer you begin to notice a lack of refinement in technique.

    Your army should have been looked at more closely, because your army is not based on a gimmick, it made to look like a real army...its made to suspend disbelief...its a higher level of miniature painting than most paint-judges are even aware of.

    A note to TOs, get paint-judges who know how to paint please...

  40. A note to you sir...there weren't paint judges. It was a player's choice award meaning each player voted for an army. Maybe you should have read the other comments before you took the time for such a lengthy reply and inserted your head up your arse.

  41. (facepalm)

    Let's keep it civil. I'm not looking to get my ego stroked. I'm looking for constructive criticism.

  42. @scottyDont, LOLZ, that is hilarious...people are so touchy...

  43. Sandwyrm,

    You’re vendettas could use some work…like maybe some designs on their wings, perhaps some nose teeth like on WW2 planes. In my opinion, bringing those to next level would really elevate the army.

  44. Sandwyrm,

    Sorry to pile on to the thread, but nice paint job on the army. I have yet to do a display board for mine. I lack your art cred, but from my own experience in tourney paint scores it seems to me that technique counts to a point, but when it gets close the brighter colors seem to win more often than not. I am especially fond of the modded Chimeras, but I can't make myself commit to that much work per model Good job, and better luck next time around.

  45. I think that adding nose teeth is a good suggestion. Kinda like the ones on your lemans.

  46. @ Old Shatter Hands,

    How do you see cockpits in the poor quality picture of the salamanders army? Didn't you read where Sandwyrm stated this is an old picture of a previous tournament?

  47. @Sandwyrm,

    after reading all of this, I do think the Vendetta's kind of stand out with a different base color. Now again, take this suggestion from someone who is not a great painter, probably not even good.

  48. As someone who has never seen the army until five minutes ago I would say
    1 - forgetting the sandbags/building would have an impact. Without them it is just men & tanks; with them it is a diorama I would take a moment more to look at.
    2 - Most people will not get why the gunships are a different colour.
    3 - As a casual player I can not tell your tanks are converted so you would not get a tick in that box; whereas Salamanders with cool dragon shields would, even if they are just the pre-molded ones from Chapterhouse.

    P.S. Where is your building/sandbags from? I do not recognise them.

  49. First of all, I’ve enjoyed all the battle reports your army has shown up in and do appreciate all the effort you’ve put into your army and as another Renman type of player (though not as strong a gamer as yourself), understand your conundrum.

    After looking at all the photos (and others you’ve posted), I think there’s a couple things going on.

    1. Familiarity Breeds Contempt. Most of the people you associate with know your army. That won’t be true when you start jumping into larger or less local tourneys, but short of starting up a new army, from their perspective, you just keep bringing the same army.
    2. Now that’s obviously not what’s going on, but I hope you can see the point. I have a good friend who paints at the Golden Demon level. Has even won a few trophies (though not a gold yet, some tart named Natalya keeps getting in the way). Now, guess how many “local” events he wins? A surprisingly small amount, even at BoLSCon. Why is that? Most people who are judges don’t know what it takes to paint well.

    So, what to do to sharpen things up for your entries into the higher levels.

    i. Whether you want it to be or not, a key visual to your army are the Vendettas. You’ve painted them very well, but they need to be taken to a higher level. Generally, the easiest way to do that is by applying a weathered camo scheme, something that all that broad model area (i.e. wings+fuselage) can take advantage of. Given your broadly Afrika Korps treatment of your Tallarn, consider looking at some of the desert schemes in the FW Taros campaign book. The reason you want to spice up these two units is that right now, they are visual nulls to your battle force. Yes, they are there, but their “dullness”, for lack of a better term, drops the eye off your board.
    ii. Banners. I’m not a big fan of them, but one very nicely painted one in your Co. Command would help distinguish that unit from your other units.
    iii. Infantry. You’re guys look good for an above table top level of paint. Some of them are really good. Some of them, however seem like their flesh tones are a little subdued and they really should all pop, so some attention to the guys is needed in their faces and an additional level of highlights. Remember, you’re “selling” the idea of how much you’ve invested into this army. Somebody who is walking 2-3 feet away has to get drawn to your board, then he needs to see all of it there, then get closer to see all the really cool things you’ve done. You want him to wonder if the other squads are just as amazing as the one he’s looking at vs. clones of the one he’s just gazed over.
    iv. Green. I don’t mean this to come off too harsh, but there’s nothing wrong in and of itself as it’s a decent color to try to accent with. The problem is that it’s applied like a hobbyist would apply color, not an army. The use isn’t consistent. Why some gun barrels, why some tips, why the rims of the searchlights? The thing you have to ask yourself is “why” is that color there? Did a new color “weather” off and expose the underlying color? Does it represent a replacement part? Those are things that add a little narrative to the color change and the unit/vehicle involved, but random splashes of color don’t say anything.

    End Pt. I

  50. v. Board layout. It’s Ok, but doesn’t really draw you to the board. I would start with figuring out what your most awesome looking “thing” is going to be, whether that’s a tank, squad or whatever. Let’s call it ALU#1. Place it in the front where everyone can see it. Then take your newly painted Vendettas and place them at the corners, but point them inward towards the ALU#1 so that as the eyes catch on the Vendettas, they are then focused to where ALU#1 sits. Now you have a nice triangle going on your base that you can reinforce with other units (perhaps a flying V kind of thing).
    vi. I would move the stone formation out of the board, and possibly put the sandbags with squads in the back to further strengthen the base.

    When you are happy with the layout, take a picture of it so you can rapidly construct it should that be necessary between rounds.

    Obviously, all the above are just my observations and please feel free to use or ignore as you see fit. After all, you are much closer to the real thing vs. me through pictures.

    Best of luck to you.

  51. @Honda

    Thanks for the ideas/comments!

    Actually, I have a made-up religious reason for where the green accent goes and where it doesn't. A sort of death-is-life thing where their weapons (and searchlights, binoculars, etc.) are revered as the things which keep them alive. The Iron Warriors took away everything else when they laid waste to Tallarn.

    I'm not sure about banners (apart from something purely decorative on the base somewhere), but I think I'll be pulling out the 3rd/4th Edition codices and taking a look at the old vehicle squadron markings. They would add some nice color.

    The Vendettas are going to get something, I just haven't figured it out yet.

  52. Part of the problem is that a lot of the things I could do to spice up the visual interest of the models would detract from the effectiveness of the army list. I don't need a company banner as much as a 4th melta or plasma in the CCS, for instance. I also don't need Rough Riders or Sentinels, though they would look sweet on display.

  53. Heh!

    Considering how fit for purpose everything in your army is, I'm not surprised that you have challenges with adding/dropping.

    One of my first thoughts was regarding putting some of those Tallarn Muakali riders, which could either be RRs or maybe a counts as Sentinel. I don't know how tight your WYSIWG vs. Counts as limitations are, but that would add to the army identity.

    The banner would be for visual purposes only, not suggesting you add in the "game" banner from the codex.

    A couple of other thoughts:

    1. On being green: Ah, clever, I like that. You need something (maybe written fluff) that explains what you are doing. After you wrote that, then looking back at the pics, then it made sense. But that isn't being communicated to a casual observer.

    2. Don't do "wings" on the Vendettas. Everybody does them, some good. some not and it is an over done technique.

    3. I know it would require some extra work, masking, and re-weathering, but you might consider a soft contrasting sand or light grey in spots on your Vendettas. When the Germans hit Africa early on, their dark grey armor stuck out like a sore thumb, leading to interesting camo schemes. One of those was a soft application of blotches in a lighter color over the grey. I think you could pull that off, but it would require testing to make sure that the lighter color doesn't have too stark a contrast.

    I'm a big fan of subdued schemes. To me, soft/subdued schemes = less toy like = more real.

  54. The Vendettas do have orange bottoms, scuffed up to look like accumulated dirt, a detail taken from photos of Helos in Iraq.

    Yeah, I don't want to do "wings". But maybe some "teeth" to harken back to my tanks. Sadly, the tanks have teeth to harken back to my Sentinels, which I hardly ever use anymore.

  55. Well, what naval fleet are the valks/vends from? Maybe putting the fleets insignia on the wings on something...
    Im sure if you look online, somewhere there may be pictures of insignia of naval battle groups, maybe in reference to Battlefleet Gothic.
    Or even get some ideas from naval groups of our past and present...

  56. Gday mate,

    Stumbled across this on many of my quests for 40k inspiration. From looking at the pictures, the fault doesnt lie with the voters mate; it lies with the Tournament Organiser and their flawed system.

    A scoring system needs to be used to measure how well an army has been created - from modeling to painting and technique. The scoring must also be conducted by competant event staff (at least two) and then averaged.

    All the fancy add ons such as boards etc are not scored; but rather add more ka pow when voting does occur by the masses for a players choice type army.

    Painting is painting - shouldnt be an arms race.

    I am happy to email you a copy of my latest event pack that has our hobby scoring cards for suggestion to the next event organiser.

    Seems like you have missed out on quite a few acolades.

    Cheers and good gaming


    WW40k - Australia Founder


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