I can't/don't paint;

SAWAL2

Juve
Nov 10, 2022
18
14
3
Hi,

I'm newish to "New" Necromunda but started gaming back in the 80's;

Can't remember exactly how the interest began but looking back it involved the following along the way...

- White Dwarf/Dragon magazine
- Fighting Fantasy
- Computer games
- Games (D&D, WFB, Recon, Advanced Heroquest, Space Hulk, WF Roleplay, Confrontation) and quite a few homemade ones
- Citadel Miniatures and others
- Painting (Had them set's of 6 or 9 pots of paint from Citadel)

Back then for me it was mostly about the gaming.
Within our local group, Miniatures wise, due to availablity/cost etc, WSYWYG wasn't never a thing. In fact every model was usually a proxy for something else. 40k we had cardboard land raiders/rhinos! For Confrontation we used 40k Imperial guards/Squats/Marines for gangs.

Early days I did at one point have a copy of warhammer fantasy battle (maybe version 2 or 3?) which had the Orcs drift scenario - This sounds mad in todays world but all of the models were represented by cardboard squares of the characters.

If you wanted to see something painted to an amazing standard it was either a visit to a GW store or checking out Mike McVey(?) models in WD.


Then after a house move I now regretfully sold everything in the 2000's for absolute peanuts and now can't bear to look at the prices on ebay.

So, getting back to present day and seems like there's still the same few elements to the hobby, namely...
- Reading the Rules/Background, Novels
- Playing the game
- Collecting minatures
- Modding/kitbashing
- Painting

...but it seems that times have changed and there's more interest in the painting/collecting side of the hobby now. Infact, more than the gaming side.

I really admire the time, effort and skill that people put into painting. I get why they do it, I think it's great; But I came to the conclusion that I'm just not interested or any good at that part of the hobby. I tried back in the day but it's just not for me.

What surprised me also was that I read GW don't consider themselves a games company but more of a model supplier?

And - This is the key observation/question I've now got...

Is it frowned upon/disrespectful (even allowed?) if someone has the correct miniatures but they aren't painted for gaming? I get WYSWYG - But do you have to have painted miniatures to play in a GW/Warhammer store now?

Apologies if I'm appearing out of touch on any of this; It has been a while.
 
GW has been a "model" company ever since Kirby took over in the 90s, its only been in the last few years after he left that they've decided to open up their communication with the players and have been more receptive to player feedback/have had more frequent rules updates.

As far as painting goes, at an official GW store it's all about what the store manager decides. It really depends- some are pretty much little tyrants that want everything painting and WYSIWYG, but others are much less so. FLGS are also pretty varied, but I've found most have looser standards/don't care as much. Since FLGS promote/sell a bunch of games, they usually have less incentive to be strict about their standards for play.

The player base tends to like painted models; I've heard many complaints about playing against the Grey Horde. The nice thing about Necromunda is that you only have 10-20 models in a gang, so the painting requirement is small compared to a large 40k army. If you aren't a painter, look around your local area and see if there is a decent commission painter in the local scene that can help you out.
 
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I keep hearing about a three-color minimum on models plus basing, but I don’t know how widespread that is. I think it’s mostly a con thing, maybe? But I’m mostly a modeler/painter, so that’s all secondhand “knowledge.” And by “painter” I mean I’m somewhere between three-color minimum and “hey, not bad.” No golden daemon awards here.
 
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I keep hearing about a three-color minimum on models plus basing, but I don’t know how widespread that is. I think it’s mostly a con thing, maybe?
That is the Battle Ready standard by GW, also known as the tournament standard, as seen here. In GW's tournament pack rules, you will lose 10VP if you do not have your army Battle Ready (so 1/10th of your possible points). It is pretty much the default requirement for any 40k tournament above a local store level (what is commonly still called a RTT) of 20-ish players to just play in the tournament.
 
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@SAWAL2 you don’t say what you’re intending to play! That would determine a by lot on what effort you might have to go in for. I.e a 40k Army is a lot more work than a Necro gang so you’d probably want to keep it super simple.

Yes, the three colour thing is popular as it at least gets something nice to look at for your opponent (it also encourages people to invest a bit of time in their armies too).



So, two examples: Ultramarines (yeah I know not everyone’s thing but standard GW fare).

Get an ultramarine blue spray can and lightly coat the lot in that. Get a good coverage but don’t clog them up. That’s colour one done.

Get Averland Sunset and paint the shoulder trims and right knee pad. (Or a Gold if you prefer or even a Gold Sharpie for just the shoulder pad trims)

Get Khorne Red and paint the Boltgun and eyes (if you can)

Get Black Templar Contrast and paint the cables and the rubber bits on the arms+legs (this will add shade and a blue highlights to those bits)

Get Leadbelcher and paint the metal bits.

Apply transfers (often included in the box).

Paint the base Steel Legion Drab. Once dry put some PVA on the top and sprinkle one of the Geek Gaming Scenics bases ready ranges over.

So that’s 5 colours + a completed base.

Now you have a repeatable formula. If you really hate painting, get 2-3 mates round, music on etc and get them to help you batch paint the lot. Each can do a different colour. Because it’s such a simple paintjob it’s easy for each to replicate.

Reason I choose the darker colours is a: they cover well and b: you can always buy brighter versions and use that to highlight in future. If you want.



Example 2: Necromunda Gang.

Exactly the same process as above. Choose a Gang, let’s say… Goliath.

Spray a Flesh colour. Paint the armour Khorne Red, paint the Trousers Thunderhawk Blue. Paint metal bits Leadbelcher. Paint Mohawks a Green.

Get Gulliman Flesh Contrast and apply it over the Flesh areas. Get Nuln Oil wash and put over the Thunderhawk blue and metal bits.

If using Necromunda base, paint top Mornfang Brown, light drybrush silver. Paint Rim (and Goliath boots) black.

Job done. Only 10 models, so you can do that yourself.

You can of course go full contrast for a lot of these too but it can be tricky stuff if you’ve not got good brush control or are impatient and don’t let stuff dry properly before moving on.



Quick contrast example:

Delaque:

Spray a light tan or khaki colour, paint faces and hands Pallid Wych Flesh, paint weapons (and bum armour) Silver.

Apply Skeleton Horde over the tan colour, apply Terrible Visage over the Wych Flesh.

Wash Nuln oil over the Silver bits. Paint base as described above.

Done.
 
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I am, or at least were, mostly about the gaming side. But growing responsibilities (wife, kids, job) has made scheduling games increasingly difficult, and as such I've been focusing more on other aspects of the hobby. Like painting and modelling. I still play whenever I can, but when I can't I still hobby.
As for standards, it all depends on where you go for games. GW store - very strict standards. Friends - possibly much less so. But just a few colours does look nice. It can be as simple as a spray paint of your choice, a wash and then picking out a few detail or skin parts. One of the key things, like @MusingWarboss mentioned, is don't clog them up with paint. Sometimes less is more.
 
As to if it is ok to play with unpainted minis. Yes and no.

Think of tournaments as a black tie party and a game with a friend as going fishing. I don't mind it you come fishing with me in jeans and t-shirt, but it would have been better to come with your own equipment and waterproof trousers.

Painting minis is basically dressing them for the occasion.
 
as yoda said
'no! try not. paint or do not. there is no three colours'
but seriously , there are no rules , painted models of any standard look the same from 3 feet away.
i paint far too detailed , but thats my problem.
 
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As I’ve got older my time for actually playing is limited, it now tends to be one or two weekend gatherings a year, see Tribemeet or Boltmeet. Because of this I think many of us who attend want to have nice painted things to make it as awesome and as cinematic as possible. I am also lucky enough to have a permanent hobby space so I can potter about when the mood takes me for an hour is so and then leave it for a while.

I don’t really mind what peeps use, but at the above events we have gone to extreme levels with some of the themed tables and models, so I like it if peeps at least take the time to paint the models that play on them 🤷‍♂️ I’m not expecting Golden Demon standard or even WYSIWYG but throwing some glue about, a few colours and a wash takes a couple of evenings at most.

My advice don’t let the great be the enemy of the good / okish. At table top distance a very basic paint job and based models look great with very little effort.
 
GW has been a "model" company ever since Kirby took over in the 90s, its only been in the last few years after he left that they've decided to open up their communication with the players and have been more receptive to player feedback/have had more frequent rules updates.


Since the 80s GW have always been a model company first, games second, not just since Kirby took over in '91 (and left in 2014). Go watch Filmdeg Miniatures' recent interview with Rick Priestley on youtube, right at the start he states that they were primarily making figures for roleplaying, they wanted to sell more, and so in '83 they created Warhammer Fantasy Battle...

As for communications, lol, they've gone from being quite player friendly in the 80s through to the turn of the century, to being a faceless PLC giant that tells you what you're getting and you'll worship them for it, frequent FAQ/rules errata or not (which lets face it, if they wrote rules properly they wouldn't need so much of)! The only reason you get frequent rules updates is because the tournament crowd whine, and tournaments make GW $/£, the rest of us can go whistle as far as I can tell from GW in the last 20 years! Even Warhammer "Community" is a massive misnomer, it isn't a community it's an advertising blog!


As far as playing with unpainted minis, go for it, if players complain find other more agreeable players, although I guess that may be difficult if you're playing at GW stores.

There's another youtube interview with Rick Priestley from a couple of years ago and I think he would be of the same opinion, they do talk about painting figures for games and iirc the gist of his view is - "go have fun".

GW of today seem to be trying to instil an element of snobbery into the hobby (moreso than what's been present before), and it's yet another barrier to entry and enjoyment. GW do seem to enjoy gatekeeping these days and encouraging their most affluent gamers to push the message, however in anything gatekeeping is usually a bad thing and over time causes diminishing returns...

O'course GW have primarily done it so they can shift more paint...
 
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I regularly play with people who don't paint their minis or lroxy stuff, genuinely does not bother me in the least 😊

I just like rolling dice and telling stories 😊

As for your own painting (if you want to) have a look at "slapchop" painting, super quick and decent results too.
 
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@SAWAL2 you don’t say what you’re intending to play! That would determine a by lot on what effort you might have to go in for. I.e a 40k Army is a lot more work than a Necro gang so you’d probably want to keep it super simple.

Yes, the three colour thing is popular as it at least gets something nice to look at for your opponent (it also encourages people to invest a bit of time in their armies too).



So, two examples: Ultramarines (yeah I know not everyone’s thing but standard GW fare).

Get an ultramarine blue spray can and lightly coat the lot in that. Get a good coverage but don’t clog them up. That’s colour one done.

Get Averland Sunset and paint the shoulder trims and right knee pad. (Or a Gold if you prefer or even a Gold Sharpie for just the shoulder pad trims)

Get Khorne Red and paint the Boltgun and eyes (if you can)

Get Black Templar Contrast and paint the cables and the rubber bits on the arms+legs (this will add shade and a blue highlights to those bits)

Get Leadbelcher and paint the metal bits.

Apply transfers (often included in the box).

Paint the base Steel Legion Drab. Once dry put some PVA on the top and sprinkle one of the Geek Gaming Scenics bases ready ranges over.

So that’s 5 colours + a completed base.

Now you have a repeatable formula. If you really hate painting, get 2-3 mates round, music on etc and get them to help you batch paint the lot. Each can do a different colour. Because it’s such a simple paintjob it’s easy for each to replicate.

Reason I choose the darker colours is a: they cover well and b: you can always buy brighter versions and use that to highlight in future. If you want.



Example 2: Necromunda Gang.

Exactly the same process as above. Choose a Gang, let’s say… Goliath.

Spray a Flesh colour. Paint the armour Khorne Red, paint the Trousers Thunderhawk Blue. Paint metal bits Leadbelcher. Paint Mohawks a Green.

Get Gulliman Flesh Contrast and apply it over the Flesh areas. Get Nuln Oil wash and put over the Thunderhawk blue and metal bits.

If using Necromunda base, paint top Mornfang Brown, light drybrush silver. Paint Rim (and Goliath boots) black.

Job done. Only 10 models, so you can do that yourself.

You can of course go full contrast for a lot of these too but it can be tricky stuff if you’ve not got good brush control or are impatient and don’t let stuff dry properly before moving on.



Quick contrast example:

Delaque:

Spray a light tan or khaki colour, paint faces and hands Pallid Wych Flesh, paint weapons (and bum armour) Silver.

Apply Skeleton Horde over the tan colour, apply Terrible Visage over the Wych Flesh.

Wash Nuln oil over the Silver bits. Paint base as described above.

Done.


Thank you - This is very helpful.
 
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Painting helps a number of ways, aside from making the game prettier to look at.

An unpainted miniature is a usually single colour (grey, white or metal) and this makes it hard to read details across the table, or tell minis from one another. Wysywig depends on you being able to s, and if you need to lean right in the whole game, you will understand wyg less.

You therefore make the game more difficult for your opponent and probably yourself by leaving models grey.

Simply priming the model and picking out the weapons in a contrasting colour makes them far easier to read. The weapon silhouettes become visible across the board and nobody has to ask which one has the flamer vs the autogun. Adding colour helps and this is the origin of 3coloursbased (usually skin, clothes, gun)

Immersion is important for players who enjoy the Roleplay aspect of the game and it is courteous to consider that your opponent may be one of the many who like to be immersed.

However inexpertly you paint, painting your minis grounds them in the background by giving them a character - colours communicate ideas without you writing a single line of backstory.

Painting an imperial guardsman in drab green vs painting the same model in flame red/orange means something, and you can infer for yourself what that might be- there are a number of possibilities. But the possibilities only open once paint hits the model.

Placing his miniatures next to yours on the table, is a scene set of a battle between individual forces or does he have an individual force and you have plastic tokens where that force could be?

Mechanically, there is no difference between taking a token off the board and removing a miniature that you spent time painting. Psychologically, there is a tremendous difference - which is another reason that people who play horde armies learn to spend less time painting units that die quickly.
When you play a game with someone, you hope that they are similarly invested in the experience. Detachment is off-putting when you want to allow yourself to feel.

Things that give a sense that someone cares less about the game include refusal to participate in the more intimate and labour intensive parts of the hobby, like getting your models ready for a game.

Putting down a bunch of unpainted figurines that you bought with disposable income cannot display the same investment to the game that a painted army does, and the better the army is painted, the more investment was required to produce it.

Understanding this truth does not require endorsing enforced painting standards, much less dismissing someones attempts, but it is important to understand where elitist attitudes to painting come from

Wargames and RPGs can be played with paper counters, on flat maps. Some DMs prefer hand drawing lines for walls and then describing the room they represent, preventing players from getting hung up on elements that might be present on a more detailed map or model.

Miniature wargames instead rely on those detailed physical elements present on the models and terrain to give context to the whole endeavour, so that there is no need to spend a minute describing the

mysterious crumbling ruins deep in the shadow woods ...
Grinning Orc Chieftan, a heavy cleaver in his hand...
slavering jawed otherworldly horror, barbed tentacles reaching towards its prey...

etc. The scene is already set.

A beautiful, visual, tactile exercise is sold to us in glossy magazines and on the back of boxes and it's hard not to feel somewhat robbed when our games inevitably fall short of that ideal, at least at first.

Making your minis look good is making the game look good, and improves the experience for all involved.

There are a number of techniques and processes other posters have detailed that can get your models looking great without requiring a lot of skill or money spent on products you don't have.

Its not like the 90s now, you don't have to figure this out alone. There are YouTube tutorials for kitchen sinks and everything else.

Good luck!
 
@SAWAL2 - I'm of a similar opinion. I do occasionally enjoy painting minis, but the process really stresses me out for some reason. I much prefer kitbashing and converting, as opposed to painting. However, a few years ago I discovered how much fun it is to make scratch-built terrain - including painting it! Terrain building (and painting/weathering) is by far my favorite part of the hobby. As many have observed, it's pretty much impossible to mess up when painting terrain, especially for GW-type game settings where most stuff is ruined and war-torn. One thing that makes terrain fun, is you can experiment and practice the techniques used on miniatures in a low-risk environment. All those intimidating techniques that the pros make look easy (but certainly aren't) can be practiced on terrain and then later (if you care to) used with confidence on minis.

Also, on the topic of gaming with unpainted minis, I completely agree with @Raven Morpheus - the right group to share games with makes all the difference.
 
I’m going to chuck in another curveball, if you aren’t going to paint your minis why bother buying the very expensive grey plastic? the game could be played with counters and or card board cut outs.

Don’t get me wrong I’m quite relaxed about it but it just looks cooler when everything’s painted!

I 2nd @Mr. M ’s scenery building advice, it’s great fun the one problem being you need to stop building it at some point 🤣…..maybe soonish.
 
While I wouldn't refuse to play against an unpainted army / gang, I definitely prefer to play with / against fully painted models on a fully modelled battlefield. If you have a group that all agree to play with unpainted minis then that's great but once you move into the wider community you will inevitably come across people who would prefer to play against painted minis.

For me it is a social contract. If my opponent is going to put in the time and effort to have an immersive experience, I'm not going to spoil it by turning up with grey plastic hordes. Especially given how infrequently I actually find time to game. This extends to event organisers who should be providing the aforementioned battlefields as part of their event.

They don't have to be painted to a particularly high standard. Just enough to not stick out as obviously unpainted. Someone I used to play Warmachine with would regularly turn up with partly assembled minis or even empty bases and it made me not want to play anymore.

I would suggest at least applying a very basic colour scheme. You can always go back and paint small details later, if you want to. There are so many speed-painting tutorials out there these days its easier than ever. There are many YouTube channels like Sonic Sledgehammer, Pete The Wargamer, The Painting Phase, Duncan Rhodes, Artis Opus, Ninjon, Trovarion Miniatures, Zumikito Miniatures, The Armed Painter and probably 1000 others that have great tutorials on getting minis painted fast.

Choosing factions that are easier to paint is also a great idea. For 40k, Tyranids, Necrons and some Space Marine chapters will be super simple. Chaos Marines with all their gold trim and details, not so much. For Necromunda, Van-Saar suits will be a lot easier to paint than a faction with more details like Escher. Same for historical games like Bolt Action. I can paint a US soldier or a British tank in a few minutes whereas an SS soldier in full dot44 camouflage or a German tank in ambush camo takes about 5 times as long.
 
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Another point I forgot was that its easy to look at a GW paint scheme and think "there is no way I could do that".. and then give up entirely. Lets take this guy as an example:

1698936898086.png


This guy has a ton of different colours and loads of intimidating details which could be off-putting to the newbie painter. Tbh, its intimidating enough to me and I've been painting for the best part of 30 years. However, if you just sprayed him green, picked out his skin in a flesh tone, the weapons and equipment in black and a few details in metallic silver and gold he would look infinitely better than a grey mini. You can then go back and add washes and highlights if you would like to, but for all intents and purposes, he's a painted mini. Look at these older Van-Saar guys I found on Google as an example:

1698937174558.png


They are so much more simple than the GW scheme, yet as a group look great on the table top.
 
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It can be very daunting, especially with modern extremely detailed models. Some of that comes from the amazingly well painted models we see every day - I know I'll never be able to paint that well, and I know that if I held one of my models up against something from the GW studio, mine would look pretty crap.

You have to phase that doubt out and have a go - nobody is an amazing painter off the bat, and you don't have to become one, despite what GW wants you to do! Why not check out the "we all started somewhere" thread for many of our early attempts at model painting.

Even if your models are pretty scrappy held up and examined, I'm willing to bet on the tabletop at a few feet distant they'll look just fine.

These for instance are very quickly painted - spray, flesh, all over wash, quick drybrush and a few details:

But on the table top I think they look pretty good:

They'd be pretty disappointing unpainted I feel. And I always think I owe it to my opponent that if they've put the effort in, I can at least field something that looks OK.