So, with the cancellation of Star Wars tonight and the fear of incurring back pain by spending any more time on the computer, I decided to take a crack at getting started on putting together all the fiddly bits from the Battle of Macragge box I bought the other day.
I also decided it might be fun to blog about the whole experience, beginning to end. Hopefully it’ll be fun. If not, then hopefully there’ll be pretty pictures along the way. Failing even that, then at least there’s other neat stuff on the intertubes. 😉
First things first. As I briefly covered in my comment earlier, I went to Heroes World in Markham at lunch time the other day and looked over the 40k stuff. I’ve always been interested in getting Warhammer, but never got into it for various reasons. Now, though, my interest was greatly rekindled by reading a bit of Dark Heresy, the 40k RPG. So, I went into the store with the intention of finally getting some miniatures. I was looking to get the Battle of Macragge Hobby Set. It’s basically the same as the regular starter set, only it comes with a set of paints. Unfortunately, they didn’t have it in the store, but they had the regular version of the starter set.
I decided to look around for a bit at the various sets until Andre (the guy who runs the store) came over and asked if I wanted to try a demo. With some humming and hawing (I only have so much time at lunch, right?), I agreed to a quick run through. They have this cool battle board with the ruined buildings that you can buy, all painted up and everything. The miniatures they had in play were actually the ones from the set I was looking to get. Andre gave me the quick run down on the rules. I knew a bit, but I learned quite a bit more. For starters, even though it’s kind of obvious from Dawn of War, I didn’t realize that you’re actually supposed to move your marines (or what have you) as whole units. Basically they can all move 6 inches, but must end up no more than 2 inches apart from each other. If they are separated, then they need to spend a round regrouping and can’t attack anything. To be honest, I felt a little silly standing there, in my nice work clothes and coat, playing Warhammer on my lunch hour. But more importantly, it was fun.
I asked a few more questions about painting and army creation and everything before finally buying a starter set and a foundation paint hobby set. All in all, it was about $150 ($75 for the starter set, $65 for the hobby set), which is honestly quite a bit of money, but I don’t intend to pay that very often. I’m not amassing a huge combat force. Besides, it comes with 10 marines, which on their own would have cost $30. To be honest, I was most surprised about the paint set costing so much.
Andre eased the pain by tossing in a few free White Dwarf magazines for painting tips and such. Of course, I realized later that they were from last year, but whatever. This stuff doesn’t change much anyway, so I’m not too bothered by it. One of the magazines has this huge section on the revamp of the Dark Angels, which is cool. I’ve never been big on the idea of all-green armour, but I’m tempted to get some of their cloaked marines and incorporate them into my custom-army-with-no-name-yet.
So, as I mentioned before, I decided to get cracking. I’d already opened the box and fondled everything when I got it, but I really wanted to start putting things together. All of the pieces in the starter set are resin and attached to big sprue sheets. There are no pewter models here, which is a bit odd for me. The last time I tried painting a marine he was all metal and much heavier, so it’s a bit jarring to have the marines be so lightweight.
Using the handy-dandy clippers from the paint set I got, I began carefully cutting the marines and their accessories from the sprues. The starter set has simplified things by having the marines already pretty much built. All they need to have done is their arms and weapons glued on (and the arms and weapons are attached to each other, for the most part), and their backpacks glued on. I imagine the whole process is a bit more involved with a regular set of minis.
After separating just what I wanted to start with from the sprues: all 10 marines and the imperial guy, I began filing off the flash from the sprues where I couldn’t quite get close enough with the clippers. I used a snazzy purple nail file that was on hand. I felt so manly. I then set about gluing them to their bases. While some people paint all the parts individually before assembling the minis, I figured I might as well try it the way most people do it and assemble them before painting. After gluing them to their bases, I glued their backpacks on and then their arms/weapons. All in all, it was a pretty straightforward process. I was actually pretty impressed that I didn’t make a huge mess with glue everywhere. I only had a couple of cases where there was a bit of glue that needed to be wiped away. Of course, only after I’d glued most of them together did I start to worry that I was maybe not using enough glue, but a slight tug on the earliest glued bits and they were fused firmly to the body of the marine. The glue’s so effective, in fact, that it appears to have cracked a bit of the nozzle on the glue container itself. That’s tough stuff.
I did all of this on a few sheets of parchment paper (you know, for cooking) that did a good job of keeping the mess down. Of course, I’m not painting (yet!) so the mess was pretty minimal to begin with, but there were a couple of drops of glue on the sheets by the time I was all finished.
I often forget as to how small the little guys are. You see all kinds of macro pictures online and you start to think they’re action-figure sized or bigger. But they’re not. They’re minuscule little guys.
I actually took a handful of pictures last night, but I haven’t gotten them off the camera yet, and I’m at work. I’ll put them up when I get home. They’re not alot to look at, as I realized only after I’d assembled my first marine that it would’ve been good to start taking some pictures at the very beginning. Worse yet, the camera ran out of power after only a few shots, so I didn’t get to take a picture of all the marines standing at the ready. I’ll have to take some tonight when I get home.
Next up, I’ll be gluing together my Tyranids and priming my marines. I was originally thinking of forgoing the whole priming process, but I think I’ll do it anyway. It’ll help with shading and hiding my mistakes. I’m sure to make mistakes.
UPDATE: I added the pictures from the camera. I’ve also uploaded the rest of the images but will make the post regarding stage 2 later.