Painting Armies with Army Painter by Andrew Ovel

6 Nov

I really hate seeing that ‘Imperial Grey’ of partly assembled and unpainted models marching across the board; I won’t use what I haven’t painted. It’s the best way to motivate myself to get my new killer unit painted. I wish I could spend hours painting all my models to Golden Daemon standard, I’m actually an okay painter, but it isn’t possible for me simply because of time. I’ve learnt a few tricks through the years with washes, dry brushing and the like, but I’m always on the look out for another way to speed up the painting process

I first heard about Quickshade while trying to buy some washes and due to a misunderstanding about what I was looking for I was introduced the Army Painter’s Quickshade. Now what it said on the tin really seemed too good to be true, so I decided to put the tin in my cupboard, and planned to test it out when I had a big enough project that needed painting quickly.


Well that was about a year ago, but it wasn’t until I signed up for the 40KUK GT that I finally had the project I needed to really test it out. I had 1750 of mostly unpainted models (Tactical Marines are not the most inspiring bunch of models to paint), so I decide to give them the Army Painter Quickshade treatment. I wanted to do this properly so I carefully read all the instructions, and even watched the instructional videos on their site just to make sure I did it safely and correctly, to get the best results.


To make it a true test I used the Army Painter products when possible, and I started with the undercoat spray in this case I used Skeleton Bone. The spray went on perfectly, and gave a nice smooth matt finish with a great colour. In fact my friend Jim decided there and then to collect a Deathwing army, just because the colour was SO nice, and it would be super easy to paint using the spray. In fact I enjoyed painting on this colour so much I may use it in future, as an undercoat colour in place of a white. I tried applying some washes to some dry stone walls I undercoated with Skeleton Bone, the effect of the washes was less “pastel” than white undercoat, and the base coat gave a more realistic muted colour to the scenery.



I used Citadel paints to add the individual blocks of colours, and painting on to this undercoat was a pleasure, there was no blotching or welling of colours. I actually discovered (accidently!!) right near the end of painting the squad, if I watered down the Dark Angels Green a little then the colour worked almost like a wash, and gave a nice highlighted effect, something I will bear in mind if I ever paint another Dark Angels army. Adding these individual colours was the most time consuming part of the process, but as I didn’t have to worry about shading or highlighting so it was MUCH quicker than the normal. Once I had painted the whole squad in their basic colours I was ready to begin using the Quickshade.



Now on the video they recommend two options. The first option is dipping the models and flicking off the excess, not really option in my tiny London flat (my wife is understanding but I think she would draw the limit at me flicking varnish around the bathroom), and the second option is painting on the Quickshade with a brush, much tidier, and this was the option I went for.


Now Quickshade works like is a varnish and wash combined, with all the smell you would expect from a varnish. I painted on the Quickshade last thing at night, and then left them near a well vented window, as the Quickshade made it quite smelly in the flat. When I woke up the next day they were very nearly dry, just slightly tacky to the touch, and by the time I returned from work they were dry.



Now the shading looked good to me, but the varnish effect left the models VERY shiny. So once the Quickshade was fully dry I gave them a blast of the Anti Shine Matt Varnish Spray from Army Painter, and this dulled them right down. Then all that was left for me to do was to base them and they were ready to go.



So what do I think of Army Painter, well their products are really good (I was really impressed with the undercoat spray in particular), and the Quickshade (as the name suggests) is really quick, and requires very little effort, or skill to use, which is really what you are looking for when you buy this product. What actually took the most effort was putting on the individual colours, now if I had chosen a simple one colour Marine Chapter I could have sprayed them their basic colour, and then just picked out a few bits of metal, flesh, the odd purity seal and I would have saved a lot of time.


You can see from the pictures that it does produce a good effect on the models, but they’re no Golden Daemon winner. On close inspection you can see that the detail you would expect from a good painter isn’t there, but then would you actually notice that standing six feet away across a table, probably not. I believe it’s another good tool in your painting arsenal that you can turn to when you are looking to churn out a bulk force quickly, to what I would term “Table Top Standard”.


Would I use it on my HQ choices? No, because I would want to take my time to enjoy painting the focal point of my army.


Would I use it to paint an Ork hoard? Hell yes, because I would ACTUALLY get them all painted (I shudder to think of painting another 30 man Boyz squad).


So yes it’s a trade off, if you don’t have the time or skill then this is a good way to knock out a reasonable looking army without too much pain, if however you are looking to produce a really masterful looking army then I’m afraid, like most things in life, there are no shortcuts.


Thanks to my wife Kerri for taking the pictures, she did a real good job.


If you want to have a good look at these minis in person then come and find me at the 40KUK GT, I will be bringing them along so you can make your mind up first hand.


…Speaking of the GT



Having downloaded the Rulespack I have planned my initial Vanilla Marine army list, and even played a couple of practice games against an IG army to get a feel of how the army played (I got a draw and win).


Here is my list as it currently stands:


Space Marine Army List 1750




1 Librarian


Terminator armour

Bolt Pistol

Force Weapon

Psychic Hood




6 x Tactical Squad


Plasma pistol


Razorback with twin-linked assault cannon

Dozer blade


6 x Tactical Squad


Plasma pistol


Razorback with twin-linked assault cannon

Dozer blade


6 x Tactical Squad


Plasma pistol


Razorback with twin-linked assault cannon

Dozer blade


5 x Space marine Scouts

4x Sniper rifle

Missile launcher




5 x Assault Terminators

Thunder Hammer Stormshield


1 x “Stompy” the Venerable Dreadnought


Combat weapon with storm bolter




1 x Attack Bike



1 x Attack Bike



1 x Attack Bike





5 x Devastators

4 x Lascannon

Razorback with Twin-linked Lascannons



Please let me know your thoughts on my army list (maybe the Voice can review it?), the minis or anything else?


Thanks for reading





















14 Responses to “Painting Armies with Army Painter by Andrew Ovel”

  1. Graeme Nicholls (@TheTayne) November 6, 2011 at 08:07 #

    I’m afraid to say I think that list is illegal. I don’t have my codex to hand, but I’m pretty sure vanilla marines need 10 per squad before they can take a meltagun upgrade (it’s a rare advantage to Dark Angels tactical squads iirc).

    • Andy Ovel November 6, 2011 at 12:20 #

      Yes it is an illegal list, and well done for spotting it.

      I noticed only after I had submitted the article to Dave. My only excuse is I was young, confused and easily lead. 🙂

      I was really happy with the large amount of melta I managed to fit in the list, and THEN realised why. 🙂 lol

      So now I’ve have replaced the Sergeant’s plasma pistol with a melta combi instead, so I still have some tank popping power in the squads.

      I had originally used 10 man units, which I had planned to combat squad. Keeping the heavy weapon back and then advancing the other half with the Sergeant with power fist and melta forward; that would be another option to get the meltas back in.


  2. Franco November 6, 2011 at 12:17 #

    Yeah, you can take 2 10-man squad with razorbacks and just combat squad them. Then you can increase the scout squad to 10-man, combat squad them, give 4 sniper rifles, 4 shotguns, 1 heavy bolter wi/hellfire rounds, the sgt a powerfist and melta bombs, and send the shotguns and sgt off in a land speeder storm for a 1st turn charge and/or melta shot on a vehicle (speeder moves 24″ scouting, 12″ 1st turn, 12″ melta on the multimelta = 48″ melta range 1st turn).

    Should be about the same points.

    • Andy Ovel November 6, 2011 at 14:25 #

      Cheers Franco

      I keep thnking of trying out a Landspeeder Storm, a lot of people keep recomending them, so I might give that a try.

      I feel the problem with taking the 10 men squads and combat squading them is you end up with five Marine stood around watching a heavy weapon, a bit of a waste of points in my opinion. 😦

      But I will try the Storm and let you now how I get on.


  3. Bernd November 6, 2011 at 13:10 #

    And I believe the article’s headline should be “Painting Armies with Army _Painter_ by Andrew Ovel”. Army Builder is a list building software. Unfortunately it comes without an autopaint-option 🙂

    • Andy Ovel November 6, 2011 at 14:31 #

      Haven’t you paid for the upgrade, it’s awesome, you just make a list, click a button and your painted army just comes right out of your printer? 🙂

      I wish!!

      You got me, the title is wrong sorry everyone!!! :$

      For my next article I will make ten mistakes, try and spot them all? 🙂 lol


      • 40KUK November 6, 2011 at 16:26 #

        Sorry all, I got the title wrong – had army builder on my mind… hint hint for what is coming up in this week’s episode.

        Chnaged it now.


  4. Franco November 6, 2011 at 16:34 #

    ‘Chnaged’ it did you Dave? Good job.

    I know what you mean about the 5 men+ heavy weap sitting around. But they make good deckchairs at least. And usually get to fire with impunity for a long time because it’s too difficult to kill the heavy weap guy in there.

    Scouts + storm combo is a real cracker though. If you don’t get first turn you can just outflank it and watch folks get all weird with their movement in the knowledge that melta with a 18″ threat range is coming in on the flank.

    • Digital Unicorn November 6, 2011 at 20:50 #

      Interesting time for this discussion to come up, no?
      How dumb it is they can’t one at 5, lol.

      I rally wanna try out the storm too, sounds full of fun.

      I’m curious tho, why go shotgun? Surely Blades and pistols is preferable. If ur meltagunning something, its not likely a shotgun will hurt it and the extra CC attacks, mean u could mess up a squad before you went down in a hail of bullets.

      • Andrew Ovel November 7, 2011 at 12:16 #

        I was chuckling to my self when I was reading your last article, because I knew that the article I had already submitted to Dave had the “accidental” Meltaguns in my list.

        AND yes it still seems silly to me that a 5 man squad cant have a special weapon, until they get to a 10 man squad, (maybe all those IG Veteran squads out there have stolen all the Space Marines Meltaguns, and the Marines are too polite to ask for them back?) as realistically you are only going to get one, maybe two shots, off a game with a single special weapon; it’s not like we are asking to put 4 meltas in a squad of 5 guys!

  5. Franco November 6, 2011 at 21:53 #

    Because it effectively gives you 2 str4 attacks before you go into the fight, rather than just one. So pistol + blade gives you 1 pistol shot + 3 attacks on the charge = 4 attacks at str 4 that will hit on 4s most of the time. Shotguns gives you 2 attacks before combat, then another 2 when you’re in = 4 attacks at str 4 that will also hit on 4s most of the time. So you get the same number of attacks regardless, but the shotgun allows you to get your licks in before getting hit yourself.

    • Digital Unicorn November 7, 2011 at 13:42 #

      Ah, I see!

      That makes sense, i’d never looked at it that way, but then i’d always used them as a defensive unit. With the blades they were unexpectedly good, especially when they got charged in cover and it often took my opponent by surprise.
      But, ur right, for a much more offensive unit the shotgun makes sense.

      • Andy Ovel November 7, 2011 at 17:21 #

        Yes I think you’re right.

        I have always been afraid to use the shotgun Scouts, just in case I killed too many models, and was left unable to charge their unit after they removed casualties.

        That would leave me open to shooting next turn; I would normally prefer to be stuck in hand to hand combat with a unit I have chosen to charge, than shot at by my opponents whole army! :$

        But I will break out my shotgun Scouts and try a few games (I have fully painted 10 man squad of shotgun Scouts I have never used) I will let you now how I get on. 🙂

  6. Andrew Ovel November 7, 2011 at 12:18 #

    On another note, I was struggling to get really clear pictures of the models, does anyone have any tips on taking pics of models?

    Cheers 🙂

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