Here they are: the first Warhammer 40,000 models I’ve painted in more than a dozen years. They’re the first of a small nostalgia project for me, wherein I hope to recreate some of the 40k magic that enamored me so much when I was younger. For me, 40k was at its finest in the heady days from Rogue Trader through 2nd edition, when the color palettes were bold, the rules were open to interpretation, the models were still mostly metal (gasp!) and battlefields were zany and varied — a far cry from today’s “every building looks like a church” 40k motif.
I’ll be collecting a small force of Chaos Space Marines, and I plan to paint them in the elusive paint scheme that intimidated me as a teen. Yes, that’s right, I’m talking about Night Lords with their distinctive hand-painted lightning bolts. I was always in awe of the few older gamers at my local store who attempted to do the Night Lords lightning (to varying degrees of success). One guy actually painted the armor blue, then took a razor blade and cut through the outer layer to allow the white primer to show through. I always told myself that one day, somehow, I’d give that stunning paint scheme a shot with my own models.
(Sidenote: The figures you see in this post very nearly went into the trash, as they fell victim to a can of defective, cloudy matte spray sealer. Luckily I’ve learned that it’s possible to resurrect figures with that infuriating cloudy/chalky appearance imparted by a bad can of matte spray. Just get a fresh, new can and spray over the cloudy stuff, and it generally washes away and blends right in.)
So we’ll see where this goes. I’ve got a small pile of models on order, plus tons of store credit at a local shop in town. While I think it’s safe to say that I’ve passed the point in my life where the actual game of Warhammer 40k holds much appeal for me (it’s hard to get excited about army lists and expensive new model releases and min/maxing and all that) I think there will definitely be an opportunity to get these models on the table for something like Tomorrow’s War, or In the Emperor’s Name, or Blasters & Bulkheads, or any of the many fun, eminently playable sci-fi rulesets out there.
I’m excited to paint these guys, really I am. Chaos always held a special place in my heart back when I was playing 40k in the mid-90s. Chainsaws and shoulder pads and machineguns and tentacles and everything in between … literally every single model looked like it stepped right off the cover of a heavy metal album. What more does a gamer want?!