Tournament Gamers Painting Master class 2: Darran Gwynne – Ultramarines
I first met Darran at the x-legion tournament having a smoke just outside the hall and we got chatting. Since then we’ve met at several tournaments and were good what I like to call tourney friends and I always seek him out to see how he’s doing. Unfortunately for Darran he’s never won anything with his ultramarine army. As you will see here this is a total travesty. Ru always mentions to me it’s one of the best painted armies he’s ever seen and you’ll see why a bit later. Ultramarines have a stigma attached to them however Darran has really captured the feel of this iconic legion. Without further ado here’s Darran and his ultramarines.
Hi, my name is Darran and I work in the Archives and Heritage sector, looking after historic records (no, not like a library). Warhammer is one of the things that I do in my spare time whilst waiting for the inevitable end.
I must have started playing 40k when I was 12 or 13 at school, and it was back in second addition when my army, Eldar, was pretty darn funky. I remember taking a break when I was 15 to have a beer and girl sabbatical which lasted until I was 21 when I got back into 40k after being dumped. Figuring that Warhammer would never leave me like she did, I threw myself into all aspects of the hobby. Although you’d think that painting is the main attraction for me, I’m really balanced in my enjoyment of both painting and gaming.
Because the clue is in the friggin’ name. I started my Ultramarines army several ago at the start of 5th Ed. I wanted an iconic army, one that could be painted in a ‘classical’ style, and seeing as how the only love Ultramarines seemed to get was from 12 years olds that attacked their models with Ultramarines Blue on a paint roller, they seemed like the obvious choice. I also decided that a First Company army appealed the most as it meant I could have lots of Terminators and therefore Forgeworld goodies.
When I set out with the army I decided that I wanted to paint an army to the highest standard that I was able to at that point. This in turn meant that during the process I had to pick up and learn new techniques such as blending, and weathering. I like to go to tournaments which means painting to deadlines. This really helps to drive me forward.
I’m not interested in just ‘getting it done’; everything has to make it into the list by virtue of the end quality of the paint job. Ultimately, I like to get a nod in the painting category at tournaments, and I feel I have learned a lot from seeing other eye catching and superb armies whilst I’m there. I’m hoping that with this knowledge I can apply what I have learnt to make sure that the next army I finish will really stand out with a more imaginative paint scheme.
4. Do you find that taking armies to tournaments restricts what you can do with your army painting wise?
It’s actually the other way around for me. I’m always hampered at events because of my refusal to put into my lists units that I don’t want to paint. I struggled to follow the meta in 5th (e.g. 4-6 Razorbacks/Rhinos) as painting spammed units would have been no fun and would have broken me. Also, I’m a very slow painter so it’s not easy for me to change my list around and bring in new units; my commitment to painting a particular squad, regardless of how poor an army choice it is, prohibits such experimentation.
I am, however, very much looking forward to a less mech dominated environment, in the hope that this may lead to a greater variety of infantry units being fielded.
5. What was your toughest challenge in this army?
Trying to win a competitive game.
6. What painting project is next for you?
I’m currently putting together a Chaos Space Marine army with a heavy Slaanesh emphasis (I’ve included a picture of a Warhammer Lord with the sort of scheme I may use). I’m going to try my hand at a few new things like sculpting, non-metallic metal, and detailed bases (the latter I’ve always let myself down with). There’s going to be a Hellbrute conversion which has been in the making for a long time, and perhaps one of the big new machines like a Helldrake.
Ultimately, I want to build an army that not only looks good, but also plays a lot more competitively. I’m just hoping that the Chaos army book will produce some filth. If it doesn’t I might have to throw myself into building an Eldar army when their book gets released.