Sunday, 25 November 2012

Tournament Gamers Painting Masterclass 3: Paul Scott – Plague Marines

Tournament Gamers Painting Masterclass 3: Paul Scott – Plague Marines

I’m not going to sit here and tell you how well I know Paul. Fact is we never crossed paths before him living in the north and myself living in the south. However when I was looking at the Heat 1 results from the GT I saw this huge Plague Marine Staring at me! Wondering what it was I came across Paul’s army and much to my own delight saw he was a tournament gamer and took the top spot for painting at Heat 1! So i contacted him and asked him about his army and to write about himself. Without further ado this is his story!

1. Tell me about yourself and how you got into Warhammer

I’m a 33yr old toy soldier sci-fi loving geek. I worked for Games Workshop for nearly 12yrs doing a mix of jobs from retail to customer service to writing Battle Games in Middle Earth articles and the odd thing for white dwarf amongst play testing and such.

I now commission paint from home for anyone who wants me to from your everyday gamer to Mantic Games. That is in between watching the Hitler channels on Sky TV, reading every pulp military sci-fi novel I can grab and answering to every whim of 3 demanding house cats; Magnus, Jessica and Kitler…

I got into Warhammer/gaming when I was 10yrs old back t’up north. I used to love comics, Victor for boys, Victory, Battle and commando etc. One day I was allowed to go to the shop on my own to pick them up as my grandfather was busy. I had a £5 note in my hand and walked in the shop to get the latest instalment of Jonny Red and looked at the top shelf! Bad lad. On it I saw a strange but mesmerising magazine-WHITE DWARF 122. £1.25p later I was the excited owner of pages of pure awesome and wonderment. When I got back to my Grandparents though, I was taught the virtues of not spending more money that wasn’t yours then you were meant to…

Well after reading it and feeling decidedly lost, amazed and stunned I convinced my Grandparents to get me a subscription and that was it, I was hooked.

2. Why Plague Marines?

The very first few issues I was subscribed to were the ones fleshing out the Eldar and their craft world culture. They ruled my gaming love for about 10-12yrs then the Tau arrived and I was carried away with my love for mecha. After a long period of becoming very lucky with my Eldar and Tau and having built four Tau armies including ones for 40k rule book and white dwarf, my colleagues in Games Workshop challenged my gaming sensibilities into doing something different and out of my comfort zone. They picked Chaos marines.

Little did they know that one of the very first books I got besides WD was the now very hard to come by “The lost and the Damned” book of Nurgle and Tzeench. Well I already had the seeds of corruption and festering awesomeness growing in me from that moment. So a Chaos Marine Nurgle army was well just perfect. It was also a way to challenge myself, I had never converted or green stuffed anything before, well that’s pretty much what a Nurgle army is! That was 7 years ago! (I know 7, the sacred number, mmm)

I think of all the armies available to 40k gamers the imagery and background of Chaos Marines allow the most variation. Almost everything you can think of fits into it. Any conversion, kit bash and sculpts can easily sit comfortably in a chaos army and not look out of place. This allows utter customisation. What more would you want than your army to be yours and different from all the others.

Oh and converting and green-stuffing Nurgle themed minis…easy, so forgiving…I mean how does anyone know if you have done anything wrong? =)


3. What drives you to continue painting?

The itch in the back of my head. On any given day I will have ideas and images flying round my head. It’s obsessive. My wife loves going to see a sci-fi film and when aliens, machines or some such walk on the screen watching my face light up with childish glee.  She is never under any illusion that it was about the film, rather how I can convert something like what I’ve seen and fit it in to my army.

I just always want to improve or do something new. I think it comes from my time at college and uni doing art. You would always see your work improving, that’s means what you’re doing there and then isn’t your best. By the time I finish something I generally don’t like it much…I know, it’s stupid. It’s a pain in the butt.

Not only that that though, putting your little piece of the background and imagery into the game gives me a buzz, shows others what I like and how I see things and lets them enjoy it to.

Oh and the growing number of cool little companies out there creating and selling awesome sculpts and conversion kits.

4. Do you find taking armies to tournaments restricts what you can do with you army painting wise?

Erm…Not at all I would say! Infact I think being primarily a tourney player has improved my painting and given me far more things to paint. Back in the day every tourney had some pretty tough painting scores, so enjoyable or not you wanted a solid painted army. Combined with my niggle at always having to do better, I started to focus more and more on the painting theme and look of a force.

Besides that, having a themed army always looks nice and is a great way to distract from whatever jury rigged filth death star list you might have…well for a short while anyway ;)

As time went on and painting scores became softer I had already got the itch. I became averse to taking net list or obvious killy things. Just like the look of your army is nice to be personal so is the selections you take in it. It’s very boring otherwise. As such I started to take less obvious or used units in my army. This gives me more things to paint ad fit in with my army.

So the simple addition of a none life essential paint score attached to my toys….made me paint better…. Yup I’m that easily manipulated! It even lessened my competitive streak to a manageable level and strengthened my love of just making stuff.

5. What was your toughest challenge in this army?

I don’t think it would be any one model/ unit but the army it’s self. When I started this I had never done a chaos army, never painted flesh, never painted marines. And most importantly had never used green stuff. So the whole thing was a bit of a challenge from the start.

But if you stick to stuff your familiar and easy with, well you never learn or get better or find an appreciation for yours or other people’s abilities.

6. What’s your favourite model?

That’s a tough one. Hmm. I love everything I’ve done. Not in an “I rock check it out way” but in a sentimental way. Every unit I have has sat in my head for a while urging to get out and be painted so I am familiar and fond of them all. But if I had to pick it would be my Nurgle Plague Bearer Giant, with my Ogryn daemon princes and Oblits coming a close second and third.

The first mini I really went to town on was my beloved Nurgle Plague Bearer Giant. I had had the idea of a model based using the newly released Warhammer Giant. I didn’t like it as a kit but loved the potential for kit bashing that it presented.

I bought the mother-load of green stuff and my enduring wife bought me some sculpting tools as a gift. I went to town on it Just dived in the deep end. No sense pussy footing around and second guessing yourself with stuff you don’t know, or you will chicken out, so I just went feet first.

Now and with hind sight I would have researched other games blogs, you tube vids etc. to get tip and such. Or asked my friends in the Forge World studio who do this sort of thing for a living… Even so it was really enjoyable and all seemed to go well. That is until I finished making it…

It then sat there for about 6 months begging me to paint it. But I couldn’t. I was convinced any paint job I would do on it would ruin my hard work.

Well wife to the rescue again and not for the last time lol. One night we were in Bugman’s after I had had a game. She was GW’s receptionist at the time and new everyone. Whilst rubbing in my spawny dice manipulating win against my mate over a pint of Bugman’s (peculiar taste) she grabbed my giant and literally skipped across Bugman's pig tails bouncing with a big smile on her face over to a table where a solitary figure sat scribbling in a small parchment note book.

To my dismay it was John Blanche. She had threatened to show him my stuff for weeks. I had not really believed she would, not realising they’d known each other for years in GW. I was mortified; I hate fan boy type behaviour etc. And there was eye looking abashed whilst my wife showed an icon of the hobby my mini like I was a teeny-boppa hobbyist gushing over a celeb. Nightmare.

I went over to tell her to behave. John had a hold of the big boy looked at me and went “nice, really gritty and grimy, but in my opinion Paul what you need to do is put some massive pussy bulbous nackers on it…”

Well what could I say to that…?

He then berated me for not painting it and to do it sharpish otherwise he would take it of me as he wanted to paint it himself. I painted it over the next two nights!

So whilst maybe the most interesting challenge in the army, I am not sure I can say it’s the biggest challenge as I haven’t finished the army and don’t think I ever will. I always just keep having to add new stuff.

7. What painting project is next for you?

Personal project? Well I am planning and collecting bits for a new chaos…Nurgle… army. Yeah original and fresh eh? I want to do a renegade army that is more grimy and clunky rather than mutated and chaosy as such. This way I can use it as a very, very dubious loyal marine army or a renegade army. It will probably be based around the old Blood angel successor chapter you rarely hear from any more; The Flesh Eaters. Barbaric blood thirsty fighters. Planning on them being a post-apocalyptic/gladiatorial industrial looking force…if you can imagine that. Got some awesome bits from Maxmini and Puppet wars websites. Very excited about it.

However as I am full time painting on commissions now it looks like I will not get down to this anytime soon. I have currently, a squad of Dire Avengers, 60 dungeon crawl Orc minis, and a 3000pts Empire army amongst other little things to paint! And a fortress of redemption in the post to me for a nice chap.

I know, it’s a hard life!

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