How to assemble and paint an army in a month (or 2): Quarantine not included.

Great Kahn, please keep 6 feet away while I finish this project!

So if you’ve been following along some of you know I’ve been collecting White Scars, and painting them for about 3 weeks as of this writing. I have had 3-4 games with them as well, and although I am working from home right now, I have been extremely busy with work, and was actually on a technical course (taken remotely from my home.)

In that time I’ve used my past experiences painting, selling, and collecting literally dozens of armies, and I know how to have a decent turn around and maximize time. So gather your tools, get some quarantine down time, and let’s get to work!

Let’s get down to it. What do you need?

  1. A bulk order of what you need, or don’t already have. You may not be able to afford all of it, but get similar type models at the same time. This definitely makes assembling easier.
  2. Stick to an army list. Make that your end goal. I screwed up here and played a few games with my White Scars realizing how terrible some list choices were and now I’m starting a few new units I had not anticipated on.
  3. Aside from the army and list, you’re going to need a few time savers. This should include the following:
    1. A Games Workshop Painting Stick. This is optional, but it has been tremendously good for the money and makes priming SO much easier and efficient. See my review of this seemingly goofy product here:
    2. In lieu of the above, do yourself a favour and get double sided tape (carpet tape) at any hardware store and use it to prime masses of troops. You can put it on a stick, or a piece of cardboard.
    3. Primer and washes. It seems obvious but make sure you know the primer you’re going to need, and get enough to keep things looking similar and prevent extra steps afterwards by trying to match your base coats up because you used the wrong primer on some of the units. Washes are key for speeding up your progress. They are like ‘free’ steps in defining the models, or even shading them. I like GW shades, and used them for Ultra’s, but in this case I’m using 2 Army Painter washes for the entire White Scars army.
    4. Finishing colours, and basing materials. I have a plan for these bases, and I’ve made sure I have enough junk to put on all the bases to make them match. As well the second and third colours for the armour is coming from my airbrush and will be consistent with the rest of the army.
It’s a stick, with rubber bands. It’s probably the most moronic thing I’ve had to explain to my wife, but she has no idea the power of this stick!
An example of one of the 3 vehicles primed on double sided tape, on a stick. (All three vehicles are on this stick.)


Eventually sanity gives way to madness as you labour over the army but keep at it. Every evening for 2 weeks I slaved away at models, which became units, then became Detachments!

Assembly: It’s not the funnest thing to do. In fact it’s my least favourite. But I bought a few Chris Wraight authored White Scars novels and it sure helped. (I love the guy’s writing too. I think the White Scars could have been fumbled pretty easily by the wrong author.)

The trick here is to fire off portions of a unit at once. In my case I have a large canvans, kind of plastic mat. It has curled edges and allows me to start something, leave it in progress, move it out of the way, then get back into it.

What I mean here is I’ll sit down to 10 Intercessors for example, and I’ll say okay… let’s get all the legs cleaned and assembled. Then I allow myself a break, depending on how long I’ve been going at it. But the trick is to acknowledge when you can realistically put another segment of the model together (let’s say upper torsos) and get to it.

An example of speed assembly of 3 very similar large kits.

Example Multi-Vehicle Speed Tip: Above is a perfect example. I wanted to start with a Repulsor and 2 Impulsors in the army. The models are so similar that I did them all, in stages, at the same time! Both Impulsors were built together, step by step.

Painting wise the vehicles all got the same “Wraithbone” spray. What about the other bits? They are all metallic so they all stayed on the Sprue, and got painted with metallic paint. (In truth I painted the accessory pieces Black, then airbrushed the pieces that would be silver with a metallic air brush paint.)

Next I grabbed some pieces that I knew I wanted red, and I grabbed some Painter’s Tape (green above) and just sectioned off some stuff and grabbed the air brush. If I didn’t have an airbrush I would have sectioned off more of the model and used my red Primer spray can. (Which I did for the turret).

Afterwards I started gluing the metallic pieces on the bottom. Next up I have to wash these models down in my Black/Brown mix, then airbrush up the panels to white, then do all the battle damage to get something like this:.

These aren’t done, but at this point aside from straightening out some of the red lines, I haven’t touched a brush to these Impulsors. I still have a long way to go, but it’s a start!

Next up I wash the whole vehicle down. I let it dry, and come back to it with a lighter blast of eggshell/White, and then brighter white.

Then the battle damage, icons, and all the highlighting, lighting, and metallics are done.

This is an example of what the end goal I’m shooting for is:

The Khan would be very impressed with the speed at which Prot paints me!

This is very close to done, but you get the idea.

So you can see from the very first pictures, down to this Redemptor,this is the method I’ve used to do it.

So what does 3 weeks look like? Something like this:

I admit this ain’t for the meek.

This is literally just shy of 3 weeks, and burnout is a thing. This is well over 2K and it has a long way to go, but I’ve completed: Hammer Capt. on Bike, Redemptor, 5 Incursors, 3 Aggressors, and the rest is in some form of completion.

I guess if I chicken out I can simply call the army Wip Scars (a successor chapter!) and play them however I want!

I hope this helps you guys and like I said it’s the right time for this kind of project with so many of us experiencing “social distancing” and whatever rules your location has in effect. This is a good way of filling out your backlog of models, and I hope there was something in it for you.

For me personally I discovered the way I have to do my Scars is a little more intensive than I hoped:

  • Prime with Wraithbone white (this is a GW contrast paint Primer. Even though I don’t use Contrast paints, I find the surface tension is excellent for the massed washes I put on the army.
  • As mentioned, next is the washes.
  • Then the airbrush does 2 layers of brightening.
  • Sponge battle damage, and do oil streaking. (this is done with AK interactive products)
  • Final colours, highlights, icons, decals, etc.
  • Basing.

And that’s it! I’ve had a few games with the Scars and hope to do some batreps soon. Thanks for checking in on the blog.


One comment

  • Its so funny, I have had the same idea and have started to paint up my primaris marines too! Not as White scars but as Imperial fists. founds a nice way to paint them pretty good and fast.

    Shall be fun to follow your new army. I always enjoy your posts so this shall be intersting and fun 🙂 Good work so far I must say.


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