WPS FAQ Draft 0.1
1. Models and Modelling
1.1 Gosh GW figures are expensive! Are there any alternatives?
1.2 Well they were cheap but they look too small! What's this scale business?
1.3 Gosh GW paints aren't very good! Are there any alernatives?
1.4 Gosh but GW modelling supplies don't meet my needs! are there any alternatives?
1.5 I don't really need to undercoat my models do I?
1.6 OK Then, what's the best way to undercoat my models
1.7 Once I've undercoated a model, how can I paint it for best effect?
1.8 And after all that hard work, how do I protect it?
1.9 How can I strip the paint off a model?
1.11 Do I need to use GW paintbrushes
1.12 Where can I get scenery, besides GW stores?
1.12 How do I know what size base to put my model on?
Lots, as it happens. For starters, you could
try a discount GW retailer. In the UK
Chelgames are a good choice
while in Australia you could try
Milsims. If you want to
play in GW shops/tournaments you'll need to bring GW figures but
if you're not bothered about that there are a huge number of
manufacturers that make 25/28mm metal figures. A good bet are
Black Tree Design
who make miniatures specifically to mirror the GW range but at
about half the price! The quality isn't up to GW standards, but
the figures are servicable. You could also try
There are a huge number of others. Search the web!
GW and Black Tree figures are 28mm. Most miniature
manufacturers produce 25mm figures. It might not sound like a lot but
there is a difference in size. The difference becomes more pronounced
the larger the figures. So, a 25mm Goblin won't look much different
to a 28mm one, whereas a 25mm Giant is more the size of a 28mm Ogre!
Generally though, for human-size figures mixing 25mm and 28mm figures
isn't a problem. It might even make your army have a more realistic
range of heights! Some manufacturers make 15mm figures and these really
are too small: they're more Warmaster scale. Interestingly, GW LotR
figures are 25mm and not 28mm in scale so if you want a quick appraisal
of the difference, pop down your local GW store and compare LotR and
Well your choice is a bit more limited but of
course there are alternatives. The main problem with GW paints
is the tops which tend to either dry on solid or allow the paint
inside to dry in a shockingly short time. You should note that
GW swapped to the newish design about 3/4 years ago and will be
changing the paint pots soonish (read a year here). Another
good fantasy range in Coats d'Arms paints which can be bought
in the UK. The range isn't as wide as GW but you get more paint
for less money and the come in hassle-free flip top pots.
Another alternative is Vallejo paints which are hard to find
in the UK, but we've heard some great things about them.
GW do produce a very good range of colours and most of us
find ourselves using a few pots of GW paint from time
Yes, lots. If you've got a local model shop
pop down there and you'll likely find a bigger range of flock,
tools and paints than you do at GW and for a cheaper price too.
Otherwise search the net, there are lots of suppliers. For a lot
of tools and materials, your local hardware store is also a good
place to hunt. You should be aware that the 'standard' modelling
putty you buy in model shops (miliput) is generally considered
inferior to GW green stuff for conversions because it doesn't
mould very easily. There are other compaines that make green stuff
Well no, in fact, but all the best painters
do it, and for good reason. For starters an undercoat with a
proper prime (like GW spray paints) will help stop paint flaking
or chipping off your model later. It also means your paints will
go on more evenly over the model than they will on bare metal.
Finally, your choice of undercoat colour can actually effect the
overall look and feel of the finished model. Models undercoated
black tend to look darker and more muted while a white undercoat
usually results in (surprise!) and model with brighter colours.
There's basically two approaches to this.
Firstly you could buy a can of coloured primer and spray your
models before you paint them. GW spray paints are pretty good
for this: if you buy elsewhere make sure your buying a primer
and not an ordinary spray paint else you'll get inferior results.
This is the easy method and it also gives the best surface to
paint on. The downsides are that it's easy to obscure fine detail
by applying too much paint and it's very hard to get
complete/even coverage. Some people prefer making a wash of
ordinary acryllic paint about 1:1 paint to water and washing it
over the model. This is less effective as an undercoat but will leave
detail completely intact. The choice is yours. A possible compromise
is to spray your troopers and wash your (usually more detailed)
That's far beyond the scope of this FAQ. There's
plenty of tutorials out there on the web though. You could try
the painting clinic
or even the official
Again, there's lots of others so have a search of the web.
With varnish, that's how. Spray varnish
is generally considered best for this and it comes in three
flavours, gloss, matt and satin. GW only sell gloss and satin and
matt varnish can be difficult to get hold of: ask your local
hobby shop. The three differ in the finish they give to the
model. Gloss varnish is shiny whereas matt is just the opposite:
it gives a rough 'dull' finish. Satin has no prevaling finish
and generally leaves your model with the same textures it had
when you finished painting it. Which you prefer is up to your
personal tastes but as a rule of thumb, figures with lots of
armour on look best glossed while those without are better off
matted: experiment, or look at other gamers' models and see
which you prefer. There are other considerations though. Gloss
varnish is harder wearing than matt and for that reason, matt
devotees usually recommend you put a coat of gloss on and let
it dry before you apply the matt varnish. Matt varnish also has
a nasty habit of picking up dirt during the figures lifetime
which results in a very gradual muting of colour. Mind you, if
you prefer the matt finish anyway, chances are you might even
like the effect. Some people like to spray with one type and
then apply another from a pot with a brush to particular areas
(say gloss varnish to metal areas). Finally, whatever type of varnish
you chose make sure you use AT LEAST 2 coats to protect your models
and more if you feel you need to.
The subtext to this question is how do you
strip the paint off plastic models since for metal ones
you can use commercial paintstripper, nail varnish remover,
surgial spirit or any other one of a hundered household items.
Most of these will melt plastic, however and should be avoided,
especially since lots of metal GW figures have plastic components.
For plastic-safe treatment you could try non-acetone nail varnish
remover or brake fluid. Don't use Halfords brake fluid though as
that will melt plastic. In the USA, a lot of gamers swear by a
commonly available detergent called pine-sol for getting paint
off plastic. The final option is to get a pot of modelstrip
which is sold in many model shops as a means to get paint off
plastic military models. It's a kind of putty you spread all over
the figure. It's quite expensive and can be hard to find, but it
works pretty well.
No, and indeed GW paintbrushes are not
considered all that good for the price. The sole exception is
the drybrush they sell which is very good for the job and
which you won't find anywhere else. For other brushes check out
art shops and/or model shops. Don't buy cheap: it's a better idea
to spend a few pounds on a brush and look after it properly. It'll
give you better results than a cheap brush.
Again, local hobby shops and model stores
are a good bet, especially those that sell model trains,
as these often have lots of scenery bits for making train
dioramas. You could also try making your own: it's not that
hard and there's lots of sites on the net which can help
you with ideas and designs.
Unfortunatley there's no official ruling
on this from the army books, so the general answer is: whatever
size base the model was supplied with. There are exceptions though.
For starters, models on round bases are considered to have a 'square'
frontage for the purposes of combat and ranking up. This mainly
covers models supplied with flying bases (fell bats and such)
which are considered to have 40x40mm bases so many modellers just go ahead
and put them on that size of base anyway, discarding the flying
base that comes with those models. Attach the model to the 40x40 base
with the clear plastic stick supplied for the purpose. The dwarf
Anvil of Doom also has a round base but is considered to have
a 60x60mm base for combat purposes, the same frontage as the three
The next issue is models supplied without bases, such as chariots
and war machines. The base size of these models is considered to
be the size of the model itself, so an easy opt out is not to put
the model on a base at all. However, many people do base these models
for scenic effect or ease of movement but remember that however
big the base is, the actual base for charging, ranges etc is
still considered to be the size of the model.
Finally, what to do if you're not using GW figures. Well, black
tree miniatures come with GW style slotta bases, but otherwise your
likely up for sawing the metal base off the model and gluing it to
a plastic base. If you need a list, the general consesus is that
anything man-sized or smaller goes on a 20x20mm base except the
following: Chaos Warriors, Chaos Marauders, Orcs, Chaos Beastmen,
and Lizardmen Saurus. All those go on 25x25mm bases. Cavalry of all
kinds goes of 25x50mm bases. What could be described as 'small
monsters' (ogres, kroxigor and the like) go on 40x40mm bases and
'large monsters' (dragons, giants etc) go on 50x50mm bases.
Confused? You will be!