I finished paint judging at about 8:15a.m. yesterday morning and got to witness the successful completion of the 9th annual Lonewolf GT. It was a great time and I learned a few things about painting along the way as well.
After judging around 85 armies in a 2 day period, I have come to realize that there are some definite steps a player can take to make their army stand out for those player's choice and best painted awards. If you don't feel you are up to that high standard, these tips will also help improve your soft scores in a tournament.
Dave's 5 tips for scoring well in the painting category.
1) Paint your entire army!! Out of about 85 armies, somewhere in the neighborhood of 25% weren't fully painted. This is huge. Don't procrastinate in getting your army painted.
2) Base your army consistently! Don't leave bases unfinished. Then, don't have several different basing schemes. Keep the army look consistent. After all, your entire army is fighting on the same battlefield. Their bases should look the same.
3) Layer- The differences between a fully drybrushed army and an army with even two layers of paint is huge. Drybrushing gives off a very chalky, messy look and while it is nice for quickly painting chainmail or fur, it shouldn't be used army wide. Yes it is fast, but it won't get you as many points. Simply laying down a base coat, a layer of wash, and then a second highlight layer looks far better (though I advocate several layers). Simply doing this should pip above the vast majority of armies. Check out the From the Warp painting archive for some great articles on how to make your army pop.
4) Remember the details- Pic out the various trophies, gems, EYES, etc. in your army. Don't pass over them. Picking out these small portions of the model really helps and makes them pop. If you don't want to spend the time to do that on every model, pick out a few key models, do them well and place them prominently when being judged.
5) Get a display board- Not a cafeteria tray or even a tv tray. Those work for keeping the army together and for easy transport, but they aren't a DISPLAY board. A display board is meant to help model the army in a dynamic way so that it looks cool. Most of the time they include scenery Base it just like your army is based and spend some time on it. Display boards really set up many of the armies I judged for higher points. If you want to go the extra mile, you can make a highly creative display board. Some people include electronics in their boards! Check out some of the boards below.
Following these tips can make a huge difference. There are also a lot of other things you can do, but these small things can make quite a difference in your painting scores.
As promised, here are some of the sweet(-er) armies from the tournament.
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