Do you weather you models too much, heck is too much weathering a thing? How can you tell when you’ve gone too far? This article can help!
First a disclaimer: If you play Orks or Nurgle, please feel free to ignore all of this. I expect those to be weathered to the point they would reasonably not work, or would have stopped working long ago.
With that out of the way, I am here to tell the rest of you to stop. Rethink your awesome weathered look. You have gone overboard. This is not a matter of opinion. This is a fact (in what is supposed to be a tongue in cheek article before you get too upset over my tone). Also, there will be some uncredited photos here found via google image search.
They are uncredited because I A) am lazy and B) don’t want anyone to feel like I am calling them out. It is your army man. Do with it what you want.
For those of you who don’t know, I am a military man. And I am sure many of you out there are service members or veterans yourselves. For those of you who aren’t, since you are a wargamer, I guarantee you know someone that has served. As such, everyone should know or be able to verify, if there is one thing the Military does above all else it is maintain its equipment. Seriously, majority of the time is not spent fighting or even training to fight. It is spent taking apart gear, greasing it, and putting it back together. Or painting something. Or changing an annoying light bulb. Or just plain cleaning. But really, in all seriousness, that is the majority of the work.
Why? Because well maintained gear works. Keep it clean, keep it oiled/greased if it is a moving part, and keep it painted if it isn’t. I put a ship in dry dock and it literally was over an INCH thicker at the waterline from years of built up paint. Rusted and leaking gear does not function. And in combat, it needs to work. OR YOU ARE DEAD. Its simple. The enemy isn’t the enemy. Rust is the enemy.
So for those of you you just do mud on your tracks or dust on your desert themed bases, that’s cool, you too are now excused. Also, if you have an army that is just lightly battle damage, eg exposed metal, some scratches, a few bullet holes etc. that’s cool too. I am looking at you guys, the “I PUT SECRET WEAPONS WEATHERING POWDERS ON EVERYTHING” crowd. You guys are the worst. Especially you Ad Mech players.
YES YOU! I don’t know how many Ad Mech armies I have seen weathered to the end of the earth and back, but cut it out. It doesn’t make sense. At all. WHY YOU ASK?
Well, are you really telling me a group of guys who would think a cordless drill is a holy relic would allow their precious warmachines to rust? That is the equivalent of worshiping Nurgle to them. Think about it. Every moment of their day is spent fixing and oiling machines. There is no way they would tolerate rust. And if a part did rust, it would be replaced, because it is no longer optimal. Simple. Your standard Techpriest is not just going to go “Ho Hum, all this rust and leaking components are fine. Machines don’t need proper maintenance anyway…” In fact, they think every machine has a Spirit. They fell they are alive. So rusting ill maintained gear would be the equivalent of you having the flu. You would try and fix that right?
And running rust? REALLY? Do you know how bad something is if there is running rust. On a ship, if I saw running rust, I knew that I at least had a foot of pipe, probably more, that was going to have to be cut out and replaced. That means that the metal is so weak and porous, it is leaking through itself. Likely it is only held together by paint and/or insulation and not the metal itself.
So if you supposedly worship the machine god, why not show it. Make your machines look like they actually are, you know, WORSHIPED. That means cleaned, oiled, greased, polished and painted. No rust, no leaks, no heavy scratches (unless you are really going for a battle worn look. But even then I would totally believe that between firefights they would repaint their warmachines).
|The only reason this is acceptable is that it is Death Guard. If your are not Death Guard, DO NOT COPY THIS!|
Next is you Space Marine players. Seriously, a group of guys who do nothing but war and literally have serfs to do all their maintenance for them. And beyond that, usually they make sure to take care of their armour and bolters themselves, maintaining them in pristine condition. So I guarantee you their vehicles will be the same.
Especially since, once more, EVERYTHING IS A HOLY RELIC. That Fellblade: RELIC. That Typhon: RELIC. That Predator: RELIC. That Powersword: RELIC. That bolter clip: RELIC. That bottlecap: RELIC. Seriously, if it is made of metal and they can kill something with it, it is a Relic to the chapter and they are going to baby it like Cameron Frye’s dad babies his Ferrari.
Now Guard players. And don’t get on me for not saying “Astra Militarum”. HAVE SOME RESPECT FOR YOURSELVES! As a matter of fact, if you put rust everywhere and having dripping oils on every bolt of your tanks, you are Astra Militarum. If you want to be in the IMPERIAL GUARD, STOP! You think a Leman Russ is supposed to serve for centuries if it is rusting? REALLY? No. It will not be able to last a year in that condition, let alone 100.
And in all honesty, if there is any group that has all the time in the world to fix their stuff, it is the Guard. If they are anything like today’s army (which is kinda the point) they spend every bit of “Not fighting” time training and or fixing their gear. And since training typically exhausts you faster, I bet most of that time is spent on the latter of the two.
Really, everyone needs to take a hint from the Tau players. They don’t just serve a Greater Good. They server a Greater Preventative Maintenance Program. I have never seen a Tau player make their stuff look like it is 10 minutes from falling apart. And it isn’t because they are “super technological”. They may have better AI, but seriously, their ships are worse and their wargear is still metal. And metal rusts and tarnishes if it is not properly maintained. Apparently the Tau get that. But I guarantee you the Imperium would too after 10,000 years of ruling. SO GET WITH THE PROGRAM GUYS!
Okay, okay, I’ll cool my jets. Some weathering may look cool, and obviously these are models and supposed to be hyperbolic. But the trend the last few years has gone a little overboard. It is time you guys start reigning it back in…
If you are not one to walk the beaten tactical path, then come check out more articles like this on Sepulchre of Heroes, home of the 9th Legion. You can also find there plenty of other thoughts and discussions on the hobby and Warhammer 40k, particularly Blood Angels.
We feature ample hobby content in painting and kitbashing and cover several GW specialist games such as Battlefleet Gothic and Blood Bowl. Working daily to Bring the Hobby Back, so check us out!Episode 100 - E'xtending The Ph'antom Inch