Home > Astra Militarum, Warhammer 40,000 > When to leave things alone

When to leave things alone

My current army commander (left) and the original I painted in 1995 (right)

One of the things I love about the hobby is that with enough time and resources one can build up some spectacular armies. However unless you’re blessed with a hell of a lot of free time and a bottomless wallet such endeavours will take years and, lets be honest here, are never really finished.

When I resumed gaming in 2009 it took me a while to decide upon which 40K army to collect. Would I go for one of the races I was familiar with from the mid-nineties or would I be daring and try something new? In the end I elected to resume collecting Imperial Guard.

Back in 1995 I remember getting really excited about the 2nd ed’s Guard codex, I loved the re-imagined troops and of course, the tanks! Unfortunately my interest in the hobby was on the wane at that point so all I managed to collect was a Chimera, Leman Russ and enough Cadian Shock Troopers to make one and a half squads. Imagine my surprise then when I opened the 5th ed’s codex and saw that more or less the same tank models were still on release. This would I thought, be a breeze to resume.

My plan was to follow my original colour scheme as faithfully as possible. To this end I took my metal Cadian Lieutenant into GW Edinburgh where the lovely chap (who, come to think of it, actually resembled that model!) assured me that Knarloc Green for the tunics, and Catachan Green for the armour, all washed with Devlan Mud would be a perfect match. Obviously he wasn’t entirely correct but the new models turned out very well and I thought that on the battlefield the difference between these and the old minis wouldn’t be that obvious…

The pictures below show how wrong I was.

(L)The Russ on the left is my original from 1995, (R) one painted in 2010 shortly before the kit was superseded.

(L) My original Chimera from

(L) a current guardsman with plasma gun, (R) one of my originals.

I am in no way saying that I am embarrassed by the old paint jobs, as a fifteen year old I was very happy with them since it was the first time I had attempted to make ‘realistic’ colour schemes and to my eyes then they were masterpieces. My problem, if it is one, is that on the table they stand out for the wrong reasons.

Call me a bit obsessive but I like having a unified theme to my army, this is why all my Dark Eldar have the same multi-blue highlighted hair regardless of their unit type. These old tanks and troops just stand out too much and as such I seldom use them which deprives me of some valuable resources.

This brings me on to the question I want to ask, is it the done thing to correct one’s old choices? I would never dream of repainting my original Blood Angels since they were my first army have have long since been retired however I still play guard and I feel that I’m not doing these models justice leaving them in their current state. So, what do you think, am I over-thinking things or should I be more proud of the works from my past?

  1. 11/02/2011 at 18:17

    I’ve repainted and rehashed many of my older figures. One metal figure I’ve got has been stripped and repainted 4 times now. It’s down to preference really. You could always say they are an older detachment who didn’t want to change they’re colours when the regiment updated the uniform! 🙂

  2. Jipin
    11/02/2011 at 19:28

    My figures get repainted every time – no matter how old. My Imperial Guard, at some point, will get another lick of paint. Figures out of scale however probably wouldnt. Your plasma guy up there for instance I probably wouldnt repaint and only drag him out in emergencies!

  3. furyofmenasa
    11/03/2011 at 10:11

    Until yesterday I hadn’t looked at that old plasma guy for many years and was shocked at the scale difference! I’m definitely going to add track guards and repaint the two old vehicles seen in the photos as well as re-glue some of the track parts since they fell off during the photography.

    Right now on my immediate to-do list is an old metal Mordian Lieutenant which I’ve stripped and undercoated, it will be repainted as a Commissar.

  1. 05/03/2014 at 18:44

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