Painting Spotlight – Aaron Jorre, Angry Marines
What is the painting spotlight all about.
This painting spotlight comes off the back of 2018 Objective Secured First Blood event. As I said in my previous two posts Wrap up part one and Wrap up part two the level of painting at First Blood was amazing. Currently for Objective Secured Events we run our painting competitions two ways. The first, which happens at every event is peer judged painting and the second (which only happens at events with soft scores) is that the TOs score the painting based on a score sheet that is published in the players pack, that is the score that goes into the Overall Score for the event.
One of the questions we often get is ‘How can I improve my painting score?’ While I was at First Blood it occurred to me that if we could talk to some of the hobby community that are consistently scoring well for painting not only in peer judged but also in the TO scoring and get some photos of their armies it may help give people ideas on things they can do that will get them additional points.
This is the first Spotlight on Painting and so I am still playing with the format. I am thinking I will go through the painting score sheet that we are currently using (with the disclaimer we will be changing it in the very near future but the points I highlight will still be relevant but the points will differ in the next incarnation of the score sheet. I will then chat with the hobbyist and talk about what when on in the background of creating their master piece. I’m going to add a second disclaimer. Please remember that the models I am photographing can be an inch tall, I am magnifying them significantly so that the readers can see the detail. M hates me photographing his models because flaws that are not visible to the naked eye are very much visible when photographed with a macro lens and blown up. Please do not be critical of the artist for any imperfections you may see. I also want to say a huge thank you to the artists that have agreed to be a part of this series, we couldn’t do this without you!
Introduction to Aaron Jorre
Our first Painting Spotlight is 2018 Objective Secured First Blood Peer Judged Painting Award Winner (try saying that 3 times quickly! Talk about a mouthful) Aaron Jorre’s Angry Marines army. Aaron is a 40K player but like many gamers has played a lot of games over the years, has been a regular attendee of Objective Secured events over the last 2.5 years and consistently scores well on both peer judged painting and the TO judged painting. Aaron has been painting on and off for the last 20ish years after his mum, a scarily talented artist, taught him to paint way back in 2nd edition when Aaron was probably only 15. So not only does he have many years of practice under his belt he also learned his painting skills from an expert! (I always love it when I ask people how long they have been playing/painting, decades have often passed without the players realising it and the response is often ‘ahhh that’s scary!’ Aaron was no exception when he realised it was two decades!)
Apart from his painting skills the aspect that I find most distinctive about Aaron’s armies are the themed display boards he always has. They are highly detailed, themed, and they are visually very appealing. They make his armies stand out in the crowd.
Many of you will have seen the Angry Marines memes that are floating around and I think Aaron has done an amazing job in theming his army this way. I will include my chat with Aaron at the end of the post.
Looking at the painting score sheet.
The maximum that anyone can currently (8th Feb 2018) score for painting application is 18. We are looking to give additional points for detail, shading, highlighting, etc. then there are an additional 2 points if the standard is consistent across the whole of the Angry Marines army. This means that if someone paints one model at a high standard but everything else is table top standard then they wont get the additional 2 points. As you can see from the photo of the whole army, nothing stands out as being well above the standard of the rest of the army and nothing stands out as falling short of the high standard that Aaron has painted his army to.
When we are looking at basing all you require to meet the standards is that the base is painted one colour, the paint is tidied up around where the models touch the base and the edges of the base are painted as well. The photos of the bases that Aaron has used are at the Advanced level on the current score sheet. He has several textures and lots of additional features and advanced painting. The bases don’t add anything to the game as far as the models skills or abilities but visually they add a lot! In the next section of the score sheet under Army Aaron got an extra 3 points for cohesive basing. So those amazing bases not only add something to the game visually, they also added an extra 10 points to Aaron’s painting score. Pretty much all of the photos of Aaron’s army that I will put in this post show the basing standards so when you are looking at the other photos also have a look at the way he has based his models.
Army (check box selection)
If you look at any model in Aaron’s army it is clear that it belongs to the Angry Marines army. His whole army is consistent and I already spoke about his consistency with basing.
I LOVE the unit markers on Aaron’s models. The shoulder pads have different markings and they really don’t need any words, check out the photos.
The basing on Aaron’s Angry Marines is fantastic but he certainly got points for showcase bases on selected models. My favourite of course was the base with the magnetised Ork that is being kicked. The Ork can be removed for play or any other model could be added depending on who Aaron was playing if he wanted to mix it up bit.
Aaron has just a little bit of freehand work on his models. I’m not sure there was a single model that didn’t have some sort of freehand work!
Like a lot of painters/modellers/hobbyists the idea behind conversions is that you can’t actually tell that the model has been converted. Aaron did make an exception to that concept with this model.
From the photos that I’ve added so far, it feels pretty clear that Aaron has shown extra effort on identifiable characters and centrepiece models!
Sadly there are only 6 points available for hobby points! We award additional points for display board, custom objective markers, custom dice, story, theme etc.
Here is how Aaron scored all of those six points
Custom objective markers/tokens
Additional items: Aaron had a scrolling video of Angry Marines pictures playing on his tablet with accompanying music that added light and sound!
Interview with Aaron
I had a brief interview with Aaron to chat about some of the aspects of his painting and his army. Here is what he had to say!
I LOVE this theme Aaron, what made you choose it?
The idea of doing an Angry Marines army originally started with Shadow war Armageddon which came out just before 8th ed. I was experimenting with different marine factions and ended up doing a little more research into the Angry Marines. They seemed really fun and light hearted. When 8th Ed. started I straight away decided I would do something with the new primaris models.
YELLOW?! What were you thinking?! Were you not worried about how hard it is to paint yellow consistently?
I understand a lot of people don’t like painting yellow, but like anything difficult, it is only difficult until you find an easy way to do it. I found a fairly simple technique that looks good and doesn’t take too long to replicate.
Ok, I have to ask, what is this simple technique? I’m wondering if your idea of ‘simple’ and my idea of simple are VERY different?
My yellow recipe is incredibly simple, but does take a bit of preparation. I use Zenithal highlighting. As a base I like a really dark brown. Unfortunately I have been unable to find an undercoat or spray can dark enough. So I have been undercoating in chaos black and to get the dark brown I airbrush a coat of brown over the top of the black. The next step is the zenithal highlight. I use the games workshop Averland sunset spray and dust the model from the top, trying not to spray any of the underside with yellow. Once it dries I coat the whole model in Casandora yellow (dont let it pool) let it dry. Then I edge highlight with Dorn yellow and its done. The beauty about this method is its all done with a can or airbrush or quickly applying a shade. The only careful brush work you have to do is the edge highlighting. So its really quick. Once you add some battle damage and weathering the model will look great, but that is optional!
How hard was it to paint yellow?
This was not a hard yellow to paint. It’s a very simple yellow with simple highlights flashed up with some battle damage. I believe it’s the army wide battle damage that makes a fairly average paint job look more impressive than it is!
How long did the whole process to build, convert and paint the army take?
I would say I started this army about 6-8 months ago, just after 8th Ed. dropped. The first unit I painted was the banner bearer. After that, I decided to try and get a complete force ready for First Blood. [editors note, I know this was made a little harder for Aaron because we were late publishing the players pack for First Blood as we were waiting on our copy of Chapter Approved to arrive so that makes getting this completed in time even more impressive].
There are some seriously impressive parts of the army, what would you say was the hardest or most challenging part?
The most challenging part I think would be doing freehand work on a model you’ve just spend hours painting! Freehand painting is probably one of my weakest skills so I was really worried about messing up a model I had spent hours painting already. Fortunately The Angry Marines aren’t known for their artistic flare. So my messy freehand was sort of in theme. [Editor’s note – he is selling himself short!!!]
What about the good bits, what part do you LOVE?
Part that I love…. there are a couple! The Primaris Librarian shooting a spectral fist flipping the bird was one of my favourite conversions. Even though he wasn’t a very effective HQ, I had to include him in the army once I had him painted! The intercessor holding the bloody orc head turned out so well I have to give him special mention! Also the Dreadnaught crushing a cultist underfoot while flipping off the enemies of the emperor was definitely a favourite!
Which part was a giant PITA that you wish you had never started?
The only part of the project that almost killed my will to live was the repulsor. I’ve simply never had a model take me that long to paint before. But i new it would be a centre piece for the army and I didn’t want to cut any corners. I remember my wife taking my daughter out one Saturday leaving me with the whole day alone. I spent 10 hours straight painting that damn tank. I was probably only half way through at the end of it to! [Editors note – this is why at events I try to thank wives, girlfriends, significant others and parents. There are MANY partners that do not support this hobby so when you find one who will give you 10 hours to paint half a model hang onto them!]
Conversions can be hard, obviously the smaller the pieces you are working with the harder it can be, how hard were the middle finger conversions.
The middle finger isn’t too hard to convert if you’ve got a lot of spare bits! Just cut off a pointy finger and attach it to a clenched fist. It might require a bit of green stuff to clean up.
You had SO many hobby extras, which one/s is/are our favourite?
My favourite hobby extra would have to be the display board. I almost didn’t finish it in time, but I’m glad I put the time in and got it done. A good display board is an investment for any serious hobbyist. If you do it right it will last you years and can be used with multiple armies. Once you have it. It is always there and you will use it every time you go to an event no matter what army you are playing.
What advice do you have for people who want to build a showcase army?
Advice for building a showcase army. Well I’d say first you need a theme that you enjoy. But also something that other people can relate to. In our hobby there is a lot of bias towards different factions (that’s half the fun). A cool theme will make people who do not generally relate to your army choice have a second look or at least appreciate how much work you’ve done. A display board that attracts attention is an investment. If there are 50 + armies in a room it’s so easy to skip past a really well painted army without even realising. You need a way to make people stop and look at the finer details. Lastly I guess make sure your enjoying the army. If it’s a fun theme and you like what you’re doing it’s much easier to sit there and keep doing it. I have a small group of friends I shared this project with from start to finish. Brainstorming possible conversions and different rude words to free hand on their armour was really motivating.
I would like to say a huge thank you to Aaron for allowing me to photograph his army and for taking the time to answer these questions. I hope that you enjoyed checking out the photos of the army and that you picked up some tips.