|Ponder powers engage!|
Vanilla marines would involve implementing the crackpot scheme I have to slowly swap out my existing BA troops with the new, detailed models. While I love this idea, putting it into practice for this application would require me to paint twice as much stuff since I'd be doing the vanilla marines for the grower, plus I'd need to replace (and paint) the models taken out of my BA army to keep it usable. This is the most appealing option in that it'd scratch an itch I've had for a while to do a non-standard marine army, one that could be used as a counts-as army but wouldn't necessarily be designed in that way. I could even convert the models into recently turned Chaos marines, another itch I've had. Unfortunately this plan would involve a significant investment of both time and money. As such, vanilla marines are off the table.
Blood Angels are the practical choice. I have lots of them already, most of which need plenty of attention, and this would be the perfect chance to get the army painted to a decent standard and add some of the bits (Honor Guard, Vanguard Vets, Stormraven, Dreads, Terminators) that I've been looking at for a while, plus I could start bringing in those new BA models and phase out the older generic marines. Coming off the LPC, I've figured out how to do red and am familiar with the BA kits that I'd surely be using. The problem here is that this would go against the general idea of starting a new army and building it up over time. Fickle painter that I am, I'd also like a change of pace after three months of Blood Angels.
Grey Knights are the new hotness and something I've thought about plenty over the last little while. Being an elite army with a low model count, they're ideally suited for this sort of thing as I'd have plenty of time to paint and could spend all the time I wanted to do things like highlighting the boatload of text across the models. The army is bound to play differently than my BAs, so the slow pace would give me time to figure out what the models I have do before I get more. The models themselves are fantastic, which is a bonus. The snags here are twofold. I don't have any GK models at all, not even a random character, so I'd be shelling out for everything. I have some of the original metal terminators, but I think they're undersized compared with the new ones and are generic marine termies, so they'd stick out doubly amongst the new GK models. There's also the matter of GKs being yet another power armor army. While they'd have a different feel from the BAs, they'd still be marines in the end and thus more of a different flavor than a new dish. EV touched on the prevalence of power armor between us and while it isn't a deciding factor by itself, it does figure into my thought process.
Finally, there's orks. In a different way, orks are perfect for this. I already have a boatload of them, probably enough to make a couple of the lists I've been banging together. They're the opposite of marines in many ways, both in terms of model design and army feel. They would also require a different approach to painting, one that focuses more on efficiency than beauty. I've tried this before and ended up spending weeks painting five shoota boyz, and not even finishing those off. Orks also present marvelous modeling and converting opportunities, plus it would be a great excuse to paint a lot of green, a color with which I am very comfortable. The problems here are also the strengths. All the non-Wazdakka lists I've put together over the last 24 hours or so have had at least 100 models. The 250 point increments that EV is considering would equate to a full squad of 30 boyz, with a handful of points left over. Obviously Nobz and vehicles would bring that number down a bit, but not enough to make doing Orks in this manner different from the pace I had in the last month of the LPC where I was pouring 9 of 10 spare moments into painting. I like painting and all, but I like other things too. For all that the army would play differently than marines, they're very similar to Blood Angels in that Orks are an assault army. How they get to melee is different, and what they do when they get there is too, but they're still an army that wants to scream across the table and punch people in the face. I'd also be doing a lot of work on AoBR boyz to try and make it look like I don't have 50 of the same model on the table.
So which way will I go? I'm not sure. I plan on stopping by the FLGS before work today in the hopes that they're selling the GK codex a day early. How that codex hits me will play a big part in this decision. Grey Knights are the army I'd like to do for this, and they fit the format almost perfectly, but without a book to work with I can only speculate on what an army looks like. The sheer number of orks to be painted, combined with the deadlines inherent in the slow-grow format, make orks a proposition that I'm not sure I want to commit to, but I do have a bunch of them that I want to get painted and this would be a great opportunity to do just that.
In other news, I think I put two coats of gloss varnish on the Sanguinary Guard today. My can is getting close to empty and while it looked like plenty was spraying out, the models aren't as shiny as I expected. Granted they're shiny to begin with, being mostly metallics, but I still wonder if I've actually sealed them or not. I may get another can of varnish before this one runs out and give them a coat of that just to be sure. I also saw this Librarian model over on the Dave Taylor blog. It's all sorts of sexy and makes me reconsider my plans for a kitbashed librarian. In particular the "casting" hand is wonderful and an idea I'm ashamed to not have come up with/run across sooner.