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Warhammer 40K, How to run a club: The First Session

Last time I spoke about the pre-session for club members.

After you'v got them hooked on the dice rolling, and inspired them with your awesomely painted Space Marines, it's time for them to discover the best bit of the hobby; Your Dudes.

Your Dudes is a concept which makes 40K different from most other games. Whilst some Miniature games like X-Wing are leveraging some other intellectual property so sell models, Games Workshop encourages you to take their ideas and put your own on them. Like Ultramarines but hate blue? No problem, paint them desert khaki and call them the Sandstorms. Like the idea of Tau, but aren't a fan of the authoritarian fluff? Cool, run your own sept in pink and say their Ethereals are democratic in their approach.

Your Dudes means you paint your models however you want them. It's a light form of 'Counts as', a similar concept which allows you to put fizzy pop (or soda for you non-limeys) cans as a drop pod. Fizzy pop pods are a stretch, but if you present an awesome sand coloured marine army and just say they're Ultramarine successors, no one will complain.

To introduce them to this, and the actual hobby side of the hobby, you whip out a starter Space Marine, or a starter Stormcast Eternal.

In my case it's all been Stormcast Eternals, as Games Workshop have been awesome in supplying me with a massive stack of them. It occurs to me now that maybe people don't know where to begin in getting this stuff, so I'll make another post on it later.

Things you'll need:

  • Starter models
  • Clippers
  • Mould line remover/craft knife
  • Plastic glue
  • Starter Paint kit
  • Palettes
  • Optional: Sand and PVA glue, Undercoat sprays

Get them to construct their own dude. You may need to help them with the construction, particularly if they've never done something like this before. Encourage them to carry out good modeling practice, like clipping off flashing (the little plastic flakes and bits) and removing mould lines, but don't stress yourself or them too much about it. Remind them it's a starter model, and that mistakes have cost you nothing.

The mould line remover tool is invaluable here. If you're a teacher, risk assessments get exponentially bigger the sharper your tools are. The mold line remover is just a flat, consistent metal edge. It does the same job as a craft knife, but with a fraction of the hazard involved. Unless you want to supervise modelling full time, get a couple of these tools.

As an option, I always have students base their models in sand. The objective with this session is to have an awesome looking model, and a fully textured base helps us achieve that. Dry brushing a sanded base looks great straight away... even if the rest of the paint job is a bit dodgy.

This can take up a whole hour for raw beginners, so you may want to end it here. But if you have time, go straight to undercoating. If you have  the whole club on the same task, take them outside and get some spraying done. Otherwise you may have to enlist some older students you trust to supervise them. Honestly, the first time I did this I had to keep them in my classroom, and so we did it the old fashioned way with pots of Imperial Primer.

And leave it there. The next session can be about painting in general, but you're going to have to wait for models to dry. If you still have time to use up, hit your book collection. Show them codices, warscrolls and White Dwarfs to inspire them for the next session. You also may want to show them the first step towards getting their own miniatures.

The second session will deal with painting in general, and tips and tricks for ensuring a successful session.

Thanks for reading.

If you liked what you saw, and you want to help out, please visit and donate at my Patreon. Every Little helps!


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