The Arena of Escalation: Hobby Progress

The Arena of Escalation: Hobby Progress

Here at The Army Painter, we’ve officially rolled into what is internally called “Phase 2” of The Arena of Escalation. That is, our second set of goals and deadlines to hit for our ever-growing armies of Warhammer 40,000!

While there are no set parameters on what needs to be added during this phase, besides roughly 500 points worth of minis or so, many of our contestants have taken it as an opportunity to add a vehicle, elite unit, or something else of note to their collection.

Armed with our vast variety of paints and hobby tools, not even the grim darkness of the far future stood a chance against this kind of hobby progress. Let's check in on a few of our contestants and see what they've been working on for their armies.


Thomas Coltau


Thomas: As I am currently working on 20 guardsmen for this army, I decided I needed a break from, and decided to paint some elites. I made these Tempestus Scions simply by using Scion heads on Kasrkin bodies and adding the backpack light from the Scion kit as well. Simple and effective!


Thomas Scions


I used the same colours as on my normal infantry but added more gold and glow effects. For a character I painted one of my favorite Imperial minis – the Primaris Psyker. Such a cool and dynamic miniature. It was a joy to paint!


Thomas Knight


Last but not least, you get a sneaky glimpse of my centerpiece for my army. It’s still very much WIP, but it’s my allied knight. I will show off more later, but the idea was to have a police vehicle that was more functional than ornamentel, and I believe this fits with the army's theme.

You can follow Thomas' progress on his Instagram @coltaupainting.




Danni Christensen


Danni: Now that I've painted a few minis, I decided to challenge myself by painting a vehicle - enter the Hekaton Land Fortress! This massive beast is the biggest model for the Leagues of Votann. It has a lot of flat panels, which is perfect for some nice weathering and chipping. Thomas mentored me on this model, which was very helpful and Steffen was kind enough to assemble it for me as well. You can watch my process for painting this on an upcoming video!


Danni Hekaton


This was a really fun paint job. It was nice to paint a larger model since it is a bit more forgiving if you make mistakes because you can easily paint over it again. I'm aiming to do a Combat Patrol next. Fingers crossed.

You can follow Danni's progress on his Instagram @beertasticbear.




Oliver Løvendal


Oliver: For the next part of our challenge, I’m painting up even more Crisis Suits; but no T’au army would be complete without their iconic line infantry - the humble Fire Warriors. The squad itself is not yet done, as I fell into the classic trap of painting the cool big thing first, so here I present their trusty Devilfish instead!


Oliver Devilfish


Equally as iconic as its passengers, this vehicle is, in my opinion, one of those original designs that were just perfect from the start. I used the same recipe for painting it as for the Crisis Suits. One thing I have changed since the Farsight test model is how I paint the white areas. I am using successive highlights of Warpaints Fanatic Company Grey, Brigade Grey, and finally Matt White, instead of just multiple thinned down white layers. It’s much easier to get a nice result this way.

I can't wait to show you the next batch of models for the force. It's coming together quite nicely now, I think.

For the Greater Army Painting Good!




Erasmus Stenskilde


Erasmus: As I started working on increasing the number of my Orks, I wanted to include some vehicles and larger models. I decided to tackle the Deff Dread first since it has a lot of the features present on most of the other vehicles.


Erasmus Deff Dread


It was a good way to practice my red fade on larger surfaces and paint the classic checkered pattern. There is also a ton of metallic work on the model, which took a bit longer than I anticipated. Luckily, blocking out the silver is easy with the Speedpaint Polished Silver, which works wonders on a light surface. From this model, I can tell that I have my work cut out with the other vehicles. Better get back to painting!




Tyler Mengel


Tyler: What’s a Guard army without a tank or two? There will certainly be more tanks and vehicles added as the army grows, but I decided to start out with a Chimera, a Hellhound, and one of the new Sentinels.


Tyler Tanks


In theme with how my infantry are painted, I wanted to go for something quick, and luckily, the Warpaints Air range and an airbrush make short work of all the green! After picking out a few other colours, adding some chipping, transfers, and a selective wash, they get an all-over dryrbrush of Warpaints Fanatic Skeleton Bone to pick out the edges. The transfers really add a ton to the models and help break up the flat panels, bringing them to life.

Next up is even more infantry and some heavier weaponry!

You can follow Tyler's progress on his Instagram @mengel_miniatures and on Twitter @MengelMinis.




Steffen Aarestrup


Steffen: I was itching to start my avatar, even though he might end up also being my centrepiece model. The Avatar is peak 40k for me and has always been one of my favourite models.


Steffen Wave Serpent


I also started a ride for my Guardians, since they will need it badly. This Wave Serpent was painted using the Oranges Flexible Triad in the same manner as the Guardians themselves. While I was at it, I began my Shroud Runners as well.


Steffen Shroud Runners


I plan on doing the Shroud Runners as a variation of the main scheme to show them as being more secluded, maybe with some weird alien camo.

You can follow Steffen's progress on his Instagram @artificers_minis.




Sofie Swensson


Sofie: This is my first time ever assembling a vehicle, and it was harder than I thought it would be. I just got used to the figures, and now the scale of the pieces is a whole lot different! I managed, though, and got some help, and in the end, it turned out all right.


Sofie Vehicles


For the next part I’m going to paint them following the paint scheme I used on the previous minis. I think they will become gold - maybe with an airbrush for the larger parts. I’m really looking forward to the next part and painting some bigger parts.




Jonas Thyssen


Jonas: For the next stage, I wanted to add a Dreadknight and more supporting troops. However, I didn't really feel like the Dreadknight fit thematically into what I envisioned for my army. Luckily, I came across a kitbash on the Grey Knights subreddit, which had attempted to merge a Penitent Engine with the Dreadknight, and I loved the concept. It fit perfectly in my army of arcane and tormented suits of armour.


Jonas Dreadknight


I started cutting away any unneeded bits from the main housing with a Hobby Knife to fit the front of the Penitent Engine. I then bulked out the torso with Green Stuff and while that was still active, I pressed the housing of the tortured soul into it and worked the Green Stuff to perfectly fit and look like the two pieces were one. Finally, I also reposed the legs to create a more dynamic pose by cutting up the joints of the legs and then pinning them using our Miniature & Model Drill.


Jonas Basecoated Minis


The models are now assembled, primed, and have been given my Metal Armour recipe which I developed on the test model.

You can follow Jonas' progress on his Instagram @paphoved_design.




Lasse Sell


Lasse: Many more Sisters have been painted since the last update, but I want to focus on my Paragon Warsuits today! I re-posed them all slightly and re-modelled some of the weapon cables. I’m quite happy with how they turned out. It was both fun and challenging to basically use my normal Battle Sister colour scheme, but on a much bigger model.


Lasse Paragon Warsuits


In terms of the paint job, not much changed from painting my Battle Sisters. I added a few more paints from the Desaturated Blue-Greys triad for a smoother transition on the armour. The only significant change is that I chose to paint their swords in a molten-blade kind of style, and I’m fairly pleased with the result. I even went back to my past power swords and re-painted them to fit this style.

You can follow Lasse's progress on his Instagram @fantasticmapsstore.




Be sure to check the Arena of Escalation hub for more updates in the future, as well as on our social media accounts on FacebookInstagramTwitterYouTube, and TikTok. You can also follow along on everyone's personal social media accounts with the hashtag #ArenaofEscalation.

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