Painting and Modelling

Death Before Dishonour places a strong emphasis on the hobby aspect of Warhammer 40,000.   Although the tournament is open to anyone and it’s not critical to be an amazing painter, we’d like to ensure those people with stunning armies are able to compete to be our true champions.

The most basic painting standards for this tournament are similar to others:

  • Your army must be fully painted with at least 3 colours and have a decorated base.  

  • Any armies with unpainted, unbased or unassembled models will be asked to remove those models.  

However, we'd really like you to do better than that..

Painting Score System

Paint scores are split into two tiers.

The first level (0-10 points) is for “Tournament Level Painting”.  10 points represents a score of “Basic” in all categories and is the realistic baseline level we want you to bring.  

This contributes to your final tournament scores and represents a good baseline of what everybody should be able to achieve.  You will not lose tournament points if you are not a great painter. Only if you didn’t try.

The second level (11-40 points) is for “Advanced Level Painting” and contains more time- and effort-intensive techniques.  A score over 11 points will make you eligible for one of the Best Painted or Best Overall awards. 

It is likely that to truly qualify for these prizes your score should be greater than 20 - i.e. around Advanced Level in most categories.  A score of more than 30 is likely to be an exceptional army which is a joy to behold and a contender for the Paragon of Art awards. 

Again, “Advanced Level Painting” points do not contribute to your tournament score, so you do not have to do anything past Basic level to get 10 points and qualify for the “Best General” prizes.

Paint Scoring and Judging

When registering for the tournament, you will submit a self-scoring sheet showing how you feel you should be scored, as well as pointing the judges to the models or units you feel we should pay most attention to.  

When self-scoring, note that one exceptional unit or model can raise your overall score.   If you have an exceptional centrepiece model like a stunning Swarmlord, a fabulous Falchion or a beautiful Baneblade - but your rank and file models are more “standard” - push for the higher scores and write on the form which model to look at in detail.   

On Day 1 of the tournament, a judge will assess your army alongside your self-scoring sheet.  At this stage the judges are only looking to confirm your self-score is accurate, allow you to point out and discuss the exceptional models you are most proud of, and identify the armies that are to be shortlisted for the prize spots.

On Day 2, the shortlisted armies will be displayed during an extended lunchtime and the judges will make a formal pass through them to judge the Superior scores and decide on their final points allocation.

In the event of there being one or more players in prize places who have equal points, the judges will jointly decide on the final placings based on the overall style, theme and “wow factor” of the armies.

It should be noted that although a system is in place, paint judging is inherently subjective and does have the chance to create bad feelings if you are not judged to have met the standard you expected. Although we will be happy to discuss the scoring and perhaps give suggestions if they are desired, the judges’ decision is final and must be respected. 

Proxying and non-official models

It is acceptable to use proxy models, however if they are different from the model they are supposed to represent, this could cause a problem.  We want you to bring creative, interesting armies so these models would only be removed if they were abusing the rules. Do not try and tell us your Tyranid Spore Mine is actually a Daemon Prince “in his battle form”… it will just be removed from play and create bad feelings all round.

If in doubt, please send a photo to to get our blessing to field the model.


If you want to field an army with models from different subfactions (e.g. a detachment from Hive Fleet Jormungandr, a detachment from Hive Fleet Leviathan) then these models should be noticeably different to each other at gameplay distance.  A small blob of paint on the base, or the same paint scheme with a different eye colour is probably not enough and you might lose points from both your Painting and Sportsmanship scores!