Since I plan on shifting away from BA for a while, then I need to decide what army to commit to next. The next army I decide to paint I am going to go full bore on, using everything I learned painting the BA. I have two primary choices at the moment, Space Wolves and Ultramarines. I have already purchased, rummaged, traded for everything needed for both armies.
The first choice, the Ultramarines, allows me to paint all the stuff from the generic codex that I've never had a reason to paint. Scout bikers, LS storm, etc. Additionally I have all of the ultramarine special characters. The nid hunters look particularly fun to paint. For the army I plan to use all Pre-Heresy marines, which will lend a distinctive look to the force. The paint scheme plan is for a very clean application of ultra blue shaded down to very dark blue near the feet. Once the extreme shading is done, battle damage and brown dirt will be added. The idea is ultramarines after heavy engagements. Since a lot of PH fw units are used it could double as a pre-heresy army.
My second choice, the Space Wolves, have been seeing some ebay love since I just read The Fang(a must read by the way). I've been rounding up things like squads of wulfen, the limited release characters, and every metal SW scout I can get my hands on. I've already got a load of miniatures from the SW release, so no FW would be used here since the plastics are so nice. The SW let me do something entirely different, loads of free-hand. If I paint them dark, gritty and broken in the darker PH style I think they could look quite good. I've always liked muted pallets, which is what my SW scheme would be.
The only consistent theme between these two choices is that I really want cool colors paired with battle damage, and warm mud/grime/dirt. I want these to look like they have seen heavy fighting.
This is a good dilemma to have, but it does have me stalled in my painting since I love bulk painting.