I have avoided painting my vehicles; one, because of the sheer size and surface area, and two, because I wasn’t sure how I was going to add detail and make interesting such a big and flat model. But after several painting sessions and coming up with more ideas as I went along, I’m pretty happy with the results.
I again employed dry brushing, which is a new technique for me. This brought out the details and edges of the tank itself, also giving it a battle-worn look, and was especially effective in giving the side guns a cooler look. The water transfers... I like that they give me symbols and decals I can’t do myself, but they tend to stand out against the paint—in other words, they look like decals. The only exception is the front fist icon, which I went over again with a fine-tipped marker to make it better match the paint job (some of these pics are pre-marker). The bullet holes were made with a tiny hobby drill, then painted with the lighter dry brush color to show the dark paint being blasted off. I also had a fantasy ogre head handy, which became a decapitated trophy head, probably a Khornate monster by the color scheme.
I also magnetized the side sponsons so I can switch between heavy bolters and lascannons. (The only downside being they droop -- darn magnets went on crooked i guess.)
As the final detail to make my tank more interesting, I added a tank commander. Getting sick of the blue, and this big model having lots of it already, I opted for the techmarine look of all red armor, making this white-bearded grandpa Santa Claus. And then I went even further, magnetizing the hell out of him too! His head and waist have magnets, allowing head swaps and switching from tank to legs. If I were to opt for the tank upgrade of Sergeant Chronus from the SM codex (which ain’t likely, as I can find a dozen better things to do with 50 pts), I could remove him from the wrecked tank and place him on some nice sturdy legs, complete with a holstered pistol on his hip. And if I decide to run a chaos army needing armor support, I can even swap heads, making Santa into Satan.
Tactically, this is usually the only heavy vehicle I use on the battlefield (I just like infantry). I generally give it heavy bolters and the autocannon (gotta stick with the classic tank look) and then just pivot on the spot, giving me two S7 and six S5 shots, all AP4. This is great for decimating infantry units, beating down big monsters, and dropping light skimmers from the sky. It also absorbs a lot of abuse and is generally intimidating, especially when it starts rolling toward the enemy’s lines.
(I also tend to go camera crazy and take a lot of pics...)