We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

Why play PowerWash Sim 40k DLC when you could paint minis?

The PowerWash Simulator Warhammer 40k DLC is so similar to painting Warhammer miniatures, I ditched it to work on my painting backlog.

Warhammer 40k Power Wash Simulator DLC screenshot - the player sprays the side of a Land Raider battle tank using a hose, revealing an Ultramarines icon

Two hours into my time with the PowerWash Simulator Warhammer 40k DLC, I was certain that it was a) a great product b) for someone else. While the game doesn’t polish my bumper, I can see why people love it – and I think those same people would get a massive kick out of painting Warhammer miniatures.

If, like me, you come to the DLC because you’re a Warhammer 40k fan, you’ll find that it approaches the source material with reverence. The two Warhammer 40k tanks, one Space Marine DreadnoughtImperial Knight, and colossal Blood Angels Thunderhawk Gunship that you’ll be cleaning are all perfectly recreated facsimiles of their miniature counterparts, which you get to explore up close in first person.

Warhammer 40k Power Wash Simulator DLC screenshot - the player blasts water at the filthy backside of an Imperial Guard tank

The DLC is set in the cathedral-like bowels of an Imperial starship, with stained glass windows overlooking Mars. It’s a small environment, but as well-realised as anything you’ll currently find in a Warhammer 40k game – at least until the Space Marine 2 release date later this year.

There’s nice text-log chatter from the Adeptus Mechanicus tech priests tasked with sanctifying the holy war machines, showing off the inanity and petty politics of the Imperium of Man‘s bureaucratic, theocratic culture.

The core gameplay of PowerWash Simulator is exactly the same in the DLC as in the base game – clean all the dirt off a fabulously filthy war machine using a jet of pressurised water. It’s a time-intensive, focus-demanding task, requiring you to scour every inch of the 3D model and pry into forsaken nooks and crannies.

Warhammer 40k Power Wash Simulator DLC screenshot - the player sprays the hatch of a Land Raider tank completely clean, causing it to flash

The problem for my enjoyment of PowerWash Simulator is that I already have a near identical hobby – painting miniatures. Just like virtual cleaning, model painting involves long periods contemplating every surface of a 3D object, using increasingly fine detail miniature paintbrushes to transform it from a dull grey lump into a gorgeous little sculpture. It is every bit as meditative.

There are differences, of course. Painting minis is messy, and because it happens in meatspace you’ve got to use your crude, physical hands. Paints for miniatures have different physical properties from virtual water spray. The outcome of painting is never as certain as blasting a virtual object clean. But there’s incredible scope for creativity and personality, creating something that is truly yours.

I don’t want to yuk the yum of people who enjoy PowerWash Simulator – the idea of ranking hobbies as better or worse is tedious and churlish, and frankly I get what you like about it. There’s a chance you’ll like my hobby, too.

YouTube Thumbnail

If you like PowerWash Simulator, you’ll enjoy this DLC – it’s more of the same. For people who’ve always wondered ‘What is Warhammer 40k?’ it will give you a gentle introduction to a deep and intriguing universe. If you’re a 40k fan who’s never seen the appeal of PowerWash Simulator, I doubt that it will convert you.

Wargamer has a guide on how to paint miniatures, if you’d like to give that a shot: I also suggest our guide on how to paint Space Marines, as they’re one of the easiest model ranges to get started painting.

Want more Warhammer 40k news? Follow Wargamer on Google news!