Monday 25 January 2016

Assembling some bits and pieces

Having had a bit of a problem with assembling Miss Ery, and with two days scheduled to actually play Malifaux (battle reports to follow), I thought it wise to take a little break from assembling Malifaux stuff, and do something different.

So, I went through the "to do" list and pulled up every easy to assemble single model listed, resulting in the impressive pile of stuff above (and actually not including Hasslefree Minature's "Blanche", which I found while digging through boxes for the others).

It's not all done - I had a pretty late start on Saturday, and Sunday was taken up with a little beginners Malifaux tournament over at Wayland Games. The intention isn't to paint all of these, just get them cleaned up, based and undercoated, so if I do get enthused about that particular figure, it's easy and ready to go.

I don't recall if I mentioned - I've now sorted my unpainted stuff into three clear lists. The first list is the "to do" list. This is anything I want to do myself, that I have a clear plan for. The second is the "for gaming" list, where I'm OK with painting it, but also happy sending it to a commission painter should the budget allow. Finally, there's the "Stash". That's stuff I haven't worked out what I want to do with yet, or don't have a plan for. Long term, the plan is to make the stash very very small...

Still, happy with Saturday's progress. There's a bunch of dudes (and ladies) closer to seeing paint!

Saturday 23 January 2016

Modelling in the mainstream

I was in John Lewis the other day and spotted a whole end shelf of Revell Star Wars model kits. They're relatively affordable, and are marked as "easy assembly", but I don't know if they're any good.

It struck me that we don't often see modelling stuff in the mainstream. It clearly takes something with as big an impact as Star Wars to get enough momentum to carry such things into the shops...

Monday 18 January 2016

Keeping up the pace in the New Year

This post is a little late today as later this week I'm off to play a game of Malifaux, and I needed to spend some time finding tape measure, cards and all that other good stuff I'd put somewhere "safe" after the last time I played!

So, this was the original plan for last week - get the Coryphee and limited edition Performer assembled so I have more than one build for my Malifaux crew. But I ordered the wrong base sizes for the Coryphee, and I need a thinner drill bit and pinning wire for their tiny, tiny feet. So these are put to one side for now.

I have instead finished off my Scheme markers. They are 30mm "Shrine" bases by Micro Art Studio. They were undercoated white, then washed with the new clear blue Forge World airbrush paint (with a brush). Then the tops of the miniatures (but not the recesses) were carefully darkened with the GW blue wash. Once this was all dry, successively lighter drybrushes of Steel Legion Drab, Zandri Dust and a bone colour were then applied. Finally, the edges were painted around with Chaos Black to tidy them up.

I'm quite happy with the result, as the "glow coming from the earth" effect I wanted has been achieved with only a little effort. I'm extra pleased, as that's something finished this year, and from the "pile of stuff I was halfway through", at that!

Wednesday 13 January 2016

Commission Painted Vendetta by @vidpui

Photo by @vidpui

This is the last of 2015's completed commissions.This time, it's a Valkyrie, painted for me by @vidpui after he did such an excellent job on my Valkyrie.

Photo by @vidpui
Another excellent paint job for a really good price. I'd definitely recommend people looking to get some commission work done get in contact with @vidpui on Twitter!

Photo by @vidpui
I haven't yet had a chance to try the Vendetta out in a game, but I'm looking forward to it!

Photo by @vidpui
In the meantime, the Vendetta can fly off into the distance...

Monday 11 January 2016

Preparing and assembling some Malifaux Changeling proxies

Operation "assemble all the things" is now well underway. The main task for the weekend was getting some proxy Changelings ready. I decided to get these done because the Mysterious Emissary can summon them.

(I've also been slowly working on green stuffing all the mould lines on Miss Ery, the Nightmare Teddy, but that is not very interesting to look at, and also not finished.)

I decided to go with non human looking critters, on the basis that they could be the Changeling's "natural" forms. I went with two familiars and a halfling from Heresy Miniatures, as I liked the look of them.

They are all now pinned to their bases. With the middle one (Familiar with Knife) I wasn't too comfortable with the idea of pinning into his teeny legs and feet. I remembered something I'd heard on the Mayacast podcast as a tip for assembling Infinity figures. The idea is not to cut off all the tab on a miniature, and use some of that as an integral pin. I'm pleased to report it worked very well!

The bases are Scibor "rocky" bases. I picked mine up from Dark Sphere for convenience sake. I'm planning on doing the rest of my Neverborn on Micro Art bases, but given the ones I was planning on using were out of stock, and these are proxies until the proper models come out, I thought that would be OK.

This mini project will give me a full 50 soul stone list for Malifaux that I can play. I'm waiting for the bases to come in for two Coryphee and a Performer, who will be my first "alternative" models for crew selection.

Friday 8 January 2016

A change in focus for a new year

With last year not being as productive as I'd have liked, I've been having a bit of a think about how I work on my painting and modelling.

Firstly, I've identified that I'm a bit burned out with so many committed to and half finished projects that I'm trying to push myself to complete. It's just discouraging me from going to my painting table. So, to solve that, I've taken everything 'in progress' and either put it into a holding box to be picked up as I get motivated about them again. A couple of exceptions to this were made where I had no longer got a clear idea of what I was trying to do with the model. These got dropped back into my stash. Out of sight, out of mind.

Secondly, I'm going to making my focus be more about larger projects this year. I've previously described individual models or squads, which are a single item on my kanban board, as 'projects'. That's a bad term for them. They're basically 'work items' - projects are much larger.

So instead of focussing on, say, a particular model or unit, I'm going to try and get some significant pieces of work done, involving multiple models and squads. I think getting one a quarter done is a reasonable thing to aim for - we'll have a look in a few months to see how  that went.

Finally - I'm getting a bit put off by the lead time between me getting enthused about something and me getting to apply paint to it. I also end up buying stuff and it just sitting around in boxes for ages, never seeing the light of day.

The planned solution to this is to try and move towards immediately assembling anything I get, getting it undercoated, then packing it away ready for me to get enthused about painting it. I'll get a better visualisation of what there still is to do, and less lead time if I want to get something finished. This means one of my early projects is going to be starting to get some of my existing, massive "to do" list assembled at a reasonable pace.

Beyond that, goals really come down to "try and paint more stuff than last year" and "actually, thinking about it, two items completed a month doesn't sound too bad as a basic target".

Lets do this thing.

Wednesday 6 January 2016

Review of the year - 2015

Well, that was this year.

I set myself a few goals for this year. The core goal was to complete two projects a month. There were also some stretch goals:

- Finish more than two projects in a month, and limit purchases the following month to however much I beat the target by
- Finish "Operation: Complete Other People's Stuff". (only 3 items left!)

- Clear the Hall of Shame of anything started before 2014. (5 items)

- Finish anything I started before the start of 2015. (20 items)

How did I do?

(I am not counting work commissioned out in my productivity), as I was aiming to get stuff done myself!)

Two projects a month: Done in January, March, April, June, July, August and October. (7/12)

Twenty four projects in a year (16/24)

Finish more two more things than you buy each month (complete failure)

Operation: Complete Other People's Stuff (2/3)

Hall of Shame (2/5)

Finish anything started before the start of 2015 (6/20)

What got done?

Here's the stuff I got painted this year:



(Also completed: some assembly for my wife, counted as a project, but no photo taken!)





Original paint job: Inquisitor Steve
Touch up and rebasing: The Responsible One

Original paint job unknown
Touch up and rebasing: TRO





I'm not too unhappy with the progress. I've not managed to hit my core goals, but looking back, there's still a reasonable amount painted. It is sadly mostly single figures, with none of the big projects done, but there's still some nice pieces I'm proud of here.

Given the amount of content here, I'm going to leave my plans for this coming year to a separate post. Suffice to say, I've got some ideas for how to change things up a notch!

Monday 4 January 2016

Zoraida Avatar painted by Hotdrop Studios

Photo by Hotdrop Studios

So, I took one look at the assembly on the old Wyrd Miniatures Zoraida Avatar for Malifaux, and had a whole world of "nope" about it.

I'd been seeing a whole bunch of work come across my twitter feed from Hotdrop Studios (feeds here and here), so decided to hire them to do it.

I am reassured I made the right choice. Firstly, from the description the painter gave of how horrible the assembly was, and secondly from the amazing paint job I got back.

The painting Hotdrop Studios does at this level of quality is quite expensive, but I think it's a fair price for what you get! Good communication and well packed miniature, another definite recommendation.