Monday 30 December 2019

A little painting over the holiday period

While visiting family over Christmas, I took a little "go bag" of painting supplies and a few miniatures. In between the various social obligations of the season, I managed to fit in an afternoon of painting, getting two miniatures fully painted up.

Please excuse the pictures - I had a choice between getting better photos at home or finishing another hour of Skyrim, and you can work out which won.

First up was this mimic, who was produced after winning a sculpting competition on the Oldhammer Sculpting Facebook group. I painted him with the box lid separate. He's mostly contrast paints. In particular, I love the slightly cartoonish wood look I get from using Snakebite Leather.

The tongue, however, is painted using more traditional methods, with Vallejo reds and Games Workshop Shade paints. It was a good small exercise in reminding myself how blending works, as I have some higher detailed pieces coming down the line.

I also painted this undead familiar by Diehard Miniatures. (Diehard Miniatures is the method Tim Prow puts out his personal sculpts for public consumption...) I'm pretty sure this creepy little fellow was the reason I ended up backing their Undead Kickstarter. As such, he was part of the Shelf of Shame, and is actually the first miniature from there I've got painted. There's now just an undead spaceman and an undead centaur to go.

He was base coated with Wraithbone and painted with Skeleton Horde contrast before I started playing around a bit. I tried using Black Templar contrast to drop in darker shades (with only moderate success) before drybrushing. I used both some Wraithbone but also some Vallejo pale green and pale blue to add more variety to his colours. Finally, he got a wash of Seraphim Sepia, which brought the varied colours together.

The base was washed with a couple of different contrast paints, then once they were dry, drybrushed with Kindleflame as I was curious what it would look like compared to my usual bone coloured base dry brush. I quite like it.

Unfortunately, the picture here really doesn't let you see all that much of the miniature, so I definitely need to re-photograph him with some better lighting conditions.

Monday 23 December 2019

A tidy desk is the sign of a tidy . . . oh dear

I've not really done any hobby stuff for the past couple of weeks. Or rather, I've been selling off clutter and catching up on reading White Dwarf. Oh, and I saw the new Star Wars, which I personally thought was excellent.

Sadly, this doesn't really give much basis for a good hobby blog post. I've got a tournament report to write up and had a couple of games of Infinity beside that, but looking back I didn't take particularly great pictures to illustrate a blog post on them...

The challenge right now is not to feel guilty for taking a break. Or doing other things. Striking the balance between "getting into a habit of painting regularly" and "making sure it doesn't start feeling like a chore" is one I'm still not getting right yet.

I don't want to feel like this is a grumble. It's more a flow of conscious. The thing is, life is good. I read some White Dwarfs. I saw a movie which I really liked. I've got more clutter out of my house which makes me happy. I did that rather than something else. Understanding that opportunity cost without regretting whatever thing you chose to do is something I definitely want to get better at.

I won't be doing much hobby stuff over Christmas, but I hope to get a post in before the New Year. Until then, have a great holiday season, however you celebrate it!

Monday 9 December 2019

Painting progress and musing on how brains work

Saturday was mostly chores and tidying, but I finished up the Grey Seer I picked up from the Made to Order service a while back. This makes him the first Skaven for my actual AoS force I've finished, which I'm quite happy with.

On Sunday, I wandered down to HATE to get some metal assembly done away from people who are allergic to nickel. I got three Infinity repairs done, as well as getting Queek Headtaker assembled as my next Skaven character. Two of the three Diehard Miniatures Undead also got made up - I discovered I didn't have a suitable base for the third, so I've got that ordered. Finally, I got the Caliban from Wildfire done, so that's all the Shasvastii from the starter assembled.

I had a couple of revelations about the hobby from the weekend. I've been playing "Chaos and Conquest" on my phone a bunch. It's an OK game with plenty of achievements to keep me interested. This weekend there was a timed "achieve a bunch of stuff and get a fancy champion" event. I decided to go for it and sunk a bunch of time into it . . . but it got quite stressful. It's reminded me that hobby stuff should be fun and not a chore. (And maybe extended runs of trying to achieve a thing over a timescale, as opposed to trying a hard thing and failing / succeeding has too similar a stress pattern to my work and I shouldn't do it.)

The other was over assembling the Caliban. He's got a very simple to fix gap in an obvious spot - but I'd not taken the liquid green stuff down to the club. Having a tiny part of one thing "not finished" almost completely countered the sense of achievement I'd got from getting eight significant things done (between painting, repairs and assembly).

I think it's about expectation. I've had very restful weekends where I got a bunch done because I got "more" than the target done, while another weekend where I did the exact same amount of stuff but I'd planned to do more - absolute misery.

So yeah - definite learning point. While I can't stop unexpected failings, I can try and set non specific goals "do this number of things" and set a low 'target' that I can then over-achieve and feel good, while still doing the same amount of stuff.

My brain is stupid and irrational, but at least I can game it!

Monday 2 December 2019

November Painting and Hobby Review

As November drew to a close, I managed to finish up my first Shasvastii. This is one of the Nox Troopers from Operation Wildfire, who basically serve as line  troopers. I'm really pleased with how the paint job has come out, and a special thanks to Joel Traveller who suggested adding a second colour to the gun to stop it looking too unrealistic.

I also dropped some Contrast paint onto "Trista the Loremistress", another one of the Reaper Silver Anniversary models I picked up to help me get back into painting. I'm definitely building up a good head of steam now, so pretty happy with how that went!

As I previously mentioned, I got three Inquisitorial figures done for "Purge the Pit" - which I'm now not going to. A bit sad to be missing it, but it was definitely the right choice.

So, how are the "quarterly goals" going?

Q4 Goal

  • Paint 6 models

Q4 Stretch Goals
  • Finish Skaven test paints
  • Assemble 10 Malifaux models - IN PROGRESS
  • Paint 10 Malifaux Models
  • Clean and paint club terrain crates
  • Assemble and Paint Diehard Miniatures Undead
  • Paint Purge the Pit force - CANCELLED
  • Order Organiser
  • Infinity MDF Case
It's not too bad, all told. I've now got five of the Malifaux figures assembled, and I've started on my Shasvastii, which weren't on the goals list. I've also noticed that as I go, more stuff is ticking up a warning on my Kanban Board that I've owned it for a year and not painted it.

To make sure I don't lose track of stuff I still want to paint and assemble, I've set up a Shelf of Shame page to keep track. The list currently isn't too bad. Of the five items on there, I still need to find the Diehard Undead in the Big Pile of Boxes. Then I'll need to assemble them at the club. Similarly, the Warhounds have only just ticked over, and should probably be added to the club hobby go bag.

Meanwhile, the Tsyklon and the Libertos are for my Nomads force and I need to do some test paints for those to determine how on earth I'm actually going to paint them. Once that's done, they're both lined up in my "first painted Nomads list" I've drafted up.

That leaves the club terrain crates, which are a bit of a "boring" project. Still, they're plastic, so I can dig them out and work on scraping the mould lines on them in between work that needs a bit more concentration.

The good news is that the one year mark is doing it's job. I reviewed the stuff that is "ticking over" in December and have already added a couple of things to the eBay pile on the grounds that I can't really justify holding on to them.

In other news, while I'm trying not to buy new stuff as I paint the existing stuff . . . I really couldn't say no to this. So, queued up after the Skaven are Sisters of Battle.

On that subject, I've at least started getting some base layers onto the Grey Seer. He's going to get a little more attention lavished on him than clanrats will, but I'm still not going to go too hyper detailed. I do have an army to paint, after all!

All in all, a pretty good month. I'm diverging a bit from the "planned" stretch goals for the quarter because things have changed, but that's not the end of the world. I'm still getting stuff painted and having fun.