Wednesday 28 March 2018

It's all in the bases

I've been having a good think about my painting points. 'What else is new?' I hear you ask. Well I've been taking a long hard look at how I approach my projects and how I complete them.

It all started on Monday night. I was chatting to  one of the regulars at my local gaming club about my current projects and he said 'it's awesome how much you've been painting recently. Your stuff's looking really great'. While it's nice to get compliments, it got me thinking: I have been painting a lot recently. Since last July, I've pretty much painted an entire Emperor's Children army for 40k, as well as launching back into my Thousand Sons for 30k, plus some Necromunda stuff. So why don't my painting points reflect that?

So I thought it over and realised something. My problem is the way I paint, or rather the way I almost finish models. Looking back, I've realised that I rarely actually complete models 100%.  I work away at a project until it's more or less done, looking good and just a couple of details to go, then get distracted and move on to something else before it's fully complete. Even if I finish a model, I often end up leaving the bases till later, which means the painting points can't be claimed.

Long story short is that due to my hobby ADD, I've been cheating myself out of a lot of painting points, even though I've been more or less painting whole armies!

So how do I fix this? Well I'm taking the obvious route. I'm going to go back to projects I've been working on recently and do the little bits which will let me claim the points for them. Bases seem to be the biggest offender in this area. As an example, I'll be able to claim 16 points just for adding another layer of washes and trim to finish these Cultists!

I can't believe the amount of easy points I've been missing out on. It seems insane. I think it's just that my mind struggles to focus on those last few boring details which complete those models and gets distracted by the next shiny thing/cool project. I'm even more amazed that I hadn't picked up on the fact that I was doing this until now.

It should be easy enough to fix though. If anything, I could do with a rest from the endless red and gold I've been painting recently, so it'll be nice to go back and break things up somewhat.

The only danger is that I'll get too distracted and forget to work on my Two Week Hobby Challenge, but hopefully I can stay disciplined enough for that not to be an issue.

Expect to see a lot of 'squad completed' posts from me in the next few weeks!

Anyone else run into this kind of problem in the way they paint? I'm sure I can't be the only one who does this.

Sunday 25 March 2018

Only three years in the making... Breachers complete!

It's amazing what you can achieve when under pressure. With the imminent arrive of a pair of Primarchs and the looming spectre of the 'Box of Shame', I managed to sit down and actually finish up my Breacher Squad:

Once I actually forced myself to work on them, it wasn't actually too bad. It was more a case of just getting myself to my painting desk and minimising distractions.

One thing I have learned is the importance of planning out transfers before doing them. I decided to add the serpent symbol of the Order of Ruin after I'd already done the decals for half the unit. I had the idea that it would appear on every one of their shields, with it going on their shoulder pads as a backup. I ran into a problem with one of these guys when I realised I'd already applied transfers to him in such a way that the serpant wouldn't look right on both the shield and the pad, so it ended up going on his lower leg instead. It wasn't a huge issue though and I've my lesson for next time.

I'm so glad these are finally finished and looking great. I've been working on the idea for them for so long that it actually seems strange to think that I've got nothing left to do. Considering I've been working on them for three years though, I'm glad they turned out well.

So that's the Box of Shame avoided, 10 painting points in the right direction and a cool looking unit to use in my game on Monday night. Not bad really.

Now to turn my attention to my Veterans and Land Speeders, plus a Heavy Support Squad. These aren't nearly as urgent, as I've only pledged a single Land Speeder to the next stage of the challenge, but I need to at least get them built and base-coloured so I can use them on Monday night.

Wish me luck!

Thursday 22 March 2018

Motivation back!

Remember that lack of motivation I was talking about yesterday? Well it seem that the universe has a weird way of solving these issues.

I got an email today saying my package of Forge World goodies has been dispatched. That basically means that unless I make progress quickly, my painting points total is going to be shot to pieces.

With that in mind I sat down and forced myself to apply the final few layers and basing on my Breachers, so they're pretty much done now. I just need to sit down with the Micro Sol/Set on my day off tomorrow and finish applying the decals.

You'll have to forgive the slightly subpar photo quality. I only had my phone camera to hand and I was about to go to work, so didn't have time to get a proper shot. Tbh I think they're looking pretty good as they are, but my principles won't let me claim the painting points for them until they're completely done, otherwise I'll get lazy and never get round to doing the transfers.

After that I need to do my Veterans and I'll be able to bump my points up by 20, which should at least cover the 'cost' of Magnus. Not sure how I'll offset the rest, but at least it's heading in the right direction! 

Tuesday 20 March 2018

That still counts as progress!

Ive been in a bit of a hobby slump over the last week. I was on a roll for a few days, ready to finally finish my Breacher Squad over the weekend, then for some reason I lost all desire to do any hobby.

I think it's because I haven't been able to get out and play a game for a while. My work schedule has been all over the place recently, so it's been over a month since I've been able to get a campaign battle in. I haven't even had time for a quick Necromunda game.

It's annoying that my desire to hobby these days is tied so closely to finding the time to game, but I suppose that's a side effect of being an adult and having responsibilities.

On a plus note I did manage to organise my hobby space a little bit. I bought a box for my vast bits collection and spent a few hours clipping bits from the bag of sprues I've had knocking about for ages and distilling the contents of some of my many bitz boxes into it too.

It's nice to get a better handle on what I've actually got instead of spending ages searching through sprues every time I want to build something. Doing this yielded some interesting discoveries. I have far more Mk3/4 heads and bolters than I'll ever need, but I'm running alarmingly low on the bits I need for my Thousand Sons helmets. I also have more Combi-Plasmas than I thought, so I may do something with those very soon.

So yeah, I'm calling this my hobby progress. I need to shake off my painting funk soon though, as I've ordered a load of stuff from FW, including no less than three Primarchs! If I don't get on with things soon I'll find my painting points shot to hell when they arrive.

There's also the fact that if I don't get the Breachers done this week, I'll be in the Age of Darkness 'Box of Shame'. Noone wants to be there, especially in my first two weeks on the challenge. I've got four days off later this week though, so I'll hopefully kick myself into shape then.

Saturday 10 March 2018

Back on track

After my little distraction, I'm returning my attention to my more pressing project, which is of course my Breachers. I promised myself that I would get my 1000pt force painted before the end of the current campaign leg, but that isn't looking like a realistic prospect now. I've got nothing in the force that's above about 75% completion and I can't even take part in the game now due to real life getting in the way.

Instead I'm going to set myself a wider goal. The next stage of the escalation campaign is 1500 points. That's not actually a massive amount more to do considering the premium that Thousand Sons pay for their units in 30k, so it seems reasonable to aim to get that completed in time for the end of second campaign stage, which will be in a month or so.

I've also decided to give myself a little kick up the arse in the productivity department. The Age of Darkness podcast (which is fantastic btw and you should check it out) runs a regular segment called the 'Two Week Hobby Challenge', where listeners set themselves challenges and aim to complete them in two week segments. It seems a great way to keep motivation up and also adds an element of accountability if I fail to complete it, so I signed myself up.

My pledge for the next two weeks is to finish painting and basing my Breachers, with a stretch goal to get the transfers done as well. This seems a pretty easy start for me, as my Breachers currently look like this:

 They're coming along nicely, even if I do say so myself. I reckon a couple of nights work on them should see them finished. Considering how long I've spent on them, I'll be over the moon to finally see them done and sitting in my display cabinet.

In case you're wondering, this is the state the rest of the force is in atm:

I finally feel I've reached the turning point between thinking 'this looks terrible and will take ages' and 'actually these are nearly done and don't look too bad'. It's a fine line, but it's always nice when a project reaches that stage.

I think the focus of the next period of the Two Week Challenge will be focussing on the Veterans, but I'll see how I feel when I get there. Either way, expect lots of hobby progress posts in the next few weeks as I get these done.

Friday 9 March 2018

Distractions (Again!)

I really am far too easily distracted. As much as I want to press on and get my 1000 point campaign army done and painted for the end of the current campaign leg on Monday night, I got somewhat sidetracked with building units for the next stage of the campaign instead.

I've got a pretty cool vision for my Thousand Sons. I want to base my army around the Order of Ruin. Essentially they're the siege and logistical experts of the legion. This triggered off an idea for me to build a 'Forlorn Hope' style Veteran Squad, where warriors who can feel the first stirrings of the Flesh Change are sent first into the breach during sieges to seek a glorious death.

There's also a cool snippet in the Talon of Horus novel where Khayon comments that the headcrests which Rubricae wear are actually styled after Prosperine funeral masks. This makes sense, considering that they're based on Egyptian Death Masks in the first place.

So combining these two ideas, I ended up building these guys:

They're going to be fielded as Veterans, geared up for close range firefights and ready to be deployed from the gorgeous new Termite models which are coming soon from Forge World. The use of the crested 40k heads for them indicates that they don't expect to return, a bit like VIth Legion Deathsworn, but with less wolfiness involved.

So if you're wondering why I can't just focus on one thing and get it done, this time you can blame ADB'S fantastic novel, a long night shift with nothing to listen to but audiobooks and my extremely hobby-addled imagination.

Hopefully I can get back on track this weekend, but we'll have to see.

Either way, I'll post more soon.

Thursday 8 March 2018

Hobby Epithany

As well as finishing up Damokai (see last post) I've also been working on my Breacher Squad for him to hunker down in.

I think this squad may actually win a prize for time spent between start and completion. I started them not long after Age of Sigmar came out. I looked at the Stormcast shields and thought 'those would look really cool on some Thousand Sons Breachers', so I ordered some from a bits website and started painting them up, intending to buy the models to go with them not long after.

Then unemployment after uni began to sting, followed by various craziness happening in my life which resulted in them being shelved. I returned to the idea last year when the Burning of Prospero box made the nesessary conversions really easy. I got the unit pretty much finished, then I hit my biggest snag: the transfers.

I've always hated doing transfers. They're fiddly and I'm ridiculously cack-handed at using them, so I normally don't bother with them. The problem is that I had a vision for my Breachers which involved arcane symbols and Legion icons all over them. My freehanding skills are about as good as my skill with transfers, so I lost my motivation to press on with the project and the squad were shelved again.

Until now!

Have you ever tried a hobby product and thought 'where have you been all my life'? That was my recent experience with Micro Sol and Micro Set.

I was talking to a friend at my local club about my twice-abandoned project and he recomended I give these a try. A quick trip to Amazon later and I decided to give them a go. I figured it couldn't do any harm to at least try them out.

My god the results were amazing. They make applying transfers a dream and produces a 'painted on' effect beyond anything I could have imagined. I really can't speak highly enough of these products. I'd definitely recommend them to anyone who has trouble with applying transfers. I managed to get those four models done in just under an hour. That includes the time spent watching various Youtube tutorials to learn how to use them properly!

So yeah as you've probably gathered, I'm a very happy gamer right now. I can finally crack on and finish the unit which started the idea for my Thousand Sons army in the first place. Expect to see a picture of the finished unit very soon. I want to get them done in time for the big campaign game which my local club has planned for next monday. Hopefully I can finid the time this weekend to get them finished.

Wednesday 7 March 2018

Finished a model!

I've been really terrible in posting on here over the last month or so. There's no excuse for it really. I've just been feeling too lazy to write blog posts!

That doesn't mean I haven't been hobbying though. I pushed on after my last post and managed to finish up Damokai:

I really love how he's turned out. He's so full of character. One look at him and I get the impression of a stubborn bastard who won't take crap from anybody. A happy accident of my painting has also made it look like he's got a scarred and missing eye, so I've dubbed him with the nickname 'Little Magnus'.

True to one of the most universal rules of wargaming, he performed terribly in his first game after being painted. Even by my usual standards it was truly appaling luck. He managed to melt his own brains and that of his Sekhmet bodyguard with Perils of the Warp on three consecutive turns against my local Emperor's Children player, utterly failing to claim the relic he was meant to be hunting for!

Hopefully he's gotten that out of his system now and he'll do better next time. I still need to paint the rim of his base though. Fingers crossed that won't cause a relapse, especially as my next game is a big multiplayer battle to mark the end of the campaign leg.

Either way, he's near enough to being done to consider him my first finished model for 2018 and for me to claim a nice chunk of painting points for him. I've been working on some other stuff as well this month, but I'm shattered after a night shift right now so I'll probably do a couple of follow up posts over the next couple of days to show those off as well.

Until then, happy gaming!