So... Painting...


I must confess. I don't get to do all that much painting. There are many reasons for this, but probably the most obvious one is scenery. As my friends come over to my place to game, there's always something else I need to make. Which is a shame because I love painting miniatures.
After a few years of financial difficulty, I'm starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. In that time I wasn't able to buy much in the way of forces, but I was able to make the odd purchase to help me towards being able to assemble the right kind of troops for the games I most wanted to play.
And here I am now, on the threshold of so many awesome games. I just need to paint my lovingly chosen miniatures.

Of course, this isn't without its conundrums. For a start, if you can barely afford the miniatures you've gazed at from afar on the Web for so long, there's the natural fear of doing a rubbish job. That'll keep you from picking up your brush.
And then there's that common problem you face when you suddenly have cash available: shiny model syndrome. You know the one. You 're about to start one project when suddenly you see a lovely miniature from an army you don' t have. And suddenly you want that one too. I've been a bit like this recently. Well, okay, a lot recently. My return to Wh40K with 8th edition has also seen me fall down the rabbit hole of Age of Sigmar. I just can't help it. The Nighthaunts are a real thing of beauty.

Then there's my old friend Pandora's Box Paralysis (or PBP as I also refer to it). This is the sinister companion to Shiny Model Syndrome. For whilst SMS will have you imagining new forces (Adeptus Machanicus being another one of mine at present) PBP will keep you from doing anything while your mind delights over one project after another. Net result: no painting gets done.
 Of course, there is a solution to all this. Have everything made already and then just get excited about a new project because the others are complete. But who ever manages to be that OCD about their hobby?
 I certainly don't. Off the top of my head I'm part way through the following projects: North Africa for Chain of Command; Napoleonics for Sharp Practice (I also have enough models for ACW for these rules. Let's not mention the fact I'd love to do AWI for it as well. But I don't own any figures for that. Yet.); Yorkist and Lancastrian WotR forces for Lion Rampant; Robin Hood and the Sheriff's men for Blood Eagle; Romano-British and Saxons for Dux Britanniarum; a ridiculously large amount of Cadians for 40K, along with my Death Guard, some Blood Angel and a solitary Tech Priest Dominus for the Adeptus Mechanicus; Beastclaw Raiders and the start of my Nighthaunts and Stormcast Eternal forces
 Now, I've heard a lot about the benefits of batch painting your models. And I've tried it. Rather unsuccessfully I might add. I just don't like it. I suspect its because of my painting method. I do a lot of wet blending of colours. And I like to focus in on one model at a time. My painting gets lost in a sea of one colour over multiple models. I tens to fins I spend more time filling in the bits I've missed when batch painting. It's just not worth the hassle.
 I also find that I like doing a faction at once. In theory at least. The first couple of models help me get into a rhythm, figuring out how to get the results I'm happy with. But as work keeps getting in the way, I'll find both PBP and SMS rear their heads in the weeks that can sometimes go by between painting sessions. And before you know it you're blogging about painting because you can't decide what to actually paint...!
 If you're strapped for time, having your paints looked out on your paint station can help get you going quickly. Unless PBP has left you wondering what you'd most like to paint just now. I reckon you can solve all this by having a dedicated paint station and hobby area that remains untouched by man or beast save yourself. Of course, I don't have one of those...
No. I have a wonderful paint station I purchased years ago from TT Combat when they were just starting up. It's brilliant. ALTHOUGH I confess I can become more and more hunched over it as I paint. This can leave me rather sore. Which is another reason I can lose out on painting time.
 But there are ways of avoiding this hunchbacked syndrome. For me this involves using my paint station at the dining table. Solves the problem nicely.
 Of course, lighting can be a problem. Particularly if your natural light fades during painting. The temptation can be to switch your light on early in the proceedings. I find this to universally unhelpful. It creates conflicting light that makes it even harder to paint. Of course it tends to happen to me when I'm in the middle of wet blending a dark colour. This makes it even worse.
 For a long time I had a daylight bulb in an angle poise light stand. It sat on the fold up table I used as my paint station in the living room. It was great, save for two effects, both in relation to the heat it gave off. Firstly, the paints dried quicker on my palette than I liked. Second, the heat made me sweat like a pig. And since neither effects were particularly desirous, I gave up on this idea.
 So how am I going to move forwards?

I wish I knew.
I don't and can't have a dedicated hobby desk. If I did I reckon most of these problems would be solved. But I don't. And it's no help crying over what you've never had. That makes no sense.

I'm going to keep all my paints in a more accessible position. Yes, this means they'll be in my tool box. But my tool box will be more accessible. No more hiding under a pike of stuff. That way I can't use the excuse that I can't be bothered to dig it out to find a paint I need.

I'll still use my paint station. Maybe a bit more at the dining table to spare my neck and back. And I'll have to beware of the problems of  conflicting light sources and plan my time a bit better.

Then of course I'm going to have a nice painting book. I'll record what colours I'm using on a particular type of miniature and I can reference that when I jump from Nighthaunts to Napoleonics for example. It might take a while to get everything finished, but I'll not stagnate or feel  compelled to paint something I have no interest in.

Of course, this does give license for a more pick and mix approach to my painting, but hopefully it will result in the one thing that isn't happening much. Productivity.

It'll be eclectic, but it'll be painting.

And of course, if you have any other ideas, please, please, please let me know in the comments below!



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