My inner magpie

I have previously noted that two of the reasons why I do not yet have a complete painted army are that I am a slow modeller and painter, and that I am very busy with family-related travel.

It’s fair, I think, to accept these as intrinsic attributes, and not worry too much about trying to change them. This leaves those other reasons that I can do something to improve.

One of the biggest of these has to be distractedness, or a lack of perseverance. It’s not so much that I am distracted by the latest Games Workshop release – this random walk of hobby projects is internally generated.

I just have lots of fun ideas for armies and I tend to spend too much time thinking about the destination than the journey that will bring me there. Particularly for a hobby, but often in life in general, the travel is more important than the destination. There’s no instant matter transportation in real life.

So a big challenge right now is to keep on doing the Grots, and the Orks as a whole, before starting to do anything else.

So, what’s tempting me? Dwarfs are a current obsession – in Fantasy and Lord of the Rings. I also have a Dreadfleet set to finish gluing together and paint. I keep on thinking I want to do an army of Chaos Marauder Horsemen for some reason. Another flirtation has been with Dark Eldar – the Raiders look gorgeous.

With other miniature manufacturers, I’ve also seen a number of 54mm models I really like by Andrea miniatures. It will also be a test of my resolve when the Perry miniatures latest plastic cavalry set is released.

So you can see that I am a nearly hopeless case. It has been nearly two months since I received the Grots on Christmas Day, and they aren’t finished yet. In the same time I could easily have purchased more than six times as many miniatures.

That’s what this blog is to help me avoid.

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Goodbye dear weekend

It is, approximately, dinner time, and I am in Birmingham. When this day is done I will have spent about twenty hours travelling over the weekend, from Exeter to Edinburgh and back to Exeter. There and back again, if you like, but without the Trolls, Dwarves, Gold, Goblins, etc, so a bit less fun.

I did manage to paint the metal on a Grot* on Saturday morning, but this doesn’t help me to paint as much as I would like.

This isn’t a one-off occurrence. Since we arrived back from Ireland, just after New Years, I have been there and back again three times (including this weekend), and by the end of February it will be four times. I also visited my mother in Chippenham.

So that’s eight potential painting weekends, cut down to three by five weekends of travelling. And everything else that needs to be done is squashed in there too, so painting time is restricted.

That’s another reason why my progress is slow, quite apart from being a slow painter.

Why? Well, my daughter’s mother lives in Edinburgh and the travelling is so that our daughter can visit her. Such are the tangled webs we weave for ourselves.

* The second most significant achievement for my hobby was the purchase of a tin of Fox’s biscuits, that I can put some magnetised Orks into when the chocolate biscuits have been eaten.

New paints

I have three new colours. Liche Purple, Bubonic Brown and Bleached Bone.

The Bubonic Brown is for the last stage before yellow. I intend to go from the black undercoat to Scorched Brown, Bestial Brown, Snakebite Leather, Bubonic Brown, Sunburst Yellow. I may come to regret not picking up some Foundation Iyanden Darksun, but having a range of browns is useful in any case.

Liche Purple has been used on a Grot bandana – I’m enjoying using a random selection of colours on their clothing.

Bleached Bone is to replace one of the older paint pots in my paint box, where the lid has cracked and the paint inside.. lost.

I have quite a range of GW paints in a variety of pots. I still have some precious Emerald Green, one of the shades I really like that have been discontinued over the years. Here’s a photo with the paints in date order.

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And here there are in my order of preference.

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The word on the web is that there’s another big change on the way. This is always a bit of a worry – what if they stop selling my current favourite colours? (Catachan Green and Regal Blue) What if the new pots are lamentably badly designed? How large will the price hike be?

However, in general I’d say the paints are much better now then when I started, nineteen and a half years ago. What’s going to be new this time?

Any progress is better than none

I am slow. Sorry. However, the skin on all of my Grot herd is now Catachan Green, the Crimson Fist marine is recognisably of that chapter, and there are other colours on some of the clothing of the Grots!

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You might be able to see that one shoulder pad of the other marine is now brown. I am attempting to build up to yellow from a black undercoat, via brown. Eavy Metal did this once for Louen Louencoeur.

January: A microcosm of my life

January is over. My hobby progress was to magnetise the bases of most of my 500pt Ork force and those other few models I’m working on, and to undercoat the Gretchin and step-nephew Space Marines. I’m a hive of activity me.

Why so little done?

I have a busy life, with a ten year old daughter, whose mother lives at the other end of the country. Roughly one weekend in three is spent travelling to Edinburgh and back, which means the rest of my life is squeezed into a smaller space.

There are also lots of other things I like doing: knitting, reading, playing games with my girlfriend (such as Carcassonne and Bananagrams), baking and playing music.

Also, when I do hobby stuff I’m tortuously slow.

This is some parts of the explanation as to why I’ve not finished painting an army – in nearly twenty years of hobbying! The other factor is that I have been unable to stick to one project.

In the last few years I have switched between the following projects:
Blood Angels
Epic Armageddon Orks
Mordor Orcs
Beasts of Chaos
Orks
All of these projects have lasted a long time, some progress has been made, but I’ve move on before they were finished.

There have also been a few side projects, that were not quite fully-fledged army projects. This includes:
A non-Blood Angels land speeder
Tau crisis suit
Eowyn
Space Hulk
Dreadfleet
Epic Eldar
Felix
A Giant
Imperial Guard
And probably some others!

So, one of the things I am hoping this blog will achieve is to help me stick to one project long enough to finish, or at least so that I return to the Orks after the side project has finished.

As it is, the temptations are strong to start another army. Dark Eldar are cool, and I really like the new Necron annihilation barge. I’ve also developed a sudden hankering for Marauder Horsemen, Howling Banshees and Eternal Guard. Oh, yes, an army of Caledor, of course.

I am a hopeless case, perhaps, but if anything can save me it is a desire to play some more games and a determination to do so with a painted army. I’ve been that guy whose heavy bolters fall off because blu-tac just isn’t good enough. It’s time to make up for that.