Painting Update #6

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I finally got the large deficit off the edge of the graph! Still bouncing up and down a little, but got it under control.

I’ve nearly finished the slopper now, just some eyes and small highlights to do.

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The pot has been darkened and the slop painted, but the tentacle needs more highlight and probably a bit more shade on the pot itself.

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Klingons are looking good, need more work on the armour though.

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I’ve also started on the Mercator Nautica for Necromunda, but I need to pick up some more paints first. They’re tied in with a pre-order of the Delaque book so I have to stay patient. I might move onto the Koris Dreadball team while I am waiting instead.

Painting Update #5

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In good news, the big deficit is falling off of the chart and shortening the Y axis

On the other hand, the weather is rotten for painting; I’ve only been able to get short sessions in (not just complaining about the heat!). This is good for testing colour schemes though; I’ve been experimenting with skin tones for Klingons:

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and working on smaller models like this ratling slopper, and his cooking pot.

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The pots a bit too shiny, I’ll need to muddy it up a bit.

2021 Q2 Painting Retrospective

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It’s been tough hitting the target for this quarter. Part of that was down to illness where I couldn’t get anything done, and following that I found it hard to get back into the routine of painting every day. My deficit climbed very high, and I only just got it down to zero again in the last couple of days!

As predicted, my painting streak never got above seven days in a row. My aims for this quarter were:

  • Paint for an average of 30 minutes per day
  • Plan painting better
  • Try new techniques
  • Paint centrepieces

How did I do? Well, I managed to hit the time target – barely.

I started to plan ‘in my head’, but I was still mostly making things up as I went along. I will be making a concerted effort to do this better in the next models I start.

I tried a couple of new techniques. Firstly, I tried using my airbrush for colours and highlights more. This was mixed – I think it will work best for the centrepiece models. I tried zenithal highlighting again; I don’t think this technique is for me, but I may come back to it later. I also tried painting some 3D printed models for a friend (www.immersivemadness.co.uk) – none of my favourite techniques worked on the FDM print because of the texture of the model so I had to experiment a bit more. That’s something I’ll probably get more chances to work on in the future. The thing I’m happiest with is blending, that’s getting much easier and I’m getting some nice finishes with it.

For centrepieces, I worked on the Big Boss models for the Hellboy board game – which are nearly complete – and I’m making sure to add another large model to my queue for next quarter.

Overall this quarter, I finished 36 models and only bought 8 new ones. Slowly working my way through the Pile of Shame and keep those numbers going in the right direction.

Next Quarters Goals

Keep painting for 30 minutes a day. It was more challenging than expected, but achievable, so I will keep up that target.

Plan better, and write it down. I know it will help me when I get stuck later.

Keep trying new techniques. There are more things I haven’t tried, and I can drop these into my planning.

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Painting Update #4

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I’m starting to bring the deficit down, but I need to average 41 minutes a day over the next two weeks to hit my target. It might come down to the wire this quarter…

In better news, I finished the minis and busts for the heroes in the game:

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The minis stand about as high as their busts. And no matter what I did I couldn’t straighten out that harpoon at the back…

I also finished the smallest enemy figures – frog swarms.

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Not a lot of detail needed on those, fortunately. But I might go back and paint some stripes on their backs if I want to spoil a good day!

Painting Update #3

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I gave myself a break for being ill, but it totally knocked my habit. As a result the deficit built up pretty high and I’m going to have to do double time to get back in front of it.

The Hellboy miniatures are getting to the final details so I’ve been focussing on those to make sure they get finished before I head back to aliens.

Liz Sherman, a pyrokinetic hero in Hellboy. Still to finish – eyes, fire and boots. Maybe another highlight on the hair.

Hellboy – boots and BPRD patch still to do.

I still have 3.5 hours to catch up to hit zero, and only one month in this quarter left. That’s achievable.

Painting Update #2

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My average started to drop again, and I’ve got another deficit to work down. Not much planned this weekend so I should be able to get on top again.

Carried on with pieces for the Hellboy board game, and weighing up whether I need to get a new pot of black (mine has fossilised…) or if I can make do with black primer instead. I’ve decided that the blending on the aliens is done, otherwise I will be going forever, and getting on with finishing those models.

Sorry about the lighting, the clouds have been uncooperative recently.

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Painting Update #1

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Target: Wobbled at the beginning of the month but got on top of it.
Focus: Got the first layer of armour on the Crystallans done, finished adding a slight highlight to the crystal to make it ‘pop’. Also played the Hellboy board game and got hit with inspiration, so started painting that box too.

A note on data presentation: I’ve adapted the graph from last quarter into a continuous/rolling graph so it doesn’t keep going into thousands and thousands of minutes painting. The blue area is the target and the green line is the 7-day average (to even out the highs and the lows), and is a better indicator of whether I’m sustaining a certain level than tracking individually productive days and unintentional breaks. Orange line is bad – that means I’ve slipped beneath my target (and as it’s not an average, will look much worse than the actual effort).

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Building a Painting Habit

Since the beginning of the year my workplace has been encouraging people to share… not resolutions, but to set a target for something to improve and share progress towards that target. Most of these were about fitness (running, cycling, etc) with some interesting projects (recording an album, interior mountaineering). One of the fun things I chose to challenge myself to paint 20 minutes every day. Every day.

After weekly updates there for three months I realised I was doing a blog, and I already have a blog…

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One of the ‘fun’ things about this has been adding charts and tracking progress.

In the first quarter, I finished a Teraton team, Elmer & Dobbs and The Fixer. Although I bought the Magnetar Marvels for Dreadball, Ambots and Slave Ogryns for Necromunda, I finished 12 models and only purchased 8 so the pile of shame is moving (gradually) in the right direction.

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In spite of a last minute slowdown, the target was completely smashed; I’m pleasantly surprised that the 20 minute aim was (on average) achievable. In total, I went 845 minutes over the cumulative target! The overall goal of ‘paint more often’ is a success. Trying to hit more days (for a less spiky graph) would be nice, but there are too many external factors affecting time for that to be in my control.
This has been a very enjoyable challenge, and makes up for my occasional pre-pandemic habit of painting in my lunch break in the office. I’m still not sure that I’m painting as much as I’m buying, but it’s at least balancing the scales slightly!

Things that I’ve learned:
* Motivation can be difficult. Having two projects on the go helps with this, but often ends up with one being forever in the background while the other gets attention and rushed forward.
* Keeping good notes is good. I’ve been logging what colours I put on which models, so I can look back at what worked well previously and also so I know where I got to in highlighting if I take a week away from a miniature.
* I will never get tired of saying ‘two monkeys in a trenchcoat

Next Quarter I will:
* Up my target to 30 minutes a day. I think this is still achievable and probably won’t affect the streak counter much.
* Plan painting better. One of the things that I think saps motivation is not knowing what to do next; I generally plan the main sections and then get lost in details. If I take more time and plan this beforehand, I should be able to keep the motivation going.
* Be more ambitious! I’ve tried a few different techniques this quarter, some need more practice and others have worked really well. It’s given me confidence to go back to some half finished projects and know that I can get to the right end result with them, if I persevere.
* Be more ambitious II! Over the years I’ve bought some large, centrepiece models and then shied away from starting them because I can’t do them justice. I’ll try to finish one this quarter.

Tri-Star League S3E6

This match was a rematch of the first game against Joachim’s Judwan – I was feeling good about the game because other than the ref, there are very few ways for them to remove Zees from the pitch. This should mean that once I have got the monkeys on the pitch, they’ll keep getting underfoot!

This game started well, the Judwan tried (and failed) to open up a path on the three point strike zone while the Zees successfully scored. The score moved back and forth but slowly inched to the Judwan’s side.

Both sides had poor luck at times –terrible dodges by the Zees, and a couple of failed strike attempts by the aliens, and in the last few turns (as a Zee win was getting further and further away) the monkey about to score was struck with All Thumbs – meaning it had to pass a Skill check or drop the ball. The coaching dice didn’t help, nor did re-rolls, so that turn ended without a score. The next time the same Zee got the ball to the four-point spot (once the defender had been removed by a big pile of coaching dice and a monkey punch in the back), the ball shattered. I still had the movement of the Throw action to resolve, so the player ran back to pick up the ball… but failed to Dash far enough and fell down on it, losing the only chance to equalise the game as that was the last rush.

I was happy overall, a few monkeys had managed to get three dashes in a row for fan checks, a few lucky Slams took the number of Judwan right down, and I even remembered to use my new cheerleader (although it didn’t work!) and Running Interference (and it fortunately did).

This may be the end of the league, as there are no more games planned and momentum is running down. If it is, the Zees have performed admirably! If it’s not, I have a feeling they will fall down the table slightly – they are in fourth place, but not all games have been played and it’s likely to change slightly as more people fill in their results.

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Game Five of the Tri-Star League! I bought two cards before the game, to try to squeeze a few more actions into the Zee, rather than more bodies.

John’s Forge Father team haven’t had great luck in the league so far and this game didn’t break the streak. The guards hit pretty well, but not quite as hard as the Teratons in game 3. Most of the game saw eleven monkeys on the pitch, even though one (with a Skill upgrade!) was knocked out of the game permanently (to be declared an ex-clone after the game…)

The far strike zone was defended by a Keeper and a Jack, so one intrepid Zee sprinted all the way to the end to Sucker Punch him before I realised that that little monkey did not have a high Strength. Still, he provided a useful threat hex for a different, better clone to knock him down. The Zees got away with every foul – the Forge Fathers didn’t like following up Slams (aversion to Evade rolls, and wanting to be able to run into next turn’s Slams) so there were lots of unthreatened monkeys around the referee ready to distract.

Tit-for-tat scoring had somehow led to a three point lead for the Zees. Leaning on the big pile of coaching dice, the Jack defender was punched from behind by tiny fists. Lots of one-sided luck left the Forge Father lying prone and the four-point lane open. No Zee with a Skill upgrade was nearby, so trusting on luck got the ball in our cheating little hands… a running throw, dozens of crossed fingers and what remained of the big pile of coaching dice landed the ball for four points ending the game in a landslide win for the Zee!

The game was good fun – it’s always a nice feeling to have twelve players on the pitch, even when you can’t see your opponent’s face. Unfortunately I only ended up with 60mc so going into the last game I think I’ll buy a cheerleader and learn how to use them properly.