Monday, September 28, 2009

Partial Post Purge

Ah, sweet alliteration. Om nom nom. Moving along...

I've had this blog for about 4 years now. Over time (and especially since I've stepped up content creation), I've gathered a few draft posts that just didn't make the cut.

I'm pulling back the curtain a bit today to show you guys what kinds of 'other' stuff I think about and attempt to write about. Most of these article stubs were actually quite long, but just not interesting enough. Here are the condensed versions of four of them.


1) My Top 10 Sneaky Painting Tricks
It turns out that I don't have 10. At least not ones that haven't already been discovered and shared by other sites. My draft had exactly zero things listed. It also turns out that I hate top 10 lists. Good to know.

2) Loud and Proud Scrubs and the WAAC attitude.
One of many abortive forays into game play theory. I had intended this particular post to be a bit of a rant, but for a rant to be good, you have to be pretty pumped to do it. I was not that angry, as it turned out.

Summary: there exists a subset of gamers in any popular game that are extremely proud of being scrubby. Often this means they're too broke or short sighted to do anything about it. Other times they simply have a different idea of what fun and success in the game look like. A complete lack of skill is also common.

What unites the loud and proud scrubs is their shared hatred for anybody doing anything that they perceive as 'competitive' and being very vocal about their way being the 'right' way. Basically, if you follow proven methods of success and demand that the rules be followed, you are a bad person.

Very frustrating. Plus, I'm not entirely sure how fair or true this is.

3) Pet Peeves - Realism in Wargaming.

Another rant that just wasn't 'ranty' enough. A major factor was the fact that I had already ranted about this in the past. I had also since stopped going to forums for game advice and stopped running into the phenomenon. Ran out of anger.

Summary: There are always people who feel the need to justify a rules complaint with an example of how things work in real life. Often times they have no idea how things work in real life. Even more often, their example has nothing to do with magical ogres or hover tanks since these things don't exist. Its a game, so there are a ton of abstractions that have to be made to keep things fun, interesting, moving and (hopefully) fair.

4) Apocalypse Tactica
I've had a lot of fun with the Apocalypse games I've played. At one point I felt that I needed to to a detailed analysis of the rules. I binned it. It was getting extremely long, was extremely tedious to write (and read) and ultimately didn't offer enough insight to make it worth the time.
Plus, I'm sure somebody would have tear me a new asshole on my perspectives.

Summary: there are four relevant things you need to know about 'power-gaming' the Apocalypse rules. Here they are:

1) Str D weapons are awesome. You should probably try to include some in your army. Anything that automatically kills anything and auto-penetrates tanks is a bit overpowered. Apocalypse doesn't seem to care. Get as many as you can.

2) Large templates are awesome. There's a lot of shit on the table in Apocalypse. Big templates hit lots of stuff. 10 inch templates kill a lot of infantry dead. Get as many as you can. For extra fun, try and get weapons that combine 'large template' with 'str D'.

3) Anti-tank weaponry is even more important in Apocalypse. Super heavy vehicles are extremely hard to kill. be prepared to pump a lot of fire into one to destroy it. You're also more likely to run into scads of regular tanks as well.

4) Assets are important as fuck. Almost every one of them can be game breaking in some way. But choose carefully, because many of them probably wont work. My preference is for things that will work ALL the time rather than things that might work. I also prefer assets that affect the most number of models possible. This is because that the things that might work are actually pretty unlikely of doing anything relevant. And things that affect one unit are a drop in the bucket in a 10,000 point game.

Flank march is the most busted of all. it always works, you get to pick when, what and where things come on and there's nothing anyone can do to stop it. Not much you can do when an entire Emperor's fist tank company comes on from behind you. People tend to forget about the 'can come on from any table edge' part. You can stick a lot of fire power in someone's ass.

You should also be on the look out for formations that give free assets. If one asset is game breaking, 2+ assets is ridiculous. You space marine players should be taking the dreadnought formation that gives you free outflank.

Anybody who takes 'jammers' is a fucking prick (forbids the generals on the opposing team from talking to each other). Worst rule GW has ever written.


There you have it. 4 articles condensed down into one. Hope you enjoyed my rejects.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Primer and You

[Blast From the Past]: I was totally going to post this article about 2 months ago. Never got around to polishing it off. I think I had initially wanted to add in a picture and the computer I was using just didn't ave the photo manipulation tools I needed. Here's the article without the picture but has some new info since the original writing.

I wasn't felling to creative when I titled this one, but not so much that I'd use the old "primer on primer" joke. Blech.

Initially I had planned on writing a series of articles in a kind of "one model: start to finish" pattern. I think I'll abandon that and just write about stuff that strikes my fancy while still writing for the beginners

Today Its Primer.

For you new guys, primer is one of the most important steps of your model preparation. Ultimately, it brings out detail, gives the regular paint something to grab on to and makes the paint job tougher (more durable, not difficult) in the long run.

If you aren't priming, then you should start. Now.

The basic technique and information is covered in these two Brushthralls articles.
- Priming
- Basics of White Primer

I'll be focusing this post on the two things that the Brushthralls don't spend a lot of time on: color and paint brand. Mostly on spray primers. Basically, this post is just some info to get the new guys started, hate on Armory and maybe hit some of the vets with new info.

Primer Color
The two options most people pay attention to are black and white. Some people will swear by a particular color and use only that. I tend to be more utilitarian and will use either depending on the job at hand.

I take a look at the paint job I want to do and take note of the colors I want to use. Lots of metals and dark colors get black and lots of yellows, whites and other such bright/light colors get white. The particular reason for this is that the color of primer you use will have an effect on the colors you paint over it. Black primer will tend to darken the paint and white will brighten it back up. Additionally, certain colors of paints have a much harder time covering certain colors of primer.

Metalics don't do very well over white - the white can make it hard to tell if you have complete coverage. On the other hand, yellow and white (in particular), as colors that often have coverage problems, make for an extremely hard time over black primer. Again, take a look at the job at hand and use the best color for the job.

Other colors of primer exist, notably gray and red. Gray tends to split the difference between white and black, but I dislike attempts at one size-fits-all problem solving. I find that for most things, gray is good, but still gives me too much trouble with metalics and not enough help with the thinner pigmented colors. Red is one of those odd-ball specialist things that people who are doing a lot with red will use. Same rule here as well, take a look at the job at hand and select the appropriate tool.

As usual, multiple thin coats as needed for best results. Remember, thick paint obscures details. Don't rush the priming stage because you think it wont be visible on the miniature. Often times it is. Especially with airbrushing.

Primer Brand
Right after you determine the color of primer you need, its time to select a brand and then buy it. First things first: generally speaking, if the can doesn't say primer, then its not a primer. Gw's Chaos Black being a notable exception. Please note that primers often have specific qualities that make them very different from regular paint.

There are four brands that I feel are the most common:

Games Workshop's Citadel Sprays: GW's spray paints are a bit complicated. I mention them first since they're the thing that most GW hobbyists see in the store. The two colors they sell have their merits and their flaws.

What GW is simply calling black spray is often promoted as a black primer. I honestly can't tell if it is actually a primer or not. The can just does not have the word primer on it, but it did at one point in the distant past. If it IS primer, than the GW black primer is actually pretty good. According to the GW online store, the white spray is still labeled as primer.

Now I know that it might seem a bit weird to say that the black paint is only a good primer if its actually a primer, but there IS a reason for that. Chemically speaking, there is enough of a difference between primer and regular paint to cause potentional problems. On some applications, regular black paint will work, on others its not so great as a primer.

In any case, you should stay away from the GW paints for two reasons: It may not be primer (especially important for metal and resin models) and its 15 fucking dollars a can. At best, its another example of GW being a bunch of price gouging sons of bitches. At worst, they actually need to sell the primer at this price to make a profit - which makes them idiots.

[EDITING NOTE]: This GW section has changed a bit due to some good and important observations from a reader going by AoM. Thanks!

Krylon Primers: Another good quality paint. I haven't used it in years, but its held in high regard and extremely easy to find. Hardware stores and art stores carry this stuff. Both are easier to find than a gaming store. Not to mention a damn sight cheaper than the GW spray.

Duplicolor Sandable Primer: My personal favorite. Pretty much the same level of quality as the GW stuff at a third the cost. Also pretty easy to find. Most car parts stores carry it. It dries evenly, sprays smoothly and costs less than 5 bux a can.

As added bonuses: Duplicolor dries extremely fast and you can paint over it in about 30 minutes if all goes well. This is a humongous help in not wasting time and especially if your in a time crunch. Duplicolor also has a tendency to shrink as it dries. This means that its less likely to obscure detail. You can overspray quite a bit AND get away with it.

I can't recommend this enough - especially with the price factored in. Its readily available, easy to use and just overall super great. If Duplicolor sandable primer was a person, I would take it to a nice dinner.

Armory Primer: Is garbage! Do not waste your money on these cans of crap. I, personally, have had it ruin miniatures with it's tendency to 'fuzz' (leave a distinct texture on my models). So have my friends. So have a lot of people. I've even heard stories of Armory primers melting plastic miniatures.

Anyone who says that they have never had Armory fuck up on them is lucky. This is a crap product that costs more than very superior Krylon and Duplicolor options AND is much harder to get. Sometimes you run into apologists who make some claim about needing to be extra careful with weather conditions, making sure you shake it well and so on. These are the flaws of an inferior product no matter what anyone tells you. Don't waste your money on something that isn't even very good when all of the conditions are perfect.*

Other Stuff: The above four are really just the tip of the iceberg. Various military model paint manufactures have their own brand as well. Even, Privateer Press has there own in-house brand. I have nearly zero experience with things like Tamiya surface primer, Mr. Surfacer or even the more common Testors sprays. My only advice here is that you should check out a modeling book and see what the author uses. Remember, military modelers are sticklers for detail and smooth paint. If the primer is good enough for them, its good enough for you.

Important Note: Remember, "keep it thin to win".** Every primer will dry weird if it's sprayed on too thick. Cracking wrinkling, runs and obscured detail are all indications that you put too much paint on.

Another Important Note: If the can of paint you're thinking about using doesn't say 'primer' on the can, then it probably isn't. You should consider a different option. The chemical natures of primers are different enough from regular ol' spray paint to make a significant difference in terms of things like detail lose, paint sticking to the primer and durability.

Another options
There are other options for priming as well. But they just aren't as economical and/or quick as the spray options.

Gesso: Gesso is an art material that is used to prime canvasses prior to painting. It's also pretty handy on miniatures as well. The same primer color guidelines apply here as well.

Note: I had intended to link to an actual Wee Toy Soldiers page, but the account appears to be suspended. I found this re-post on the Screaming Alpha. Looks to be complete and from a pretty decent painting site.

You could also get a regular brush on primer and do that as well. I find that this takes to long and is really dependent on how smooth a coat you're capable of getting on the miniature. My guess is that its not as smooth as a spray can.

Beyond even all this, there's even more ways to prime your miniatures if you look around.

Further Reading:
- Here's a brief article I found on a larger-scale primer test. Some interesting results. Notably, that Armory sucks camel dick.


*Armory is such a shit brand that I have a hard time fathoming why people would recommend it. Yet, here are the BoLS crew implicitly shilling for Armory.

Which leads me to a mini-rant. Normally, I don't feel that the Bell of Lost Souls needs to be ripped apart. They have their own mission and idea about the hobby that fits in with a lot of other peoples preferences. They are also a great rumor aggregating source - they read the forums so you don't have to.

Despite their fervor for the hobby, they often do more harm than good. As to the competitive play and strategy aspects, I can't and won't speak on them. Not my mission. But on their painting articles? They are often absolute shit. I understand the desire to cater to all aspects of the hobby and I think its laudable. However, I can not stand the painting articles.

They always seem to be some dumb-downed version of something the Brushthralls posted years ago. Always written by someone who either has problems grasping the concepts or is trying to cram 6 pages of info into 4 paragraphs. In the end, its just bad advice that seems aimed at mediocrity.

So, as a new painter: Never go to the Bell of Lost Souls for painting advice unless someone competent starts writing for them. However, their archives on other peoples finished models or WIP stuff is definetly worth a read.

**I cribbed this little gem from a poster that was hanging in the prep room when I used to work in a produce department. Stupid, but memorable.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Web-Resource Review: Spite for the Dice Gods and Mind War, FTW

In light of Project Future Boys, I think its time to do some site more reviews. This time I'll be focusing on the blogs I've been poking around on in search of Eldar advice/info. Unlike my last review, these two site are tactics oriented. Since I focus on painting a lot, I'm always happy when I find good articles on tactics that ease the learning curve. I'll periodically call out sites like these for all you other 'artistes' out there as well as the guys who just don't know where to go for advice (hint #1: its never a forum. Hint #2: EVER!).

I happen to like both of these sites, so prepare for a bit of a love fest.

Spite for the Dice Gods
Every once in a while I start poking around the other blogs that people link to on their own site. I found Spite for the Dice Gods on YTTH. I didn't actually know about the type of content there or Raptor1313's own mechdar experiments. Sometimes you get lucky. Raptor is a regular on YTTH and was kind enough to link to me on his own site. Thanks! The fact that Stelek links to him should be enough of a clue that he knows what's what.

The Good
The content is pretty focused - its mostly unit analysis and testing reports. All of which is extremely useful for us lowly noobs. There's a lot of information to process and it's solid advice to boot. All well though out, detailed and clearly worded. The best part about Raptor's analysis is that he doesn't ever give out the generic "do this and win" advice common to so many other writers.

The important thing, for me at least, is the gap he helps fill between my knowledge and the advanced advice that I get from other sources. Provides a nice continuity of information and keeps the number of retarded comments that never get published on YTTH down.

For my own personal information needs, this blog fills a large void with the pretty expansive Eldar coverage it contains. Most of which is conveniently linked on its own side bar. This is all super useful for my current maniacal plans.

I'd like to mention a few stylistic things about this blog. First of all, many of the analysis articles are treated as 'living' documents - much like my 'on paint' series. That means that as new information or experience is accrued, it gets added to the original instead of being presented as a separate piece. This makes it incredibly easy to find info. Much less wading through multiple posts or having to piece things together from a series of contradictory posts. There is also a distinct lack of ranting and raving and, thusly, a lack of internet drama. A nice change of pace from the frequent knock-down, drag-outs that Stelek seems to get in all the time.

Finally, the selection of links is quite expansive and has pointed me in the direction of a ton more resources to check in on.

The Bad
Not too much wrong with this blog except that some of the posts can be so looooong. Add in the same white on black color scheme that I use and then eye strain can be a problem. Of course I realize that my pot has left an accusatory message for his kettle after the beep. As soon as I find an easy to read color scheme, I'll switch.

And one final non-complaint would be that Raptor1313's site leaves me hungry for more info than he has posted at the moment.

Final Thoughts
A great resource for beginner and intermediate gamers as the content within goes a long way to explain things that may be obvious to the experts (who often don't bother to explain the same concepts themselves). A great place to go for some very solid analysis.

Mind War, FTW
Another blog I found courtesy of YTTH. The_King_Elessar (henceforth referred to as 'Elessar') is another regular commenter over there as well as being another guy with a head for tactics. Another Eldar player willing to share his thoughts so that I can mine them for useful nuggets of sweet, delicious information. I'd have to say in, all honesty, that Elessar's blog was a large component of my decision to start up an Eldar army. Again, the fact that Stelek links to him is in his favor (in my opinion).

The Good
Elessar does a lot of the same stuff that Stelek does - critiques army lists, provides commentary on the goings on of 40k and shares tactics. Always nice to have more of the same with a different viewpoint and writing style. Specifically, I find the writing on this site engaging because it is also pretty clearly laid out and lconcise.

Again, Eldar coverage is one of the things that drew me in and keeps me coming back for more. The write up on the Fire Dragons was particularly useful for me. I also hope that his hinted at "complete guide to the Eldar" is something that is actually forthcoming. Could be very useful for me and to new Eldar players in general. Especially if its of a quality consistent with the Fire Dragon write up. Looking forward to it.

Mind War also has a solid links list. Yet more stuff for me to dig through.

I think the really unique feature of Mind War is the fact that Elessar himself is from the UK. Now, being a foreigner (or in Foreigner) isn't particularly interesting in and of itself but Elessar brings an interesting perspective to us yanks. You see, Elessar is firmly in the competitive gamer camp (unless I've misread him). Now while he seems to have a healthy respect for the hobby aspects, he isn't the sunshine and Skittles kind of twat we've come to accept as the stereotype for UK 40k players.

Elessar doesn't defend crappy codicies, poor design choices and bad army lists. Generally speaking, he doesn't pull his punches. Nice to see living proof that GW's cup o' tea with scones, gentleman's game, mutual admiration society conception of 40k isn't as pervasive as Jervis Johnson likes to think.

Also, a brief note that Mind War has multiple contributers, so if I gave credit to the wrong person at any point, its a tribute to the overall quality of all others that I didn't notice the difference.

The Bad
The only real problem I have with Mind War, FTW is that it also occasionally acts as a drama magnet due to the 'no pulled punches' thing. To be fair to the Elessar and to Stelek, its not so much that their opinions are crap or wrong, its other people's reactions to them. So by no means do I wish the rants to stop, I just need to learn to avoid reading the comments.


Final Thoughts
Mind War is a great spot for some advice on army lists and a great place for information on the Eldar - the rants are pretty good too. I really dig the fact that while he does a lot of the same stuff that other people do as far as advice, he has his own view. Another great place for help with your list.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Editing Notice - On Paint Articles

I have again updated the On Paint series to reflect new information. More than any other posts, I see the On Paint series a living document. As such, I add to it when new experience is gained.

For this round of editing, I fixed some minor typos in part 4 and added a link to the appendix.

I also significantly updated the section on Reaper Master series paints to reflect new knowledge in part 3.

Project Future Boys - Another Project That People Probably Doubt I'll Finish

In my last post, I alluded to my decision to start a new army. Time to expand upon that.

I've named it 'Project Future Boys" after an Electric Six song. This is for three very important reasons:

1) Electric Six are awesome.
2) Projects sound cooler with cryptic names
3) Its an Eldar army, so a handful of the song lyrics apply to a race of space elves.

As I previously mentioned, my Iron Warriors (though I love them) are taking a million years to paint. If I didn't have to work, then maybe they'd be done by now. I really need to have a full army to play with, I'd like it to be fairly soon and it ain't gonna happen with my "super paint job 3000" marines.

A new army would also be great for practice at adding a little speed to my painting. I've been wanting to try out some simpler, faster methods as an experiment, and a new army gives me a good platform for this.

Army Selection
Once I had decided on the idea of a new army, it was time to pick one out. I went straight to Yes the Truth Hurts and started poking around. Weeks ago, I had taken a serious look at his Competitive Daemon list. I have to say that it looks fun and can be EXTREMELY cheap to build (around $350). This one will be kept in the back of my mind for later.

However, I ended up settling on his Eldar Remix list. Much more expensive to build, but far fewer troop models to paint. The Eldar codex also seems to be much more diverse. I like the idea of daemons, but I'm also not thrilled about my only complete army being entirely CC and deep strike dependent and having no where to go except for more cc and crappy shooting.

In any case, I'm also a full supporter of his thoughts on mechanization and felt like the Eldar list was very strong. It also looked like a ton of fun. Plus it has Fire Dragons, which I loved as models for some reason.

Ze List
Reproduced here for people who hate following links.

1 Autarch
with Fusion Gun and some Crazy Chainsword (I had 5 extra points)

5 Fire Dragons
Dedicated Transport: Wave Serpent
Shuriken Cannon upgrade and Twin-Linked Shuriken Cannons

5 Fire Dragons
Dedicated Transport: Wave Serpent
Shuriken Cannon upgrade and Twin-Linked Shuriken Cannons

10 Storm Guardians
with 2x Flamer
Dedicated Transport: Wave Serpent
Shuriken Cannon upgrade and Twin-Linked Bright Lances

10 Storm Guardians
with 2x Flamer
Dedicated Transport: Wave Serpent
Shuriken Cannon upgrade and Twin-Linked Bright Lances

9 Dire Avengers @ 253 Pts
Dedicated Transport: Wave Serpent
Shuriken Cannon upgrade and Twin-Linked Bright Lances

9 Dire Avengers @ 253 Pts
Dedicated Transport: Wave Serpent
Shuriken Cannon upgrade and Twin-Linked Bright Lances

1 Vyper
2x Shuriken Cannon

1 Vyper
2x Shuriken Cannon

1 Vyper
2x Shuriken Cannon

1 Fire Prism
Shuriken Cannon upgrade

1 Fire Prism
Shuriken Cannon upgrade

1 Fire Prism
Shuriken Cannon upgrade

Total Roster Cost: 2000

Pretty neat, I think. Lots of shooty guys and a ton of zoomin' tanks. The energy field on the wave serpents makes me pee my pants at how awesome it is. I'd like to use regular guardians as it saves me a few bucks (storm guardians are 8 to a box, direct only - Dear GW: fuck you), but I think I'd loose too much utility without the flamers.

Back to my focus - painting. As I mentioned, I want to paint this faster than I've been in the habit of doing. That means no fancy paint techniques, few (if any) conversions, no fancy bases and very simple color schemes.

I'll rely on a lot of simple layering and line highlighting. There's also a pretty neat corroded bronze technique that I managed to dig up from dakkadakka (which was a pain in the ass) that's very easy to reproduce.

I ended up settling on Ulthwe colors as black can look very striking using only line highlights and bone is very easy to paint. The airbrush has also helped immeasurably with the base coating - it speeds up the process with colors that can be a pain to get good coverage on (orange) and I've got a solid, ready-mixed airbrush flat black.

The only down side is the shear amount of paint I've had to buy. I have almost no oranges and blues, so I've had to pick up a lot of each. On the other hand, I'm getting some great experience with the Reaper Master Series paints. They're pretty awesome for layering.

Things are good so far. I had initially hoped to be doing two tanks and 10-20 guys in 2 weeks. That was clearly fanciful and unrealistic. So far it's been 2 weeks and I've only gotten 1 tank and 6 guys done. Not as good as I hoped, but faster than the Iron Warriors by a wide margin. I also expect things to get faster as I get more accustomed with the painting techniques I'm repeating and grav-tank assembly becomes second nature (9 is a lot of practice).

Things have, thus far, played out like I hoped. The tank and the fire dragons look great and I've gotten some pretty good looking models without too much effort. I've also got some good experience painting black with a quick line highlight style (I typically avoid black as a main color)

I'll probably be behind schedule for a while - though I think my 3rd wave (3 vypers) might give me some time to catch up.

More updates as they happen.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

And We're Back - Deep Thoughts About Time Investment

Whew. Been out for a while. The flu is fun. Ran a fever for 4 days and had a weeks worth of general malaise after that. Shaky hands prevented me from getting too much painting done and I ended up having to welsh on a painting challenge some buds and I entered into. Blech.

Work proceeded to get bananas right after that.

But you guys don't come here to read about the flu and updates are always a plus.

I have a follow up on painting tanks, but my pics are unavailable right now, so I'll move onto some deep/depp thoughts that occurred to me over the last three weeks. There's almost a theme.

Paint Because You Enjoy It
Painting is a hobby. Hobbies are recreational activities. This indicates that there is some level of enjoyment that you get out of it.

If you aren't enjoyment out of a hobby, why the hell do it?

Mini (many - HA!) painters run into this all the time. Painting you little manz can get downright tedious at times. If this happens, its time to do something different. This can be anything from painting something different than your regular fair to just taking a break from painting for a period of time.

This happens to me all the time. Painting an army can get tedious - especially if you have the same kind of crazy, exacting standards that I do. Painting a ton of the same guy over and over again can break a man. Overly complicated projects can also do this.

In the past I had tried to just push past a lack of enjoyment. That leads to burnout. Which is worse.

So, if you feel like a painting project is starting to feel more like a job and less like a hobby. Stop. Take a breather. Drop what you're working on if need be. Maybe paint something unrelated to what you were working on. Take a break for a day or two. Whatever you gottta do.

Once your hobby loses its enjoyment factor, its likely you'll just stop doing it all together.

Diminishing Returns
I mentioned overcomplicated projects up there. They have a tendency to eat up your time, and can quickly kill your fun if things keep going wrong. Often times for little added value depending on your situation.

What I mean by overcomplicated is actually contextual. The guy aiming to win a slayer sword is going to have a much higher tolerance (even a demand) for a complicated process - detailed conversions, hybrid painting, scratch building, etc are all things that turn a regular miniature into a job interview for the 'eavy metal team. The same time and care that Bob pro-painter puts into his latest masterpiece may not be appropriate to the needs and time constraints of Spike Tourney gamer. Painting each one of his models to an award winning standard may actually be counterproductive to the his goal of gaming at an upcoming con. Working on master level stuff can very easily lead to 400 man hours of wok.

Scale your painting intensity to the situation at hand. While the extremely detailed and hard to do paint job can be amazing, is it worth your time to pursue it? What if it prevented you from finishing an army for a tournament? When it comes down to contesting an objective in the 5th turn of a hard fought, 3rd round game, does the vine design lovingly painted on your wave serpent help and do you care if it doesn't?

Here's my real life example (if you didn't see it coming):

While I was painting my (as of yet incomplete) Inquisitorial Rhino, I wanted to do something really cool with the color scheme. The Grey Knights vehicle schemes are pretty cool and the bare metal colors would tie in nicely with my Iron Warriors. I wanted to do the kind of gear toothed black lines surrounding a white band on the model.

When it came time to mask off the lines, I had a revelation.

Previously, I had been working on a Thunderbolt for some time and ended up shelving it due to frustration with the whole project. Largely because it was overly complicated (in hindsight).

In this instance, it was totally not worth it to spend the time making custom masks for the pattern (with regards to the features on the model's surfaces) and then constantly having to touch the design up as the model progressed (paint removal is a problem with masking that I have yet to completely conquer). By my estimations at the time, hours would be added to the project - also a lot of frustration. The fiddling around with all of the things I would need to fiddle around with was kind of daunting. All of which could be avoided by scaling things back a bit and going with just a simple line. Much easier to do, and pretty much the same effect.

Do I want the the original pattern I had envisioned? Yes. But I also want to game at some point and adding the time just didn't jive with my needs. If I had been painting this thing for a painting comp, then hell yeah I would have gone all the way. But I wasn't, and even though my standards for the Iron Warriors are high, there IS a limit.

New Direction
All of the above have contributed to a conclusion I came to while sick.

The considerations:

40k is fun to play.
I need practice to get good at it.
I do not have a full army.
The Iron Warriors are taking too long.
I will not compromise the standards of Project Iron Warriors.

The result:

Time to start a new army to be painted in a much more quick and dirty style. No fancy weathering, no insane detail level, no complicated/time consuming painting techniques. A simple style with simple colors. I can get on with the business if playing and then work on my 'masterpieces' concurrently.

More on this last thing later and maybe some thoughts on painting ADD.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Lack of updates

Got some stuff in the pipeline, just need to get some sleep and give work some time to settle down.