Friday, January 8, 2010

A Tribute to the Unsung Heroes of 2009

I'm back from another month's hiatus and very good holiday break. Still working on a couple of rambling thoughts articles, but they just haven't gelled. In the meantime, its time to post some pictures and talk about the most important models in my collection:

My test models.

This collection of a warjack, an old exarch, some plastic beastmen and a few metal space marine scouts have served me well over the last year. Whenever I've been unsure of a paint scheme, a technique or even just experimenting, these guys have really helped me work things out. Whenever I've had a secretly terrible idea, these guys have taken the full force of the blast so the actual armies don't have to. I think these guys could qualify as Bud Light - Real American Heroes. And then maybe I could get some sweet, sweet endorsement deals.

In lieu of yet another Laubersheimer Industries Ridiculous Fantasy World Idea (tm) that should but won't happen, let's all enjoy this song from Transformers: the Movie as tribute to these brave plastic soldiers.

It's like this song was written for them!

Seriously, now...
I do really place a lot of value on my test models. They're just so damn useful:
  1. They're a great way to test new painting techniques.
  2. They're a great way to test color recipes
  3. They're a great way to test color schemes
  4. They're a great way to test new paints and tools
  5. They're a great way to practice with freehand
Ultimately, all of of this means that you aren't dicking around with the actual models in the army (or your contest entries or whatever) while you're trying to figure things out. Leaving you with a few less opportunities to fuck up your models. Leaving you with having to make fewer decisions between using the Simple Green reset button , repainting the model or living with a shit paint job. All of which blow, two of which require a lot of work:

Hitting reset - almost no matter what you use to strip the models, the chemicals/technique you use will remove EVERYTHING you've done to a model - paint, green stuff, glue, basing... everything. Hell, on plastic models, some paint strippers will remove the whole model.

Painting over the original paint job - difficult if you don't re-prime the model and likely to cause massive lose of detail whether you do or not. This just about sums it up:

Dealing with it - This is often when you get right up close and personal with embarrassment. This is also where you introduce discordance with the rest of your army if you do a new scheme. Even worse, this is were you can be tempted to stick with a bad idea all the way through. Then it gets super embarrassing. Whether or not people make fun of you to your face or not, this will chew at your brain.

There's a distinct sickening feeling when you realize you hate something you've painted. I try to avoid it whenever possible. Much better to work out the details and identify problems beforehand.

The only thing that could be a barrier, is finding some test models. For those of us who've been doing this for years, we have tons of figures we could use. I'm sure we're all aware of the tendency to collect models you'll never paint - either by design or by accident. Eventually, you'll get some extras. If you can't wait, then I suggest cobbling something together from spare parts or buying anything on the cheap - Bartertown and Ebay are great ways to do this.

To sum up, don't waste your resources on bad ideas.

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