Sunday 23 January 2022

Ramble ahoy

   A bit like everyone in January I have been spending time polishing off leftovers. Not just the last few mince pies, chocs and cans of grown up fizzy stuff but also a project I started BLOODY MONTHS AGO!, namely these:

They are a block of 15mm pikemen from venexia intended to be used as test pieces for a possible Italian wars project. I have painted them as Papal troops and have used some of the excellent banners from petes flags

 The reasons I abandoned the project in the first place were many, mostly a mix of frustration with the sculpts (soft details and the fact it's a bugger to try to line up a pike in both hands at the same time), the number of miniatures required to make the unit (44,  but a pike block needs heft), my butterfly brain wanting to do several other bits. Now I've been thinking about this while finishing the unit off and I think I know what the root of these issues was. 

  I think it's my own perceived lack of skill when it comes to painting. When I look at the photos the models are perfectly serviceable as gaming pieces. They look fine. Not spectacular, not likely to turn any heads but I'm pleased enough with the finished result. They are, to coin a well worn phrase 'table top standard'. And you know what? I'm happy with that. I got annoyed enough to put the miniatures away half painted because I wanted to achieve a level of painting I can't realistically do especially when batch painting 40+ models. What I should do is stop expecting perfection and instead enjoy the painting process for what it is.

I also painted some Landsknecht shot.

  When you really dig into it there are two major points that back this up.

1) Most people's hobby time is taken up with painting if they want to play games with fully painted forces. This means (to me anyway) that it is important to appreciate and enjoy the act of pressure free painting as it will be taking up most of my relaxation time.

2) I reckon a high percentage of miniatures fielded on the tabletop across the world are what their owners would consider 'table top standard'. I think this is because people mostly have limited painting time, abilities that are always improving and the fact that unless you are playing games with a low model count you really don't have the chance to do your best work on every mini you take a brush to.

 So I think we should do more to take the pressure of ourselves and eachother when it comes to perceived standard of painting. The brilliantly painted models we see all over the web and in many miniature publications are used because they are really nice examples, often by pros, they are not even close to the average. It's great to have these to aspire to but we must keep in mind that we don't have to match them.

  What I think I'm driving at is that you can easily put yourself off of painting by putting too much pressure on yourself to achieve unrealistic standards. Painting is a skill that takes time to learn, you need to pat yourself on the back for each project finished not beat yourself up for mistakes you make. I'm going into 2022 with a no pressure approach to my hobbying and am determined to get better at enjoying every part of it.

Ramble over...

...'till next time...

Sunday 9 January 2022

Grimdark potato men of the apocalypse

  My last post was in October. This will not do.

  I included the above as my hobby activity tailed off rather dramatically at the end of last year. The whole year, well specifically from may onwards was what can only really be described as shite, a bag of to be precise.

That's the one.

  It began with Sprinkling 2: son of Sprinks tourettes symptoms going utterly Tonto overnight, cue one manic phonecall from her indoors and a mad rush home to help and the tone for the rest of the year (and as it seems the foreseeable) was set. Dealing with the emotional fall out, the British medical system, the schooling system and working full time has rather taken a toll on the family that has made toy bothering rather less of a priority. However...

  It is also a very welcome distraction in all this and I haven't been totally away from the brushes. I have been daubing around the periphery of a 10mm ancient British force as well as trying to pluck up the motivation to start my 10mm halfling drug cartel for fantastic battles (it's a good idea, honest!). But recently my head has been very much turned in a more... vegetably direction:

 It's a game of Napoleonic post apocalyptic warfare on a proper grimdark setting...with vegetables. If that doesn't hook you nothing will!. You can download the rules for free here (Turnip28 rulebook). And I encourage you to do so. The game has a very small model count and troops are made by kitbashing any bits you fancy up to and including from the Napoleonic period. Crossed with veg. (Read the rules, it makes sense honest).

 I ordered a few sprues from the bay of E and set to knocking up a few bits and bobs:

 The first members of the 14th East Splaffington irregulars, aka the Spud-U-likes.

  I took my inspiration from the idea of seed potato roots sprouting from my troopers, hence the thick 'eyes' on them.

A unit of Brutes, big, dumb close combat thugs, as in the setting everything is run down and broken I decided they would fix melee weapons to old muskets with rope and roots, however being a bit slow they would just bung another layer on when things got loose hence the 'birds nest' type fixings.

  A force is led by a toff and his toadies, above are my toadies all riddled with roots and mucked up good.

I have gotten rather into this so have two more units ready for priming. More of these soon.

Anyway that's all there is to report for the moment, hopefully this year will see a bit more hobby activity but my breath is yet to be held!.

...'till next time...