Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Blogging Mojo

My blogging mojo seems to be back. Last year I posted almost every day and on average just a little over once per day. This year started with an ambitious plan which has been a little less auspicious. I am starting to see a bit of a turn around and I started to think about how and why. So I thought about how I was doing this and I thought I would share it with you.

I initially started with a much smaller plan. Most years before 2017 I have had a month where I have gone out to write a blog post every day. This was down to having a reason to do it. One year I posted very little across the year. In 2015 I had the sum total of 25 posts. My plan became that in one month in 2016 I would do more posts than I had done in the previous year. This gave me a great feel good effect. Things dropped off for a bit after that but I still ended up doing three times as many posts that year as I had done the year before. I think the key here is small, achievable goals and follow this up with other small achievable goals. In 2017 the plan became to do the same thing in January. Then it became a few more months, and a few more. Then it got to a nice round number of posts. Swapping and changing all the while.

As part of what I have been doing I created a challenge for myself which I ended up calling The New Cruelty. This gives me, amongst other things, a minimum number of figures to paint every week and an intention to play at least one game per week. This gives me something to blog about. If there is always progress, then there is always something to look at and talk about.

This year has been hard because I knew it was going to be difficult to top last years numbers. If you are having a similar problem then learn to accept it. It is what it is. Find a way to do something without over facing yourself and keep doing it. What I have done has taken a bit of time to work up to it. I am not sure I will keep up the almost daily posting but I am looking to post much more often. Maybe you want to take smaller steps if not baby steps.

Over the years I have suffered from what I call Project Fatigue. In terms of what I paint, I like to mix up what figures are on the bench. If there is a painting event I might get involved in that to, especially if it is of interest to me and it's not something I would paint all the while. This keeps me interested in what I am doing. Chopping and changing might not work for you if you really like one area of the hobby. However you may wish to reframe that if you are painting an army or armies. You might just want to doing something a bit different, chopping and changing to keep you interest up. Another way is to have what I call Background Projects. Figures that are not really my main focus but fulfil one of my over all goals. They are there when I fancy a break or I end up with too much paint on the palette. This gives me other options too blog about.

Having specific things going on during the week is always a big help. In the last few years I have had a regular game night and spent some time at the local FabLab. This gives me something else to do and a whole wealth of subjects to talk about.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Future Savages

These are more of the old Grenadier (Mirliton/Moonraker) Future Skirmish Savages. I have decided that I really like the aesthetic and thought about getting some more. When I worked out what this would cost (along with what I would order from Copplestone) the cost came out to well over £300 for about 200 figures. So not a project for this year and the apparent shortages of funds.
The figures have progress nicely. I am already at the ink stage and have a few more colours to do. Then on to the highlighting. So currently reasonably confident that these will be finished before the week is out. Then it would be a case of working out what to move onto next.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Beginning The Process All Over Again

So I have eight figures from the old Grenadier Future Skirmish range to repaint. Not happy about the fact that they are repaints but I am hoping that might make it easier. Last week's experience says that there are pros and cons, maonly cons.
I like the figures and the Mark Copplestone sculpting vibe in general. Obviously there is plenty in this range and a lot of almost identical stuff in the Copplestone Castings Range. There is enough choice of figures for me to do a lot of what I want. I can see me revisiting these figures in the near future.

These figures should not take too long, at least I hope so. As my plan has been  to clear my work bench I wasn't expecting there to be too much to do. It is clear that I am already developing a whole load of new background projects to fill in any gaps I might have.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

End Of The (Most Productive) Week

This week has not really been about  painting 28mm miniatures. It's been about  me finishing of what I have started. Whilst i haven't finished off every half paint figure on the bench, I have come pretty close. Some are abandoned rather than finished but not in bad condition all the same.
A couple of years ago I got these Grenadier tribal type figures from a bring and buy. There are fifteen of them in all so these are the first batch. I am not generally a big fan of repainting figures but I thought at the time I could maybe strip them. Upon close inspection I thought that the paint might be enamel so I decided against it. Repaints rarely turn out especially well (see the Grenadier figures a few weeks ago) but these didn't turn out especially badly. From a distance they look okay.
The Blood Bowl Troll has been sat around since the beginning of last year. I have fiddled with it every now and again. So in the spirit of what I am doing I decided to add some finishing details. I could go a lot further with this figure but I think it is time to call it a day.
There is a whole load of scatter terrain to finish off from earlier in the week. This is what I have finished so far. Most of this is relatively recent although I think the well was brought in the mid nineties. Some is Ainsty, some Scotia, some Midlam and some Ristul Market. Just glad to have them done really.
The stone monster (golem or construct) is a Reaper Bones mini. I have painted one of these before. It's a nice easy paint job. I got this at the last show I went to in December.
The de-bearded carrion crawlers came from a D&D boardgame that I got at a fete for a pound a couple of years ago. Realistically I think these were the only two figures worth having from the set and I suspect the rest of the game, with maybe the odd exception. The type of plastic is a bigger to paint but I have learnt a few new tricks since starting on this.
I painted four actual fantasy miniatures this week. Three dwarves and a human priest. The dwarves are two from Midlam and one from Northstar and I think the cleric is from Gripping Beast. Some of these were not actually on the bench and the blacksmith and king had only been started recently but in my head they still count. I guess none of these are more than three years old.
The Ver'men (not Skaven) priest was started this week. I found myself with some paint to spare. Just a quick no frills paint job. I have a few more of these guys hanging around and I am not sure that I am that inspired to paint them but I can see them on the bench already. I think I got these last year or the year before.
Finally there are four Cold War Miniatures zombies. Nice minis but a little bit small compared to some. They do however fit with a lot of newer minis and you cannot fault them for character. The figures are probable ten plus years old and have been on the bench for at least five years.

As far as The New Cruelty goes this has been my best week for ages. I would argue that I have completed the equivalent of twenty five figures this week. I have done a fair bit of exercise this week including my first 5k run in over 7 years. I have kept up on the less vigorous exercise and kept to my step count. I have played one boardgame and I have even managed to do a blog post every day this week, for the first time this year I think. The New Cruelty is satisfied. Ish.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

There Was A Reason For This Post

I remember waking up with a really good idea for a post this morning. I should have written it down.

The day has worked out quite well and I think I am getting closer to my eventual painting goal for the week. At close of play today I am pretty relaxed about there being almost no half painted figures on the workbench. Oddly, I am less relaxed because I have no clear plan for the next project. This morning I spent a bit of time trying to figure out what to do next. Having gone through all the figure storage draws I have, I drew a complete blank.

Despite saying I was going to finish everything off before starting something else I have found another three figures to paint. Both had kind of been started but almost nothing had been done. They did get finished very quickly although they were easy paint jobs really. To be honest I am not sure if they spoke to me or I just had some spare paint that suited them so I started them.

Currently I am wracking my brains for what to do next. I went back on the blog to look for my annual The Plan post from last year yesterday. This is turning into a somewhat frugal year for me. So no new figures and all I see are figures that I want to buy.

So the current plan is I have some more of these old Grenadier (now Mirliton) tribal figures to re-paint. I did think about striping them but I am never sure that this is a good idea having had a couple of very bad (read costly and psychically painful) experiences with stripping figures so I have stick with the repaints. My plan for the was originally for the Fallout game. The game has a number of tribal groupings which are essentially native American on origin but not exclusively so. These figures give a nice evocation of that. The plan had been to get some Apache figures from Artizan. I already have a few of them but wanted to do a bit of conversion as well to make them look more the part. Another game I have worked on was a game set in a post-apocalyptic London called Underground and these figures would be perfect for that. Maybe Titansgrave as well.

This all got me back to one of my biggest problems at the moment, admittedly it's a first world problem. I don't have the time for it and I don't have any regular people to play with. Most of my inspiration comes from playing console and PC games and, thanks the the missus, my console has been disconnected since November. My head is constantly flowing with ideas for games and they all want to come out but there is currently no outlet for it.

Maybe I should get back to Fallout or some form of post-apocalypse gaming. Over the years I has really been my first love. Fantasy RPG is good and I like my Viking Game  but it's the events after a disaster that make my RPG mojo let loose.

So, after a little bit of using the blog as therapy, maybe I will get back to dealing with the apocalypse then.

Friday, 16 March 2018

Blood Bowl - Doom Lords

Blood Bowl is definitely one of my favourite games. Board games and figures and almost certainly the odd death....what  more could a tabletop gamer want.

There are many blood bowl players out there who love a nice friendly game with a certain amount of strategy. I am partial to this on occasion to. The teams that have been brought out so far are all about the finer points of the game and may even on occasion wish to pass the ball. This is what my games used to be about when I used to play older editions of Blood Bowl. Skaven, various elves, dwarves, humans and even orcs have a few options on attacks and defence and I would make the most of all of them.
This all stopped when I played a game with a Chaos team. Offence is all about the grind. Put almost all your players in a cage and push on through. Defence is all about the grind. Hit em. Hit em. Hit em again. The trouble is my old Chaos team looks a little small compared to the new figures.

But is looks like they are coming. The Doom Lords are on their way. Sadly there isn't much detail out there yet but I remain hopeful. I would guess it will be another sprue of six with probably 2 chaos warriors and 4 beastmen. There may be a bit of variety in there.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Just So I can Have Something To Aspire To

28mm figure painting is my life at the moment Not much else is getting a look in, not tabletop and not console or PC gaming. This last couple of weeks has really been about tidying up my work bench. Well more about putting on some final details so I can clear the piles of figures that are either outstanding for some time or just need a few details finishing off. Some of these figures have been on the bench for more than four years. I guess if I had a more immediate use for them they would have been done ages ago.
Anyway I thought about doing a bench clear up. And this is what happened. This is as tidy as the bench is ever likely to be so I thought I would put a picture on the blog to remind me. That said this pictures was taken four days ago.

And four days later...
New stuff is already starting to creep in not to mention the fact that I am already getting close to not being able to see the bench again.