Thursday, 31 July 2008
Tuesday, 29 July 2008
The photo is merde, but it was taken at night under rotten light conditions- and is not meant for the cover of Wargames Illustrated anyway. Brian Phillips or Spencer Keen I ain't.
Monday, 28 July 2008
Today I had a few hours to work on the lights, so I painted all the woodwork on the muskets and touched up some of the faces. I don't paint the eyes on figures wearing shakos, as they are in shadow under the peak. But those figures either bareheaded or wearing pokolems tend to get the "full treatment". Takes time, but I don't want to compromise on these guys, as when the whole unit is done the eye is drawn towards these miniatures first.
Tomorrow it is facings, gaiters and bases, and lining the straps to give them definition. And of course, going over the usual cases of missed areas and mistakes...
Sunday, 27 July 2008
But I had something of a revelation. I usually block in the tunic/ overcoat first and then paint the straps. Next time I think it will be faster to paint the straps first and then to paint the coat areas around them later- I can always go back and touch them up later. Same for the backpack and rolls.
As it stands now, I spend a lot of time painting areas that are just going to be covered up later anyway.
Oh well, live and learn. Time for a break and a glass- or two- of wine.
Any suggestions as to good, really dark blues are welcome!
Wednesday, 23 July 2008
Lots of work to do yet on this unit, but as there are only twelve of them to do, I'm cautiously optimistic that I can get them done by the deadline (Hah! famous last words...).
Pure artistic licence on my part, I am assuming that even with the coming of the Bardin regulations, the proud colonels would be reluctant to part with those ostentatious badges of their "elite" status. Indeed, there is a contemporary print of French troops surrendering at Leipzig which shows the officers in this headgear- two years after it was officially forbidden.
Rules are, after all, meant either to broken or to be ignored.
Sunday, 20 July 2008
Saturday, 19 July 2008
- Start gaming with what I've already got as soon as possible, and set myself a target date.
- Start working on some terrain.
- Make use of peer support.
- Remove other potentially distracting projects from view (aka clean the painting table!)
Looking beyond the usual suspects of work pressures (when I get busy I get REALLY busy), there are a number of reasons for this.
- The twin demons of laziness and procrastination.
- My tendency towards perfectionism as a painter- this really slows me down I as can spend hours and hours on one figure.
- Inability to focus on any one project at any one time. I am often too much like the proverbial donkey who starved to death as a result of being placed equidistant between two equally-succulent bales of hay, and who could never decide which way to go!
The stumbling block must be when I reach that "half-way" stage in painting a miniature, where it has been undercoated, the main colours blocked in but not yet trimmed, and the next stage is the fiddly backpacks and straps- the figure looks a horrid mess, and the motivation and energy to push on decreases considerably. More often than not, I tend to fail my morale throws at this point and progress really slows to a halt.
I know from my years of active gaming back when I lived in Vancouver that there is nothing like having the deadline of a regularly-scheduled game in order to inspire one to get the "666eme Regt. de Ligne (M. le Diable's own)" finished and on the table so that you can employ it to humble your opponent on the field of battle, and enjoy the resulting pleasure of crowing loudly at his resulting defeat and humiliation...
But there's the rub- gaming has become a very rare pleasure, and other than during the occasional trip back home, I haven't been able to get in a wargame using 28mm miniatures for years- and I mean years. I also have to do both sides. This translates into a lot of painting, and if the rules need a lot of battalions and squadrons, the more uphill the task will be of getting enough painted for a game. Yet without the gaming, how to find that extra level of motivation that will keep me going? Of course I need to keep an eye on my ultimate target, but I also need some kind of "immediate gratification" just to keep the hobby alive.
I find there is a "Catch 22" for me here. Ultimately, I want the spectacle of battalion after battalion advancing up some slope to meet the foe, which means rules like Shako or General de Brigade. The problem is that it will take such a long time to get to "critical mass" -the point where I can get enough miniatures to play a game- that I cannot currently see myself getting anywhere near that point.
So what to do about it, that's the question?