Starting off the new year with the last things I painted in the last year. The first is the 2nd Walking Dead web exclusive Abraham that I received. 2nd because Elvis at Mantic didn't have the stats cards in stock when I originally ordered everything, and I told him to go ahead and send the model and, at his suggestion, they could ship the card later. They did indeed ship the card later - with the mini. I bet it's easier to just keep everything together, but it's still nice to think I got a little bonus.
The other things painted were Sara's Xmas present to me for this year. Last year she gave me a cross-stich of Tyler, her, and me. That combo we have affectionately referred to as Team TSR, no copyright lawsuits yet, for the past couple of years. Sara is all about Christmas. She was excited months ago when she "found the perfect gift". I'm impossible to gifts for. I loved the cross-stitch from last year because it came from the heart. I really doubted she could outdo that one.
Well, she did. There was a small box upon my desk. When I opened it, it was from Hero Forge. 3 minis from Hero Forge. Tyler. Sara. Me (sans glasses - I mean, come on!).
Hero Forge's print quality has gone up since they first came on the scene, and especially considering what I'm used to with my home printer. There were good details in these prints! The challenge for me was going to be painting them up as people I knew, and people that would see themselves. Yeah. No pressure.
The suited Tyler mini was ripe for a Christmas Suit. Tyler got such a suit last year and always talks about how comfortable it is, especially for a $20 suit. Since Sara, lover of Christmas, camps out in front of Hallmark movies for the silly season, she would get appropriate sweatshirt. And for me... well I would wing it.
Primer was primed. Paint was painted, and touched up, and painted. Tyler and I got grey highlights in our hair. Facial hair was drawn on. Clothes became Chrstimasized with decals.
And that's where things screwed up. I have the worse luck with clear decals. Decals which are mostly red and green, laying on top of Tyler's green paint and Sara's red paint. Well.... hell. That's the best way to sum it up. Tyler ended up with more of a camouflaged suit then Xmas suit. While I knew the text would be too small to read for Sara's shirt, all you really notice is a black smudge from the back of the truck & tree. I couldn't think of a way to salvage this save for pulling off the decals. I added the decals after sealing the minis, so the paint should have been fine, but I didn't trust it. And I really didn't want to paint everything over - I wasn't sure I could do that well again.
But there we have the last batch of 2019. Not as good as I'd hoped, but overall about in the middle of the quality that I expect.
The progress list.
It's time for me to go back and do a proper inventory of what I've got left to paint. While updating the spreadsheet for this painted batch, I notices I had more unopened Walking Dead boosters than I thought there should be. There were 2 that weren't included in the spreadsheet. Those 2 give me 6 more minis to paint. On my overall progress, the 4 minis I painted increased the total count by 6.
As such, one of my New Years Resolutions is to get organized. I love me some organization! Really. No sarcasm there at all.
I also have projects for 2020. That's going to be the next blog post, as the projects fall into the organization aspect.
Part 2 of Primer Gone Wrong has the web exclusive pack from the Mantic web store - Lee & Clementine from the Walking Dead Telltale game (series?). This booster was originally a convention exclusive, but sometimes it shows up in the Mantic web store as a chance to redeem all those (proof of purchase) points I've been racking up by getting all the boosters. I originally bought this from a guy in the UK via one of the gaming Facebook groups, but the package never made it to me. Adding up the cost of lost packages, price of all the boosters to get the needed points to qualify for purchase, and whatever else was needed for the purchase - I can't remember now if this was points-only or points-plus-fee - this has turned into an expensive set.
An expensive set that I hosed down with runny primer.
This was my chance to concentrate on 2 figures, 3 if you count a zombie with an animal I didn't recognize at first. Lee and Clem have a pretty standard color scheme thanks to the video game. Blues for Lee, pinks for Clem. Red hues don't normally cover well for me, so this would be a good test. One thing I've started to do while painting is going back and touching up errant smears, usually by (re)painting white. And then I smear the white, so I go back over it with the color I was trying to apply. And of course I smear that, so back with a line of white. Eventually I decide something is good enough. Clem's backpack was the example of this exercise this time. Most of Clem got repeated paint applications. In the end, there's no telling how many times I equivalently painted that one.
With Lee, I tried a customized brown for his skin. It was a half-accident. I had 2 shades of brown on my pallet and a section of each streamed into a mix. Wondering what the worse that could happen might be, I mixed them properly and had a pleasant surprise as to how well it worked. Lee's supposed to have a Fire Axe. Given that I was fighting my "cover with reds" on Clem, I didn't want to wage that battle on another front, so Lee got an old fashioned regular-metal axe.
The poor, forgotten zombie was chowing down on a deer. When I first looked at it, I didn't see a deer. I saw a boar/pig. Pigs have bright pink flesh, so that was the first coat on the poor animal. It wasn't until the flesh coat was completely on that I saw how it didn't look right. Nope, not a pig. It's a deer. I suck at painting animals! How am I supposed to salvage a deer from a pig? About 4 shades of brown of varying thickness will cover up that I have no idea what I'm doing. Also, I was applying the 2nd shade before I noticed the deer-was-pig had a stub of leg resting on top of the zombie leg. That wasn't a piece of the zombie!
Deer-pig with leg-hoof I thought was part of another body. To be honest, anything that qualified as "passable" in the end would be good enough for this one.
And in the end, everything worked out ok. Not my best work, but not my worse. Overall: average.
The painting progress chart... well, I think it's still a little screwed up. Every time I update it, I come across a box that has 3 minis instead of 2. Or 2 boxes I never counted. 2020 may be the year of a proper inventory.
I may get 1 more batch of minis painted before the new year. Next year will have a plan for what to hobby. Should have a plan. Might have?
About 2 months ago I finished painting some bikers and crows. Then things got busy. Actually, I primed a batch of minis and then things got busy. This past week things slowed down a little and went back to paint that primed batch.
As much as I go on about painting minis here, I like to think that over the years I've gotten better. Most of the time I comment on the things I should have done better while usually getting lucky enough to point out a gem or two of technique that I managed to do better than the last time. This is not one of those times.
When I picked up the first mini to paint, I saw how bad a job priming I did. I harked back 2 months and remembered that I was priming when I shouldn't have. It was humid. Wet Alabama humid. This makes for a more runny primer. The can was also almost out of primer. This too leads to runny primer. Put the 2 together, I was going to get doubly runny primer. 2 months after priming, I saw how crappy double runny primer was.
This batch was not my normal random assortment of Reaper Chronoscope minis. This batch was the Wargames Foundry Lovemore Detective Agency. I'm not sure what Black Friday sale I picked these up on, but I remember lucking out on the prices + 5 minis per pack. The sculpts on these are a little more angular than I've gotten used to. Angles and super moist primer isn't a good combination. My favored method of using washes and contrast paints doesn't really like angles either.
This batch was doomed from the onset.
I muddled through and painted them "done enough". I didn't know what to do with the bases - usually my favorite thing to work on to bring back a paint job I'm not happy with, but the bases didn't cry out to me for anything special. Road/pavement with a splotch of grass was what these got. Bases are one of those things that's easy to come back to after the fact. Months after the fact, even.
I'm also still getting the hang of the new blog pic camera/lightbox. There's too much wasted space going on in those pics!
The painting progress chart got it's update. It's mostly moot, as I've decided that the new Marvel: Crisis Protocol game looks too cool to pass up. I bet I go the Walking Dead route and have 100 minis still on the shrinkwrap on shelves before I start painting anything.
Next up, as part of the Primed 2 Months Ago batch, are the Lee and Clementine web exclusives for Walking Dead. I'm going to see if focusing on just 2 figures will help cover up the crappy priming job. I'm also trying to decide if next year should have an overarching goal or theme. Jer and I are talking about playing Gaslands (which Christian & Co. managed to finally play, ironic timing or what?). Being us, it's more an excuse to play with Hot Wheels and glue bits on them, while making up some new scenery. Maybe we can get a game in by October?
There's also all the (MDF) buildings I've got on shelves to put together. Not just the 4Ground Mall, either. I'm trying to conscript Jer and Keith into helping convert one of the 4Ground multi-story buildings into a dice tower. Which may or may not have lights in the windows.
There, I said it. Now pressure from the internet will force movement on all of this!
It's been quite a few years since I switched from playing games
Wait, wait, wait. A little honesty here.
It's been quite a few years since I switched from collecting new games and leaving them in their shrinkwrap on a shelf TO painting minis and making scenery.... for games sitting on a shelf in their original shrinkwrap.
I've oft remarked about my boardgame hoarder tendencies (got to get it before it goes out of print... and all the expansions... I might want to play it one day!) and although I've drastically cut back on buying games I still buy more minis than I can probably finish painting before I croak. That being the case, I've done the sane thing and stopped buying new stuff to paint and/or construct.
Oh hell no.
Turning 50 this year gave me a few bucket list items.
Pay off the house as scheduled. Done
Get as big a tv that will fit in a remodeled living room. Done
And then there was the purchase I was waiting for a Black Friday sale to cooperate on. A car? A super computer? A developer license for the GTA game engine?
Nope. the 4Ground 28mm Shopping Mall. I didn't win the contest in the linked video, but ever since seeing the mall I've wanted it. Just the primal, want of it. On Black Friday, thanks to notice via Facebook, 4Ground had the 25% off sale I was waiting on - which was the sale they had last Black Friday.
And that is my 4Ground Shelf. Some of those boxes are from the last 2 Black Fridays and not mall associated. In the end, I've got enough for a 2 story 600mm deep mall. Rounding up, that's 2 feet.
I don't know how long it's going to take to put it together - I'm not in a hurry. I don't know where I'm going to store it afterward.
My want is now satiated. Now on to putting the @#%$ thing together!
In the past month, I've painted absolutely nothing. The only hobby-associated thing I've done was (finally) finished a batch of the 7½" to 6" map tiles: 64 double sided grass/sidewalk cakeboards cut and glued! There was a lot of documentaries and GTA Roleplay Youtibe videos in the background while all of that was going on.
It's the busy season at work. I'm in the midst of "I'm not sure how to do ...." and anywhere from 10 minutes to a day later I've got it figured out. Roughly half the time it's actually close to the right way of figuring it out. I feel like I'm behind where I should be, and I'm vocal if anyone asks, but I've yet to be called out for it. I've committed to being done in 2 weeks. Roughly a week to wrap up all the stuff I know needs to be done (which I think should take 3 days), then another week for testing and filling in holes. So yeah. 3 weeks. Maybe 4.
I've got a side web project for Contractor Craig I've been trying to find time to fit in also. I started down a rabbit hole of setting up a mobile-friendly picture uploader. After a long break, where and (maybe) how those pictures get uploaded will depend on the site layout. The site's a pre-paid template. The goal there was to bypass the early grunt work. Now it's time for the middle grunt work of putting pictures in the right spots at the right size, and making the colors pretty enough.
Once I get caught up on all of this, I'm going to take a couple of days off and paint. Or build some buildings. Thanks to Black Friday sales, I've got 2 floors of mall to eventually build.
And that's a helluva teaser right there!
As always, correct spelling is optional in any blog entry. Keep in mind that any links more than a year old may not be active, especially the ones pointing back to Russellmania (I like to move things around!).
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