Over the last week or two the subject of Gaming and associated meta-hobbies has come up in either conversations or posts I've come across online. Most of these subjects were along the lines of lamenting that there's more prep-work that game playing these days, which is also just part of the nature of the games we're drawn to. I went through this conversationally a few years ago which put me on the hobby-road I'm on now. I like to call it I'm OK With That Road, which is more like a 2 lane road you see heading toward the horizon in the distance.
With that, allow me to share my list of unpainted minis, ie the popular Pile of Shame.
In this list of what I track, I claim to have 3205 minis, of which 709 are painted / 2496 unpainted. That's a lot to paint. A lot of those are included in games I'll likely never play, like the original Zombicide and its butt load of expansions. As such, a few years ago I started a sub-category of Minis I'd Like To Paint, of which I currently have 609 of 1445 painted. With those impressive numbers out of the way, I now get to the root of my approach and acceptance of the popular Pile of Shame.
I don't care about game play or the games the minis are supposed to be for.
I've mentioned before my cyclical decade timeline of gaming interest as far as actual game play. I bought a butt load of games during the peak of that interest. Later on, I looked closer and admitted that I'd gotten games for the majority of popular game mechanics and must-have titles, but I wasn't that interested in playing any of them. Ok. Lesson learned and cut back on buying games enforced.
The thing I enjoy is the toys that come with the games, primarily because it gives me something to do with my hands that gets me away from the computer that I sit in front of a minimum of 8 hrs/day. Gluing, painting, cursing at, accruing supplies. That's my real hobby. Normally I would make plastic models or train layouts, but the diversity of game toys (minis, scenery, whatever you want to call it) is the appeal to me.
My excuse is that I can always use what I paint for a game. Who needs 3205 minis just for that?
So I buy minis that look fun to paint. I buy them and usually add them to the pile/list instead of painting the latest thing I though looked fun. Before writing this, I just bought some more because Miniature Market is running a 10% off sale for the weekend. 1 of the minis I bought has been on my wish list for over a year, and was there in case I needed some padding to get to free shipping. To get the free shipping on the 10 minis that look cool that I'll paint someday because they were 10% off, I bought an extra mini. That mini cost more than what actual shipping would have cost without it, but that's logic best to ignore.
Everyone has their own rules for what's fun and why you may do things a certain way. Just don't let someone else's definition of what you should or shouldn't do - especially something you do for fun - steer you away from having said fun.
Now I really should get back to painting something....
Being that I had 2 large bases I would never use, after painting one I should just go ahead and paint the other. Facebookians suggested adding green to the water to help show depth. I had originally thought about it, but wasn't confident I could pull it off. The 2nd base gave me more chance to play, so greenish water it would be!
Atop grey primer, I found the lightest green paint I had and it became the base layer for the water. On top of that was a Sky Blue glaze (2 coats - homemade glaze isn't known for sticking on smooth, non-horizontal surfaces). A darker, forgotten shade of blue was added on top of that, and it was all topped off by an ample coat of glaze.
Depending on the angle you're looking at, and the light, it works. When it doesn't work, it looks like some slimy stuff.
Speaking of slime, I'm not sure what I was going for coming out of the pipes but this is what I got. In trying to blend the splash at the water, I ended up with..... broccoli. The poop water coming out of the pipe on top of the bricks doesn't look as muddied water as I was shooting for.
Brickwork was fun on this base, too. Instead of repeated dark washes, I just used 4 shades of red on the bricks, then when through with an earth wash to really get into the grout lines. My dun thing to play around with here was to add some flock between some of the bricks - a dab of glue on the tip of a toothpick and then try to smoosh the flock down with some help of very pointy tweezers. I give it a solid C+ effort for a 1st attempt.
For the past few weeks I've done nothing, hobby-wise, that I planned to do and instead have done little things like paint the base above and 3D print stuff I hope to use in the upcoming months. My planning has gotten too big and unwieldy compared to what I end up managing to do in a week or two - time to pare it down to something manageable, something I can finish in a week.
We'll see how that goes.
I paint minis without much intention of ever playing a game with them. I paint for fun. I find some mini advertised that looks like it would be fun to paint and promptly grab it, sure that I'll paint it in the next decade or so. Even then, there's always the option in the back of my head that something will come along and I can say "ah, I have just the mini for this game!"
And then, there are things that look(ed) fun to paint that I don't know how they'll fit into a game. During some, most likely Black Friday, sale, I picked up what can best be described as over-sized decorative bases. One such base is below. 4 inches in diameter, with bricks, leaky pipe, and moistness about. It looked fun to paint - I still remember thinking that. This past week I came across said base - 2 of them, actually - and again thought it would be fun to paint. I had just wrapped up painting cowfolk, so why not go ahead and prime a base and see if the mood and inspiration to do something with it hit me.
On Saturday, I was properly inspired. For once I thought I'd try to document my process and hope that the end result turned out to be presentable. I wanted to try a little wet blending where the pipe water meets the regular water. Some variation in brick color would add interest - what's the best way to do that without getting bored? Those pipes would need to get rusty, too. I've added rust plenty of times with pigment, but I've never really tried painting rust (I tried, but ended up relying on the pigment more).
I didn't mean to get the whole thing painted in a day. I would paint a little, maybe 10-20 minutes, and take a break while it dried. Then I would think of the next thing to try, and the process would repeat. Before I knew it, I was done enough. Enough, but there's always room to go back and tweak, but in my experience that tends to end up screwing everything up horribly.
Over on Facebook, where I seldom post, I read a handful of miniature oriented painting groups. I posted my finished pic along with a little blurb about sometimes you paint for fun and expect no real use out of what you paint. Although the internet is renown for people sharing their harshest opinions, I got some compliments along with people asking how I pulled off a couple of things. Pic even got over 100 likes.
This "I'll never use this in a game" has done wonders for my painting confidence.
I saw the above somewhere on the Facebook and thought it appropriate for me.
Since it's been over a month since I last posted anything I thought I'd check in with the internet. Hobby-wise I've completed nothing. At best I've painted parts of some minis and made most of a 2nd floor mall store. I'm not in a real hurry to finish any of this, so we'll see how long it takes to get something post-worthy on the hobby front.
The highlight of my free time has been playing GTA with Jer. I've been playing GTA5 Online, according to my stats, for 3 years. All of those 3 years were me running around on a private server so as to avoid 13 year-olds sniping me. Now I'm enjoying the mix of showing Jer neat things about the game while discovering what missions can be played with more than 1 player. It's like a whole new game!
I've been concentrating on studying for the Salesforce Platform Developer exam over the last month. 3 months, really, but this last month I finally got a good groove into how elder-me can study and retain.
That last of the batch of 10 Foundry Hitmen (and either Professionals or Detectives) primed in December now have a coat of paint. I've complained before about the quality of these sculpts. They're most likely not as bad as I make them out to be, they just don't jibe well with my level of painting skill. My new technique (for me) to try out this time was to finally switch brushes while painting a color/area based on need. Using a detail brush to swath the back of a coat wasn't doing the detail brush any favors toward longevity. I also tried to remember to work from the inside of the mini and out, instead of hitting everywhere the color on the brush was needed. This gave some better lines between skin tones and whatever they abutted to. For once, I did the heads last - and I'm not sure if it made a difference.
It's been long enough since the painting spreadsheet was updated it's hard to tell what's changed. Foundry, Buildings, and 6" tiles have all had progress marked since the last shown update of the spreadsheet.
Next up on the hobby table: I don't know. Mall stores need furniture. I liked having primed minis to paint for when the painting mood hit, so I may go ahead and prime another batch. There's some 3D-printing associated things I need to do (mostly mall related).
Tangentially, in today's pandemic world, I've been working from home and staying sequestered like everyone else, or at least everyone else has been encouraged. As homelife is just me, my social interactions have been a Friday trip to the chiropractor (he's not just my chiropractor, he's my buddy!), avoiding people when I go to Publix, and a couple of Zoom meetings for work. Repeat this weekly for a month. I'm ok with the day-to-day living (or maybe isolation?) as I've geared myself to live mostly this way over the past couple of years. Within that, Jer pointed out that once our pandemic is less pandemicy, I need to make sure I force myself to get out and socialize.
This made me think of when he, I, and Keith worked together at whichever job it was at the time (I alternate riding their coat tails, so it's hard for me to keep up with when things happen). We developed a tradition of taking a break at 3:00 to grab a Coke. Thanks to Google, 3:00 is also The Hour of the Monkey, even though it's 2 hours long. 3:00 became Monkey Time not long after, and calls for Monkey Time would have us grab change and head to the vending machine. Keith also referred to this as Jingle Time, as a past job had a coworker who would walk by and jingle the change in his pocket as the sign for taking a break and grabbing a beverage.
Last week, thanks to Zoom, the 3 of us had a virtual Monkey/Jingle time.
That's now a recurring meeting on our calendars. Even if you're stuck at home, take some time to virtually socialize with your friends.
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!).
Tags have been added to posts back to 2005. There may be an occasional old blog that gets added to the tag list, but in reality what could be noteworthy from that far back?
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