Paint Racks

04.30.2024

I have paint. A lot of paint. The main reason for my lofty oversupply of paint is that I can't really tell shades or hues that are close, so when a paint scheme spells out the colors to use then those are the colors I have to use. I also like any paint that brands itself as making painting easier - I'm looking at you shades, washes, contrast, and speed paints. It's only natural that when Army Painter came out with a new.., well, line of paint that I would wonder how I could live without it. I mean, their last Speed Paint line made painting soooo much easier, just imagine what this new line would do. Plus, it's made for hue and shade matching impaired folks like myself as there are tips on the label for what paints match for highlights and tones.

But the problem this begat was... were to store this stuff? Currently (well, at the time) all my paints and paint related tools are in the closet. Mainly on 2 wire shelving racks on casters, each rack is 14" x 16" footprint and about 6 feet tall. 1 rack is all paint in shoe boxes, which I've sorted into boxes in categories that make sense to me. The other shelf has some scenery, bases, and cast-off test minis that will never get finished. I've wanted to use some proper paint racks for a while, but I just haven't had the desk (or wall) space. But maybe I could make something utilizing the shelf racks I have?

Well, not the actual shelf racks, but the footprint they take up. The Litko paint racks are 22" wide. That's too wide for a 14x16 shelf. I did a quick test, using the center handle on the paint rack. I quickly found that is not a spot of structural integrity to support all the weight at 1 point. The paint rack has holes for screws/mounting on the outer corners to take proper weight distribution into account. So I need something wider. And everything still needs to fit in the same space and through the closet door. With the door open, that doorway is just under 22" wide. The paint racks will have to go into the closet length-wise... The paint racks are roughly 5" deep, which gives me a shelf that needs to be at least 22" long to support the paint rack, and no more than 17" deep for everything to fit through the door. It's a shame I can't just merge the 2 shelf racks I have now. But I can do the next best thing and order the 14x30 shelf rack on Amazon!

The new shelf came in and I assembled it, all while not telling anyone my plan since it started out so half-assed I had no idea if it would work. Thanks to a recent liberal use of zip-ties, I wanted to try using them to secure the paint racks to the wire shelves. But (vertical) spacing was also key here, as I wanted to maximize my usage of what's available. What's something cheap, yet relatively sturdy and straight, to help with that? Yard sticks. Yard sticks with holes drilled in them. And yard sticks have built in measuring for any spacing! And thus I decided to attach yard sticks to the wire shelves, and then paint racks to the yard sticks. All using zip ties.

The damndest thing is, it seems to work.

I now have paint racks with space for 502 pots of paint, all neatly organized and accessible. On the other side, where shelves live, I still have show boxes sorted by categories I'll look for. Along with that are things I can wheel around that come in handy when painting, gluing, whatever. Wheeling is a little more important now as I've moved my hobby space from my office desk (4 ft from the closet all of this stays stored away in) to the never eaten at dining table (2 rooms away).

For the 14x16 shelves, the 2 5-shelf units have been combined into 1 9-shelf unit and moved to a different closet to see if it's going to work for some more dedicated scenery storage (with wheels!). That was kind of a last minute decision, so we'll see if that sticks long term.


feng shui random renovation/remodelling

Pile of Shame vs Pile of Retirement

02.10.2023

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....


boardgames gaming miniatures rambling random

(Useless?) Base Painting Part II

07.28.2020

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.


gaming miniatures random

(Useless?) Base Painting

07.19.2020

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.


gaming miniatures random

Still Not Dead Checkin

06.22.2020

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.


rambling random

Blog Archive

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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