Now for the "after knocking the rust off the paint brush on the previous batch, how'm I doing" batch of minis. Or "I'm enjoying vacation."
After some previously painted duplicates in the last batch, this batch of Reaper Chronoscope (plus a Hasslefree sculpt) minis was still an eclectic assortment that would never make sense in the same game, yet would give me a good mix of easy + test out my skills.
I mentioned last time about Reaper plastic sculpts not only not needing primer, but not working well with most primers. I didn't read that little tidbit of information until after I had already primed this batch. Normally I use white Fine Detail Tamiya primer. On Reaper plastic this primer covers with a gloss, pools into too many details, and the gloss keeps the follow up paint from sticking like I'm used to. In this batch, Agatha Fox was primed white and looks like crap. The Physician was also primed white, but turned out a little better - maybe because I mainly stuck to using Citadel Contrast browns? I went the some route with John Watson, a metal figure, and the results look about the same. Maybe it's got something to do with how small the Agatha Fox mini is? The Innkeeper got grey primer which seemed to work out ok.
The bases on these plastic sculpts is a little annoying. The base is part of the sculpt, and looks like it should be a pile of dirt/rocks/uneven ground. For some extra stability I glue these on cheap, plastic 1" poker chips which also gives me a little more base to work with when it comes time to finish off the mini. I didn't know what to do with the Innkeeper - he's cleaning a glass, so he shouldn't be outside in the grass or standing in mud.
This batch also gave me a chance to play around some. I tried to get something besides "white guy" skin on the sumo. I didn't mean to go to Trump Orange, but I knew from previous experience that once my skin tones skew to oranges it's not going to get any better. I tried a little more Not White Guy on the Innkeeper and the Psychologist. I'm not sure how much they'll count as Black Guys....
Borris & Sasha got my post-apocalyptic juices flowing - leather and metallic what-not! Lobo Sanchez was my surprise favorite. I found a reference pic where people were doing really good jobs on patterns on the blanket draped over his shoulder. Had I planned out a pattern it might have ended up better, but eyeballing what was working AND not working, it turned out better than I expected.
Over on the painting progress chart:
- Painted 281 to 294 (+1%)
- Reaper Chronoscope Painted 98 to 103
- Reaper Savage Worlds Painted 7 to 14 (a couple of old painted minis got skipped on the updates in the spreadsheet)
- Hasslefree finally has 1 painted!!!!
After painting nothing for almost 3 months, I get busy during a weeks vacation and finish 19 minis, with another 9 primed - and I doubt I'll finish them before going back to work on Monday. While these 2 batches weren't perfect, they weren't overly frustrating. They were just the amount of fun they needed to be!
The next batch, already primed, is all Chronoscope, all metal, all female. I picked up a pair of magnifier glasses that I'm going to try out and see if they help with seeing all these details I notice I'm missing after the fact. I haven't had much luck with magnifying glasses in the past, but these were recommended by multiple people in some Facebook group posts. We shall see how it goes.
After inadvertently taking the summer off, I finally picked up a brush and painted some minis! I took the opportunity to take a week off from work and decided that would take a staycation and do lots of little things around the house that I've been putting off, yet wanting to do. At the top of the list: Paint Some Minis!
I knew there would be a little rust on my techniques, so I grabbed some random Reaper Chronoscope "ehhh, I think I may have already painted a copy of this". Nothing special about this batch, save a couple were plastic instead of metal. From the Reaper website:
I've mentioned the Reaper plastic minis because I learned something much, much after the fact (so far after the fact that I've almost completed the next batch of painting where I could have really used this tidbit of information). Reaper plastic minis do not have to be primed. In fact, they don't like to be primed. I now know why my primed plastic Reaper minis are ungodly shiny, and the primer doesn't hold paint like it should. IT'S NOT SUPPOSED TO.
Beyond that, this was a nice batch to get back into painting with. No color guides to hold true to. Nothing I could really do "wrong". This was my first use of Citadel Contrast Paints - and I'm still figuring them out. While I've managed to get a really good technique of painting 90% of a mini with washes, that same technique doesn't work with contrast paints. Not yet, at least.
Something I learned which I don't want to admit is that I tend to do better detail work with the Citadel Detail brush. I've tried cheap brushes, over priced brushes, and way overpriced brushes, but never really given Citadel brushes a chance. After painting the mostly-red varsity jacket (red paint is hard for me to work with) and the Christmas-flavored Baron LaCroix, I've got to say I like that Citadel brush. I'm not even sure when or where I got it, but I might have to pick up another.
Nothing really noteworthy stood out with this batch. I half-assed it on the bases while trying for something different. I don't really like what this different turned out to be. But that's ok - I know not to try this again.
It's been long enough that it's time to introduce a couple of new tweaks to the paint progress spreadsheet. The rows are reorganized to just show what I might actually work ok. The real spreadsheet still has it all, but no need to keep copying 20 rows that never change. For fun, I added a % Done for each category. Once again the base numbers changed a little - this is really a set of 3 and not 1 mini, oops. This also skewed the numbers on some previously painted minis. Overall an increase from 37%(269) painted to 39%(281) painted.
I really need to make some type of "progress over time" chart to show progress at a glance.
I mentioned another batch almost finished, so another update should be happening in the next couple of days - base, flock, and sealant drying takes 1/2 the time. And I might have another batch teetering on the brink of priming after that.
After mentioning it 2½ months ago I'm finally done with the trio of Woodbury houses that I started. Not finished, but done. This turned into a nice little exercise of (1) finding out what my creative limits that I can actually accomplish are, (2) it's completely possible to bit off more than I can chew, yet still grind away at that gristle to where I can swallow, and (3) admit that I can be tired of looking at a project to the point of saying "ehhh good enough" and store it away to (maybe) finish tweaking some other time.
I may repeat myself from an earlier post, but most of a calendar season has passed.
Once I started working on 3 of the 4 Woodbury houses that I had picked up during a good sale, I decided the basic kits were too plain. I went my tried route of using paint sample cards from Home Depot to use as glorified wallpaper and thus not worry about actually painting the silly things. Except I still end up painting the outside of the houses. I tested out some new things on the first house: 1mm felt (from Hobby Lobby) actually works as carpet! The clearance on the doors has to be tweaked a little, but it works. I made ample use of the printer and Home Depot, adding shutters, blinds, air vents, light switches, and electrical outlets.
By that point, I was tired of looking at the house. That was only 1 house. There were 2 more houses left.
In addition, I didn't like the cardboard roofs that came with 2 of the houses. The roofs reminded me of fast food/convenience stores. I'll try my hand at making roofs! A combo of foam core for support and cardstock for the actual roof. I was going with cardstock instead of all-foamcore because the MDF top of the buildings had a small lip everything had to fit withing, and I don't trust the exactness of my cutting skills. This turned into an omen, as everything fit. Fit, but only by the barest of definitions.
In the end, I've got 3 more houses done enough to fit into the modern/zombie apocalypse landscape. Like the Tobacconists shop I'll probably come back later, when I'm not sick of looking at these houses, and add some features and quirks. It's easy to tell I just gave up on the other 2 houses and was ready to be done with it all. Next I'm going to do something not building-related. Some figures, that's it! I have to see how much mini-painting I've forgotten.
Previously I mentioned some remodeling on the house. After the contractor-required phase it was time for me to wrap things up. This mainly involved new shelves from Ikea, which made a quick appearance an that previous update. The Kallax shelves from Ikea are popular among the snooty boardgaming clique of the world, as the 13" cubes are perfect for most Eurogame boxes. I'm all about hiding clutter, and the doors I've seen with these shelves would serve such a function as well as give a properly snooty look to the living room. As I was replacing the cabinets that stored my DVDs, and I have a good number of DVDs, I needed a lot of Kallax shelves. These things are supposed to be stackable. I hope they're stackable. I was going to stack them.
I stacked them 102" high.
I stacked them 7 rows high.
I really hope these things are stackable. They're damn impressive when stacked, I'll tell you that.
Once all the shelving units and doors were put together, I can claim to have somewhere over 1400 lbs of Kallax shelves in the living room. That include 86 doors. Each of those doors has 7 screws. I know this, 5 days after installing the last (8) doors, because it took a week to get all of those doors installed. Almost half got installed over a weekend - with a lot of Walking Dead + a couple of movies playing on that spiffy 75" TV on the wall. I had built in breaks, because for every hour and half of using my rechargeable screwdriver, it would need 2-3 hours of charging time.
Some shuffling between shelf/cubes was factored in, as DVDs had to be relocated a couple of times. The doors included an insert that gave each open cube a back, thus helping in crap falling behind the shelf. DVDs made their way to random cubes when vacating the previous cabinet homes (which are now out back in the storage shed). After all the doors were finally installed, I went back and grouped the DVDs in their proper alphabetical-ish order. I even managed to have 4 empty cubes, and that's with relocating the binders of TV shows from the cabinet in the bedroom to the top (nigh unreachable) top shelf.
The doors are installed. They're not all straight, but that's for a time when my Feng Shui OCD kicks in. It's sure not now, I can tell you that.
Now that everything is together and where it should be, things should settle back to closer to normal. I've still got to finish up those houses I was working on (they need roofs). I haven't painted anything in a little over 2 months. I miss it!
It's been close to 2 months since I had an update here. Although I normally post hobby related pictures and tidbits, the last 2 months have been more of life getting in the way.
My biggest "in the way" was some remodeling that I thought was going to happen closer to Christmas happened a few weeks ago. It all started with Prime Day. I had planned this year on Black Friday to get myself a "I turned 50 and paid off the house this year" present of a big honking TV. I contacted a guy about adding on a theater room for a big honking TV, and the estimate for that was about what I paid for the house. My fallback was to have the (non-functioning) gas insert fireplace ripped out, which would gain me some floor space and give a good spot to mount a TV. I had planned for an 85" TV, but it seems that wouldn't fit. Fine. 75".
From last year's Black Friday browsing, I had a range for what a 75"-ish TV should cost come this Black Friday. Prime Day gave me a gauge for this, and my estimates were about spot on. Then Costco jumped in, and offered the brand and size I wanted for $300 below the low price I was expecting. Never one to pass up a good deal, at worse I could buy it and just keep the TV in the garage until I got around to remodeling. So that became my plan. My only point of worry was when I saw Costco was using CEVA to ship the TV. CEVA was responsible for eventually getting me a bed 10 years ago. I waited a week past the "call us to schedule delivery" date that I had to hunt down, and when I did CEVA said they were handing off to a 3rd party for final delivery which they would deliver today and get tomorrow, then the 3rd party would call me to schedule a time. An hour later the 3rd party called me, evidently shipment in hand, to set up delivery the next morning. CEVA Logistics. Somehow in business 10 years later.
While doing all this, I contacted Contractor Craig about some extra stuff that I'd like to have done while he was ripping out the fireplace. Some fresh paint. Replace my broken back storm door. Little things a house needs after 10 years since the last concerted upkeep effort. Craig found some other things that needed some love - some cracks where the ceiling meets the wall from the foundation settling some. He read my mind a time or two: What about the living room ceiling fan, do you want to replace that? Yes, I do. I've been hoping that fan would die and it's why I've had it run constantly for 20 years.
The one big change I wanted to make with all of this was to cover the wall that the TV had always been against with shelves. The wall has a high (vaulted?) ceiling and I've always wanted to use the wasted space above the 5 ft or so that had cabinets with DVDs and a TV. I've been looking at Ikea shelves, the kind with cubes, and envisioned stacking them to cover as much wall as I could, which would give me more storage space. I always like more storage space. Over the course of a couple of weeks I put together an online Ikea order. It took 2 orders to get everything I wanted - the Ikea website isn't that great, but 2 orders with $180 shipping is a lot cheaper than a trip to Atlanta/Memphis and then figure out how to haul 1000 lbs of shelves back.
Over a week and a half, Craig ripped out the fireplace and patched in the wall and ceiling. Walls were painted. Floors patched/installed. Ceiling fans (I couldn't decide between 2 for the living room, so I opted to have 1 replace the bedroom fan) replaced. New TV mounted. Once he was finished I moved things back in to the living room and computer room and decided what to change. 4 days later my Ikea delivery showed up, which took up about 1/3 a car space in the garage. Then I spent a Saturday and put shelves together. Ikea shelves are heavy! The shelves got built, moved in, and stacked. I've got doors to add to the shelves, but there's 89 doors for me to install and I'm in no hurry. This is just my way of saying there'll be more updates about this later.
My last/latest hobby project has been taking a whole lot longer than I imagined, even without all of the life interruptions. At last report, I had 3 Walking Dead houses that I had added colored walls to thanks to Behr paint sample cards. Since then, I added some carpet to a house.
I'm not sure why/when/where I got the idea to try and use felt as carpet. I couldn't remember seeing it anywhere, and yet every rental house I grew up in had beige carpet. So I gave it a shot on 1 of the houses. I started by attempting to make a template of the floor plan with all the walls in place - having the felt run through doorways would be the most durable. The floorplan template took a couple of tries to get flush with the walls like I needed, but using it as the template to cut the felt worked perfectly. The only other tweak I made was to install the doors upside down, as the top hinge is a little longer than the bottom and that would allow for a little more clearance for the felt.
I got a little carried away adding textures (thank my mediocre 3D graphics background for that - fine, playing with Poser!). All the doors got actual door textures added. Window blinds in windows. Shutters on the outside of windows. I was sitting in front of the computer pondering "what does every room have" trying to figure little tweaks I could add. I looked at the light switch. Aha! And an electrical outlet. Aha! Then I leaned back and looked up and the air conditioning vent. Aha! I normally print out various wall decorations of framed whatnot to add onto walls. I would add these things too.
Once I got the felt and printed wall decor added to the 1st house, I didn't want to keep futzing with it all. I went old school and printed out some hardwood floor textures and added it to the other 2 houses. I left off there, unsure how far I'll go with putting stuff on the walls.
That last thing I have to do for 2 of these houses is make a roof. The roof that came with them is flattened on the top and makes them look like convenience stores. I'm going to try to make a traditional, steeped roof. I made a little template/pattern, but no idea how well it'll work out. It's next on the list, though.
And lots of other things happened. I had a batch of doctor visits: what looks to be the start of annual bloodwork, eye exam (new glasses, just because I'm tired of wearing what I've got after 4 years), colonoscopy (short version - I followed directions and wasn't cleaned out enough so I'm supposed to reschedule another one with a 2-day prep). I had an annoying sinus cold after the colonoscopy.
Right after this, Pawpaw was in the hospital for some upper GI bleeding which just didn't get any better, then he passed away after a week. He was 98 ½ While sad, it wasn't a surprise. Even though I was worried about my grandmother, they'd been married for 74 years, she held up better then I did. Which is what she does.
There's an old story from when I was little (6 or 7?) and Pawpaw stealing one of my Hot Wheels for his children's sermon. I'm leaving that just vague enough for anyone to ask me to tell them the story next time we're talking, because it's an in-person & talking story :)
I finally got a paint shaker for my paints. I was supposed to make one with a reciprocating saw, some clamps, and unsure safety measures. Instead I got a tattoo ink shaker/vibrator that does a spiffy job. Overpriced for $80 just to shake paint, but I've accumulated a lot of paint over the years. A lot of it on sale, to where I probably saved more than $80 on paint.
Life is also beating me up more. I bruise easier, evidently a side effect of my attempt to take my blood pressure medicine on a Regular Basis VS When I Think I Need It. I'm going to convert back to When I Think I Need It to see if a couple weird physical issues clear up. When putting the Ikea shelves together I manged to get a good knot on my shin (that hasn't happened in a couple of decades), not to mention some impressive bruising on my upper arm from just lifting a damn shelf. Granted, it was a 125 lbs of shelf. And awkward. And I may have been wrestling with it more than lifting.
Paint shaker in action:
Things are starting to settle back into normal now. There's still some wrapping of of the remodeling I have to do. I've picked up a side-website to work on (more about that later). Keith needs some 3D printing printed. And I have to finish those blasted houses....
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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