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Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Still here...

Hello everyone.

Firstly, many apologies for neglecting you all over the past 3 months. This has occurred for a number of reasons. First, real life got in the way, as my Dad was very ill over Christmas plus my Windows PC died, leaving me without a decent computer.

Fortunately, Dad has recovered well and I now have a spangly new Mac, so the PC issue is solved!!!

But, on the gaming and painting front, things have slowed down. Well, that's only party true. I am still gaming regularly, but I am afraid to report that my painting mojo has departed completely! This has been prompted by a few factors, some of which include the trials and tribulations of real life, but also because I came to a few realisations over Christmas.

1. My eyes are in a shocking state. I can now no longer easily paint on top of black undercoat as I cannot distinguish anything. This came to light when trying to paint High Elf cavalry models...I just can't progress with them. I can solve this for the rest of the Oldhammer Elves by undercoating white and layering up on that, but those cavalry...

2. I have realised that I have not got the time to game all the stuff I have to paint. This means I am being forced to make a few tough decisions about what to keep and to finish/continue painting and what to ditch and sell. This is not that easy and it has further depressed my painting mojo as some things I enjoy painting probably aren't worth finishing as I'll never game them - Lord of the Rings Elves and Orcs leap to mind, as I can't see myself ever doing much with them...shame...

3. I have simply spent so much time painting that I am a bit 'painted out'.

4. I have no deadlines to paint to! Nothing like a deadline to focus the brush!!!

All this means that progress with stuff is painfully slow. I am still doing the occasional hour on some Oldhammer Elves (a squadron of chariots has been started, including the original 80s Elf war chariot!!), the LOTR Elves (I just can't let 'em go...) and my Colonial Brits and Pathans, but at the mo it is very 'occasional'.

If you have any tips for regaining painting mojo, do let me know...

Gaming-wise, the Dux Brit campaign has stalled due to other club commitments for Mike and I, especially Mike who is heavily involved in preparations for Salute, although I suspect the upcoming raider supplement will jog us back in! Also, I am about to run an Arthurian WAB campaign similar to the one I ran a few years back (you'll find it in the blog archives if you search), which should prompt some posts and maybe even some more bad pseudo-Dark-Age poetry!!

Do pop back occasionally - you never know, I may still have something useful to say :-)


Steve said...

Couple of painting tricks I have used to reasonable effect:

1. Declare a month to be a particular topic month and target painting specific things for that topic> I have had Hoplite month, WW2 month etc with varying success (make sure you have the appropriate paints and bits before the month starts!)

2. My current one, set an annual painting target. Last year I went for 365 miniatures and managed that. This year I have inanely gone with a target of a 1000.

3. Target yourself to blog regularly. I am working on a daily post but even once a week on a set day will focus you to get something painted for the blog.

Hope this helps, glad you are back as I love the blog.

Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

I think we are similar in age(45 for me)so I've experienced some of the same problems as you. I have a few suggestions.

1. I no longer use a black undercoat which isn't a problem as I haven't black lined anything in years. My choice of undercoats is either Uniform Grey or white with a black wash over it. This still gives the "cooling" effect of a black undercoat to your colours without straining your eyes to see the detail while at the same time avoiding the over bright colours that come with a pure white undercoat.

2. After trying many different things I've pretty much settled on 3 tones on 28mm and 2 tones on 15mm or less. I only use a wash in the eye slit and mouth and that's about it.

3.I have many different interests like yourself, but like you I know I cannot do them all. I try not to think about it much these days and do my best to stay focused on projects, but don't beat myself up if I stray off here and there as it's normal. Actually, sometimes I've managed to stop myself from starting new projects which used to be impossible before.

4. Best advice I can give is paint what makes you happy and not what you think you should be doing as it's hobby to enjoy.


Andrew Saunders said...

Welcome back and sorry to hear the bad news but at least that has stabilised with your dad's health and a new PC.
I lost my mojo last year after a mini stroke as it rendered my hand and eyes useless, thanks to a really good optician I now paint again albeit with some heavy duty lenses. To regain my mojo I focus on something I really want to do then set a deadline, it seema to help me. I hope yours returns soon as your work is superb.

Chris Stoesen said...

That is tough. Sorry about the eyes. I find that painting mojo comes and goes.

johnpreece said...

It is a bit of a shock when your eyes show their age.

It can be managed though, but you need to think about things that you have always just taken for granted. Some ideas I have found useful.
Good lighting is essential, daylight bulb helps.
Drybrush the black u/c lightly with grey or white before starting painting.
Consider a simple pair of x2 magnification reading glasses from Boots for a few quid.

AHunt said...

Tough as it is, pop in and let us know how things are going. We'll be here.

Dalauppror said...

Nice to get a up-date from you Andy. Sorry about your father, good that he´s better.

Seems like out generation start to get some ailment...bad eye sight, neck problem...suppous we might have spent to much time at the painting table;) I realy hope you proplem solve to the best so we will see evem more of your stunningly painted minis in the future !

Good to heare that you still get some gaming, might there even be an AAR in the pipeline?

Have a realy good weekend !

Best regards Michael

Paul Scrivens-Smith said...

My eyes are also shot and I gave up with black undercoat many years ago and now use Halfords grey primer to get an effect I like.

Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

Oh forgot to mention and like another just said reading glasses are essential for me know and if your not using any then you really should buy a pair.


GuitarheroAndy said...

Thanks for all the kind words and helpful advice...