Nine Inch Nails ‘She’s Gone Away’
Army-painting is not something that I enjoy, really; but it’s worthwhile taking a step out of your personal comfort-zone, now and then.
I decided to paint the Death Guard models from the Dark Imperium game, as a Christmas gift for someone; and given how long it takes me to finish anything – and how unreliable my health has been this past year – it seems a good idea to begin now.
However….I’ve read several blogposts recently, where people discussed the difficulties they’ve had when painting a collection of miniatures in one go. I’ve painted two armies, previously – chaos warriors, in 2012; and chaos space marines in 2015. They both proved to be quite unpleasant experiences.
What people generally seem to struggle with is the amount of time involved; whereas what I disliked about those two projects was the monotony of painting essentially the same basic model, multiple times – and the overall finish being mediocre.
I think the answer to these problems is much the same – a bit of planning, and time-management. So, I’m going to make a series of posts, (hopefully) demonstrating how to paint an army to a decent standard – without having to sacrifice every other commitment in your life.
When I was an undergraduate, time-management was something that a lot of students had issues with. For most people, it revolved around not devoting enough time to their studies; then having to rush things, and so making a less adequate job of something than they might have done. For others (including me) it was the opposite: spending far too much time on studying; and overworking to the point where you were exhausted – which is not especially healthy.
I’ve found that this holds true with painting, as well: it’s easy to become a bit directionless; or else to spend inordinate amounts of time and effort on rank and file models, which don’t really require it.
There isn’t a right or wrong approach to take, as such – just one that suits your own aims, and constraints. So it’s worth thinking about what you intend to achieve, before commencing. Plus, even the most carefully thought-through plans tend to need adjusting, at some point. Little and often is a good guideline.
If you really find that you can’t make time to paint, it may be helpful to keep a diary for a week – given that you’re the only person who will read it, you can be perfectly honest about how you’ve spent your day; and decide if and where there’s room for maneuver.
It may be the case that you have more free-time than you believe – or just that you need to balance your commitments slightly better. If you spend several hours watching television, you could do some painting during that, for instance – especially if you support rubbish sports teams; whose performances might make a reason to avert your eyes quite welcome. I cook quite a lot; and sometimes finish small tasks while waiting for something to bake in the oven, for instance.
Equally, if you find painting a large number of models daunting, this is where organisation is helpful: focusing on one unit at a time – and aiming to finish each one on a monthly basis – will make the overall task manageable. Motivation is often an overlooked factor, too – so dividing your painting into smaller jobs, and goals, can help maintain your dedication as well.
That’s what I aim to demonstrate over the next few weeks/months: from assembly and preparation, to painting schemes. Much of this may prove needless to most painters; but everybody has to begin somewhere – and practicing the basics is always worthwhile.
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