Friday, June 17, 2011

I'm Back, and I Have Forgotten How To Paint

First off, a curious personality quirk:
Every now and then I do this... I fall into this sort of self-imposed isolation.  I don't answer my phone; I drop off IM; I don't answer e-mails.  I still go to work and engage with my family but except for the things that I need to do every day, I pretty much disappear.  The last six weeks or so have been like that.  I went to a hobby shop and played a couple games with people I don't know, but I avoided contact with people I know.  Yes, it's strange and I'd love to know the root cause.  But this bout is pretty much over so I can stop thinking about it until next time.

So!  Painting!  Last night's hobby gathering was an exercise in frustration.  My eye knew what I wanted the given model to look like, but my hand just couldn't execute it.  I felt clumsy, the bristles were disobedient and the paint vacillated between gloppy and uncontrollably runny.    I feel sorry for poor Mortimer and the Nurse who received the business end of my incompetence.  I came to the conclusion last night that I had simply forgotten how to paint.  Seven years of practice out the window.  Time to rejoin the CMON forums and have someone advise me to thin my paints, I suppose.  Jimmy worked on Kroot-a-saurus a bit more, and Mike painted his Druchii.  It has been fun to see Mike's painting skills improving over the last few months or so.  He is dedicated to making his models look better and it's paying off.  Mimi sat with us and did .... what's that thing called with looping yarn through a mat with a hook to make a picture?  It had a pattern, sort of a "yarn by numbers" thing.  She did that and made fun of us.  That's kind of her niche... she does her own thing and ridicules anything with miniatures.  

Malifaux: Ah, my new love.  Something about this game just hits the sweet spot with me.  Maybe it's the personality of the models.  Maybe it's the skirmish style of game play, which I have discovered I enjoy a great deal more than huge armies gathered for epic (apocalyptic even!) battles.

Here is Dr. Douglas McMourning, master of my resurrectionist crew.  He may have taken 7 years to get his medical degree, but he got a one-night paint job from me.  This is definitely one of those models that I wish came in two pieces.  The upheld arm obscures the face far more than was convenient for painting it.  I almost need a brush with a 90 degree bend in the bristles for this sort of model.  As mediocre as this guy is I couldn't even pull off anything close to that last night.

Here also is a convict gunslinger, added to give my crew a bit of ranged capability.  Another one-night paint job (nearly... I base coated the flesh a few nights before the actual painting.

Twice now I have gone out to RIW hobbies in Livonia to play Malifaux and both times it has been a boatload of fun.  I wrote short battle reports and posted them on the Wyrd forums. (12)  I am really trying to get the local group to give it a shot, but I feel a little guilty about potentially getting them into another purchasing frenzy.  Maybe I'll get a second crew and we can all play with those two sets.  Even so, I have resolved to completely paint my current crew before buying any other crews.  Since my current complete crew is 19 models I don't think that will be much of a problem.  I already have 4/19 painted (and two more in progress) so I'm much further along than any other gaming system I own.

I played 40k a couple weeks ago during hobby night.  Seth and I each took 1000 points of Space Marines vs. 2000 points of Mike's Tau.  A combination of huge barrages or marker-light assisted shooty and some of the worst assault rolling I have ever seen resulted in the marines suffering from Post Tau-matic Stress Disorder.  (See what I did there?  Tau-matic?  Ha!)   Seth's ability to roll 1's for his TH/SS termies was ... amazing.  We're talking Rosencrantz and Guildenstern coin-flipping level of improbability.  I can only conclude that their optical arrays were mis-calibrated, and any wounds inflicted were from hitting an enemy standing next to their actual target.

On a more personally irritating note, I have been diagnosed recently with gout.  I flatly refuse to suffer from any ailment with so stupid a name, especially if said ailment tends to exhibit in one's big toe.  Industrial strength anti-inflammatory meds seem to help, but good grief is it painful.  It can be controlled through diet, which means I'll have to develop a modicum of self-control at the moment before food hits my mouth.  It will probably take a few severe bouts before I develop that self-control.

Lastly, and this is to confound the search engines as much as anything, I would like to confess my irrational love of "pizza bubbles."  These are dome shaped bubbles within the crust of a pizza that typically occur on the outer edge of the toppings.  As a youngster we used to occasionally eat at a pizza place called Cardona's in Brighton, MI and I remember their pizza always had bubbles like that.  Cardona's was a pretty typical pizza place in the late 70's.  It was dark, and had a jukebox and a couple coin-op video games by the front door.  The closest thing I can relate it to nowadays is the experience that most Pizza Huts try to accomplish but never seem to quite be the same.  Maybe it was seeing things through a child's eye, but Cardona's felt kind of exciting.  Like it was a big deal to go there.  Maybe that's why I gravitate to the one thing I remember most about their pizza.

I purchased a macro lens for my HTC Evo 4G phone.  It comes with a little self-adhesive ring that you stick on the phone and the lens snaps magnetically on the ring.  It takes some very interesting macro shots, but they are very close and it is nearly impossible to get an entire model.  I may use it to get detail shots of a model's face or something.  Eventually.

Secret Weapon... I'm using the washes and bases.  I still need to write up a report of how they perform.  It's been a pretty positive experience, but I have a few complaints about bubbles in the resin.  The washes work great when you are using them for the things they are good at (if that makes sense.)  Stick to their strengths and you will like them a lot.  


  1. You need to start drinking more water. You can't drink too much, and it will help immensely with the gout. Trust me you don't want to wait, as each bout of gout (ha! see what I did there) will be more and more painful. Just force yourself to drink a big glass of water every hour. You will thank me later.

  2. Yes. But Rosenrantz and Guildenstern are dead...

  3. Dear Mike
    Sounds like symptons of mild depression.
    Nothing funny about gout. I suffered it when my kidney function nosedived due to work stress and depression. Tristan is right, lots of fluid to flush as much urea out as possible. It ain't a cure but......

    I love the Malifaux models but can't get my head around the game.

  4. Cherries & cherry juice is also helpful for gout. And my sisters & I used to fight over the slice of pizza that had the "bubble" on it...

  5. Great couple of pieces there. Amazing for such quick work. Whatever kind of touch you have, you haven't lost it.

  6. Hey, thanks for your coment!

    He's actually standing in front of a "terminal 3" (readable from Mr.T's point of view).

    Wich means he's at the airport, so hence his anger :D

    Hope to read news from you soon... I feel like it's been ages from your last post! and BTW it's different business to get frustrated while painting and to get good results, and you did get 'em sir.

    I know about that, the self criticism when you know you can do better but somehow that given day you ain't getting to the point you wanted (but still, looking from outside, you get OK results).


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