Monday, January 14, 2013

Monday Miniatures - Motivation and Perseverance

I'm still struggling a bit with the photos I'm getting from my camera. One of the folks I work with has done a lot of photography and made some suggestions about lighting, which I plan to take advantage of as soon as I start getting home while there is still some light in the sky. Maybe by March...

Anyway, in the meantime, I am continuing to paint furiously and trying to work through my stack of unpainted models so I can buy more. I still set aside about a half hour a day to work on models at the paint table before I leave for work. Lately, I have also started taking other models to work to paint in the time between when I get to work and when I'm scheduled to start. That means that most days I get an hour of painting in before work, plus whatever painting I can still do when I get home.

To make painting at work feasible, I put together a traveling paint kit that I can just toss in my bag before I leave the house. At the moment, the kit consists of a Battle Foam Pack M.I.N.I., a mini plastic palette, a handful of brushes, and a couple paper towels. Using the troop foam tray, I can carry a decent number of models and several pots of paint. If I need to take some craft paints or paints in dropper bottles, I just carry them in a zip-top bag in my messenger bag. To protect the brushes, I keep the plastic tubes over the bristles and slip them into the elastic strips on a brush card. At work, I keep a plastic bottle of water and a spare cup in the cabinet at my desk, so I don't have to worry about running to get water before I get started.

My traveling paint case

If you're worried that you don't have enough time to paint any models, you should definitely consider doing something similar. I've said several times that having a specific, dedicated time for painting helps keep me focused and make sure that I don't procrastinate or get overwhelmed by looking at a large project.

If I only have a few minutes at a time to paint, I don't want to waste that time. That means I wade right in every morning and just start working on whatever the next step is that needs to be done. I don't spend a lot of time considering my next move or getting ready. I just paint what I can.

And since I'm only painting for a few minutes, I don't worry that I'm not painting several steps on every model in a project. Any progress I make in fifteen or twenty minutes is a step in the right direction.

Obviously, having some skill and knowing how to paint fast helps, but it isn't really necessary. This morning, I was happy to drybrush the feathers on a dozen Liberi before I left and paint a second coat of Goblin Green on a few Catachans once I got to work. Some days, just getting one layer of a color on one model is enough. Whatever I don't get done today I can do either when I get home or the next day.

I clean, glue, and prepare models for painting either in between painting in the mornings, in the evening, or on weekends. Priming and sealing have been mostly on hold while the weather is cold here, but I'll start doing that on the weekend as well. Fortunately, I still have plenty of models assembled and primed from before the move, so there's no pressure to overcome the weather to keep myself going.

Even though I didn't finish any models this week, I'm still quite happy with my progress. At the rate I'm painting, I should finish the Liberi by the end of the week, and I'm closing in on the final stages on the Dark Emissary, a Ral Partha wizard and some of the Catachans. Once those are finished, they'll add 23 models to my total. (I'm only counting each centaur as half since I painted most of their coats last year.)

Models finished so far this year: still 13, but definitely counting!

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