We’ve all got one. Some are bigger than others, some are older than others. Mine is relatively small. I started collecting and painting minis about seven years ago at this point, selling off a bunch of RPG books in anticipation of a move gave me some extra cash and I got into 15mm sci-fi. The pile of shame started on day one, I still have some Combat Wombat vehicles that need to be finished!
The pandemic has ramped up my painting output dramatically, being home all day and night gives me little bits of time throughout the work day to slap down some paint or assemble while my computer is chugging away rendering images. It also gives me a lot of time to browse miniature stores and order stuff unfortunately. As we’re getting ready for another move hopefully within the next six months I have been going through my collections and selling off more stuff and deciding what to keep, and it’s time to start painting the old stuff!
Well this is really about a months worth of progress it seems. The ‘Rona caught up and some other family crisis’s slowed me down for a couple weeks. I was making some slow progress but I didn’t finish anything until this past week where I made some good progress.
I finished off ten more of Rebel Miniatures Earth Force Home Guard troops, leaving only about 15 more before I’m finished with that particular lead pile and move on to the Rebel Minis Titan Marines.
This week was a good week, with a wide range of progress. I’ve tackled miniatures, work projects, block progress and YouTube progress, although I’ve slipped in my Instagram posting mostly because of the work project.
I finished up 10 Terminator Genisys resistance fighters in a similar urban camo paint scheme that I’ve been working on for the GZG figures. I’m not entirely satisfied with the paint jobs but it pulled together a little more after the ink was so I’m going to call them done and put them in the storage box. They’re just going to get cut down in droves by the terminators anyways.
I’ve been going through my tubs of minis and clearing half finished projects off of shelves. I’m really not interested in moving minis with half a paint job on them, I finished a bunch of my planned painting early this week so I wanted to knock out some quick progress.
I started finishing off a whole bunch of painted 15mm sci fi minis whose’s bases were never painted. I’ve looked into a rules systems called Mech Attack which uses hex basing and infantry on movement bases which lead me to take some 15mm mechs I had put on washers and take them off for rebasing. Unfortunately in the process some paint was stripped off of the feet and needed to be retouched. These Khurasan 15mm mech walkers will be used as infantry support mechs, the smallest mechs I’ll be fielding and probably designed as vehicles in the rules. Mech Attack doesn’t have rules for anything this small so I’ll have to figure something out. I also pulled out two un-built models, so I’ll be doing a video when I assemble and paint them. These are simple walkers with two twin autocannons and a 2 shot anti-tank missile launcher. They’re small and squat and serve as lower tech walkers in my Tomorrows War forces. Khurasan sells these as the Python Power Armour under their Nova Respublik line
I learned about Mech Attack from the Chicago Skirmish Wargames blog where they’ve done several write ups of club and convention games they’ve used the rules set for playing in 28mm with some awesome terrain and mechs! Check out their archives here: Chicago Skirmish Wargames
I also pulled out two Combat Wombat grav scout armored cars from the same box. One was finished, but the second had it’s commander bust loose before it could be finished being painted. The vehicle commanders are Brigade Models vaguely Russian troops. I’ve used them as DPRG in Tomorrows War where these scout vehicles are higher tech than their usual equipment and provided by their Earth based sponsors. I’ll be basing them on a hex base and giving it a floating appearance with some brass rod, which has to wait for Litko to open back up. Combat Wombat has unfortunately been out of business for years with the fellow who bought the line refusing to even answer questions about it any more, which is a shame because their turned brass barrels were awesome and a unique product in the 15mm sci-fi scene.
The third project I finished off this week was a set of Warlord Games Higgins Boat gunners. I go these well over a year ago for our D-Day in July game and didn’t get them finished in time for the 2019 game so they sat on the shelf. I don’t know if we’ll be doing a D-Day game this year with the pandemic but I wanted to get them finished and moved off the shelf of shame. I also have a third Higgins Boat to finish painting. It’s tough finding color photos of the drivers and gunners but the ones I found had the life jackets painted in some ‘Army Green’ colors, which is boring. So I went with the yellow life jackets, might not be historical but it does give them some more character and they stand out now.
As far as my 2020 painting goals go I only get to count the 28mm gunners, the others are just retouching so they don’t really count towards my 350, but I have 25 or so GZG 25mm ESU figures based and prime and I’ll start knocking them out next week, so April looks like it’ll be a good month.
The week started off well, adjusig my test paint scheme on my 25mm GZG ESU naval troops and finishing the figures I had primed up. There is a squad left in ‘cold weather capes’ that I need to decide how to make up with stealth camo cloaks. In the Tomorrows War setting the Chinese PLA has access to personal stealth technology so I just need to figure out how to model that on the cloaks.
We all have projects we started and then ignored for awhile. My biggest issue is when I put a wash on something and wait for it to dry overnight, only to immediately start on something else and ignore the first project. This is one of the reasons why when I’m painting my D&D monsters and NPCs I stop after the wash and simply seal them. I don’t need to have a top notch paint job on a monster who will hit the table once or twice, so it’s base coat, wash, heavy varnish since it’ll be abused, and shoved in the plastic tubs I keep them in.
Unfortunately wargamers are basically hoarders. Every single wargamer that I know, and role player for that matter, has piles of unfinished projects, rule books and instruction sheets from everything they’ve ever done. 14 pairs of spare arms from a finished box of plastic infantry? Better keep them, you never know when you’ll need 30 left arms that only hold a specific SMG!
April wound up being a good month overall, with significant progress! I finished the equivalent of 44 more 28mm figures towards my goal of 350. I’m also 2 figures away from completing the commission of a German WWII army for a friend!
This week I worked on a couple of test color schemes for 25mm Ground Zero Games figures. I wasn’t happy with the last time I attempted an urban camo pattern, so I took another shot at it I’m fairly pleased with this first batch of figures, the only change I made on the next batch was painting the guns darker which helps them stand out against the grey armor plates.
After a couple weeks of good progress I slowed down on chipping away at the lead pile. I finished one single piece that had no paint on it when the week started from my own collection, and a fist full of figures that were half finished and sitting around for two years.
What I did do was almost complete a commission of Germans from a friend. I am a slow commission painter, which is why I only take commissions from friends. This one was a large German army with over 60 figures and half a dozen vehicles and had several pieces added mid commission, but it still took me about 6 months to finish. Clearly not the kind of speed to satisfy a customer I don’t know. I was down to 20 guys when the month started, and I’ve been banging out 6ish a week. The last NCOs are half done right now with just a MMG team left to build and paint and Chris will have a full force to march in front of my Americans.
I started of the week with a short list of models to paint. I wanted to start on my Tehnolog Battletech force and paint up some of the Beyond the Gates of Antares Ghar battlesuits, not that I know what to use them for since I don’t play the actual game.
The more I use them the more I like the Army Painter matched primers and paint. They’re not cheap but they speed up my painting progress quite a bit, and these days the time is more important to me. I used the Wolf Grey and decided on a french Caunter camo inspired paint scheme for both the Ghar and the mechs. Painting them together helped get them finished pretty quick, by the time I finished going down the production line with one color the first model was dry and ready for the next.
Somehow I can’t read a calendar and labeled last week’s post wrong… THIS week of April 5th saw me shake off the hobby ADD I started the month with. I finished off one project, three test pieces for Blood and Plunder and continues to expand my 6mm forces.
Late last year I bought a large collection of Dreamforge Games Eisenkern soldiers. Half of them were assembled well enough but not even primed, the other half were on sprues still. I gathered a platoons worth of assembled figures, fixing a couple of them or adding bits, and started painting them up in a simple ‘Space Germans’ scheme. I had one squad left, plus the command element, to finish my first platoon. There’s enough figures left to eventually paint up a full three platoon company plus support weapons, powered armor and a battlemech if I want to continue.