Painting Small Things

I don’t blog much about painting minis here (typically that goes to my Tumblr site), but I thought I’d delve a little into it tonight before getting back into a project.

I love D&D and wargaming, catching the bugs from both my Dad and my StepDad. Dad was particularly keen on historical wargaming, despite having terrible luck with dice at times and even going so far as to getting Napoleon shot at Waterloo. Yes, he was playing the French at the time. I can’t really laugh at that too much because when I play my Bretonnians (Warhammer), my Grail Knights — elite warriors they are — couldn’t hit a damn barn let alone the broadside for the longest time.

Playing is fun, but so is the painting. I know three people who do this sort of thing to pay the bills, and while I could hand them money and the surplus of figurines I have, I enjoy the work too much. The only exception I ever made was my Green Knight for the ill-fated Bretonnians, because at the time I didn’t have the acumen to get the coloring right. Red-green color blindness sucks sometimes.

I’ve gotten better since then, thanks to a tool called the Power Palette. It allows me to take an image and identify the closest colors that comprise it. Naturally, the colors are all from Reaper’s line of paints, but I’m good with that. In fact, it’s one of the things that’s made me quite loyal to that brand. However, after giving a good deal of money to not one but two Kickstarters I find myself with a lot of work ahead of me. It’s gotten to the point where I’ve been putting together an inventory spreadsheet of what I have with breakdowns by race (for PCs), creature type (for NPCs) and army (for Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000). Plus there’s a separate page for terrain and scenery, and one tab called “The Bin” which is where I have a shit-ton of single figure blister packs.

As intimidating as it can be, it’s helped me to organize, set goals and figure out what I work on next. It may seem a bit compulsive to do it this way, but when you’re sitting on hundreds of inch high figurines amongst the dragons, demons and even an eight-inch tall Cthulhu, you gotta do something to keep track.

Right now my queue has the following:

* Four goblin huts (the current work in progress)

* A set of walls and fences (nine pieces there)

* Two Men-At-Arms (once a pack of three, but one got modified and painted for a D&D character)

* 25 Elves for D&D (8 are metal, 17 are from the new Bones line of plastic figs from Reaper and include 5 Dark Elves)

* 10 “old school” Foot Knights from Grenadier (Closer to true 25mm scale than the larger figures seen today)

* 44 plastic Norman Infantry

* 48 plastic 12/13th century Foot Sergeants (possibly Teutonic)

* One big stonkin’ army of Skaven (I’ll get the numbers for those later).

I don’t expect to get to the far end of the queue by the end of the year, even if I keep a good pace. At a rough estimate, it takes me about an hour to paint one “man-sized” figure, so I’ve got about 140 hours worth of work before I even get to the Skaven. That’s just painting — that doesn’t take into account the time spent assembling, cleaning and priming the figures. Fortunately I’ve taken a cue from the pros I know and developed an “assembly line” method of doing things. Still, I got a lot of work ahead of me.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna get to it.

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