Jan 072013

Lunch Time = Paint Time!

Happy New Year!!! First blog post this year and I thought I’d bite a little off Larry’s resolutions post from BOLS. Thanks Larry! Without further ado, my hobby resolutions.

1) Organize my hobby work space. I should snap a pic of my room, shelves, closet, et. al. I spent 3 hours Thur night just getting organized enough to GET organized in order to clean. It’s insane, (holidays and our game on 15Dec didn’t help!). Every time I clean, I lose something, or more appropriately lose track of something. Not this time, the Log of Projects and Models has been amended!

2) Paint something each week. While my grand goal is to paint every lunch break at work an at least one evening for several hours at home each week, I know the way my world works. It’ll be hard enough even keeping to 1 hour per week, so as long as I paint SOMETHING each week, I’ll consider this resolution held.

3) Collaborate w/ nephew (see #1). My nephew has finally learned about the Grim Dark and is all fired up to paint. So, the goal is to collaborate with him on painting White Scars. His first army, my long overdue biker army.

4) To paraphrase Larry, “Face the ‘wall/closet/bins/shelves of unpainted purchases’, choose ANY 3 units, assemble, clean and get ‘em ready for paint.” Per #1, my organizing allowed me to catalog NO LESS than THIRTY ONE boxes containing Space Marine models on sprue and in most cases still in cellophane. This does not include Eldar, Orks or my Infinity & Warmachine projects… *sigh* In short, pick models which support the projects I am working on and get them assembled. Top options come to mind: Remaining infantry for Space Wolves, Rhinos for White Scars, ‘Thunderheart’ Vinidcator for White Scars.

5) No new purchases without painting a previous purchase, (see #4). To qualify this, I am further stating the following: No new models without painting a current model. No new armies started without completing an existing army. No new terrain without completing an existing piece of terrain. I am aiming to FINALLY complete 1500 pts of Space Wolves, so I think 1500pts of  40K is a good ‘completion’ point. There’s my White Scars collaboration, (see #3 above), which I have the models collected for to 1500. I also just started a PanO Shock Army force for Infinity, thanks to DesertFoxx’s holiday gift, so 200pts for Infinity should qualify. The only 40K ‘armies’ left to collect are Dark Eldar for me, which I fear may never happen as GW is seriously pricing things outside my comfort range. *sigh*Still, I should leave GK and all 3 of my Sons of Dorn tucked away until the above 3 are in some semblance of order. In fact, if I somehow manage to paint Wolves, Scars & some Infinity, I should get off my tail and paint from Necrons or Orks before another Imperial army.

6) Complete 4-6 pieces of terrain for each of my 3 tables. I have a fully painted Realms of Battle table as well as 4×4 and 4×6 temperate climate mats. I have several items assembled, but not enough painted. So, at minimum 1 piece for each 2×2 section for each table, painted to match. Again, to quote Larry, “I can drink in my house!”

7) Confirm state of paints, brushes, supplies. Some of my paints are quite old and I’ve begun finding a number which have dried up or separated their pigment. The desert is not kind to paint pots, so I need to know what I have that’s still in service and what NEEDS to be replaced for the upcoming projects, (looking at you my dried up Iyanded Darksun, right when I needed you for SW shoulders!!!).

8) Play 1 game a month. I’m lucky to get one game/month with the gang, but sometimes we miss several months. We only play 2 systems at present, we need to stay in practice. So, don’t let a month slip without playing.

9) Play with painted forces. I have 3k+ of painted Tau, and until I can paint more of something else, that will be my go-to 40K army. However, a better way to approach this goal is to not play any force without at least one painted unit. Every new game they play, they need to have one more painted unit than last time. This would suggest that if we play a game every month, I should have 12 NEW painted units before the year is out. As for Infinity, well, I’m going to paint up my PanO to at least 150-200pts and not play with my Caledonians until I do the same. Kilts are fun, so I need to paint them. Of course, being a skirmish game, perhaps for Infinity the goal will be to paint any models form a give unit type, so if I have my Shock Troop regulars painted next month, the next game day I should have my Bagh Mari painted, or some such.

10) Master 40K and Infinity.  While we have models out the wazzu for all manner of games, (40K/WFB/Necro/Mord/BFG/Infinity/CBT), not to mention those which we collect and don’t play regularly, (Warmahordes/Warlord/FoW/Epic/Dreadball), I can heartily say that 40K & Infinity are the go-to games. We’ve all had a recent thrust of 40K enthusiasm, (dunno why, since we all went into shock pricing out Chaos armies with the DV/CSM release), however Infinity is just such a terrific game with amazing models and a better than most entry price. So, we’ll be see Alpha Legion take the field vs Eldar on 12Jan, and after that we’ll do our best to hold 11 more game days in 2013.

Sep 112012

Unboxed on YouTube! Watch Now!

It’s official, all the kids are finally at home! The last of my errant Tau figs arrive on 07Sep12 along with my Flames of War project, (details in a separate thread). March 2011 to September 2012, kind of a ridiculous time frame, much of which has already been detail in other posts. Still, I’ll take some time to film the entire lost all in one go and post up unit bios as I have time. At present, the force totals out at 3316 points, with 3061 painted courtesy of PaintedFigs. The remaining 255pts are 3 Broadside Battlesuits which I am converting to have their railguns under-slung on the arms with custom ammo feeds. Anyway, until I get to showcasing everything about the models, the experience, etc, feel free to waste 15min watching me unbox the whole kit & kaboodle on YouTube.

Aug 162012

Tau XV-25 Stealth Suit ReplacementHoly schmokes folks!!!

After 17 months, the last model is complete and we are preparing to ship the lads home. That’s right, “I gave the stealth suit in for photos yesterday“. And there he is at left!

For those not paying attention, (is this thing on?!?!?), 1 of 6 Stealth suits already painted as of Aug 2011 went missing from the return shipment. As such, a replacement was called for. Kudos to Navin for arranging the replacement mini, however the replacement took 5 months to obtain and paint. I mean, well, DAMN!

Let’s recap the project to date, shall we?

  • In Mar 2011 I shipped minis to be painted.
  • In Aug 2011 the majority of painting was complete and the final issues and outstanding purchases were being managed.
  • In Mar 2012 the majority of the shipment was finally returned, minus the 4 Crisis suits I sent, the 2 Crisis suits which were on order, a Devilfish which was on order and 1 Stealth suit which was clearly complete in the final photography, but somehow never made it into the box.
  • In Aug 2012 the replacement Stealth suit is completed and all outstanding Tau models, (as well as a Flames of War starter box project which was also a year+ in completion), are preparing to ship.

What is it about March and August? Weird. Anyway, now I cross my fingers and hope they arrive without incident. If all goes well, the Tau will sally forth against DesertFoxx’s Sallies, (no pun intended, Salamanders), for their inaugural game in September. After seeing the Orks dismantle BriBri’s Blood Angels on the 11th, I am curious what a real shooting army can do on the table.

Mar 072012
Unpacked Devilfish

That wrap is gangsta!

The majority of my Tau have finally returned home from Sri Lanka. I don’t have time to go into EVERYTHING in the depth I would like to, but I wanted to post up some flava real quick about where things are at. Each of these will get some quality time in a post of it’s own soon, but here’s the short version, (hahah, me with a short version HA!). Queue The Ecstasy of Gold.

The Good: Having my models back, lots of paint.

My models are back in my hands. Not counting the extra bitz I had originally ordered, to replace everything I sent overseas today would cost approx $650 retail. Admittedly, accounting for the Apocalypse 3 tank box, eBay and The War Store I got all of that in my hands for less than $400 between 2007-2011. Still, sending that much plastic around the world and finally getting it back is a good thing.

Also good is the overall quality of the paint work on the Firewarriors, Kroot and Stealth suits. Saving me from having to paint over 100 infantry is DEFINITELY GOOD! This isn’t to say the paint on the tanks, drones, Pathfinders or Ethereal isn’t also good, but the bulk of the army on foot is what shines.

The Bad: Broken bitz, anomalies, missing stuff.

After such a long trek, one assumes something will be broken. Hell, I can’t get minis from the upstairs closet to the game table downstairs on dice day without tweaking something. *grin* So to assume everything made it from the U.S. to Sri Lanka on the sprue to be assembled and then back to the U.S. without mishap is just being foolish. Broken stuff is pretty much the usual antennae or loose bits far from the main body of the model. It’s just too damn hard keeping that together, so to have to wrap & pad only means risk in breaking them. Some stuff was probably broken before it shipped, like the engine on one Devilfish. Still, easy enough to fix.

The anomalies in paint or assembly are what kind of blow me away. Overall, the assembly is well done. However, there are simply oddities I cannot explain. Like the mismatched paint and backwards assembly for one pair of aux burst cannons. Or the missing hatch & weapon mount on one turret. One Devilfish had an aerial assembled on it’s top in the back by the engines, (which is now broken and in need of repair), rather than on it’s snout like the 2 properly assembled Hammerheads. Of course, there’s also the pair of Firewarriors, one with no shoulder pad and the other with his upside down.

Of course, the one that I’m most concerned about is the blatantly missing XV25 Stealth Suit. I know it was assembled and painted. Somehow it didn’t make it into the box. I’m hopeful it will turn up. Again, percentage-wise, I’m shocked more didn’t go missing. Still, I sent home over, I want him back.

The Ugly: Minis still to be finished, minis never purchased, time to finish the project, money/confidence lost.

So there are still 4 XV8 Crisis Suits sitting in the studio, waiting on the last 2 to be assembled and painted for a total of 6. They have been through multiple corrections and are waiting final approval to be sent back. There is also a final Devilfish still to be assembled & painted. They should hopefully be joined by the errant XV25 mentioned above as well as 2 German StuG and 3 British Sherman Flames of War tanks. Soon, I hope, soon.

When the project began, (I’ll note it was an alternative project to the original Crimson Fists choice), Finecast hadn’t even been announced yet. Among the purchases were blisters of Kroot Hounds, intended to augment my speedbump units w/ 6-9 I5 attacks on the charge. Alas, Finecast was announced, metal pulled entirely and as they hadn’t been purchased yet, never would. Ultimately, the money I paid went to offset the return shipping, but I’m still bummed that if I do want hounds, I’ll have to pick them up on eBay, (not fond of Finecast am I).

Speaking of when the project began, I’d like to point out today is exactly 3 days past the anniversary date of when I announced the project. Yup, more than a YEAR since I boxed up 13lbs of minis and sent them away until they returned. As I mentioned above, some minis are still awaiting return and some minis never made it into the project at all.

It has been a tumultuous year for Painted Figs. Whether you believe the statements of the protagonist or those of his detractor, the simple truth is that PaintedFigs has a huge gallery of completed project albums, attesting to the work accomplished to date. Navin has also been courteous & responsive to my requests, even if it’s only been to let me know he doesn’t know and will get back to me. I would not intentionally dissuade anyone else from engaging PaintedFigs in a commission. Look through the gallery, look through the price list & decide if it’s worth it. I would, however, caution them on the complexity of the commission and/or the volume of work requested. In retrospect, I should have assembled the Crisis Suits myself and sent them over. I also should have sent the force over in smaller, more manageable chunks, since I was told the volume ‘overwhelmed’ the studio. I am happy to have the work done, but not happy with the time and ultimately the wasted expense of a program I didn’t really get my money out of.

The experience has also cemented the fact that I cannot trust anyone else to paint for me that I don’t already have some form of personal/professional relationship with, (Ap0k, SilverTabby, Tinweasel & misterjustin have already proven their worth to me in this regard). It’s one thing to ask an artist to paint something for you based on a theme and allowing their vision to carry the rest. It’s entirely another to require assembly and paint for a working army to be accomplished by a third party to an exacting standard which may or may no be within the skill set of the party in question.

In the end, I am glad to have the Tau fully painted. Once the fixes are complete and the Crisis suits here, I’ll be proud to put them on the table. It also inspires me to finish my 3 Broadside conversions and paint them myself. Finally, it has given me the impetus to get off my ass and accomplish some more painting of my own. It’s March now, so the question is can I finish 3000pts of Space Wolves and/or Necrons by August? Interesting challenge.