Jump to content

StruManChu tries harder - The Tale of a Lazy Hobbyist

Recommended Posts

October of this year will mark 20 years since I bought my first Tactical Squad, along with the new 3rd Edition Space Marine codex, from a GW in Australia.

Since that time I have failed to properly complete a single army. Worse than that, I'm 99% sure that I've never actually managed to complete the compulsory 1 HQ/2 Troops that all armies are built off of.

picard-facepalm.jpg, right?

This must stop!

Part of what's holding me back is that the quality of my painting output varies wildly. For example, this -


is a WIP Typhon that has sat in a box for a good long while. I think this is pretty good. It's not going to win any competitions, but hey. I'm happy with how he's looking. I did most of what's done on this about two years ago before I packed in the idea of Heresy Death Guard and decided I'd stick to Loyalists. I've come back to him a couple of times to add bits or tidy up, but this is probably one of the best attempts I've ever made. Especially the face, which I'm particularly proud of.

Contrast that, to this -


which is a WIP of an Imperial Fist that I was working on yesterday to try and lock down my method for the ETL (I have sooooooo many of these guys to paint :cry:). Admittedly, it's my first time ever trying an oil wash, which didn't really work, but you can see how flat and boring that yellow is, even after a bunch of airbrush coats of the base colour and shading, etc. etc. The only thing that's giving it any life is the gloss varnish reflecting the sun.

I know yellow's a pain, but equally, I also know how to paint it. I just tend to rush the boring stuff and only really focus when I'm doing something fun or difficult. For example, I painted this Doom-Guy style head at 1am this morning, after ETL went live.


Now, I suck as much at faces at the next guy does, but I knocked this out in about 10 minutes (excluding drying time), and it's got eyes and everything! Still WIP, but it's for a Sergeant so I'll likely not do too much more with it. But the point is, I did this on the same day as I did the awful Imperial Fist test above. I find my inconsistency so incredibly frustrating!

Which I suppose will hopefully be the point of this Plog. I want everything I paint to be at a higher level than I usually manage, and I want it to be consistent across an army. The ETL seems like a good time to start, because I've vowed, so I have to paint.

I will chuck in some fluff bits every now and again as and when I have time to write something of some quality, but the focus (for the next three months at least) will be on my Heresy stuff.


Wish me luck, and thank you for reading!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think it's possible to "finish" an army, at least for me. There's always more stuff to add, which is part of the fun. By thinking of my armies as inherently works in progress, I feel less like Sisyphus when I'm painting. (Somewhere along the line I went from hobby backlog to Miniatures Projects of Damocles.)


Getting to the point where you can play reasonably sized games with fully painted models is something else entirely.


The Doom Guy head looks good!


At least in the example you've given, the inconsistency you're talking about seems to be a result of different techniques and experimentation. Are you frustrated with getting different results from different things, or are you not sticking to the same methodology within a given army?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cheers Qkhitai! Looking forward to seeing your Dark Mech stuff come alive as well, even if you are a filthy traitor! :D


Calyptra - I do know what you mean in terms of army building, but for me it's slightly different. I find the idea of an army to be an incredibly potent motivator, at least initially, until such point as the army has gotten too big in my head and I don't know how I'll ever be able to afford to buy all the bits or find the time to paint everything.


However, I'm doing it differently this time. I have a list (of around 7,000 points, but who's counting?) that I'm going to stick to. That means there's a finite amount of bolters and backpacks to do, which is definitely helping. I'm counting down to a completion, rather than adding to a nebulous concept. Once it's done I'll almost certainly add more, but for now at least I know there's a finish line.


With regard to technique frustrations, I think it's more that I don't necessarily understand why I'm not good all the time, when I know I can be reasonably good at least some of the time. It's not necessarily changing methodology between armies so much as I'm getting differing results with the same paints, brushes and hands between two models in the same squad. It's just lacking consistency, I guess.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fair enough. And my experience doesn't necessarily equate to yours.


I often find consistency to simply be a matter of practice.


I think record keeping helps too. I try to retain notes on how I painted things so if I come back to an army months or years later, I can refer back to what paints I mixed, how many stages of highlighting, etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cheers all for your kind words and commiserations!

In the past I've probably started at least three, possibly up to five project logs, all of which are likely to be deleted in the coming thread purge, cos they old.

So in order to avoid another failed plog, I'm going to be trying to update this one as close to daily as is reasonable and/or interesting. This should be relatively achievable over the course of ETL, as I'm painting pretty much every morning and evening, and hopefully that will build the discipline in me to carry on after the beginning of August.

So, all that said...


I spent last night and this morning putting down a good couple of coats of VGA Gold Yellow. I'm broadly happy with how it's gone on, but my goodness... I did not realise just how much yellow punishes you for even a slight unevenness in your primer. There are a few spots I'm going to hopefully be able to cover up with shading, but otherwise all good.

Yellow Submarine is stuck in my head. 'I've got so many yellow space marines, yellow space marines, yellow space marines'...

Send help.

EDIT - While I'm here, does anyone have any tips for painting black over white/light colour undercoat? Every time I've tried it before I end up with a nasty thin black or I get impatient and it goes on too thick or ends up where I'm trying to keep it away from. I would very much welcome suggestions...

Edited by StruManChu
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cheers lads! I'll give both of those a go. Anything to avoid having to pull out the masking tape!

We've had friends round for dinner last night, and again this evening, which means the airbrush and the spray booth got packed up. However! That does not mean that I've been idle!

Presenting... A WIP box!


Possibly the least exciting update ever made. Also, my phone takes pictures in much the same way you might expect a potato would, so apologies for that.

Still working on the bunker, obviously, but I'm happy with the shape it's taking. Edges, tidying up and some weathering still to come, but not bad for an hour or so's work after dinner last night.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don’t worry mate! Been in the hobby 18 years and I’ve only ever had a single army fully painted (4th or 5th BA, whichever one had assault marines as troops and introduced the sang guard). I know the feels! The yellow looks good man! Even for a filth loyallist
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like what you're doing. That bunker is coming along quite nicely.


I think you're selling yourself short on that tactical marine in the first post. Give him a coat of matte and blend in a bit more yellow and see if you don't feel better about him.


...Yellow Submarine is stuck in my head. 'I've got so many yellow space marines, yellow space marines, yellow space marines'...

And now I have that song stuck in my head. Worse, I've been infected with multiple verses and I think the squad I'm painting has started to hum it. Curse you! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 9 months later...

Well this is embarrassing. 


To catch everybody up, I completed my ETL vow, and forgot to post about it here. Also, had a baby. Well, not me personally, but my wife did on my behalf. 


In any case, working on Ultras at the moment because I never quite nailed down the yellow for my Fists. :wallbash:


Gotta have an army of blue guys done for a tournament at the end of August. Six months to paint 3,000 points. What could go wrong? :rolleyes:

Edited by StruManChu
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...

It amazes me how I can go almost the entire length of the ETL TWICE and essentially forget not only that I have this thread, but that it's in my signature and I don't even have to look for it.

Here comes some WIPs from various points over the last couple of months.




The 3,000 points I mentioned in my previous post has turn into 5,000+, with the stuff I'm currently working on being in the pic immediately above. Trying out oil washes and powdering properly for the first time ever, so that's good fun. Will try and remember to post more stuff over the coming weeks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.