Sunday 27 March 2016

Black Scorpion: Chef & Surgeon

So the Bank Holiday weekend over here has given me a little more free time than expected and my pirate adventures have started in earnest - with two hired hands from Black Scorpion Miniatures that I picked up at Salute last year.

I used the same green as a base on both then went for cooler colours on the Chef and warmer colours on the Surgeon (renamed Redshirt as he'll be first to die, I'm sure) and then cooler colours on his lady friend as a contrast. This is the first time I've tried painting chest hair, and it wasn't a total disaster and the striped legs turned out surprisingly well. The eyes are so small I could barely paint the eyeball, so haven't even attempted an iris.

After the fine detail of Guild Ball's 3D sculpted, precision tooled figures, these took a little time to adjust to as some of the features simply stop being present e.g. couple of fingers, and the lady's left boot. None of that detracts from what great figures they are and a lot of fun to paint.

Sunday 20 March 2016

Guild Ball Fishermen: Shark

Well, Shark is completed and while I'm not 100% happy with some details, he is definitely now finished!

The scale armour won't photograph for me for love nor money, but it's better than it was - so that's a small mercy I guess!

And as the team is now completed here's a big, almost in focus, group shot.

It's quite satisfying to see the whole set together.

The project's taken nine months from start to finish, but that's no bad thing - especially when you're slow and have been limited on time, as has been the case for me. Also, I've seen visible improvement from starting with Salt until finshing Shark today and that's great to see.

Onto the next team and here's hoping they'll be finished before Christmas.

Sunday 13 March 2016

Miniature Inventory

Outside of painting, a lot of my work time is spend arranging, planning and managing people. That's required a lot of tracking over the years to juggle a large number of tasks and projects. Yet, one element of my painting routine that was lacking was setting goals and paths to achieve things - deciding on how best to motivate myself to complete something and move to the next. As part of my efforts in 2015 to get back into regular painting, I did a complete inventory of all my miniatures to establish what was in the collection and what I wanted to paint.

I track all of my figures in Trello. I use it for a number of things, and for the project management and development minded among you, you're already familiar with Kanban boards I'd imagine - and that's what this does, so you can build everything in the collection by pending, building, painting and finished.

You can make it as detailed as you want and I like to group by units or teams and track progress. So it's a lovely way for me to check what figures in a team I have, which are completed and what's still to-do. It's been quite helpful in the last eight months on tracking progress across multiple projects.

Then I keep a number of different labels by game or manufacturer, and you can filter on those to see where everything else is.

The below gives an indicator of how woefully behind I am on painting up my Guild Ball teams ...

... but when's the small matter of 500+ unpainted figures ever slowed a painter down, right? Right?

Anyway, it's great to watch the pile reduce and have listed outputs as a little motivational kick, especially when I've lost track of the figures I own and incentivising myself with "treats" of completing a team set with new releases, or being out at a show and ensuring I don't pick up something already in the collection.

Thursday 10 March 2016

Guild Ball Fishermen: Angel

Quicker than expected, but I managed to finish up Angel from the Fishermen ... and now my eyes hurt.

I've been putting this one off a while now because the detail was so tiny yet overwhelming but, armed with my new magnifying lens and a burst of Monday night enthusiasm, it's now finished up and I'm pretty happy. Also ... man this was nice to do after nothing but tabletop quality hordes over the last month!

Good quality skin tones still elude me, but the face is definitely a face - complete with eyes (fifth attempt). Metals turned out alright, and a little variety in leathers even if they're not so noticable on the hasty photographs. Hair was an experiment which came out reasonably well, but I had X-Men comics' Jean Grey in mind and when I looked her up it's nothing like her! So which comic book hero am I thinking of?

And a reminder of how flippin' small this lady is ...

... which is probably a personal best on the size scale. But honestly, trying to visually refocus on anything is a hardship now. Only Shark left to do from the Fishermen to have a full team painted and then I can consider the next small project - but it's in danger of becoming a chore at this point, so need to push through and get him done quickly.