Friday, February 11, 2011

Minis Madness

I'm in full swing of the winter Minis-madness that seems to grip me. I think I have to be a bit crazy to be putting in all this time for little figures that people are going to push around the table and (in the case of monsters) try to get removed from the table as fast as possible.

Part of it is that when I'm modeling or painting, I'm in a zen place. This probably is how I spent some of my happiest moments as a young lad, downstairs working on my model balsa airplanes or plastic models while my Dad was working in his woodshop. One of my earliest/youngest memories is of putting together these small three or four piece biplane models and then going to watch Emergency! after a fun-filled birthday party at my best friend's father's house. So none of this is probably a surprise.

I've given myself some definitive goals of getting my backlog reduced. I'm doing my best to not purchase any minis in February and March (until the Spring Auction at Games Plus where I hope to fill out my need for Sumerian or generic Biblical archers. If you have these in 1/72 or 20mm size, let's talk trade!)

Anyway... it's a madness because I'm finally feeling "good" about what I'm doing and thus it has become a positive feedback loop. An addiction of sorts. I have my new Winsor/Newton #1 and #2 brushes (quick review - OMGBUYTHESENOWTHEYROCK!) and I've set up my space down in the basement (I feel the influence of Dad there...) and I just do my thing. I have my assembly line, my quota/primed/modeled box and my "waiting to be picked" box. I come home and as soon as I'm done with required stuff, I almost feel like a kid escaping to his favorite game or hobby - back to the brush and modeling.

This month, I've done some serious customization on one of the Otherworld Miniature orcs - eschewing the dwarf head hand for a hand holding a green-stuff shield. I've also had to do some creative adjustments on an Otherworlds skeleton - pinning the shoulders resulted in a nightmare and I thought I would have to trash one of the figures. That was prevented by a timely suggestion of a rotting tabard over the shoulders to cover the mound of JB Weld I put to hold the damn arms in place. Great figures, very easy to fuck up if you get the pinning and gluing wrong.

I should mention again the new brushes. Up till now, I've been using mostly Loew-Cornell brushes. Not the worst in the world, but these guys have been beat up and no good points at all. When I started using my Winsor Newtons - wow. I felt like I gained a level in painting just by tools alone. I'm amazed at what I can do with these brushes. They require more attention and I definitely lick/shape these brushes a lot more, but the results hopefully will speak for themselves. Provided I can take decent photos this month... Anyway - the tools definitely make the job.

This weekend will see me heading to the Dells for an "adults only" get-away to be alone - maybe play some more solo OD&D and a sample game of Pendragon.

So why is there a tiny bit of me grumbling about the loss of two painting days...? Madness, I tell you. Wait till the weather changes and Harley in the garage starts growling. *sigh*


Erin said...

Part of it is that when I'm modeling or painting, I'm in a zen place.

I love the "focused oblivion" I get from painting. Good exercise to let the mind wander and sort stuff out. Not unlike when I'm shoveling snow, except in this case, at the end of the day I get a painted figure and a a pain-free back.

bighara said...

Not trying to shill, but For W&N 7's:

They are the cheapest I've seen (<$10!)

ChicagoWiz said...

@bighara - yup, those are comparable to the prices on Amazon. Glad I didn't overspend. :)

TopKat said...

I hear you loud & clear, Wiz. When the kids are asleep and my wife has gone to bed, it's painting time. The house is quiet, one or both of the dogs are in the room sleeping near me, and I can just paint.

Looking forward to pics of your latest creations!

ken said...


keep it up