Works in Progress: –and More Than Just Heavy Gear!

Posted by Kyle.
Kyle avatar - fixed

Bear with me on this tangent.

Despite having worked in comic-book stores for many many (many) years, I never paid that much attention to the business side insofar as the publishers were concerned. Not until a couple of years ago, anyway. It was then that I realised that comics parallel new movies when they first hit the theaters: the more popular ones open up with HUGE numbers and then their ticket sales continuously decline the longer they remain in the theater.

Comic books are almost no different: the first issue sells a huge number of copies and then attrition takes its toll: month after month the number of issues sold continuously decreases. Where comics differ is that they can create moments where suddenly everyone starts buying the series again; this is done through changing creative teams or by creating a HUGE event (such as a death of a character) …or simply by just rebooting the series and starting at number one again. All this does is reset the cycle; attrition kicks back in almost always by the next issue.

My painting speed goes through a very similar cycle that comic-book subscriptions go through; I begin quite motivated and clipping along at a good speed, and within an hour of picking up my brush, I start slowing down; I start getting caught in the details. I then remind myself to speed up –and I’m good for another fifteen minutes …until I start slowing down again.This isn’t a bad thing; it just doesn’t produce fully painted miniatures very quickly. Anyways, this cycle will repeat for the full evening while I’m painting until I’ve either had enough (rarely happens) or until my eyes get too tired, and I make myself stop (happens fairly regularly) .

Though I make my ever-slowing painting speed sound like a hazard I face every time I sit down to paint for an evening, it isn’t; the real hazard for me is getting distracted. Just as when I write, distractions destroy my ability to get anything done –heck they destroy my ability to get anything started. Unlike (it would seem) …well, everybody, I can’t turn on a movie or a tv show and then sit down to paint with any hope of getting anything done. I need to shut myself away from the wife and kid and plug into my mp3 player if I want to make any progress in an evening. (I do manage to multitask a little by listening to some hobby-related podcasts like Jaded Gamercast and Clockwerk Warriors done by some of my friends….yes that was a shameless plug –go check them out!)

Sometimes, like last night, I get distracted in the good way and am suddenly inspired to paint some other models that have been languishing at my painting table, waiting for my attention. The models that I suddenly made huge progress last night were some cultists for Strange Aeons. These are models that I started almost two years ago …and I finally managed to get them almost done last night!

The "Clever Cleaver" Cultist

Cultist: “The Clever Cleaver”

Cultist: "Brother Bolt Action"

Cultist: “Brother Bolt Action”

I really like the cultist models for Strange Aeons; they’re not too fancy, but they do possess a ton of charm. And I only have weapon details and the hoods to do before they’re ready to be based and varnished, which should be easy…? Hopefully getting the last parts of these two models done won’t take another year. The undead mummy (below) was only base-coated (the now defunct GW colour) Graveyard Earth, and I got him done to the point that I now only need to finish his skin, weapon and a final ink glaze over the bandages.

Strange Aeons undead: Mummy. The skin has been base coated Shadow Grey and isn’t actually as blue as it looks here.

What made last night great was that I didn’t shirk the Heavy Gear models to work on the Strange Aeons ones; I made progress on both sets of miniatures! Here’s the progress I’ve made with my first Heavy Gear squad:

Sidewinder #1 with camo started (camo needs 2nd lighter layer)

Sidewinder #1 with camo started (camo needs 2nd lighter layer)

Strike Jager

Strike Jager (Lt Bazooka missing): first layer of Camo striping completed.

Sidewinder #2 basecoat done and now awaits first layer of Camo "striping."

Sidewinder #2 base coat done and now awaits first layer of Camo “striping.”

Black Mamba: camo done. Weapon mostly finished. Environment-proof covers around joints,danger stripes & other small details not finished.

Black Mamba: camo done, weapon mostly finished; environment-proof covers around joints,danger stripes & other small details not finished.

So that’s where things are at right now.I have a few more gears and strider parts soaking in citrus degreaser (I find that helps the primer adhere to the bare model much better). Hopefully, I can work on this batch of gears and the next batch in tandem to help speed things up.

Bitz and bitz getting "the soak."

Bitz and bitz getting “the soak.”

I’m definitely behind schedule, but I’ll keep plugging away: I hope to have my Naga and two gear squads completed for when the 600 point battles start getting played (which will be on the 22nd …mind you, I’ll be going out-of-town that weekend, so it sure seems like it’s going to be a challenge to get any gaming done more often than once every two weeks….sigh).

 

In-Store Gaming This November

In my effort to be more active with my blog—and to also acknowledge that the blog is also an extension of the store—I’ve decided to post about this month’s in-store gaming information sheet (along with a bit of embellishment to make it read less like I’m simply going over the flyer day by day, bit by bit).

To have a bit of fun with the idea, I decided to also include the flyer from our first month of business (back in April of aught-twelve…heh) as a bit of a comparison between what I thought we’d have for gaming upon opening and where we’re currently at for in-store gaming.

Continue reading

I Blame World War II

It was just two days ago that I was so filled with hope and thought getting two miniatures painted up (possibly three) was going to be but minimal effort.

Sigh.

I barely touched the miniatures I planned on getting done for Strange Aeons’ Brushoff 2011 competition. What’s worse: they weren’t even ambitious entries. They only required that I put some paint to models that were to have a two-colour paint scheme (plus some detail colours on things like their weapons). Had there been any real stakes riding on this entry, I’d be more disappointed with myself.

The two models are on different bases because the entry had to be the contents of 1 pack, and the sitting model I''ll be having based on piece from another Strange Aeons pack.

Continue reading

Brushoff 2011….progress?

Here’s my work in (not)progress for the Strange Aeons Brushoff 2011 painting competition being run by the Strange Aeons company, Uncle Mike’s Worldwide. Things aren’t as dire as they may look, considering I really only decided I should man up and do an entry last week…eight days before the deadline.

Humble beginnings...

My painted portion of "Cultists III"

It’s now two days before the deadline; all I’ve gotten done is cleaned and primed a mess of SA miniatures and applied a first coat of paint on the two cultists (when combined with the painted ‘bomb’ cultist, they are the contents of the “Cultists III” pack and thus, a legal Brushoff entry).

Here Come The Excuses… Continue reading

Birthday Fallout

The irony is not lost on me: how I almost immediately stopped posting regularly right after writing the blog post giving myself an ‘A’ for maintaining a routine of weekly posts all summer. Excuses? Oh I have them. (Are they valid excuses? Well, that might be another matter entirely…)

First off, my birthday hit me…hard. As hard as, say, thirteen bottles of single-malt Scotch. Yes, the picture below is of my scotch collection as it stands, post-birthday celebrations.

I could do after-action reports with accompanying scotch reviews!

Continue reading

The After-Summer-Break Report Card

So, at the start of summer, I posted about how my games-store job had evapourated, and I was now unemployed—giving me ample opportunity to catch up on my hobbies! With September now in full swing, it’s time to take stock, compare my follow-through to my statements and see how I fared.

I already know it’s going to be a disappointing “report card” because no sooner did I get a lot of free time that my wife took a temporary position at her job—which then offered her full-time hours to get her trained in the job more quickly. I went from believing I’d have one to three hours of exclusive “me” time almost every day to becoming the stay-at-home dad—and learned how precious little “me” time there is for a stay-at-home parent with a three-year old in the house (and I might add, one who can sense it: the moment your attention is not focused on her exclusively). Continue reading