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Is Anyone Happy With What They Paint?

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This topic contains 24 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  avien 5 months, 1 week ago.

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    @lawnor this is what I’m finding. I did a quick count up from my YouTube channel and I completed a little over 50 minis last year. That’s a pitiful total (especially compared to the number I bought). There were other factors in there but it tells me I need to speed up. It’s the approach I took for my (still WIP) Warhammer Empire army, but over time I’ve tried to improve, no doubt influenced by the stunning paintwork on show on these pages (and elsewhere).

    This year I’m going to do some more rank and file, see if I can speed up. Although I film and sometimes photograph my finished minis close up, I’m going to try and increase the output and learn to accept a drop in quality. If a detail (or brush slip) can’t be seen from three feet away, it’s not important.



    A few years ago I got bored at work and set up a spreadsheet to track my collection and my painting progress.  Over the months I started adding new features like tracking what I bought and when, and what I got painted across each year.  This has helped me become super aware of just how much I get done in a year, and how fast the pile of shame shrinks or grows each year.  At times this encourages me to seek “quick win” projects to make some fast progress.  It generally helps provide me motivation to paint more and buy less.  Seeing everything in numbers so easily really helps me understand my hobby situation and keeps my eyes on the prize of getting 100% completion one day.

    Last year was awesome for progress.  Had I not won a Mythic Battles: Pantheon kickstarter pledge and found £440+ of 40k for £10 at a boot sale I didn’t mean to go to I’d have gotten down to 123 unpainted models.  Less than half a years work.  The end would have been in site, even with another kickstarter dropping in April.  As it is I’m back to 270 models (11 all done and just need varnishing) with 87 arriving in a few months.  I’m not catching up this year after all.  I might get close though.  I don’t mind falling behind due to prizes and bargains though, but it would be good to be comfortable in double figures one day.

    Going fast and having a drop in quality doesn’t have to mean low quality.  It means finding the techniques and paint schemes that give you the highest quality you can get without eating too much time.  It means finding short cuts and maximising your down time.  Not every aspect of a model needs to be painted to the same level either.  One of the most important things to learn is that you can brush paint 3 similar guys just as fast as you can 1 (When airbrushing it can be a lot more).  You lose time waiting for paint to dry, mixing up new paints and cleaning your palette.  Painting the same colour on a few guys at once maximises the efficiency of that spent time.

    Another speed up is to have your next project prepped before you finish the current one then you aren’t sat around waiting for any glues to dry, primer to set, or even for the initial mould release agent soapy wash to dry.

    More and more I am becoming a fan of having a side piece.  When I’ve applied a wash that is taking its time to dry I can go and do some work on that other mini.  I may end up spending more time on the main mini but overall I’ve gotten more work done for my time.



    I think for the rest of my Necromunda gangs and Kill Teams I’m going to have to paint a leader models to a good standard and accept a lesser standard for the rank and file. Same with my Konflikt 47/BA forces. I’ve achieved little this year except making myself anxious about my skills and how little I have achieved. When your hobby gets like that it’s kind of not worth it. I have to suck it up and crack on.



    For large scale army games like I assume konflikt 47 is (I don’t know) it is helpful to remember that no one ever sees one guy.  They see 40 guys in uniform bunched up.  Any effort you put in will be lost as a result.  I have a Tyranid force.  Individually they are nothing to look at.  Seeing the horde coming across the table en masse is a whole different experience.



    I am.

    It’s all about setting your expectations and goals. When I start a project and decide the paint scheme, I also decide on how high standard I shoot for, taking the time available, number of models and how much effort the models “deserve” (I usually try to paint nicer sculpts better). And I guess that has come with experience of painting a lot — I almost always meet the standard I was shooting for, and sometimes even surpass it. Then it’s a matter of judging your work according to the expectation you set, not the box art, not Angel Giraldez social media.

    And for the cases when things start to go off? I react quick. Don’t like the way they first models start to look? Or does completing take way longer than I expected? I go and change my plan: change the paint scheme, change techniques, primer, whatever.

    Another thing is the reason and motivation why we paint. If you’re looking to show case your work, compete or otherwise push yourself then maybe its natural to never be fully satisfied. I paint to relax and to have the minies ready for playing. The results I get accomplishes both. I’ve also managed to find very friendly communities offline (my gaming club) and online (here at OTT and Twitter) that seem to genuinely appreciate people sharing their painting work and give encouraging feedback.



    In a simple word … nope

    I simply cannot help but compare what I can do with others and acknowledge I am just not capable of that level of skill.

    This is unlikely to change so I just get on with being disappointed.



    Good points @guillotine.  This is very much how I approach things now but this is a change from how I used to be some years ago.  I always wanted to do my best work and over time learned improved techniques to add better levels of detail, but I took longer and longer to paint each miniature.  Also beguiled by the delights of seeing professionally painted armies I thought that every miniature had to be the best paint job I was capable of.

    Having decided to do something about this ever decreasing rate of painting, (and therefore ever increasing lead pile) and subsequently joining @lawnor ‘s pledge group, I found that the key was to be happy to get miniatures finished.  For me that means being satisfied with a paint job as soon as the miniature has reached an acceptable level, i.e. for me to be happy to game with it in the presence of other hobbyists.   Although they take less time I still get positive comments about the standard and a couple of key techniques learned here on OTT (e.g. zenith highlighting) have meant I had my most productive ever year for painting last year.  On top of that the joy of seeing and being able to play with so many painted minis is definitely taking the sting out of thinking that I might be capable of better.

    Ultimately I’m accepting my level of painting ability.  I’m a hobbyist.  Angel Giraldez is an artist.  I can no more paint my entire collection with his standards and ability than I can decorate my front room like the Sistine Chapel.  I’ve come to terms with my level and focused on maximising what I want out of painting  – finished armies.



    There’s been some really informative comments on this subject, and my takeaway is that I should be hshap with getting stuff finished rather than perfect, which I likely cantc achieve anyway.



    Am I done with the paint to a level I can live with that shows there’s a bit of effort? Yes

    Am I done emotionally with my investment to keep adding to my work and time to the overall effort? Em, well… that falls to how much I care about the figure as a singular item and where it will be seen. Playpiece that will be battered about and act as a marker… line on the left (one cross each). Display models where effort is taken into building from the basing, through modifying/rebuilding and then start the painting… to the right and straight to the case you go no chance at being outside your cleanroom for off to Putty&Paint we go.

    Is this something other people have issue with? Hell yes! Look at the other posts and don’t worry about it. There’s paint to be pushed.



    For me I know when a model is done. Once I’ve got it to the standard I’m aiming for I’m able to step back and say, “yeah, that’s done now”

    thats not to say there isn’t room for improvement, just that I know that if I keep going with something I’ll get sick of looking at it and won’t want to “finish” it.  You could get lost in getting the perfect blend of a cloak or the perfect gleam on a gem, at some point you just have to say – yep, good enough.

    I’ve actually become less perfectionist over the years, it used to be a case that I’d spend hours doing super detailing on every model, now I just don’t have the time, so I would never get anything done if I put that sort of time into every model. Interestingly (to me at least) I’ve only once ever decided that I was finished a model and later gone back to improve a paint job and that was my UCM army for Dropzone Commander because it was originally fully blue, but I added a command unit which I added a couple of orange panels to and it really popped, so I went back and updated the rest of the army to match the new scheme.

    I think it’s important not to get too bogged down with a project, you can spend forever niggling away at a detail, but cost-benefit that time investment and you’ll probably decide what you have done is good enough. You have to decide what you’ll be satisfied with, which isn’t always super easy…


    i feel like I’ve rambled on a bit here…

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