EXERT FROM APPENDIX 1 from Don Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers
(The book that got me started.)

"Nothing in these pages is a dictate, no word says you must or you shall do it this way. On the contrary, the book sets out from the very beginning to stimulate the reader to think for himself, and to use what he has read merely as a foundation for efforts and ideas which reflect his own temperament and character. Only in this way will he obtain maximum satisfaction from the hobby of battling with model soldiers."

-Don Featherstone 1918 - 2013

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Busted



Johnson's Greens getting ready to cross the border for a raid on Portland in May. Huzzah! 

Well its official. I am no longer a "painter". This isn't news but I thought it might be just a phase. Its not that I used to do amazing work, its that I used to enjoy the process of trying to do the best, most interesting figures possible with just the right shading and highlighting colors and contrast,  sharp lines and detail  etc, now it all feels like a chore rather than relaxing fun. 

Probably this is partly physical as even with my special painting glasses I have issues,  for example I was dotting the eyes and found that my depth of field was so narrow that I could focus on the eye socket or the tip of the brush which was a mm away but not on both! Add in the occasional hand twitch at inconvenient moments and the frustration mounts. When you consider that once done, any subtleties are lost on me at arms length while harsh contrasts still look ugly and there is no after joy to compensate, especially since I don't really care if the figure is precisely accurate in every detail for a particular moment in history. 

Luckily I still enjoy painting bright,  cheery toy soldiers and this ties into the next two things I'm busted on. I haven't lost my interest in history despite not reading anywhere near as much as I used to and I  still play games set vaguely into an historical context and even the occasional historical refight but my interest in using wargames as a means to explore history continues to wain to the point where I'm not really comfortable calling myself an Historical Wargamer anymore despite not yet finding an appropriate label to replace it.

All of which brings me to the realization two weeks ago that I am off track on my hobby plans and heading farther off if I don't do something.  In particular my planned 40mm early mid19thC Atlantica collection has been badly neglected over the last year as I turned to other things  including later 19thC while I floundered on direction on the main collection. At times it seemed  I  was ready to  do anything except follow the plan. One side effect has been a splintering of  toy soldier eras and continued expansion of chunky non toy historical collections. Since time, space, money and energy are limited this has become a problem. 

After two weeks of pondering and exploration of possibilities I have decided that overall the plan was good and that I just need to tighten up. This will probably mean some retraction and limits on the other horse & musket eras and probably an effort to sell as many of the chunky 1812 40's as possible but I hope to get  going again on something other than yet more line units in incompatible uniforms from yet another period.

The 40mm AWI might just go as well,  but not until after I run a game at Huzzah!  Maybe right after if someone brings cash! 




12 comments:

  1. 'Bright cheery toy soldiers' is good - that's what some of us have come here for.

    Would plain 'Wargamer' do as a replacement for 'Historical Wargamer'?

    Good luck with refocusing on Atlantica.

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    1. I suspect just plain Wargamer is probably the best choice. The fewer labels the better.

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  2. I feel your pain in regards to painting. My readers keep needing to get stronger and I've lost interest in doing 28mm AWI Perrys with all their detail because when finished I can't really see what's been painted. For my LOTR figures I've switched to black prime and block painting.

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    1. Never cottoned on to black prime despite a few tries but its all about what keeps the fun in.

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  3. I know that painting feeling well - don't even know how I could have done some of the things I did 20 years ago!

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    1. Luckily the Garrison figs seem to be responding well to the simple glosdy approach.

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  4. 40mm 'Toy Soldiers' painting style is the way forward

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  5. Interesting as I am feeling exactly the same. 45 now and just can't be bothered to shade and add detail to excess, and when I do the finished product looks dull and lifeless to me. I followed Mosstrooper's lead and am churning out bright and glossy figures which I take a real delight in. It's the way forward for me.

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  6. Bright cheery soldiers -sounds good to me...

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  7. Keep rolling with the bright, cheery toy soldiers, Ross ! As you as you keep at it, you're a painter.

    At 63, my eyes aren't what they were years ago but with the aid of reading glasses and a magnifier lamp, I feel the painting itself hasn't fallen off to an appreciable extent. It's the lack of concentration and focus that has always been my downfall, hence I salute your resolution to "tighten up".

    Regards,
    Steve

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