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).
I barely painted anything for Flames of War. I started off the summer with a platoon of Shermans and three sections of 6-pdr Portees base coated plus three platoons of infantry primed. I finished summer with a platoon of Shermans, three sections of 6-pdr Portees and three platoons of infantry base coated. Progress? Yes. But I had been hoping to get maybe 600 points fully painted and perhaps another 900 points base coated.
As I stated back on July 13, I had hoped to paint up: finish some investigators (like, three models) and perhaps paint a few bad guys (called Lurkers in the game’s nomenclature). I think I painted some pants on, like, one model. Ugh.
Haven’t heard of Strange Aeons? Check out the website and also check out Jaded Gamercast’s podcast review of the game! If you haven’t heard of them, Jaded GamerCast is a podcast done by some ex-GW staff veterans (both worked at GW stores for about 4 years apiece) who wear their crusty-old-gamer attitudes on their sleeves, never shying away from saying what’s wrong or what they dislike about “THE HOBBY™” (they’re also pretty good about saying what they do like). Both guys are up-to-their-eyeballs involved in Warhammer 40,000 and Warhammer Fantasy Battles, particularly tournament play.
Check out their review of Strange Aeons to see what you might think of the game, if you’re like them and a very involved GW-games player.
Strange Aeons is a total breath of fresh air from Games Workshop games, partly because the game doesn’t try to replace Warhammer. If you’re a Warhammer or 40k fan, the game does a great job of supplementing your gaming diet without significantly impacting your involvement with your main game.
While I haven’t painted anything new for War of the Ring (nor tackled doing the adjustments to the hordes of Orcs I have already painted), I did play some War of the Ring and involve myself with the game throughout the summer. I don’t have much to add to that.
All I wanted to do was paint up my umpteen amounts of Terminators for my still-not-done Marine army (it’s like thirteen or fourteen shooty terminators that I’m trying to get finished in my yellow paint scheme). I managed to get the basecoat and first wash done on all of them….but that’s about it. I still have to do the shading wash on all of them and then build up the highlights on them all and then finally do all the detail work. Hoo-boy. A lot of work lies ahead—luckily, painting and highlighting yellow is a reward in itself, once the work gets underway.
THE PIPE-DREAM PROJECTS
As one would expect, if I didn’t have enough time to dedicate myself to my main projects, I wouldn’t even touch my back-burner “pipe dream” projects. I did, however, collect a ton of scenic scraps that could be put towards a Heavy Gear gaming table…or a Tau-themed board. Accordingly, I’ve graded myself a solid ‘B’ as even though no real work was done, I managed to get some valuable prep work started.
So I spent the summer being at home with my three-year-old daughter (which as all full-time parents know, is a trial and a reward all at the same time). My biggest thrill was the evening last week where she and I painted miniatures together! It’s quite something to see: my little girl—a really ants-in-her pants kinda’ kid who can’t stop running around the house, who can’t even eat more than 5 bites of dinner without needing to get up and run around for a minute before coming back to the table for more—go from a regular three-year-old and become a focused little painter, diligently painting every square millimeter of a model, making sure she was holding the miniature correctly by its base while she painted, trying to make sure she loaded her brush up with enough paint and then make sure there isn’t too much paint on the brush. She sat unmoving at my painting table for about two hours, just painting.
I’ve been holding off using real paints as I’m scared she’ll get too …familiar with my paints and brushes and just start helping herself to my painting table unsupervised: that could have all the makings of pure disaster–even though when I left my snow mixture out, she did a pretty good job of adding “snow” to the base of a Necron Warrior (above).
Still, that evening has me sold on the idea of her and me painting together more regularly—maybe she’ll even progress past pink and purple as the colours for soldiers! I think it’ll still be a while before I let her use anything other than a drybrush though; they seem to be the only brushes able to stand up to her use at the moment!
Where I did accomplish what I set out to do was in posting much much more often!
In the seven weeks following posting my summer-time goal of doing a minimum of one post per week (plus one or two smaller updates), I managed fourteen posts. Some weeks had only one post, other weeks had many; but I successfully managed to work the Imaginary Wars blog into my weekly routine…though it did come unraveled at the end of August before totally going off the tracks in September—but not without good reason: the end of summer saw a potential job prospect not fully materialise (though they have now said they’re taking in resumes).
No sooner had my original post-summer pan hit a snag, a real opportunity materialised in its stead: I am now in a program for and working towards opening up my own gaming store!
It’s a bit early to give too many details, but applying for this program (and getting a certain amount of my ducks in a row to make it all somewhat feasible) has been capitalising all of my time since the last week of August—hence my posts dropping down to zero-per-week ever since August 22nd.
So the end of summer sees a lot of exciting prospects coming my this year–very much worth not getting a few figures painted in July and August!