I’ve been putting off this blog post. I’ve been putting off this blog post because it’s never fun admitting defeat. Defeat of a sort, anyway: you may or may not have noticed that the Flames of War D-Day event that the Calgary R.E.G.I.M.E.N.T. games club runs at Imaginary Wars every year ended up not happening this June. Much like the original date for D-Day (June 5 and not June 6) inclement weather played its part—though for this D-Day, the inclement weather wasn’t meteorological in nature, it was the much more mundane, human reality of player availability and obligations. The club and I are still working on figuring out whether D-Day this year is postponed …or if it’s cancelled for this year.
COLOURS OF WAR
There’s a positive that somewhat balances the D-Day skip though, the Regiment club has decided to start regular, scheduled painting competitions. Ideally, they’ll be monthly and will have a prize for the winner each month—but really everyone’s a winner if it means getting more of your backlogged painting projects finished! The prizes will be anything from hobby products to tertiary items to free entrance to events; and all other details can be found on the club’s blog.
Their first painting competition is for June and is already under way! Not a member of The Regiment? Firstly: well why not? Secondly: that’s only a minor detail as future months won’t be restricted to just club members. And it should also be pointed out that The Calgary Regiment, though mainly a Flames of War gaming club, doesn’t limit itself to just 15mm World War II: current club obsessions include Team Yankee (cold war / WWIII) being done in 6mm, the Infinity sci-fi game, historical naval (WWII and Napoleonic ) –and even Star Wars Armada. Plenty of fodder for monthly painting competitions!
With the announcement of monthly painting competition came the theme for June: any single World War Two platoon of infantry or vehicles in 15mm scale (for Flames of War). With that, I was in! I’ve even managed to get a few painting sessions in at home since; I’ve realised with my heavily compromised ability to get any gaming time in, I’d instead try and get some painting time in—and I largely failed until I lowered my expectations. Let me explain.
I’ve always been a bit of a binge painter: before there was such thing as tournaments (and the hard deadlines that they help us to impose upon ourselves), yes this is going back many many years, but back then, I would regularly get home from school or work and just sit down and paint for hours upon hours at a time. And I did this for fun. While the gaming side of Warhammer happened only once every one or two weeks, painting was a constant source of hobby enjoyment. Fast forward a few years, to when I was working for Games Workshop, and painting for myself at home i.e.: not store army projects happened much more rarely. The only time that changed was when there was a tournament coming up; at those times I would then paint for six or more hours every single working day (and twelve or more hours on days off) until the army I was working on was completed. I’d then be so burnt out from painting that I wouldn’t do any at-home painting for several months.
Binge painting has taught me that I’m really not painting unless I’m doing it for four or more hours. And when I made a commitment to paint my models last summer (last year was one time out of many), I was repeatedly failing to get started all because I was still looking to do three or four hours of hobbying in one stretch. It’s only been now, that I’ve lowered my expectations to roughly twenty or thirty minutes that I’ve managed to get anything done. The down side, of course, is that my progress is incredibly turtle-esque. But I think I may have turned that into a positive as well: my painting sessions have become more Zen-like: I go slow, but I pay no attention to my progress and instead just focus on applying paint to models; before I know it, I’ve spent a half hour or more painting. Sure, the progress is anything but quick…. but it’s been surprisingly steady. I’ve accomplished more in the last seven days than I have in the last seven months: a surprisingly good motivator.
Like I said, there’s still a ways to go; I think I’m being generous when I say that they’re half-way towards being finished. The biggest slow down for me was in liking how the wash I applied turned out: there’s a lot of subtle gradients and deep shadows going on. I had originally planned to apply a wash and then drybrush two layers of highlights before adding the green and brown splotches that were the mainstay of Germany’s 1944 camouflage colours. So in the interest of preserving the wash, I decided to paint my highlights on selectively….which slows down the whole process quite a bit. Still, with just one layer of highlights applied, my armoured cars have more tonal variety than they would had I just drybrushed over everything. Now to just get them completely painted in twenty days or less!
SPEAKING OF PAINTING MINIATURES…
My sudden success with gaining some hobby time has dovetailed nicely with the fact that the store will be hosting another painting workshop! This will be our third workshop this year, and this time we’ll have Canadian Golden Demon Slayer Sword winner, Scott Smith in the store imparting his knowledge on achieving gradients, object source lighting, non-metallic metal and freehand painting numbers and letters. That’s a pretty packed itinerary for a half-day seminar, but it is billed as an advanced painting workshop. You can check out our website’s Events page or the Facebook Event we’ve set up for more details. The workshop will be run on Saturday, July 16.
Apart from regular in-store gaming, May ended up being fairly laid back for store events; but June is shaping up to shake out those cobwebs and Summer is looking even more promising! Apart from the regular in-store gaming (which you can check here for full details) June’s highlights include:
- Beginner League Wednesdays focus on Warhammer 40,000
- Magic: Eternal Masters Draft under $40
- June 18 is Free RPG Day
- I am Your Father(‘s Day) X-Wing gaming event
- Cool Mini or Not Game Demo Day
- Dice Masters Constructed event
- Canada Day Friday Night Magic: Chaos Booster Draft