I bet that title got your attention! It has been a wild two weeks and enough has happened to nearly cause hobby whiplash so what I will try to do is explain what’s been going on in a concise manner and then share the usual hobby progress afterwards.
First, I tried to paint the first Abyssal dwarf from Mantic and it did not go well. It was definitely a step down from GW and I think it might be a half-step down from Fallout minis. There are plenty of details on the sculpt but a lot of them too small or not well-defined enough to produce satisfying results. It only took an hour of painting one to know that I wasn’t going to get on with them. This was something I started to fear after I bought into Vanguard and so I wasn’t completely taken off guard or disappointed when it occurred.
So somewhat embarrassingly, I spent $80 on a game I’m unlikely to continue with. While I can use Warhammer minis as I mentioned in my review, I think the game would work best if I can use Mantic models with it. They support the armies that they make models for much more. I think that I’m probably spreading myself too thin if I try and paint and play two games, no matter how much I would like to. I am just one person after all.
A few days later, I got two Samurai sculpts from the Bushido game that I had ordered for a diorama. Bushido is a Japanese themed skirmish game with fantastic elements, if you haven’t heard of it, and unfortunately, I was surprised to receive metal miniatures with some real issues. The way the minis are shown on their website, they appear to be resin sculpts that are done with a digital sculpting tool but that is obviously not the case at all which means I probably should have done my homework. One of the Samurai’s arms didn’t even connect in the two places where it was supposed to be glued. I messed up with the other samurai and accidentally threw away one of his horns without realizing what it was. While they were about $30, this was a low point in the week for me. I have this awesome idea for a samurai diorama and its something I’ve been wanting to make for a year or so and as I discovered, Bushido minis won’t work for it and in fact, I don’t think there are any 28/32mm minis that are going to work after doing some research. Almost all samurai miniatures are metal and while those are totally fine for gaming, they’re not up to the standard I’d like for a diorama. So this idea does not look likely to happen anytime soon.
So that was $110 wasted which is definitely an all-time high for me with miniatures. Fortunately, my mate across the pond who helps me with painting advice and is an all around good guy, gave me the advice that I should be following more often. He said, “Paint some bloody Warhammer” because I think he knows I’ve got painting talent and when I paint for gaming, I don’t push my skills as much as I can. That is normal because when most of us paint for gaming, we almost always have some kind of internal clock for how long a gaming piece should take. When I paint for display-level, I try to throw that out and just focus on getting the best results I can. I know said I was going to try and do more dioramas and minis at display-level this year and while I tried to get that going with the samurai, I realized that I’m going about this the wrong way.
I may get annoyed by Games Workshop’s limited releases and I don’t like very many recent Age of Sigmar sculpts (or even armies for that matter), they still make the highest quality miniatures at that scale and as I’ve said many times, you’ve got to have the best canvas possible to make the best art. As tempting as it is to paint stuff from smaller companies and pursue other interests, I will be better off staying focused on higher quality sculpts and that means AoS, 40k, Necromunda, and newer MESBG sculpts. With that goal in mind, I purchased a 40k miniature and that I am waiting to be delivered and hope to see after the holiday on Monday. I think the subject and color scheme will definitely surprise and probably delight a couple of you so I hope you’ll be looking forward to that!
So to summarize, my new goals for this year are:
1.) Keep painting and enjoying Fallout (which will be easy).
2.) Paint the planned MESBG Dioramas (no sweat here either).
3.) Mix in some Warhammer minis as well when I need variety.
The greatest challenge I have with painting AoS, 40k, or Necromunda is that I’m pretty detached from them. I see a lot of what GW releases and there are definitely minis that catch my eye but because I don’t game in any of those spaces, I don’t have a great attachment to them beyond nostalgia (and there’s only certain armies I have that for as well). So that has been my problem is keeping motivated to pick up the odd sculpt and paint it. I’m not quite sure how to change that lack of motivation and keep me interested in the Warhammers. An obvious solution would be to pick up a GW game in the future. I feel like Blackstone Fortress might have been the best solution but now, its hard to get many of the expansions so I don’t bother. Maybe GW will surprise me and release something I can play solo reasonably well in 2021. Another option is to buy White Dwarfs as those can be a way to keep up and get inspired by GW products. Though that money could also be used for buying actual miniatures. I’ve tried some of the Black Library books in the past like the Eisenhorn series and while I wouldn’t say they were bad, they weren’t quite good enough to draw me in either. So as you can see, its a bit of a tough nut to crack. If any of you have any suggestions or thoughts, I’d love to hear them!
But anyway, those are my goals for the near term. I guess despite my disdain for new year’s resolutions, I pretty have made some and we’ll see how they turn out!
In terms of what I have painted, I don’t have anything wildly exciting but I do have a few things that I’m glad to have done at the same time.
First up and most significantly, I finished the Super Mutant Master. He is one of the leaders/elite models for the faction in Fallout and he is a real bruiser. Based on his stat card, it looks like he is going to hit in melee close to 90% of the time which is brutal! I love the sculpt and I’d have to say his hat gives him a lot of character. He also has a great dynamic pose. I think I made a bad choice by painting his cloth the orangish brown. It blends in too much with the other drab colors on this model when he should be the one your eye is drawn to. At least the rest of the mini came out pretty well and with him finished, I’ve finished the box of Super Mutants! Another great accomplishment and I will have to look into buying some more super mutants since I’ve enjoyed painting them so much. Since I don’t think I’ll get anything else impressive finished this month, I’m entering this in Ann’s First of the Year Painting Challenge.
Speaking of drab, I also knocked out three sets of radroaches. Like many of the creatures that surived the bombs dropping in Fallout, the radiation made these bugs grow to a large size. Even with their, they’re not a big threat in Fallout and can be easily killed. They should be useful and thematic in the game nonetheless. I stuck to the Fallout 4 design/color scheme which truthfully makes them look a bit unexciting. The fact that they’re on the standard dirt ground does not help as it means there are a lot of drab brown colors on a single model. I think these would look better with metal flooring or something like that but oh well. My plan is paint the remaining three radroaches as glowing ones so they will look quite a bit different and hopefully even cooler than the first three.
That’s it for me this week. Hopefully things stabilize both in my hobby and in the United States in the coming weeks. It has been less stable than I’m comfortable with in both but I believe I will emerge from this in a better place and certainly with some lessons learned!