When I started this blog the aim was to write about a number of things, - chief amongst them was how being a grownup affects your wargaming in both a positive and negative way. Some of the earliest posts were about how I paint armies. The technique is designed to produce armies reasonably quickly in a series of hour long bursts. They key thing was to finish each stage in an evening so that figures dried overnight. This was ideal as it gave me an hour long wind-down activity after work and also meant that broadly speaking I completed and based at least one regiment a week.
Of course all of this relied upon me finishing work and getting home in a reasonable time and, to a lesser extent, not having to get up really early in the morning. It also meant that weekends were free for bigger projects (doing scenery for example) or actually doing proper grownups things such as mowing the lawn or decorating.
Things have obviously moved on. The change in working conditions mean that I’m now commuting 2 hours each way to work, thus getting up earlier than I’d like and getting home later than I care to think about.
Weekends likewise have become more complicated following the decline in my parents’ health and my brother’s car accident earlier in the year, with at least one day spent running around after my mother & father doing odd jobs or taking my mother shopping.
This weekend I did get some painting done, although I discovered an extra use for the Ronseal varnish I use in place of “army painter” tinted varnish. Apparently you can use it to varnish woodwork too. Anyhow I’ve finished the paint work on another regiment of Spanish Civil War cavalry and glued them on some bases so they’ve only got a couple of night’s work to finish them. And I’ve started work on a regiment of Sikhs I’ve bought to use in my new Chinese game, all of which is good, but it is so slow.
I’ve always regarded the painting of the figures as an important part of the process. They get me emotionally connected to the armies and I start to develop an attachment to the various units based not just on their actual history but how tractable they were as I struggled to bring them to life for the wargames table. The idea of buying a completely new army from a “bring and buy” has always seemed anathema to me, and as for getting figures done by a painting service….well that’s even more impersonal. I had a colleague at my previous place of employment who worked such long hours that he used a painting service (although he never got round to basing the stuff up or even arranging a game so that seemed to me to be a bit of a waste anyway).
Recently I’ve been reconsidering the idea. Especially as I’ve offered a session for CoW next year, - in 8 months’ time – and my progress so far is the paint work on the Sikhs referred to above. I haven’t even bought all of the figures yet.
So maybe a service is the answer. And if I varnish with Ronseal and do the basing myself they’ll look like my figures.
But I’ll know.