Monday, November 29, 2010

What a Year

Valhallan Armored Sentinal 2, 3rd army group

I am totally thankful for what I have... thanks to 2010.
One of my best friends Joel died suddenly in June, leaving behind a wife of just over a year and a legion of people who sorely miss him. My mom is still with us, enjoying life with her grandkids though she is terminally ill. I was diagnosed with prostate disease in good ol’ 2010 and that has been a challenge too. It has been a year like no other.
These are the type of things that help “focus your lens” and maybe see things a bit straighter than before. I “see” my wife and kids more clearly. School and work seemed to fall into a rhythm. I’ve really learned what a friendship is.
As hard as it all has been, I’m grateful.
One smaller ripple on the rough pond of 2010 was my attitude towards painting and armies in general. I looked back at the pile of unpainted stuff I had and really took stock of what I’ve accomplished over the last few years, hobby-wise: I learned to purposely paint layers after almost 10 years. I improved my color theory skills. I improved my notation skills, documenting all the schemes and formulas I devised. I improved my terrain-building skills and completed some ambitious projects. I used new materials in builds. I left others behind.
All of that said, I still had a nagging little imp in my brain, strumming his harp to the tune of “na-na-na-na-naaaa”.
I never completed my IG army. I barely even got any of it done.

Commisar Ritrade

So with that in mind, I put aside my Warmachine projects and went back to my Valhallan Imperial Guard, an army I’ve played on and off since 1996. At first, I thought I was going to auction them off since I couldn’t make progress with them. Thinking about this year, a year of regrets, I knew I would regret not getting this stuff done. It'd be like dating a girl for 15 years and not marrying her, while having all the conveniences of the relationship. Yeah, I’m saying this army has screwed me on occasion and I, it. I think anybody who played IG long enough can attest to that. So I’ll stick by the old girl and go outside my comfort zone to get this done. I owe it to myself and the army.
This project is very personal. It means I’ve accepted that it takes me a really long time to paint minis, since getting them all finished has never really been my goal, painting them is. My buddy Pete is the king of production as far as I'm concerned and I admire how he is able to bang out great minis at an alarming rate. I am honest with myself enough to say I will NOT paint 100+ guardsmen with layers of paint and micro-detail the army to death.
I do not have that kind of time. I don't think anybody really does.
So with completion in mind and coupled with the lessons learned from a hard year, I took to getting a large Imperial Guard army “finished.”
Better yet, I figured out HOW that will be accomplished. So thinking about my conversations about future plans with Joel before he passed I remembered talking about my experience working in a paint factory and the idea struck me on how to let go of my meticulous style and let the medium do more work for me.
So I’m painting the bulk of my Valhallan army with water-based stain. It is and isn’t as simple as it sounds. More on that later.
The start of this project is documented here, at The Imperial Guard Debriefing Room:
Look to have me start posting the bulk of updates to this blog while staying involved with my excellent brothers and sister at the Debriefing Room. I will port over the procedural stuff I wrote so it's here, all in one place, at some point soon.
 My goal is to have 50 guardsmen painted by Christmas, about 27 days away. I’m in the 30’s already with what is painted right now.
On top of that, I have a date to play over the Christmas break against my buddy Jason Woolf’s Dark Angels. We aim to have the “fully painted” bat rep to prove it, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy some shots of some of the recently completed Valhallan 554th army:
Master Grumman, Primaris Psyker

Viktor Reznov (Sly Marbo)

Squad B

Valhallan Armored Sentinal 1, 3rd army group

Squad A

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