Insider 6-2-2011

Simon - The dream is over, and it's time to see who succeeded and who failed to paint their 100-point HORDES army in just one month!

Simon Berman – Circle

Victory! But only by the narrowest of margins. Week four was a bit of a nail-biter for me and witnessed the most models painted per hour of my entire Challenge experience. Also, to prevent chronological confusion, I should point out that Jen and I had later start and end dates for the Challenge since we were out of town on business at the start of the month!

I dove right into the maximum sized unit of Tharn with both unit attachments. In the course of an evening I basecoated them, gave them a wash, and picked out a few details. In order to better tie the two units together, I painted the Chieftain's back-ribbons in the same Ember Orange base in which I painted the first unit of Ravagers. When I expand that unit I'll paint the second Chieftain's ribbons in the Moldy Ochre base I used on this unit. I think it does a pretty good job of differentiating the two units while maintaining the impression that they are part of the same Tharn tuath. I took the few spare moments gained from waiting for the wash to dry to go back and do a little clean up on the minimum unit of Tharn from week three. At the end of the evening, I was actually pretty satisfied with these Tharn, although they will definitely be a unit I return to at my own leisure in the coming weeks.

With the Tharn done, it was time to tackle the Druids. I knew I was going to lose a whole day on Saturday to a rare day of beautiful weather in the midst of Seattle spring, so I resolved to paint all nine of these models (a unit of Druids, two Stonekeepers, and a Stoneward) all on Sunday and use the last three nights of the Challenge to focus on my two warlocks and the Lord of the Feast. I didn't quite succeed. Really, the Druids are basically just basecoated and washed. I drybrushed Solid Gold onto their filigree, but these models are at the low end of what I consider acceptable for tabletop use. The Stoneward in particular looks…special.

Ultimately, I completed the druids on Monday and dove into work on the Lord of the Feast. Again, this is a figure that is essentially basecoated and washed. I gave his flesh a base of Thrall Flesh, painted some of his leather clothing in Bootstrap Leather, other parts in Idrian Flesh, based his metal items in Pig Iron, and then washed the whole thing in the same mix of Black Ink, Brown Ink, and Mixing Medium that has served me so well throughout the Challenge. I picked out a few details in Solid Gold, his crow in Coal Black, applied a second, thinner wash, and called it a day.

With two nights remaining, I was able to give Baldur and Krueger a little more attention. I kept Baldur pretty close to the studio scheme but chose to give his beard a base of Ember Orange to tie him in with the details on some of my Shifting Stones as well as the smaller unit of Ravagers. Krueger, on the other hand, deviates pretty wildly from the usual scheme. I based his cloak in Rucksack Tan and then built up highlights with a series of lightening mixes of Moldy Ochre and Sulfuric Yellow. His detail work is definitely rushed, but I managed to get him to an acceptable state in the last few hours of the week. Then it was time to relax by catching up on Game of Thrones while cleaning up my bases in Thamar Black.

Looking on my new 100 points of fully painted Circle is pretty gratifying! The Challenge was a really great experience for me, even if I didn't quite paint everything to the standard I wanted. In hindsight, I should have saved the constructs for last. They painted so rapidly and my plan worked so well, I could have rushed them and kept a high standard. Instead, I hit the Wall of Tharn and the Druids just as my energy for painting was waning and their quality definitely suffered. Still, I'm very pleased with the look of the army as a whole and can't wait to throw down with it!

Next, I'll start cleaning up some of the sloppier figures and adding details at a leisurely pace. I also need to start thinking about how I'm going to base all these guys. I've got a few ideas kicking around and maybe I'll blog about it to show off the final, polished army. I also need to start thinking about expanding this list to 150 points for Unbound and how to best fit at least one Celestial Fulcrum into the list. For now, though, it's time to put a bird on it and call it done!

Nick Scherdnik – Trolls

It's rough going as the weeks roll by to see the pile of unpainted figures stay relatively the same, even when it seemed I was finding time to paint. I knew I was going to fall short after a very slow start, but there were other goals along the way where progress was made, and the challenge has motivated me to pick up my brushes again and really helped me enjoy my time when I was painting. One of my goals was to try to speed up my painting process. With the light and dark primer underpainting technique, I've really found it easier to choose where to emphasize my highlights and shadows. Whether I was painting with translucent paint to let the underpainting show through or using more opaque color and just letting the dark and light primer help me place my shadows and highlights, it has been very helpful and the technique is something I'll continue to use. I definitely cannot say that my painting has accelerated by any noticeable margin. It's gone from less than glacial to imperceptibly faster than glacial. Although I still tend to get stuck in painting the details like gems, weapons, and faces, those are the parts that I enjoy painting the most and that's where I really feel the character of the miniature shows and the model suddenly feels done.

Although the Impossible dream turned out to be exactly that for me, (I'm afraid to see the margin by which I'm going to win the Least Painted category) it did help jump start a long-term goal of getting an army fully painted. It's still a goal I intend to see met by finding consistent, small amounts of time to paint. Maybe there will be finished pics sometime down the road! So, no eternal glory, no cheering fans to inspire with my army-painting prowess, but do I get any points for making everyone else who falls short in the Impossible Dream feel better when they compare what they accomplished to me?

Johan Cea – Skorne

This is my final blog, and well...I FAILED. Given my somewhat busy schedule and lack of painting skill, I knew this was going to be the result. I still went for it, though. Might as well see if I could get 100 points of models painted up in a span of one month. This was a tough challenge for me. My main obstacle was my life outside of work. I really don't want to say what I do outside of work, but it leaves very little time for the hobby side of WARMACHINE/HORDES. I have a ton of trouble putting aside time to assemble and paint up my little buggers for any war game I play. Come to think of it, my lack of time for assembling and painting led me to the game Monsterpocalypse. It's a very fun game, and there is no assembly or painting required! Well, rest assured, I will paint the rest of my army up and post it on the forums when it's finished. In the mean time, I'll leave saying the following:

1) I lied last week; I didn't paint any infantry. Come to think of it, I didn't paint anything at all. I really let y'all down.


Simon – Tomorrow we'll join our other three participants and see how they did!