Dispensing advice? Me?

Over on TauOnline.org, I posted a thread covering my ongoing Tau painting project, and so far it’s been getting a good response. I have been caught off-guard by one particular type of post, though – the request for painting advice. Besides complimenting the final results, people have been asking me about my techniques. This strikes me as odd, because I normally think of advice as being something from experts, and I’m far from being one of those. There are many, many better painters than me out there, so the fact that people are asking me for advice is kind of humbling.

So far, people have asked me:

  • how to paint lenses
  • how I colored the lines in my armor
  • how did I keep the undercoat from showing through the base color
  • how to do “plasma effects”, namely how did I make my ‘suit weapons glow blue

That last one really boggles me, since the answer is “paint the tips light blue”; I wish there was more to it, but that’s it. The truth is, most of my painting techniques are cribbed off of someone else. I’ve studied all the tutorials I can get my hands on, and I’m still an amateur at best. How to paint lenses? I learned all that from a short-but-informative tutorial on AdvancedTauTactica.com. In fact, the only technique that I’ve really discovered on my own was using a micron pen to color armor gaps, and I know I’m not the only one who does that.

In the end, though, I’m honored that people are asking me for advice. Even if I don’t have any major insights of my own to share, I can pass along the same resources that I’ve studied, and help everyone get better. Beyond that, the only other advice I can offer to anyone is, “Practice, practice, practice,” and, “Don’t be afraid to try new techniques.” Every lens I paint, for example, ends up better than the one before – and I wouldn’t even be painting them if I hadn’t gotten over my worry that I’d muck it up. Sure, the first ones are a little crude, but it’s a matter of laying the foundation and building on it. Will I ever be a Golden Demon-quality painter? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean I won’t keep practicing and improving. That’s the best advice I can give.

Must maintain self-control…

After almost two years of having Tau minis and not doing anything with them, I’ve finally been making major progress on getting them all finished. I’ve been painting more figs every month, and getting caught up on construction as well. Yesterday, I finally put together the Armored Interdiction Force (two Hammerheads and a Sky Ray) that I’ve had since last Thanksgiving. I just have to put together my Rapid Insertion Force (9 Crisis Suits, 2 Stealth Suits, and a ton of Gun Drones), and I will finally put together everything I’ve purchased so far (with the exception of a spare Piranha that I’m not planning on using yet). I’m still a long way from being done – there’s a lot of painting and basing and such to do yet – but the end is in sight, and that’s when I can look at filling in holes in my army. A couple of Broadsides and/or some Sniper Drone teams would give me a little bit of everything, and I still need to get a couple of GW’s Shield Drone conversion kits.

And yet, the itch to start a second army is starting to flare up, especially with GW putting out the Assault on Black Reach starter set. I could care less about the Orks (too many models with too many fiddly bits, in my opinion), but the Space Marines are tempting, if for no other reason than to have a second army to lend to friends who want to try the game out. The temptation, though, is one I should avoid for now – while I could get a decent Marine army for around $300 (Black Reach, plus a Space Marine Strike Force), I don’t really have the time to embark upon building another army now. At best, it’d end up at the end of the queue, after all my Tau, and at worst it’d end up distracting me from completing my current work. Maybe in six months to a year – by then, I should have more time and space cleared up for other things – but not right now.

Still, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a very nice temptation…

August Painting Project complete!

My August painting project, 150 points of Tau in the form of 3 Stealth Suits and 2 Marker Drones, is painted based, just in time. I continue to refine my lens-painting technique – I’m particularly happy with the ones on the marker drones. On the other hand, the few bits of cloth/fabric, on the upper arms of the suits (under the shoulder guards) didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped. I need to work on my blending, and to thin my paints a bit more.

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Painting Challenge Blog: July ’08

Over on Forumopolis, I’ve been taking part in a wargaming painting challenge. Since several of us are behind in our army painting, we each resolved to take an average-to-large army for our respective games (40k works out to 1500-1750 points), divide the army into ten roughly equal segments point-wise, and paint one segment a month for a year (with 2 floating months off as needed). I’ve been working on my Tau cadre, and as of the end of July I have around 300 points completed (I finished up 120 points in June as a preliminary month). So far, I’ve been pleased with the results.

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I should have August’s minis up soon – a 150 pt. squad of Stealth Suits and Marker Drones are in progress as we speak. September’s minis – another squad of Fire Warriors, with some gun drones to pad out the points – are primed and ready to go. For more pictures, visit the Miniatures page.

NockerGeek.net, v3.1

I’m going to give this thing another college try. This time, though, I’m sticking with WordPress, so I don’t have to gut the site completely and start over. I’m just ditching all the old posts and writing on a fresh slate. Now I just need to find a good WordPress gallery for miniature pictures, screenshots, etc.

Warhammer 40K ramblings and other assorted geekery…