Monday, 4 September 2017

The Procrastinators Painting Challenge! - Dwarven Troll Slayers

Procrastination is a funny thing isn't it?

A few months back I decided to finally get round to painting the sizable unit of WFB4 era Dwarf Troll Slayers I acquired as one of my first major purchases when getting involved in the Oldhammer community a few years back. They were models that I remembered fondly from my teenage years reading White Dwarf, and I had always thought that if I ever embarked on a Dwarf army I would love to have a big unit of slayers with ALL THE CHAMPIONS!!

I finished one both as a test piece and to play Lothar Axefiend, a Dwarven fanatic, in my D&D campaign (learning that I needed to go WAY brighter with the orange hair in the process), and the way Lothar's involvement played out in game gave me new impetus to have a large body of suicidal Dwarven nut jobs at my disposal in the near future...

Lothar Axefiend is a Bad Ass Mother Fucker in D&D 3E. Trust me, I'm a DM ;)
The thing is once I started painting the rest I fell out of love with them pretty quickly and they then languished part painted on my table for a couple of months.

To give some variation between duplicates of the same sculpt, and maybe signify followers of different Slayer Champions, I opted for blue and purple in addition to the traditional Troll Slayer Orange hair

Part of the problem was that I had lost my painting mojo while ill, but I had plenty of time sat at my desk when I could have been painting them, but instead I read hobby blogs, watched Critical Role, or occupied myself with on line groups and forums. Every time I looked at the Slayers half finished on the table I felt a pang of guilt, like my teenage self knowing I had homework to do but deciding to watch another episode of Star Trek: TNG instead.

The other part of the problem was that I was finding them very fiddly as they were already based up and undercoated well when I bought them and I had decided to leave them as they were. That made it a bit tricky getting underneath their ample Dwarven bellies, not to mention hair and beards so voluminous they would clog the workings of the cameras at a shoot for a Pantenne Pro V commercial.

But then came Russ T Painting's Middlehammer Procrastinators Painting Challenge! The idea was to dig out the mini that you had been putting off painting for the longest and get it finished (or as far as long as you could get) within a week. It was just what we all needed to fill the seemingly endless void of a whole week before the start of the VERY EXCITING Snotling themed painting challenge for September (Da Great Snot Off) which had got the community fired up, and it was great to see so many people get involved. Some people unearthed minis that they had been meaning to paint for ooh... a good 20-30 years now! Not uncommon in the hobby by any means, but really nice to see so many of them finally get some paint 😀

"And!" I thought to myself "it's the perfect motivation for me to get these bloody Slayers finished!" So I signed up with the promise of at least one Slayer, and the intention of having the whole lot finished by the end of August!

There was about a month between this shot and the last one, and all that had been added was the highlights to the hair...
Yeah.... Well... I did get one done, a purple haired champion no less, but even then I had to cajole myself along, spending more time planning for my Snotling project (i.e. playing with Snotlings and tiny mushrooms) than I should have done on painting. Was this a challenge as to how much you could procrastinate? If so, I was probably winning!

So now September is here and Da Great Snot Off has begun! Much excite! What have I been up to you ask? Stripping snotlings of their old paint?* Prepping all those scenic bases with milliput and flock? Undercoating the green tide? No. I have been procrastinating by painting Dwarf Slayers.

Still experimenting with my new light box :)

The thing is, I have fallen back in love with them. It happened when I applied the main flesh highlight to a whole batch of them and I could see the character come out of a range of the different sculpts all at once. Now rather than treating them much as I would a unit of plastic infantry (as I had told myself I should in order to get the unit finished) I started to treat them more as individuals again, and that has definitely paid dividends. Sadly three days behind where I should be with my Snotlings, but I'm sure I'll catch up once I get down to it.

*Note: I have now at least stripped the few that needed stripping, but only because I ran out of Dwarf slayers...

So, my question to you is this: Have you ever acquired a miniature you really wanted, only to fall out of love with it when you started to paint it? What happened? Was it a messy divorce or did you fall back in love with it in the end? I'd love to hear your thoughts :)

Now, I really need to crack on with these Snotli... Ooh! Look! Squirrel!