Saturday, January 12, 2019

Welcome to 2019!

First, a quick glance at 2018:

  • Wonderfest was a blast!  Louisville, KY at the beginning of June, a real treat with an airbrush workshop, great friends both old & new, amazing models, new minis...can't wait for 2019!
  • Reaper Con was absolutely fantastic!  Denton, TX at the end of August into Labor Day weekend.  Took some classes, led four, and had a seat in Artist Row for the first time.  Made some new friends, caught up with many, enjoyed the road trip and hanging out with my brother-from-another-mother.  Probably spent more and ate more than I should have, but I really enjoyed the whole thing, start to finish, so no regrets.  
  • Painting numbers:
    • 19 in one private commission, including 1 huge kit-bash 
    • 1 commissioned for studio/box art/display
    • 13 of my own, mostly minis, but including a few small terrain/scatter pieces
    • Total: 33 painted in 2018, none that counted in 6MMRPC but 13 toward my backlog.
  • Speaking of backlog...Wonderfest, Reaper Con, Kickstarter fulfillment, and a few stock-up sales & impulse buys, gifts, trades, swag...added somewhere north of 550. Add another hundred-ish for small terrain pieces and other items previously not counted in unpainted inventory because they were listed as 'bits', and my backlog or Unpainted Mountain grew by more than 600 pieces.  In other words, I fell off the wagon and then flipped it, cut it up with a chainsaw, and made a bonfire out of it.  I am ashamed.  x-)    

Plan for 2019:
My approach will be very different this year.  Time spent with family through the Holidays changed my perspective, and time invested in organizing & planning resulted in scrapping goal-setting in the traditional sense.  Instead, I'm moving toward healthier relationships with family, friends, money, spirit, food, exercise, and hobbies.

By first adopting an attitude of gratitude, then implementing 'systems' or processes to develop habits of continuous improvement, I will use goals only as benchmarks.  This will free me up, allowing me to enjoy the work, rather than delaying happiness until a moment of pass/fail assessment.  I may blog more about these concepts and their application later, but for now, some benchmarks are below.  Note: they should be taken very loosely in a format like goal, stretch goal, super stretch goal, and "It Would Take a Miracle!".
  • 6MMRPC Jan 1 to Jun 30 - Reaper's Bones IV KS fulfillment will drop 50+ into the mix, but I count them as purchased long before this Challenge began.  So, I'll start with the usual 3 Jokers and have the opportunity to earn 1 more for each completed project:
    • Painting
      • Counterblast - 15 Edo, including 10 minis and 5 egg clusters already finished (!!)
      • Counterblast - 15 in a combination of 6 Neiran, 9 Lancers (including proxies)
      • Zombicide: Black Plague - 78 minis, mostly zombies to tabletop standard
      • Zombicide: Black Plague - 72 minis, mix of zombies, survivors, abominations
      • Zombicide: Black Plague - 71 minis, more survivors than NPC zombies & archers
      • Zombicide: Black Plague - 58 minis, mostly Wolfz and Crowz from Wolfsburg
    • Selling
      • 130+ painted - while not counting as reducing my unpainted Mountain, I think the effort involved and money earned for paying medical bills and reducing debt should be good for one Joker.
      • 600+ unpainted - these definitely shrink the unpainted Mountain, so I'll break it up into one Joker for each 150+ sold.
  • Conventions:
    • Wonderfest - definitely will go!  Too much fun and local for me to miss it.
    • Reaper Con - hoping to go, but a great many variables will need solving for it to happen.
Obviously, these would be unrealistic as traditional goals, constrained by pass/fail in a 6-month span.  Again, as long as I develop regular habits of painting and selling, great progress will be made and I will be happy with working on it.  If it takes all year to get everything done, or even close to it, then I will have had an incredible year by any measure.  If commissions, contests, and other work (Dragon of the Month?) slow some of that progress, then I will be grateful for those successes instead of being disappointed by failing to meet arbitrary goal numbers.

So, there you have it, an outline of plans for 2019.  Happy painting!

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Reaper Con!

I'm gearing up for Reaper Con 2018 at the end of this month, August 30 thru Labor Day weekend, at the new Embassy Suites in Denton, TX!  I will be teaching 3 different classes, sitting in for the first time as a Guest Artist, helping demo a miniatures tabletop miniatures skirmish game, shopping Reaper and many other fine vendors, and generally hanging out with friends.

So, although I just finished a commissioned project, there's no time to waste.  I've got classes to write, rules to learn, minis to paint, and then prep & pack for the big road trip.  See you there!

Sunday, April 29, 2018


More for the Dark Eldar themed commission.  As commanders and leader-types, these will get more time & attention overall.  Six of the eight are Raging Heroes: Toughest Girls in the Galaxy (plastic-resin), one is GW Finecast and the other is GW hard plastic.  Let's name them off:

Dark Ryss SF

Slithiss SF



Shiveryah SF

Asharah SF
Lilith Hesperax (GW)

Yvraine (GW) with and without companion, while determining placement on base

TGG Blood Vestals - Start to Finish

NSFW Blood Vestals, start to finish March thru April 8.  Please forgive the poor photo quality, especially the too-bright 'finished' shots at the end.  The blue metallic armor looks great in hand and on the tabletop, but plays tricks with the camera.

Group shot!

April 8 - Everything Takes Longer than Expected, Including Blog Posts

Encouraged by a one-day turn for the Armorcast blasted tree stumps last month, I jumped on the Ral Partha skeletons and promptly slowed down.  While the colored primer was a great start, experimenting with overpainting in other bone colors and washing with various inks took some time.  In the end, the result was nice, but an investment of more time than it ultimately may have been worth.  Lesson learned: when speed is the goal, colored primer works fine.

If you're curious about the Blood Vestals, please see the commissions tab...

Keep painting!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Tiny Update

In the weeks since my last post back in January, I have been adjusting my schedule at the day job, starting some lifestyle changes, and really taking a good look at priorities and goals for 2018/2019. Today I unearthed my painting table AND remembered how to hold a paintbrush. Knocked out 5 small terrain pieces, just some old Armorcast resin burnt/blasted tree stumps primed black years ago.

Next up: more practice on some Ral Partha skeletons, maybe some zombies, and probably several overdue gifts. The goal is to get back into a painting groove and complete a commissioned group in April.

Here are the first 10 minis of the commissioned group. They're metal Raging Heroes: Toughest Girls in the Galaxy, Blood Vestals (Sci-Fi) planned for a Dark Eldar army with a bright, fun paint scheme.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Keep Moving Forward

The last two months of 2017 are a general blur in the rear view mirror, leaving a year-end summary in spreadsheets to crunch the miniature painting numbers:


More than 450 unpainted minis were sold, turned in to Metal Trade at Reaper Con, or otherwise removed from inventory.  The Mountain was further reduced by painting 18 minis, mostly early last  year.  Most additions came in using Metal Trade credit to shop the Reaper factory, plus filling in some boxed sets for Zombicide: Black Plague.  While it is nice to see the Mountain shrink by 209 minis, continuing that rate means another 11 years (2018 thru 2028, inclusive) to eliminate the Mountain entirely.  That's unacceptable.

Worse, that rate will be a challenge to maintain going forward due to Metal Trade credit remaining with Reaper, plus swag at Reaper Con, plus Zombicide: Green Horde KS fulfillment due this year, plus the Reaper Bones IV KS fulfillment likely due next year, and so on.  I could be looking at adding nearly 500 new minis before the end of 2019.

In other words, I need to seriously ramp up the rate of both sell-off and painting.  But, how?

Well, a one-time reduction comes from corrected accounting.  Previously, the unpainted total included small models that don't typically stand on their own, the small animals, familiars, objective markers and such one might use with a standard mini, vignette, or diorama.  Example: 10 of these vultures are now counted as Bits instead of Unpainted minis.

Making that correction starts 2018 off with a good, albeit rather artificial & singular, reduction of 160.  The new total stands at 1990, oddly matching the year I married my beautiful, loving, understanding, and very hobby-friendly bride.  :-)

Looking ahead at 2018, I've already moved 320 miniatures into the sell-off pool, leaving them unpainted.  If that works out, and I paint just 20 this year, then I'll have a total reduction for 2018 of -500 minis, more than enough to offset the influx of Z:GH and Reaper Con.  On the other hand, that will probably not be enough to maintain or improve the -209 annual rate.  As previously noted, I think I need to be more aggressive with both the sell-off and painting plans, but again, how?  And why?  What are my goals, here?

Well, this is where I stop writing in the blog and go back to over-analyzing priorities & goals for games, contests, and sales.  Hopefully within a day or two, I can post again with some realistic goals & plans that don't conflict too much with each other.