Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Refresher in Fun

I needed something fast and simple. The Tamiya GPA kit was just the thing to get me back at it full speed like I used to when I was a kid. I spent maybe six hours on clean up and assembly. Another four to six on the base and groundwork so far and have onlt started with a rough base coat for the figure.

This is just going to be a small, simple vignette to get the cobwebs out. This is what I really love to do, small simple scenes with groundwork and figures to give a sense of scale and context.


First time spraying these new Mission Models paints. While I'm not so sure about the accuracy of his color selections and names, I did like the way the paint performed.


With a rough base coat on the figure a little pre-finish look at the basic layout of the scene. I can now start detail painting the figure and weathering the GPA. It's these quick little builds that really refuel the mojo tank. Another week or so and I should have this one done.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Wednesday October 23 2013...

That was the last time I posted here. So many things changed since then. Does this still even work...

For me, forums eventually gave way to this blog. A quite place to share my passion I called it. Now it's Facebook that I find to be incredibly noisy. The constant flow of negative energy does nothing for my mojo, so I spend more time at my bench. Now I find myself lead back here once again to share what I do when I escape the noise and build my models.

First, I'll need to catch up and load some images here that have never been posted. Some of the completions I've had since '13, perhaps some of you have already seen them, that is if this thing is even on?

*tap tap*

This is the second half of the BAOR issue I spoke about back then, about two entries back. The model was completed shortly after typing that, yet I just up and never returned one day. How odd that seems to me looking back. This model ran along side the Fox in the first Military Modelcraft International, 'special, JAGdwerks issue'.

Sometime after that I began working on a Syrian technical using the Bronco GAZ 69M the old and long out of production MIG Prodcutions 106MM recoilless rifle, this model would transend a big change in my life both modeling industry related and personal life like, For a long time, I didn't really model too much and this model was my first completion coming back.

It would later find itself on a base and featured in Pla Editions Bear in the Sand book.

With this technical fresh in my mind and hot off my bench I went straight into what would be my contributions to JAGdwerks second special issue. Two technicals based on references and kit choices and my love for wheeled vehicles in war.

At this point I find myself feeling pressured by deadlines and overwhelmed with projects and even let a few fall away as my dwindling mojo begins to dry up and just the act of simply sitting at the bench is chore. I find my mind wandering about the hobby that I miss while at work yet coming home to the bench just never seems to kick start one of the pressing projects back into gear.

It isn't until I return to what I love most, groundwork and vignettes that I rekindle that love for painting miniature things to pass the time. I like to think of this as 'finding oneself while simultaneously losing oneself'. The focus needed to create things in small scale and paint and weather them is the perfect place where my mind, which is constantly on the go switches off and I can get lost in the project completely.

The third JAGdwerks special issue was an interesting theme called 2021, a sort of 'future war' scenario akin to WWIII what if type storyline but based alongside actual current events and plausible outcomes. I wasn't super keen on the idea but once again I did my part and completed two models that frankly, I wasn't very pleased with.

This is where it all started to come to a head and I realized if I didn't start doing what I wanted to do for me and not spend all of my bench time doing stuff for everyone else, I was going to get burned out. Fast.

Whenever I find myself speaking about my burnout or the pressures of deadlines it is always met with 'that's why I never turn my hobby into...' but it has nothing to do with that. I love documenting the build and paint steps with photography. I love writing about my experiences and thoughts on the kit, the build or the current climate of the hobby. I just need to do what I want at my own pace, it's merely the pressure of doing something I'm not really into for everyone else by a certain date that kills the joy for me.

The next model I completed was just that, something I had longed to do and quietly did in my spare time behind the scenes. I think it really shows the difference in my projects when it's something I love versus something I have to do. I was really pleased with how this one came out (well except for the firing ports I left in the side because the references I found showing otherwise came far too late)

It did eventually end up featured in Inside the Armour's giant book, Soviet Armour in Foreign Wars but the project was well on the way and nearly complete when the deal was struck. No pressure. No looming deadline. Just peace and quiet in one of my favorite places.

(my head)

My most current completions that are coming out next month in Military Modelcraft International's fourth JAGdwerks special issue aren't even my most current completions. These two projects languished behind the scenes as part of a large book project focusing on USMC armor and softs kins throughout the years. It originally featured nine models by the three of us but after jumping from publisher to publisher and miscommunication after miscommunication it ended up being downsized to six models and sent in to MMI.

This book project no doubt played a huge role in my despair through the same years the other projects suffered. Spreading myself out too thin and making too many promises while watching these models, which I put tons of time and effort into sat idle in the shadows. With them now in print (well, I've seen the pre-print .pdf proofs) there is a huge weight lifted and a sense of relief and accomplishment which has now allowed me to do what I want at my own pace for my own reasons.

If you did follow me back in '13 you may remember all the talk about the SMA magazine I was working with. Issue three was probably the last issue I built a model for (although it's been so long I may have had something in 4 or 5 and don't remember) Needless to say that project was also a huge part of the disappointment in modeling for me. I need to refrain from getting into that though, there is still a very fresh and sore open wound there and I needn't put my thoughts to print just yet for fear of saying some things I just shouldn't say in a public forum.

At least, not yet.

I can't guarantee I'll be back here regularly, or say when my next post will be but I have a feeling I will be spending much more time here over in my quiet little corner of the internet. Facebook and it's incessant political arguing and doom and gloom forecasters have just about done my head in. As always, enjoy your hobby. Build what you like, like what you build.