+ inload: Mechanicum, Witchhunters and blog updates +

+ Ongoing datahub polishing +

+ The more observant amongst you [praise be the Omnissiah for additional optic/haptic systems] might have spotted an '+ ACTIVE DATASTREAM +' tab at the top of the page. After the requisite incense is burnt and runes have been scribed on the data-engines, this will be joined by a few other tabs in the near future, which will provide summaries of my various projects and generally help to guide people around this little corner of the noosphere. +

+ I'd very much appreciate any thoughts on this minor reorganisation. I've had some very useful comments on which inload-posts people like best – generally tutorials, battle reports and theory stuff seem to go down well – but I've always got an audio pickup out for anything that people would like to see, so do feel free to let me know what you like or dislike about the blog, and would like to see more/less of. +


+ Witchhunters +

+ Painting has picked up – and none too soon; the inaugural game set in Shallowell is this Saturday, and I'd like the Witchhunters to be at a decent level before then. I had planned to get further, but an unfortunate 24-hour bug over the bank holiday weekend put paid to those plans! +

+ Batch painting versus the individual approach +

+ I'm fairly pleased with what I got done in the limited time, though the curtailed painting time meant I was forced to go for a batch approach over the individual approach I had intended. Batch painting isn't bad – no approach to painting is, in my opinion – but I rarely find it as enjoyable and absorbing as painting models one at a time. The strengths of batch painting (at least for me) are:
  • Speed – The desaturated yellow is a good example of an accent used in various places – ribbons, loincloths, feathers etc. These are tiny little areas on individual models; batch-painting allows you to hop from model to model to apply the same colours across the group. Similarly, it helps to streamline drying time – hope to another model while you wait for the first to dry.
  • Less wastage – If you're using a mix from your palette (as with most of the colours here), you don't need to mix them afresh every time. I find this hugely useful for painting skin, where I tend to work from large pools of paint that I mix visually – it's incredibly hard to remix these later, so I often end up using huge amounts of paint for relatively tiny areas of single figures.
  • Cohesiveness – Painting a group in one go makes it easy to remember paint recipes, techniques and any considerations about the figures (colours of details, how you approach particular areas and so forth) across the whole group.
The downsides are:
  • Repetitiveness – Inevitably, painting the same colour or areas cross a number of figures can get repetitive, leading to loss of concentration and boredom, or a slap-dash approach that leaves some of the figures painted less carefully than others.
  • Lack of connection – This is the big failure of batch painting for me. It takes away the sense of artistry and flow in a piece; jumping from model to model stops me caring about the individual pieces. No matter how good the result, I never enjoy the process of painting as much. 
  • All or nothing – Until you put the last touches on the batch, you haven't got a single finished figure to show for your work. I find this can be disheartening – particularly if you don't know when you'll next have some time to paint.
+ Of course, one person's famine is another's feast – you may find consistently painting a particular area of detail across a group more relaxing and approachable than having to face it as part of the broader individual; or find it rewarding to suddenly have a whole group 'fall into place' almost at once, in which case the weaknesses I identify above might be positives for you. As I mention above, there's no right or wrong way to paint. While I generally avoid batch painting, I always keep it as an option. The broader your range of techniques and approaches, the better. +

+ In a demonstration that great minds think alike (or fools seldom differ!) The inimitable Asslessman's excellent post on Leadplague last week [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+] shows just how effective batch painting can be, even in combination with time-intensive techniques like wet-blending. +

+ It's also worth mentioning that there's a bit of a false dichotomy in the heading. It's not a case of 'either/or', but rather two approaches that can, and should, be combined. Whether that's simply by undercoating ten models at once before painting them all individually; batch-painting in small groups of two or three; or batch-painting the regiment but treating the command group as individuals, varying your approach can help to keep your painting time fresh and rewarding. +

+ Marvels of the Mechanicum +

+ The remaining Thallax [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+] have been assembled and stand ready to receive some paint. The scheme's going to match Manderghast here [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+] – that is, if I can remember how I tackled the robes to get that orange! +

+ The scuttling foot troopers of the Mechanicum bring me neatly on to something that I very rarely work on – vehicles. In this case, a particularly big task, as it's a Knight-class battle walker. Not quite a true Titan, this chap's still intimidatingly large. Having been sitting, accusingly unbuilt, for over a year as I build up the confidence to tackle something so big, I've finally started cleaning and assembly. +

+ Nothing ever improves your work like stepping outside your comfort zone, so I hope you'll follow along as I finally pull my finger out and get working. +


  1. Don't feel bad, mate. My 'last summer's knight' is now two summer's ago... and I like painting tanks and stuff.

  2. Don't beat yourself up; it took me two years from assembling my three Knights to finally getting them finished last month. They are intimidating beasts to paint and trying to do three at once triples the problem! However I'm glad I finally got 'em done and off my bucket list!!



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