+ inload: Project completion +

+ Showcase: Isorian 8854th KleisouraKarba's Huntsmen +

+ Karba's Huntsmen +

+ 'What is the sound of one hand clapping?' 'What should you do if you meet the Buddha on the road?' To these immortal koans, we might* safely add 'Is the army complete?' +

* On consideration, let's not.


+ The shelf of shame and the cupboard of opportunity +

+ Finished or not, I've painted all the models of my Isorian force, so thought I'd pop 'em up for a little showcase. + This army came about through little more than giving the garage a tidy-up and stumbling over some C3 sprues, bought long ago and sat in a box since. On a whim, I pulled them out, built them and got them painted. Something as simple as 'finishing' an old kit that had sat there for years made me really pleased. As a Christmas treat to myself, I bought a few Isorian kits in a Warlord sale, and set myself the challenge of painting them all over the Christmas break. As you can see from the date, I rather missed that deadline – but that's part of the pleasure of a hobby: you set your own expectations. My advice? Set them so that it's a continual reward, not another pressing duty. +


+ Part of the pleasure of collecting is knowing that your collection can expand – but that can become malignant and counter-productive, and leave you feeling like you've got a mountain to climb – the proverbial 'shelf of shame'. +

+ Regular inloaders will have seen previous finished forces pop up every so  often. These range from little groups, like my Astral Claws Kill Team or my Blood Bowl team, Chaunterwick Unathletic, all the way up to entire armies of Iron Warriors or more 'high concept' stuff like my retrohammer Blood Angels.  However, it's only in the past few years that I've jumped over to considering things complete. Previous forces, like my Ultramarines or Imperial Guard, for example, I've never seen them as 'done' in the same way. I think that's comes down to little more than a bit of a shift in priorities; and a realisation that I quite like having a stage where something is finished (even if temporarily). +

+ How you pursue and exercise your hobby is down to you. I know a lot of people get a great deal of pleasure in cataloguing and drafting spreadsheets to plan their work, while others are far more instinctive in what they do. For myself, I find painting most relaxing when I vary things. Sometimes building for a deadline is exhilarating; other times I find the idea paralysing. Sometimes recording everything and sharing it is fun; other projects I keep to myself. The important lesson, I guess, is to try to keep things interesting for yourself, and ensure that you see your leisure time as enjoyable rather than another pressure or duty. Having an ambition – even something as simple as 'I want to have these models painted and take a picture of them all' – might help you change your attitude to those kits and materials hanging around: they shouldn't be a burden on you. If you feel they are, why not start chipping away at them with a small and achievable project like the C3 squad? If you enjoy that, chip away further – or if it sparks your imagination, like mine did, then why not enjoy that collecting. Just make sure you get it painted! :) +


+ Last touches +

+ The past few inloads have concentrated on this Isorian force, but if you've missed them, I'd just finished the X-howitzer (that's the big organic-looking gun at the back left of the shot above) and the spotter drones (the floating eyeballs). New in this shot are the  Tsan Ra command squad troopers. + 

+ These are amongst my favourite sculpts in the entire Beyond the Gates of Antares range – you can read the inload on building the kit here [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+] – and they were an equal pleasure to paint.  With hindsight, I'm glad I left them 'til last, as it meant that I'd had the experience of experimenting a little more on the Tsan Ra Phase Troopers (the basic troops). These warriors have already given me some idea for expansion. I'm going to see if I can order some of the Tsan Ra Phase Trooper heads to replace the more ornate Command Squad ones. That will allow me to get some more variety in poses, by using these Command Squad troopers in standard squads (and vice versa). +

+ As a point of comparison, here's one of the normal Tsan Ra Troopers (normal being a relative term for these eight-limbed aliens!) Besides the helm, there's very little difference, allowing for some greater variety through simple kitbashing rather than conversion work. That's been important for this project. It's easy to go down rabbit holes with this hobby, and I've certainly been guilty of converting for the sake of converting in the past. Sometimes it's good to build as intended and get to painting. As always, follow your own muse and inclinations!+

+ I do hope that the previewed new Isorian sculpts – and the second edition of Beyond the Gates of Antares – comes out at some point soon. I'm really hoping to get to a couple of gaming events this year, and I'd love to get Karba's Huntsmen on the field. +

+ That's not to knock the existing sculpts, of course. The Phase Troopers above were a really peculiar experience to paint – modern and unfamiliar, but nostalgic. I'm surprised that the running squad (pictured above) seems to have been withdrawn from sale – perhaps a victim of too many stock-keeping units for shops? – but at least they are still available from Warlord directly. +

+  One thing that I never used to do was varnish figures – but I think these will get a protective coat as soon as the weather warms up a bit to help them stand up to the rigours of gaming. +

+ All the above having been said, I hope that finishing a project comes with a sense of achievement rather than relief. This force certainly has; it's spurred me on to my next projects, and I've already got plans for how this force could expand. Apart from anything else, it seems odd not to have Karba – apparently famous enough to have lent their moniker as a regimental nickname – represented. I'll have to have a think of how I can create him or her. +

+ In the immediate future, however, I have a copy of Strike on Kara Nine, the beginner-friendly starter set, to unpack... Keep your dials attuned to this signal if you'd like to follow along with opening it up. +



Salvage said...

Great looking force, I really enjoyed watching it come together. You're single-handedly responsible for getting me to check out BtGoA again, I quite dig the look of these Isorians, in particular the phase troopers.

apologist said...

Cheers Salvage – very kind! I've just picked up the Strike on Kara Nine boxed set, and fancy doing a community thing with it; a sort of 'build-along' or 'getting started in Gates of Antares'. You interested in joining in?

commissarmoody said...

More great looking figs. Now I am wondering what some of the freeborn types would look like, painted up as local Axillaries to match these Isorian.

Salvage said...

I appreciate the invite! But I'm so backlogged on other projects that I'm content to watch from the sidelines. Content as in excited to!