Sunday, October 23, 2011

Taking a Break

In my last post, we discussed ways to come back from a long break. We went over things you could do to get back into the hobby after being away for a while. On the flip side of things, however, what can we do if we know we're going to be taking a break for whatever reason? What can we do to help us come back later when we know that we're going to be away for a while? Keep reading and we'll figure it out together.

For starters, get your reading list made up and take some 40k books with you. The root of this blog comes from the fact that I'm soon to be doing a long period of field training with my Army unit. I already have my list of books that I'll be taking with me so that I can keep reading while I'm in the field. In my last post, we said that reading 40k books is a good way to get your mind thinking about the universe and will excite you into painting again. Just as it can get you going again, reading the 40k books is the number one thing that is going to keep me excited about painting while I'm unable to do so. It'll help keep me motivated so that when I come back, I'll be painting straight away. Podcasts and the like work the same way.

I know that I'm going to stay motivated for when I get back, but what can we do before we take our break? You're obviously going to pack up your models to keep them safe while you're gone, but what about your current project? I for one know that my current project, an Ultramarines tactical squad, won't be finished before I head off into the field. Also, I don't feel comfortable putting my unfinished models into a foam tray because putting them in and taking them out of the foam can rub the paint off if you're not careful. I don't want to just leave them on the table, either. If I do that, they'll just collect dust by the time I get back. That just sounds like too much work to fix. BeforeI go to the field, I'll be putting my unfinished models into my glass display cabinet. There' they'll be protected from dust and any other random things that could occur to them. For those of you that don't have a display case, putting your models in a closet or draping a cloth or paper towel over them will achieve the same effect.

After protecting your models, you need to protect your brushes and paints too. Games Workshop sells their brushes with little plastic tubes to protect the bristles. I always keep mine so that if I ever need to, I can put them back on and store the brushes. If you've thrown your brush protectors away, you can make new ones out of duct tape or something similar. Just make sure to put the sticky side away from the bristles.

As for protecting your paints, there's not much to do. Games Workshop's new paint pots do a pretty good job at keeping your paints from drying out, but just to be safe I'm going to put my paint pots into a plastic bag before I go. That way I know I won't have to worry about them being dried out when I get back.

We seem to have all our bases covered at this point, but there's still one last thing to do. While you've been painting, you've been thinking up all sorts of little rules and things to remember about your current painting project. Make sure you write all that stuff down before you walk away from your project for a while. Write down what step you're currently on, too. Even if it sounds obvious, write it down. You'll thank yourself when you get back to it later.

While you're gone, staying motivated is the biggest thing you can do. Forgetting to protect your paints, brushes, or models can all be fixed in time, but if you're not motivated to get back into the hobby it won't matter. Keep reading those books while you're out. If you can, keep up with your 40k forums, podcasts, and blogs.

Before I go, it's time for a little hobby update. I've been working on my third tactical squad for my Ultramarines. Once they're done, I'll have all my core units finished and I can work on pretty much whatever I want to. I get excited every time I think about it. I won't be able to finish them before I go into the field, but about a week after I get back they should be finished and ready to play with. I'll be sure to add in some pictures to show you how they came out. This batch is producing some pretty awesome bolters!

Until then, take care!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Getting Back to the Hobby

Due to endless Army Field time, moving, apartment problems, and a bit of my own laziness, I haven't worked on my hobby in a while. Now that things have calmed down in my life, I've finally managed to sit down and start painting again. After being away from the hobby for so long and getting used to new routines in life, how does one find the motivation to pick up the paint brush again?

In my own experience, I hadn't done absolutely anything 40k related in a little over two months. I was halfway through A Thousand Sons and I hadn't even read any more of it. My half-finished tactical squad was untouched on the table. I hadn't even read any updates on games- After everything calmed down in life and things returned to normal, I just couldn't bring myself to spend untold hours in front of a magnifying glass like I used to. So I ask again: how does one return from hiatus and start devoting hours to 40k again?

Starting off easy by reading the novels is a great way to get started again. After the craziness in my life calmed down, I picked up A Thousand Sons and started reading every night before I went to sleep just like I always had. Reading about space marines in action and visualizing the epic battlefields always makes me want to paint more and more squads so I can play bigger games.

Lastly, one can always turn to the forums for a source of inspiration. When all else fails, nothing makes me want to paint more than seeing someone else's beautifully painted miniatures. Whenever I see someone else's work, I always find some new idea or technique that I want to apply to my own minis. That just makes me want to paint even more.

Now, I turn the question over to you. What inspires you to paint? After being away for a while, what do you do to get back into the hobby?