Thursday, 28 May 2015

Commission Painting: Is it a giant can of worms?

I recently got rid of a few Space Marine Space Wolves units that I'd painted for 40K via eBay. Like most of my hobby projects for Warhammer 40K over the years, I started painting them, full of eagerness and excitement, then ran out of steam, and stopped.

I did however manage to complete a Wolf Lord on Thunderwolf, a unit of Thunderwolf Cavalry, and a squad of Grey Hunters. Here's some pics, for those that are interested:

When I sold them (and they went for a decent amount, I am pleased to report), the buyer asked me the fateful question 'do you do commission work?'

Now, this is a lovely question to be asked as a miniature painter, because it means someone out there rates your work, and would like to own more of it. Lovely, flattering even. However, in my mind, it's also a dangerous question. Why, I hear you ask?

Essentially, it boils down to this: Do I want to turn my hobby into a job?

As I've mentioned in previous posts, my motivation for hobby projects varies greatly. The above Space Wolves can attest to that. It's why I've become increasingly fond of skirmish games, as I can paint small doses of miniatures without feeling overwhelmed or losing focus.

So, if I were to try my hand at commission painting, surely the same thing would kick in, but worse, considering they would not be my miniatures, and therefore potentially a subject material I have no interest in?

On the other hand, more money for new toys! All for doing something I enjoy anyway!

Hmm, seems like a bit of a conundrum to me. I must admit, I am sorely tempted, but am also very cautious.

Would love to hear from you guys on your experiences with this aspect of the hobby. Answers on a postcard below...



Saturday, 2 May 2015

Board silly.

One of the projects I've been working on over the last week or so is a new 3'x3' gaming board for the Batman Miniature Game. 

When I first got into BMG around 2 years ago, it was the first time I had properly been into a skirmish game, and it dawned on me that I only really needed a small surface to play a game on. As such, I made a small 2'x2' board, out of MDF and edged it with quadrant. I then sprayed it with textured paint and then painted it black. I then drybrushed it up to grey, to create a tarmac/asphalt effect. 

I then discovered the great range of laser cut MDF buildings by Sarissa Precision. They do a number of great ranges of buildings for tabletop gaming, and I plumped for the City Block range. Once these were assembled and painted up, I had a rather neat looking play surface, that I could easily store, like this:

This has been great, as I've been able to load it into the car and demo the game at various locations across the area. 

However, because it's a smaller board, you tend to get stuck into the action rather quickly, and that makes games finish quicker than I would like. Also, Knight Models recommend a 3'x3' playing area, so I decided to make another board. 

Here's a few shots of the build process:

Adding the quadrant round the edge.

After the textured paint had been applied. This was a can of stone effect spray from a DIY store. 


A close up of the drybrush effect. This was achieved using some tester pots of grey emulsion. Only a few pound a piece, and they do the job nicely. 

And finally, some shots of it populated with some terrain.

It's a little harder to store now, but the extra space is worth it for games I think. I want to add more terrain, probably a container storage area that is fenced off, and I'd like to add some walkways to add some variation in height (and for somewhere for Batman to Batclaw to!).

I have another sheet of 3'x3' MDF, so I think I'll build another board at some point, but this time have a bare earth/grass look to it. Knight Models are planning on releasing a stunning looking Arkham Asylum laser cut MDF building, and I want to base a board around that. 

Now all I need is the time to play the game and a worthy opponent!