Friday, 3 January 2014

Change, My Dear...!

...And it seems not a moment too soon! (As my favourite two-hearted time traveller once said.)

More on that soon, but first of all I just wanted to wish everyone a


That's right, it's 2014 and time to finish off the last of the Christmas cake, pack away the decorations and (for me at least) get back to some painting.  It's been great to have a few weeks off to recharge my batteries and find my mojo again, and to think about what I'm trying to achieve with my painting.

Last year was a great one in terms of what I got done.  I feel very privileged to have painted some of the fantastic miniatures which I got chance to work on, from GCT Studios' Ayako Ito to Spatcave's amazing M41-A Pulse Rifle, neither of which I could have predicted at the start of last year.  On top of that, I joined the Mantic Games fan publication, Ironwatch, as part of the Iron Forge painting team, so this year, who knows what's around the corner!

That said, I certainly lost some steam by the end of summer with regard to my online content.  In fact, this is my first blog entry in about five months.  I've been regularly updating my Facebook page (, but haven't seemed to find the time to do any work either here or on the Flare website (

This year, I'm going to make some changes to help me keep on top of things.

The first thing will be to have more than one project active at a time.  I was certainly kept very busy last year, trying to balance my Iron Forge responsibilities with commission work and personal projects, but the problem I found with working solely on one miniature for weeks (or occasionally months) at a time was that when another project came along which excited me more, even my own personal stuff felt more like duty than a hobby.  This year, I'm going to allow myself a few days here and there to take a break from one project while I work on something else.  I think in the end, everything will take the same amount of time, but the results will be somehow 'fresher'.

With that in mind, I've got three projects lined up in the starting blocks.  The first of these is purely for myself, and for gaming at that, so will be very quick and simple:

I recently got the rules for the Doctor Who Miniatures Game from Crooked Dice and have begun my collection of Timelords and villains with a set of (very old) Cybermen from Black Tree Design.  I can't wait to get these done so that I can start playing.  Luckily, these guys are almost entirely silver, so they should take no time at all!

In order to keep some money rolling in - I recently re-organised my paints and realised that I need to replace a lot of them after almost three years - I'm going to be working on one of Mantic's female Dreadball teams.  These are going to be painted to a much higher standard than the Cybermen, but should still only take a few weeks to finish.  If I can get them completed on time, they might even make it into the esteemed pages of Ironwatch, though perhaps I might try to do a single character instead... 

Decisions, decisions!

Finally, and most importantly, will be one of this year's competition pieces from the fantastic Ax Faction range.  This is the Forest Guardian and Broadfoot.  You can see the 'official' miniature HERE, but I'll be painting ol' Broadfoot as a polar bear instead, so he'll look very different to the original.  This one will take me a very long time to complete, and even now I still have no idea how I'm going to base it.  Well, that's a lie.  I do have some ideas...

I think I'll need some Water Effect for this one...

But aside from the actual task of painting, I need to try and keep on top of things like the blog and the website.  The problem I had last year though was that they just take so long!  Early this year, I hope to completely redesign and pare down the website, making it a bit more streamlined and easy to update - as well as formulating a clear, simple and affordable pricing structure for commission work and including it on there.

As for this blog, some of the most popular articles (I've been told) were the step-by-step guides on how I painted each miniature.  I'm going to try to keep those going, but will instead probably write shorter, more regular posts as I go along before compiling them all at the end.  This seems much less daunting than writing a 72-stage (seriously) article on how I painted Ayako Ito all in one go!

So yes, that's me, laying out my plan for the year ahead.  I don't know who's going to read this, but it's at the least very helpful for me to write all of this down before I pile into it.

But before then, I need to go and buy some paints...