Enough is never enough, when it comes to terrain

Living in Sweden, Adepticon is nothing more than fleeting images to me. Most of them awe-inspiring – or plain inspiring.

This one, though, made me wonder. (It’s from Tim over at Cursed Treasures. Check his post out – there are tons of more pictures there!)

Do people actually play with that little terrain? Personally I find anything under 50 percent of the table being covered near-offensive. The more the better – and the more types of scenery the better!

I started to play 40k when 2:nd edition came out. Back then, the tables you saw in White Dwarf were packed with terrain. That not only provided interesting tactical opportunities – it also looked great.

Warning: I’m going to sound like an old fart now, and start making crazy conjectures.

3:rd edition and competitive gaming started us down this slippery slope. 3:rd because of the whole ”25 percent” business, and tournaments because of the requirement to fill up so many tables with terrain. The way I understand it, this is how most of you actually play 40k. I mean, even the pictures in the rulebooks have sparse terrain. When Cities of Death came out, I thought there were far too few buildings and LOS-blockers on the tables.

And don’t get me started on the Necromunda tables featured at Adepticon …

Tentacle Thursday – Davy Jones Chaos Marines

This week I’d like to point you towards this army, painted by Bolter and Chainsword user GMMStudios (Studio website here). Click the picture above to see the forum thread. It’s got all sorts of slimy Pirates of the Caribbean, Lovecraftian, Bioshock-y  goodness. I mean, how’s this for a Terminator squad?

Make sure you check out the octopus with the bionic eye …

Astute readers will notice that I missed the actual Thursday this week. Sorry ‘bout that.

Escaping painting procrastination

I’m an incredibly slow hobbyist. A month ago I showed you a picture of a Sol Invictus chaos sergeant. This is the state he and his squad are in today.

Yeah, that’s right. I’ve glued on their backpacks – without even priming them. That’s the total progress I’ve made in a month. In the mean time I’ve started other projects, converted the backpacks, and planned how I’m going to progress with the painting.

Painting Procrastination. Project Overload. Call it what you want. I’m not the only one afflicted – Andy at Lair of the Breviks, for example, has it too as he explains in this post. Most of you have probably felt it one time or another.

My last bid in trying to prevent procrastination was to model and paint whatever I felt like. While it removed the chore status from hobbying, it didn’t work out as planned. Now my desk and cabinet are cluttered with half-painted terrain, space marines with no arms, a huge collection of familiars, and a Mordheim orc warband. Here is a list of things that do work. Some of them are actual anti-procrastination techniques, others just sound project management methods.

  • Set up small milestones. Think of them as roughly squad-sized. They’re supposed to be managable and give you gratfication, fast.
  • Write a to-do-list. But don’t get anxious if you don’t complete it. View it as a help, not a demand. This ties in closely with your milestones above. Together, they help to create anticipation for your work. I don’t reccomend going the full Getting Things Done route, but you can get some good pointers from there.
  • Turn off the television. Just do it.
  • Find your creative mood. All of us need different conditions to work well – explained by my favourite gaming columnist Mark Rosewater here. Personally, I find serenity and some type of opera or classic music works better than stressing. Otherwise, I’m a heavy metal guy, but it just doesn’t do it for my hobbying.
  • Invite a friend over, and have a workshop. Share your creativity – push each other!

This should help you turning painting into a habit. Do you have any tips on how to be a more creative and productive hobbyist?

Grotwass, Meganob

Look what I found in the closet! There’s something special about the meganobz – being as wide as they are tall and having a huge sheet-metal gob is bound to garner some respect.

This was a one-off piece I painted when the models were released, along with the 3:rd edition Ork codex. Gorkamorka was still hot back then, so i did the base in a very simplistic desert scheme. The rest of the model is more interesting though. It’s all drybrush and ink wash. Not a layered highlight in sight. If I ever get to painting up that Heavy Metal Ork army, this is how I would do them.

Private Jackson

I’m filing this guy under “Rare and limited” – even though it’s built out of stock Imperial Guard plastics (and Milliput). I got this miniature from a friend, who got it from a friend of his, who had been into 40k since the Rogue Trader days.

There’s not much to say about the paintjob. It’s sloppy, even by my 1995 standards! Fun conversion though.

Kill Team – the Campaign Trail

Wow, it’s suddenly Tuesday. Sorry for the lack of updates. I’ve been busy writing a skirmish campaign system for use with the Kill Team rules. Download it by clicking the picture above (2.3 Mb PDF)!

Note that this is a very unfinished draft. It’s notably lacking skill lists, among other things. We haven’t even had the time to playtest it yet – but I’m so exited about it that I have to let you get a look at it!