Welcome back to week 7 of the first quarter of Hammer the Backlog, where I use targets and accountability to get my massive pile of unpainted tabletop gaming figures painted, come hell or high water! Although the numbers won’t show it, this has been the trickiest week of Hammer the Backlog so far!
Let’s take a look shall we? Once again, absolutely nothing to report on the score card this week! All in the green. I really am very happy with how this little feature of the blog is working. I think that the five items on the scorecard are the right five items to show the health and growth of the project. Undoubtedly, some will be added with the next quarterly review, but I cannot see any of the current gang of items not making the transition to the next quarter with us.
As I mentioned above, this week has been the trickiest week of Hammer the Backlog so far, both in terms of time management and motivation. We had a little family emergency this week (don’t worry, everyone is fine), which ate into most of my Sunday painting time, just as I was doing the most complex scheme I have attempted so far, adding far more complicated freehand work, trying to use my least favourite colour and trying new techniques for the first time. If this was the olden times and I didn’t have a blog to write and scorecard items to maintain, this definitely would have been the week when I packed everything away for a little break, never to come back to. My Brettonians would have joined all of the other half finished projects in the Closet of Shame. Ok, maybe it’s not a closet: The Room of Shame. Fine, it’s a full-sized, two car garage. Of Shame. However, that is the point of this blog, isn’t it? ‘Hacking’, as it were, the normal waxing and waning of human interest and motivation.
There are three more knights left to do after these guys. That is a week and a half of knights before I get back to the foot troops. Will I miss painting knights, coming up with a brand new scheme each week? Currently my brain says no, but let’s come back to this question in a few months when I finish my 32nd skink in a row.
THIS WEEK’S MODELS
Let’s move on to the reason we are here, the brain chemical happiness brought on by consistency and progress. Two new knights added to the ever growing army.
The red and white knight is a little bit of a conversion. His lance was irreparable from the attic years and his shield was missing, so he got a sword from the bits box and a scratch built shield and became a unit champion. He actually uses the family crest of my lovely lady friend, which is three white hands doing karate chops on a red field. After the success of the red hand on the shield last week I thought three smaller hands would be easy. It was not. Luckily red and white are my current favourite colours to paint, as this checkerboard was also quite time consuming.
In the story of the army in my head, this guy is the Champion of Lady Catherine, riding into battle under her colours. Little do the other knights know that under all of that armour it is actually the Lady Catherine herself! How unchivalrous and unbecoming of a lady of Bretonnia!
Blue is my least favourite colour to paint. Don’t ask me why, it is a long standing vendetta. Once again I have snuck in a little bit of Irishness to the unit, as this fella is basically wearing the coat of arms of Munster, the worst province of Ireland. The three crowns were significantly easier to paint freehand than the three karate chops!
Only three knights left to go and the schemes are already pretty much decided, two more provinces of Ireland and my own family crest!
One thing that has been notably absent from all of my knights so far were the banners and pennants (little lance flag fellas) that they are so famous for. There was one reason and one reason alone for this, I had no idea how to do it. I had done a pennant for my Dogs of War dragon Raory by cutting up a coke can with a tin snips and painting it. It looks ok, but it was a hell of a lot of work to get it looking good, especially for something so simple and I certainly won’t be doing it the 11 times needed for these knights.
Luckily, along came internet good egg and one of the best Bretonnian painters on Instagram @brush.of.resilience. He made a really nice tutorial which I adapted and had some nice success with. I had tried and failed to make three paper banners before I finally had success with this one.
I drew the banner in pencil on normal printer paper. Then I gave it a thick coat of GW ‘Ardcoat. I let that dry completely before giving it a second coat. When that had dried completely, I added a final coat of Stormshield. All of these varnishes gave the paper some ‘body’ or plasticity that stopped it from tearing and made it much easier to work with. I then painted it with the same colours as the knight, cut it out with a sharp knife and some scissors and glued it around the banner with watered down pva glue. The final step was a second coat of paint to even out the colours and clean up any white spots showing through at the edges.
I think they look quite nice and really give the knights a finished look.
Three hundred instagram followers this week. Funnily enough, after I said last week that things were slowing down, they really took a jump this week. It might even be at 400 by the time you read this! This is probably due in some part to a couple of very nice instagram shares, including one by Dr. Coach McInerney, who in many ways is responsible for this whole mess in the first place, being the person who lent me Dark Omen 1998.
Anyway, catch you all next week for two more knights and a fancy (hopefully!) banner.
You’re a bunch of good eggs.