Well hello there fellow servitors in service of the great machine spirit, and welcome back to the second week of the fourth quarter of the first year of Hammer the Backlog, the weekly Warhammer miniature painting, productivity and accountability project. Although this week coincides with Adepitcon and some huge news for the future of the Warhammer Franchise, actual work on the Hammer the Backlog Project has been fairly uneventful this week.
Our first ever red for Shopping Mick this week! Off to the punishment cubes with him! One slight hold up this week led to a To-do falling off track. I still have my lovely big pack of Hoch trees from my trip to Valentia mostly un-based and sitting in a bag on a shelf. In an effort to not have scenery adding to the backlog, I intended to get them based up and painted at the weekend. Unfortunately a frustrating couple of hours searching for the ‘safe spot’ in which I had left my unused plastic card turned up fruitless and I wasn’t able to make any progress on it this week. That To-do now carries over to next week.
Everything else stayed in the green, so that was nice! Cancel the punishment cubes!
The five points for finishing this week’s model were some of the easiest I’ve earned so far. The tech priest and servitor from Escalation really turned out to be much less work that I thought they would be, once I sat my ass down and got to it. It is leading me to think that I might be able to get more done this quarter than I had originally planned to! I might even be able to sneak another two Grail Knights in before the end of the year if this rate keeps up.
AM I GETTING BETTER AT PAINTING?
For the longest time I kind of considered myself to have plateaued in terms of my painting skill. There is no doubt that I could paint miniatures that look “better” (whatever that may mean) if I spent more hours pouring over the details and really pushed myself to achieve the best result possible, with no consideration to time or boredom, but I was pretty sure I had mastered “my” techniques.
The last few weeks have made me think I might be wrong about that, however. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t really think I am getting better as a painter in terms of my final results. I think that the finished models I’m producing now are of roughly the same standard as the models that I was producing at the start of Hammer the Backlog. However! Getting there seems to be getting a lot easier. I painted this week’s model, a model which had long since intimidated me with its dead skin and yellow armour, easily within time and without having to look up colour recipes, refer to my notes or watch a single tutorial! Even the hazard stripes on his power fist were something that might have given 2022 Mick pause, but 2023 Mick did the whole thing in about five minutes with no need for cleanup. It’s amazing that you can still get better at something you have been doing since 1997.
The Winsor and Newton size 2 hasn’t hurt either! Even though I‘ve been using Series 7s for years, I was buying increasingly smaller and smaller brushes, getting down to brushes the size of a human eyelash. This was definitely the wrong idea for the way that I paint. The relatively ginormous size 2 has a pin point tip and a big enough body that it can hold the paint and flow well without clogging up the brush. It delivers wet paint exactly where you want it without the frustration of much smaller brushes. It has been, as they say, a Game Changer.
THIS WEEK’S MODEL
I absolutely love this guy. X-101 was a fun challenge to paint, while requiring me to learn no new skills, techniques or colours. The deep blue black is the same colour used for my Bretonnian Knights. The yellow armour is the same recipe as my footmen. The silver metal is, fittingly, the exact same technique I used on the techpriest last week. The tarnished metal kneepad things are the colour I used for my Saurus warriors. Only the skin was ‘new’ and that is just my normal recipe for a cool grey with a glaze of flesh colours and purples to stop it looking like stone. Great fun altogether!
I find it very hard to imagine that X-101 wasn’t conceived for Blackstone Fortress at the same time as UR-025. Aside from the fact that they are both some sort of automatons; a half biological servitor in X-101’s case and an AI for UR-025, they both fill the same role in the squad of large, slow moving, tanky heavy weapon platforms. They are armed almost identically with a scary powerclaw and a man portable heavy weapon each and to top it all off they are in the exact same pose!
I’m sure they both sprung from the same initial design brief and that while the AI nature and cool design of UR-025 saw him winning out for the base game, X-101 was just too cool for the bin and he ended up getting a reprieve in Escalation. What do you think, oh dearest of readers? A likely explanation or just incoherent tech babble bordering on heresy?
Here he is paired up with Deadalosus, which is how we have always played them.
HAMMER THE GARAGE?
Or Garage the Backlog? The only progress this week was getting myself a couple of these really handy boxes, in 4 and 9 litre sizes and some self adhesive A4 magnetic sheets for the bottoms. These are great sizes for basic infantry and taller things, and most importantly of all, they stack. I am thinking that my entire collection will get transferred across to these as I finish projects for Hammer the Backlog. They are so neat and effective that when the entire backlog is hammered it should take up only a small amount of shelving and be safe and easily accessible.
Well thanks very much for sticking around this far, see you next week for the beginning of a crusade against heresy.
You’re good eggs.
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