My paint is failing me

I’m usually a black-primer guy for all the reasons miniature painters use black primer: hides mistakes, does the easy blacklining, can paint metallics without another layer, etc.  But lately I’ve been priming in white because the Marauders are fairly brightly colored, being mostly red and flesh colored.  But in the process I’ve discovered that paints that work great over black (like my dark brown and gray paints) look terrible over white.

I use a lot of craft paints for miniatures, because I’m not of the level of painter that really is hampered by the quality issues, but now they are starting to let me down.  When the paint looks bad, I get discouraged and stop painting, or at least let it fall by the wayside for a while.  So now I have two options–really try to work the cheap craft paints or overcome my frugal nature and invest in some decent paints.

My most likely course of action will be to “power through” the last Chaos Marauders (there’s 11 of them left) with the cheap paints, so they all match.  Then, take stock of whatever the next painting project will be, then make the decision.

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When did I get so frugal?

Nothing against the two big FLGS’s in Dayton, Ohio, but if I’m in Columbus, I’m going to the Guard Tower.  For the years that I lived in Columbus, the Guard Tower was a place where I’d often go on my way home from school or work and hang out and buy way too much stuff.

So yesterday I’m in Columbus so, as I said, I’m at the Guard Tower.  And I’m not buying anything.  I stopped reading Knights of the Dinner Table after it became all about the Black Hands and World of Warcraft, plus the very protracted “BA gets his revenge” storyline (shark, jumped).  I dropped White Dwarf almost a year ago when it became less about battle reports and modelling and more of just a catalog.

Pathfinder Beastiary?  No thanks.  DMG2?  Pass.  4E splatbooks with more powers or magic items?  I don’t even use all the options I have now.  The hardest things to pass on were Mantic’s new plastic elves.  Cheap and only slightly funky looking, I’ve been giving them the covetous eyeball ever since I saw them sprayed-and-dipped over at The Army Painter.  They are a little funky looking on the packaging–I think they could’ve come up with a more striking and effective paint scheme.

But, then I remembered that I’m still in the running for Andadas’ lottery over at the HA site, and that I had promised myself I wouldn’t buy anything until both the lottery was over and I had finished painting the Chaos Marauders.

Stupid mature judgement and new-found frugal nature.

So, I’m thinking strongly about having a marathon painting day Friday.  It’s my day off, the schedule looks clear (knock on wood) and I’ll be pretty busy over the weekend between trying out the new Skype-based RPG I’m playing in, work, the lottery, and having the missus be out of town so I’m single-parenting.  So maybe, maybe I can get the rest of the Marauders primed and perhaps a few of the major block-painting steps done before that, and then do the rest Friday.  That way, when the lottery is over I can jump into whatever I’m going to do next.

One final note: I did see while I was at the store four guys playing a pretty lively game of 1949 Secrets of the Third Reich.  It looked like fun and I’m always a sucker for games that other people enjoy, but the $40 price tag and the knowledge that I would have to find players allowed me to resist temptation.

Gaming Pathfinder with nine-year olds

Don’t do it.

Seriously, my son Mac has been pestering me for ages to run Pathfinder for him because he occasionally reads OotS (missing the blue humor) and liked the idea of paladins summoning animals, something that doesn’t happen in Fourth Edition D&D.  I should have, in retrospect, pushed Castles & Crusades with some scratchbuilt rules about alternatives mounts, but Pathfinder had the slick art and whatnot so after being worn down by constant pestering I finally caved and ran a session.

After three rooms, the kids and I were all sick of it.

When you’re nine, you want everything to go your way, you want to be able to win after an appropriate amount of effort, you don’t want to keep track of Armor Checks and skill modifiers.  What Mac and his friend did was just go put on capes and toy swords and use their imagination instead, which was fine with me.

I get the game isn’t for children, and I understand why.  But I’m also aware that teaching the damn game was a pain in the backside, and afterwards Mac came up to me and said, “next time, let’s do Labyrinth Lord.”

A little gaming terrain math facts

A four foot by four foot table has 2,304 square inches.

For gaming terrain to cover 25% of the table, that would mean you would need 576 square inches of terrain.

If your terrain pieces are six inches square (and most of mine are, because I’m curiously compulsive that way), you would need sixteen pieces of terrain to make up 25% of the table.

For ruined fieldstone terrain, I have four, and a fifth on the worktable.

I have dreams of being able to one day field a gaming table for a skirmish game, one that would have serious terrain to play around.  Doing simple math like this makes me realize how much really needs to go into something like this.  I’ve seen some tables for Mordheim (and similar games) that have just under-decorated, and tables like that heavily favor missile weapons as a result.  I want a table where Chaos Cultists and Sisters of Sigmar have a chance against Reiklanders or the like.

Anyways, I’ll hopefully have piece number five up by the end of the week.  Stay tuned.