This will get on topic, in about 4 paragraphs, honest!
I’m about to start this post with the geekiest reference you’re ever going to see; not even an anecdote about travelling all the way to to Sweden for a weekend, purely to attend the concert of a NintendoCore synth band, who were named after a cult movie, (dressed as pikachu) could beat it.**
In my youth I watched a very early anime about drift racing (yes, pretty geeky), which was inspired by the true story of Japan’s ‘Father of Drift’/'Drift King’ racing. This legendary street racer always said that one of his strengths was that of the having a local course (down and up a very steep mountain). Which he had driven every day for years on his way to and from work, before school, since he was 14.
Come rain, snow, or high winds, he would be on this same road, doing his thing, at 5 in the morning. When he went into professional races he always said that this is what gave him the edge, he did the same thing, again and again, in different conditions. Once he knew the course like the back of his hand, the only variables were the weather conditions, and his car. So he learned exactly what changes he needed to make, to his tyres, engine set up, and driving to better suit them.
Now this may seem like an odd way to start off a post about painting, but believe it or not, I do have a point, and this is a comparison I think about nearly every time I pick up a brush.
As lots of you may be aware, due to twitter and blog spamming, I have painted a shit-tonne of Necrons in the last year and a half, starting with individual models and units, and then full armies:
(In rough order)
End of robot spam.
You get the idea, lots of the same thing, again and again, same shapes, contours etc, but in different schemes. Necrons became my home course.
Admittedly now I have had quite enough of Necrons (in these schemes at least). However I did develop a huge love for, and have a great deal of practise with the following painting them so much.
Army Painter Plate Mail Metal
Washes, EVERYWHERE, and adding paint to washes.
Glaze Medium, for airbrushing and washes
Army Painter Swamp Tuft
I got to apply and use the above again and again, sometimes with slight difference, sometimes in exactly the same way, but things that I was initially worried about/felt inexperienced with soon became the norm. I didn’t really know how to use pigments before I did my first batch of Necron Warriors, I didn’t know how to apply them, how to manipulate them, if they needed sealing, anything like that. By the end they had become almost a crutch as far as my basing goes, the go to option before I consider anything else.
I’ve been spending a fair bit of time painting me O+G recently, which not only are actually for me, but are painted in a completely different style, and to a different standard, but my Necrons have still stuck with me. I’m still using a fairly dark, monotone base to make the minis themselves seem brighter. I still drybrush as much as I can, wherever I can get away with it, and I’m better at sequencing when I do messy tasks, like drybrushing, or painting bases, so I don’t cock up the rest of the minis.
Night Goblins may become my new home course, but while I’m going effing mad, on number 50 I’ll take some solace in knowing that the repetition isn’t just there, killing me, in order to get these 50 tiny fella’s done, it may well change the way I paint forever, or teach me something. Recently what drove it home was drybrushing the hell out of this chap this weekend, every Necron vehicle after the first annihilation barge (at the top) has been drybushed, and it’s really taught me a lot.
Army painting can be really gruelling, whether speed or snail painting, but any time you put in will be added to the memory bank, whether it’s dipping or painstaking NMM. This could help you paint your next army/models faster, better, or just differently. When you’re dipping your 105th zombie it may help your sanity to think about it less of a one time sacrifice, and more of a future investment (plus you may have an army, bonus!). Or at least, that’s what I’ve been telling myself.
I hope that wasn’t to wishywashy and poncey, if it was do feel free to let me know via https://twitter.com/ElementGames_.
**I may actually have many anecdotes about that, except for the Pikachu part.