In the past few weeks, as the weather's warmed up to the point where I can prime figures outside again, I've begun painting again, only to come up against a rather ugly realization.
I have lost the patience required to paint whole units of 28mm figures. I used to be able to do big blocks of Games Workshop Orcs and Skeletons without batting an eye (granted, the skeletons were sprayed black and drybrushed ivory, but still), and now...
I went through a huge struggle just to work up the motivation to paint eight Greek Hoplites. They're not finished. I'm not sure they will be. Right now they're sitting in a little plastic container, mocking me. Sitting down and doing nigh-identical figures over and over again...I'm not sure I can do it any more. Even working in nice stages of, "OK, armor's done, next round, cloth, then a round of leather bits" is proving deeply discouraging for me.
On the other hand, I'm having no trouble painting characterful figures, especially, um, characters!
If you'll recall back in December I posted about backing Dark Fable's Egyptians on Kickstarter. I got my two packs a month or two back, and over the last couple days I've gotten them painted, and it was very relaxing and enjoyable to do so - I'll post some pictures as soon as I varnish them.
Having five figures at a time that have a theme, but aren't the same guy over and over again, seems to have worked very well for me. As such, I've ordered a couple packs from Pulp Figures to keep me busy for the next couple weeks - I love Bob Murch's big, chunky, richly detailed and lively sculpts and I love 1930s Pulp...anything, really. Most of my reading lately has been pulpish stuff, and in August Gina and I will be attending Pulpfest in Columbus, Ohio for a long weekend getaway - and hitting a couple geology museums, hiking trails and a large conservatory with attached butterfly conservatorium along the way.
Gina's actually been razzing me about my order from Pulp Figures today - I bought them in part because this weekend is Spin-Off, a twice-a-year uber-sale her local yarn and fiber store holds and in the past she's bought hundreds of dollars worth of high-end yarn and knitting supplies during Spin-Off Weekend, and whenever she gets in a consumerist mood it invariably infects me as well. Naturally, since I preemptively ordered two packs of toy soldiers, she hasn't bought anything at Spin-Off yet, and is actually not sure if she'll get anything - she's reading a book about decluttering one's life and the value of minimizing one's possessions to just things you truly love and which bring you great joy in life, and getting herself a little freaked out that she's burying herself in a mountain of possessions that she's not in love with.
I'd mentioned to her mid-week last week that I wasn't sure about ordering from Pulp Figures, because there weren't really any packs available that I really looked at and said, "I HAVE to have that." Instead it was a lot of packs that garnered a response of, "Well, that'd probably be fun to paint," and she used that to try and discourage me from spending the money - or spending it elsewhere on figures that I HAD to have. But throughout the week I discovered that there were several packs that I just kept going to the website and looking at, and I finally broke down last night and ordered two of them. So pretty soon I should be getting a pack of Canadian Mounties and a pack of American Rocketeers - I'm not sure why the Mounties resonated so strongly with me, a non-Canadian, but the Rocketeer figures are modeled on The Rocketeer, which was one of my favorite movies as a kid and I fell even more in love with the character a few years ago when the comics got reprinted. So the opportunity for five Rocketeers...
And yeah, I know, irony of ironies - I struggle painting eight Greek soldiers but two sets of five guys in matching uniforms is okay. Go figure.